Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Where, Oh Where....

I've been around. I have read everyone else's blogs but just haven't had anything to write home about. I did a couple of video blogs I think. Maybe one. I have another somewhere that I think I forgot to post. 

That is how things have been going. My job has been stressful for a variety of reason, mostly because I suddenly realized I'd be working until I'm dead. There is no way anyone can "retire" with the way things are going. And I have other responsibilities that will insure that there will be no retiring. It has given me a depressing outlook on an already bad month. Mainly because I'm tired.

There is talk that we will go "home" in May to visit and go canoeing. But as soon as they told me gas was now +$4 a gallon I balked. I'm sorry, I simply refuse to fund the Arab world anymore than absolutely necessary. I don't mind not spending money on their oil. Basic travel only. There are lots of things to do here that don't involve giving them money. 

I've nearly finished Sarah's blue shrug. It is really pretty. About 5 more to go. Nice thing is she can wear these next winter as well. 

I haven't done much writing. March is simply a wash as far as WRoE is concerned. The online writing group met on Monday night. This is a nice group to chat with about writing. 

 By the way, the vinegar is killing weeds at last. So, maybe I didn't use enough. Need to go back to the sites that recommended it. I'm using it where I don't want anything to grow anyway and if it works, I won't kill the bunnies by using it. Becca said the grass would taste funny to the bunnies. I said, "No, it's salad dressing." 

All right, I'm done. See, just nothing worth relating. I hope everyone has a good week.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

If I Were the Devil, By Paul Harvey

You don't have to agree. Keep in mind he's been dead for a while and this is pretty old... Original audio version from 1965 but listen closely, because it could be 2012.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Life from the Bottom

Sometimes it is necessary to make changes that are not easy but necessary. We fill our lives with things that weigh us down and slow us, usually with the best intentions. All other decisions seem hinged on these weightier items that have little merit. I've found myself there this week.

Friday I posted a blog on the Writer's Asylum blog that I was effectively dissolving the group. You can read it if you like. One member didn't receive it well but it isn't something I'm overly concerned about. I understand why she was upset but the reason for the group to exist simply disappeared. It no longer functioned. They can certainly keep meeting to chat if they like. But it isn't a writing group anymore.

I was relieved. Isn't that odd? Maybe not. It no longer provided me with an incentive to write. I've known that for several months. But I kept hoping the energy would return and we'd get back on track. When it didn't happen, I knew it was time to make a change. So, no more Writer's Asylum. 

I don't know if I'll look for another group or not. I don't think so. I am going to keep trying to work on my story. I may use the now free Thursday nights just for writing time. For now, several FB/NaNo friends are in my WRoE group. I'm not sure where that's going. We're meeting online and it's nice to talk with someone about writing but ultimately, I need to be writing and not just talking. That is what the WRoE is about, writing. 

The truth is that I am in an odd place where the things I have been interested in no longer appeal to me. I thought that maybe I need to move myself in a new direction. But change isn't easy for me. I don't like change. It makes me uncomfortable and stressed. Not all change is bad but it doesn't seem to matter where I'm concerned. I want things to stay as they were before. It is impossible. The nature of life is change. It comes whether you're prepared or not. I'm not. It's here. 

I went with my friend Carolyn to the Home Show yesterday and we went to lunch afterward. I saw lots of beautiful things for the house but unless I win a million they are just not going to appear. It was  a nice day but my hip simply gave me a horrible time as the day progressed. The concrete floors in the stadium are just bad on my back and legs. Once I got home I was so tired.

Today, Sunday, was a really terrible day. I felt awful when I got up, aching and hurting everywhere and I simply was exhausted. I watched some music videos and then had this terrible relapse and I cried for hours. I went back to bed at 3 p.m. and slept until nearly 6 p.m. I've been sitting in a chair all day. And I'm still tired. I'm headed for bed in just a few minutes.

I don't like living this way. It is not living. It is existing. There is not one day I can point to in the last three years that I was happy or content with my life. I can't single a day out as special or important. They are a blur that I can't actually remember much about unless I read the blogs. I have found that just sitting here and looking at stuff on the computer is acceptable and time passes without notice for the most part without any emotion interfering. It is an entertaining narcotic. I work hard. I come home and sit down and before I realize it it is bedtime. And another day arrives unnoticed. Time moves past without making any impact other than a sense of loss.

I still don't want to go out or see anyone much. Every trip is forced and tiring. I don't even want to leave the room I'm camped in at times. I could actually move the necessary items into one room and never go into the rest of the house unless I needed something. 

No one comes here very often but Mike. Even Sarah doesn't come over much anymore. But I've learned to adapt to the isolation relatively well. I no longer look for anyone to come. I no longer extend invitations and I find something to direct my attention to so I don't think about it. 

I'm thinking about disconnecting my land line all together. I have no real need for it. The only calls I get are from my children to ask for something. I have my cell. My aunt usually calls that. And that's all the calls that come in. If I could live on Jerry's pension, I'd quit my job tomorrow and never leave this house again. I wouldn't care. 

I had this realization today that if something happened to me here in the house and no one wanted something from me, I would not be found for days or until someone at work stared looking for me if it was a work day. That wouldn't happen until nearly noon and then they would just call the house. The boss might ask Carolyn and she'd try and get my kids but I doubt she has anyone's number anymore, they change them so often. If I was in the yard, no one would notice as there are no people ever around here.

I thought I should go and sit on the porch today. It was warm out and sunny and it seemed like a good idea. It required something from me I didn't have to give. So I stayed here, in front of the computer until I went to back to bed. 

For a moment today I considered calling and getting the t.v. cable reconnected but I know that if...when I do that, I really won't leave the house anymore. There won't be a need. I looked for possible vacation packages, even just a weekend away. I didn't do anything because I think I'm probably not  physically able to do the kind of things I'd enjoy. I see no sense on paying for a hotel room to just sit and watch t.v. in because I can't walk or I'm too tired. I even checked out a writer's workshop in Mobile, my hometown. I had no idea where to start and after a few minutes it was simply not of interest.

So I sat here and did nothing. I didn't read except stuff I ran across. I watched videos and t.v. shows. Oh and slept nearly 3 hrs. Now I'm going back to bed. I have to work tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Wind in the Mulberry Trees

I love the so very human story of David. It is a rags to riches story with side trips into disasters and misfortune. During the worst times of his life he simply held on and for me, that is inspiring. I never read about him that I don't learn something new to encourage me.

A few weeks ago, I was reading 1st Chronicles 14 where David had already been anointed as King. The story tells that when all Philistines heard about it they went looking for him. They raided the Valley of Rephaim. David was upset over the attack and inquires of God about what to do. He says, "Shall I go up against the Philistine? Will You deliver them into my hand?"

David had to ask? David? Had to ask if God would? Where was his faith? Don't you hate it when people say that to you. "Where's your faith, sister! Just believe God is going to do it! That's all ya gotta do!"

David didn't jump up, grab a sword and go racing off with him men into battle. He had to ask.

And God answered. "Go up, for I will deliver them into your hand."

I love the King James Version of the Bible. It is the first thing I research when I'm looking for scriptures. The Bible Gateway site allows you to set your preferred translation. Mine is KJV. However, about four or five years ago, before Jerry died, I bought a  New King James Version Chronological Study Bible. I had already bought a  Chronological Bible set up to read in a year. However, this new Study Bible has lots of "extras" in the form of notes that give information related to archaeology, history, art, politics, government, and culture for the time period you're reading about. I just love it. What I really love is that some times it translates the KJV in an unexpected way. At least for me. It doesn't change the meaning but what I've found is a clarity that I often didn't know was missing. It has helped me see some things in very new and exciting ways. But back to my story.

After God told David to go, he did and his army defeated the Philistines so badly that they left their gods behind! David promptly burned them. If you study the cultures from this period and in this region, you know they never traveled without their "gods". These were small idols that could be easily transported in saddle bags or sacks.  During this period people firmly believed that they had to have their gods with them to be successful in any venture. So for them to run off and leave them behind for the enemy was a real victory indeed.

I suppose they didn't like having their gods burned. The Philistines made a second raid on the valley. David, once again, asked God if he should pursue them. God told David to go but this time he specified the battle tactic he was to use. He told David not to follow them but to circle around them and come upon them in front of the mulberry trees. Very specific plan. I've read this story lots of times over the years but never saw this battle in just this way until now.

Here is the next verse in the KJV :

15And it shall be, when thou shalt hear a sound of going in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt go out to battle:  for God is gone forth before thee to smite the host of the Philistines."

Sounds simple, right. When you hear the wind in the treetops start the battle. But here is how my Study Bible translated it.

15. And it shall be, when you hear a sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees, then  you shall go out to battle, for God has gone out before you to strike the camp of the Philistines."

Do you see it? This was my ah ha moment.

Have you ever heard mulberry leave rustle in the wind? I have. Mulberry leaves are rough on the top and have jagged edges and they make a noise when they move against one another. Imagine a troop of angles moving through the top of them, the motion of their feet creating a marching sound in the trees.

David and his men stood in front of a mulberry forest. I wonder if David and his men looked up at those trees in shock when they heard it? The Philistines army faced them - a nation who never traveled without their idols facing a small army and who carried none. But then they hear the sound of marching coming straight toward them. God told David that when he heard that sound he would know "God has gone out before you." The sound got ahead of David's army.

The results were profound. "...they drove back the army of the Philistines from Gibeon as far as Gezer. Then the fame of David went out into all lands and the Lord brought the fear of him upon all nations."


David always carried his God with him. He always asked directions. And he listened. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Warm, Soggy Monday

I stepped into a warm morning with a sky that did not bode well. Before I got to work it kept its promise and began to sprinkle. I was able to get in the building before the downpour began but I'm hoping when I go to lunch it is taking a break. I left the umbrella in the car because 1. it wasn't raining, 2. my hands were full.

It was a very unproductive weekend. I simply have nothing to show for it except a small writing assignment for my online writing group tonight. And that was not even very memorable. I appear to have fallen off the wagon again where writing is concerned. I think it is just because I'm so tired from the constant pain. Although fairly moderate as my pain goes, it is all over and so trying to sleep is difficult. I'm left at times with this overwhelming sense that the future doesn't look very promising. There are things I wanted to do and it becomes increasingly apparent that those things are permanently out of my reach. I'm not too old. I simply can't go for very long before I'm exhausted or the pain is so great I am just not able to function.

I had to pull out the last week's work on Sarah's shrug. She was over on Saturday and I tried it on her and it simply did not fit properly. So, I pulled out everything I had done for the week and stared increasing. I am not sure how that will turn out but we'll see. The one good thing about crochet is undoing it is so easy. And I learned what I need to do for the next one. Of course, the intelligent thing would be to find a pattern!

Speaking of Sarah's shrug, we went to Wal-mart Saturday and while there I asked her to pick out the colors she wanted for the rest of them. She was happy to do so, pointing at each selection. First color: orange, not really pumpkin orange but a bright fruity orange. Second color: bright blue because it is her "favorite color". I held up two blues to be sure because they were both very pretty but she wanted that aqua blue she loves. Third color: gray. Yes. It is a pretty gray called heather. She pointed her little finger and said, "That gray." I said, "Are you sure?" She said, "Yes." Fifth color: bright green. And finally, sixth color: red. And it was a beautiful red! The yarn is by Bernat and it is just wonderfully soft and I've never seen such a pretty red before.

I am going to see about going to lunch now. I've been working here and there and blogging in between and now the day is half over. The sky is still gray, and not the pretty gray of Sarah's yarn. Still, at least it is warm. The week is going to be busy for me so I don't know when I'll get back to blog. May your week be filled with blessings of sunshine and warmth.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Early Morning Start

I woke up, spontaneously, at 7:03. I didn't know what day it was and I hobbled to the kitchen. On my way, I stopped and remembered that I came home last night thankful it was Friday. So, it was Saturday and why in blazes was I up at 7 a.m. Still, I continued on my hobble to the kitchen and made a cup of coffee. I hobble most mornings so it isn't noteworthy. I only say to to make this a bit more visual.

I went back to my bedroom and sat the cup on the night stand and thought about it for ten seconds. Yes, I lay down, got comfortable and went to sleep. I woke again at 8:30. The day had officially started.

I'm about to go and pay bills and then, I'll get dressed. Isn't this exciting?

I have plans to write a bit today but not sure how much. I'm three months into WRoE and already flagging. I have had so many aches and pains in the last few weeks and it has been physically draining. I'm exhausted by the time I get home. It isn't an excuse, well it sort of is, but it is a fact. I can't write under that kind of tired.

But that is the plan today.

I finished the little bolero for Sarah but I need to see if it fits and to weave in the tails (lengths of yarn where a row was started). Once that is done, she can wear it. If it fits all right, I can make more and they are pretty quick to make. Yes, I'll post photos once it is done.

The weather? Cold and sunny. 'Nuff said.

Pain level? Really unpleasant.

Maybe I should devise a little barometer for my site. You know one that gives the time, date, and weather but also a place for those little smiley faces they use in your doctor's office to guage your pain. I hate those little buggers. Totally inadequate.

I realize that I haven't been blogging much. I've had virtually nothing to say. I don't see anyone but co-workers and Mike. I haven't had Sarah much. She doesn't want to come over. She doesn't want to spend the night anymore. Once in awhile I have her for a few hours and may get her today but not sure. It is her decision. I hear from Becca every day and my aunt Phillis about the same. That's pretty much the only people I hear from unless someone wants something.

I'm o.k. with it. Story of my life. I can remember living in far away places before there were computers and writing letter but never hearing from anyone. Not much has changed except communications have improved. People just haven't. I'm so thankful for the friends I have on Multiply! And I have writing friends on Facebook so that's helpful. And it makes it easier to choose where I go when I take vacations.

The Writer's Asylum group is pretty much defunct. I've realized it was time to dissolve it. I'll be sending out emails probably this week. My group is a great bunch of people but the truth is writing is not the purpose of the group anymore. I'd still like to see them now and then but I need a writing group, too.

And that's it.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Be Not Dismayed

 My daily Bible verse was like a gentle hand tapping me on my shoulder to tell me to remember the Friday, March 2nd post. I wasn't having a good day, in fact a good portion of the week was painful. Yesterday I got out a bit and did some shopping. It was cold but a beautiful sunny day. My spirits were lifted, even if the pain was not.

But today I woke with pain all over and depressed. I didn't go to church but lay in bed longer than usual. I was tired and just ached. When I did get up I checked my email and found the verse.

Joshua 1:9 "Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest."

I don't know why it was such a comfort but it was. I am more depressed when I am in pain. When that happens my mind is a traitor because it replays images I'd like to never see again, sound bites that simply tear at me.

It is at such times that the tap on the shoulder is most needed. He reminded me today that He knows where I'm going.


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Do I Sound Southern?

I found this online today while cruising the web and thought I'd try it. I'll let you be the judge.

Friday, March 2, 2012

True Story

Becca: Mom, today is Dr. Seuss' birthday.

Me: I know it is Dr. Seuss' birthday.

Sarah, incredulous: You didn't celebrate it?


Every day I get a daily Bible verse in my email. Sometimes it doesn't do a thing for me but others I will keep the email in my inbox all day and go back an reread the verse as time permits. Today's verse is one of those. 

Job 23:10-11 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined.

I happen to like the Book of Job because it is the one place in the Bible I can identify with someone so strongly that it seems Job and I know one another. In my Bible I have highlighted several verses in Job. In fact this whole chapter is marked because it is one of my most favorite in the Bible. In that one chapter I am Job.

Job 23:3 Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat!

For some time now, I've been lost. Every path that I would travel has been cut off. I'm not where I was and where I am is unfamiliar territory. There are no familiar landmarks, no smooth roadways, and no one to turn to for help. It would appear that my path is to be traveled alone in alien lands. 

Job 23:8-9  Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him:  On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him:

I just don't know which way to turn. More than once I have wanted to just sit down in the road and give up. I can't move in any direction at all because I simply don't know which direction to go because I don't know where I am. 

And yet....He knows exactly where I am. 

Job 23:10-11 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined.

There is no Google Earth or Google Maps for me to use on this trip. I only have one resource and too often I forget it.  He doesn't forget me. 

Job 23:13-14 But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth.  For he performeth the thing that is appointed for me: and many such things are with him.

He knows where I am. He knows the twist and turns in the roads, the highs and lows. He knows the dangers along each route. He knows the blocks across the paths that lie before me. He sees every alternative route long before I reach it. 

Sometimes, when I want to go left, I am forced right. He knows what lies ahead. It is appointed for me. I'm not really lost at all. I just didn't plan the trip.

I do not know why there are dark places in the road, where no light penetrates. I do not know why accidents happen and I am injured or people die. Perhaps it is just the nature of the journey. I only know that there is great comfort in the fact that He knows where I am. And even though it seems I am lost in a strange land, He knows how I got there and where I'm going next.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

WRoE: Accountability Day for February

I would ask if you know what day it is but the title sort of gives it away. Yes, it is my self-imposed Writer's Rules of Engagement Accountability Day. This is my day to give an account of my time for the previous month.

I didn't get off to a roaring start in February. It was several days before I got any writing in. And the last couple of weeks were a wash. I had pain problems and stamina problems. I did do a lot of crochet in the evenings. It doesn't require that I do much but sit and well... crochet. I'm making slow but steady progress. I began a second crochet project that is now on hold. I need Sarah's measurements and until I get them, the second project lies unfinished.

So, how did I do in the shortest month of the year? 13 hours total in editing The Dream Sealer. I don't think it is as much as last month but I think this month I've had more physical problems than in January. I'm hoping that improves this month.

In the midst of all that I had two Writer's Hangouts in G+. They lasted about two hours each. I was able to talk writing with and meet "face to face" four of my online writing and blog friends. There are actually six of  us but two members were unable to join us. We've already planned our next online writer's hangout. We intend talking about various writing related topics and doing some critiques. The plan is to hold hangouts on two Mondays a month. It is so easy to just turn on the webcam and all of us are able to see each other and talk. This was really a very cool experience. My hat's off to Google... again.

And that is how the month of February rolled. I have to lock down some time wasters and get my focus back on nightly writing sessions. Or else spend more time on Saturdays. Of course, crochet is going to be a regularly task. Once it warms up a bit more, sewing will also be on my to-do list.

So, how was your WRoE this month? If you're not doing WRoE, did you write at all? I'd love to hear how you're doing.

Doesn't know the Meaning of Handicapped