Saturday, September 27, 2008

I've Been Tagged!

Donna of Made In Heaven Tagged me... here are my answers:

7 Things I Plan To Do Before I Die
1. Have at least one work published
2. Make sure I share my family history with my boys
3. Make sure my husband and boys know how much they mean to me
4. More Travel (especially back to the Oregon Coast)
5. Get my hundreds of photos organized
6. Read, read, read... my hundreds of books
7. Try to make a positive difference in this world

7 Things I Do Now
1. Write
2. Blog
3. Watch Movies
4. Watch TV
5. Photography (still learning)
6. Listen to music
7. Pray

7 Things I Can't Do
1. Hold a grudge
2. Run
3. Sleep on a normal schedule
4. Bungee Jump
5. Cheat
6. Keep My House Organized
7. Everything... (well, can you do everything?) ;-)

7 Things That Attract Me To The Opposite Sex
1. Integrity
2. Sense of Humor
3. Eyes
4. Smile
5. Intelligence
6. Compassionate
7. Loves children and animals

7 Things That I Say Most Often
1. I love you!
2. What were you thinking?
3. I need a coke!
4. I have to hurry, I'm late!
5. I forgot...
6. Where's my phone? keys? purse? sunglasses?...
7. It will all work out.

7 Celebrities That I Admire (This was very hard for me, and subject to change)
1. Maya Angelou
2. Paul Newman
3. Sidney Poitier
4. Jim Carey
5. Jennie McCarthy
6. Chonda Pierce
7. (and some classics that are gone... Bob Hope, Jimmy Stewart, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,... too many to list!)

7 Favorite Foods
1. Baked Salmon
2. Roasted Chicken
3. Sweet potatoes (or yams)
4. Oat Bread
5. Cheesecake
6. Cornbread Stuffing
7. Brownies

7 People Who Need To Do This
(I picked people whose blogs I love to visit... I hope you each have fun with this. Please go ahead and link to an old post if you've already done this.)
1. SVG
2. IEG
3. DarLy
4. Tammy
5. Lana
6. Vikki
7. Patchwork Heart

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sleepover, Encounter, and more...

It's been a busy week. Starting last Friday, I went to a girl's night sleepover. Silver Valley Girl and I met at my cousin Laurie's home for a night of fun and conversation. We always have more to talk about than we have time, but we covered a lot of topics in one night.

SVG also introduced us to "Slings and Arrows" a Canadian television program. It's a TV show based on a Shakespearean Theater festival. If you like Shakespeare, comedy, or theatre, check it out. I really enjoyed it and look forward to renting Seasons 2 and 3. We watched three hours of Season One Friday night and the last 3 hours Saturday morning. Before our Saturday morning viewing, we "had" to make a run to Starbucks for coffee and pastries! My first pumpkin latte of the season! So good!

We chatted about our respective writing projects, Laurie's upcoming concert, family and so much more. When I got home Saturday afternoon, I mentally went over the list of topics we never got too. Even though we talked for hours, there were many! That just means we'll have to do it again sometime.

Sunday found Lucky 13 and I coughing our heads off. I think it was brought on by allergies. Sadly my favorite season, autumn, is also my highest allergy time. Apparently, Lucky 13 is following my lead... His turned into a terrible cold/bronchitis/fever which meant missing 2 days of school, another trip to the doctor, and all that goes with this... cough meds, nasal sprays, decongestants... you know the drill. We had a run to the doctor last week, when he passed out at at school, fell, and ended up with a strained tendon in his wrist. Turns out he is anemic... which means iron, red meat (which we'd been avoiding), and more leafy greens! Thankfully, all is well at my little home this morning!

I have about a million and one things to get done today and tomorrow. I'm scheduled to attend an Encounter weekend beginning Friday and ending Sunday. I was unable to go to the one in June, and I'm looking forward to this! It is a small group of women selected by our Pastor, who meet for an intense time of examining our spiritual selves. No TV, music, cell phones, computers... oh my! That part will be hard, but I know there will be Bible study, prayer, and exercises to strengthen our spiritual walk.

Well, I'd best get back to my list of to-do's! I find it so easy to get lost in my writing and in reading from many of the wonderful blogs I've discovered. If you want to do some reading, check out my list of favorites on my sidebar. It actually needs updating as I have met several more wonderful people in the past few weeks. That will be on my to-do list for next week.

Before I forget, thank you to all who continue to pray for Sally. She actually got to leave the hospital for a few hours with her family. This is part of her therapy, to see how she handles everyday situations. Reports are that she had a very nice time. They were careful not to let her get too tired. Her progress has been amazing, but we appreciate your continued prayers as there is a long way to go.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Sunday Scribblings - Invitation

Time for Sunday Scribblings again (see the link on my side bar to read all the entries). The prompt this week is "Invitation". Here is a short story I wrote on the subject:

Invitation to the Past

The light was blinking on the answering machine. She'd kept the land line even though she didn't use it anymore. All of her personal and business contacts came to her cell phone or email.

She'd had the same phone number since 1974. Since she hadn't moved from her home town, she was able to transfer her number with each address change. The question now was why?

Without listening, she knew who it was from. She could hear the sound of his voice, the slightly pleading tone. After almost 30 years, he still called. The old flame. She'd walked away when he cheated on her. No regrets. The first call came in the second year of his marriage; "Can we just meet for a coke? You said we could still be friends." But it was there, just under the surface. The certain knowledge that it was more than coke and conversation that he wanted. She gently closed the door, not wanting to be harsh. "It just isn't a good idea." "I'm seeing someone and he would not like it." "I'll always care for you... yes, we were in love... no, I just can't see you."

Over the years he continued to call, always with the invitation. And always, she was gentle. There was no need to be mean. The past was the past and she held no bitterness. She'd forgiven and forgotten. Maybe that was the problem. She'd forgotten. She'd heard stories over the years. His ruined marriages and relationships. He could not stop cheating.

She was totally and completely in love. She'd met a man who shared her convictions. They enjoyed many of the same things. And, he was open to try new things that she loved, like visiting museums and listening to jazz.

She sat in the big plush chair next to the phone, the light blinking steadily. Slowly she reached over, picked up the receiver and looked. The caller ID had confirmed what she already knew. She dialed, and waited patiently. A friendly voice answered and she responded, "Hello, I'd like to have this number disconnected." "No, I won't be needing another connection at this time. Can you get it done right away?" "Thank you so much."

Taking the receiver, she placed it in the cradle. She knew without a doubt that she had prolonged this moment with her kindness. If she'd been blunt or angry, it would have ended sooner. Standing, she walked over to the wall and unplugged the line. She wrapped it around the old, familiar phone, then walked to the hall closet and placed it in a donation box.

It's done. No more guilt over a love that had been destroyed, and had died, so many years ago. No more blinking red light. No more invitations to turn down.

She'd received a beautiful vase of flowers from her new love last night. Carefully, she moved them to the spot where the telephone had sat. They looked lovely there, and there was just enough room for a photo. A photo of her new love, holding her.

copyright 09/19/08

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Prayer Request for Sally

Please continue to keep my cousin, Sally, in your prayers. She has been making slow and steady progress, but it's a long and difficult road for her. Her sister wrote the following information about a visit with Sally's doctor this morning.

"He compared it to watching grass grow. He said that she is probably not seeing the growth as she is watching it every second, whereas the rest of us see a lawn that just keeps growing. He also compared it to a crockpot versus a microwave-it may take longer, but the end result is better. He assured her that she is making progress every day, and that she has come a long way. He also assured her that emotional times are ok and normal. I think Sally really liked hearing all of this from him. Once again, thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. Sally can feel your love... God Bless Sally."

Stroke recovery varies with each individual. There is still concern about Sally's eyesight. Her cognitive skills have improved a lot. Her walking is improving. They have her in the acute rehab unit so that she is receiving intensive therapy for 6 weeks or more as needed. She remains in good spirits most of the time, but does miss home. She is allowed limited visitation so that there is not overwhelming stimulation. Between therapy sessions, they want to be sure she is getting lots of rest which is important to her recovery.

I thank all of you who have continued to pray for Sally! She really has made amazing progress in most areas. I believe your prayers are being heard.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday Scribblings - Coffee

It's time for Sunday Scribblings... See the link in my side bar to visit all the writers that submitted pieces. The prompt this week is coffee.

Coffee, and Other Things I Love

I love coffee. Dark, hot, swirling liquid. It can be black, creamy, sweet, flavored. I rarely met a cup I couldn't enjoy. We have a local coffee house that I love to visit. It's called "The Library Coffee House" and is filled with local arts and crafts to purchase, homemade pastries and meals, and shelves filled with books. The books are not for sale, they are to read while you enjoy your coffee. You select a book and before you leave, you place it on a special reserved shelf to pick up and read the next time. It's a way to draw you back for another visit.

I don't need the draw of the book to get me back. The coffee is superb. My favorite is a vanilla latte. Simple, smooth, slightly sweet. People sit alone reading in a cushy chair or sofa, or they gather in little groups around tables for conversation. The coffee house has guest singers and musicians on several evenings. Some I know and love (Laurie Roberts is one of those, and my niece Nicole used to perform there), and some are new to me.

The atmophere is the draw. Some of my favorite things all gathered together under one roof. Really excellant coffee, books, music, conversation, art... what more could I ask for?

copyright 09/14/08

New Giveaways

Here are a couple more giveaways. See my list under "Fun Giveaways" in the sidebar. I just added one for Rhonda Mum and one for Sweet Old Vintage. Just click on their names to enter.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What I've Been Up To

I decided it was time to update you on what's been happening around here. I mentioned that our church was having a yard sale. It ended up running Friday and Saturday two weekends in a row. I felt well enough to get stuff over there, and I was able to be there to help for 3 1/2 of those days.

I have to admit that I did a bit of shopping myself. If I ever get a working camera, I'll post some "before" photos of what I bought. I have a lot of fun projects on the back burner now. The best part was, I was physically able to get items over there and to help out. I was pretty run down for a few days after, but I was able to accomplish so much more than I did during the preceding three months!

Today has been an absolutely glorious day! The weather has cooled down, and I am loving it. I got outside this morning and worked in my front flower bed. What a mess! It was full of Morning Glory and Gladiolas.

The Morning Glory has been trouble every summer, and I am so tired of Gladiolas. It was a pleasure to dig it all up. I filled two and a half large garden trash bags! There was also a small tree stump, just the right size for tripping over. I got the water going, to soften the dirt, before digging it out! It was firmly rooted in the hard clay soil and took a lot of time. After digging, pushing, pulling... it finally let go. Boy did that feel great! I had to pace myself to get everything done, so it took about four hours, but was so rewarding.

I still have a lot more to do. I want to add compost, and maybe some sand, to the clay soil. The holly bush has gotten huge and needs a good pruning! Then there will have to be a trip to the garden store. I'll be looking for plants that like partial sun and moist, clay soil. Tulips and Hyacinth have done well and are nice for early spring color. I also want to try something for summer that doesn't attract so many bees and wasps. This bed is right outside our door, in front of our little porch. It hasn't been much fun sitting out there because of the wasps.

Monday and Tuesday were spent going through more stuff in my garage. My sis took four big boxes to sell on eBay... I'm so happy to have it gone! I had two boxes of stuff that she couldn't use, so A.R.C. picked it up! I also made a trip to visit Grandma yesterday. I hadn't been over there for weeks! She saw me walk in the door and hollered to me. She was so happy to have me visit. Grandma looked lovely. She'd just had her hair done that morning. We talked about all kinds of things and took a walk (I pushed her wheelchair) to her room. I helped her look for some stockings and slippers. We visited until I had to pickup Lucky 13 from his first Driver's Education Class. Yikes! I know he's 16, but it just came so fast. Where does the time go?

It has really been a blessing to be able to get some things accomplished. I'm tired, but it's a good tired. After so much time of "MS tired"... which basically means being tired for no apparent reason, this feels wonderful! (Hmmm... how many times can I use the word tired before making people want to tear their hair out... Ok. I'll stop now.)

Tomorrow, I tackle the kitchen, family room and bathrooms. Friday is MJ's birthday and we're having a few family members come by for cake. My dream is for the house to be spotless, but even "near spotless" would be grand!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sunday Scribblings - Miracles

mir'a-cle, n., unusual splendid occurrence

That is the definition in my mother's little "Thumb Ease Webster's Dictionary". It's a paperback, spiral-bound, portable edition. I'm sure there are more detailed definitions in other dictionaries, but I love this one;
Unusual... Splendid... Occurrence...
The words are interesting on their own. Combined, they are beautiful.

My mother had an unusual splendid occurrence. If you believe, as she believed, then she was healed of cancer at the age of 26. A divine miracle. It was a life changing experience for her.

I have often prayed for miracles. Some I've seen fulfilled. The couple who wanted so much to have a child; they explored all options... time passed and still they prayed... odds were stacked against them, but they continued to hope. Now they watch their beautiful daughter laugh and dance and live. Their miracle.

Many times I pray, but the miracle does not come. You might think this would cause me to lose faith in miracles, but you would be wrong. I still pray. I still believe. If a miracle was granted every time I asked, then it would cease to be a miracle. For me it is worth believing in, and waiting for, that sweet moment of an Unusual Splendid Occurrence.

copyright 9/8/2008