Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thank Goodness it's Sunday #31...

~Time with family.
~Surprise rain.
~Cooler weather.
~Re-reading The Host by Stephanie Meyer.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

An unexpectedly productive day...

Family arranged for a "super Saturday craft day." I brought a needlepoint project I started back in the early 90s, I think. I haven't worked on it in years. Today, I picked it up again, and managed to accomplish quite a bit. The company was delightful, the food delicious, and the work pleasant.

Revelations 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Harry Potter Friday...

I've never been particularly impressed by the whole Black Friday thing, but then, I've never had children so the need to find the right gift at the lowest possible bargain has never been on my list of things to do. However, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows part 1 came out last week, and needed to be seen. My sister, my dad, and I went to a middle of the day show, at IMAX. It was my first IMAX experience. I've been spoiled for life. The sound. The picture. Wow! I'll never be able to see a movie in a regular theater again. Fantastic! Definitely a part 1, and I want part 2 NOW! Ehem. A little impatient is all. Whoohoo!!

As I was searching my Bible for the right verse to share, today, I found this one. It reminded me of Harry and Ron. Proverbs 18:24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!

This year, it was fun and delicious. I am grateful for so many things, people, opportunities, experiences...

Today's Bible verse: 2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
7. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
8. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
9. Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed...
15. For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many rebound to the glory of God.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Eve...

Work is done. The room is decorated, and so is my computer screen. :-) The pie I'm taking to my sister's is ready and waiting.

For anyone interested, Judge Andrew Napolitano says that the new screening is in violation of the 4th Amendment. One is allowed to state the obvious then request the screener's name, rank, and serial number, as well as take a picture of them. I don't think I could go that far. I was delighted by the woman who wore a bikini to the airport. I'm sure I couldn't do that. Perhaps by the time I fly, again, the demands will have changed. It is unconstitutional. So, the purpose of my musings as to how I'll handle it? It gives me a sense of control. It helps me curb my fears by having a plan in place. "...if ye are prepared ye shall not fear." Doctrine and Covenants 38:30

Today's Bible verse: Psalms 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God..."

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Searches, inside and out...

I find it interesting that this whole upheaval with the TSA is coinciding with some upheaval in my own life. More to the point, it seems almost as if it is an outward reflection of what is happening on the inside of me. I've traveled once or twice a year since 9/11, usually to L.A., but I've also been to Florida, Texas, and Kentucky, via Tennessee. My general impression of the TSA has been that they are doing their job and pretty much leave me alone because I'm pretty innocuous. Really. Some of the TSA agents have been unapproachable, and sometimes even curt or crabby, but I'm more than willing to cut them some slack, as I hope others do me when I'm having a bad day. They may be that way all the time, but that isn't my concern. That being said, quite a few of them have made my travel more pleasant by their helpful attitude and friendliness. For example, I'd forgotten to take off my watch before going through the metal detector. I apologized as I fumbled to get it off, holding up the line. The guy laughed and reassured me it was all right. Life happens. That was two years ago, and I still remember. I felt like we were on the same side.

Fast forward. I'm nervous about my next flight. What will I do? I already know I'll opt out. In addition to believing my body is my own, not the governments, and the fact that the government has lied about the scanners on so many levels it's creepy, there is also the fact that cancer runs in the family, including skin cancer, which is the one that many scientists are warning about with the new scanners. I do also realize that for the most part, the TSA agents aren't real thrilled about the pat-downs either. There are always a few unsavory sort, no matter where you go. Fact of life. I would like to invoke my Fourth Amendment rights. I don't know how that will go over. We'll see what the next months bring. In the event that the government requires the TSA agent to violate that right, what will I do?

Viktor Frankl, a concentration camp survivor said, "Everything can be taken from a man but one thing; the last of the human freedoms—to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."

I haven't the power to change the government, but I have the power to change myself. Accepting does not mean rolling over and being a doormat. It never did. Abusers would have you believe that, and that is what this government has become, abusers of the power they wield. They cannot shame me or embarrass me if I choose not to accept the guilt trip they seem to want to inflict. I've had people try to embarrass me, and it's quite the sight to see when I refuse to respond in the manner expected.

This is what has been culminating. Coming into a sense of acceptance of who and what I am. Knowing that all my dreams and hopes have had to change over the years, but I'm not a failure because my life didn't follow my plans or the plans others created for me. All along, God had a plan for me. Many of the paths I followed, that I hoped would lead me where I wanted to go, were, in fact, leading me where God wanted me to go. Do I feel like a failure sometimes? Actually, often. I'm still struggling to let go of dreams, good dreams, dreams that cannot be. Not because God doesn't love me but because He does. In my head, I know God's plans are always better than mine. Always. But when you believe that your plans are God's plans, and then finally realize they're not, it isn't difficult to imagine that trust takes a hit. Not so much trust in God, but trust in one's self and the ability to listen and follow God.

So now we're back to where I am now. Learning to trust God is much more about learning to trust myself. God is all powerful, all knowing, everything that is good and right. I, however, am flawed, imperfect, a sinner. And yet God loves me. God knows my fears and concerns. I don't believe for a moment that what the government is doing now is inspired by God. The government has strayed frighteningly far from the Constitution, a God-inspired document. God help them.

What will I do? I pray I find the courage to start singing Amazing Grace, to remind me I am God's no matter what anyone does to me.

Today's Bible verse: John 11:35 "Jesus wept."

Monday, November 22, 2010

Carpe diem... National Bible Week...

Did you know that the week of Thanksgiving is National Bible Week, since 1941?! Why did I not know this? Well, I know now. So, today's favorite Bible verse: 1 Samuel 16:7 "...for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart." I've always paired this with a line from The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis: "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."

Enjoyed making cookies, yummy cookies. A bit of reading. A lot of sorting and re-arranging. And some catching up.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thank Goodness it's Sunday #30...

~Rain! Always a blessing here.

~Reminders of what Christmas is truly all about, to rethink what matters and make a different kind of to-do-list, a list of ways to truly celebrate the birth of the Savior.

~Really good friends.

~Romance novels, my favorites. :-)

~Racing! Congrats Carl on winning at Homestead! Whoohoo!! Looking forward to next year.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Reading list #29

Oh my goodness! I haven't done this since early September! Time to catch up. Hawk's Way series by Joan Johnston, Carter, Falcon, Callen, and Zach's stories respectively. NASCAR Hidden Legacy series by Jean Brashear, Peggy Webb, Abby Gaines, and Marisa Carroll respectively. Family Matters by Barbara White Daille. Wyoming Lawman by Victoria Bylin. Emily and the Notorious Prince by India Grey. Midnight Seduction by Justine Davis. An Officer and a Gentleman by Rachel Lee. Secret Contract, Ironclad Cover, My Bodyguard, and Intimate Details by Dana Marton. The Accidental Wedding by Anne Gracie. My Spy, Found: His Perfect Wife, and The Amnesiac Bride by Marie Ferrarella. The Fire Lord's Lover by Kathryne Kennedy. Untameable Rogue by Kelly Hunter. Pregnant and Protected by Lilian Darcy. Last Virgin in California and Marine Under the Mistletoe by Maureen Child. A Woman of Choice by Kris Tualla. Mistletoe and Magic by Amy Elizabeth Saunders, Lisa Cach, Lynsay Sands, and Stobie Piel, an anthology. Under the Mistletoe by Mary Balogh, a collection of her short stories. Rocky Mountain Match by Pamela Nissen. Holiday Havoc by Stephanie Newton and Terri Reed. A Harlequin Christmas Carol by Betina Krahn, Hope Tarr, and Jacquie D'Alessandro, a Christmas anthology. Truly Yours, The Scandalous Life of a True Lady, and The Wicked Ways of a True Hero by Barbara Metzger. And Homecoming Day by Holly Jacobs. And that's only the ones I liked well enough to review over at Harlequin. There were other books I didn't like and didn't review and a few that ended up in the circular file. So many books, so little time...

Friday, November 19, 2010

God surprises and curiosities...

Yesterday, I awoke early for my walk. I'd heard it was the last night for the Leonid meteor showers. I saw an article, while I was looking up the spelling, stating that the show may not have dazzled but still caught the eye. *pfft* I was dazzled! I saw more shooting stars this summer than ever in my whole life! And God kindly blessed me with one more as I stepped out the gate in the early morning hours. It had me thinking of Tolkien's Bilbo quote: "It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door," he used to say. "You step into the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to."

Later, I was grocery shopping. When I approached the register with my very full cart a woman arrived right behind me with a handheld basket not even a quarter full. I offered to let her go ahead of me. She told me it wasn't necessary, but I told her I didn't mind. She thanked me and went ahead. Then, as I put my first item on the belt, a man stepped into line behind me with two items in his hands. Again, I offered to let him go ahead. He told me he didn't really need to, and I assured him that it would give me time to get things on the belt. He thanked me and went ahead. I was almost done loading, and the cashier was preparing to check me out when a woman with a cart that was half full came up behind me. It didn't make any sense to let her go ahead, so I finished putting things on the belt as the cashier began to check me out. Another women, with a few items in her hand joined the line. The two women behind me began grumbling about how long it was taking and how ridiculous it was that there was only one cashier. I found it amusing that the two people who didn't care were given the opportunity to go ahead and the two people who wanted things to move faster were forced to wait. It may have been something for them to learn; it may have been something for me to learn. It may mean something; it may mean nothing at all. A curiosity.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My relationship with food...

...I typed the title and my hands started to shake. Deep breath. Let it go. I'm overweight. My doctor wants to put me on a diet and exercise. I'm willing to do the exercise, and have, but food is not up for discussion. Ever.

Weight loss is all in my head. Really. A few years ago, I was biking ninety miles a week. Yes, you read that correctly, 90 miles a week, and I wasn't losing weight. Well, I had been losing weight, and then my mother mentioned how great I was starting to look. I put on ten pounds in less than two weeks. Within a month, I'd gained twenty pounds. It wasn't long before I hit my highest weight ever. My relationship with my mom isn't healthy.

I used food as a reward. I used food as a punishment. I used food to stuff my feelings and even my thoughts. I've used food to gain attention and praise. At the bottom of it all, I used weight as a shield. People don't look at you if you're fat. They look around you or through you, which suited me fine because if they didn't pay attention that meant I didn't have to worry about unwanted attention. I've had short periods of time when I felt "safe," and I quickly lost weight, without any effort. Brilliant plan! I'll simply lose weight once I feel safe! Then I realized what I was doing. I was putting off what I wanted for someday.

Someday, too often, never comes. So, God and I had a little talk. What could I do to help me make someday today? Especially since safe isn't something I'll be experiencing anytime soon. If a door is closed, God will open a window, and I was asking for that window. The answer came in an unexpected way. I decided to re-invest in my food storage plan. Only this time, I'd be smarter about it. I'd make better choices. I'd actually choose what I wanted, and I would use it. I will rotate my food, which means actually using it, this time! Last time, I ended up throwing most of it out because it was years (more than a few) beyond the use-by-date. I've also learned that I am very happy without a lot of things as long as I have a few specific things. I'm also learning that though I like this, I can make do with that. I'm learning to make and be content with different choices.

Since I've been rebuilding my food storage, I've discovered that I'm not nearly as frantic about food. I eat less, and I actually do eat better because I'm making healthier choices for my storage. I know it isn't what some health fanatics would recommend, but I am never going there. Diet and nutrition have been crammed down my throat and used to shame me my whole life. I like a common sense approach, and I'm discovering it is working for me. I stopped beating myself up and stopped reading all the diet books and articles because they all start with "eat whole grains." I'm allergic to bran. Makes me sick, causes acne, and you should see what it does to my skin if I touch it, or maybe not. If it does that to the outside, can you imagine what it does to the inside? I'm learning how to listen to myself, to recognize when I'm full, to trust that I know what I want, to believe that I'm actually pretty smart and capable. The war with food is no longer a battle; it has become a game, and it's fun to play.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

More on the scanners...

...because it clearly has lit a fire in my belly. I'm angry that the government has legalized sexual assault for themselves. I'm terrified of how I may actually respond in the situation. I live in a city that has been promised scanners, so it's a real fear, not a what-if-someday.

When the Patriot Act was first enacted I was alone in my complaining. I could see the rights slipping away. I knew it was only the beginning. I grumbled to myself because no one would listen. All I heard was, "Well, it's the price of safety." What safety?! Before, I was afraid of the terrorists and the criminals, those who wished me harm. Now, I'm afraid of the terrorists, the criminals, and the government, those who wish me harm and those who say they're here to protect me. Why don't I feel protected? Why do I feel violated?

There are those who are saying that the ones who are complaining are those who are demanding they be kept safe. Oh, really? I beg to differ. That may be true in some cases, but not mine. "They" say that if something happened, then those same people who complained would blame Obama. Why?! Why not place the blame squarely where it belongs, on the terrorists!

I don't expect anyone to protect me. No one. Because I know no one will. I KNOW IT! Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. So, I can live in fear that something will happen, but why? It already has! What's the point? Or, I can live my life as fully as I am able.

For those who are rolling theirs eyes and thinking, yea, but it's different when it really happens. I already know. I had my tickets and all my plans to go to Europe. My departure was only a few days away, and the U.S. bombed Libya. Every single person I knew who had plans to go to Europe cancelled. Everyone expected me to cancel my plans. It wasn't safe. Libya promised retaliation. I knew England was a whole lot closer than America. I knew the risk was high.

All I could think was that this was my chance to go, and if I died, so be it. My chances of dying in a car accident are far higher. I could be struck by lightening! I could be hit crossing a street. I could be shot by lunatics out target practicing on people. I could fall down a flight of stairs. The possibilities are endless. We are all going to die. No one is getting out of this world alive.

So, do I live in fear, quaking in my boots, whining for someone to protect me, or do I step out boldly (shaking in my boots) and LIVE. I went to Europe. IT WAS FANTASTIC!! I loved it! I had the place practically to myself, and everyone was so thrilled I came and begged me to tell everyone when I returned home that it was safe so they'd visit.

In fact, I extended my trip. The original plan was to stay for six weeks. I added another eight weeks, despite the fact that shortly after I arrived, Chernobyl happened. God bless those souls. I wanted to see Holland and France; I had friends there. My friends in England discouraged me from going because of the cloud of radiation spreading across Eastern Europe. It wasn't safe. I watched, and again decided, if I die, so be it.

I went to Holland and France, and LOVED IT! The whole trip was worth every single moment. My only regret was that I didn't take my uncle's offer to arrange for a green card and stay longer. But God had other plans for me that I felt I should follow. I was blessed with the trip of a lifetime. Because I refused to live in fear of things beyond my control.

All that being said, I've also been watching how others are handling this. I cannot bring myself to blame the TSA agents who are doing their job. I know myself well enough to realize that though I'll spout everything I'd like to do, I wouldn't. It's like when your little brother eats the last piece of cake and you swear you're going to kill him. Everyone knows you're not. It's a way to release the frustration, hurt, and anger without doing serious damage. I have seen some humorous approaches that I quite like. Hopefully, I will not need to ever face this nightmare, but if I do, I pray I handle it with grace and kindness. God works in mysterious ways His wonders to perform. If I calm myself, He will inspire answers I never would have imagined on my own.

Now, the choice is mine: Allow myself to wallow in anger or allow myself to seek God's inspiration. What will you choose?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Some things that made me smile...

Yesterday, I updated my computer. I was so frustrated when my internet connection crashed, repeatedly. What happened? What kind of update was this? Fortunately, I've learned to email my sister. She doesn't always have the answer, but she does give moral support and helps me remember that it isn't me that's the problem. Then, today, on Facebook, someone else mentioned having trouble with their internet connection, yesterday, with the same company. It wasn't me! It wasn't even my computer!! It was THEM! I love my computer!!

On a different note, I wanted to express my appreciation and pride in my dad. We have had feral cats in the neighborhood for years. Last April or May, one of the cats had kittens, in a back corner of the house. My dad accepted responsibility, and searched for help, then made all the arrangements to "fix" the cats, so there wouldn't be anymore. He was frustrated because he only caught two the first try, then only one. This last weekend, he was making one more attempt. I prayed to God for my dad's success. God hears and answers prayers. Dad caught the other five. Thank you, God, for unexpected blessings.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Carpe diem... not an easy one...

As seen in my previous post, I emailed my senators. I thought about it, and re-wrote, and re-wrote, and tweaked, until finally I prayed it would convey the appropriate message without being too off-putting, which accomplishes nothing. I spent the day writing that short note. I'd do something else for a while, and then come back to it, again, and again, and again, until I felt it was finished. Now, my heart is pounding, my hands are shaking, and my breathing is short, and I find myself asking, "What have I done?" Whenever I feel this way, I've usually done something right that scares me silly.

What else did I accomplish, today? A bit of reading, when I wasn't mulling over the letter. A load of laundry. Some yummy meals. And a decision to go through my things and cull what I do not use. This is something from FlyLady that I love and have kept: To keep it, you have to love it, not simply like it. It's also easier to let go of somethings that I like, if I know it will bless someone else's life.

Letter to my Senators...

Dear Senator,
I am a sexual abuse surivor. Regarding the new airport "security": Sexual abusers threaten their victims with their lives or those of their loved ones if they don't comply, so you are afraid to rescue yourself. Then a sexual abuser humiliates you, so you don't feel you're worth rescuing. Then a sexual abuser tells you it's for your own good, and they know what's best for you. How is what the TSA is doing different from what my abusers did, except that now I have no recourse and this is sanctioned by the government? Why am I going to be treated like a criminal? I've never had a ticket in my life. What happened to my right to modesty? I would be more than willing to allow a bomb-sniffing dog to check me thoroughly. I would be willing to come three hours early for a security check the way ELAL does rather than be subjected to further sexual abuse. You are in my prayers.
May God help us all.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thank Goodness it's Sunday #29...

~What a blessing to know God loves me and shows me every day, with sunsets and sunrises, flowers, plants, butterflies, animals, refreshing water, delicious food, the dearest of friends, good books, beautiful music, stars that twinkle, fond memories of precious souls who have enriched my life but now are Home with Him.
~What a blessing to learn about myself, my likes and dislikes, my strengths and weaknesses.
~What a blessing to have the opportunity to grow and change, to become more in tune with God and His plan for me.
~What a blessing to appreciate all that comes my way, good and bad, for God works all to my good, sooner or later.
~What a blessing to accept Jesus Christ, my Savior and Redeemer.


CARL WON IN PHOENIX!!! *WILD CHEERING* Good to see the backflip again! It's been too long! Whoohoo!!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Coming to an airport near you...

Full body scanners. Have you seen the pictures?! When did pornography become sanctioned by the government?! Nov 24, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, is being dubbed National Opt Out Day. Opting out means instead of being x-rayed for naked pictures, you will win a complete and thorough body pat down. The purpose is to make it so embarrassing that people will not opt out. I'm horrified and terrified by both options. My history makes it even worse. My personal morals are screaming. I will not be flying Nov 24, but I will be a few months later. Here is what I plan to do: First, I will opt out. I will do so in a voice that the entire area can hear, including announcing that I want it done in public with an officer present because I've been molested by family members, dates, and strangers, and if it's going to happen again I want plenty of witnesses. I will NEVER be a silent victim again. I will not be embarrassed or cowed. No one is allowed to bully me anymore, not even my government. Then I'll throw up on their shoes.


Two weeks in a row!! Carl Edwards dominated today's Nationwide race, leading 153 of 200 laps, at PIR Phoenix International Raceway. Fantastic! Happy dance!! :-D

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day....

May God bless our military as they serve this country. Thank God for all those who serve and all those who have served. Freedom isn't free because there are those who feel the need to control others. My gratitude for those willing to make the ultimate sacrifice is deeper than I am able to express. And please God, keep as many as possible and more from having to make that sacrifice. God bless the families that love and support their loved ones in the military, for they make a sacrifice as well. Thank you for ensuring the opportunity for me to openly live my life in a way I hope pleases God in a world where that isn't possible without great risk of death. I would hope I'm courageous enough in my convictions to be willing to die for my faith, but more importantly, I hope I'm courageous enough to live for my faith. Yesterday, was the birthday of the Marines. Ooh-rah! And thank you again to all those who serve.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Carpe diem

I'm feeling like I didn't accomplish much, but I have a vaguely out of sorts feeling, and considering the time of the month... well, cutting myself some slack. What I did manage to accomplish: Laundry. Called about a bill mixup. Discovered a new author I like and three I don't. Worked on a special project. All my sugar is now in plastic bags. Much needed chat with my sister. Caught up on internet stuff, I think.

See, sometimes, we're too hard on ourselves. Unfortunately, there is also that unsettling feeling that there is something I've forgotten. However, what it is, I do not know. Hopefully, it won't come back and bite me later.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Thank Goodness it's Sunday #28...

~Cooling weather!
~Faith in God
~Laughter with friends and family
~Peace of mind
~Beautiful roses

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Carl Edwards won the Nationwide race in Texas, today. No cable means I could only watch the leader board on, but it was still great to see that checkered flag and Carl's name in the #1 slot. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find footage of the winning backflip. Much sadness. Got to love a man who can do a backflip and does it because he knows the crowd loves it. LOL!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Rumor: 42% turned out to vote... if you voted, yesterday, GOOD FOR YOU! You are part of the ruling aristocracy. :-) Even if what you wanted didn't succeed, you made your voice heard.

Have I mentioned how much I'm enjoying no campaign ads? I learned something this time around: Truth in advertising does not apply to campaign ads. The difference this year? I'd done my homework. I knew which ads were true and which were twisted so as to be barely recognizable. I used to turn them off in disgust. This time I watched and made sure I had the facts. Somehow the label "sheeple" doesn't sit well with me.

I laughed when I heard someone say that campaign ads aren't about the candidate but about what they think of you. Ummm... isn't that the general rule of advertising? When I complain to my advertising sibling that this or that commercial is really stupid, said sibling looks at me with a "duh" expression and says, "They aren't targeting you." Oh. So, should I be offended that I'm being left out or relieved?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010



Monday, November 1, 2010

Carpe diem... Happy Halloween...

...a day late, but life happens... well, church, football games, NASCAR, Sherlock on PBS... and here we are, Monday, already, 1 November, already! Where does the time go? Made pancakes, Laundry, laundry, putting away Halloween decorations and pulling out Thanksgiving ones, catching up with reading, sorting through Christmas anthologies, enjoying my new Hot Chocolate Pot and frother! Fun! And yummy! My November calender picture is gorgeous! A Friesian. Also recovering from Halloween candy overdose. Better than previous years, but still a bit to be desired. Working on it!