Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sharing the Journey is going away...

... or not. The Google Join this Site feature is going away, on March 1, 2012. Thanks, Google. Not. Now that the snarkiness is out of my system, moving on. I'll learn as I go.

Tomorrow, Google will combine all its information it has on you. People ask me why I'm not worried. My brother works for them. They already know everything, or can easily find out. What's the point of worrying about something that's already happened? For those who are not accustomed to such invasiveness, I imagine it's unsettling and frustrating. I can't empathize. I don't get it.

I've lived my life under a microscope, either someone else's or my own. No one tears me apart as well as I do. I try to live my life with the thought in mind "I live in a fish bowl." I understand I can't hide anything from God. God is perfect. God isn't tolerant. At all. He is forgiving, but not tolerant. His expectations are high. I make mistakes, a lot of them. He knows it. I know He knows it.

Have I been judged harshly by others? Are there those who think they have the right? Yep. Then I remind myself God's ways are not man's ways. God's ways cannot be frustrated. God does not make evil good, but He is able to take the evil done, and turn the mess to good for His children.

In JRR Tolkien's The Silmarillian, Iluvatar, The One, creates the Ainur, the Holy Ones, who create the world and all there is through music. One of the Holy Ones, Melkor, is bent on creating discord, and yet no matter how discordant he creates his music, Iluvatar is able to weave it into the fabric to form harmony.

I can live in fear over things I cannot control, or I can LIVE my life. I'm choosing to LIVE MY LIFE.

Happy Leap Day!!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

NASCAR is back!

Whoohoo!! After a rain delay, all day Sunday and Monday morning, Monday evening brought the first official race of the season, in Daytona!

Wow! What a start! And the excitement never stopped. The majority of my Fantasy Team was involved in a pileup at one point or another, starting with lap one. Thank you, God, for NASCAR's dedication to safety, because none of them were seriously injured.

The grand stand is packed, even though the race didn't finish until after 1 a.m. Yes, you read it correctly. There was a red flag stop when Montoya slammed into a jet drier, read jet fuel. Again, thank God no one was injured. Montoya was able to walk away, and so was the safety truck driver.

Carl, my favorite driver, started on the pole, and eventually was caught up in one of the pileups. However, he finished eighth. Well done! I was simply glad he finished in one piece. Top ten is great!

Only half my team finished. Wow.


Monday, February 27, 2012

Carpe diem... God bless the fallen...

I have a page dedicated to a list of those military personnel lost since October 2, 2011. Why did I start then? It's the day a young SEAL died, while Andrew lived. Andrew's battle to survive the loss of limbs and multiple other injuries inspired me to stop whining so much about my own physical drawbacks, and try harder to improve my health and pursue the path God has set before me.

Today, many are honoring the seven marines lost in the helicopter accident, last week, but we've lost others recently, as well. They all swore and oath: The wordings of the current oath of enlistment and oath for commissioned officers are as follows:

"I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God." (Title 10, US Code; Act of 5 May 1960 replacing the wording first adopted in 1789, with amendment effective 5 October 1962).

This is an oath they understand may require of them the sacrifice of their life to fulfill, and too often doesn't appreciate what they do or why they do it, let alone the sacrifices they make.

Jesus Christ has died for my soul. The military offers to die for my freedom. May God bless them.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Thank Goodness It's Sunday #92

~Chris Tomlin Our God

~Ren Faire fun. I bought a Dragon necklace to remind myself to tame and befriend my dragons.


~Feeling better. Thanks God.

~Tylenol and ibuprofen : wonders of science. Thanks God.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

My Heroes... Eric Metaxas...

Eric Metaxas is a writer. He wrote AMAZING GRACE: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery, and Bonhoeffer: Pater, Martyr, Prophet, Spy. I've read the latter, but not the former, though it's on my Wish List.

This is a 30 minute video, at YouTube, so yes, it's a time commitment to watch it, but I was touched as a writer and as a lover of his writing. Metaxas was one of the speakers at the National Day of Prayer breakfast, on February 2, 2012.

This clip is less than 2 minutes. Eric Metaxas shares a snippet of his his decision to write Bonhoeffer,

Friday, February 24, 2012

Thanks God....

I know I usually make Sunday my gratitude day, but I needed this today.

Thanks God for friends and family who are supportive. You know who you are.

Thanks God for Starbucks, and the wonder of my Kindle. I turned on the Wireless, and the books I bought this week downloaded, while I enjoyed a hot chocolate and a chocolate croissant. Yummy. It was a wonderful break.

Thanks God for protecting me from some of the nutty drivers out there.

Thanks God for the new start to another season of NASCAR.

Thanks God for help with working on my writing.

Thanks God for helping me feel better. I'm not back up to where I was before I became sick, but I am so much better than I was on Monday, when it was growing tough to make it through five more minutes.

Thanks God for helping me sleep better.

Thanks God for eye candy. :-D

Thanks God for those who share their stories, inspiring me and lifting me, even when their stories are difficult and painful.

Thanks God for the laughter and the peace.

Thanks God for warm memories of my babies. I miss them. For those who don't know me well, I was loved by a dog and a horse.

Thanks God for those who serve with honor and courage.

Thanks God for heroes. Please bless the families of those killed in the line of duty.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Week Thirty-Five of REAL...

The 17th: weigh in: 229.6 lb. Increase 10%. SEAL puppy reps up to 13. Two-mile walk, in 38 minutes. Another SEAL puppy rep. Physical therapy 39 or 3/13 with 1-lb weights.

The 18th: weigh in: 229.8 lb. Two-mile walk, with my sister. It's for fun. Please, God, get me through the next few days without any major slip ups, since my brain will be on vacation for the next few days. Thanks.

The 19th: weigh in: 229.4 lb.

The 20th: weigh in: 230 lb. SEAL puppy rep. No walk, today, as much as I would have preferred it, the body simply isn't up to it. Another SEAL puppy rep. Physical therapy, done. A new brain, please? No luck? Okay. I'll keep working with what I have.

The 21st: weigh in 228.8 lb. Not celebrating the weight loss, since it's more due to eating very little than anything else.

The 22nd: weigh in: 228.2 lb. SEAL puppy rep. Short walk around the house. SEAL puppy rep. Physical therapy. Back is sore from so much lying down. Yes, finding myself between a rock and a hard place. Not feeling well enough to stay up, but in so much pain the only way to relieve it is to lie down. Talk about a Catch 22.

The 23rd: weigh in: 228.8 lb. Waist circumference:39". Wow.... I slipped into a jeans skirt I've never been able to wear before. I'm noticing hairstyles when I watch programs, and I'm trying them. It's... fun. Now, if only my body would pull itself together. I'm endeavoring to do what is within my power, but it truly is out of my hands. Sigh. Dear God, I've done all I know how to do. It's in Your hands now.

Inspiration, at least to me:

Your past doesn't define you. Let it go...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Still not up to snuff... to speak. So, we're having a commercial break:

If you only attend one conference this year, Desert Dreams is the one.


Register at

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Not a good day....

Not seeing well. Not feeling well. Something I ate a few days ago is tearing apart my insides. Food allergies are such a pain, in every way. I'm hungry, but afraid to eat much of anything. Once it's through my system, I should be back to normal. Hopefully, it's today. One of those days when I really wish I could crawl back into bed and pull the covers over my head. No chance. Too much to do. Please, God, tomorrow will be better.

A bit of dark humor:

Monday, February 20, 2012

Carpe diem... make it through the day...

Yes, that is today's main goal: Make it through the day. Yesterday and today are the worst of the monthly cycle, so the central goal is to make it through without anything catastrophic. Okay, that's melodramatic, however appropriate for the moodiness. How's this: The goal is to make it through without losing it, screwing up, or falling completely apart.

Laundry needs to be done.

I don't care how rotten I feel, I am doing my workout.

Cheeseburger for lunch. Maybe I'll do French fries, too, and a couple of chocolate chip cookies.

Read. I'm going to read. Because I enjoy it.

Okay, I'll pull out the project I need to work on. I don't know if I'll actually do anything, but I'll at least pretend like I'm doing something about it.

I'm out of my mind.

Perhaps no real progress will be made, but if I don't find myself slipping backward, I'll consider it a successful day.

It's only Monday...

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Thank Goodness It's Sunday #91

~Mercy Me Word of God Speak

~Remarkable friends who inspire me. Yep, I find myself adding this every week. I have awesome friends.

~I'm only brainless once a month for a few days. It used to be more often and last longer.

~Learning to take care of myself, becoming healthier.


Thanks God, for all those things and so much more.

NASCAR season is starting again!! Go Carl!!!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Friday, February 17, 2012


I finally broke the 230 lb barrier! Whoohoo!! I'm amazed and delighted by the progress I'm making.

Yesterday, I wore my hair in a braid, wanting to try a new style. I remembered why I always put it back in a hair clip. I don't like it in my eyes!

Olive oil in my shampoo and conditioner has added an amazing softness to my hair.

I'm endeavoring to wear makeup on a regular basis. So far, I wear it until I'm home again, and then I wash it off. I like the Mary Kay powder foundation and the L'Oreal mascara. I also like a little spritz of Victoria's Secret Love Spell. It's one of the few fragrances I'm able to enjoy, without having some inconvenient allergic reaction.

Coconut oil has become my hand lotion, for now.

I'm feeling scattered. Checked the calender. Oh. Lucky me. I think I'll crawl into bed early, and not beat myself up over it.

Potatoes were on sale this week. A potato a day... Only so many are good for baking, so I'm soon going to need to start making mashed potatoes. I have a lovely potato ricer, so I'm actually looking forward to it.

FaceBook is being squirrelly, updating and rearranging things, so folks are having problems. Breathe in; breathe out. Thanks, Ruth, for teaching me how temperamental computers are, and to blame the computer before I blame myself. Instead of thinking it's me, I'm able to hunt for the causes outside myself, and share what I learn.

What's the real problem? I have to edit out some material I love, but it doesn't move the story along. Not a little bit, but almost an entire chapter. It's part of the story! Still, it doesn't move the story along. In fact, it slows the story down. I'm running the avoidance pattern. I don't want to cut, slice and dice, omit. The story will be better without it, overall. I've made it through the first two paragraphs... first three paragraphs.... first four paragraphs... if this is what it takes, I'll do whatever works. First six paragraphs. A whole section of the chapter is done, but I've hit a spot I need to cut, enough so it moves along, but not so much it requires the reader to do a quantum leap. Cut a lot. Done, for now. More later.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Week Thirty-Four of REAL...

The 10th: weigh in: 233.8 lb. Increasing by 10% One SEAL puppy rep, which means I'm now doing 12 pushups, crunches, and counts of flutter kicks. Two-mile walk. DIstance stays the same, but I'm now talking or singing while I walk to measure if I'm working hard enough without over doing, a little breathless but still able to talk. 40 minutes. One more SEAL puppy rep. Physical therapy consists of upper body exercises my physical therapist arranged for me. I'm up to doing 36 of each of those.

The 11th: weigh in: 233.4 lb. One-mile walk first thing. Then it was off to the Ren Faire, in costume. My friend picked me up, and we arrived well before starting time. It was relaxed and fun. I wanted to see Tartanic, which is bagpipes and drums, the Birds of Prey program, and Cast in Bronze. We wandered around visiting people we've come to know over the years, well, my friend knows them better than I do. My friend enjoys collecting various bits and pieces, and I had fun talking him into some of it. Lots of walking and standing. Worthy of note, I had less trouble standing by myself after sitting on those short benches. Go me! My costume also fits better. Yay!

The 12th: weigh in: 232.8 lb.

The 13th: weigh in: 234.6 lb. Stressed a bit, yesterday. I'll tackle the weight to the ground, today. SEAL puppy rep of 12. Two-mile walk in 38 minutes. One more SEAL puppy rep of 12. Physical therapy, which includes 3 different types of arm exercises given to me by my physical therapist to strengthen my core muscles. I've also added biceps curls and now triceps extensions, to a count of 36, trading the last two off doing reps of 12 each.

The 14th: weigh in 231.4 lb. One-mile walk. I'm trying to learn how to take better care of myself. I wasn't taught, and the usual path won't work for me. It's encouraging to note I used to walk 2 miles every day with my dog. I can do it again. Several years ago, I herniated a disk in my back, and walking next door became a major accomplishment. Really. In fact, it was a major victory when I could walk to the end of the driveway and back, without wishing someone would put me out of my misery. I'm back to walking 2-miles 4 days a week, and have been planning to work up to every day. It's heartening to know I'm on the right path. In fact, I'm already at a mile in 20 minutes, so the next goal is shortening the time. I also already do biceps curls with 1-lb weights as part of my physical therapy workout. I'll look at how I can work in some others. I've started with 1-lb weights and will be working my way up slowly, up to 5 lb. I've never had a lot of upper body strength, though I used to haul 50 bags of dog food and grain for my horse. Oh, wait, I keep forgetting it was before I messed up my back. My goal is to work toward being healthier than I've ever been, regardless of my age. I wasn't healthy growing up, so it really shouldn't be hard.

The 15th: weigh in: 231 lb. SEAL puppy reps 1/12. Two-mile walk, in 28 min. SEAL puppy reps 1/12. Physical therapy to 36.

The 16th: weigh in: 229.2 lb. Waist circumference: 39". One-mile walk, in 18 minutes. I don't need to hide behind the ugly anymore. Besides, it didn't work anyway.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Link to Diary of a Marine's final Flight home....

My friend Scott, who has worked in the airline industry for years, shared this, and I checked for it on Snopes but found nothing even remotely like it, so at this point we're taking it as truth. He also had a little more information to add, but I'll put it at the end.

I don't re post very many updates from people but as an airline guy this brought back many memories of bringing soldiers off of aircraft on their way to their resting place. I don't know where my cousin Robin got it from but thank you for posting it.

He writes: My lead flight attendant came to me and said, "We have an H.R. On this flight." (H.R. Stands for human remains.) "Are they military?" I asked.
'Yes', she said.
'Is there an escort?' I asked.
'Yes, I already assigned him a seat'.
'Would you please tell him to come to the flight deck. You can board him early," I said.

A short while later, a young army sergeant entered the flight deck. He was the image of the perfectly dressed soldier. He introduced himself and I asked him about his soldier. The escorts of these fallen soldiers talk about them as if they are still alive and still with us.

'My soldier is on his way back to Virginia ,' he said. He proceeded to answer my questions, but offered no words.

I asked him if there was anything I could do for him and he said no. I told him that he had the toughest job in the military and that I appreciated the work that he does for the families of our fallen soldiers. The first officer and I got up out of our seats to shake his hand. He left the flight deck to find his seat.

We completed our preflight checks, pushed back and performed an uneventful departure. About 30 minutes into our flight I received a call from the lead flight attendant in the cabin. 'I just found out the family of the soldier we are carrying, is on board', she said. She then proceeded to tell me that the father, mother, wife and 2-year old daughter were escorting their son, husband, and father home. The family was upset because they were unable to see the container that the soldier was in before we left We were on our way to a major hub at which the family was going to wait four hours for the connecting flight home to Virginia .

The father of the soldier told the flight attendant that knowing his son was below him in the cargo compartment and being unable to see him was too much for him and the family to bear. He had asked the flight attendant if there was anything that could be done to allow them to see him upon our arrival. The family wanted to be outside by the cargo door to watch the soldier being taken off the airplane. I could hear the desperation in the flight attendants voice when she asked me if there was anything I could do. 'I'm on it', I said. I told her that I would get back to her.

Airborne communication with my company normally occurs in the form of e-mail like messages. I decided to bypass this system and contact my flight dispatcher directly on a secondary radio. There is a radio operator in the operations control center who connects you to the telephone of the dispatcher. I was in direct contact with the dispatcher. I explained the situation I had on board with the family and what it was the family wanted. He said he understood and that he would get back to me.

Two hours went by and I had not heard from the dispatcher. We were going to get busy soon and I needed to know what to tell the family. I sent a text message asking for an update. I saved the return message from the dispatcher and the following is the text:

'Captain, sorry it has taken so long to get back to you. There is policy on this now and I had to check on a few things. Upon your arrival a dedicated escort team will meet the aircraft.

The team will escort the family to the ramp and plane side. A van will be used to load the remains with a secondary van for the family. The family will be taken to their departure area and escorted into the terminal where the remains can be seen on the ramp. It is a private area for the family only. When the connecting aircraft arrives, the family will be escorted onto the ramp and plane side to watch the remains being loaded for the final leg home. Captain, most of us here in flight control are veterans.. Please pass our condolences on to the family. Thanks.'

I sent a message back telling flight control thanks for a good job. I printed out the message and gave it to the lead flight attendant to pass on to the father. The lead flight attendant was very thankful and told me, 'You have no idea how much this will mean to them.'

Things started getting busy for the descent, approach and landing. After landing, we cleared the runway and taxied to the ramp area. The ramp is huge with 15 gates on either side of the alleyway. It is always a busy area with aircraft maneuvering every which way to enter and exit. When we entered the ramp and checked in with the ramp controller, we were told that all traffic was being held for us.

'There is a team in place to meet the aircraft', we were told. It looked like it was all coming together, then I realized that once we turned the seat belt sign off, everyone would stand up at once and delay the family from getting off the airplane. As we approached our gate, I asked the copilot to tell the ramp controller we were going to stop short of the gate to make an announcement to the passengers. He did that and the ramp controller said, 'Take your time.'

I stopped the aircraft and set the parking brake. I pushed the public address button and said, 'Ladies and gentleman, this is your Captain speaking I have stopped short of our gate to make a special announcement. We have a passenger on board who deserves our honor and respect. His Name is Private XXXXXX, a soldier who recently lost his life. Private XXXXXX is under your feet in the cargo hold. Escorting him today is Army Sergeant XXXXXXX. Al so, on board are his father, mother, wife, and daughter. Your entire flight crew is asking for all passengers to remain in their seats to allow the family to exit the aircraft first. Thank you.'

We continued the turn to the gate, came to a stop and started our shutdown procedures. A couple of minutes later I opened the cockpit door. I found the two forward flight attendants crying, something you just do not see. I was told that after we came to a stop, every passenger on the aircraft stayed in their seats, waiting for the family to exit the aircraft.

When the family got up and gathered their things, a passenger slowly started to clap his hands. Moments later more passengers joined in and soon the entire aircraft was clapping.

Words of 'God Bless You', I'm sorry, thank you, be proud, and other kind words were uttered to the family as they made their way down the aisle and out of the airplane.

They were escorted down to the ramp to finally be with their loved one.

Many of the passengers disembarking thanked me for the announcement I had made. They were just words, I told them, I could say them over and over again, but nothing I say will bring back that brave soldier.

Scott: The thing this story leaves out though I'm sure is the reception the soldier and family undoubtedly received when they got down to the ramp. I would venture having seen way too many of these that almost every ramp, ops, prov, and customer service person went out on the ramp. Additionally I would bet that the airport fire service staff and LEO's also showed up. It's one thing consistent through out the industry all carriers that I have been involved with show deep respect and honor for our fallen heroes.

Me: I did my homework, and found out the account is true, though it is told from the escort's point of view. Here's the link:

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day 2012...

David Powter Bad Day

Love it!

I have no Valentine. There are those who have declared I should claim Jesus as my Valentine. Ummm... no... it feels all wrong to me. It feels like a lie. My love for Jesus is not one of equality. He will always be my Savior. I will never be His.

The truth is I don't anticipate ever finding someone (I could never bring myself to ask any man to walk into the nightmare known as my life), but I'm learning to be happy as I am.

There is a part of me whispering : everything is going great... life is going to blow up any minute now.

It's the story of my life, in the past. I don't know what the future holds, but I do know Who holds the future, and I trust myself to His loving hands, not to spare me but to never abandon me, no matter how difficult it may be.

Inspirational poster from one of my widgets:

Monday, February 13, 2012

Carpe diem... not much different...

...from what's becoming my everyday routine...


Work on projects

I will be incorporating a few new things into my REAL program, ie, a few more exercises and working to shave off time from my walk. I can't run (my physical therapist would have my hide), but walking faster is something I've been working toward. I also need to increase the number of days from four to six. I need a day of rest. God already arranged it: Sunday.

Anything new?

Last Saturday, I attended the Renaissance Festival with one of my LOTR friends. Every year, we attend opening day together. The group used to be much larger, but now it's down to only the two of us. We go in costume, and enjoy a relaxing day of seeing a few shows, visiting people with whom we've become acquainted in the different shops, and wandering around to look at everything there is. We had someone stop us and ask to take our picture. Sure. My friend is a collector, and I enjoy shamelessly encouraging their hobby.

Playtime is over, and it's time to settle into work again.

This one's from my Funny Cat photos widget:

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Thank Goodness It's Sunday #90

~Chris Tomlin's Indescribable

~Life changing experiences.

~Amazing opportunities, no matter how scary.

~Fantastic people who help without criticizing or demeaning.

~God's guiding hand.

Love FaceBook, so many inspirational pictures....

Saturday, February 11, 2012

My Heroes... Jimmy Thomas...

Yes, my sister took several pictures, but this is my favorite.

Yes, I've mentioned him before, from time to time, especially this past week. I've even had him as one of my early heroes. Now, I've met him. If you don't like fan-girl type gushing, then I suggest skipping today's post. This is for me.

First impression: He is gorgeous.

I watched my friend Deena Remiel speak with him, so at ease, and wished I were someone else. Someone with fewer issues, about a lot of things. My sister had offered to take pictures. It's why he was there, to take pictures with anyone who wanted one.

My anxiety was already escalating being in such a crowded venue. Yes, I have difficulties in crowds and unfamiliar situations and surroundings, not to mention men. I hadn't eaten much for breakfast, crackers and a breakfast drink, early in the morning, with the hope of not embarrassing myself.

My sister found a fellow photo enthusiast, and they began chatting. I stood with them, only half listening, as I watched Deena and Jimmy chat.

The anxiety began to climb, and I knew if I wanted to meet him I'd have to do it soon, or I'd drag my sister away, and leave, without making any attempt to meet him.

Important note: I'm one of his "harem." The harem was started by Shannon, and bless her she posts pictures of Jimmy throughout the day. She also posts inspirational quotes. When the harem found out I would be at the Chocolate Affaire, they demanded I come back with pictures to share.

Would they kick me out of the harem, if I didn't at least try? Yes, I'm being facetious. I was trying to work up the courage, but I also knew they would be disappointed.

Then I hit on a plan I knew I could live with and dated me terribly: I walked up and asked Deena to introduce us. She did. Bless her. She wondered if she'd used the right name (real or pen), and I admitted he would only know me from the harem (real name), so to speak. He was kind. His hug was warm and gentle.

I felt safe.

Because I'd worked up the courage, my sister also came over, and he shook her hand. He was respectful and considerate.

Bless Deena, again, we were able to chat for a while. He took pictures with me, his arm around me, and with Deena and with both of us. It was fun. It was huge for someone with my past.

I felt safe.

It was interesting to watch him interact with people. He didn't push anyone to interact with him. He allowed them to approach him, and proceeded to charm them. He has a remarkable gift for putting others at ease, and the honor to not take advantage of such a powerful gift.

There is about him a quiet, gentle strength.

I felt safe.

He didn't mind giving me another hug when I left. He was kind.

He is gorgeous, from the inside out.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Game Changer...

Last weekend was a game changer: Life Changing.

In truth, this week has been one life change after another or building on the ones occurring.

On Saturday, I met Jimmy Thomas. Most people don't know what this means to me. I'll be writing about it, tomorrow, in more depth. Yes, I've had him as one of my heroes before, but it was before I met him.

On Sunday, I read this: Casa Blanca Authors had a post by Anne Elizabeth:

The Navy SEALs have also made a huge difference in my life. No, I don't know any, but I've read Marcus Luttrell's Lone Survivor and Dick Couch's The Warrior Elite, and SEAL of Honor is next on the list.

Monday, one of my FaceBook friends, met because of Jimmy, posted an article about bodybuilding. No, I don't plan to pursue it, but it had some great suggestions I could modify to fit and help me. I'm tired of being overweight. She also gave me a lot of ideas of other things I could do to implement the changes I want.

Tuesday, I decided I'd had enough of secrets.

Wednesday, I signed up for my first writers' conference. A friend emailed inviting me to attend the Ren Faire this weekend, in costume, of course.

Thursday, I bought a Kindle as a reward for going through with my eye appointment. I was seriously stressing. No, nothing is wrong, but it doesn't keep me from imagining the worst. I also met with a couple of my writing friends for lunch. It was delightful! I gave two people business cards at Sam's Club. After looking at myself in the mirror to put in my new contacts, I knew I had to make more changes. I didn't like what I saw. My sister has taken pictures giving me a peek into what she sees. I like it. I want it. So I came home and emailed my niece, who is a Mary Kay consultant and has fun with fashion, and asked her to help me. She suggested meeting me at a salon, in a half hour. EEP! I confessed I wasn't quite THAT ready. We're meeting this weekend to chat. Four in the afternoon to midnight, I fought with my Kindle, but I did prevail. Whoohoo!! I read for five minutes, and let it go to sleep, so I could go to sleep.

It's Friday, and I have to do the work I didn't do yesterday and become more familiar with my Kindle.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Week Thirty-Three of REAL...

The 3rd: weigh in: 233.6 lb. Not bad considering what I ate last night. I'll do better, today.

The 4th: weigh in: 235.2 lb. No surprise there. Yesterday wasn't great either. I was stressing. Today, my sister and I attended the Chocolate Affaire. I enjoyed Deena Remiel's workshop, and meeting Jimmy Thomas. The man is truly gorgeous, from the inside out. We stood and walked around for over four hours. I don't think it actually qualifies for the walking I'm endeavoring to achieve, but the stress of being in a crowd had my heart rate through the roof, so I'm counting it. So there. Did I say that out loud?

The 5th: weigh in: 234.2 lb. Took myself for a one-mile walk, this morning. I miss being outside first thing in the morning. For five years, every morning, I went out and cared for my horse. I miss my horse, but I'm realizing I also miss that time I spent in talking with God. It's hard to put on airs when you're shoveling horse manure.

The 6th: weigh in: 234.6 lb. One SEAL puppy rep. In keeping with my plan to increase by 10%, my rep has been increased from 10 to 11. Hey! It's a start! Two-mile walk. Another SEAL puppy rep. I don't think I mentioned anywhere about being worried Jimmy was eating. He's a romance cover novel and a fitness model. I don't think I mentioned the last. Yes, he understands health, and taking care of himself. I caught myself wanting to mother him, and wanted to slap a hand over my mouth. I don't really want to mother him. I look at myself, and then I look at him, and I need to stop talking and listen to what he's telling me about taking care of myself. Yes, he's one of my health mentors, though he doesn't know it. Physical therapy, with weights, and up from 30 to 33 reps. I'm attending Desert Dreamin' in June. I'm setting myself a challenge, with the help of my friend Shannon, to lose 20 pounds between now and then. I'm going to start the count at 235. Go. Go! GO! Whatever.

The 7th: weigh in 234.2 lb. Following Shannon's advice, I dressed nice, did my hair in a more updated style, and spritzed on a little perfume. Wow.

The 8th: weigh in: 232.4 lb. SEAL puppy rep, to 11. Two-mile walk. Another SEAL puppy rep, to 11. Physical therapy with 1-lb weights to 33. I didn't sleep well, last night. I felt like I had ants under my skin. I finally drifted off around three in the morning. I still woke up and went for my walk. While I walked I was able to connect the feeling to the cause: adrenalin rush. Telling the parents I'm a writer was not easy. It turned out about as I expected, though not quite as I expected. I should have taken myself for a walk, but it was already eight o'clock at night. I could have done physical therapy, and it would have helped. I really need to learn to remember to use exercise more to my advantage. It's an old habit to try to be still. Sort of an, if I hold very still then no one will see me or notice me and maybe I'll be safe.

The 9th: weigh in: 233.6 lb. Waist circumference: 39.5". So, I've ended up where I started this week. Bah! Dressed nice for the day. A bit of perfume. Worth. I remember when my friend Jan gave it to me, to remind me I was of worth. I cried. It still warms my heart. I keep the bottle on my bookshelf beside my computer, where I see it every day.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

More bits and bobs....

5 Random Things About Me:

1. I've owned a dog and a horse. I miss them both.
2. I'm incredibly reserved, and yet I can be a real chatterbox.
3. I've sewn a cathedral window quilt, for a king-size bed, which I don't own, and my sister started it.
4. Asking me not to write would be tantamount to asking me not to breathe.
5. I have met and have autographed pictures of cover model Jimmy Thomas, composer Howard Shore, and actors Elijah Wood and Sean Astin (Frodo and Sam).

I finally told my parents about my writing.

If you have to ask, you aren't. I'm not.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Wow... I've been given an award...

From Leigh Covington. She's a writer. Thanks, Leigh. This was a pleasant surprise.

The Liebster blog award is given to "little" bloggers, those with 200 followers or less, with the idea that the awardee share with other little bloggers.

The rules for the award are: 1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog. 2. Link back to the blogger who awarded/nominated you. 3. Copy and paste the blog award to your blog. 4. Reveal your top blog picks! I've seen it listed as 5 and 3. I chose 5. 5. Drop by your top picks and let them know you chose them by commenting on their blog!

My own rule: I gave myself a week to follow through. I realize a couple of my favorite bloggers are feeling swamped right now, but I wanted to share them anyway. Please don't feel obligated to do this. It's for fun. If it isn't fun, the point is being missed.

Passing along the award to more amazing bloggers:

We Are One My sister's site... she's DID and battling and winning over depression.

You Don't Have to Dance for Them Upsi has created a remarkable space for discussing ACoN.

The Craft Ladies of Romance is a blog written by a group of Christian Romance writers.

Nothing but Writing is written by a friend who is unpublished currently, but working along.

The Hardest Battles is another blog about surviving as an ACoN. I found Kiki because of Upsi. In fact, they both have links listed to a lot of great blogs.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Carpe diem... a bit of fun...

Working, working, working...

Whatever else is done is done.

Is this adorable or what? Jimmy Thomas at the Chocolate Affaire. Thanks, Ruth, for the pictures. Yes, I'll be posting about this, off and on, for the next week. I learned a lot from the experience.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Thank Goodness It's Sunday #89

~Worth remembering If not now, when?

How funny that I chose this a while ago for today's post. It is so fitting. Right now. Thanks, God.

~Thanks, Ruth, for teaching me how stupid computers are. I was writing a post, and blogger was taking a really long time to save. So I copied the post and pasted it elsewhere, and then tried to save. Blogger, bless their pointed heads, required me to sign back in, and lost it!! Because I learned from a very smart woman, I opened the post and pasted in everything I'd written. So there. :-)

~Beautiful weather, especially for an outside event.

~My Desert Rose chapter. I am so honored to be a part of such an incredible group of people.

~Jimmy Thomas.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

My Heroes... Soldier's Angels...

Well, actually, all the amazing wonderful groups that support our troops. God bless them and the work they do. Some of the groups include Wounded Warriors, USO, Packages From Home, GreenBeansCoffee, and so many more. I've wanted to do something, but I'm living on savings and don't have any particular skills. For example, Wounded Warriors is looking to staff. I read through what they need. I don't qualify. I've been discouraged. This week, I discovered that Soldier's Angels has a Wish List at Amazon! I can do that! And I did. :-)

I finished reading The Warrior Elite The Forging of SEAL Class 228 by Dick Couch, who was himself a BUD/S graduate of class 45. AMAZING!

God bless our troops.

Friday, February 3, 2012

The only constant in life is...


I've noticed Blogger has changed the comment section. One is now able to reply specifically to a comment. Cool.

Promotional video for the Desert Dreams Writer's Conference, compliments of Kris Tualla, on You Tube

Did you know that the groundhog tradition is less reliable than a coin toss?

I'm feeling scattered. Can you tell?


I'm on day 10 of my cold. The runny nose is over. Thank goodness. The stuffy head is not over. The voice is iffy. The brain is still mostly absent, and I have to keep functioning.

While I'm feeling completely inept and unproductive because some projects I need to work on aren't seeing any progress, I have to admit I've accomplished quite a bit. I'm still sleeping a lot more than I usually do.

Trying a different tact. Instead of beating myself up over not accomplishing anything, I'm going to anticipate only accomplishing the minimum. Work has to be done. No questions. It's half done now. What should have taken a couple of hours I spent a whole workday doing, and only finished half. Should have been a clue.

I did gather all my tax information and deliver it to my accountant. Done. Whoohoo!! Not that it's good news, but putting it off will not make it better. So shut up, buck up, and get it done. Done.

Epic fail in the eating healthy department. I love Cheese Fix Munchies. I divided part of the bag among six containers, but finished the rest of the bag, along with four more Dove Promises pieces. Success anywhere in sight? I didn't eat the whole bag of chips. I really did leave the six servings alone. And I didn't eat an entire bag of Dove Promises, only what was left in an already open bag that I have been very good about parceling out in single servings. So, it was good I wasn't as bad as I could have been, and have been in the past, but I'm going to feel this binge tomorrow.

Made a couple of decisions, but haven't found the wherewithal to carry them out. I'm not going to beat myself up over it, much. I don't know why I feel like I have to work up the courage to carry them through, but I do. Maybe because they're new. Doesn't really matter, I suppose. I'll get it done, eventually.

I did arrange for an eye appointment. It's time is all. Overdue, in fact.

Crawling into bed early because I'm having trouble stringing together more than two sentences at a time.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Week Thirty-Two of REAL...

The 27th: weigh in: 232.6 lb. Feeling a bit better, today. Thank you, God, for Gypsy Cold Care tea. I find it incredibly helpful.

The 28th: weigh in: 232.4 lb. One SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk or thereabouts, calling it an hour, total 60 minutes. Maybe less, but may be more. Two more SEAL puppy reps. Physical therapy, with weights. Okay, I finished reading about Hell Week, in The Warrior Elite by Dick Couch. The last week of First Phase in becoming a Navy SEAL. I am such a wimp. Having confessed the truth, I'm also headed toward a half decade of life. Then again, I would never have been able to do what they do. Ever. God bless 'em.

The 29th: weigh in: 232.6 lb.

The 30th: weigh in: 233.2 lb. Two SEAL puppy reps. Two-mile walk, 40 minutes, total 100 minutes. Two more SEAL puppy reps. Physical therapy, with weights.

The 31st: weigh in 232.2 lb. Mike, dad of the amazing Andrew, suggested only adding 10% each week to the reps. That's what his team does. I'm going to try. It doesn't feel nearly as daunting as trying to double my reps, as little as my reps are.


The 1st: weigh in: 233.2 lb. Two SEAL puppy reps. One-mile walk, 20 minutes, total of 120 minutes. Two more SEAL puppy reps. Physical therapy, with weights, adding 10%.

The 2nd: weigh in: 232.8 lb. Waist circumference: 39.5". Going back down. Did something somewhere causing some back pain. All it takes is favoring one side over the other. For example, I had stepped on something and hurt my foot. Nothing traumatic, but it was enough for me to favor, ever so slightly, one side over the other, and my back notices. Breathe in. Breathe out.

Whether or not the groundhog saw his shadow, in six weeks, it's going to be six weeks later. What will I accomplish in those six weeks?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

German Chocolate Cake!!

Yes, I bought a single piece of German Chocolate Cake. It was so big, I divided it, and had it two days in a row. Whoohoo!! It was fun. Half on the last day in January, and half on the first day of February. Maybe I'll start a new tradition. It's a whole lot more fun to look forward to than pulling my tax stuff together.

Here are a couple of posts I enjoyed this past week: Diane Gaston's about Coaching Inns:

Desert Rose meeting was fun. One of my dearest friends attended with me. I'm feeling much more a part, but then I've finally thrown myself in. Makes me think of the SEALs having to get wet and sandy. They have to throw themselves in 110%. I can't do what they do, but I can do what I can do, pushing myself a little more from week to week.