Monday, April 30, 2012

Carpe diem... What must be done?

I'm playing catchup, and endeavoring to determine what must be done, and what will wait a bit longer.

NASCAR ~ Carl came in 10th, and is up to #9 in the Chase. This is good, considering he'd slipped below the necessary 12 mark. Go Carl!

Laundry needs to be done.

I need to sort through my thoughts and impressions of this past weekend. I think perhaps writing blogs should help with the task. Included in this is scheduling my time to better serve me.

Starting today, I want to be more present, in my exercise and eating and activities throughout the day. It hasn't been a habit in the past. In fact, I've spent most of my life working incredibly hard to disappear or at least be invisible. It isn't helpful in my efforts to be healthy, because it isn't healthy behavior. I'm accountable here.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Thank Goodness It's Sunday #100

~Franklin Santagate 53 minute interview part 1 of 5 on It's a New Day:
Every week, I'm going to post the next part, because I want to see the whole thing. I figure posting one part at a time will give me the opportunity to absorb what I learned.

~The opportunity to participate in the Desert Dreams Writers' Conference.

~Rain! Blessed rain!

~I love P.Croissant! The food is delicious, and it's fun meeting friends there.

~Finished the rough editing for one of my books, and my editor contacted me to start edits next week. It's begun. I'm really doing this. I need a fainting emoticon. :-)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

My Heroes... my brother...

My younger brother is a truly amazing person. I'm celebrating him, today, because he doesn't know where to find me this weekend, so I can say what I want and he'll have to wait until after the weekend to hunt me down. :-P

We did not start out as friends. It didn't help that our grandmother came to live with us, and her philosophy was: He could do no wrong, and I could do no right. Not that it was a picnic for him being the favorite. The batty woman would wake him up in the middle of the night to play with him like a doll. Talk about sleep deprivation.

Fortunately, we moved past the rivalry in our teens. When he became a freshman in high school, I was a senior. If anyone was going to pick on him, it would be me, otherwise hands off. Of course, we didn't exactly run in the same circles, so a lot happened I didn't know about. He survived.

I feel very privileged to be able to call him one of my friends. How awesome is it that I also enjoy his wife and children?

What little I knew about fashion sense, I learned from him. Do not blame my problems with fashion on him; it isn't his fault. I accept full responsibility. It comes from spending years trying to disappear. He has an artist's heart, and simply knows what goes well together. You should see the landscaping he and his wife created outside my window. No, you should smell it right now. Star Jasmine. Absolutely stunning.

He's always pushing me outside my comfort zone. "Here, try this." "Hey, have you ever done this?" "You should do this." And darn it, he's often right.

He introduced me to NASCAR. And we all know where that has landed me.

He unearthed my interest in politics. When I find myself bogged down by all the insanity, he reminds me there are really only two sides: Capitalism and Socialism/Communism. I'm poor as a church mouse, and I'm screaming for capitalism. He suggests I tone it down. I try. I do. Sometimes I'm successful; sometimes I'm not. I look at it as the right to choose for myself or someone else choosing for me. I make a lot of mistakes, and there are plenty of people who think I'd be a whole lot better off if I allowed someone else to make my choices for me, but there is nothing more exciting than finally grasping a concept on my own, with the help of a lot of friends, but still making that shaky step in the direction I want to go and discovering I'm on firm ground.

When I decided to pursue my writing, I knew I needed to learn about branding. I also knew we had a family expert. He has educated and guided. Again, if I'm messing up, it's my own fault, not his. He has been a great cheerleader.

When I feel bogged down and overwhelmed, he has a gift for sorting things out, down to the basic elements. He listens to me when I disagree with him. He listens when it's hard. He understands he can't fix everything, but he's willing to help if he's able.

He's a keeper.

Friday, April 27, 2012

This week's book list...

Sword of the Raven by Diana Duncan is a steamy paranormal. I won't always include a cover, but hey, Jimmy Thomas is on the cover, and to add a little bit more fun, Diana's daughter created the cover.

Celia Yeary's Charlotte and the Tenderfoot is a "dime store western romance." It's short and sweet and fun. And Jimmy Thomas is on the cover. :-D

The Liberation of Miss Finch by Diane Gaston is a Harlequin Historical Undone, a short, steamy, historical romance. Claude is introduced in her "Three Soldiers" series, as a boy. Now, he's all grown up, with a bit of life experience behind him, returning to find a young lady he has never forgotten, but has no hope of having for himself because of the difference in their classes.

For the record, I also read two new-to-me authors. I didn't like them, at all. One I liked, for the first half of the book, and then my narcissist alarm went off. In the second, a supposedly Christian romance, the heroine clearly wasn't familiar with the Golden Rule or Thou Shalt Not Lie. I couldn't even finish it. I liked the hero, but if he was too stupid to see what a witch he was marrying, then he deserved whatever he got.

Off to the writers' conference. 8*0

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Week Forty-Four of REAL...

Reminders: REAL - Reduce stress Exercise Adequate sleep Lower caloric intake

Here's the link if you're interested in the whole thing:

Right up front: Never in a million years could I do what is required. However, I needed to start somewhere. Considering how fit the SEALs are, I figured it was a good place to start. So my SEAL puppy reps consist of girls' pushups, crunches, and flutter kicks, a SEAL training basic. I started with doing one of each. This week, reps are at 21. Weights for physical therapy is being upped to 2 lb. I actually decided to invest in 2-lb weights, instead of trying to find something, since 26 oz cans of spaghetti sauce were a bit awkward.

The 20th: weigh in: 234.8 lb. Not surprised. Sweet Tomatoes is having a month of lemons, including really yummy lemon chicken orzo soup. Mmmmmm.... Not something I do every day, or even once a year actually. So not going to beat myself up over enjoying the treat, two bowls worth. :-) SEAL puppy reps. Two-mile walk. SEAL puppy reps. Something that helps me feel better, but I don't remember to do on a regular basis, is have a cup of herbal tea. Starting today, I'm starting several new routines, and I'm discovering they are interrelated.

The 21st: weigh in: 234.2 lb. Going down. It's amazing how much easier it is to drop weight after I stumble in my weight loss program. Two-mile walk with my sister. Physical therapy, using 2-lb weights. Overtired. Not good. Could be worse.

The 22nd: weigh in: 233.6 lb. Note to self: Three hours of sleep a night is NOT conducive to weight loss or clear thinking. I don't care how good the book is, put it away and go to sleep at a reasonable hour. :-)

The 23rd: weigh in: 233.4 lb. SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep. I overslept an hour. Life happens. Considering the fact I woke at 2am and couldn't go back to sleep for I don't know how long, oversleeping an hour wasn't too bad.

The 24th: weigh in: 232.4 lb. One-mile walk. Physical therapy, with 2-lb weights. Desert Rose meeting means eating more than I usually do in the evening, so it will show up on the scale in the morning.

The 25th: weigh in: 233.8 lb. You know it's going to be a tough day when you wake up an hour before the alarm clock. SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep. I took a nap, at ten o'clock in the morning, in my chair. Yes, that tired.

The 26th: weigh in: 234 lb. Waist circumference: 29". One-mile walk. Physical therapy, with 2-lb weights. Tired. Tired. Tired. Storm blew in this morning. Oh. Allergies do make it tough to lose weight because I'm overtired, so I overeat. Okay, now the rest of the truth: I'm nervous about the conference. What if I oversleep when I'm supposed to be in the hospitality suite? I volunteered for early because I'm usually awake anyway, but when I stress, I sleep more. It's the first time I've done this. This is my first official event as my writing persona. Breathe in. Breathe out.

Inspiration, at least to me:

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Another what you won't see on Facebook....

This is a remarkable video, and yes, I shared it on FaceBook but I wanted to be able to find it easily.

The rest of this won't be found on my FaceBook page.

This is from Free Market America. It's about four and a half minutes, and worth the watch, at least to me (by the way, below is the original link of the above).

I'm poor as a church mouse and an ardent supporter of capitalism.


Capitalism is about the right to choose.

Most of my life was spent wading through false choices and lies. For years, I've been "singing" if you don't like God's answers, then ask a different question. It's embarrassing to acknowledge I didn't do it myself.

So back on the soapbox:

If everything is to be even, then please give away everything you own now and become accustomed to living in a hut, with others, without running water, or even clean water, a limited diet, no electronics, no designer clothes, no car, no mall, no grocery store, near starvation, low mortality rate, little or no medical services. THAT's how the majority of the world lives. As for women's right, prepare yourself to live with rape and mutilation. If every American, rich and poor, were taxed 100%, ie, send your whole paycheck to the federal govt, there isn't enough to pay what we owe.

There are only two choices: Capitalism and Communism. Capitalism is the only one that works, imperfectly, yes, but then we live in an imperfect world. Communism has failed 100% of the time, at the cost of over 100 million lives.

Redistribution of wealth is a communistic edict. The choice is simple: Capitalism and the right to choose or communism and your choices will be made for you.

Choose, but choose wisely, because it may be the last choice you make.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Recent post...

Puttin' my fan girl on. Sharon Hamilton posted an interview with Jimmy Thomas over at her blog the other day. I'm posting it here, for me. I want to be able to find it easily. Even better, Jimmy popped in and added his own comment. Whoohoo! :-)

For my readers who are uncomfortable with the romance cover model images and concept, don't click on the link. It's okay.

Again, this post is for me.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Carpe diem... Kansas...

NASCAR ~ Carl comes in 9th! Well done! Hey, it's a top 10. This is good. :-)

What needs to be done, today?

Laundry. No surprise there.

Editing. No surprise there.

Reading. No surprise there.

I'm a little nervous now. It's when everything is quiet and ordinary that surprises show up. It's why they're called surprises.... Two nights in a row, I slept only three hours. Not good. Now, I'm playing catch up. An improvement, but the brain isn't functioning as it ought yet. Breath in. Breath out. I haven't remembered to do my visualization every day, but I am remembering my tea, and it always puts me in California...

I've been beating myself for not being better about sleeping healthy hours. The weather has been changing, yo-yoing between cool and hot and back and forth again. I don't do well with my routine being tossed about, and yes, weather is part of my routine. It probably has something to do with my allergies, as well. In fact, the allergies probably play a bigger role than anything else, including in the lack of sleep. Then again, I use sleep deprivation as a tranquilizer.

Today's actual goal: Make it through, with as much grace as possible.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Thank Goodness It's Sunday #99...

~Mikeschair You Can't Take Away

~A/C Yes, it's already that time of year, again. What a wonderful blessing to be able to cool off with electricity and a cleverly designed box that circulates cool air through the house. Amazing.

~Time spent with dear friends. I always come away uplifted and encouraged simply because I feel heard and feel I make a difference in their life, too.

~Yummy food. Lemon, chicken, orzo soup; chocolate cake; popcorn; spaghetti; P.croissant croissants in a variety of flavors; hot chocolate; chocolate chip cookies, hot from the oven; lemon pasta; lemon lava cake; pb&j sandwiches; grilled cheese sandwiches... I'm hungry now. Thank you, God, for good food to eat. Please bless those who have not.

~Mourning the loss of the old Blogger. The new one has more bells and whistles but isn't as neat or easy. Change can be good, and it can also simply be change. Change for the sake of change is a sign of needing  to be in control, and my favorite phrase, which I discovered in eighth grade in an article about marketing: "If you can't make a product better, you make it harder to get into." Congratulations Google, you've now proven you can't make your product better, so you're making it harder to get into and more intrusive. Nice. Was that snarky? Yep. Is this a bad thing? Nope. Proof I've maintained my sense of humor, despite some narcissist's need to control their corner of the world... scary thought, there are more out there. How do I know? Timeline on FaceBook. Enough said. :-)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

My Heroes... Friends...

I have been richly blessed with amazing friends. Some I have met, and some I have not. Nine or ten years ago, I sat in Sunday School and they played a little getting-to-know-you game. Each person had to state one thing unique about themselves. I had the perfect answer, my favorite kind of answer: it starts out sounding one way, and then has a twist. I told them my best friend lived over 2,000 miles away. I relished the rolled eyes. Nothing special about that. Then I added we had never met. All rolling eyes stopped and widened instead. Yep, that was unique, then. Definitely not anymore. Now I have more friends I've never met than I have friends I have met. In fact, I have very few friends (almost exclusively family) that I didn't meet online first or because of my online activity.

This week, I had friends thrilled by my sister's gift of a gnome. I had dinner with a friend I'd met because she's friends with a friend I met online, and later at a LOTR event, after she asked me to write a historical romance, and look where that has led me! I'm celebrating with friends who have banded together to learn how to become healthier, mentally and physically and spiritually. I've had the opportunity to support several author friends, most of whom I haven't met, yet. I've devoured books I was introduced to by my online friends. I know what some of my friends have been through, because they have been willing to share with me, and they are amazing people. I'm honored to know them, and call them my friends.

My friends have lifted me, inspired me, encouraged me, and pushed me to be a better person.

My friends help me remember how to laugh when life becomes overwhelming (FaceBook Find):

Friday, April 20, 2012


Over at Anxiety Ate My Homework, on Wednesday, was a post about how to access emotions in order to change those emotions. I'm going to give it a try, to see if I can learn to feel more confident, learn to master the anxiety and depression I've lived with all my life.

The worst that can happen is it doesn't work.

I'm adding drinking herbal tea, every day, to my routine. Beth Trissel posted this at her blog:

It set me to thinking. When I feel the most self-confident is when I'm in L.A. My friends all notice a difference in me, after I've spent a weekend there. So that's going to be my visualization. When I'm in L.A., my friend Jan always makes sure I have herbal tea available. We'll sit on her balcony and chat and drink tea and enjoy the ocean breeze. You can't see the ocean from her place, but you can smell it sometimes. So, starting today, I'm going to practice my visualization and have a cup of tea to re-enforce my determination to treat myself better.

I was born and raised a slave in Egypt, referring back to Rabbi Daniel Lapin's article. Today, I will begin to learn to think differently. Today is a new beginning. I will break the chains of slavery, one step at a time, starting today.

Thanks, Kiki. :-)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Week Forty-Three of REAL...

Reminders: REAL - Reduce stress Exercise Adequate sleep Lower caloric intake

What Navy SEALs are required to do to make it into BUD/S:
500 yard swim using breast and/or sidestroke 12.5 minutes 10 minute rest
Perform a minimum of 42 push-ups 2 minutes 2 minute rest
Perform a minimum of 50 sit-ups 2 minutes 2 minute rest
Perform a minimum of 6 pull-ups No time limit 10 minute rest
Run 1.5 miles wearing boots and long pants 11.5 minutes

Here's the link if you're interested in the whole thing:

RIght up front: Never in a million years could I do what is required. However, I needed to start somewhere. Considering how fit the SEALs are, I figured it was a good place to start. So my SEAL puppy reps consist of girls' pushups, crunches, and flutter kicks, a SEAL training basic. I started with doing one of each. This week, I try to increase my reps. I've worked up to 22.

The 13th: weigh in: 234.2 lb. SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep. Not surprised by the weight, but not too worried either. Today, I will eat better. I don't have a choice. The jelly beans, Ding Dongs, and Fairy Bunny are gone.

The 14th: weigh in: 233 lb. One day of eating better, and look at that. No surprise. Two-mile walk with my sister. Physical therapy, using 26 oz weights (more commonly known as cans of spaghetti sauce). I decided to start upping my weights a bit, instead of adding more reps. Starting out small.

The 15th: weigh in: 232.4 lb. You know it's going to be a rough day when you open your eyes, while your curtain is closed, and think, "It's too bright." Hate migraines. At least I was able to sleep it off. Thanks, God.

The 16th: weigh in: 232.4 lb. SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep. You know a book is good when you skip meals to read. Perfect on Paper by Patty Froese. I'll review it on Wednesday.

The 17th: weigh in: 231 lb. One-mile walk. Physical therapy, with 26 oz weights. Made cake, today. I used olive oil instead of regular vegetable oil. Can't tell the difference.

The 18th: weigh in: 231.8 lb. SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep. Wow.... it's Wednesday already. How did that happen? I know, one day at a time. I ate badly. Popcorn and cake. Why? Easy answer: I wrote the darkest moment of the current WIP. I hadn't planned to have this in the book at all, but it kept popping into my head. Now, it's on paper. Maybe I can go back to a regular diet now.

The 19th: weigh in: 232.8 lb. Waist circumference: 39". One-mile walk. Physical therapy, with 26 oz weights. Tummy not happy. No surprise. Hopefully, I will not do it again anytime soon.

Inspiration, at least to me:

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Perfect on Paper by Patty Froese

Description: Anne Stanborough, a well known mystery writer, inherits her maiden aunt's book store, Perfect on Paper. The lawyer handling her aunt's estate is none other than the handsome Jake Harrison, but despite his attraction to the beautiful author, his painful divorce has made him wary of a marriage between two driven professionals. Anne can't let go of the career she's worked her entire life towards, and he isn't willing to make a second mistake in marriage. It looks like they should call the whole thing off until Anne discovers that her late maiden aunt might not have been so "maiden" after all… A love story from the past tugs this couple back together again, but will it be enough to prove that a love founded in God really can overcome anything?

Desert Breeze Publishing


What a delightfully, cozy read, the warm fuzzy blanket you love to wrap around you on a chilly day, snuggling in for some comforting HEA.

Anne is intelligent and struggling with career decisions that will change the course of her life. Jake is also intelligent, but he knows where his future lies, a future he's chosen because of a painful failure in his past. They face a storm, a sweet mystery, and their own preconceived ideas of what a forever relationship should be. The heroine and hero both captured my heart, and I wanted so much for them to find happiness together.

Add in some wonderful secondary characters, and it's a satisfying read from beginning to end. Ralph, Anne's mother, and memories of Anne's aunt, so many little touches creating a sense of realness. The banter between Jake and his brother Greg was hilarious, and I'm hoping there's a story coming for Greg. Learning that some of the stories shared within the tale are anecdotes from Patty's own family added to the charm. "God had no problems, just plans."

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Brain... on vacation...

...and I didn't get to go along.

Yesterday, laundry was done. Yay!

Reading was done, but not what I'd originally planned. I volunteered to read and review a book. I'll post it, tomorrow. I'm also trying still another author, and not particularly impressed. What a contrast between the two.

My sister found an adorable little gnome for me. A God wink. He's sitting on a mushroom, reading a book. Cute!

Not much brain otherwise.

So, sharing a fun picture from Funny Cat Photos... or was it Facebook... cute either way....

Monday, April 16, 2012

Carpe diem... stuck in Egypt...

Rabbi Daniel Lapin's most recent newsletter focused on Passover. He wondered how many are stuck in Egypt. “Our Egypt?” you ask. Yes, our slavery to whatever circumstances block the path to our own Divine destiny. Thought Tools by Rabbi Daniel Lapin

I have some thinking to do.

In the meantime, there are things that need to be done. It's Monday, and I'm claiming it.




~Make cake. Maybe. Time to try the new ideas. Actually, I have some eggs I need to prep for the freezer, and I want to have some ready for use in cakes. The others are ready for use in cookies. :-) Life is too short not to have some fun, too.

There are things I want to change in my life. I need to start within my mind.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Thank Goodness It's Sunday #98

~David Crowder Band's How He Loves Us

~"Cold" snap. March weather in April. Love it. I'm really not ready for summer, yet.

~Friends who see me through the tough times. I couldn't do it without them.

~Discovering PCroissant. Yummy food, and easy downloads of my books onto my Kindle. Whoohoo!

~NASCAR, Carl came in 8th! Whoohoo! It's a good finish. Go Carl!

And fun pictures from FaceBook. I needed this reminder:

Saturday, April 14, 2012

My Heroes... Hugh Jackman...

A little while ago, I saw an interview with Hugh Jackman, on Theater Talk. It was fascinating and amazing, and I came away feeling inspired. The interview is less than 25 minutes.

I'm posting it here, so I can watch it any time. He's a remarkable man, beside being gorgeous and having a great accent. :-) Did you know he also narrates the cooking show Kimchi Chronicles, and he and his wife sometimes are guests? Now, you do.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Bah! Humbug...

I've thought about coloring my hair. I've debated. I've discussed it with others. I've hemmed. I've hawed. I've dabbled. This week, I actually looked at the hair color stuff at the store. "Test on skin 48-hours before using, for allergic reaction." I'm allergic to a lot of things. "Use gloves. Do not allow to touch skin." I try to be neat. I really do, but life happens. I was not good at coloring inside the lines. And okay, I "get" using the gloves because it would color your hands. Still, there has to be another way. I was using tea on my hair for a while. It muted the gray, and to be honest, I liked how my hair felt and looked. It actually did make a difference, but I... shoot, I was lazy. I quit. So, back to it.

Another change. I was willing to pay $2.50 for a piece of cake, which I'd eat over two days. This week, I could buy cake mix and frosting for $2.70. Even if I'm really generous with the pieces, ie, that's 8 pieces of cake. I'll try to be good, and make it more. Cake freezes nicely. I'm trying to be smarter about my money, so I bought the mix and frosting.

Re-evaluating how I treat treats. (Couldn't resist that one.) Anyway, I want to be healthy. My body needs healthy food to be healthy. It only makes sense. Old habits need junk food to feel safe. How stupid is that? When do I stop allowing the past to decide my present and my future? Okay, no going cold turkey, but I will be better.

What has fallen victim to PMS, this week? Besides my temper, my patience, and my concentration?

*1 bag of Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans, 10 servings gobbled up in 4 days. *sigh*
*1 Dove milk chocolate Fairy Bunny, 3 servings inhaled in less than 20 minutes. *hrmph*
*1 box of Hostess Ding Dongs, in 3 days. *pfft*

Did I do anything right? Actually, yes, I did. Everything else was carefully planned and portioned. The above stuff was in addition. With it gone, there is no more addition. I've never been one for removing temptation from the house, because I know if I don't have treats available I will binge on other things. However, I think if I stick to what I know I'm able to control, and keep out of the house what I can't seem to control, then I'll have a better chance of improving my eating. I know I'll feel better.

Important notice: The health "experts" (I'm using the term very loosely) have declared you don't need to drink 8 cups of water every day. You can eat it, and you'll have the other health benefits of additional nutritional value. To those so-called experts I say *PFFT* You're slow on your testing. I've already tried it, and I was on the fast track to kidney problems. I can't even trade out milk or juice for water. I can have milk and juice in addition to the water, but it does not substitute. Water flushes the kidneys, you know those organs that help clear toxins from your system. If you drink too much water, you can overwork your kidneys. If you don't drink enough water, your kidneys have trouble flushing out those toxins. I remind myself these are the same "experts" who bounce back and forth between whether or not eggs are good for you faster than a Wimbledon tennis match. Which leads into the newest bits of idiocy. The "new" train of thought is that drugs should be legalized. So, we are banning sugar, salt, and fat, because they are dangerous, and legalizing drugs, which are dangerous. What kind of stupid, insane logic is that?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Week Forty-Two of REAL...

Reminders: REAL - Reduce stress Exercise Adequate sleep Lower caloric intake

What Navy SEALs are required to do to make it into BUD/S:
500 yard swim using breast and/or sidestroke 12.5 minutes 10 minute rest
Perform a minimum of 42 push-ups 2 minutes 2 minute rest
Perform a minimum of 50 sit-ups 2 minutes 2 minute rest
Perform a minimum of 6 pull-ups No time limit 10 minute rest
Run 1.5 miles wearing boots and long pants 11.5 minutes

Here's the link if you're interested in the whole thing:

RIght up front: Never in a million years could I do what is required. However, I needed to start somewhere. Considering how fit the SEALs are, I figured it was a good place to start. So my SEAL puppy reps consist of girls' pushups, crunches, and flutter kicks, a SEAL training basic. I started with doing one of each. This week, I try to increase my reps. Making a slight change, to help me keep things straight. Doing 3 reps of a count of 20 of each of my physical therapy, and also keeping my SEAL puppy reps at 20 for another week, then I'll start increasing them all together at the same time.

The 6th: weigh in: 231.4 lb. Hamburger, cookies, pork and potatoes, yogurt, cake, hot chocolate. SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep. I overslept, an hour. I'm feeling behind, now. My shoulder is in pain, and I was thinking it was because of carrying in groceries, but that happened last Tuesday. It doesn't usually wait two days to manifest. Then I remember the other night, editing, and not bothering to move my wrist rest one inch, so I could use it properly. It's less than a half inch, and yes, it makes that big a difference for me. I've spent the day feeling like I want to crawl out of my skin. I finally took an allergy pill. That twitchy feeling is gone, but now I can't keep my eyes open, and it's only mid afternoon. My printer refuses to talk to my word program, though it was willing enough to talk to my computer, because I was able to print a test page, from my computer. Stupid programs. I've had better days; this is not one of them. I suspect there are also some underlying memories and emotions I'm studiously ignoring.

The 7th: weigh in: 230.4 lb. Didn't expect that. Pcroissant and hot chocolate (yummy), ham sandwich and cookies, crackers and cake. Two-mile walk with my sister. Much enjoyed and needed. Physical therapy, with 1-lb weights, 3 groups of 6 different upper body exercises at 20 reps each.

The 8th: weigh in: 230 lb.

The 9th: weigh in: 230.6 lb. SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep. Two hours sleep. Definitely napping, today.

The 10th: weigh in: 231.4 lb. One-mile walk. Physical therapy, with 1-lb weights.

The 11th: weigh in: 232 lb. SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep. Sigh... I was a bad, bad girl. The jelly beans are all gone, so is the Dove chocolate Fairy Bunny. Note to self: Easter, next year, no jelly beans, unless I'm sharing them, and no chocolate bunny. I can eat the chocolate eggs in a reasonable fashion, so they're still okay, though they were almost half price after Easter, so maybe wait to buy them.

The 12th: weigh in: 232.6 lb. Waist circumference: 39". Oh. That time of the month, started early. This explains the melancholy and the binging. Shoot. Darn. Crumbs. PIckles. BAH! One-mile walk, today, and physical therapy, with 1-lb weights. My eating will be better for the next little while.

Inspiration, at least to me:

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Howling at an ad....

Have you seen it?! It's the new Air-Wick scents, featuring national parks.

You are kidding me, right?

I was okay with it, for the first two or three seconds. Then they introduced "Yellowstone."

Wait... What?

The question begs to be asked: Have they actually ever been there?


Am I the only person who thinks the smell of sulfur is not enticing?

They know Yellowstone smells like rotten eggs, right?

And buffalo, bison if you insist on perfection, elk, deer, bears, and wolves...

Oh, and roadkill. The marmots aren't great at dodging cars.

I mean, there is also the lovely smell of evergreens, etc, but the uniqueness of Yellowstone is the geysers and the mud pots. Maybe they want to help us become accustomed to the smell of hades...

Just sayin...


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Books I've been reading...

I haven't shared my book list lately, and decided now was as good a time as any.

Heavenly Lover by Sharon Hamilton, is a contemporary paranormal, and steamy. I admit I skimmed parts, more particular the parts with the dark angels. I don't like looking into the dark, where fear reigns. However, as I read, I came to understand how Sharon had used language as one of the ways to separate dark angels from Guardian angels. I laughed and cried, and stayed up until 3 a.m. reading so I could finish it.

Legacy of Lies by Stephania McGee is a contemporary inspirational romance with a bit of the supernatural mixed in. I'm looking forward to more of her stories. It was another book I had trouble putting down.

Princess of Bretagne by Vijaya Schartz is a medieval romance. It's the first in a series. Vijaya has done an incredible amount of research. The heroine is pagan in a world turning to Christianity, with Vikings thrown into the mix.

A Princely Dilemma by Elizabeth Rolls is an Undone historical short story, and only available in e-format. I own every book by Elizabeth. Thanks to my Kindle, now I have this one, too.

Journey to Redemption by Anne Patrick is an inspirational suspense. Anne Patrick is one of the first inspirational books I read that didn't follow the formula with which I was familiar. It was the first time I thought maybe I could write inspirational.

Trouble In a Pinstripe Suite by Kelly Hunter is a contemporary steamy read. It's a Harlequin Presents, which is formula for exotic locations and vast wealth. Presents has taken me all over Greece and Italy and a few other interesting places. Kelly is on my must read list. I enjoy her characters.

I may have mentioned this one, but just in case: The Cop, the Puppy and Me by Cara Colter is a contemporary sweet romance. Cara is also on my must read list.

I think I'm caught up now. :-)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Carpe diem... catch up...

Spent the day reading, yesterday. It was delightful. Now, it's time to get back to work.



And anything else that didn't get done yesterday.

A bit of silliness, thanks to one of my widgets:

Saturday, April 7, 2012

My Heroes... Randy Pausch...

My FaceBook friend, Shannon, posted this on Jimmy Thomas's fan page. She posts thoughts and other inspirational material on a regular basis. Bless her. I am so grateful she did. An unexpected Gift.

This is the entire, one and a quarter hours, Last Lecture.

I've also read the book, and keep it on the shelf above my computer, where I see it every day.



Friday, April 6, 2012

Good Friday...

One of my favorite Christian jokes:

A man complained to a pastor: "How can you call it Good Friday when Christ was crucified and died?"

The paster nodded: "If He had stayed dead, it wouldn't be good."

When I hear people give me the cliche lines about being faithful and God will protect you, all I can think is: This is the same God who allowed Job to be tested, Jonah swallowed by a whale, the Israelites to wander in the wilderness for 40 years, Lazarus to die, and Jesus, His Beloved Son, to suffer in Gethsemane and die on the cross. What makes me so special I would be spared trials and suffering?

It seems to me that being special in God's eyes means I'm going to endure some tough experiences. The question is: Am I willing?

God never promised to spare us from pain. What He did promise is: I will always be with you.

So why bother being faithful? It's a lot easier for me to be receptive to His inspiration if I'm listening to begin with, as opposed to requiring Him to use a 2x4 to get my attention.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Week Forty-One of REAL...

Reminders: REAL - Reduce stress Exercise Adequate sleep Lower caloric intake

What Navy SEALs are required to do to make it into BUD/S:
500 yard swim using breast and/or sidestroke 12.5 minutes 10 minute rest
Perform a minimum of 42 push-ups 2 minutes 2 minute rest
Perform a minimum of 50 sit-ups 2 minutes 2 minute rest
Perform a minimum of 6 pull-ups No time limit 10 minute rest
Run 1.5 miles wearing boots and long pants 11.5 minutes

Here's the link if you're interested in the whole thing:

RIght up front: Never in a million years could I do what is required. However, I needed to start somewhere. Considering how fit the SEALs are, I figured it was a good place to start. So my SEAL puppy reps consist of girls' pushups, crunches, and flutter kicks, a SEAL training basic. I started with doing one of each. This week, I try to increase my reps. I've worked up to 20.

The 30th: weigh in: 229.6 lb. Cool. SEAL puppy reps. Two-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep. Carnation Instant Breakfast, croissant, hamburger, yogurt and blueberries, bread and butter, crackers and cheese, cookies, hot chocolate. Oops. Stressed a little bit. I'll do better, tomorrow.

The 31st: weigh in: 230.6 lb. Two-mile walk with my sister. Physical therapy, with 1-lb weights. Spaghetti and meatballs, cookies, peanut butter and jelly sandwich, apple and cheese, crackers, hot chocolate.


The 1st: weigh in: 231 lb. Peanut butter and jelly sandwich, chips, pasta and chicken, nuts and fruit juice. Stressed! My manuscript was due a month earlier than I thought! Turned it in, but I'm wired.

The 2nd: weigh in: 231.8 lb. No surprise. SEAL puppy reps. Two-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep. Still feeling wired from yesterday, but pleased I didn't beat myself up over it. Go me! Crackers, hamburger, apple and cheese and toast, chocolate chip cookies (homemade, today) hot chocolate.

The 3rd: weigh in: 232.2 lb. One-mile walk. Physical therapy, with 1-lb weights. Carnation Instant Breakfast, spaghetti with meatballs, yogurt, crackers, little cakes, i.e., Hostess Ding Dongs and Little Debbie Cocoa Cremes. Maybe it's the other way around, but it doesn't matter. I bought both to do a taste comparison. Ding Dongs, hands down. I've been a little stressed, but I'm starting to relax again. I'm not comfortable at this weight, and to think I used to weigh 20 lb more.

The 4th: weigh in: 231.8 lb. Yay! SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep. CIB, spaghetti and meatballs, cake, sandwich, yogurt, cookies, crackers and peanut butter, hot chocolate.

The 5th: weigh in: 231.2 lb. Waist circumference: 39". One-mile walk. Physical therapy, using 1-lb weights. CIB, Florentine salad and almond croissant, ham sandwich and yogurt, cake, peanut butter and crackers, pork and potatoes, hot chocolate. I slept less than four hours last night. It should prove to be an interesting day. I'm looking forward to spending the morning with a couple of my writing friends.

Inspiration, at least to me:

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Eater's Agreement by Marc David...

Love this! And needed this. Posting it here so I have easy access, and will be more likely to read it and reread it until I internalize it. Thank you, Marc David.

Roots to Blossum shared the following:


I hereby agree, from this day forward, to fully participate in life on earth. I agree to inhabit the appropriate vehicle for such participation – a body. As a requisite for the sustaining of that body, and of the life that dwells therein, I agree to be an eater. This agreement fully binds me for the duration of my stay on earth.

As an eater, I agree to hunger. I agree to have a body that needs food. I agree to eat food. I recognize that as the biological need to eat is fulfilled with greater awareness and efficiency, the benefits of my well-being will increase. I further acknowledge that ignorance of the eating process may cause undesirable consequences.

Because the essence of my participation in life is one of learning and exploration, I agree to experience uncertainty as an eater. I recognize there are a great variety of foods to choose from, and I may not know which to eat. I may have a choice of different nutritional approaches, and not know which to follow. I may have an assortment of habits, and not know how to manage them. I recognize that my relationship to food is a learning process, and I will inevitably make mistakes. Therefore, as an eater, I agree to accept my humanness and learn as I go along.

I acknowledge that as the body changes from infancy to old age, so will the eating process change. I recognize that my body may call for different foods as the days, seasons, and years progress. My dietary needs will also shift in accord with changes in my life-style and environment. I understand that there is no one perfect diet.

As an eater, I accept pain. I recognize that I may suffer pain when the body is disturbed by my choice of food or eating habits. I may also experience pain when emotional and spiritual hungers are confused with physical hunger. I further understand that eating to cure a pain cannot be remedied by eating may bring even more pain. I further agree to accept a body that is imperfect and vulnerable, that naturally decays with the passage of time. I recognize there will be moments when I am incapable of caring for it myself. I agree, then, that to live in a body is to need the help of others. I also agree to be vulnerable as an eater. I acknowledge that I will be helpless as an infant and will need to be fed. I may be equally helpless when I am old and unwell. I further recognize that even when I am fully capable, I may still need the warmth and care of someone who can feed me. Therefore, as an eater, I agree to be nourished by others.

If I have a woman’s body, I acknowledge that I have a special relationship to eating and nourishment. I recognize that as a giver of life, I am the nourisher of life as well. Whether through my cooking or the milk of my body, I acknowledge that the union of food and love is a quality that marks my womanhood and has a profound effect on human-kind.

As an eater, I acknowledge the domain of the sacred. I recognize that the act of eating may be ritualized and inspired. It may be given symbolic meanings that are religious or spiritual in nature. It may even be joyous.

I further agree that eating is an activity that joins me with all humanity. I recognize that to be an eater is to be accountable for the care of the earth and its resources. I acknowledge that despite our differences, we are all ultimately nourished by the same source. As such, I agree to share.

I recognize that at its deepest level, eating is an affirmation of life. Each time I eat, I agree somewhere inside to continue life on earth. I acknowledge that this choice to eat is a fundamental act of love and nourishment, a true celebration of my existence. As a human being on earth, I agree to be an eater. I choose life again and again…

From: Nourishing Wisdom by Marc David
Bell Tower. NY; 1991
Distributed by: Karin Kratina, PhD, RD, LD/N

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

God Hug...

This is way beyond a wink.

I'm a writer. My first book is officially submitted for editing, and I'm working on the next one. I have an older version of Office for the job I'm phasing out of my life.

My WordPress blog has been telling me I needed to update my Safari. I couldn't being on Leopard (Mac operating system when I bought my computer). Mac has updated its operating system to Snow Leopard and then Lion. Then I saw that with the upcoming changes in IPS (web addresses) old system wouldn't recognize some addresses, so I decided it was time to update.

I waffled. For months.

The other day, my friend told me I needed to buy Snow Leopard, then one of the inspirational pages I liked on FaceBook suggested doing something that scares you to death. Updating my computer was it. The same friend teased that I had Microsoft PTSD. Even on my Mac, every time I update Office, there's a bubble of time when things are a little messed up, and then it settles.

I finally ordered Snow Leopard. The wrong name was on it, and it was delayed, but it made it, yesterday. I couldn't bring myself to put in the disk. What if something went wrong? I decided to wait and do it when my friend called, today.

It took longer than I expected, but the generally expected amount of time, about an hour. My dear friend hung on the phone with me, even though she needed to eat, until my sister unexpectedly showed up. She needed to see the parents, and stopped to see me. Thank God.

I was able to let my friend go, because my sister was willing to stay and help me. I can do it myself, but I need to talk things through. Except there were things I couldn't do myself.

She knew about needing to update Microsoft Rosetta. Done. She walked me through all the updates, which ones I needed and which ones I didn't, doing it a little at a time. I can do this.

Then it was time to update to Lion, the next operating system. She asked, "Is it compatible with your Office software?"

Wait... What?

We checked.

It isn't!

I'll have to update my Office before downloading Lion!

Can you imagine the explosive upheaval if I couldn't open my documents?

My sister had planned to pick up a book, and decided against it.

My friend was able to walk me through what needed to be done, until my sister arrived, who then saw me through the rest of the process, each giving their expertise exactly when I needed it and how I needed.

It wasn't a wink; it was a huge hug.

God is aware of me, and He brought into my day exactly who I needed when I needed them.

Thanks God.

God Winks...

Over at Beth Trissel's blog the other day, she wrote a post titled "I Have a Cheap Fairy Godmother." It made me laugh. It isn't long. Go ahead and take a minute to read it. Here's the link.

It set me to thinking. FlyLady called those serendipity moments God Breezes. It's her phrase; I'll let her keep it. I wanted something I could call my own.

And so was born God Winks.

I've often lamented to my sister how God would solve some itty-bitty problem with ease, and leave me hanging on something huge. I'm able to look back now and realize I wasn't seeing through God's eyes.

On those big, huge, monstrous problems, God wanted me to learn a whole bunch of stuff. It takes time. Sometimes, God is doing a group project, and we're waiting on someone else to catch up. God loves group projects. The more, the merrier.

Then there are those little things.

So small, I don't want to bother God with it, and then, there it is.

God Winks.

I know it's Him.

Remember the cute cat I posted, from FaceBook? In case you don't:

God Winks.

That picture is a God Wink. He takes something small, and seemingly insignificant, and uses it as a reminder.

Remind me of what?

He is reminding me He is aware of me. He knows me better than I know myself. He hasn't forgotten me. He loves me. Anything concerning to me is concerning to Him. He wants to help me. It's those little things that I make easiest for Him to fulfill, because I'm not fighting Him or trying to enforce my will over His. He is aware of my every thought and feeling. He understands me. He knows how I struggle, and He knows I need encouragement.

God Winks.

He loves me beyond measure, and knows that sometimes it's the little things that are able to touch the deepest.

God Winks.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Carpe diem... Martinsville...

Carl came in 11th. It was quite the wild race, but I was distracted. I discovered my first book was due at the editor's a month sooner than I thought. Shoot. I miscalculated. I have all the others on the calender on the proper day. I need to make a new schedule with the correct dates. Sigh.

Today's plan for the day?


Create a new schedule, reflecting the correct dates manuscripts are due.

Bake cookies. I miss my yummy chocolate chip cookies. I love baking. It's my reward for turning in the manuscript. Fortunately, I had it pretty much complete. Thanks God.


Work on the next manuscript. With the first one turned in, I have a better perspective for the next one.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Thank Goodness It's Sunday #97

~Chris Tomlin's I Lift My Hands

~Discovering P.Croissant. Yummy!!

~Chris is blooming, again!

~Find new authors I enjoy.

~April Fool's Day brings to mind a favorite poem:

by: Edward Rowland Sill (1841-1887)

The royal feast was done; the King
Sought some new sport to banish care,
And to his jester cried: "Sir Fool,
Kneel now, and make for us a prayer!"

The jester doffed his cap and bells,
And stood the mocking court before;
They could not see the bitter smile
Behind the painted grin he wore.

He bowed his head, and bent his knee
Upon the Monarch's silken stool;
His pleading voice arose: "O Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!

"No pity, Lord, could change the heart
From red with wrong to white as wool;
The rod must heal the sin: but Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!

"'Tis not by guilt the onward sweep
Of truth and right, O Lord, we stay;
'Tis by our follies that so long
We hold the earth from heaven away.

"These clumsy feet, still in the mire,
Go crushing blossoms without end;
These hard, well-meaning hands we thrust
Among the heart-strings of a friend.

"The ill-timed truth we might have kept--
Who knows how sharp it pierced and stung?
The word we had not sense to say--
Who knows how grandly it had rung!

"Our faults no tenderness should ask.
The chastening stripes must cleanse them all;
But for our blunders -- oh, in shame
Before the eyes of heaven we fall.

"Earth bears no balsam for mistakes;
Men crown the knave, and scourge the tool
That did his will; but Thou, O Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!"

The room was hushed; in silence rose
The King, and sought his gardens cool,
And walked apart, and murmured low,
"Be merciful to me, a fool!"