Gone Writing…


I think I really am going to take a break for a while from the power posting. I kind of feel that all of the dialoging we had in regards to my last post made me really take a look at my own motives for being here. Though I feel that I have grown so much and made  many good friends, I have spent more time trying to keep up with the comments and the new posts from other posters than working on my book. I have to admit to some of you who have been encouraging me to get to work… I haven’t.  As simple as that. I work on it for about an hour a day editing but not really inspired to write more. And yet, I could write on my blog all day long. So it made me wonder if….Maybe I need to focus just on my book for a while.

I am not saying that if I get inspired by a poem or some enlightened thought, I won’t come on here to share it, but I think that I lost something along the way… wanting to be LIKED and grow my stats. THAT is not what I am about. That is not why I write. And I refuse to get caught up in the gimmick… as one of “friends” I have made here pointed out… that a lot of people “click” your post to just generate traffic to their own. She mentioned that if you go to the time on your email you can see. I was disappointed to find that a lot at least in some of the people who “liked” me all at once. I refuse to get sucked into that. I love the comments and at least know that those people did take the time to read what I wrote but even so… I don’t want to care that much. I just want to write for me and for the other people that might be touched… A way to get my feet wet, get feedback, make genuine friends and connect. NOT beat yesterday’s stats. (Which yesterday I broke all records for some reason~ maybe cuz this subject  hits a nerve with all of us)  Soooo I am taking a little break from what I call Power Blogging…    And GONE Writing!

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Clicking “LIKE”


This morning I came on and found that someone had liked 47 of my posts! It made me have to wander back with them in my archives because I thought if they are going to take the time to read and then “LIKE” something then I should take the time to at least click on each “LIKE” and re-read the things they clicked.

Blogging is a funny thing. It is like leaving your journal open for anyone to read. There was a day when I had a little diary with a lock on it. I carefully hid the key and wrote my tiny daily paragraph of all the most important events in m life… “Went to school today, came home, and maybe just maybe the boy I liked “looked at me!” Ahhh so much has changed… One BIG thing is… I could NEVER fit all of my “important”  daily thoughts in a little 5 year diary thats provides you with five little lines to chronicle your life!

When my grandma died, I wasn’t there. My mom flew to Washington and my Aunt and cousin went through all the things they wanted. I was in a different mind set then. I didn’t want to come across as greedy. I was so sad. It seemed inappropriate to “want” something of hers after she was gone and yet… she always would tell me “I want you to have my china Diane” I was just about ten when she started telling me that. I was just a naive little kid back then and even remeber thinking “Why would I want your China?” But when my mom asked me if there was anything special I wanted her to bring back… I did say “Well she always wanted me to have her china.”

Today I love it. It is actually pretty nice I think… as china and antiques go… it is Franconia from Germany. And now I realize it was probably very special to her because it was so nice and she wanted me to have it. She was my age now when I remember us talking about it… Which I thought was NOT old enough to be talking about her not being here and leaving me things. And I was right. She lived a long life. I was born on her birthday and was the first grandchild. We always had a specal bond. So besides the china… which was the one thing I knew that she wanted me to have, I asked for my grandma’s diary.

It was one of those five year kind. The thing that is so  unique, is…she started it the day after Christmas her sixteenth year and it ended when she was 21. She talked about her school events, and young girl crushes, dated a little  and then finally,  met my grandpa, fell in love, got married and had my mom all within those five years! It was as if I got to see a little glimpse of my grandma’s life all inside that little leather bound, worn book. It is an amazing treasure to me. I can almost imagine her in her bedroom, after a date writing in it.

Today as I re-read my journals, I wish I had saved one of those childhood ones with the locks on it. But I do have one that I started when I was sixteen. Filled with silly poems and pictures and such innocence. It snaps me back to a time where I had not yet experienced life. I only wrote about, dreaming of what lay ahead and then it also is filled with pages of new love and the passion that comes with it and then heartbreak and sorrowful poems of young heartbreak. It is kind of funny now. I still remember the reasons behind some of those poems that I wrote.

Today, I click on some of my old posts. The ones before I knew you guys… the ones no one “LIKED” because they didn’t know they were there. Or I hadn’t really invited anyone to share yet… I followed a friend’s blog, they followed mine… I was more vague back then. People didn’t really know what I was writing about. Now it is kind of like a puzzle.. I still have not provided all the pieces and yet you can begin to see the picture I have painted and yet you are still following me!

It makes me realize that we all have a story and our stories help each other live our lives, somehow making us feel not so alone in what we are going through, just by knowing someone else out there may understand just a little. I still have some posts in the proverbial little locked diary inside my imagination but waking up to find someone took the time to read 47 of my posts sometime in the night is the best compliment I could have as a “wanna be writer” and it inspires me to keep writing. Hoping that something I might have to say can touch someone enough to keep reading….

I know I have a lot to learn… a lot to tweak and edit and going back and reading some of my older things has made me realize that this blog has done just what I set out for it to do… helped me grow… and stretch my writing abilities to a place where I might not have to beg my family or friends to listen to something I wrote… but people actually go and click on me and search me out and sit there and read my “stuff” all by themselves! Like Sally Field said… “You “LIKE” me you really like me!” And for that … I say thank you!

Mrs. Anderson


I am in a place in my life right now where I am just plain stuck. I have written about mid life crisis and empty nests until I am blue in the face! I know that I have to get over it. But it is kind of overwhelming when you think back at all the plans you had, all the dreams and the mystery of not knowing what your life held felt kind of like magic. Wondering who you would fall in love with, even how a kiss would feel, never experiencing making love or getting married, giving birth or moving into your own home and where it would be…  It was as if you had this empty book handed to you by God and you could write anything you wanted in it. It was a feeling of possibilities, of dreams come true. And now I sit with many volumes of filled pages. Feeling as if I have experienced it all.

It is overwhelming to think about it. The emtpy books that God has handed to the doctors with great cures and authors with life changing ideas and Oprahs and Presidents of this world who all had that same empty book opportunity and filled it with wonderful accomplishments. It makes me thumb through my own pages and sigh and wonder what I have accomplished. Why my books aren’t filled like that. Or even why I still have not written the book I have been finishing and wanted to write for over two years now.

I am in quite a selfish place right now. Stuff that I have been going through the last few years has sent me in a tail spin that has been hard to recover from.  If you put too much on my plate, I want to run. I don’t make the effort to be a great friend. I don’t normally volunteer or contribute a whole lot in my life right now. But at a weak moment I was asked to be a Team Kid leader. It is a little like a weekly Vacation Bible School. In the beginning the groups weren’t assigned. We all kind of just fell into place and in turn became a TEAM. Hence; the name, Team Kid. But we actually have become a little family.

Slowly we felt our way through the last several weeks, getting to know each other. I have the 4th and 5th graders. I really love that age. I remember that when I was around that age, I had mentors in my life that I remember to this day. Mrs. Anderson taught me about Jesus in such a way that made me listen. She kind of raised up my spiritual awareness a little higher, from being stuck comfortably in my childlike faith and challenged me tolook at it all in a more mature way and encouraged me to apply the stories we learned to my own life. With Mrs. Anderson she stretched us. She pricked our hearts. It wasn’t all about the  paper we got at the end with the cartoon version of the memory verse for the week.  It was different with her. And when I look back, I think that she was about my age now when she taught my 4th grade Sunday School Class. Now that I think think about it… When I said yes I would be a leader, I guess maybe  I wanted to give a little back and perhaps  try to be a Mrs. Anderson to my little team.

The other day, I was so tired, as other leaders were falling out of their commitments I have to admit I was a little  envious. But then one mom after another came up to tell me things that their kids had been saying about me and it surprised me. Maybe I could make a differnce. These little kids were at such a great age. Teetering on innocence still goofy kids and yet so moldable and wise with thoughts and ideas and profound thoughts all of their own. I realized what an awesome responsibility it was. To be able to be a smidigen of a Mrs. Anderson in their lives.

Last  night was Team Kid again. My coworker was late so I had to work past my time. I was running late getting to the church and already tired from an over 8 hour shift and not really looking forward to a late night. When I saw my (little family) kids. They had already gotten my Team Kid bucket and placed it on “our” team’s pew and saved me a seat. One little boy came running up to me and sighed a big sigh and said “Oh Good Coach Diane, you are HERE!”

Okay so how Good is God? I am thinking that I am doing something for these kids…  How silly. They are doing something a thousand times fold more for me! Making me feel that I am important.  And God used them as HIS little messengers to tell me so.

If you are feeling a little blue… doing something for someone else will change that in an instant!

What I have learned in all this? It really is not all about me and I still have pages to fill in that book I was handed years ago. I may not ever be Oprah or maybe not even Mrs. Anderson but I can be someone’s Coach Diane.

About Time….


Wake up

Look in the mirror

nothings going to stop me

i won’t hesitate

gotta get out of here…

 Cant wait any longer

each day i feel

im getting a little stronger

the melody’s following me

as i shut the door

a new jump in my step

smiling at the strangers

not caring if they don”t smile back at me

this time

this day

im not gonna let the world

take it from me

this day is mine

and i’m not giving it back!

The Good Old Days


Her room sat  like a capsule of honor

waiting for her return

like echoes I  would hear  conversations we once shared

when  I would wake her up in the morning…

I miss those mornings sometimes…

 there was a time…

I once mourned as each child

was plucked from my nest

I waned to scream…. “But wait I am not done YET!!!”

And then I stood proudly as I watched them fly

So high, so strong,

I couldn’t help but take a little credit as I looked on….

And now I am okay. Really I am.

I even enjoy only having to get me ready and out the door again these days.

No diaper bags, or back packs to remember or in my case, forget….

And yet it sometimes stings just a little to know

that those chapters have been written

I don’t have to wonder who my children will be as I did once as a young girl..patting my belly and whispering in wonder… “Who are you in there, who will you be?”

I know them now and I am proud of the children I have had as I watch them soar to heights far above my imagination.

I wander around the walls of my life and look out the windows of my memory

and if I let myself… I can wander even farther back, back,

and reflect on the regrets of things I never accomplished or wish I had done  and that is when I see….

That these really and truly are the good old days, the days I have the freedom and the time to write my book

and live in the chapters yet to be written…

The days when my babies still can return for visits….

And so can other people! Cuzzzz we have a guest room now! GRIN~ (Of course my little chickadee has first dibs!)

Yes, these are the days  where I finally learn that….

                                                                                                                                                      The best is yet to be….

Would Anyone Read This? Chapter One….


This is Chapter one of my book…  A few days ago, I posted a blog titled: Would You Read This? 

It was the introduction  to a book I have been writing for the last 3 years. This is the next chapter.

I would love feedback. I KNOW I need a lot of editing but would love people who like to read to give me there honest opinion…  And from professionals who could tell me…if I have something that publishers are even looking for.

Chapter Two begins with the sixteen year old girl… I am stuck  at the ending… the place where Keri is older and has been found again but for now here is chapter one…

 

Chapter One

It was a rainy Saturday afternoon; the kind that seems to still have one foot in winter and the other, in spring, the kind Keri knew made her fifteen year old daughter Brynne very lazy. But affected Keri in a totally different way…Keri’s husband Tim was away at work and so she decided that it was the perfect day to talk her daughter, into getting a head start on some spring cleaning. She had spoken to Tim about cleaning out the attic and making it into a study to write in. She had decided to revive her dream to write. An aspiration she had put on the back burner for a very long time. Tim had thought that it was a wonderful idea and told her that he could even build a little loft in their garage to store the boxes that were left after cleaning out the attic.

Inspired by the thought of moving closer to her dream, Keri put a roast in the oven and headed up to Brynne’s room, after a little coaxing, Brynne reluctantly crawled out from under her warm down comforter and followed her mom up the attic stairs. Soon they were laughing and chatting as the rain tapped against the roof above them as they got caught up in all the memories.

Brynne began pulling out old toys and clothes and books from trunks and boxes that had since been long forgotten. She had gotten caught up in looking at some old color forms and books when Keri had reached down into the bottom of one of the trunks and found the little diary. She recognized it at once. The lock still latched, she clicked the little button and felt for its release. It unlocked easily but for some reason she froze. She did not immediately open it. Keri stood up and frowned as she looked out the large picture window at the top of the trees swaying in the storm. The rain had started the night before and remained steady. She could see the little brook below and saw that it had filled. She felt warm and cozy and comfortable inside the warmth of the attic and imagined herself looking out the same window someday, as she sat at her desk and wrote.

The smell of the roast wafted up the stairs prompting Keri to go check on it. Promising a quick return, she left her daughter still sorting through boxes. She had fully intended to just check the roast and go right back up to encourage Brynne into getting rid of half the treasures she had stored up there over the years but Brynne had gotten caught up in her own little journey down memory lane and the whole project seemed to have turned into an all day event. Keri smiled; picturing Brynne in the pile she had left her in as she gently closed the oven door and wiped her hands on the kitchen towel. She turned to go back up and then remembered that she had brought down the diary she had found, and went over and picked it up from the counter feeling slightly unsettled.

She walked into the living room and poked at the fire in the fireplace, and then sitting down, she opened the book. Things that she had not thought about for a long time consumed her in an instant. Every word on every page snapped her back to another time in her life. She felt as if she had been given a time capsule, opening up such sweet but sometimes painful memories immobilized her as she turned each page. She remembered writing the words and the way she felt when she had written them.  The memory of that young girl seemed to take on a life all of its own, as if she were reading about a fictional character and yet the memories those words triggered within her caused her to want to go and find that girl again, to somehow get her and bring her home.

Keri pulled a fuzzy throw over her legs as she read. Every page she turned seemed like opening up an old door and peeking inside. The love and pain and memories consumed her as the glow of the fire filled the room and the sound of the rain hitting the roof seemed to be lost in the background as she continued to read the words she had written a lifetime ago.

She hadn’t noticed how much time had gone by until she heard her daughter padding down the attic stairs. “What’s that?” Her daughter asked walking into the room, finding her mother deep into whatever it was that she was reading. Keri looked up and smiled. Brynne was puzzled. She had been lost herself in a magical mood of her own as she had pulled out old dolls and stuffed animals that had sent her back to another time. Brynne had fully expected to find her mom in the kitchen or watching T. Her mom always had the TV on for background company, even if she wasn’t watching it. But today, she sat by the fire in silence with a book. “Have you been crying?” Brynne frowned, sounding slightly concerned as she sat down next to her mom eyeing her with a look of uncertainty. She wondered what had caught her interest in such a way to have stopped her day like this. Looking amused at catching her daughter’s interest, Keri wiped a tear away and smiled. She was a little surprised with herself, crying over an old diary but the only way she knew how to explain it was to be honest.

Keri had not mentioned the diary when she found it at the bottom of one of her old trunks. She had set it aside with a slight feeling of unease. Not really hiding the little book from her daughter but not really knowing if she even wanted to go there herself.  She thought that she had put all of those feelings away but over the years she had realized that they were not as easily packed away as old things in a trunk might be. Like this diary, they would show up when she least expected, like today. Keri tested the waters by reading a few of the pages aloud to Brynne. After a few minutes, she stopped and looked up to make sure that she had not completely lost her daughter’s interest but noticed that Brynne looked quite captivated.

Inspired by the attention she seemed to have captured, Keri, explained to her daughter…”I started writing this when I was about your age.” Brynne listened interested.

“I was so smitten with the idea of being in love and so boy crazy back then, even though I really was not allowed to officially date until I was sixteen. I hung out with a few boys and then the summer after my birthday I met someone.” Brynne’s interest peaked and she asked, “A boy that was not daddy?” Currently Keri and her husband Tim had been negotiating curfew and dating rules with their daughter and she found this all very interesting to say the least. Picturing her mother with boys when she was her age was a concept Brynne hadn’t broached.  “Yes.” Keri answered, “I met a boy who was not daddy, a boy who changed my life forever.”

A look passed over her mother’s face that Brynne could not read. They had shared a mother and daughter bond that few can boast about, they finished each other’s sentences and usually knew what the other was thinking with very few words. Both Keri’s and Brynne’s friends envied their relationship. And without ever giving it a name, they had been best friends from as far back as either one of them could remember and Brynne felt as if she knew everything about her mom until today. Brynne listened with interest.

Keri wanted her daughter to admire her. She felt as if she had made so many mistakes in her life but had managed to rise above most of them. Brynne had always been so level headed and unaffected by the silliness of young love. When her friends would seem unusually boy crazy, Brynne had always been the one in control. She was a dancer and she would not let anything get in the way of her dream. Least of all, what she called silly romantic drama. Brynne felt she had plenty of time to find the right one and seemed in less of a hurry than her other friends. But even as level headed as her daughter was, she knew that it was only a matter of  time, and it only took one boy to turn her heart upside down. And so she decided to share what she had written.

Keri scanned the pages, realizing that she had not shared any of it with anyone, ever. Her pain had been confined to the privacy of her journals, late at night in her room.  The idea of sharing this part of her life panicked her.  However Keri had always  felt that everyone’s story, good or bad, was worth telling if it could help someone else not make the same mistakes. Especially her daughter. Keri  thoughtfully considered her story and wondered if today might be the day she would share it . Maybe telling Brynne her story would help guide her.

Long before Brynne had even been interested in boys her mother had encouraged her to make a wish list that included the top ten things she would wish for in a husband.  Keri had read the list and then added one more…she told her daughter that if any boy  ever showed any sign of a temper that, that was her cue to run like the wind! Brynne never quite understood why her mom had always been so adamant about that rule but had added it to her list.

Sitting there with her book in her hands, her life’s story literally tucked inside the pages, and her daughter a willing audience  she considered everything. She held the book tight against her chest and looked into her daughter’s eyes filled with questions, with the crackling and popping of the fire raging, she opened the book and said

“I never told you about this part of my life she said.” Maybe it’s time I tell it to you now.

 

Brynne, who was always in a hurry curled her feet up under her and grabbed another throw as she settled in to listen to her mom read. Keri began reading, she read a page and then the next one and paused thinking that Brynne would be bored but Brynne motioned her mom to continue. By the time she was done, the fire had died down to a flicker and more than two hours, maybe more had passed.

Keri closed the book and she looked up and noticed that Brynne was in tears. “Oh mama” she cried, “It is all just so sad.”

A thing of Beauty in an unexpected place


I like the concept of finding happy surprises. The best things are unexpected, like a gift for no reason. My mother in law came up with the name of our store that we lost in the earthquake. It was Rose In The Woods. Later on Good Morning America, I told Charles Gibons that it had turned out to be a Rose In The Rubble. When he was interviewing my daughter and I, the morning after.  I still remember the feeling of finding something beautiful in all that followed.

One huge one was that my daughter had survived it. If you follow this blog at all, you have read about her wanting to wait in our new Explorer that had been flattened by the roof that slid down on all the parked cars below…. I remember thinking stuff can be replaced but thank you Lord for saving my baby!

Life is not easy. People are not always kind and sometimes we don’t stop to consider where the other guy came from or why they are who they are. I have been pretty hurt by a few people in my own life. It is the times when I have stopped to make the effort to get to know their history that I have been rewarded with a thing of unexpected beauty so beyond my expectations. To understand their hurts from the ground up! Lately, I have taken the time to understand some major people in my past and it has been the most freeing experience I have ever gone through. Forgiveness and understanding have amazing medicinal powers and the miracles that follow are intoxicating.

As I grow older, I find blessings in the most unexpected places. This blog is one of them! In my time of need for prayer or friendship, a soft place to fall, support for my writing or just  a lot of encourgment…. I never dreamt that I would find it here… the place I go to store my ramblings!

After I lost my store, the spa where I work hired me as an Event Coordinator and when the economy took that turn we all are so aware of, my position along with my boss was removed from my place of employment. Though I am grateful they found another position  for me and kept me on, I had to take a pay cut and learn how to become financially creative. Which is how I began to be the retail “Buyer” for the spa. It gave me my “retail fix” and provided us with the extra income I had lost. It is kind of a win/win situation for us both. I do all the work, buying, displaying and they get a $$ cut. It has been a blessing because I know the area and the clientelle and what they like from owning my store, in turn, I have been successful at creating a revenue for myself and the spa.

I have a co-worker at work…  Who in the beginning, I have to admit that I missed her good points. TOTALLY overlooked them!!! Smile~ I only saw the annoying ones coming head on in front of me like a Mac Truck.  She is sometimes abrupt and opinionated and loud and  sometimes a little defensive when you remind her to use her “inside voice.” She is a bit  controlling…. and can be a know it all at times….

Anywaaay…

I have been working on trying to see the good in everyone, slowing down and finding beauty in a very unexpected place, and really taking time to understand others. I have learned in my efforts that she is just a very insecure young woman. Since I have befriended her, she has shared with me that she doesn’t feel very many people at work like her and she has dealt with those feelings pretty much, all of her life. I have found that…. she has a  big heart and that she is funny and sweet, a very hard worker when appreciated, helpful and very talented, especially at displaying all the retail I have brought in. It is funny, just a few months ago… I might have been annoyed that she just barreled in and “took over” without asking me if I would like her assistance. I came in one day and everything I had brought in the day before was all rearranged.

I was kind of fit to be tied until….. The Lord grabbed my shirt tails and reeled me in a bit!!! I could almost hear Him tell me to slow down and look at her heart. And you know what I saw? Not a busy body thinking she could do a better job than me. But a loving friend that had true talent in displaying the things I brought in, and willing to do it for me. And you know another thing?  God has a sense of humor! He made me see that she is better than me at doing it!

And then HE gave me a gift. A friend. Someone who cares about the details… sure maybe the details she thinks are important, but she does care. And maybe some of those annoying thing that  I saw were things I have seen in myself… Because… I know that sometimes when I get really excited I can be known to talk a little loud too… and you know, I have learned she does  know a little about a lot of things and when I gave her the time of day she has taught me a lot….

Mostly about being a friend….because she is a good one.

I love it when I find friends like that. So unexpectedly. It makes me realize how much I miss by being judgmental rather than compasionate. But when I let God open the door to my heart just a little bit… he opens the floodgates of joy and gives me a littley tiny glimpse of what heaven will be like!

Understanding a perosn’s thoughts is as hard as getting water from a deep well. But someone with understanding can find wisdom there.         Proverbs 21:5

Times Like These


I wake up with a prayer

in my heart everyday now

since we heard the news

tests and more tests

and the tension

in the corner of our little world is thick.

As life goes on as usual

I remember…

When  my dad died….

I saw the men

laughing and joking

My heart lifted… perhaps he was okay

surely those EMTs would not be so lighthearted

if they had just lost someone!

And yet maybe they have learned to be that way

because he was gone.

My heart went cold that day

My walls went up

to protect me from love and hurt and pain

Until my little tiny son asked me…

“Mommy, when are you going to stop crying all day?”

I knew right then, I needed to snap out of it.

And so I did

And yet, today I need someone

to make me snap out of it

so that I can live again

I pray constantly that it will all be okay

I don’t believe that God

has anything to do with illness and death

HE is a God of life and miracles

And yet maybe HE uses times like these

The down on your knees pleading times

to remind us that we need HIM

more than just  times like now

to fall on our knees daily

even when times are good

so that when He finds us

In times like these….

It won’t be any different for Him

to find us on our knees.

Agents, Publishers and little old me~


Soooo, ever since I started this blog I have subscribed to magazines like; The Writer and Poets and Writers and really tried to educate myself, buying books on my Kindle about marketing and how to get an agent,  how to self publish and promote your own work. I have considered signing up for a few classes about publishing. But to be honest, I really am confused about it all. Though, I have discovered one thing about social media and  the likes of blogging. You MUST network. I have to admit that I have been competing with myself in a way. By looking at my stats almost as much as I step on my scale!

Stats are a funny thing. They are a tool to show you the kind of traffic you are generating or not. It is a mystery to me how some have a huge following and some don’t. It is as simple as that, or is it? At first, I started my blog as a place to just keep record of my own writing for me. And then slowly I began posting a poem or something that I would write on my facebook page and a few friends began to follow me, and I would discover their blogs and we would kind of have a little cyber coffee clutch, checking in with each other as we would get notified that one of us had a new post. Gradually, I noticed that people that I did not know began to follow me and it kind of felt good. That strangers were finding my writing worth their time. Slowly, I began to check out who was following me and wahlah… that is what networking is all about! And yet, for me it happened through the back door. I had never really started out wanting to have my private journal made public. But the comments I received inspired me and so I began to explore the art of blogging! And I liked it! The response I recieved was a bit addicting.

Like I said earlier, I was not expecting to share my blog. In fact, there are many personal things in it that I would not really ever have considered sharing with people I  know. I kind of started out thinking that people were only viewing what I was posting on my facebook and then I realized anyone had access to anything I was storing on my blog. As I became more comfortable with the sharing part of things, I became fascinated by the volume of followers my posts were generating. In turn, I began following and I have to admit all this networking has become time consuming but I genuinely enjoyed reading each blog. It was as if I had joined a writer’s group that met daily at the local coffee spot, on line!

My daughter is on Etsy. (An on line shop for artists) She has over one hundred  followers and is in many of what Etsy calls Treasuries.   Her work is unique and wonderful and yet she works hard at updating daily and networking with other artists. I have my own illustrated and written card line on Etsy but I don’t “work it” like she does with her shop. I get a sale every month or so where she gets several. I used to sell a thousand dollars in cards at a show when I would do art shows so I know if I invested the same time there as I do here on my blog, I could actually make some good money. And yet writing is my passion and so I stay here on my blog and working on my book that I am now editing.

I guess my point is… I went on a little vacation this week. The first few days of not responding or networking on my blog here….or posting anything new still generated several likes and comments. But it is funny. I am not sure if it is how the blog is set up, or what, but I do have over 100 posts and yet it seems as if it is just all my recent posts that people tend to read and so my stats went way down. Thus, discovering that even though someone may really enjoy your writing, a blog is kind of like a daily column in a newspaper. You may read Dear Abbey that day but you don’t bother going back into her archives and reading some answer she gave a year ago even though something in those archives may very well pertain to your current life now.

I have received a few AWARDS from readers recently and had always kind of coveted them wondering what they were about and while I was touched by the words I received when they came to me. That would have been enough. The comments were my reward. But I felt obliged to follow through and go through the process of doing what I was supposed to do. It was so time consuming. But I GET it now, those awards are a networking tool. Though…. a very time consuming one! Maybe agents are’nt such a lost commodity. Maybe we DO need them. I have gone the route of self publishing a children’s book and it is costly and though I have done well in a small arena, I have an inkling that a publisher could have done a far better job of marketing it.

With Kindle and e-books and everything going technical and digital it is hard not to be tempted to rely on ourselves to develop our own film, buy our gifts on line, forego libraries and even publish our own books on line or through the vanity press type places… everything is on line now even college classes! I have a friend that makes more money than her husband who is a school administrator, by staying home in her PJs and working from her lap top! She has been promoted over and over to do what she does on her computer at home.

This week I have realized that unless I post something daily, my stats go down and my followers are not as loyal even though I have over one hundred posts to keep them entertained, they need attention back. They need me to be present. Just like a Best Seller author. One book lasts for a season. They better be writing another while they are going on those book signing events! And an agent is a little like the stats here… reminding you that you are only as good as your next post!

Would ANYONE read this?


Pieces of The Circle

References to real people, events, establishments or places are intended to only provide a sense of authenticity                                                               and are used fictitiously.

 “Your life is like an empty book, with pages still unwritten, each day you fill another page.”

 May this story encourage every young girl who still has an unwritten book, pages yet to fill and a life yet to be lived, and may it inspire  women who think that their pages have already been filled, their books written, and their lives  lived. May they realize that there are always new chapters or even sequels just waiting to be written and life still waiting to be lived…

Next page..

Prologue

 It was 1973, the summer of her sixteenth year, when secrets were still kept in little locked journals and the words that filled the pages were just fantasies of what she hoped for. Images of a house with a family, behind a little white picket fence danced through Keri’s head as she wrote, pouring out her dreams in way of poetry.

She was sure that she wanted to be a writer and would stay up late into the wee hours of the night slowly filling each page with raw and corny poetry, waiting for her innocent prayers to be answered, for her Prince Charming to come and, whisk her away into the life she was so sure that she was meant to have.

That old book had since, been packed away for dozens of years, still holding all of those dreams. Keri had since grown up and so much of life had happened in-between.

 Years later, while going through storage boxes in her attic, the book was discovered again by Keri, the girl, who was not so young anymore, nor hopeful or optimistic. Now much wiser and a little more tired and worn out, she held the book close and slowly opened it, breathing in hints of yesterday, flipping through the pages now yellowed with age. The memories flooded her heart and seemed to blindside her with a force she had not been prepared for.

And then the story….      Her memories inside the book….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Lovely Blog Award for YOU!


http://theflatgirl.wordpress.com/Nominated me for The One Lovely Blog Award and I am so grateful. To know I have touched anyone enough to honor me with such a special award!

I am not very techie when it comes to this but I had to try~  because I love her blog. She calls herself “flat girl” because she feels one dimensional. She shares so candidly her struggles that I have grown to follow her blog. She inspires me by her strength daily and I love her purely genuine apporach to life. Her posts give me strength and I look forward to them daily.

I am supposed to share seven things about myself….

1. I am writing a book that started out being for young girls….  just beginning to figure out who they are… it is a message about not letting go of your dreams or losing yourself on the journey to becoming who you are supposed to be. It is about abuse. Both physical and emotional. It introduces you to a young girl named Keri without a lot of self esteem … who did lose her self, for a while. The story threads right through into this woman’s adult life and to a dramatic place she felt stuck in~ because of her past as a young girl, and how she deals with it all. I am just a few chapters short of finishing it and I created this blog to kind of stretch my writing muscles to even see if anyone would be interested in my writing.

2. I have been so pleasantly surprised by the writing friends I have made here. AND I am so inspired by you all!

3. I have a bucket list and …my biggest wish on it is; that  someday The Lord will meet me and say “Well done good and faithful servant.” But I feel like a failure most of the time and that I have a long way to go before that ever happens!

4. I have a two kids… a son that is 32 and a daughter who is 24. My daughter is an actress in LA and the whole reason that I started my first blog about empty nests….    http://fan1fan1mamma.onsugar.com/    because she was moving. We actually had this great idea of writing a book in way of letters. The book was called Scared of Daddy Long Legs and it was supposed to symbolize how we pass things good things and bad things down to our kids. Hence; my fear of daddy long legs (we are both terrified) her love to write, her love to bake… (Not sure where she got her acting and singing talents cuzzz I know I don’t do those!!! Which is the reason she is in LA)  she is following in my footsteps as an artist… we both have etsy sites… mine is….:  http://www.etsy.com/people/crafterdi?ref=si_pr and hers is:http://www.etsy.com/shop/thenakedbird?ref=seller_info I used to do about 9 art shows a year. I have since passed the baton to my creative little chickadee and she is doing her own art shows! Even better than the ones I dragged her to!

5. My daughter is my best friend and I love her to the moon and back! And yet I love my son too,  more than I think he realizes and I am proud of him and I love the girl he is bringing into our family and that they are making me a grandma for the second time!

6. I am going to write a book and another and another

7. I have a cardline with 200 + poems that I wrote and illustrated and  used to sell at my artshows (a sample of some are on my etsy site above)

I have been touched by the following bloggers and would like to nominate them for the above award.

Click on this link to recieve instructions about your award: http://theflatgirl.wordpress.com/

keepingitrealmom.com

yazrooney.wordpress.com

bravesmartbold.wordpress.com

x lyn.leahz@mail.comhttp

http://mandrellmadness.wordpress.com/

http://thenakedbird.wordpress.com/

http://grandfathersky.wordpress.com/

bellybuttonblues.wordpress.com

http://allaccesspassblog.wordpress.com/

http://littlemisswordy.wordpress.com/

http://amarquette333.wordpress.com/

http://armouredup.wordpress.com/

http://theladyjournal.wordpress.com/

http://ivegotastory.wordpress.com/

http://confessionsofababymama.com/

Sooooo, that was not an easy task. Each of you were chosen for touching my life with your words. I am not sure how to link you guys and I love the award idea but I am not sure we all have time to do this too many times. LOL.

This was a labor of love so I do appreciate the one who took the time to name  me! I have NO idea what I am doing or how to link you all to the award, or even if you will see this. I guess if you see your name here and would like to participate in receiving this award… follow flat girls lead… cuzz I know I didn’t do it right!

God bless!!!!

It’s JUST Ten Cents…Come on, REALLY?


I find it all so funny. It was as if we all had been on vacation and then come back to a world of baglessness! Some stores were creative and offered paper bags for 10 cents each or even gave you 5 cents back for each bag you brought in yourself. Though I did find all of this annoying at first, I can’t help but find the whole situation down right funny.  The thing that I find most  humorous is how the stores have dealt with explaining this  new change to their customers and even more, how the customers react.

You seeee… California has gone bagless (refer to the link I included here) there has been a ban on plastic shopping bags!) So unless places want to GIVE us a free paper bag… we shoppers are all outta luck… It could be worse…. bags could be like gas during an election year! You go to bed and they are 10 cents and you wake up and they are $4.79 + tax!!!  (smirk….and another blog!) But reeeeally, you probably won’t find this as funny until you are made to succumb to the bag ban!!! (If only I had JAWS background music for my background tune right here!)

If we all could get outside of ourselves and find the humor in it, we might even consider popping some popcorn, taking a seat and sitting back and enjoying the show. I particurlarly like to watch how the poor clerks handle their explanation as the clueless shopper stands dumbfounded as they pile the merchandise atop the turnstiles that used to hold the bags. Or offers the once free bags for 10 cents each. I have never seen such irate reactions over ten cents! People have been known to truck all the way back through the parking lot, almost half a mile away, to get the bags they forgot in their cars.  I watch as they seriously are quite angry. As if someone had insulted their mother or something. I want to stop them and make them laugh at themselves and ask them … Come on dude… REALLY? Get a  grip it’s just ten cents!

I wonder if there is a little chip missing in me somewhere, enjoying this new recreation of mine. Just standing back and observing the traffic jam in the communication department where this all began.   The other day, I watched when a guy checking out someone who obviously did not know about the new bag rules watched cluelessly. It was also obvious that this fellow did not understand why his merchandise was being piled and not bagged. And it became apparent that the checker was  not going to explain. Almost like a toddler that closes his eyes and believes you can’t see him if he can’t see you. They don’t acknowledge that the customer is growing more and more irate… I wanted to explain to the poor guy… but it wasn’t might place… I had brought “MY” bag…. smirk…smirk… thinking okay let’s see how he handles this.. I probably could have stepped in but that “chip” won out.

However, some stores are all over it. They have cute bags for the same ten cents that places like Walmart are trying to charge for their same old bags. These stores with the cute bags have realized that people don’t want to feel ripped off, even if it is just ten cents. They also have scripted their checkers with explanations as to what is going on. And are coaching them to ask  if the customers have their own bags before creating that pile of merchandise that has grown so familiar.

I have made the best of it and  become chums with the other shoppers as we chat about bringing our bags, forgetting our bags or how ridiculous we think it all is. But it is funny, people seem more friendly. At least to each other. I have actually enjoyed finding cool looking designer bags. The best ones are 99 cents at TJ Maxx! But really I have noticed that we customers, actually have eye contact and smile at one another a little more now.  Where once we walked by obliviously, with tunnel vision not noticing one another, now we seem to be more friendly. Nodding knowingly as we eye each other’s bags as we walk in the door together… ahhh that  thread that bonds us all when we have something as simple as bags in common.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/05/los-angeles-plastic-bag-ban-approved.html


As I go to work on my book thanks to my new friend’s encouragement… I leave you with one of my older posts… No matter how far we dream… there really is no place like home…

The One Thing I know For Sure

Sometimes we have to wander far away from the storm, trying to find the rainbow, before we realize the lessons we have learned along the way. We encounter those looking for wisdom and courage and love and want to be a part of their journey. Perhaps we think that if they find it, so will we. And so… we get caught up in the seeking, we are fooled by our own desires.

If we are lucky enough to find out that the little man behind the curtain is only a little man behind the curtain, then we are ahead of the game. But more than not, we seek the answer in all the wrong places. We put hope in the world and we follow the beat of what the world deems popular rather than looking within and finding that in the end, all that we ever needed was always there…

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I am so excited and honored to received my very first Award!


‘Honored Recipient’

Excitement and Gratitude, I like Your Attitude!!

Isabelle, Thank You for sharing this award with me.

After receiving this honored award fromEmotional Mommie  I’ve been following her for a while.  Loved her                                                                    posts and we connected! I was so surprised and touched when I found out that I had been given this award!                                                                           I have been wondering abou the awards but never really knew what they were about. This one is especially                                                                    meaningful to me. I feel that each meeting we experience is a divine appointment orchestrated by God as                                                                            He allows. If we are very aware, we appreciate the ones He puts in our path. Sometimes though, we are so                                                                       caught up in our life we miss some of those appointments… I am so glad I didn’t miss this one.

If my words are a soft place to fall for anyone… I have done what I attempted. For anyone to tell me that in                                                                           an act like this.. an offering of such a special award, it is more that I can ask. My goal is to connect with everyone,                                                             one at a time. I would love to write books that people love, that draw them in and make them feel understood.                                                                        I would love my words to help people feel as if they are not alone. Whether by way of a best seller or lyrics to                                                                           a lone song, or just one note to one friend at a time.

When I was a young girl. I thought that there was NO ONE experiencing the things that I was. Or feeling the                                                                   feelings that I felt. My goal is to take that thread that binds us all together and makes us connect through my                                                                    words. Emotional Mommie has given me  the hope that just perhaps I can someday contribute to others feeling                                                                    a connection to help them believe they are survivors. Thank you Emotional Mommie!!!!

I want to take special care in handing this one out and so please be patient as I choose…

Since I am not very familiar with these awards… I think I am going to need help figuring out if there is a                                                                                 link I send to the next recipeint or I just post it on their site~

Skinny Girl


Skinny Girl……

So unsure…..

though…

when you said that I was pretty

and you said that I was sweet~

when you said the many things you said…

All those things…

I so believed…~

You held me with your kisses

so at home

in your embrace

you promised all your promises

 like a silly  girl

I believed~

By

Diane  Murray ’77

Ripples


I stood by the stream

and picked up a stone

and  threw it

the water rippled

I watched as the rings appeared

casting out

from the thrown stone

I smiled

funny how such small things

can do that,

make you smile

that is….

I looked for another ~

all that  I could find

was a clump of dirt

I threw it

to my delight

it also cast rings around

where it landed~

The stone shone beneath the ripples

at the bottom of the stream

while the dirt only melted within

the effect; one in the same

but one begins

where the other one ends

by

Diane Reed

In Honor of my 100th Post!


This is my 100th post. The one I have talked about many times before. The one that is supposed to be the milestone that inspires me to finish my book I have had in waiting….  I thought that it would be the perfect post to…. honor somene who inspires me daily…

My Mom…

She was born  March 3rd in  1934.  My grandfather was a machinist and my grandma stayed at home, being a mom. My mom was the apple of her parent’s eye. Blonde and full of life.

When my mom was six years old, “polio” was a dreaded word, feared by all. There was an outbreak of it, right in their own neighborhood in Seattle. My grandma was especially careful trying to keep her little family far from any germs, staying away from public places and washing everything. One day her neighbor asked them to go on a picnic to the lake, explaining that they would stay far away from people. My grandma reluctantly agreed and as they were unpacking their lunch all the kids  went exploring,  and accidentally knocked down an old hornets nest. My mom was stung where ever her little sunsuit did not cover. They rushed her to the lake and placed mud all over her wounds. shortly after, she came down with polio. It could have been a number of things that led to her contracting the terrible disease. The stings, the mud, or the trip on the bus downtown a few days later when her resistance was low. Who knows. It doesn’t really matter now. (Though I will always be puzzled about why they went on a bus ride downtown, right smack in the middle of people~ with all those germs, but… Oh well…)

     My mom on her way to school. (Her crutches are laying in the background)

The fact is that her life was changed forever. Her childhood was taken from her, the life she was meant to have was as well. And yet she learned to walk again where the doctors predicted a life of being paralized. She had horrendous surgeries, a bone taken from her leg, to straighten her back, a body cast for a year, and then later as she learned to walk again, cruel and clueless kids, stealing her crutches as she walked to school. And yet, she has fallen in love and been married twice in her lifetime.

           I’ve always  loved this one of my mom! She looks so happy as if her whole life was ahead of her!

She has been a successful artist and a wonderful mother. From an early age, she would sit me up on the counter and let me help…  pouring in the ingredients and stirring it with a spoon, always remembering to let me smell the vanilla and stir up my own concoction of “something.” I am sure that is WHY I love to bake!… she has been a wonderful grandma and the best memory maker you could ever ask for!

Mom and me 1958

One year my mom, found Winnie the Pooh (Always my favorite) blow up characters as party favors at my 8th birthday party! Every party she threw was more special than the year before. (She always out did herself!

My mom with my son (her first Grandchild)              My beautiful mom and daughter on the boat in New Port Beach, on my wedding day

She is in a lot of pain a lot of the time and I guess I never really understood much of it, until I got to an age when it was a little harder for me to get up in the morning and I began having the usual aches and pains that come with getting older. And I know, I only experience an inkling of a crumb of a speck of what she experiences daily and has for a long, long, time.

When I was younger, I hate to admit that I hated her polio stories. In fact, I’ve hated the number six all of my life because that was the age my mom got polio. I hated that she complained about her aches and pains and that she couldn’t do as much as I wanted her to. To attend my school functions and walk long distances. Funny, how selfish we are as kids. Now it is as if I have different glasses on, (I actually do! Recently having to finally give in to getting a REAL pair due to old age!) I can see more clearly. She is actually a hero for doing so much. She did art shows for years. With my dad’s help. And then ours, when I was able to drive. We all pitched in to help set her up and break down at her shows. My dad was so tickled as she obtained a following of faithful customers. She always made sure that we went to church every Sunday, even though my dad only would go on very special occassions… Easter mainly. Oh yeah and when I got baptized… smile.

Today, my mom has survived a lot. Polio was just the begining. My sister was in a horrific car accident and my mom would drive an hour a day to go see her. Sometimes twice. She did not give up when the doctors told her to not hold out too much hope. She prayed and talked to  her, until she came out of her coma and worked with her until she was able to live a pretty normal life. A few years later, my dad died of a heart attack jogging around the block, she was the one who found him. When you add it all up, she has not had an easy life. And yet she has proven that she is who she is because of surviving it all. And she has survived.

The thing about my mom is she has always had faith. She always believed that God had a plan. She never gave up. After my dad died, she began reaching out to hurting people in way of cards that she wrote in the form of letters, adding different scripture verses that pertained to what each person was individually going through at the time. They say Elizabeth Barrett Browning is in our ancestory somewhere and I don’t doubt it~              and so we write. That’s just what we do. My mom does it, I do it, my daughter does it. It’s just in our blood!

A few years after my dad died, she reached out to an old childhood friend  at my grandmother’s suggestion, with one of those letters right after his wife died.  He ended up coming for a visit.

They have been happily married for almost three decades.

So you see, even though life handed her some big obstacles, she always rose above them and God blessed her for it.  The lesson she has taught me and many others through out her life is that God is a God of MIRACLES and that nothing is too big for HIM. Not the opinion of a doctor or the diagnosis they may give, or the closing of a door. She has taught me that there is always a door to open somewhere, not too far down the road.

I don’t always tell her often enough but I am proud of her and she is one of my biggest heroes and best friends.

I love you mom!

Nothing compares


Pooh said…

  “Eating Honey is a very good thing to do,

 but there is a moment just before you begin to eat it.

which is better than when you do.”

I remember a friend telling me that they had planned all year for a trip to Hawaii. They lived in California just blocks from the beach. But I mean Hawaii is Hawaii. As adults we see the differnce. The beaches in Hawaii really can’t compare to here. But to a child, maybe not so much. So they saved and scrimped, and finally when the day came, they packed up their two little boys and off they went on their much anticipated vacation. The next day when they had settled down on the beach and she was admiring the white sand and turquoise water, her younger son turned to her with an utter look of disappointment and in a totally dismayed tone,   said, “So this is it mom?” It’s funny now but I have understood that same “So this is it?” kind of feeling more times than I would like to admit. The looking forward to it seems to trump the actual doing it.

I have gotten myself into some stupid predicaments trying to taste the proverbial honey. Feeling that there was something I was missing out on, something I was entitled to have and so I went for it. Abandonding all signs of intelligence I might have appeared to have, once upon a time.

It was wonderful while it lasted.  But you can only eat so much honey and then it is too much. You realize you can’t live inside the honey pot forever even when you have lived without it for so long. Honey is honey and too much of it is not a good thing either. It is sticky and very hard to get off of you once you have dipped your whole body into the batch! And so I find myself stuck more than I would like to admit.  I get so wedged in that I know that I am going to end up having to ask for help  in getting unstuck . I hate to ask so many times  but God always seems to send me answers to my pleas..

And  somehow I can always depend on being rescued.

I’d like to say I learn each time, But not always…. Sometimes I have to keep  learning the same lessons I need to learn, sometimes,                             over and over again…

And I know that I could have saved myself a whole ton of trouble                                                                                                                                                         if I had only figured out that giving me all the honey in the world may seem quite grand at the time and may even be what I think I really must have, what I need and want…

but I really do know….

That NOTHING compares to HIM!

How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! (Psa 119:103)

Working Hard For The Money


Soooo, a while back my daughter called me when I was at work and  asked me where I was. When I told her that I was working she said; ” Oh my poor mama.” and then sang to me; “Working Hard For The Money… so hard for it honey…”  in her beautiful voice. The other day… I heard another tune humming in my own head, … Cinderlla, Cinderlla… feeling very sorry for myself as I came upon this scene.  You see where I work, there are ten of these. And the five outdoor ones all look pretty much the same every morning, this time of year.

Those “guests” have no idea what they are asking, when they ask : why the outside tubs cost $4 more an hour to rent than the indoor ones!

Sigh… Big Sigh… Feeling very sorry for myself sigh…  This job is for a young kid or a man I think to myself as I trudge up and down the hills, under the tubs, messing with the gadgets and the workings below, turning the water on, turning it off, adding chemicals, testing, and recording and covering each one of them. It’s a lot more work than anyone ever considers so when you ask why do the outside tubs cost more per hour… I want to say… I will tell you why… in a little louder voice than I do…  However I just sweetly say, “Well, sir, the outdoor tubs require just a bit more maintenance. And that usually is sufficient. I mean it is just $4. Come on!

No really, I know that I am lucky to have a job and  when all of the leaves are cleaned out, it is a very beautiful place to work, among the nature and all. And I wear my fitbit (pedometer) to show myself the exercise I am getting.  On a good day I can usually walk out of there with at least 4 miles under my belt!

I used to be the Event Coordinator there, but that job was eliminated due to the economy. All of my bosses were let go through out the years that I have been there,  so I feel pretty blessed that they have kept me on. If you follow me at all, you know that I owned a little gift shop once upon a time and then lost it due to circumstances beyond my control, and so I realize that everything is relative.  I could feel sorry for myself and spend all of my time counting all my setbacks or… I could begin counting all of my blessings. One being… that in the end, when all is said and done,  I actually have the ability to make a tub look like this…

What I have really learned through my journey is this…life happens. No, crap happens. Sometimes you feel as if you get more of your share than others. I know, I’ve been there. But it is in how you handle the hard times that matter. Charles Swindoll said it best:  I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it…. I have to remind myself daily.

ATTITUDE

by

Charles Swindoll

 “The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.  Attitude, to me, is more important than facts.  It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think, say or do.  It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill.  It will make or break a company… a church… a home.  The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we embrace for that day.  We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way.  We cannot change the inevitable.  The only thing we can do is play the one string we have, and that is our attitude… I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Charles Swindoll

And sometimes at the end of the day, God rewards me with something much greater than any wage I could ever earn….

And so it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes”


Had to reblog this one! I mean really, if you have time to ponder something this morning… here it is.

Silent Journey

A friend of mine shared this with me. Its from the website marcandangel.com. Be prepared to think:)

These questions have no right or wrong answers.

Because sometimes asking the right questions is the answer.

1. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?

2. Which is worse, failing or never trying?

3. If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?

4. When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?

5. What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world?

6. If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?

7. Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing?

8. If the average human life span was 40…

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Scatter Rugs


We have had a box of flooring ready to be added to, for over two years. It seems as if there is always a bill to pay or something else that trumps over me getting my new carpet or wood floor. And so I have strategically laid scatter rugs to cover up all the horrid spots on our rug. Yesterday, my husband and I were moving our living room furniture around in preparation for company we were expecting. My husband told me that they wouldn’t notice. But I argued that their house was so beautiful and I was embarrassed. So we fevericiously went about our day of cleaning, focusing around those darn spots. And God forbid, finding spots on the scatter rugs!

We were actually having a good time laughing and joking as we positioned things just so. I had gone grocery shopping and was confident about the meal I had planned to serve. It was just those darn spots. My husband kept saying that they wouldn’t notice. It was our turn for our small group to come to our house for Bible Study and I was really stressing over it when my husband suggested, maybe we will get new carpet when we finally don’t care about the spots. You see, we had almost gotten new carpet several times but like I said something always got in the way of our plans.  It was the little thorn in my side.

That is when I began to really think about it. Our life has always been a little bit more of a struggle financially than I would have liked. We both were raised without really having to worry about money. And yet, in our adult lives it has always been an issue. Sometimes less than others but never really getting comfortable. And something dawned on me. I never really just let go and gave it all to God. I have always been leaning on my own values rather than HIS. I dont’ think I have ever let HIM really  carry anything if I am being honest here. And so I am leaning back and letting it all go. Everything. Financially, and every other aspect of my life.  I think that I have finally realized that I have to let go.  And…when it comes right down to it. It doesn’t really matter if spots are showing or I have a beautiful floor. For if  HE is there, my eyes won’t be on the floor.

Cheater Readers


The first time I noticed it, I was in the shower washing my face. I had purchased a new cleanser. It was a light green package with white writing on it. I was not sure if it was the water in my eyes or the small white print, but I decided that NO ONE could possibly read the instructions on that stupid package! Well, a few days later, I decided to pick up a pair of what my dad called “cheater readers” at the drug store and through those lenses I saw clearly. My heart dropped as I purchased a pair and felt very old. That was the first sign of old age. I had not appreciated my youth as much as I should have.

Today, as I walk down the stairs, I creak, when I get up after sitting for a while, it’s not so easy, my double jointed body is not so flexible and even though I have begun jogging again when no one is looking, I don’t think I will ever jump hurdles again. Nope, not even maybe. And back pain is just not something my mom tells me about. I am old. I am that older lady who gave me advice, once upon a time not too long ago, about appreciating my babies who have since grown up!

Time passes so quickly. I remember hearing about the aches and pains of the older artists that I did shows with, and thinking I would NEVER complain like that. I try not to, but NOW  I know what they were talking about! One decade you are wearing size 8 and the next, you are not! What happened? I have learned that it is life. But what do they say? fifty is the new forty? And sixty is the new fifty? Okay well that puts me in the mid forties! And I know, I know, age is just a number. But I have to admit, I am having trouble getting pumped up again. I have my floods of inspiration from time to time, and get on a roll and then slowly, go backwards again. Due to depression or just the negative way I look at things. But I guess if those cheater readers are going to help me see~ then so be it.

Recently, after going all the way up to 35o in the number on my last pair, I relented and went and got a perscription. I guess I was so bad that my doctor told me that if I had gotten in an accident, they could have sued me! They gave me a pretty blue case with a special cleaning spray and cloth and sent me on my way. And oh my, I must say that cleaning REAL glasses puts a much better slant on my view of things. Those cheater readers never seemed as clean as I can get the glass on my new pair.

Maybe there is a little lesson in that. Sometimes we fight and resist the things we know will help us and keep blindly going along until we just can’t anymore. We have two choices, to remain in the fog or reach out.  Finding God again has done that for me. Every verse has new meaning. Every story, a different lesson. And slowly, sometimes very slowly, I am beginning to see things a little more clearly. Who knew that my drawer full of cheater readers that I had lying all over my house could be replaced with one little pair.

Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him.  This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet: “Lord, who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”  For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere:  “He has blinded their eyes and deadened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn–and I would heal them.”  Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him.  Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue;  for they loved praise from men more than praise from God.
John 12:37-43

My “Thing”


Ever since I was seven years old, about a year or so after I learned to read, I knew I wanted to be a writer. I was one of the lucky ones. I really knew what I wanted to do when I grew up.

And then I forgot.

Life happened and slowly, my passion was pushed away. I remember wanting to be a stewardess for a while, and then going to school to be a Dental Assistant and actually being one for a year or so. And of course, I went through the wanting to be a model phase. (hence the portfolio pics you will find scattered through my blogs at times)  Then, going to college and thinking maybe I would be a Speech Therapist and taking classes that centered around becoming one, but then I met a boy, we got married, began a family and somehow life just happens and those dreams you had in the beginning just seem silly.

There was this one teacher, Mrs. Reed. (Funny that is my name now. But no relation.)  She was my English teacher, an older woman (ahhh probably about as old as I am now or maybe a teeensie bit older, argh!)   in my freshman year of High School and then every year after that till I graduated. I will never forget her. She saw something in me. She encouraged me and placed me in Independent Writing. I never took another real English class in High School after that first year, I just wrote for Mrs. Reed. Mainly poems. She critiqued them and taught me cadence and many other things I give her credit for. I can’t tell you much about adjectives and pronouns and I KNOW my punctuation is still horrible to this day, But… It was an amazing class.

Over the years, I have had a few people who stand out as encouragers when it came to my writing. My daughter and I were looking at a dog earred, yellowed letter that my dad wrote to me when I was sixteen that mentions my writing. She remarked about it and I was touched to remember. When I was a teenager, writing was my soft place to fall. My journals were tear stained places for me to escape. I am not sure how people go through those years without being able to write.

I find it puzzling and a little funny how people seem to get so defensive when they do not have the passion to write and I suggest that they try it. I have had so many comebacks from an innocent sentence made. Some have replied almost in anger that writing is not their “thing.” Hmmm now HOW am I supposed to take that? As an insult? Hmmm? 😉

I guess if someone loves to jump out of airplanes and you hate heights, no matter how much coaxing they do, you probably will never learn to love it or even try it. But hey, I am giving their position way too much leverage. Writing is not dangerous. Or is it?? But really, I guess I get it. If your “thing” is math, I promise you, that you will never talk me into majoring in it. But I feel that everyone has a story to tell. I love to go find the about button on each blog. It is like being invited into their living room as they share a part of their life with you.

People who know me, laugh at me because I am the inspiration for that little quip people say when you ask too many questions; “Are you writing a book?!” As to that I reply….   “Well, yes I am. Thank you for asking.”

I am a writer and writing is my thing. And you know what? I don’t find it silly at all.

The Scent Of Shopping


There is just something about the scent of shopping that calms me. I walk in the doors at Target and instantly my bad mood vanishes. Why is that? And I am not trying to be metaphoric when I talk about the scent of shopping, it is the kind that hits you like a rubberband and sends you right to that time in your life that makes you remember. My memory of shopping has always beeen a good thing. It seems as if I can always count on seeing something new or something that I “want” or “need” and as I drop it in my cart, a feeling of satisfaction follows it.

Maybe it is the memory of my dad and I shopping together. We always had the best times and I was dubbed his little shopping buddy. As a young child, he didn’t have a lot, though, as an adult, he quickly worked his way up through the ranks and was pretty successful.  I grew up in what you might call a privileged childhood. The window of my bedroom had an ocean view and I grew up not hearing the same discussions that my kids have had to, about money and the lack of it,  about bills, due dates and the arguments that sometimes followed…

My childhood had it’s issues but one of them was not money though I was not spoiled. I had an allowance and was taught the value of the dollar. However, I do remember oddly enough, the one thing my dad was worried about was retirement. He was always planning some new retirement investment and  even discussed his strategies with me. Unforunately, he died at 51 jogging around our beautiful neighborhood and never really got to relax and enjoy much of it , which made a big impact on me through the years.

I have never needed a lot. I always looked at price tags and would even tell my dad I didn’t like something if I thought it was too over priced. Even so…  I have an inkling that I have had lessons that I have needed to learn about the value of several differnt things in my lifetime. I am not sure what God is preparing me for but I have learned a lot by my own mistakes and the mistakes of my friends. I’ve had friends who had nothing as kids and then made it big and lost everything and have had a difficult time dealing with their lack of. Having nothing and then almost too much and then nothing again. Jesus is a story teller, he taught many lessons with metaphors. Perhaps, why I love them so much. But I figure there has got to be a lesson in here somewhere for me.

I have been reading the Prodigal God  http://eprodigals.com/the-prodigal-son/prodigal-god-tim-keller.html?gclid=CJWXqry_7LICFcV7QgodPxIAaQ And it is so timely for me! It is from such a different perspective. Not really about just forgiving the younger son. But Jesus was teaching a lesson about the older brother’s attitude more than anything. I have found myself in both places through out my life. I have been the Prodigal son, needing my Father’s forgivenss for squandering what I had foolishly and then also the Prodigal Brother, resenting what was given in what I determine as being  unearned.

I have been there a few times. Financially devestated, but by the grace of God, always having “just enough” Always working towards more and sometimes even getting it. But maybe that is the lesson.  God’s Word is like that scent, the familiarity of walking through the doors feeling the want and need rise up inside of me, always the chance to find something new. But how much do I drop in my cart? How much do I take with me out the door? I have finally realized I have been looking in all the wrong places to fill up my cart.

I don’t have to walk through the doors of a store with an empty shopping cart in anticipation of getting filled up, I can go back to that familiar place, the one that always seems to welcome me with open arms… and everyday, find something I “need” and “want.”

●The son said to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.”  (Luke 15:21) But the father said to his servants, “Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.  (Luke 15:22) Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate.  (Luke 15:23) For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” So they began to celebrate.  (Luke 15:24)

The Ring


The first time I got married, we bought our rings at Gemco. I still remember, they were just little bands of gold. Mine fit perfectly inside of his. Our Pastor made up a quick little off the cuff sermon about them when they were placed in his hand. Something about, how the circle was unbroken and how the man protects his wife. Well, that didn’t work out too well now did it? The circle was eventually broken and as for protecting… well my heart was shattered into a million pieces and so I think not.

I remember once after we had separated, I had taken mine off. It had been almost as painful as removing my actual finger. Over the years, after we were more financially stable,  he added to that little band of gold and had given me a beautiful diamond engagement ring  for Christmas one year. Several years later, the diamond fell out and I had been devastated  and stopped wearing it until we could replace the diamond. We never did. But I always wore that little band of gold. Always, till I didn’t.  I remember noticing that he still had his on long after we had separated and it kind of tugged at my heart in such a way, I still can feel it today. There is just something about a man wearing your ring after you have taken his off that gets to you.

I have since remarried and  was given a new beautiful diamond ring that I’ve worn since. It has weathered many years. Last year, the band broke, it had just worn down and split right in the middle. It kept pinching my finger and so I finally took it off. My husband (the giver of that ring) and I were going through some rough times and so it was kind of apropos. I placed it in my jewelry box and I remember feeling sad but kind of free. Though when I saw my husband wearing his ring, I felt that same pain that touched the core of my heart again. And yet, I reasoned that my ring was broken and so it remained in my jewelry box.

A ring has a lot of symbolism for many of us. We all probably could share a story or two about a ring  in each of our lives. I won’t go into exactly what was going on in my life, but I went ringless for almost an entire year. All I will say is that it was timely and pretty sympbolic. But every time I would see my husband’s ring on his hand, something struck me. Perhaps it was his loyalty and steadfastness, because no matter what happened, he kept that ring on.

Christmas was on a Sunday this last year. My husband had to work. We had done presents earlier because we knew we had to go to church and he would have to leave early from there to go to work.  I was not expecting it when he squeezed my leg to say goodbye and pressed a little velvet box in my hand. I looked down as he walked out of the church. I opened the box and there was my shiny diamond ring with a brand new band. I sat there holding it. Feeling as if I did not deserve the ring nor the husband.

It wasn’t as romantic as it could have been. He hadn’t stayed to slip it on my finger or even to see if I would do it myself. I felt kind of empty sitting there looking at it as he walked out the door. There I sat in church with my sweet daughter who had come for Christmas, sitting beside me. She knowingly watched me. she had known, been in on the “surprise” she knew too much as it was. I put on the ring and smiled at her. She smiled back. The singing stopped and we sat down to listen to the sermon. So much was going on in my head,  I don’t think I heard any of it that day.

Today I look at that ring. Several months have passed. Several emotions and conversations later and it still remains on that finger since I slipped it back on, in church that day. Yesterday, I was noticing that in all the rings I have ever worn, this one just seems to fit perfectly. Maybe it is the great job the jeweler did in fixing it, but just maybe it is the ONE that is supposed to be on my finger. The one that The best “REPAIRER” of  all rings and hearts and all good things is still working on.

Firehosed


Several months ago one of my managers asked me and another co-worker to sit in on a presentation for a new program for the place that I work. Currently the one we use for scheduling our client’s appointments, is pretty much pre-historic. There are a million clicks to get to one particular place, and I am sure that there are many more up to date, user friendly, ones out there. Each time I train a new employee, I realize just how much there is to teach them. When they look overwhelmed, I just tell them, “If >>I<<<< can learn it, ANYONE can! And for some reason they relax. What is that supposed to tell me? lol.  But in watching that presentation for the newer program we were looking at, I have to admit, I felt pretty overwhelmed myself.

The person giving the presentation used a clever term. He said, “Right now, it may seem as if you are being firehosed with information but you will learn it.” Okay so for me and my love for metahpors, I loved that! It describes so much in just that one word!  I have used that term since, when teaching our old system to new employees. Firehosed. Isn’t that good? Doesn’t that describe a whole host of things in our life where new information is concerned?

In This month’s magazine of The Writer there was a great article by Gene Perret http://www.amazon.com/Gene-Perret/e/B000APFQIQ called Write your book in bite-sized chunks http://www.writermag.com/en/The%20Magazine/Current%20Issue.aspx  It really is a great article.  It talks about how no one sits down and writes a whole novel. Everyone goes back and edits, rewrites a thousand times and then a thousand more. Somehow that made me feel better about the four chapters I have waiting for me right beside my almost finished book! ( By the way you guys following me… and know about my 100 post promise to myself,  this one makes 90 posts!)

Still Can’t Push Delete


Like a light turned on in the night

Warm and dim

Comfortable and yet still hard to clearly see

a tune caught in my mind

As I hum it’s melody

A message lost inside the blinking light

Though I no longer must rewind….

I still can’t push delete,

A scent wrapped up inside

memories left behind….

As once again, I breathe.

I need to taste

The fizz

 that quenches my deepest thirst

as I fill my glass to the brim

it stops short before it spills

The Prodigal Father


Oh Lord make me like the Prodigal Father,

steadfast, forgiving and strong ~

So that even when I have been wounded,

and I feel that I’ve been wronged,

Lord, You will help me to look the other way,

and celebrate the Love within,

that each time someone  says “forgive me”

that’s where I can begin.

Help me not to be like the older brother

Who resents his father’s grace

But Oh Dear Lord let me learn the lesson here,

in the mercy of your embrace.

By

Diane Reed

Each Day


Each day is a little less than the rest

As I resist ~only to grow even stronger.

The pain I have felt, in mornings past

is not first on my mind any longer.

As today releases yesterday’s fears,

the scent of my memories disappear~

Though always faint but just enough,

for me to know that you’ve been here~

My heart still smells the scent,

though someday in my mind,

perhaps you’ll be gone.

As you fade into a break in the dawn.

And  finally …

                                  I can move on….

By

Diane Reed

Jody


It all started with a phone call. We were young little skinny things. I was 26 and she was 35. We both had boys. And went to the same church. We happened to be cutting up fruit in a mutual friend’s kitchen who was hosting a friend of ours surprise birthday party who we both knew. We had individually offered to come early to help out.

We chatted shyly, not really knowing each other too well, asking all the “get to know you” basic questions back and forth. When the phone rang, she was closest to it, so she answered it.

I didn’t mean to eaves drop but I couldn’t help but overhear her side of the conversation. When she hung up, I was dumbfounded. “Was that your husband?” I inquired. She smiled and nodded. “Did he just call you to apologiiiiize?” I marveled.

“Yeah, she answered looking kind of embarrassed. “My husband would NEVER do that!” I said.  (And he wouldn’t have. Apologizing was not something he did easily. Let alone call me to do it!!! At that very minute, I wanted a husband like that!) It was a funny thing that caused us to really start talking.  Somehow it broke the ice. We started chattering and laughing and found out that we had a lot in common. And that is how our 29 year friendship began.

I have since had a daughter and changed husbands who by the way is the kind that apologizes and has called me many times to do it over the years. Our friendship has taken us on a path filled with many twists and turns caused by life, but the journey we have gone on together is one that I would never trade in a million years.

We have had a billion shopping trips, and learned to stretch many a dollar!

and have had some of the greatest “foodie” moments together ever!

We have gone through births and deaths,  and have become mamas and grandmas all  through the years we have shared.

We have been there for each other in the happy

and sad times and have prayed and cried together a thousand times over the years.She was in my wedding and did all the flowers, lugging them an hour away and not missing a beat, attending the rehearsal dinner and standing up for me. She has been a wonderful Auntie and Best Friend and I can’t imagine having gone through any of my life without her Having her share the journey has made my life better and I don’t doubt just how different it would have been without her.

Recently my daughter who is 24, and I were talking about friendships and she was kind of reflective and envying my relationship with Jody. And I told her that I hadn’t even met Jody for two more years when I was her age….and she thought about it. And I have no doubt that she will have a Jody in her life too! They just come along when you least expect them to, and you pretty much know it the moment you meet them.

 I have some amazing friends. I have been very blessed in my life.  But Jody really knows me and doesn’t judge me even when I am pretty stupid or grouchy. She knows all of my secrets and still loves me.  I love her like a sister.

 

I look back and remember that first talk in that kitchen long ago and realize that it was not by chance that we were there that afternoon almost 30 years ago, it was a Divine Appointment. And oh yeah,  that guy who called her? I love him too! A lot!

Just a few weeks ago…          “Auntie” Jody with me and my baby ~ who wasn’t even born when we met…