"Keep scribbling! Something will happen." Frank McCourt

Monday, November 24, 2014

Run Monday, here I come!

The Footprint

I am a kind person (most days), think of others (mostly), rarely curse (other than in my head) and never ever litter unless you count the supermarket receipt that escaped recently, flying out of my hand, hopping, skipping and jumping through parked cars until it got ran over by a rolling car. It didn't stop there. The receipt sprung back to life, roll away like a tumbleweed and into traffic. I let that one go because my grocery cart was parked on a hill, the wind was strangling me with my own hair and…I can’t run that fast.

Sometimes you gotta let go.
Anyways this brings me to the footprint—not the one in the sand, the footprint that we shouldn't leave behind, the ecological and global footprint. I love the earth. Never want to harm it, but who says I don’t want to leave a footprint when I die? That REALLY bothers me.  Do I want it to just disappear with me?

So if I may, I’ve decided to leave one footprint so I’ll be remembered. There will be good and bad associated with the footprint, just as I am good and bad. It will be a size eight with five toes in case you are wondering.

The Granddaughter

She’s about as perfect as they come. Perky and sweet. A talented dancer. Loves life and enjoys every single celebration we do as a family. Yesterday was her 11th birthday, but we celebrated her with a party, Friday evening.

Not too long ago, she wrote a birthday list for her aunt, Dr. Lovely Daughter. On the list she wrote that she wanted Barbie dolls and clothes, among other things.

She received many Barbie dolls. I gave her two Barbies myself and made her a few dresses. Why? Because the ones you buy are junk. (I also gifted her with a zebra butterfly chair.)

This sundress I made from fabric her great  great aunt, Belva Dugan, left behind. (BTW, this is one of the Barbies in our toy room, not one that I gave her.)

This one I made from a pillowcase that I happened to pick up at a thrift store. I have no idea why I bought a random pillowcase, except, I liked the print.

Then there's the wedding dress. Satan Satin makes me angry. Every time I made a mistake it became a part of the "new design". The last straw was when Millie grabbed it and ran. I chased and captured.

Let’s not mention the two straight pins I found in her mouth. I yelled at her like a hurricane roars, then I hugged her five times. I think there’s something wrong with my parenting skills.

The Writing
For one week solid, I typed nothing because after conferencing with an avid reader of YA, my daughter, she said I needed to get mean with my MC--give her harsh things to handle.

So I outlined again Twice in a Blue Moon, by hand. I didn't' know I could still do that--write on paper. (It now has a new title, more about that another time.) Writing with pencil (eww) helped me focus, too. None of that, OH you’re on your computer, stop typing and surf the Internet, dudette, instead of outlining your book.
The book is becoming more solid.

Lots of bad things are happening to my MC because she has a complicated life thanks to the adults in her world. Trust me when I say, it’s the adults who complicate the lives of children. (I'll probably end up hugging her five times.)
Wish I could tell you more about the storyline, but then I’d have to, you know—the killing thing.

You’ll find me Thursday, eating big, with my family and being sick that evening. Happy Thanksgiving!
May God bless you all!


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday Reflections: A Thanksgiving

"When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.  As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said,
'This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.'
Jesus replied, 'They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.'
'We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,' they answered.
 'Bring them here to me,' he said.  And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.  The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children." Matthew 14: 13-21 (NIV)
One of our student organizations decided to feed thirty of our district’s families with a Thanksgiving basket. I called a parent/guardians to see if they could use a Thanksgiving basket. There were no stipulations. No red tape. No proving who they are. No proving they are worthy of a free dinner. Each family who needed a meal on Thanksgiving Day gave thanks to me with an embarrassing measure of gratitude. I had to repeat that I was not the brain of the project only the tool and that they were welcome.
Voices that answered the phone, already defeated from getting a call from the school social worker, perked up when the dinner was offered.
Some said, “You have no idea what this means. “ (I thought, yes I do.)
One said, “I’ve lost my children’s social security cards.” I said, “You don’t have to prove anything.” (I thought, Jesus already knows you.)
It’s so easy to judge groups of people for whatever reason, but really is that our job as Christ's representative ? This coming holiday seasons, take your gift of plenty and share a little. You won’t be sorry.
May blessings of abundance and God’s peace be yours!


Monday, November 17, 2014

It's Miller, er Millie Time!

Millie comes home!
As of last Monday, Millie has owned me for seven months. She was nine weeks old (approx.) when I adopted her.

I had to wait until after my work day to pick her up. By then, Millie's littermates had gone home with their new people and she was all alone. From the back, I heard her hysterical screams.
I said, “Is that her?”
The shelter gal said, “Yes, she doesn’t like being left behind.” 

Another shelter gal brought her out to me, both looked at me, neither seemed impressed. The shelter gal showered her with kisses then handed her to me saying all kinds of ways I was supposed to care for her. I carried her to the car with two hands per instruction by the shelter gal who brought her to me, but one hand would have sufficed.

Me the owner—you the dog, I declared in my mind, on our drive home. Later I would find out that Millie was born with her own set of rules and most of them might be at tad bit selfish. I'm pretty sure at three pounds, she was thinking, "You the human, me your owner."

It was a miserable first-night for both of us. She didn’t like being away from her warm fuzzy siblings. I didn’t like puppy crying sort of reminded me of baby crying, which makes me sad.

Here are some things I may not have told you about Millie:

* On FB, there was a long line of (crazy) women that screamed (the internet way) for one of the puppies--any puppy. It was like I was at a James Taylor concert all over again. So…
* I got nervous when one of the shelter gals on FB said yes to the screamers in the internet crowd, that the puppies were still available. I thought they had all been spoken for. So…
*I messaged the shelter gal on FB, then emailed her, then called the next day to make sure I was in line to pick one out (with longish hair) that afternoon. She told me to stop worrying and relax. (I'm pretty sure I heard her whisper through the phone, something about a crazy woman before she hung up.)
*Millie and her sibs had a story. Millie’s mother and father (a Maltese and Shih-Tzu) somehow magically, unexplainably, got together and had six puppies. At six weeks of age, the owners felt like they couldn’t take care of two adult dogs and six puppies . Five were surrendered to the shelter, flea covered and bitten.

This you may remember. From the git go, Millie was sooo tiny, but mighty fast. She was also bitey, and I thought I was going to lose my mind.

Somehow we've made it this far in spite of her rules. She is the biggest clown and makes me laugh daily. Yesterday, she saw new weather in MO--snow. I wondered what rule was in place for pottying outside in the snow. Guess what? She loves snow! 

She forgot about pottying, forgot about taking her time while sniffing every piece of grass, rock and air particle, forgot about eating crisp leaves and neighborhood noises. She dove in head first (wished I'd taken a picture of that) like she was diving for pearls. Millie loved snow so much that every time she went outside, the snow was deeper and she tried to eat every bit of it, in her fenced yard.

Millie pointing her curly tail at you!
Millie would like for you all to know that she prefers hopping through the snow, eating the snow, sporting snow moustaches and freezing paws to...

...wearing her new coat and hood and posing for the camera. (New Millie rule: You can make me wear the coat, but you cannot make me smile for the camera.)
Aww, Millie, you goof ball.


Sunday, November 09, 2014

Sunday Reflection: Friending

All my life I’ve heard it said that churches are filled with hypocrites.  I don’t argue that statement. Others in attendance are: adulterers, gossipers, haters, liars, thieves, murderers, fill in the blank                                         .

Many people live lives inspired by Jesus's example, but some do not.

Jesus has always been a friend to messed up people, but when we truly follow Jesus, change should occur within our hearts and minds. We will show mercy over cruelty, love over hate and become a friend over foe. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13 (NIV)

Jesus proved his love and his friendship by dying for humankind and taking the sin of the world upon himself so that all  messed up people could, if they choose, be saved (John 3:16).

Rebuked by the self-righteous for being in the presence of sinful people, Jesus continued to love those who needed his love:
  • He dined with tax collectors and sinners. Matthew 9-9:13
  • He allowed a morally wrong woman to bathe his feet first with her tears and then with costly oils. Luke: 7:36-50
 “While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him.  When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Mark 2: 15-17 (NIV)

Christians aren't perfect, just being perfected for eternity. 
Oh Jesus, friend of sinners
Open our eyes to world at the end of our pointing fingers
Let our hearts be led by mercy
Help us reach with open hearts and open doors
Oh Jesus, friend of sinners, break our hearts for what breaks Yours.
(Jesus Friend of Sinners by Casting Crowns)



Sources and links: The lyrics in this song are poetic, speaking awesome truths.  Jesus Friend of Sinners sung by Casting Crowns

Monday, November 03, 2014

Murder or Divorce

First of all if anyone from Denise Covey's Blogfest, October Ghost Story, traveled here to read my ghost story on October 31, um it was not here. EVEN though I signed up and wrote it, I couldn't edit it the way I wanted before it was due to be posted. I'm pretty sure I will post it on at JW or at The Ruralhood, at some point. TBA.  I should have waited and posted Friends and Séances, since it's a ghost story. Why didn't I? Does anyone know?  
Sorry about that.
However, a really nice thing happened with Friends and Séances. Jerry Beuterbaugh, from As the Crackerhead Crumbles, offered up The Ruralhood as a blog to visit yesterday. It's like a virtual Sunday Drive post of which I think is brilliant.

About Writing
Sometimes, I watch those news magazine—crime documentary/shows, where they tell about a crime, give evidence, offer up suspects and often show the trial and its outcome.  Have you ever noticed how there are a lot of women--wives either disappearing or found murdered?  The husband is usually the first person they look at, as a suspect. (In my house, you should look at Millie. I mean--what IF the dog did it? Does anyone ever question those sweet faces?) When I discuss these cases with Dr. Lovely Daughter she nearly always says, “Divorce her, don’t kill her!” She's talking to the husbands, not me.
After watching shows about real life murder/mysteries, I conclude that if you are going to off your wife, here are some things to consider:
      A. Do not keep five million texts on your cell phone from your lover. Not Cool!
      2. Do not take out a large insurance policy on her just before she dies or disappears. 
      D. Practice your acting skills, before you dial 911, in a mirror or on a voice recorder.
 (Remember when Buzz McAllister said that in the movie Home Alone? A., 2., D. Yes, that’s random, but I knew you’d want to know why my bullets are wacky. It’s because of Buzz McAllister.)
When I read or write a mystery, I sometimes catch myself thinking, would this even happen? If you ever doubt your story idea, whether it’s too off the wall or if he/she would do something like that, just stop what you’re doing and join Mr. Google for a “news” trip. Seemingly, normal people make wrong and criminal decisions all the time.
Where there are people, there will be crime!
Here's some help on writing it the mystery way:
How to Write a Terrific Murder Part I by Karen Woodward (2014)
15 Tips for Writing a Murder Mystery by Elizabeth Craig  (2011)
About My Son
Well it’s been five months since my 36 year old son had a stroke. I thought I should update you. THANK YOU ALL FOR CARING SO MUCH. He still has memory deficits, trouble with producing the right word and some motor skill issues, but if you didn’t know him, you wouldn’t suspect he had a brain bleed in May.
He went back to work, but has since had to modify his work hours. By the end of the workday, he was so tired that the aphasia returned. His wife had suggested going back part time, but he (or maybe the boss—I don’t know) went for fulltime.
About Millie
Millie is doing well, sometimes a brute and a bully, but mostly sweet and funny. I am working on a big dog story about her. TBA
She's still working on wearing clothing and—moving her body at the same time.
P.S. Dear Millie, I bought you a winter coat today. It's going to be a long paralyzing winter for you. (Picture to come.)