MY BLOG

Inspiration, Living By Faith, Non-fiction, Uncategorized

Share Your World – July 24.2017

Cee’s ‘Share Your World’ challenge is a great way for bloggers to get to know one another better. If you’d like to participate, you can get the details HERE.

cropped-tea-cookies-on-apple-cloth-cropped.jpg

Question # 1: List some of your favorite types of teas.

My very favorite tea of all is English Breakfast Tea. I also enjoy Irish Breakfast Tea, and Chamomile Tea. I especially like Chamomile if I’m super stressed because it is a very soothing, calming drink.

Question # 2: If you had to describe your day as a traffic sign, what would it be?

I’m assuming this question means what kind of traffic sign would best represent what my day is like. That being the case, I’d have to say a “Yield” sign. That’s mainly because I’ve had several very stressful, problem-filled days this past week, and I know from past experience — and am being reminded again today — that the best way to deal with those days is to “yield” to the Lord and His promises. His Word says that we should cast all of our care on Him because He “cares for us affectionately and cares about us watchfully.” (1 Peter 5:6-7.) He has promised to deliver us from every evil and to heal us of every ill. So my job is to believe those promises and speak them over my life, yielding up my problems to Him so that He can solve them — and yielding myself to Him, knowing I’m coming out in victory.

Question # 3: What are a couple things people could do for you on a really bad day that would really help? 

Well, no matter what’s causing the bad day, prayer from friends who believe strongly in the Lord and His Word will always help. And, of course, in the same way that a mother’s kiss and a few of her home-baked cookies will help us when we are children — so a friend’s warm hug and a sweet treat prepared or purchased “just for me” always seems to help as well.

I’m reminded as I’m writing this of the first Christmas I faced after my mother’s death. I was in my early 30’s, but I felt some of the “little girl” coming to the surface during that first year without her. We had always been very close, and I missed her horribly. (I still miss her very much even 30 years later.) I was not actively grieving because I knew she was with the Lord Jesus and rejoicing in His presence. So I rejoiced in that truth. But my life had a very empty and lonely place nevertheless.

One day, just a few days before Christmas, a really good friend of mine came to my door unannounced with a gift — a plate piled absolutely full of all kinds of homemade Christmas cookies and candies. I was so surprised and delighted I didn’t have words. The specialness of the gift was not in the treats themselves, but in the fact that it brought a particular kind of comfort and love to me at that crucial time.

You see, all of my life, my mother had made loads of Christmas goodies every single year, and my sister and I found that one of our favorite Christmas experiences was working with her in the kitchen at those times — and then indulging in all those goodies for the next couple of weeks. In my sadness, I had not tried to bake or plan special menus during the holidays that year. I missed our special Christmas indulgences, but trying to make them myself just wasn’t the same. I think it was the love my mother put into making all of those things that had been the real blessing after all.

But when my friend handed me that plate, I felt the power of that same love. She had put together that gift as a special act of love for me personally, and that gift did more than anything else the whole year to make me feel less bereft and less hurt. It was almost as if my mother had sent her to me with those particular treats.

So even though it may sound a little trite to some people, the truth is that yes, in the midst of a really bad day or bad experience, sometimes just a little homemade cookie or fudge can change the whole atmosphere and direction of that day. It’s all about letting people know they are loved.

Question # 4: Regardless of your physical fitness, coordination, or agility, if you could be an athlete, what would you do?

Well, I have to admit that I am not big on athletics. I’m a person who walks briskly to help myself stay fit, but I rarely engage in athletic games. I like word games. However, I do enjoy playing tennis occasionally, and I really enjoyed archery when I was involved in it during my school years. I also loved dancing, and took several dance classes in college. But to say that I’d devote myself to any one of those things with the commitment and rigor required to be considered an “athlete” in that field would be stretching it a good deal.  So — I guess I’d just have to say I’d prefer to be a Scrabble or Bananagrams champion.

BANANAGRAMS GAME - PUB DOMAIN

 

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humor, Inspiration, Non-fiction, Uncategorized

Weekly Smile 81

It’s hot as blazes here where I live — heat index of 108 even at night — so, naturally, my thoughts turn toward Christmas. Well, to be honest, I think about Christmas a lot anyway. It’s my favorite holiday, and because my family always celebrated in a big way, we have lots and lots of wonderful memories and traditions that we still enjoy. I always smile when I think about any of them. I always smile just thinking about Christmas. I listen to Christmas music and watch Christmas movies all year long, and I have a website devoted exclusively to that holiday. If you’d like to visit, here’s the link: “Merry Christmas, World!”

Anyway, one thing that made me smile this week was this picture I took of this gingerbread house. I didn’t construct it. A friend of mine did: a man who had always wanted to make a gingerbread house, but never had the opportunity as a child and evidently didn’t feel it was a seemly thing to an adult man to do. But a few years ago, at the age of 54, he decided to purchase a kit and build himself a gingerbread house. I was so happy that he took that plunge. He enjoyed it immensely, and when it came time to deconstruct (i. e. eat) it, he made sure I was there and shared it with me. The photo still makes me smile.

ks-gingerbread-tight-trim1


 

To participate in ‘Weekly Smile’ visit “Trent’s World.”

Fiction, Flash Fiction, Short Stories, Uncategorized

Friday Fictioneers: 7/14/17

To participate in this week’s Friday Fictioneers, visit Rochelle’s site. The picture prompt below is the property of  Janet Webb.

 

BETRAYED BY TECHNOLOGY

He’d done it. He smiled at the perfect job. He’d left her lying across the bed with the pill bottle in her hand. And she hadn’t even suspected that he’d doctored her drink.

She did love to drink, and that had made it so easy. He smiled again as he leaned back in his easy chair savoring his success. Leaving the lone candle burning was an artistic touch. And his fake alibi was so tight, he’d never be suspected.

Now, to call Bernard and report his success. Reaching into his pocket, he froze. Where the hell was his cell phone?

 

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humor, Uncategorized, Videos

Weekly Smile 80

Well, this week I’m sharing a lot more than a smile. I’m sure no one can watch this video without smiling, but I have to tell you that I laughed out loud — several times. These delightful birds had so much fun in this fountain. Several of them got completely carried away shoving their heads down into the bubbling font where the water was flowing in. And then they just threw the water all over themselves. In a couple segments of the tape, one of the birds keeps stepping on another whose just below him in an effort to get higher up on the fountain itself. If you want an hour of rest, refreshment, and just plain fun, watch this. Or just watch part of it. You’ll be glad you did.

 


Visit Trent’s Blog to learn how to take part in “Weekly Smile.”

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Irreverent Valentines, Non-fiction, Uncategorized

Share Your World – July 10, 2017

Taking out some time to participate in Cee’s ‘Share Your World’ this week. Hop over to the link to get the details and share some of your own world.

Question # 1:  How do you like to spend a rainy day?

RAIN IN CITY - ENLARGEDI generally like to take advantage of a rainy day to do one of two things: read a book or write a book. Sometimes I just want to snuggle down with a hot cup of coffee and a great book and while away the whole day. Other times, I sit down to my computer and write, write, write. Either way, I guess you could say I have “storytime.”

Question # 2:  List at least 5 favorite treats.

  1. Trips to the Great Smoky Mountains
  2. Teaching someone about Jesus Christ or teaching someone how to do something that will make them happy.
  3. A book that captures my attention and won’t let go and makes me feel happy when I get to the words “The End.”
  4. Easy conversation and playing word games with friends and/or family.
  5. Chocolate
  6. Chicken Salad
  7. Coffee — especially with friends

Question # 3:  Where’s your favorite place to take out-of-town guests.

I very rarely have out-of-town guests these days. When I do, I like to take them with me to church. We don’t have any great scenic areas or historic landmarks in my neck of the woods, so I’d have to take them on a trip with me to offer them that kind of entertainment. Since they are already on a ‘trip’ to see me, another ‘trip’ isn’t appealing. So we usually sit and visit or stop by a local restaurant for a quiet meal — where we can also sit and visit.

But as I was thinking about this question, I started remembering the years my family and I lived in Nashville, Tennessee. Almost all of our family was from the northeast, so we had a lot of out-of-state visitors during those years. We liked taking them to a lot of different places, but I think the two most popular things on the list were President Andrew Jackson’s home the Hermitage, and the original Grand Ole Opry (at the Ryman Auditorium in downtown Nashville.)

HERMITAGE - JIM BOWEN - LICENSE - CCBY2.0
Hermitage: Jim Bowen – License: CCBY2.0

My sister and I sat down one time and tried to count the number of times we’d been to the Hermitage, and I think we came up with 17 visits in about 3 years. Of course we didn’t mind, because we loved the place: old ante bellum plantation with everything you’d expect to see there. Since I’ve always been fascinated with history, it was like a dream come true to spend hours there.

Question # 4:  You are trapped in an elevator. Who would you want to be trapped with?

I do not want to be trapped in an elevator with anyone at all!!!  And this question reminds me of a story prompt I use with my students from time to time in my creative writing classes. It is not my own prompt, but one that was passed along by another teacher. You suddenly find yourself trapped in an elevator with the one person you cannot stand to be around. Tell the story.

 

 

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Photos, Uncategorized, WP Daily Post Prompts

Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge: Bridge

I’m not an avid bridge photographer, but I do love to photograph rivers. And even though the bridge does not show in this picture, there is one here. I was standing on it when I made this shot. So I figure it counts.

Exif JPEG


Weekly Photo Challenge

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Fiction, Flash Fiction, Short Stories, Uncategorized, WP Daily Post Prompts

Daily Post Prompt: Jangle

The jangling of the bells gradually seeped into Garret’s unconsciousness and began to nudge him into a little clarity.  He listened for several moments before trying to open his eyes. When he finally lifted the heavy lids, the light seemed blinding and pain shot through is head at the entrance of that light. He immediately shut his eyelids again and groaned.

Unfortunately, the groan itself caused more pain in his head. He was lying flat on hard ground, and he tried to lift his right arm to touch his head and see if he could determine what was wrong. He did manage to get his arm up, but it felt so heavy, he didn’t bother to take it all the way to his head.

The jangling sound was coming closer, and he wondered why the sound itself didn’t cause him more pain. Maybe because it was very low-toned and rhythmic. It reminded him of something, but he couldn’t think what.  In fact, he felt as if he couldn’t think much of anything.  That scared him, but before he could delve into that problem, a gentle voice spoke to him, and a soft hand touched his shoulder.

“Mister, are you alive?”  The voice sounded young, but masculine. He opened his eyes again and, in spite of the pain, managed to roll his eyes to the side enough to see a young boy — perhaps twelve or thirteen — kneeling beside him on the ground. He spoke again. “Oh, you are alive. Thank goodness. Can you move?”

Garret put all his strength into slowly moving his head toward the boy and forcing out the words. “A little.”

The boy heaved a sigh of relief. “You’re not far from my house. I’m on my way home with our cows now, and I will tell my father. He will come for you and help you.”

Garrett gave a small nod of his head, but stopped immediately. Too much pain. So he croaked out his thanks and closed his eyelids again. The young boy patted him on the shoulder and rose, calling to his cows.  As he did so, the jangling sound, which had been intermittent during the conversation with the boy, now began its rhythmic music again as the herd evidently obeyed the boy’s command.

During the wait for the boy’s father, Garrett slipped in and out of consciousness, but his periods of lucidity were longer now and more clear. The pain had dulled a little, and when he heard an engine approaching, he took heart and even lifted his head slightly to look that direction. Pain seared him, but he took courage when he saw the old truck.

The farmer had his young boy with him, as well as another grown man. They stooped down and the second man spoke. “I was a medic in the army, sir, and I’m going to try to check you before we try to get you up.”

“Thanks,” Garrett managed to whisper. The young man began to feel Garrett’s arms and legs and press on his abdomen, checking for broken bones or internal injuries. As he worked he reported that he was fairly sure Garrett had a concussion, and that one leg was broken and a shoulder dislocated. But with the help of some splinting materials he had brought along, he felt it was safe to get Garret up and into the truck. They had already phoned the doctor before leaving the house, and he’d promised to come out to the farm when he was finished with hospital rounds.

During the transfer to the truck, Garrett lost consciousness again, but when he was finally lying flat and had a cold cloth on his head, he came to. “Can you tell us your name, Son,” the farmer asked, as he sat beside Garrett in the truck bed for the trip.

Garrett opened his mouth, but nothing came out. He couldn’t find a name — no name at all. He couldn’t find any identity in his conscious mind. He turned fear-filled eyes to the farmer.  “No sir,” Garrett said.  “I don’t know my name … I don’t know who I am ….”



Daily Post Prompt: Jangle

 

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Fiction, novels, Uncategorized, WP Daily Post Prompts

Sail Away With This Mystery Romance

SIM. ST. INNOCENT FRONT AM. COVER2Well, naturally, I can’t pass up an opportunity like this. Today’s Daily Post Prompt is the word “sail.”  And it just so happens that the main character in my mystery novella Innocent Until Proven Guilty — Homicide Detective Simon Stone — loves to sail. And even though he suspects Deanna Forbes of murder, he can’t deny his deep attraction to her, so he invites her to go sailing with him on his boat, the Blue Swan.

As their relationship grows, Simon finds himself torn. One part of him wants to love and trust this woman who is the first to ever capture his heart. But another part of him fears that somewhere deep inside Deanna beats the heart of a possible killer. Can he solve the crime before he falls too deeply into the ocean of love? That’s the question that keeps readers turning the page.

Innocent Until Proven Guilty is Book 1 in the Simon Stone Detective Series: On target, quick-read novellas for the busy reader who still wants to enjoy stories of mystery and romance. Available on Amazon in Paperback right now, but coming in digital this week!

 

 

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Humor, Poetry, Uncategorized

Echo?

I have no good excuse for this bit of ridiculous whimsy. I was just in the mood to write some cinquain, and when I put my fingers to my keyboard, this is what came out.

MOUNTAIN CLIMBER edited for blog

 

ECHO

I stood
On mountain top
And called out loud, “Hello,
I’m looking for my one true love;”
Then heard:

“Hello,
I’m looking for
My one true love.”  — Oh, joy!
My heart was sure I’d found my love
At last.

And so
I called again
And once again reply
Came loud and strong; that lovely song
Came back.

So then
I walked around
But stopped on ev’ry side
And called my heart’s desire and heard
Reply.

Alas,
I spent the day
And grew quite hoarse in throat
But never found the love who called
To me.


 

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Humor, Inspiration, Living By Faith, Non-fiction, Uncategorized

Weekly Smile 78

This week on “Weekly Smile” Trent sparked my memory about a post I did a little over a year ago concerning smiling. So I decided it would be a good time to dig it out of my archives and give it another run. I need to follow the advice in my own post more often. Hope it’s an encouragement to everyone else out there.

 

COW WITH SMILEY EYES

When your smile is sincere, it will always show in your eyes.

Would you like to try a happiness experiment?  Some of you may have tried it when I posted about it previously. But it never hurts to repeat something that has positive results. You can carry out this experiment on any day you choose, but if you start early, you’ll have more time to accumulate results.

Here are the steps:

  1. Make it a point to smile all day long – at every person, at every animal, and at yourself every time you look in the mirror.
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  2. Every time you talk to someone (no matter what the topic) make it a point to say something positive to that individual.
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  3. Deliberately stop 7 separate times and thank God out loud for some blessing in your life.
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  4. At the end of the day, take stock of how you feel and record the results of the experiment.

 

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Poetry, Uncategorized

Seasonal Cinquain

SEASONS CLIP ART PUB DOM VECTORS.ORG
publicdomainvectors.org

 

Summer:
I don’t like it.
If I had my own way,
It would be relegated to
One month.

Winter:
I feel the same
About this season too.
If only I could make the call —
One month.

Springtime:
Well it’s quite nice.
The fragrances so sweet,
Gentle breezes, warm sun, new life —
Two months.

Autumn:
My favorite!
Skies crystal blue, crisp air,
Gold leaves, spice scents, and holidays —
Eight months!

 

 

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