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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Good-bye, May

This has not been my best month. Feels like I've vacillated between hiding in the proverbial (occasionally literal) basement and drooling at Bubble Spinner. Those may be the same thing.
It needs to stop.

Maybe the world is ending, but if it isn't, I don't want to waste a bunch of time expecting it to. It's like saving for retirement. Yes, it's better to start early, but the point is often just to start. Let compound interest work its magic for however long you have. You may end up with more than you think.

I talk big, but we'll have to see how well I apply. I'm a fretter, after all. Aggressive chewer and such. It's hard for me not to notice the house burning down around me.

First change: no more Bubble Spinner. Or Spider Solitaire, for that matter. I can't afford the time and I can't afford the loss of brain cells. I'll take this one day at a time. Should I approach the keyboard for anything frivolous, I will slap my hand and go do something else. Like exercise.

That should stop me.

TT: You're wondering about FV, aren't you? Oddly enough, FV is not my problem. My max time wasted there most days is an hour. I spend way more time brain dead in Mindjolt.

Second change: resume writing. I've been dancing around my mss all month, nibbling at it here and there but not really taking that serious bite. If I'm going to write Past Ties, it's time to just do it. June should be warm, quiet and lonely (as all my friends are off on vacations and whatnot) - a perfect combination to get serious if I can. If I can't, I'm scrapping Past Ties and choosing something else. Maybe a sequel. Anything to remind myself I'm serious about writing books. It's not like I don't have 10 other ideas sitting in my file cabinet awaiting my attention.

June is my "get busy living or get busy dying" month. I've got the dying part down. I need to remember how to live.

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Weekend

It's almost here.

Weekends are hard for me lately. I love being able to sleep whenever I want, but I feel aimless and sad sometimes.

I'm sure the world has something to do with it. I'm one of those kooks who believes Jesus will return in my lifetime. Not last Saturday, obviously, but the Bible seems pretty clear that one of these days, Jesus will come back (I'm also one of those kooks who believes the Bible is accurate and reliable both as a historical resource and a prophetic utterance. I know. Really weird).

Anyway, as I look around, trying to "see the signs" as Jesus tells us in Matthew 24 and Mark 14, I wonder just how much longer any of us will be here. Being a naturally melancholy and apathetic personality, I wrongly go to the "what's any of it matter, then?" side of the argument and go back to bed.

Douglas Adams would be proud.

What I should do is grab my Bible and walk the neighborhood telling people about the saving grace of Jesus Christ. But I'm just not that kooky yet. Besides, I hate being stared at.

Numerous times in the last year, I've muttered to God, "I don't want to see the end of the world." I'm reminded of that scene between Frodo and Gandalf in The Fellowship of the Ring. You know the one.

"I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened," says Frodo.
"So do all who live to see such times," says Gandalf, "but that is not for them to decide. All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is left to you."

That is the decision. It's really the only decision I ever have.

Teach me to count the days, Lord, and to make the days count.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Aggressive Chewer

Recent events have me ranting over at Old-Fashioned Thoughts. If you're up for a good political rant with a hint of sarcasm, feel free to stop by. I'll warn you, I make Rush Limbaugh look sane.

I'm hoping for a quiet weekend, in all meanings of the word. Perhaps grilling with Elder Brother and WGR (hint, hint), some yard work, hanging with friends. I might go crazy and install that ceiling fan that's been sitting in my basement for 7 years.

TT: The only reason I haven't done it yet is I'm not entirely sure how to anchor it properly. I'd hate to have it fall on one of the cats in the middle of the night. For so many reasons, I would hate that.
Otherwise, electrical stuff is mostly matching colors. And turning OFF the electricity before you start.

I'm hoping to write, too. Writing has been sadly lacking in my schedule.

I'm the unfortunate soul who cannot concentrate on more than one thing at a time. This last month has been all about "things other than writing," like tornadoes, a President who supports Palestine over Israel publicly and adjusting to a new family member.

Um, one of those things is much more fun than the other two, but still technically "stressful."
Wondering about my post title yet? Here's the explanation.

I wear a mouthpiece at night because I grind my teeth. During one of my check-ups, my orthodontist made an off-hand comment about "aggressive chewers." I could tell he immediately regretted the comment when he looked at my mouthpiece. See, it takes a lot of effort for a turtle to maintain this calm, collected facade. Effort that gets channeled into biting things while she's asleep. Yet another reason I'm not married.

For anyone else who suffers neck pain, back pain and mouth pain after waking, I highly recommend talking to an orthodontist. That bit was expensive but it's worth every penny. I've set money aside for a new one when I finally bite through this one.

If life doesn't calm down, I'll be needing it soon.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Word of Thanks

Since our weatherman won't say it, I will. Thank you, Lord, for protecting Kansas during yesterday's storm outbreak. I appreciate the pass.

Thank you, Lord, for limiting the damage in other states. That's hard to imagine, but I know things can always be worse than they are. Thank you for the lives that were spared, and thank you for the miracles we will discover as the days move one.

Thank you, Lord, for the outpouring of compassion on the victims. Thank you for moving your people to render aid and speak your words of love and healing. Grant them strength in the days ahead as the extent of loss becomes more real. Shower us all with your mercy and compassion.

Thank you, Lord, for raising up real leaders in our time of need. I'm not always sure who they are, but these kinds of events give them a chance to show themselves. Thank you for bringing good out of evil.

In case I haven't mentioned it lately, Lord, you rock! Thank you for being Yourself.

Thank you, Lord, for providing friends who demonstrate your love and compassion. Thank you for putting them in my life to support me. Help me to support right back. 

Most importantly, thank you for putting up with my lack of faith. Thank you for treating me with compassion instead of the destruction I deserve. Thank you for showing mercy instead of judgment. Help me to follow your example, today and for the rest of my life, however long You want that to be.

Blessed be the name of the Lord!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


This spring has seen some record-breaking severe weather. Numerous cities across the country have been devastated by tornadoes, fires and floods. Hundreds of people are dead because of natural disasters in the US alone.

I personally believe our nation is under judgment, by which I mean God has lifted His protecting hand because we keep pushing it off. I don't blame God for creating disasters. I thank Him for lessening them.

I wish the rest of the world would start thanking Him. I'm very tired of hearing "luck" get all the gratitude when a storm misses a town by a mile or two. Or when the only part of a house still standing "happens" to be the closet where the family was sheltered.

Do you really believe luck saves people? I don't. God saves people.

Please thank Him for such miracles. Out loud. Where other people can hear you. Our country needs a good reminding dose of Who our very present help in times of trouble is.

His name is God, and He is good. Maybe when we resume acknowledging that, He'll feel welcome to restore protection for our nation.

I don't give us much of a chance without Him.

Friday, May 20, 2011

God Bless Israel

Seems them's fighting words.
I want God to bless Israel. I want peace in Israel.
I do not want peace at any price.
Stand firm, Israel. God Himself is on your side.
If we have half a brain, so are we.
May God bless Israel and keep her and give her peace. May God grant wisdom to her leaders. May God protect His people Israel. May He be glorified in His actions toward them.
God bless Israel.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Weird Dreams

All kinds of weird dreams this week.
I don't remember most of last night, but it involved dismemberment and it was bad enough I woke myself up to change the dream channel. Lucid dreaming comes in handy. I'm such a control freak I won't let my own subconscious run amok. What hope do the cats have?
Is it the moon? Spring? Politicians?
Don't know. Should probably put a notebook on the nightstand, just in case.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sheer Lunacy

I have to stop assuming curled up, sleeping Mica of 9 PM will be curled up, sleeping Mica at 2:30 AM. It just doesn't happen.
This morning, she pulled me out of a tasty dream about a buffet line filled with wonderful food combinations like chili and chocolate syrup. After sleep-escorting the cat to her basement quarters, I lost my beautiful buffet line and finished the night dreaming I was a geriatric werewolf killing the occupants of a hunting lodge while battling rheumatism.
I did notice a full moon last night.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Dead Animals

One of the new "blogs I follow" posed a question yesterday: why do people get upset when animals die in books? His books, specifically.
Since he claims to kill an animal in almost every book he writes, obviously it doesn't bother him a bit.
TT: Does make me wonder why he feels it's important to kill an animal in every book...
Judging by the nasty emails he gets, it bothers his readers. He seems genuinely puzzled as to why.
In college, a youth minister in training came to me one day shaking his head over a teen in one of his groups who was upset because a hamster died (or something equally "small"). He couldn't understand getting upset over a hamster. He obviously thought the whole situation a bit amusing.
I assured him it was not.
"You're going to deal with a lot of situations in ministry where people hurt because of things you find silly. The pain is real, whatever the cause. Don't treat the problem; treat the pain."
TT: My course of study was therapy.
I hope he listened. 
For this puzzled author of animal demise, it doesn't matter that killing animals doesn't matter to him. What matters is how many readers will stop reading his books (and possibly warn off others) because of it.
My head agrees that dead humans should be more important than dead animals. My heart cares more about the animals. It isn't rational. It's emotional. Pull that heart string for little or no reason and you will trigger the unintended consequence of revoking all trust I have for you. If I don't trust you, I won't read your stuff.
I've promised my readers before, and I say it again: I do not kill animals in my books. If it has a name, or you've connected with it in some deliberate manner during the course of the story, it will not die. Not permanently, anyway. I might play on transformations or resurrections or, oh, all kinds of things, but it won't die senselessly or just to prove the situation is serious. Animals are not Red Shirts to me.
Maybe this turns off some potential readers. I'm totally okay with that.
I've sent a score of my real beloved companions on The Long Step. Every time ripped out a piece of my soul and sent it to the other side. Some pieces are bigger than others, but none of them will ever heal in this life. I won't do that to my readers, not even with fictional animals. I can't.
And I can't read it when someone else does it.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Have you ever been alone in someone else's house? Not just while they go to the car to get groceries, but good and alone, where there is no hope they'll walk in the front door or call?
TT: I suppose if you're a thief, the answer is "yes."
Those who read Monday's NAF post know I watched the nieces last week. I stayed at their house because it was easier.
Weird thing happened. Something was out of place and it was me. 
TT: We used to "house sit" overseas, but I was young enough that all places were equally weird/common to me. I credit mom with making all houses home.
More than once last week, I walked around in the dark muttering, "They have to have (fill in the blank). I mean, they're human. They're American. They're the same socio-economic strata as me (probably higher). Everybody has this. Where would they put it?"
Some things I found; some I didn't. I'll ask about those privately. Maybe.
The little differences were most unsettling. The absence of some things I consider essential (a radio, for example. If one exists in that house, it's so high-tech I can't recognize it). The presence of some things I don't use (bread). An abundance of items that may as well not exist (three remotes for a TV I can't figure out how to turn on, let alone channel change).
Yep, I was a turtle out of her swamp.
I survived. The nieces didn't even notice. They were asleep during my displacement moments, not that they could have answered my questions, probably. They don't pay much attention, either.
Anyway, displacement is over for now and vacation is done. Hopefully, life in a more normal sense can resume.
What is normal?
Not wondering where the Kleenex is, for a start.
Thanks for trusting me in your house, Elder Brother and WGR. I tried to leave it better than I found it.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sour Soy

Noticed this morning my soy milk expired April 13. Wonder if that has anything to do with my upset stomach and constant, nagging nausea this last month? Or that funny taste in my tea. I blamed the tea.  Even bought a different brand.
Oi. Down the drain went the soy milk. I'll get some fresh later.
You'd think I would have learned this lesson. Expired lemon juice nearly killed me a few years ago (flu and food poisoning are not a happy combo). 
To be fair, who expects bean juice to go bad? Not this turtle.
In memorial to my stupidity, go check your fridge, dear reader. Don't blame the tea.