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Friday, July 29, 2011

Some Stories

Here's a famous one.

Grandma Turtle had a duck pond. Some of her ducklings disappeared. One day, she noticed a duckling with a bite taken out of him. She grabbed her hoe and went poking around the pond. She dragged up a giant snapping turtle and whacked his head off with the hoe. 

TT: Normally, this story should make me sad for the turtle, but I've heard it so many times, it's a legend. And it speaks volumes about my grandma.

When I was about five, mom and dad took a cruise. Grandma came to our house to watch us while they were gone. House of Wax with Vincent Price was on spooky theater at 10 PM and I begged her to let me watch it. I don't know why. I guess I liked Vincent Price. I convinced her that mom would have no trouble with me staying up past my bedtime to watch it (two lies). I didn't get more than 15 minutes in before I got so scared, I hid under the covers. "Well, if you're not going to watch it..."
Grandma turned off the TV.

I still haven't watched the original.

Before they retired, grandma and grandpa lived on a farm. We often went out to visit in the summer. One time, I got an enormous cattail sliver in my palm. I was young, so maybe it wasn't that big. But grandma had to take it out, and she did, bless her, with me screaming at the top of my lungs the whole time. My brothers wisely vacated the area during the procedure.

Last one for today.

The only game of tiddlywinks I ever played was against Grandma Turtle. She won. When I started to whine, she leaned in close and said, "If you're old enough to play, you're old enough to lose."

Words of wisdom from the salt of the earth.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

So Much

Funny how life gives you long stretches of nothing and then everything seems to hit all at once.

I have a new job.

I haven't started yet, but I have given notice and I'm counting down to the end of the old and the start of the new. It seems I'm sorrier to leave them than they are to see me go. It's a good reality check to know I'm not irreplaceable. Hard on the ego, of course.

And Grandma Turtle died this Tuesday. I'll write more about that later, but it's a bit too fresh yet to process. Mostly I just cry and stare at the wall in the troughs and focus on getting ready for my new job at the crest of the sorrow wave.

Sorrow comes in waves, you know. You just have to ride them out and hope you don't throw up.

Grandma would smack me in the head for being silly about crying. I know she's happier with Jesus. But, unless the world ends or I die in a bus accident, it may be a long time before I see her again. That's a hard thought.

So I'm a bit more absent-minded than usual, and I'm not hearing as well as I did a few days ago.
I'd appreciate your prayers. You know I'm praying for all of you.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Friday, July 22, 2011

Can't Win for Losing

On the off chance my mid-nightly awakenings were caused by changing my alarm time (and forgive me for wanting an extra half hour), I changed the alarm back to 4:25. It kinda worked.

I woke up at 3:36.

Hey, that's an additional hour and twelve minutes. I won't complain.

The heat is getting to everyone at the Turtle household. Cats and dog not eating like usual. Cats and dog throwing up food for no obvious reason. Everybody melted over furniture or puddled into carpets, as if 82 degrees in the house is unreasonable. It's not unreasonable.

Heck, if it were only 82 degrees outside, I'd have the windows open. How would they like that, I wonder?

I shared a "funny" on FB the other day. One of those church signs: "Satan called - He wants his weather back."

That's no joke.

I hope you are praying for some heat relief. Satan may be lord of the air, but he can't lift a finger without God's permission. It's possible we're only enduring the heat because we haven't asked the One who made the weather to have mercy.

God is merciful. I thank Him for that daily.

Which also reminds me... I hope you're aware of the call to fast and pray for the nation taking place in Austin, TX on August 6. It is about time some non-church leaders stood up and reminded us all that God is in charge. I won't be in Austin, but I will be praying. Please join us. God will hear us, if we ask.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Magic Number

At my house, this week anyway, the magic number seems to be 224. As in 2:24 AM. That's been my wake up time for the last four days.

I don't know why. Part of it could be the A/C kicking on. Two times seemed to be Mica having a very loud freak-out in the basement.

I planned everything to make my sleep as trouble-free as possible last night, and what should happen but Caleb -my perfect cat-dog who never gives me any trouble- woke me up at 2:24 AM.

It's a conspiracy. I'm sure of it. Don't know who's planning it, but I'm sure there's someone.

I wouldn't mind waking up then so much were I able to go back to sleep, which, so far, I really haven't managed.

TT: A friend once told me she loved waking up in the middle of the night because she'd get all excited about how much longer she had to sleep until she needed to get up. Glass half full, I guess. I wouldn't really know anything about that.

Well, I'm not excited about 3 hours of wakefulness in the dark.

My eyes are so red I'm wondering if I've been swallowing jello shots. The heavy glasses prescription doesn't help. My thick lenses magnify everything into "HELLO! MY EYES ARE RED! HOW ARE YOU?"

I think it mostly has to do with the heat. The A/C appears to kick on for the first time around 2:24 AM and then I go through too cold (while it's blowing) to too hot (when it stops and my covers turn into potholders). Not much I can do about that.

In the meanwhile, I pray when I wake up at night, so if you have any pressing issues you'd like me to present to the Big Guy on your behalf, let me know.

Not like it's out of my way.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Made Me Laugh

I totally stole this from an email, but it made me laugh.

It's so hot and dry in Kansas
…the birds have to use potholders to pull the worms out of the ground.
…the trees are whistling for the dogs.
…the best parking place is determined by shade instead of distance.
…hot water comes from both taps.
…you can make sun tea instantly.
…you learn that a seat belt buckle makes a pretty good branding iron.
…the temperature drops below 95 F (35 C) and you feel a little chilly.
…you discover that in July it only takes two fingers to steer your car.
…you discover that you can get sunburned through your car window.
…you actually burn your hand opening the car door.
…you break into a sweat the instant you step outside at 7:30 A.M.
…your biggest motorcycle wreck fear is, "What if I get knocked out and end up lying on the pavement and cook to death?"
…you realize that asphalt has a liquid stage.
…the potatoes cook underground, so all you have to do is pull one out and add butter.
…the cows are giving evaporated milk.
…farmers are feeding their chickens crushed ice to keep them from laying boiled eggs.
…the Baptists are starting to baptize by sprinkling,
...the Methodists are using wet-wipes,
...Presbyterians are giving rain checks, and
...the Catholics are praying for the wine to turn back into water!

Friday, July 15, 2011


I'm officially an idiot.

I've been cleaning and cleaning: washing curtains, treating carpet, bleaching the tub in a frantic attempt to find and remove the source of that pervasive, oniony smell in my house.

All the while, I've been putting kitchen scraps into my kitchen compost bin. Only this morning did I remember putting onions in the compost bin earlier this month. Source of the smell? Huh. Maybe.


Anyway, the compost bin got dumped outside and cleaned this morning. Let's hope that solves the problem, shall we?

Normally, I empty it immediately following an onion deposit. Must have gotten distracted.

Which reminds me, if I don't thaw some chicken, I'll be eating chocolate for dinner.

Like that's a problem. Or a novelty.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Facebook Fun

I love these things. I love to talk about myself, and this is a socially acceptable way to do it without being accused of overt arrogance. I tagged a few folks my as-yet-breakfast-deprived brain thought of, but my apologies if I missed you. Feel free to copy and paste to your Notes. Just tag me, OK?

1. What time did you get up this morning?

2. How do you like your steak?
Medium rare but I prefer turkey

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema
That really stupid new vampire movie based on a comic book and sort of old West meets Eastern Catholic? My not remembering the name shows my utter contempt for it.

4. What is your favorite TV show?
Stopped watching TV when NBC cancelled their newest Christian Slater/Madsen Amichek series after two episodes. Rot in the third ring of Hades, NBC execs! You don't own me anymore!

5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
Kansas, but with a reinforced basement tornado shelter. Gotta get me one of those.

6. What did you have for breakfast?
Haven't decided yet. I went to the store last night and I have SO MANY CHOICES! Maybe a little of everything.

7. What is your favorite cuisine?
Chinese food, with American ingredients but Chinese techniques.

8. What foods do you dislike?
Things that make me bloat.

9. Favorite Restaurant?
Taco Bell

10. Favorite dressing
Raspberry Vinaigrette

11. What kind of vehicle do you drive?
Suzuki Grand Vitara. I pretend it's a Subaru Outback.

12. What are your favorite clothes?
Anything that hangs without pinching. Bras are not on this list.

13. Where would you visit if you had the chance? 
Hershey PA before they moved the factory to Mexico. But I'm not going to Mexico just to smell chocolate-scented air.

14. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full?
1/2 empty

15. Where would you want to retire.
Don't plan to retire but Arizona's dry heat sounds better every year as the arthritis encroaches.

16. Favorite time of day?
"any time it's quiet." Hear, hear, Caprice!

17. Where were you born?
Topeka KS

18. What is your favorite sport to watch?
Gymnastics. Those people are crazy.

19. Who do you think will not tag you back?
Rachel. She's too busy being Wendy in Peter Pan. 

20. Person you expect to tag you back first
Good question.

21. who are you most curious about responses?

22. Bird watcher?
More of a listener. I stop for sounds and don't start again until I find the source. Rather annoying, actually.

23. Do you consider yourself attractive?
Absolutely! You're reading this, aren't you? I rest my case.

24. Pets?
So, so many.

25. Any new and exciting news that you'd like to share?
shhhhhh. Not yet.

26. What did you want to be when you were little?
a dog.

27. What is your best childhood memory?
My cat Sugar riding on top of the car because she was so mad at my mom for yelling at me. We stopped the car, Sugar got in and nuzzled my face until I got to school.

28. Are you a cat or dog person?
I'm guessing "cat," although I claim to like both.

29. Are you married?
No. I do wear a wedding ring but it was my grandmother's.

30. Always wear your seat belt?

31. Been in a car accident?
Several. I was driving for only one and my car stalled while turning left. Could have been killed (my car was aluminum) but the other driver had good reflexes and I'm pretty sure an angel stepped between us.

32. Any pet peeves?
So, so many. Oh wait, pet PEEVES?

33. Favorite pizza topping?
Not allowed to eat pizza anymore, but when I did it was hamburger.

34. Favorite Flower?
Buttercups. Duh. Actually, I love smelly flowers: marigolds, roses, peonies, hyacinth.

35. Favorite ice cream?

36. Favorite fast food?
Taco Bell 5 layer beefy burrito. I shouldn't eat them, but, oh, how I love them.

37. How many times did you fail your driver's test?
I don't remember failing, although I remembering thinking "I should have failed. Why didn't I fail? I don't want to drive!"

38. From whom did you get your last email?
Newsmax. chuckle.

39. In which store would you choose to max out your credit card?
Make Dave Ramsey proud. Say "no" to credit.

40. Do anything spontaneous lately?
I hope not.

41. Like your job?
I really do.

42. What was your favorite vacation?
Summers at my relatives' cabin in the Ozarks, before it got all commercial.

43. Last person you went out to eat with?
my brothers and their women. hmm. That could be a book title. 

44. What are you listening to right now?
American Family Radio. Nicole Spawnberg, I think.

45. What is your favorite color?
Cobalt Blue

46. How many tattoos do you have?
none. Scared of needles. And pain. And bloating.

47. Coffee drinker?
I hate coffee, but I've learned to appreciate a white chocolate mocha latte with a shot of cinnamon. It tastes almost nothing like coffee.

48. How many children do you have?
No human children.

49. Pick one super power... what would it be??
Telekinesis, hands-down. HA!

50. Do you return shopping carts at the grocery store?
Every Single Time. Lazy creatures, do you not know GOD is watching?

51. Signature Drink?
Water with lemon.

Hot Enough for Ya?

Yes, even I am feeling the heat over at

Thursday, July 7, 2011


My knees are killing me.

I'm not allowed to talk about them. Mom once threatened to cut them off if I brought them up again. Seems Dad had bad knees, too, and she's just tired of hearing about it. Must be the weight of the turtle shell. Hard to carry around the troubles of the world and keep your knees healthy.

The return of humor indicates (I hope) a return of some much needed emotional balance. My diabolical plan to give my troubles back to God seems to be working. I'm glad He's willing to take them.

I don't have much to say this morning. Mostly I wanted my dear readers to know I'm alive and well (eggs that rattle when you shake them are not edible, FYI) and moving forward.

I'm nearly done with Nor Iron Bars a Cage by Caprice Hokstad. I'll have to post reviews here and on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I'm just glad she has book three in the works. I do like the world of Byntar.

I need to write reviews for Fred Warren's The Muse and Odd Little Miracles, too. And the Iguana's Winter. That's been my reading so far this year. I also need to edit Elementals based on all the wonderful feedback from my crit partners. It's past time to write a blurb while I'm at it. Can't believe I don't have one yet. That's supposed to be the first thing you write. And I've decided to get those author headshots out of the way while I have mostly decent hair. Who knows when some mad barber may attack me in the night, shear my beautiful locks and plunge me back into the pit of hair despair?

Man, that's a lot to do. Maybe I'll just go back to bed. If I stop blogging now, I could get an hour.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

That's It

I'm calling it. 2011 is officially my Worst Year Ever.

Definitely worse than the Adjustment Disorder of 1996. That only lasted three months, although I did consider suicide at the lowest point.

Probably worse than the Nervous Breakdown of 1998. I can't be entirely sure of that since I spent the first half of the breakdown sobbing uncontrollably while awake and the second half in a St. John's Wort induced euphoric stupor.

OK, it could be a tie.

But, if I declare this my official Worst Year Ever, I at least have the satisfaction of knowing the pressure is off, and I can enjoy all the little tortures I'm otherwise trying to ignore.

For example, severe 20 minute crying jags can count as aerobic exercise. I'm certainly getting more out of them than the Health Walker. Plus, like engaging in reverse peristalsis, after each bout I get anywhere from 10 to 40 minutes of complete calm. That's a real plus. 

This could be that mid-life crisis I've feared has arrived two decades too early. Or it could be some kind of once a decade emotional catharsis. A turtle version of Pon Farr, if you will, except instead of getting laid, I get emotionally screwed for a year or so. That's not so bad if I get 9 good years to balance.

The worst part? I honestly don't have anything to complain about. For all intents and purposes, my life is pretty great. Which is why I don't get why I'm not happy about it.

I just have to accept, for the moment, if I'm not miserable, I'm not happy.

I can live with that.

Monday, July 4, 2011

A Call to Prayer

I could have blogged about how much I hate fireworks, but I went in a slightly more constructive direction over at 

For the record, I hate fireworks A LOT.