I've published a book of short fiction on Amazon's Kindle store.

Find it HERE -- Just $4.99 USD

Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday's Five Things

Five Comments That May Indicate You're Dealing With A Strong-willed Child
  1. Oh yeah? Who's gonna make me?
  2. I'll do it, but I won't like it!
  3. I may be sitting down on the outside, but I'm standing up on the inside!
  4. You can spank me, but you won't make me cry.
  5. It's not fair! Why do you get to be the boss?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Monday's Mischief

Best Things You Can Say If Caught Sleeping At Your Desk At Work
  1. "They told me at the blood bank this might happen." 
  2. "This is just a 15 minute power-nap as recommended in that time management course you sent me to." 
  3. "Whew! Guess I left the top off the White-Out. You probably got here just in time." 
  4. "I wasn't sleeping! I was meditating on the mission statement and envisioning a new paradigm."
  5. "I was testing my keyboard for drool resistance." 
  6. "I was doing Yoga exercises to relieve work-related stress." 
  7. "The coffee machine is broken..." 
  8. "Someone must've put decaf in the wrong pot..." 
  9. "...in Jesus' name. Amen."

Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday's Five Things

Five Signs of a Really Good Friend
  1. You can pick up right where you left off, no matter how long it's been.
  2. You can call each other any time of the day or night, if you need to.
  3. You can do all the publicly embarrassing things around each other—sneeze, scratch, belch, cry.
  4. You can tell each other the hard truths.
  5. You can still love, despite knowing each other's flaws.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Wednesday's Word

Rain, Rain....

He will also send you rain for the seed you sow in the ground, and the food that comes from the land will be rich and plentiful. In that day your cattle will graze in broad meadows.
Isaiah 30:23

So, this week I'm having a dry spell. (aka "Writer's Block") Rather than fret (I'm growing to love that word)....ahem....Rather than fret and get more tense and more stuck, I'm just going to share a couple verses and a short prayer.

Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret....
Psalm 37:7

He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
Matthew 5:45

Father, Thank You for Your promises to "send the rain".  As we wait for You to end the dry spells we all will face, help us to be patient and not to fret.  Amen.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Monday's Mischief

How To Give A Cat A Pill
  1. Pick cat up and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as if holding a baby. Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat's mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. As cat opens mouth pop pill into mouth. Allow cat to close mouth and swallow.
  2. Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa. Cradle cat in left arm and repeat process.
  3. Retrieve cat from bedroom, and throw soggy pill away.
  4. Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm holding rear paws tightly with left hand. Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right forefinger. Hold mouth shut for a count of ten.
  5. Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of wardrobe. Call spouse from garden.
  6. Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, hold front and rear paws. Ignore low growls emitted by cat. Get spouse to hold head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into mouth. Drop pill down ruler and rub cat's throat vigorously.
  7. Retrieve cat from curtain rail, get another pill from foil wrap. Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains. Carefully sweep shattered figurines and vases from hearth and set to one side for gluing later.
  8. Wrap cat in large towel and get spouse to lie on cat with head just visible from below armpit. Put pill in end of drinking straw, force mouth open with pencil and blow down drinking straw.
  9. Check label to make sure pill not harmful to humans, drink glass of water to take taste away. Apply Band-Aid to spouse's forearm and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap.
  10. Retrieve cat from neighbor's shed. Get another pill. Place cat in cupboard and close door onto neck to leave head showing. Force mouth open with dessert spoon. Flick pill down throat with elastic band.
  11. Fetch screwdriver from garage and put cupboard door back on hinges. Apply cold compress to cheek and check records for date of last tetanus shot. Throw t-shirt away and fetch new one from bedroom.
  12. Ring fire department to retrieve cat from tree across the road. Apologize to neighbor who crashed into fence while swerving to avoid cat. Take last pill from foil-wrap.
  13. Tie cat's front paws to rear paws with garden twine and bind tightly to leg of dining table, find heavy duty pruning gloves from shed. Push pill into mouth followed by large piece of fillet steak. Hold head vertically and pour 2 pints of water down throat to wash pill down.
  14. Get spouse to drive you to the emergency room, sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm and removes pill remnants from right eye. Call furniture shop on way home to order new table.
  15. Arrange for ASPCA to collect cat and ring local pet shop to see if they have any hamsters.

How To Give a Dog a Pill
  1. Wrap it in bacon.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Friday's Five Things

A Toddler's Five Favorite Words

1. No! (about everything)
2. Mine! (about the same everything)
3. Dada! (Mama went through 9 months of pregnancy and 36 hours of labor, but nooooooo, it's "Dada!")
4. Cookie? (usually when Grandpa's around, and usually right before dinner)
5. Up! (always when you're tired, your back hurts, and your hands are full and/or gunked up)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Wednesday's Word

The Gift, or the Giver?

James 1:2-5, 12, 16-17

Key verse:
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17

"Praise God from whom all blessings flow...."

But what if the blessings don't flow?

A month ago, I was prayed for in a healing prayer service. No big hoopla, just kneeling quietly in church while hushed voices of friends and pastors prayed for me. For two days after that, I had no Parkinson's symptoms! Zero! Nada! Not even the stupid little ones! I know some might say it was psychosomatic, but I had a Parkinson's-related skin condition totally vanish in about 6 hours! My neurologist cut my meds by 2/3!

Over the past few weeks, though, my symptoms have gradually returned. It's like being diagnosed all over again. I've wept and prayed. I've asked God, "Why?" The only answer I've had is a quiet question that repeats in my heart: "Which do you desire more...the gift or the Giver?" So I started looking at desiring the Giver, more than the gifts He gives. And I found that there are gifts He promises to give us—no matter what—if we choose Him!

In Luke 11:11-13, He promises the Holy Spirit.

"Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

In Ephesians 1:3, 6-10, the things promised are:
  • glorious grace
  • redemption
  • forgiveness
  • riches of grace
  • wisdom
  • understanding
  • knowledge of the mystery of His will
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. . . to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.

And according to James 1:2-5, 12, 16-17, we are promised:
  • perseverance
  • maturity
  • completion
  • wisdom
  • a crown of life
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

Don't be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

Ev'ry blessing You pour out I'll turn back to praise,
And when the darkness closes in, Lord,
Still I will say,
"Blessed be the name of the Lord,
"'Blessed be Your name!"

I choose the Giver.
Habakkuk 3:2, 17-19
LORD, I have heard of your fame;
I stand in awe of your deeds, O LORD.
Renew them in our day,
in our time make them known;
in wrath remember mercy.

Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,

yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.

The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to go on the heights.

Friday, May 09, 2008

One Word X 35

I got this as an email from my friend, Chris, and since I'm "in a mood," I've decided to blog it instead of emailing it! If you decide to do it, please leave me a comment so I can check out your answers.

YOU CAN ONLY TYPE ONE WORD !!! Not as easy as you might think! Copy, change the answers to suit you and post it on your blog. You just might find it hard to only use one word answers.

1. Where is your cell phone? purse
2. Your significant other? Lloyd
3. Your hair? wavy
4. Your mother? Ruth
5. Your father? Corwin
6. Your favorite thing? conversation
7. Your dream last night? none
8. Your favorite drink? Jazz
9. Your dream/goal? bestseller
10. The room you're in? office
11. Your hobby? shopping
12. Your fear? disability
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? traveling
14. Where were you last night? Walmart
15. What you're not? bored
16. Muffins? berry
17. One of your wish list items? cure
18. Where you grew up? Indiana
19. The last thing you did? phoned
20. What are you wearing? dress
21. Your TV? widescreen
22. Your pets? none
23. Your computer? laptop
24. Your life? interesting
25. Your mood? excited
26. Missing someone? Dad
27. Your car? Chevy
28. Something you're not wearing? watch
29. Favorite store? thrift
30. Your summer? short
31. Like someone? many
32. Your favorite color? pinks
33. When is the last time you laughed? today
34. Last time you cried? Tuesday
35. Who will post this? Keetha?

Friday's Five Things

Five Short Stories I Can't Forget

1. "The Country of the Blind" - H.G. Wells
2. "The Lottery" - Shirley Jackson
3. "I Sing the Body Electric" - Ray Bradbury
4. "The Last Leaf" - O Henry
5. "How Much Land Does A Man Need?" - Leo Tolstoy

Bonus: For all-out creepiness, "The Metamorphosis" - Franz Kafka

What short story sticks in your memory?

Thursday, May 08, 2008

FYI ("Four" Your Information)

Just to prove to Deven that someone does read her blog, I'm temporarily changing my name to Christiane Amanpour and responding to her tag. Deven, I hope you appreciate the time I took from my busy news-gathering schedule to do this!

Four Jobs I've Held
1. Student Librarian (work study job in college)
2. Cafeteria Dishroom Peon (also work study) That job brought out my inner Lady Macbeth. "All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this hand."
3. Accounts Payable Clerk (for a CB radio distributor)
4. Barista (Tree of Life)

Four Movies I Could Watch Over and Over
1. Somewhere In Time
2. Minority Report
3. The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
4. Stranger Than Fiction

Four Places I've Lived
1. Marion, IN (two different times)
2. Huntington, IN (still the longest stay in one town)
3. Des Plaines, IL (waiting for my knight in shining armor)
4. Vladimir, Russia (for a total of only eight weeks, but I felt so at home!)

Four TV Shows I Like to Watch
1. The History Detectives
2. Keeping Up Appearances
3. Antiques Roadshow
4. Secrets of the Dead
(I know...all PBS shows.... I'm a nerd!)

Four Favorite Foods
1. melted cheese
2. barbequed chicken
3. taco salad
4. dried papaya

Four Places I'd Like to Be
1. London
2. Caribbean cruise
3. Russia
4. Wherever my DH is!

Four People I Tag
1. Beth B.
2. Cindy K.
3. Liz W.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog....

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Wednesday's Word

Stronger Than Fiction

Psalm 90:5-6, 10, 12

Key verse:
Teach us to realize the brevity of life,
so that we may grow in wisdom.
Psalm 90:12 (NLT)

I recently watched the movie, "Stranger Than Fiction". Interesting premise. The main character, Harold, begins hearing a voice-over narrating his life as it happens. He finds it puzzling, annoying, disconcerting. But then, the narrator begins discussing Harold's impending death! This starts him on a frantic quest to find out who is telling the story of his life and convince them that he shouldn't die.

As Harold carries out his search, he gets to know a literature professor who believes him about the narrator. He also believes that Harold can do nothing to prevent his own death. When Harold is mourning the approaching end of life, the prof tells him, "Make the most of the time you have! It's your life, Harold! Make it the one you've always wanted!"

As I sat pondering the movie, I realized the absurdity of my thoughts. Why? Allow me to quote what I heard in my head:

"That would be so strange, to know you were going to die, but not know when or where or how...."

Wait a minute! That's happening to all of us! Harold is Everyman! We all know we're going to die, and although some of us may think otherwise, none of us truly knows when, where, or how. So, am I going to do like Harold does, and try to make deals with the Narrator, to buy more time? Or will I make my life the one I've alway wanted, the one that pleases God and blesses others? Granted, I don't want to lose sight of eternity, but I choose to make the most of my moments here. I want to keep it all in balance, so my achievements are more than just the words I leave on paper. I want my life to be "stronger than fiction."

There remains for us only the very narrow way, often extremely difficult to find, of living every day as though it were our last, and yet living in faith and responsibility as though there were to be a great future. —Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Friday, May 02, 2008

Friday's Five Things

Five Simple Pleasures

1. eating warm, homemade pudding
2. swinging high on a playground swing
3. holding a sleeping newborn who's all snuggled up to me
4. smelling peonies, or lilacs, or roses, or lilies of the valley
5. curling up in a comfy chair with a fluffy blanket, a warm drink and a good book

playing with webdings
(Can you figure out what this says?  Clue: If you have a blogger account, the answer is right at your fingertips!)
OK, survey!  Please leave a comment and tell me...  In the "Bonus" do you see words or symbols?