Sunday, December 20, 2009

Take Joy!

This was a poem that was read in our little play. It soon became one of my favorites. It took twelve performances for its meaning to sink in. It touches my heart. I hope you love it too.

Fra Giovanni Giocondo (c.1435–1515)


Take Joy


There is nothing I can give you which you have not; but there is much, very much, that, while I cannot give it, you can take. No Heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it to-day. Take Heaven! No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present little instant. Take peace!

The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy. There is radiance and glory in the darkness, could we but see; and to see, we have only to look. I beseech you to look.

Life is so generous a giver, but we, judging its gifts by their covering, cast them away as ugly or heavy or hard. Remove the covering, and you will find beneath it a living splendor, woven of love, by wisdom, with power. Welcome it, grasp it, and you touch the Angel’s hand that brings it to you. Everything we call a trial, a sorrow, or a duty: believe me, that angel’s hand is there; the gift is there, and the wonder of an overshadowing Presence. Our joys, too: be not content with them as joys, they too conceal divine gifts.

Life is so full of meaning and of purpose, so full of beauty—beneath its covering—that you will find that earth but cloaks your heaven. Courage, then to claim it: that is all! But courage you have; and the knowledge that we are pilgrims together, wending through unknown country, home.

And so, at this Christmas time, I greet you; not quite as the world sends greetings, but with profound esteem, and with the prayer that for you, now and forever, the day breaks and the shadows flee away.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Panic!

It's amazing how things turn out when we follow our gut feelings. This weekend was really starting to scare me. I have a play performance on Fri. night, Sat afternoon and Sat. night. Then we have to strike the set. Our director told us to plan on being there at least until midnight. Yikes! That is a terrifying prospect for someone who likes to be in bed before ten!

Then I was supposed to teach the gospel doctrine class at my church. I have to be there by 8:30 am to practice with the choir as we are doing a little program. I was also asked to sing the duet, "O Holy Night," which is a huge song, very powerful, kind of difficult. It stresses me out a bit. Then I got roped in to singing another song in a quartet. And we still need to all get together and practice! Another yikes!

I know. Don't say it. I just didn't realize how busy this weekend would be. I was starting to panic just a bit. I'm not the type to pile things on my plate this way. Normally, I'm the stay at home in Levis and watch movies kind of girl. But the play people were desperate for a soprano and the church people were desperate for a musical number etc.....

So, I called my partner in crime and asked him to teach for me. I feel SO much better, and really think it was the right thing to do. What a weight off my shoulders! He wasn't excited (I don't think) but said yes, anyway. After this weekend, I'm going to go back to my lazy life! I prefer to be a recluse, so everyone, leave me alone! he he

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Global warming


I find the debate about global warming an interesting one. Does it exist? Is it a hoax?

What do you think? All we can know is what scientists tell us. Do we believe them? It has been scientifically proven that the general temperature of the earth has risen a few degrees. Not tons, but a bit. It's obvious. All you have to do is see the disappearing glaciers around the world to know it's true.

What most people don't realize, is that global warming will not make the earth hotter. It will actually bring on a freeze. You see, as the icecaps melt, they dump ice-cold water into the oceans at an amazing pace. All that cold water is changing the temp. of the oceans which changes the natural flow (current). That means when it evaporates, it forms clouds where it normally wouldn't. So, places that used to have rain, won't, and deserts will flood.

We are already seeing that. Australia has had a seven year drought. In places where it used to rain, it is now a dust bowl and where it used to be dry, it's flooding. We see that affect all over the world in one degree or another.

Do I believe in global warming? I don't know. But I do see the facts and their effects. I wish I knew what the future held. For now, I'm going to bundle up and hope this freeze doesn't last too long.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Free movies

I had the strangest dream last night. In my dream, I woke up and Heidi had a little, dark haired boy in her room with her. He was about her age and had beautiful blue eyes. I found out that Heidi had found him the night before (who knows where. You know how dreams are.) and he had come home with her.

I came to learn that he'd been kidnapped a little while before and was from Little Rock, Tennessee. Yes, I'm aware there is no Little Rock in Tennessee. He had escaped and was living on the street when Heidi found him.

So...I kept telling him we would call the police and get him home. I kept imagining how wonderful it would be for his parents to find him safe and sound. The strange thing is, I never called the police. Just kept intending to. Weird. Maybe I'll write a book about it. It would be a good premise to a story.

Anyway, there it is. My psychosis for all the world to see. =) Every night is like going to a free movie. My dreams are always vivid and exciting. Love it.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Gratitude for the past, hope for the future

What a lovely day it's been. I am still amazed on a daily basis at how much I've grown since my youth. I'm amazed at what I've learned in my short thirty-nine years.

When I was young, my life stretched out before me like a long winding trail through a beautiful Oregon forest. Now I can look back and remember the times where I traveled not only through lush, green woods, but through hot, blistering deserts and sharp, rocky terrain. It hasn't all been easy, but I can honestly say, I've loved the ride.

I'm lucky in that I can admit I have truly been in love. Twice, actually. I've had the privilege to have children and watch them grow, even though there have been times when I swear I'd go insane, I have made it through . . . so far!

I have been blessed to develop talents I didn't even know I had. I honestly thought that a person's talents pretty much made themselves known when they were young and it was our responsibility to nurture them. Not anymore! Now I know better. For example, my love of writing. Now, I've always been a reader. One time, when I was about fourteen, I was supposed to go somewhere with my Dad and siblings. My mom was going somewhere else. I lied and told my dad I was going with my mom and told my mom I was going with Dad. ALL SO I COULD STAY HOME ALONE AND READ! What a naughty girl! lol

That love of reading turned into a love of writing, a talent I didn't even know existed inside me until one day, it exploded out! I am so grateful for that!

Also, I was recently called to teach the gospel doctrine class in my church, and let me just say, that was one experience I NEVER wanted. But I have found an aptitude for teaching and I love it. I love how people in my class are able to open up and talk about things they never usually would. Every week, we cry and share and I love it. What a blessing in my life. A blessing I didn't even want to begin with. Strange, isn't it?

And, last but not least, on this week of Thanksgiving, I am so grateful for my husband and family. My kids keep me on my toes, letting me know I'm still alive. My husband is so kind and fun and even when I'm ornery, he teases me out of it. He knows me so well and loves me anyway. And to my sisters . . . what can I say? It has been a rocky road at times, but I adore every one of you. You are my true friends and I love you guys. Then there is my dad and brothers who I hardly ever see or get to talk to, but I think about them every day. I love these people so much and my life is richer, more fun, and more fulfilled because of them.

There it is. My life in a nutshell. Thank heavens for the chance to live, the opportunity to grow and most of all, for the fact that life is not fair. If life were fair, we'd all be boring old fogies with nothing to show for ourselves. Thank you, thank you.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Disaster avoided!

I just almost burned my house down. I was sitting at my computer, and on the phone with a friend when all of a sudden, I said, "What's that smell?" I could smell smoke. I got up and went to the stairs and looked down into my basement. Waves of smoke were wafting up toward me.

My heart fell in dread of what could possibly be happening down there. We have a kitchen in the basement that we don't use often and an electric stove that we unplugged a long time ago and don't use except during holidays...maybe. So, I have boxes and other things stacked there because, hey, who cares? It's unplugged.

Well, I'd gone down earlier to look for something and had rummaged through a box on that stove. Somehow the nob on the back had turned on while I was going through the box. Honestly, I don't know how it could have happened and who the &#*% had plugged it in anyway?????

So I coughed my way through the smoke--and yes, the alarm was screaming--to see the corner of the box smoldering but not yet on fire. It had sure made tons of smoke though. So I picked it up and carried it to the french doors we have down there. As soon as I opened the door, the box burst into flames! I screamed and dropped it on the back patio before I caught on fire myself. My heart was pounding and my two year old who'd followed me was crying.

Bry was home so I called him out of the horse corrals and we opened all the windows and doors. We have a super nice set of smoke alarms and by this time, they were all going off. TERRIBLE! I just can't believe how lucky we were. Here we were at home and our house could have burned down around us. Everything gone. That fast. Thank heavens it didn't. What a miracle because let me tell you, that box had been sitting on that hot burner for AT LEAST a half hour. Possibly and probably longer.

Thank heavens for guardian angels and a nose that knows.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

What if?

I have been astronomically amazed by the growth of Facebook. It was about a year ago or so that I joined myself. Maybe less than a year. I don't remember. Anyway, since my job as a writer keeps me at the computer for a big chunk of the day I flit over to facebook for breaks here and there.

I have reconnected with childhood friends, high school friends, college buddies and mission companions that I knew I'd never see again. Now I can see them on a daily basis and even talk to people as far away as Norway! Yes, I have a friend in Norway and a bunch in Venezuela! Amazing!

Recently, I found an old boyfriend. I remember the way my heart pounded as I stared at his name. I think I even held my breath for a moment before clicking on it. Yep folks, I might have even broke out in a sweat. How that can happen when we broke up eons ago and have found other people to love and adore?

This particular boy was my first love. My REAL first love. I'd dated tons and had crushes since I was in third grade, but those don't count. When I found him, he was it. I'd spotted him in my college choir and decided then and there that I wanted him, and of course, I got him. =)

It took forever for him to accept my invite to be friends of facebook because he seldom gets on, but once he did, I looked through his pictures of course, and a flood of memories came back, washing over me as though I were eighteen again. He looks the very same. It was very strange and for a moment, I felt sad that he'd dumped me for a younger woman! Yep, I was dumped--right after my mission. At the time, I was still weirded out by boys but the one date we went on, was very uncomfortable. It just wasn't there anymore, that feeling, that is.

I don't know if it would have come rushing back if I'd had time to adjust to normal life, but some things just aren't meant to be. I'm very in love with my husband and I love my life and kids and there is no way, even for a billion dollars that I'd trade it, because I am so happy with the way things are now.

Still, I wonder . . . what if? Don't we all?

Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween. Mmm mmm good!


It has been a super long time since I've written anything here. But since It's Friday and tomorrow is Halloween, it seems a fitting day for a post.

I LOVE Halloween. It has always been one of my favorites. I love ghosts and goblins, candy, trick or treating and all that good stuff. I also love the history behind Halloween.

Back in the day, the Celts celebrated their new year on November first. They believed that the veil between life and death was very thin at that time as the harvest had just ended and it grew very cold. So, on October 31 they celebrated a holiday called Samhain where they believed that the ghosts of the dead could return to earth and not only were these ghosts a bit on the mischievous side, damaging crops and things, but they also helped the Druids predict the future which was a very good thing. It gave them comfort through the long winter months.

To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities.

During this celebration, the Celts wore costumes, fierce and terrifying, to honor the dead spirits.

The Christians, who were trying to convert these pagans changed the Holiday to represent a more "worthy" theme. They took the November first date and called it All Saints Eve or All Hallow's Eve," which mean the same thing. Then it was shortened to Hallow's 'een, then to just plain old Halloween.

No matter what the Christians back then did, they just couldn't take the "pagan" out of the people. And today, we still celebrate the dead by dressing up in costumes, handing out candy (to appease the dead) and just plain let the heathen out who still resides inside us, waiting to cause mischief and mayhem!

I'm a firm believer and in letting the heathen out once in a while. It keeps you from needing therapy!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

That neurotic, schizophrenic voice in my head.

I know it's been quite a while since I've last written here, but in all honesty, I just don't have time to do my book writing, write on my writing blog, write here and do facebook! I do have priorities! ha ha

So today, I want to discuss that little thing called, "following your gut."

How often do we get an impression to do something and ignore it? I have learned NEVER to ignore it and I never do anymore. I have no idea what would have happened or would not have happened once I've changed course and obey that feeling, but I don't care. I don't need to know.

Like this morning, for those of you who read my facebook post, I had a jam in my printer. It was so small, I almost missed it. Literally, it was a piece of paper about a half inch by a half inch and it was way in. I couldn't reach it. I tried everything from tweasters to a tiny screwdriver. All I managed to do was push it further.

So, I sat there staring, feeling hopeless, knowing I couldn't take the whole dang printer apart becasue I KNOW I'd ruin it. Then, a voice in my head (and I swear, this is how it is for me, I hear voices! lol) told me to use my big honkin' vacuum. I didn't even hesitate. It still took me using the vacuum alternating with the small screw driver but after about eight tries, I finally got it.

Yesterday, I'd left for my sister's house when I had the thought that I should go back and get the bag of clothes I'd saved for her daughter. No big deal to have left it home, but this feeling told me to get my butt back home, so I did. I don't know why it was important or if it really even was important, but I don't care anymore. I just do it and I've never regretted a time I've listened.

So, the moral of the story here is, if you think you're nuts, you may be, but just keep going and make that voice your friend!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Need to vent!

I have been so anxious this week. I swear I'm going to get an ulcer. I've finally realized what it is too! At first, I was sure it was the coming conference, but the conference is over and I still feel it. You know, that feeling where you can't relax, something's coming. Nothing you do makes you feel any better and the more you feel it, the more tired and ornery you get! In fact, so tired and ornery that you want to pull your hair out and scream!

Well, it's my manuscript. I sent it in on Tuesday and I can't think, concentrate or sleep until I hear back. I'm sure that's the culprit. I haven't even been able to relax and read in the tub and that is saying something. If they don't call and tell me one way or another soon, I'm going to burst!

Please let it be "yes." Please let them say, "We love your book! We want to publish it!"

I can't stand the pressure! lol

Anyway, I feel better now. Just from venting. Thanks for the open ear.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Healthy!

I went to my homeopathic doc this week and had my blood tested again. I wanted to know if the natural antibiotic, parasitic and the rife machine worked. I admit, I was a bit skeptical but I also hoped it was working. I am feeling better, after all.

Well guess what? My blood was beautiful! Flowing like a river and the cells were all big, puffy and red like they're supposed to be! Woo Hoo! I started cheering, right there in his office chair. There was only a teensy-tiny bit of that sticking together of blood cells here and there, but compared to before, it was nothing. The Cayenne pepper capsules fix that so I'll keep on taking them once a day. But all in all, I'm practically back to perfect health.

It's too bad normal doctors don't check blood in this way. They'd find so much more and it's a cheep, easy fix. Oh well, I'm just grateful I was led to him.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Checking in

I'm sick of looking at parasites so I guess I should post a new blog! lol

School is officially in and the kids love it. So do I! Wyatt and I get time alone together which I treasure. Lucky, he also takes a nice long nap giving me time to work on my writing.

What a sweet baby he is.

The LUW conference is coming up. I am so excited! I can't wait! I sure hope all these hours of writing and conferences comes to something. Not that I don't love to write just for writing's sake, but I want my books published so bad!!!

Anyway, that's all I have time for. If you want to keep up with me, check out facebook!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Fresh Blood


I did something interesting this week. I went to Homeopathic doctor who can find what's wrong with you in about three minutes (pretty much) where it takes other normal doctors years and thousands of dollars to figure out.

He looks at your blood under a high powered microscope which is hooked up to a big TV screen and lets you see everything happening there. What I learned was that most of us are walking hotels.

Most of the time, when fresh blood is put under a microscope, it moves around and flows like a river until it dies. My blood didn't move at all and the red blood cells were stuck to each other like train cars. I had tons of bacteria and parasites living there, eating my blood cells. I thought I'd throw up. It totally grossed me out. The doc. kept saying, "no wonder you're so tired," over and over.

I'm breeding more than one kind of parasite and they are full and happy. I got an natural antibiotic and parasitic capsules to kill them. The doc also uses a Rife machine. It has metal rods you hold and a thing you put your feet on. It sends frequencies through your body that kill the bugs that the capsules miss. It's absolutely incredible! I feel so blessed to have found him! He tested my kid's blood too and we're all taking a de-wormer! lol Most people have bacterias and parasites in their bodies from eating and touching contaminated food and if you let them get out of control, they will make you sick in a million different ways. Check it out.

If you're interested in learning more, email me.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Trying to keep up




It has been about a week so it's time for a post! I don't know why it's so hard to keep up. I see so many other writers who blog faithfully, but I get further and further behind!

Between five kids, writing and trying to clean the house (every once in a while), the farm out back, and most importantly, my hubby, I find that after working on my book, I just don't want to type anymore. How do you other writers do it?

Anyway, Jake left at 5:30 this morning for a week at scout camp. I never see that boy anymore. He spent all of last week in Montana fly fishing. He's having way too much fun! But don't worry. I'll have plenty of chores for him to do when he gets home!

Seth loves being the big man and I have to admit, the house is much quieter and peaceful. I mean that in the nicest way! lol But dang! Teenagers are hard!

So, it's Monday but I'd really like to take off and go to a movie. I need a fun break with friends. I haven't had a friend date in ages and I'm going through withdrawals. Isn't there someone out there who wants to go out and play?

So much for that. Have a great week!

Monday, August 03, 2009

My Dang Neck!

Well, the news is that I had a fabulous weekend camping in my new trailer (it's new to me anyway) and with my sisters and their families. The sun shined the whole time and the stream was just right. No to wild, not too tame and safe for kids.

It was the last morning we were there that I rolled over and my neck seized up. Terrible! So I have spent my time since on drugs and heat. That part I did like! Now I wait for my Chiropractor to fit me in. It's actually good I had to wait because the spasming and swelling has gone down. It will be easier to adjust.

So today, I sit here, writing in my book and waiting for the phone to ring. I hope it does soon. It's a good excuse to be lazy! lol

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Bike rides

As some of you may know from facebook, I bought a bike. Nothing too special or out of this world but one of the nicer once from Wally World. I have a feeling I could really get into this biking thing. I need something since I can't run. I've finally accepted it after seven years of trying. My foot just wont let me.

So, I've been going on bike rides with Bry each evening which has been so fun and so beautiful. Last night's sunset was absolutely breathtaking to say the least. I can't even begin to find the words to describe the vibrant colors. All I could do was stand there staring until the sky turned black.

Back to the bike thing. Last night, we only went five miles but I plan on going further and further each time. We head out toward Bear River and get a little further each time. It's something that Bry and I and even the kids can do together to bring us closer. You see, Bry and I have almost nothing in commong. Our interests lie in vastly different directions. I took him running with me once but that didn't work--he ran too fast for me.

Biking is something we both like and can both do at the same speed. He has a Cannondale he bought from my brother in law many moons ago so he rides that and I ride my new, silver Schwinn. I'm stylin!

The moral of the story is this... never give up. There is always something new to discover and fall in love with. You are never to old to keep dating your spouse and finding new things to do together. Each bike ride really does bring us closer and who doesn't need that?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

No TV

I took a nap this afternoon so I'd feel refreshed and energized. Instead, I feel more tired than when I laid down. That is not how it's supposed to work. So the nap didn't do it's job and the only thing I have to show for my rest time is a horrible hair do that I can't fix. Ugg.

I'm trying something new today. I decided to have Sunday be a no TV day. Some people already do this. Not me. I love TV. I love a good movie where I can kick my shoes off and relax. Well, it hasn't been as tough as you might think and the kids are recovering from the shock as well.

They actually got puzzles out and did other things for a change. You always hear people praising the benefits of no TV and now, I am a witness to its success. We'll see how long it lasts, but so far, so good.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

My Day

I love mornings like this. I love to wake up energetic and happy. I love mornings when everyone is still asleep, it's a bit cool and the house is so quiet.

I tip toe in my squeaky tennis shoes down the stairs to get on the treadmill, excited to feel my muscles burn again. Amazingly enough, only Seth wakes up to the whoosh, whoosh of my feet on the rubber. I could go outside, but I want to read at the same time. You know, kill two birds with one stone.

I look forward to my day, to seeing my sisters and having lunch with them. We're are going out for sushi for my b-day and my mouth waters in anticipation. Only Karen won't be there. I'm sad about that. I love my sisters. They are truly amazing.

We will then go see "My Sister's Keeper." I didn't really want to see a tear jerker on my birthday, but what better to see with my sisters?

That is my plan. I feel happy, beautiful and ready to face the first day of my thirty ninth year. I refuse to feel old, so I give thanks for this extra day on earth.

I know Bry has planned a little party with the kids tonight. The whole day will be a good one for me. I just feel it, and you know, I am a bit psychic. =)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Serenity

I suppose it's about time for a new post! With facebook, it seems the time between posts gets longer and longer.

I sat outside in a lawn chair tonight watching Bry with the tractor. Wyatt loves to ride with him while he spreads the horse manure. It's so cute. We have a ritual now. We go out every night, feed the horses, clean their stalls, brush them down, then sit and watch the sun set. It's my favorite time of the day. I can't describe the peaceful feeling I have while watching them munch their alphalpha. Ah, happiness.

I taught Jake's Sunday school class today as a sub. I have to say, it was a blast. I've always loved teaching teenagers. I love that they are old enough to really think. One of the boy's moms came up to me after and told me that he'd said it was the funnest Sunday school class he'd ever been to and that if I taught every week, he'd come every week! (they are a slightly inactive family) It made my day. It feels so good to be able to make a different and teens are at an extremely influential place. To help them through that is so satisfying to me. I wish I could teach every week. I did tell the teachers to ask me to sub anytime they needed one.

So, that is my day. It was one of the nicest Sunday's I've had in a long time.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The fourth






I've been meaning to place a new post here but have honestly been too tired! lol

The fourth was so much fun. Half of my family ended up inviting themselves to my house. At first, I rebelled. I had been looking forward to a quiet little holiday, but my nephew came into town who has been serving in Afghanistan and I couldn't turn them away. I love him and his little family too much. And it was the 4th of July after all.

He's in the Army Special Forces on the helicopters. He hangs on the outside, onto a gun and drops and picks up the rangers and Seals from their missions. It's super dangerous and just a couple of months ago, their chopper was shot down. No was died, luckily, but it was scary. He has some harrowing stories that would give you goose bumps. He's being transferred though because he has kids and wants to live to see them grow up. They'll be stationed at Fort Lewis, in Wash. They were great fun. He's just a big kid himself!

Jared's sister, Jennifer and mom (my sister) came up and we bar-b-qued and went to the Brigham fireworks. It was so much fun! I just love family. Most of the time! lol

All in all, it was a perfect day!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Wyatt!











Wyatt turned two this week! He is my little angel, my sweet heart. I'm absolutely in love with this precious boy. Here's to you Wyatt!

See the one where he emptied Bryan's wallet? He was so cute, we couldn't even get mad!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson


I was in the car driving home from my sister's house yesterday when I heard the news on the radio. I couldn't believe it. Michael Jackson was dead. I was dumbstruck.

Naturally, all the crazy, weird things he's done in the last decade came to mind but I would like to bypass that for a moment and jump back to 1982. I was twelve years old. I'd gotten to school early as usual because if I wanted a ride I had to leave when my dad did. So, there I was, sitting on the top steps in the hall of Millcreek Jr. High in front of the girls locker room, eating Nibs and listening to "Thriller" on the radio. It was the first time I'd ever heard it all the way through. My parents didn't listen to those stations at home, so I'd never heard it before.

I loved it! I began to crave everything Michael Jackson, included the poster of him in the luscious yellow suit which I cannot now find! He brought so much to music, was such a great entertainer, was so cute before his surgeries. I am saddened at his mental decline. It's too bad we all can't be more content with who we are and how we look. Who knows, if I had the money, I might get a nose job too.

Anyway, I'm sad he's gone. At least he gets to be in a pretty awesome place with people who love him. Good bye, Michael and God speed.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Swimming upstream

I know, I know. I have been neglecting this blog. I am just so busy I don't take the time as much as I used to.

So, the kids have started swimming lessons this week which gives me the chance to sit up in the steamy balcony of the Brigham Natatorium, reading a good book and/or watching my kids. Very enjoyable for the most part.

I miss swimming. I used to swim laps every morning, but didn't continue for one reason or another. I watch Jake doing laps; those difficult strokes that you only see in the Olympics, and feel jealous. Oh, to be young again. I yearn for that twenty year old body. I wish I could go back with the brain I have now. Would I choose differently?

Hmm. So, here I sit, on a hot afternoon in Utah, the kids are playing outside and I am blogging, facebooking, and writing. What a perfect day.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Update

I know it has been a while since I've written here. I've just been letting things go a little. I do keep up on Facebook which is easily addictive!

Jake and Seth started tumbling today and both feel a little self conscious. I guess they thought they'd be in a class of all beginners. No such luck! They'll just have to practice at home more! Neither can do cart wheels. I tried to teach them today without much luck.

Gabe, on the other hand is a natural at gymnastics. In fact, I have a feeling that he could go all the way to the Olympics some day. He's built like a tank and really loves his class.

I've been writing and fixing and changing and writing some more. I've changed one of my stories from 3rd person to 1st. I was stuck and now I like it better but I'd already written about 100 pages! Yikes, but that's okay. It will be better this way.

I'm planning on going to the LUW conference in September. I hope to see you all there. If anyone is looking for a roommate, let me know! I'd love to share a room. Cut costs, ya know?

So, I hope you're all doing well and we'll talk later!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Summer vacation

Well, it's the first day of summer vacation and we are starting it off right! I have all the kids helping me to clean the house! I'm going to do it different this summer. First thing, everyone cleans every room together every morning. It' shouldn't take too long if everyone helps. That way, it gets done fast. Tomorrow we'll tackle the basement.

Then we'll have a rest time. Wyatt will sleep and the other kids can read or do school work etc... That way, they'll stay caught up and have a time to relax. This is also good for me. lol

I have the boys signed up for tumbling this summer and Heidi is doing dance which she loves. They all will start swimming lessons on the 22nd.

We don't have any big trips planned which is why I wanted something for them to look forward to each week. They are super excited.

For me, I have decided to do things a bit differently too. Normally, I love to soak in a hot bath in the morning to relax tight muscles. No more. I think it makes me too lethargic and while I'm already battling fatigue, I'll only take baths at night. Also, someone told me to drink milk at night and that helps you sleep. Hot or cold, it doens't matter. I tried it last night and I didn't sleep too bad. That is until Seth came upstairs at 2 in the morning to use the bathroom and knocked a glass onto the floor. I was awake for about an hour, but was able to go back to sleep, kind of. Not bad though for not taking any sleep aid.

I'm going to try to work out at least three times a week as soon as my broken toe feels better. I think if I get my endurance up, I'll handle it all better. I'd thought about getting an antidepressant because this chronic fatigue is really bringing me down, but I sat down this morning to research in depth about it all and have decided against it. In severe cases, medication helps a lot, but they have found that in mild cases, it didn't, no matter what kind you used. Having someone to talk to usually did the trick for mild to moderate cases of depression. So, I will take really good vitamins, work out as much as I can, relax as much as I can and go from there. The side affects are just too much. I already can't sleep, I don't want it to be worse. I don't want headaches and in the past, I always got terrible migraines on antidepressants, the possible sexual side affects aren't too alluring either.

I hope it's a good plan. I think it is, so I'll you know how it all works out. I'm getting my hair done tomorrow so I'm sure everything will look rosier just because of that!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Published

It's official! I'm a paid, published author! Check out my article here!

I'd like to thank the acadamy and to all my friends and family . . . thank you! And I love you so much!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Poor me/ Yea me!

So, for the first time, I've been really depressed about this chronic fatigue stuff. I even cried today. I couldn't help it. I don't want to spend the rest of my life feeling this way. Before there was a verdict, I had hope that it was just hormones or something, that it would go away. Now, I'm beginning to wonder.

There have been a lot of days where I have to force myself to even write in my books etc . . . Frequently, I get out of the bathtub and just lay on my bed for a while because I'm too tired to get dressed. Today, I decided to force myself to work out, knowing I'd feel like crap the rest of the day, but knowing it would be good for my body. But then I remembered my broken toe, which still hurts quite a bit, so I didn't.

Bry came home at lunch and felt bad with me. He feels the same way about his situation with the asthma. He still hasn't completely recovered and feels like crap most of the time. We are a couple of basket cases.

Anyway, enough of feeling sorry for myself. On the flip side of the coin. Neighborhood News is publishing an article of mine on Wednesday! I will be a paid, published author. OFFICIALLY! Ya hoo! It's only fifty bucks, but hey, beggers can't be choosy!

So, life isn't all bad. I have a great little family, friends who care and my Dad has been so sweet as I've shared my woes with him. He is one of my greatest supports. Then there is Bryan who doesn't feel good himself, but always builds me up. He doesn't complain and we just lay together on our bed trying to put our legs on top of each other. Two invalids trying to wrestle. We laugh a lot and that is what gets us through. Man, I love him!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

That explains it!

Well, the verdict is in. We think I have CFS or better known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. It would sure explain A LOT! Now there is no real diagnosis for CFS. Its diagnosis comes from ruling out everything else by blood and urine tests. When they find there is nothing wrong with you, and they can't explain the symptoms, your left with CFS.

It' s kind of nice having a name for what I've been feeling for the last 2 or 3 years so I don't have to say, "I'm just tired." or "I don't know what's wrong with my brain. I have dementia at 38." Hello. It also explains the complete exhaustion I feel on a daily basis, the insomnia, weight gain, the irregular joint and muscle pain.

"CFS often follows a cyclical course, alternating between periods of illness and relative well-being. Some patients experience partial or complete remission of symptoms during the course of the illness, but symptoms often reoccur. This pattern of remission and relapse makes CFS especially hard for patients to manage. Patients who are in remission may be tempted to overdo activities when they're feeling better, which can actually cause a relapse."

So, this is the story of the last few years for me. Oh well, we all have our problems. My case isn't too severe I don't think. Anyway, I get through it with the help of my beautiful, little family.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Be careful what you take

What a crazy life I've had the past three weeks. I started taking Ambien on a regular basis. I've really struggled with insomnia for a while and thought this would be a solution.

Well, I have had a strong feeling the last couple of days that I should stop taking it, butvery time I try, I have terrible anxiety during the middle of the night and feel yucky the next day. I got on the computer to research the effects and to find out how long it stays in your system and found that many people have had similar experiences. Those being, anxiety, sleep eating, sleep driving, sleep sex, grogginess, headaches etc...

So, I did not take it last night, determined to get off it. I did not sleep well, had weird dreams, had to leave the hall light on--which I've NEVER done before--and today, I feel terrible. Drugged. Really drugged. I'm not going anywhere or doing anything. Just gonna sit here and veg. until it is out of my system.

Hopefully, I'll be back to myself soon. Ugg.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A good meal

Both of my oldest kids have a day to make dinner. I want them to be smart, able, and independent. Yesterday was Seth, my nine year old's turn. Since I am doing the South Beach Diet again, I have to eat a certain way. Normally, the boys like to make hot dogs or mac and cheese. Yuck.

So, I defrosted the chicken breasts, got out the package of powdered marinade and supervised as Seth and his friend Adam, who was over, read the directions for the marinade and baked the chicken. They were amazed how many times they had to wash their hands when dealing with chicken, but they did great. While the chicken baked, I told Seth he had to make a salad. With a happy heart and gusto, he went to work washing and tearing the red leaf lettuce, cutting up cucumber, pepper, tomatoes and green onions. He did it alone and it was fabulous!

All through dinner, the kids raved about the chicken, and dang! It was good! Seth was on cloud nine. I was so glad I'd had him cook this way. I want him to be confident enough to know that he can make good food, not just fast food. It was a huge self esteem boost for him. I should have had him steam some veggies too, but I was being lazy. Anyway, it was fabulous. What great kids I have!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hawaii, here I come!

I was feeling hopeless about the prospect of ever losing weight yesterday. It is so much harder than most people realize. Especially for people who've never really had to. I was not raised to be athletic or to have habits of exercise. For the last twenty years, it's been on again, off again with trying to get in shape.

So, yesterday, I made a deal with my husband. If I got down to 150 lbs, then I wanted him to take me to Hawaii. (He has no desire to go there, by the way) He gazed at me, his lips pursed and said, "145."

Deal! I know He said 145 because he knew it would be that much harder, and since it's better to have someone to account to, I will tell you that I weighed myself this morning to start of the process. I'm at 167.8. Ugg. I will use the South Beach Diet as it's the only one that ever works for me. It's just hard to stick to. I had restricting myself. HATE IT!!!

And just to let you know, I was 125 when I got married. I'm 5'8," so 145 isn't inconceivable. I can do it. I know I can.

So, I'm on my way. My guess it that I can do it in about a year, so next year at this time, I will be on my way! I will update you all weekly to my progress. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Have you seen 'em?

They're here! Those evil, little blood sucking demons from you know where! Yes, the dreaded "no-see-um."

Little gnats that pester and bite, but are invisible to the naked eye! I have seventeen bites just on my neck and chest! That is from one day outside! Yes, folks! ONE DAY!

The nasty bugs come every May and stay for two to four weeks depending on the weather. The first year we lived here, I thought my son had chicken pox! He came in the house covered with red welts all over his body! They itch like the devil and are always there, waiting . . . watching.

I pray for relief!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

A good son


I've had a really hard time wanting to work out lately. There's just no motivation there for some reason. My nine year old and I made a pact though. We decided a few weeks ago that we would go running every Saturday morning together.

We couldn't go last week due to the conference, but this morning, he hopped in bed with me at 6:30 fully dressed and ready to go. Now, let me just say, I was NOT in the mood to go for a run o this overcast, slightly rainy morning, but I had promised!

So I pulled myself out of bed, threw on my running clothes and out the door we went. I had not slept well and was surprised at how well we did. We only went two miles and walked part of the time, but I have to say, Seth pushes me to do better. I would not have gone if he hadn't gotten me up. In fact, I'd hoped he'd forget! But he loves this time alone for us. I do too . . . once I'm up, that is.

Thanks Seth. I sure love you, bud!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

hi there everyone

Hi guys! I just wanted to remind you that you really can come over to my other blog and read what I post. That stuff is just brimming with fun! You'll love it! I promise!

I'm not quitting this blog but I wanted a blog page that was easier for people to find. The address, melissasmysteriesandmusings.blogspot.com seemed a little complicated and if I'm going to be famous, I need to be accessible! =)

Anyway, I sure miss you guys!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

I'm back, and revving to go!

Hi everyone! I don't have time to really sit down and write but I wanted to tell you that I started a new writing blog.

It will fill you in on all my new adventures in writing! I am very excited about it so take a minute to come by and say hi!

http://melissajcunningham.blogspot.com/

Thanks guys!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A new career

Well, this is it! The LDS Storymaker's conference is this weekend! I am so excited I can't stand it! I am hoping to find and agent and sell two of my books! Pray for me and wish me luck!

It feels so good to finally find my niche. After thirty seven years, I've waited a long time. I'd never found what I was good at before. Through life and the experiences that I've had, I now have that. I've finally found a career I can love, halfway through life! I wanted something where I could be home with my kids. There aren't many careers that allow that. Anyway, I've found my passion and will stop at nothing to find success!

It feels so good!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Cookie



I thought I'd post an update on Cookie. She is doing fine and of course, will recover. She'll never be the same, but she'll adjust. We go back to the vet in a week to ten days to have the outer stitches removed. She has to wear this helmet thing so she doesn't scratch. She hates it.

I sure love this little dog. She is so sweet and never hurts anyone. Bry doesn't really know what happened. It may have not had anything to do with the cat food after all. We'll never know because Bry went into the garage, and that's when he heart the attack.

It breaks my heart to get rid of Jenny, but every time I look at cookie, I just can't let it go. More than likely, Jenny won't hurt anyone, but do I take that chance?

I've been in contact with the Golden Retriever Rescue people and they will find her a good home. It makes me feel super guilty. We've had Jenny for four years. This is the home she knows. She loves it here. Bry doesn't want to get rid of her and doesn't think she would ever hurt a person. But like I said, every time I look at Cookie, I am so angry that I don't want to just let it go like it never happened. I don't know. What do you all think?

Monday, April 13, 2009

A sad story


Once upon a time, a very tired mommy was awakened early in the morning by her handsome husband. He had come running into their bedroom, carrying their Shi Tzus, screaming for help.

It seems their four year old golden retriever had bitten Cookie, the Shi Tzus so forcefully, that her eye popped out. From what they knew, Cookie had gotten too close to Jenny's food bowl.

The devastated couple drove like maniacs to the vet. The eye could not be saved as it had come out too far and the optical nerve had been severed.

The eye was removed and sewn up. The mommy and Daddy are heartsick and now will get rid of their dog, Jenny. They just can't trust her. What if it had been their baby, Wyatt or one of the other kids? What if, what if, what if? Would Jenny do this again? Possibly. It is a chance they are not willing to take.

This family is so sad today. Cookie should be fine but will never be the same. What a hard life lesson.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Good grief

I just want to say, thank you to my friends. Thank heavens for good friends. I have always loved the saying, "Friends are God's way of apologizing for family."

This really fits me. I am truly grateful for friends who love me in spite of me. Who love me without judgment and who hold their tongues if I do something they don't like, because really, that's just being nice.

We all have faults or weakness or things we do that others don't like. We can pick each other apart so fast that our heads spin. Does this mean we should? Just because we come in families, does this give us the right to have diarrhea of the mouth when someone does something we don't like?

This is one thing I will say for myself. I may have a lot of noticeable faults, but it is because I don't hide who I am. What you see is what you get. I don't act one way in the privacy of my home, and then put a different foot forward in public. People can either like me for me or they do not need to associate with me. It should be that way for everyone.

I like who I am. I don't feel a need to change who I am and truth be told, I don't know that I want to. Anyway, that's all I have to say about that.

Monday, April 06, 2009

facebook

Oh, I just hate it when the weekend is over. I especially love the feeling of conference weekend. The fam just seems more happy, more relaxed. Plus, the sun finally came out to play. That alone improves my mood.

I have a bone to pick. It is with facebook. I myself use facebook and I enjoying it. In fact, I love it. I love finding old friends and distant family. Reconnecting with people I thought I'd never see again. What I don't love is no longer seeing my friends post on their blogs! I miss them. Ya ya, I could check out facebook more often but there is something deeper, more personal about people's posts on their blog. We get to see a bit more than the short paragraphs on facebook.

So this is my plea. Please don't give up on blogging. Love to all! Have a great week!

Friday, April 03, 2009

Whoo! (wiping forehead)

What a week it has been. Last night I sent my ten pages and synopsis to Lisa Mangum. Can I just say: I haven't felt such stress since finals week in college!

This is my chance so please pray for me! It's not often you get a one on one, face to face interview to pitch your new book. Usually you send your query letter but the acquisition editors never see you and have no idea who you are. I can't tell you how excited I am for this experience.

Every day I am writing madly, trying to get all three books I want to take in perfect order. What a man I have who picks up the slack. Well, most of the time =).

Well, just wanted to say hi. Need to get back to work! Love to you all!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My sweet niece!

I just got the sweetest phone call from my niece. They had "Favorite Author" day at school and they had to write about their favorite author.

She picked me! And not only that, she read my entire manuscript that I'd given her. (the first book I wrote)

She is only eleven years old yet she had great edits and ideas for me! I LOVE THIS GIRL! Thank you Hannah!~ I think you are absolutely wonderful!!

Also, I finished my book, The Ring of Power, today! I really pushed to get it done and I even cried as I wrote the end! It was so good! lol I hope Shadow Mountain thinks so too!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Small miracles

For those of you wondering, I just didn't like that last background. I need changed but the change has to be just right or I find myself going bonkers.

I had a miracle happen today that I want to share. I am pushing to finish a book. I just have a feeling I should get it done before the conference. I was given the advice not to rush this story but I have really pondered about it. I really feel I should finish it. I hope I'm right.

I have averaged thirty pages a day for the last three days. This morning, before I started typing, I had the feeling to save my story to my portable hard drive. Of course, I ignored the feeling as I was in a hurry to get started. I began typing, excited to see how my little adventure would continue.

After two hours of typing, my power went out due to a winter storm. I could have died! I even had a battery powered backup thing so my computer wouldn't turn off if something like this happened. It didn't matter, the computer shut down. I prayed I hadn't lost anything.

When I turned the computer back on, then clicked on the icon for my book, it popped up back to where I was before I started typing today. I nearly sobbed in grief! For those of you writers, you know this pain. I did start to cry and prayed hard for a miracle, hoping my book would re-appear before my eyes. I just couldn't believe it.

Then I happened to check my task bar thing at the bottom. It had two titles on it saying, "The ring of Power." I wondered what the crap that was. At the time my computer crashed, I had an internet page up, itunes and my book. All three showed on the task bar, of course.

I clicked on the first "Ring of power" button and up popped my complete manuscript. EVERYTHING I had just written in the last few hours. I couldn't believe it! I prayed my gratitude. What are the odds of turning on my computer and having my book on the task bar when the internet and itunes had closed? Why hadn't my book closed? I closed the second "ring of power" button and saved my story to my hard drive, all the while giving thanks for this miracle. And it was a miracle.

There is no way I could have re-written what I had already done as well as I had before, and let me tell you. It's pretty dang good! I think I AM supposed to finish this story. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I will not forget this! (But I will always save my story when I get that feeling from now on!)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Oh, the horror!


Let me share my latest drama with you all. Now, some of you may know that I live in hicksville surrounded by lush, green fields of corn and alphalpha. I love it. I watch the sun set while my four horses graze lazily in the back field.

I also have three fat cats who are obviously not doing their job. I do not like cats. I think they are filthy, devious and sneaky. They have one purpose and one purpose only. That is to catch and kill mice before they make it into my house.

They are about to be fired! We have had an infestation of mice lately and I am about out of my mind. A few nights ago, I was awakened in the middle of the night by a tickling in my hair. I ignored it because, you know, sometimes you get little tickles in strange places and it means nothing. Well, I felt another tickle further to the left--in my hair--again. I brushed my hand back, still half asleep mind you, and felt something flip away.

I sat up screaming and I am sure I said a very bad word! My husband jumped up screaming, "it's a mouse!" Ya, you got that right, very bad word...completely justified!

So, my knight in shining armor lays about ten traps around our room everynight. Our kids complain that they can hear mice in the walls. We catch a few here and there but never in our room.

So, this morning, I'm in the bathroom getting ready, Bry is leaning against the counter visiting with me when all of a sudden, a streak of brown races into the bathroom. I scream again! So does Bry, who jumps up on the counter so that his feet are safe! The little mouse runs under the closet door in the bathroom. I grab a trap, shove it in the closet, slam the door and shove a towel over the crack! There is no way that little devil is getting out alive.

About fifteen minutes later, I'm sitting on my throne, (ya, I know. TMI) when the little brown streak races under MY feet and into a hole in the carpet by my tub. Bry came racing in. He said he could hear me screaming outside!

I put another trap under the tub, but I get the feeling that this little mouse knows what it is. Now, don't get me wrong. It's not like there are hundreds of mice filling up my house, but the few that want to live here are grossing me out! I'm getting new cats!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Small miracles

Okay, time for a new post. Let me just say, I feel good today. I woke up dog tired and feeling very unmotivated. I have been doing my South Beach Diet and it has been slow going but at least it is going.

I weighed myself this morning out of curiosity. I have lost another pound! Lucky for me because I had told myself that I wasn't going to work out if I hadn't as it wasn't worth it anyway! Talk about ornery. Well, I had to work out since I'd lost a pound. The Lord works in mysterious ways.

So I'm still going at it. The thing is, I haven't weighed this amount (which I will not divulge) for three years. It feels good. It feels possible. It empowers me. Even though it's hardly noticeable to others, I notice.

I am so glad that this morning, when I was feeling down, that God gave me a little gift. =)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Silver and gold

Old friends, who we thought we'd probably never see again, with the help of technology, suddenly re-appear. I love it!

One such friend called me yesterday--out of the blue. I can't even remember how she said she found me, but it was a wonderful phone call. She is also going to the conference in April so we will get to reconnect that way.

She works for yourldsneighborhood.com newsletter. She offered me the chance to write articles for the newsletter. How could I pass up such an opportunity! Woo Hoo! I'm on my way. Hopefully, they'll think I write well enough to want to print something.

Anyway, it was great fun talking to her. I hope we recognize eachother! I'll tell you, I was at a writing class at the library not long ago and a new guy was there. He looked about my age, seemed very intelligent, and he loves to write. He introduced himself and I had to blink twice. There was no way he was my friend from high school! He didn't even look the same! He hadn't changed drastically, he's just twenty years older. He didn't know me either! Now I know I haven't changed that much!

So, it just goes to show, never judge an old lady by her wrinkles! Every stretch mark, every "smile line" had been earned, and even if old friends don't recognize us right off, the love they have for in their hearts still burns brightly!

Here's to old friends!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Thank you!

I just want to thank everyone who passed by and read my latest post! It has reminded me of something and that is...everyone loves to get comments on their post.

Everyone.

Also, a little reminder any new bloggers. It is good blogging manners to visit someone's site who has visited and commented on yours.

All my friends do this so don't think I am getting after anyone. It's just a friendly reminder to all. There are a few blogs I have found that I enjoy, that I have commented on a number of times, who never return the favor. Not that it matters tons, but it makes me (and probably others) not want to keep commenting.

Lisa taught me this. When I first started blogging, I wanted everyone to visit and comment, but I wasn't returning the favor. I had lots to do and was busy as we all are, but she very gently taught me that if I wanted patrons and friends, I needed to be friendly! =) It was a good lesson. Thanks Lis.

So...THANK YOU ALL FOR COMING! I genuinely love your comments and love to visit your sites as well. Have a great day!

Where is everyone?

Has blogging slowed down or is it just me? It seems that people are going through a slump online. At least in my opinion. Maybe it's spring fever or maybe everyone out there is going through what we, at my house are...the ten millionth cold of the year.

I have felt terrible for a week. Jake stayed home from school today and the others should probably have too. How sick is too sick to go to school? The other two didn't want to stay home. Guess I'm no fun.

So, I sit here feeling like crap, checking all my favorite blogs on a daily basis, but finding no change! Where is everyone and why is no one commenting on mine? Is it that boring? he he

I sat wondering about that yesterday. What is it that those blogs have that get hundreds of hits and/or comments daily? Why are they so popular? I have decided that it is because 1. The person is extremely popular and people want to be associated with them. (not necessarily a bad thing), 2. The blog pokes fun at things. or 3. the blog is extremely acidic or mean and everyone wants to see what all the halabaloo is all about.

I may be wrong, because, I am in an altered state with cold medicine, or maybe I'm just feeling sorry for myself because I'm a wannabe icon. What ever the reason is, I better get a hundred comments today!

Monday, March 16, 2009

A new book


I want to tell you about something that has really filled my heart! My son Jake, who I make/have read my stories I write for youth, is not normally a reader. It has taken a lot of effort to get him into books that he really likes. He's read the Eragon series, A door in the woods, and a couple others that he has really loved, but most of the time, it takes effort for him to find something he can really get in to. He's never been an avid reader. I have to pay/force him to read half the time!

Well, I have started a new story that I call "The Ring of Power." It has been super fun so far. I only have six chapters so far, but every day since I've started it, Jake continually comes into my room asking if I've written anymore. His next comment is that I need to hurry and write the rest. Every time he enters my room, he goes to the computer to check for any new paragraphs. The first thing he does after getting off the bus is go straight to the computer to check for any new chapters. He doesn't even get a snack first. (that's huge, by the way)

He LOVES my story! You have no idea how happy this makes me. This tells me that other kids out there will love my story! I pray that the gods will be merciful and allow me to get my books published. Woo hoo for great kids! This has been a huge boost to my fragile self esteem! =)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A fresh start

Good morning blog readers! As much as it pained me to do so, I rewrote what I'd lost in my new story, then had my son read it. He caught a bunch of details I'd left out. Good ole Jake. I wish I could say that my husband proof read everything I wrote, but he's not around enough. I hate to ask him to take the time when I really feel he should spend his extra time with the kids and me.

So...Jake read the stories and corrects them and has gotten fairly good at it. He's only thirteen, but I am training him young. He now likes to write stories of his own. So do Seth and Heidi. I'm raising a bunch of future writers. Keep it in the family, I always say!

I do believe this new story is more on the fresh side. I wanted to think of something that no one else was writing about and I think I have. I'm not sure of course as I haven't read every kids/fantasy book out there, but my gut feeling tells me this is different. I hope so. I am so excited about it that all I want to do is write! =)

I have put aside my story, "The Adoption, as it is a bit heavier and dark. I need something fun and light after finishing The Guitar, which was also adult suspense. I like to go back and forth between adult and youth. It keeps me fresh and excited and I do well at both. I can't decide which I like better. Once I finish one, I seem ready to tilt in the other direction. Anyway, I am calling this new story The Ring of Power. Look for it in bookstores near you!

Friday, March 13, 2009

I'm absolutely heart sick. I can not believe it! I just found half of my new story I stared gone! Last night I came in to see my baby sitting at my computer. Everything looked okay (I thought) with my story at a glance, so I saved it and got the baby out of there. This was last night.

I got up this morning and found the last half of my story missing and since I saved it, it's just gone. I thought I could do a system restore but it won't give me back what I need. It's just gone. It wasn't really that much but you know how it is when it's fresh and flowing magically from you fingers. Can I re-create that? I hope so. We'll see. For now, I just want to be devastated.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Lost


I have a very sad story to tell. My cousin, actually, my mother's first cousin,Sondra, and her husband have become very close friends or ours. She and her husband had the dream of having a sheep ranch. They moved to South Dakota, bought a farm and started their dream.

Those animals...the sheep, the goats, the guard llama, were her babies. She even had names for them all and new them all and they new her. They'd follow her around. It was her farm that made me understand how Christ could know all his sheep. Anyway, On Feb. 26, in the middle of the night, a storm raged. They put all their animals in the barn and turned on the heater. It's lambing season for them and they had a bunch of new babies they wanted to keep warm.

Somehow, somewhere, there was an electrical short that started a fire. Their barn burned to the ground with all their animals inside it. I can't imagine the terror those poor things must have gone through, but It was discovered too late. Almost three hundred animals burned to death.

Sondra can't even talk about it. They are devastated. I bawled all day yesterday after I found out. I can't imagine what they are feeling. Thank heavens for a loving community. Their friends and neighbors have rallied around them, many sending money, holding auctions and bringing food.

Both Glen and Sondra have had to start working full time as their income is now gone. (and they are well into their 60's) Sondra was also a beautiful knitter. She kept Angora rabbits in the barn, would sheer the rabbits, llama and sheep herself, wash and card the wool, and spin it into yarn. She was wonderfully talented.

This is the farm where my son Jake would go each summer for a month. He knew these animals and is also very sad.

I wonder, why do these things happen? Why didn't a miracle happen for them? Last year, there was a terrible flood in their area and they lost over 100 sheep. When the water went down, they found their animals hanging from trees and fences. It had been over 50 years since of flood of this kind. Why? Why do these things happen? Why do they happen to good people? The only thing I can think of is that something else is coming for them. Something where they need to be free of farm maybe. Or...I don't know. I am just heartsick and trying to figure it out. Maybe there is no answer. Maybe it was what it was...a terrible accident.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A book is born!

To see Annette Lyons contest giveaway's, click here!

Okay...I tried to post the trailer and it wont work! I am the techno-idiot I guess! I don't know what I'm doing wrong! Does it count anyway since I've been trying to figure it out all morning?

If at first you don't succeed, use the tried and true.

Like I said, do what works. As some of you may know, I have been trying for a long time to lose weight. Yes, to those of you who would say, "You look fine," yes, I look fine, but I am over weight just a bit.

I know this because we just changed life insurance companies and our cute little agent asked my husband how tall he is and how much he weighs. Then it's my turn. I tell him my height, and then I say, "If you think I'm gonna tell you how much I weigh, you're insane."

He laughed of course. I did give him a weight I was comfortable with, but it was twenty two pounds lighter than I really am. (ya, I am aware that I lied, but please...who wouldn't?) He told me that he guessed I was close to that. (What ditzes men are! lol) He knew I wasn't giving him an accurate number, but if I was between 135 and another number (which I was over, but he didn't know that) that I was fine and healthy. That means...I'm overweight. What a blow to my self esteem. (which I already knew)

It was then and there that I decided to use the only diet that has ever worked for me. The South Beach Diet. A long time ago, I had not wanted to try this one. I didn't like the name. It sounded like some biki babe, bleach blond diet from plastic surgeryville. But then, I saw the book on a book shelf, pulled it off and began reading. I was amazed. It was a heart doctor who came up with it. It's called the South Beach Diet because that's where he lives. In South Beach, Florida.

Long story short...it's the only one that works on my body. For the last two years I have been trying to lose weight with the theory that if I burn more than I eat, I'll lose. You know what? That doesn't work for me. I know...I've tried for a VERY long time.

Now, I didn't want to do the SBD because I hate limiting which foods I can eat, but hey, use what works. So, for the first two weeks, at least, I eat no dairy, no bread, no starches and no fruits. That's the hard one. I could live on fruit alone. It really hasn't been as bad as I first thought it would be. It starts this way to kill the Candida that all people have. Candida is what makes us addicted to sugar. I LOVE SUGAR!!! (maybe I'm addicted!)

So, I've been doing it for five days. I weighed myself for the first time in five days and guess what...I've lost five pounds. Do you know how long I have been trying to lose just five pounds? Anyway, after two weeks to a month, you start adding foods back in, but that first month of just proteins and low starch veggies gets old. Oh well. It works for me and I feel great on it. I can't tell you how much "cleaner" my body feels just not eating dairy and bread. Who knew?

Side note: remember to drink lots of water and to take your vitamins and Stemenhance every day! =)

Monday, March 09, 2009

Walkin' in a winter wonderland


I did not get what I ordered! Yesterday, the sun shone, spring was just barely opening it's tired eyes, and I was looking forward to sun, and flowers.

Today, I open my door to over six inches of snow covering my porch and it still continues it's cascade. Hello? Punksatony Phil! For pete's sake! So you didn't see your shadow. Big deal! It doesn't mean we need to start December all over again.

Now, don't get me wrong. I love the snow most of the time, but dang! I was just getting spring fever. Just getting ready to plant flowers and gardens and mow lawn.

Instead, I'll stay tucked inside my little haven, reading, writing and soaking in a hot bath...which is also nice!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Writer's Digest writing competittion

I am taking an online writing course. I have to admit, I have really enjoyed it and have learned quite a bit from my instructor who was a professional editor for a lot of years. She is pretty blunt and very strict. I was told that if I ever went over the word count, she'd send my assignment back uncorrected. There are other instructors who aren't so strict, but I really like her, so I kept her. I like people who don't beat around the bush. Even if it hurts at first, I would still rather have someone get straight to the point.

Progressively, her comments on my assignments have gotten more and more positive, with fewer and fewer mistakes to correct. LOVE THAT! lol

So, this last time, she sent me a flyer about the Writer's Digest Writing competition! Woo hoo! I definitely want to enter it. The grand prize winner gets a trip to New York with one on one meetings with top publishers! There is no guarantee that they will represent the winner, but hello? Just getting noticed would be huge! So I will enter a few short stories and see what hapapens. I'll let you know!

For more info on this competition, click here!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Spring fever


Do you ever feel blah? Have you ever checked your blog over and over to see if anyone has commented, but your post is so old that you know no one has? Yet, feel too blah to write anything new?

That is how I feel today. This doesn't mean I'm having a bad day. On the contrary, it's been a great day. I have cleaned house, went to a program for Heidi, started a new story, and played a little wow. Not to mention...washed and folded three batches of laundry!

I actually feel great when I get a lot done, but I still feel blah. I hate that.

I need some action. Maybe I'm stir crazy. I feel spring coming and I'm getting antsy. Oh, I forgot to mention that I reorganized both upstairs bathrooms. ALL TODAY! lol

So, maybe that's all it is. Spring fever! I love spring fever! Woo hoo! I didn't even realize that that was what I was feeling! Now I'm happy. No more blah. Thank heavens for blogging.

Friday, February 27, 2009

The sweet smell of success!


Ah, that just finished smell of a newly printed manuscript. How good it feels to see your words printed on paper...proof of your hard work.

I have finished my story, The Guitar. I am now making a couple of copies to give to friends to proofread. I love this part. I love to find out what people think of my work. Is it as good as I think it is?

The first time I handed out a manuscript, I was a bundle of nerves. When I received it back, I was broken hearted to see so many corrections and red marks. I took a couple days to feel sorry for myself then went to work. It was my first story after all, and I was a complete amateur--never having written a dang thing before--and it did have quite a few errors! In fact, I have re-written that story four times! I think I finally have it down how I like it! That story, I call The Gatekeeper.

It is a youth/fantasy story and I'm paying my thirteen year old son read it and find any mistakes he can! He's not a huge reader so the twenty bucks is a huge incentive for him. So far, he says it's fabulous and since I am writing that story for that age group, I'm happy.

So, I now have two finished manuscripts. I hope to have them both ready for the conference in April. I am bound and determined to have them published! Wish me luck!!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Hugh Jackman


You know, there has always been something about Hugh Jackman that makes me melt. I've always loved his movies. I even dragged Lisa to see Van Helsing with me once,which she scowled through the entire time! I just love him...in anything!

I had NO idea he could sing. Now I'm really in love! If a man can sing, he has my heart! Hugh did the ocsars last night, for those of you who didn't watch, and he was in a few numbers that down right floored me! I had no idea he had such talent!

The whole show was very different from those in the past. They cut costs and tried to give everything an old time feel. I really liked it. They pulled it off well. I wish they would do it this way every year. All the performances were great, funny, and entertaining, but dang! That Hugh! He's my man!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Here's to the man!


So, here it is. My fourteenth wedding anniversary. I can't believe how time has flown. I have so many wonderful memories to look back on so far. I can also remember those times when I swore if I saw Bryan's face that day, I'd kill him! lol I can count those times on one had but they're there.

It makes me wonder what Bry and I have done to make it last, and not only last, but to make it so good.

Like you may have read in an earlier post this week, he was not who I had in mind when I thought about a companion. Sometimes I feel we have nothing in common, but then there are those moments when I look into his eyes and can see the god in embryo.

I am so glad Bryan puts up with me. I am so glad he never gave up and moved to Montana like he'd planned. I am so grateful for the life we've made together.

What a man, what a man, what a man, what a mighty fine man! (know that one?)

This morning before he left, he gave me a beautiful card and a gift certificate for a massage. He also dug my car out of the snow and planted a big one--all before leaving for work. I couldn't ask for anyone more giving, more patient or more loving.

I love his sense of humor (yes, it does exist). You have to know where to look for it and it may be like pulling teeth to find it, but Bryan is fun--especially in his element...the outdoors and in bed. Oops! Is this supposed to be rated PG?

So, here's to my man! May the next fourteen be just as fabulous as the first fourteen!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A good book!


I just finished Josi's book, Lemon Tart. It was such a good story. I know if a book is good by the fact that I take it to my room and continue reading. Normally, I read in the tub for about a half hour after I work out. It's the only time I really get to read.

But once in a while, if a book is good enough, it warrants a trip to my bedroom. Ooh la la.

I finished Lemon tart in bed. So, Congrats Josi.

I have now started "Her good name." It was finally on the book mobile. I have only read two chapters and I'm already hooked. In fact, I have a feeling this is going to be a bedroom book as I still can't stop wondering what is going to happen with the main character, and that guy she meets in the restaurant! Dang! I want something to happen there! I am very impressed so far!

So, got to go so I can fold a million batches of laundry. I need to do a couple chores so I don't feel guilty laying in bed reading. =)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Marriage meme

I found this meme on Josi's blog. I loved it and had to do it too, and since my fourteenth anniversary is Wednesday, I thought it was fitting. Enjoy!

1. Where did you and your husband meet? We met at Bear Lake when I was 16 and he was 23. He was drinking a beer in the back of my brothers truck. He was wearing cut off Levi's, no shirt and was sitting in a lawn chair. I lectured him about drinking and he thought I was a brat. I didn't like him much either.

2. How long before you kissed?

I was 19, I kissed him and then wouldn't talk to him for a very long time. That was the story of our courtship. I would lead him on, then reject him for months at a time.

3. Who kissed who first? See #2

4. How long from the time you met until you were engaged? 9 years! Much of which was spent telling him we were just friends and to leave me alone! Sounds funny now, but he didn't think so at the time.

5. How did he propose?

He didn't really, we both just knew it was right. We went ring shopping and after we bought it, I did make him kneel in the cold, wet snow to ask officially. I was mean. But he was a sucker!

6. Did he pick out the ring or did you? I did! Months before we had even started dating...for the fourth time.

7. Do you still like the ring? yes, I love it! Of course! I picked it out!

8. Where was your wedding and reception? We were married in my sister's living room. Bry was baptized a month later. Tina's house was beautiful and had hardwood floors and floor length windows across one whole wall. The reception was there too. We didn't spend a lot of money as my mom had just died two weeks before. It was a hard time, but we felt her there through out it all.

9. How many bridesmaids did you have, and who was your maid of honor? My sisters were my bridesmaids, so I had four.

10. What color were your bridesmaid dresses? burgandy lace. Really pretty.


11. What was your bouquet made of? Red roses and white orchids

12. Who gave you away? My dad, and it was wonerful.

13. Did you cry during your wedding? Yes! I cried as soon as I took his arm and the music began. My wedding was the most beautiful I have ever been too. I even played my guitar and sang to bryan up there in my wedding dress. I sang, "For You," by John Denver.

14. What style was your dress? Gorgeous! Tight bodice, long sleeves, lace, full skirt. It was rented as I didn't want to buy one. It was exactly what I wanted and it was the first one I saw. It was like my mother was there helping all along. Everything fell into place with no effort.

15. Was your wedding kiss sweet or sexy? It was right in between. It was perfect.

16. Who caught your bouquet? This sounds terrible, but I can't remember! lol

17. What flavor was your cake? K, can't remember that one either. I think it was spice cake because I like that best and I bought it from Dick's market in Centerville. It was white with red roses on it. Real roses.

18. Did you smash the cake onto each other's faces or feed it to each other nicely? We smashed! How could we miss such an oppurtunity. Actually, Bry was nice, I smashed the cake into his mouth. He's always been the nice one! lol

19. What was "your song" that you danced to at your wedding? There was no dancing but our song has always been "She drives me crazy," by Fine Young Cannibals. It's kind of a joke, but kind of not. We still laugh about it, so it really has become our song. lol

20. What did you serve your guests to eat? Can't remember! But I know it was good. One of my dear friends mom made it all.

21. What did your friends do to decorate your car? Can't remember that one either! lol Bry, just told me that he hid our car, so they trashed our apartment. I was furious with my brother for a VERY long time. Sometimes my family goes above and beyond!

22. What was your favorite wedding gift? I don't remember that either! Man, I'm old! I did love the cutco knives, and my mother in law bought us a tv. I sound ungrateful, but truely, I do know we received some really nice things and I loved them all. I just can't remember what they were.

23. What was the worst wedding gift you got? Yep, you got it, can't remember! lol

24. Where did you go on your honeymoon? To a bed and breakfast in Salt lake. Then, six months later, we went to Alaska. That was wonderful!

25. Looking back, is there anything you would have changed about your wedding? About my wedding? No. About my wedding day? Yes. I would have liked to be surrounded with family as I got my hair done etc...Kind of like My great big fat Greek wedding. But that didn't happen. I was all by my lonesome. I don't know what the crap my sisters were doing. That did make me feel bad, but granted, my mom did die just two weeks before. We were all having a hard time.

All in all that day was fabulous. I adore Bryan even more today then I did when we married. We are very different but very alike too. The anniversary of our sealing was on Valentines day. I love that!