Friday, September 30, 2011


Driving to work the other day a sign caught my attention….


No kidding, it was epic and it was at the liquor store. I don’t know how epic it was because I don’t smoke cigarettes and the liquor store wasn’t open at 8am.

It got me to thinking, though, about how we use words. According to my Oxford American Dictionary epic is a long story or poem or something on a grand scale.

Was this cigarette sale really something that could be classified as grand!?! I doubt it. I mean it was just cigarettes after all.

As a culture we tend to do this. I know I do. We love things, we hate things. This was the worst day ever! Oh my gosh, I am starving to death right now.

Life can be so melodramatic sometimes, don’t you agree? Now, I really am starving to death so please excuse me while I go eat an epic dinner.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Conquering Uncertainty

It is dark and cool. The light sound of traffic and the soft chirping of night creatures drift in on the breezes through the open window. The sweet scent of the night air surrounds me and has dissipated the dry, cooped up air from being closed all day.

My stomach growls softly with a small hunger. I consider going downstairs to get a PBJ sandwich and a glass of ice cold Diet Pepsi despite the clock reading 12:32am.

I sit in the dark and snippets of life stroll through my head. The uncertainty that permeates my life weighs down like heavy blankets on a winter’s night.

It’s my uncertainty, not God’s. I find that oddly comforting.

This world hasn’t been completely certain since the moment Eve took the fruit from the tree. Uncertainty is now part of the human condition.

A friend once called me a Type A- personality, not totally A, but definitely not a B. That A- minus in me makes me loathe the not knowing; makes me uncomfortable with knowing my plans are tentative.

One of my favorite verses is Jeremiah 29:11 which says the Lord has plans for us. These plans are to prosper us and not to harm us. I cling to this verse like a toddler clings to her binky. I know that prosper doesn’t mean He’s going to shower me with worldly things and riches. I also know that hurt, pain, and ugliness of this world come before the prospering.

God’s plan for prospering me means to save me from eternal death and to bring me to heaven. Jeremiah 29:11 doesn’t promise me no uncertainty. It promises that my only certainty is that regardless of this life I will spend eternity with Him in heaven.

So, here in the night I lay the uncertainty at His feet. I tell Him what I would like but that I’m open to His plan. I pray to mean those words because only in trusting can I conquer the uncertainty.

Friday, September 23, 2011

4 Quick Lessons from the Cat

My wise kitty cat has been offering words of wisdom on my Facebook page. He thought I should share them here on the mountain also. And, he thinks he needs a Facebook page also. Still undecided about that, he is wise, but he is only 6 after all.

Anyway, here we go…

1. Life will give you hairballs. Hack them up and move on.

2. Live with gusto, embrace your crazy cat ladyness, embrace who God created you to be.

3. On a rainy, dreary night it is advisable to have a human to slog through the wet to bring home the bacon and kitty kibble.

4. If someone comes home and doesn’t feed you dinner in a timely manner, sit in front of your bowl and stare at it until said someone gets a clue. Looking cute while doing it helps them get it faster.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Weekend in Review

Happy Monday Readers! Hope your weekend was good. Mine was busy, but that’s pretty much the norm for everyone these days.

I spent the evening Friday with my dad. It was my weekly clean his house time. That means we usually talk for a couple of hours before I actually get to the toilets and floors. We talk about things that happened at work. Well, I guess I should say that I talk about things at work ‘cause he usually can’t get a word in edge wise when I’m talking! Dad and I have good conversations about politics and religion. While we think a lot alike on many things he often says things that really make me think. That’s a good thing. Let me tell you, if the president and congress would listen to me and dad they could fix the problems of this country pretty quick.

Saturday started bright and early. It was a weekend day when I woke the cat up instead of vice versa! He usually has to work pretty hard to get me out of bed on the weekends.

Speaking of getting me out of bed….when I have something important to tell Wilson and he’s not paying attention to me I will put my hand under his chin and lift his little face so he can look in my eyes and see how serious I am. The other day he was trying to get me up to feed him breakfast and I was ignoring him. Finally he reached over and put his paw under my chin to lift my face. In other words, “Listen to my words Mommy, this is important.” He’s done it twice again since then. That’s my boy.

Anyway, Saturday was a brilliantly beautiful morning in the shadow of our mountain. The sun shone and the air held just a bit of a chill. My friend Renee and I headed out to the park to walk in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. You all know that since my mom came down with dementia this battle is very near and dear to my heart. This is the fourth year the Lewy Ladybugs have walked to fight dementia. It’s a nice brisk walk on a fall morning and it supports a great cause.

Saturday night is always my night with my dad. We go to church and then do dinner either at my house or his house. This tradition started when Mom got to the point that she couldn’t go to church. I would stay with her and Dad, my sister and the kids would go to church and bring home communion for Mom. Then we did family dinner. This tradition is something that we have continued and now that my sister’s family moved out of state it’s just me and Dad. I look forward to Saturday nights with Dad.

On the subject of dementia, did you all hear about Pat Robertson and how he believes that because Alzheimer’s is a sort of death and that divorcing a spouse with it is justifiable!?! I have to say that I about fell out of my chair when I first read this. I can’t believe that a man who purports to have studied the Bible would come up with this conclusion. Life isn’t fair and marriage is tough. People make a vow to honor in “sickness and in health.”

Yes, it is true that dementia is a sort of death because your loved one is often gone long before their body gives out. But, they are still the person you married. I walked alongside Mom and Dad through this and I have to say that watching my father was one of the most amazing things ever. His love never wavered. He gave up large parts of himself and his life to care for Mom. It was the most beautiful and tender things I have ever witnessed. I know it had to kill him inside every day, but he continued on. He did it because he loves my mother and he made a vow and he stood by that vow even when times got tough.

I am disappointed that a man of faith would say such a thing and advocate divorce. He really needs to take a look at his heart and his priorities. I pray that if anything horrible were ever to happen to him that his wife, DeDe has more compassion and commitment to her marriage vows than he seems to have.

So, that was my weekend. How was yours?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Don't Ya Love Dishwashing!?!

I’m pretty spoiled. I have many of the modern conveniences. I even have a dishwasher; her name is Tammie. Sometimes she needs to be prodded to get the dishes done.

Actually I have a real dishwasher. It sits there next to the fridge and taunts me. She stopped working about a year ago and I just can’t convince myself to shell out my hard earned bucks to replace her.

So, I wash dishes the old fashioned way. Truth is I think there’s something soothing about washing dishes. I came up with this revelation when I worked at Baskin-Robbins years ago. After a busy day it was nice to fill the sink with hot water and suds and wash the grime of the day away and put things in order.

When I wash dishes I often think of my grandmothers. Both hardworking women that helped shape my life. My paternal grandmother long ago taught me that hot water grew your suds and cold water killed them. That little nugget rocked my teenage world.

My maternal grandmother is a farmer’s wife. She fed and cleaned up after a family of 14 and always looked for ways to save money. Her water comes from a cistern and it is precious. From her I learned that you don’t need to start with a sink full to the brim to still get your dishes clean.

Believe it or not, I also think of my brother during my one-on-one time with my dinnerware. When we were growing up we had to clean up after dinner. Every night it was fighting over who was going to wash and who was going to dry. But it was often an adventure. There was the time we took a lit candle into the kitchen and almost set the cabinets on fire. And, I will never live down my comment, “Stop it Tommy, you’re getting the dishes too wet!”

Washing dishes is just one of those things of life. Some may wonder why I’m blogging about such a mundane thing. Well, while cleaning up the kitchen recently this verse ran through my head…

Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men ~Colossians 3:23

Really, that’s what life is all about, in the everyday tasks (even dish washing) we are to work for the Lord.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Changes and Possibilities

There’s a delightful feeling of fall in the air. The temps have dropped some and the mornings are blissfully cool. I am in heaven since fall is my favorite time of year. I’m looking forward to leaves changing colors, pumpkins and scarecrows showing up, and sunny, cool days.

I find fall and spring to be wonderful times. The transition from a cold, bitter winter or a hot, cranky summer is for me the perfect time. It seems that as the world transitions so does something in my soul.

Transitions are happening a lot in my world. The hospital is going through a time of transition and struggle. The last few weeks there have been talks of layoffs and that makes things even tougher.

Upon review of my life I realize that layoffs and uncertain job futures has been a prominent message in my work going back to about 1993. So, what is happening at work is nothing new for me and in some ways that is comforting. I know how to handle it. I did get laid off in 2007 and God was faithful during that time.

He took that time of transition and uncertainty and gave me an incredible gift. I spent much time the 10 months I was unemployed with Mom and Dad. Those were the last 10 months of my mother’s life and while walking with her during those months were hard I also have sweet memories of being so intimately involved in hers and Dad’s life. I wrote about one of those beautiful moments here.

In the midst of this, though, God is whispering in my heart about something. I think it’s a new writing project but I’m not sure what it’s all about yet. I’m excited about what this might be and keep listening for that quiet voice.

In the writing world, I’ve been trying my hand at some new forms of fiction. I’ve been working on a fantasy short story and a mystery/thriller. These are not my norm so it’s been fun to see where that leads me.

Flash fiction is also something I’ve given the old college try. Flash fiction is very, very short stories. A blurb in the paper about Esquire’s 78th anniversary and a flash fiction contest caught my eye. The word count was to be exactly 78 words. I tried it and came up with a story. I haven’t decided yet whether I’m going to submit it or try another one first, but I promise to post some of my attempts when I decide what to submit.

So, lots of stuff happening in my world and I thought I would share with you. Have a great week.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Where Were You That Day?

Do you remember where you were that day ten years ago?

Here in my world that Tuesday dawned sunny and warm. The sky was an amazing shade of blue as I drove to work. It started as any other day in a string of days. Work beckoned and after work various duties around the house.

The light of that morning belied what was about to happen. Before I reached the office the brilliant hope of that morning had parted and a darkness descended on our country. It became a day of fear, tragedy, and despair.

My heart ached for those whose lives were intimately involved in the terrible events of 9/11/01. I tried to imagine what it was like for them but knew my imagination couldn’t touch the horror of what they were going through.

The evil of that day couldn’t triumph over the spirit of the American people. In the midst of the chaos and fear people put their lives on hold. They gave until they could give no more. They did what needed to be done to help.

Yes, we were all changed that day. It is my hope that as a nation we will never forget those who were lost. I also hope that we won’t forget what this great nation stands for and how we pulled together in those dark moments.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Who Do You Say that I Am?

He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" ~Matthew 16:15

Jesus asked these words of the apostles and they responded that He was the Christ. A few weeks ago this was the topic of the sermon on a Saturday night at my dad’s church. This question has followed me for the last few weeks.

He is the Chris, the son of God. True, but as I’ve pondered this I wondered if these words go far enough. My desire is to know Him more and in a very personal way. So I began to ask myself each day this question. “Who do I say He is?”

  • During moments of missing my mother that take my breath away He is my comfort.
“To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” ~Isaiah 61:2-3

  • In threats of layoff in a tough economy He is my provider.
“There I will provide for you, lest you and your household, and all that you have, come to poverty; for there are still five years of famine.” ~ Genesis 45:11

  • When sickness of body or soul comes He is my healer.
“For I will restore health to you, And heal you of your wounds,' says the Lord…” ~ Jeremiah 30:17

  • When I am fearful He is my peace.
“And the Lord appeared to him the same night and said, "I am the God of your father Abraham; do not fear, for I am with you…” ~ Genesis 26:24

Friday, September 2, 2011

Can You Say Discombobulated?

I can because that's how my week has been. I have been confused about what day it is all week. Then I realized late Wednesday night that I never posted anything for Wednesday. And, it was late this evening when I realized I didn't have anything ready for Friday.

My apologies. Next week I will have it back together. In the meantime, I leave you with this Wordless Wednesday picture on a discombobulated Friday and wish you all a very happy weekend.