Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Team Teddy Tuesday

Now that I manage the Team Teddy page, I seem to run out of ideas for this day on my blog. So I trolled the internet today and then the phone ideas come up. I have been talking of how parents need to protect their children, as well as provide a way out if their child is in an abusive situation. This week, I have seen two incidences where young girls are targeted.
One was nine, playing computer games that provided a chat room. The family noticed the unusual traffic. A fourteen year old from Texas was 'in love' with their daughter. They immediately removed her phone with strong discipline. Even nine year old children in a loving home are suspect to flattery.
I just read an article about a twelve year old messaging with a man. He only wanted her to smoke a joint and cuddle. This was in our local Sharpsville. He also used the 'love' word and wanted to marry her.
As I have said from the beginning of this subject, we, as responsible adults need to be aware of the children around us. Another adult found this man in the victim's bedroom and called the police. Parents need to check those texts on a child's phone. The predators are hungry and they know the bait. Some young girls, especially, crave love, even when they are filled at home. There is something exciting about an older man paying attention to her, even though we as adults can see it for the sickness that it is.
We can't have an iron fist or make it so our children don't want to share with us. Let them know the phones, Facebook, other messaging social forms of communication are subject to inspection. In my day, we had the three phones that parents could pick up the extension and listen. Follow your gut. Nine or twelve or seventeen, let your children know you love them and you are watching out for their welfare, and always that you love them.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Woot! Woot! 1000!


This is my one thousand post. Yes, 1000. I started this blog four years ago, which I commemorated  earlier this year. Woot! Woot! 1000! I'm breaking all those rules, but I am happy about exclamation points and using numbers.
Ups and downs mark my writing here. Some posts I love and some I say, oh, well, I'm writing. I am amazed at what is popular. The top five pageviews on posts:

 Scary Halloween- Top by far with 475
Wyoming and High Altitude
The Newel Post- popular in France
Wordless Wednesday- October 29, 2014

Top pageviews by country
USA- 32,503
Russia- 2332

Internet Explorer

Traffic Source

I experimented with Word Press, but didn't like that I couldn't make the picture of the house stand out. Readers complained they missed the house. I also became accustomed to Blogger. I left Blogger because I flubbed up with my ad sense, asking people to click on the ads after I said nothing about them for  two years. Some of the ads looked interesting and I knew I couldn't view them and forgot I shouldn't direct my audience to them. I was close to getting a hundred dollar check and they shut me down. I felt shame and stupid. I learned.
I added Team Teddy Tuesdays and Wordless Wednesdays as regular features. I hoped Wordless Wednesdays would free up my time for writing my novels. And it has helped.
I had one novel written when I started the blog. Main Street written in dark and isolation, as the story is, too. I feared to show I was writing. Fear of being laughed at? I have only been met with encouragement. Thank you.
With those moments in my kitchen first thing in the morning, when I feel mocked by my own doubts, I have been discouraged at times. I don't see the progress I want. I want to make more money to be able to write more. But as any working woman will tell you, having a schedule helps you get more accomplished.
I've published two novels, Summer Triangle first then followed a year later with Main Street. I had a great book launch with that book based on West Middlesex. Love inspires me to keep writing.
This year, I have three novels planned to published. One this spring. Then summer and fall will follow with two more. I look forward to West PA Author Book Festival July 25, 2015 in Mercer, Pennsylvania with four books to sign.
One thousand coincides with my birthday week. Celebration of mile stones fill the next few days. I push forward to two thousand. Thank you for reading and keep on reading. I love you, readers. Next post, 1001.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

Sunset on a wonderful warm spring day. See the first planet of the evening.

First violet I saw this spring, yesterday

My helper. My editor. Can't beat a Ninja.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Team Teddy Tuesday

After all my writing about child abuse awareness and even mentioning how professionals in Pennsylvania need mandated training, I am in search of an online course to renew my license. Irony. Or stupidity. Either way, that is my quest today, so I can continue practicing my profession.
If your renewal is up, remember we need two hours training. I will list websites. So check back. Waiting for call from AWARE, Inc.
Now, when I say we all need to be aware, I really need this. The Sandusky Law, because we can't turn a blind eye, anymore.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Forgive Jesus

Forgive Jesus
Mollie Lyon

Forgive Jesus, forgive Jesus. Wow!
He sends me into storms.
I see Him walk on water.
He is always with me.
Winds howl, rain floods my eyes
I can't see Jesus. I can't see Him.
Does He sneak up behind in the wind and the storm?
Is He sleeping on the boat?
He said He would never leave me
Nor forsake me, yet, do I feel He has
When I'm blinded by it all?
I don't acknowledge that doubt.
I blame His imperfect followers.
I blame myself.
I can't blame the Savior.
Yet, I do, down in my soul.
Lord, don't leave me,
Like you left the demoniac
After delivering him.
You haven't take me to Paradise
“Today, you will be with Me.”
When life was so hard I wanted to go.

When Dad died, I, like Martha,
Scolded You, “If only You had been here.”
Why didn't You answer those prayers?
I skirted around the Bible answers.
I felt hollow with those.
Why can't I be in Paradise?
Why no rapture to keep Mom from death?
We fear the moment we die
Not the moment after.
I push these questions down,
Down, down deep.
I believe You. I believe
“Lo, I am with you always.”
I know You promised trials
You promise. The one promise
I bitterly remind all, we can count on.
I seek answers to my comfort.
I know, “Count it all joy.” these trials.
I know. I know. I know.
Even though I walk through the Valley
-of death
-of doubt
-of unforgiving
-of misfortune
-of disappointment
You are with me,
Your rod to tap me
Your staff to guide me
You do no wrong, but I felt wronged.
“Lord, if only You had...”
If only You had shown up.
If only Your people could read my mind.
If only You tapped their shoulders to pay attention to my plight.
In the beautiful fight.

The fight began before I was born
And will continue until that bright victorious morn.
And Jesus shows forgiveness
He washes dirty feet
He hung from a shameful cross.
“Father, forgive them,
For they know not what
They do.”
And I must follow You
In forgiving as You forgave.

Friday, April 17, 2015

For Team Teddy

Dreaming Again

I woke this morning in the continued funk, although I am fighting it. I thought of the work schedule and only having every third weekend off. I thought of home health and better days. I weighed my options and know changing horses right now, midstream, is not the best idea. I took a shower.
After a check up for my sinus infection and grousing about health care with my doctor, I got the usual blood work done. I talked up Haitian Sensation, next door to the lab, but I had determined to visit downtown Sharon's new coffee cafe, Charmed. And I am charmed by red walls with purple accents. The song Broken by Casting Crowns played overhead.
I got a bacon scone and chocolate hazelnut biscotti to go with the Drive Me Crazy coffee. I thought of sitting at the counter, but then the window beckoned me.
After enjoying my selection, I ask the important question, "Where is the rest room?" I take more pictures and really love the decor.
on my table

After coming out of the rest room, I studied the book shelf more closely. Then I returned to the next room and ask the owner about the book shelf. I added, "I'm a published author."
Terrie asked what kind of books I write. She then suggested I could have an area to promote my novels there. I gave her my card, knowing full well, I'm not waiting to come back. We talked with another shop owner downtown, who is helping her out. Sarah, owns Redeemed, moved up by Designs by G. I can feel a story coming...
I had more business to do, like pick up my glasses. The overcast sky didn't make it cold. I enjoyed not wearing a jacket or socks. I walked East on State Street. First Dr. Ways, then on up to Designs by G. I sold a book! And the readers want to know when the next one is coming out. I aiming for June. The next two after that should come faster.
Talking to Geri inspires me every time I walk into her store. She carries my books and she has invited me to put out a table to sign them during the Waterfire celebrations downtown. I'm pumped. She also showed me pictures of the interior of Cravings, in the Civic Center, which will house the Penn State Creamery ice cream- yes, Ben and Jerry studied there- as well as Mr. D's food, Philadelphia candies and O'Neil coffee.  I can see the people streaming in now. Bright, clean and modern tables seating hundreds. Downtown is popping.
And I set to dreaming again. I can be a writer. I am a writer. I would love to travel, but I love my Valley. I love the new shops. I love being able to walk outside again in shirt sleeves. Even with gray skies, I dream. And a friend bought my books for his new Kindle.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A Request

Life is getting in the way again of my writing dreams. Readers, please pray for me as I struggle through another crisis. I know I'll get through and everyone involved will. I always have hope, but dang those digging little lies that tell me I can't do things, I'm not worthy or I did a ton of things wrong- not saying that I didn't, but I believe in grace.
I can't go into details. I have to protect others. But God knows and I appreciate all good vibes sent my way. It is spring and life goes on in a wonderful way. Lord help us.

Wordless Wednesday

A bit of gold in brown

Busy weekend...

The table top

Lamps at Bent Fork Restaurant, Greenville, PA

The entrance with blue sky of spring

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Team Teddy Tuesday

This link goes with what I had been writing about- to protect our children. Even other kids can abuse children. Bullying is a buzzword today as well. Build up your own children in their self worth, so they will not fall victim to outside abuse.
We can't always be with our children as they venture out into this world. Safety teaching, firm morals and our prayers can help them as they encounter tangles of this society. I realize some parents, through divorce, are part time custodial, but you can always pray for God's protection.
I attended an old saint's funeral yesterday. The testimonies of her life put to mind my parents and the home they raised us in. A hymn sung at my mother's funeral came to mind, A Christian Home, lyrics by Barbara B. Hart and music Jean Sibelius.
Words from the first verse speak of what I want to convey- every child is taught His love and favor. How sweet to know that though his footsteps waver, his faithful Lord is walking by his side. 
Let's bolster our children to be strong in the world they occupy. And all the children you come in contact, give that encouraging smile. Let them know you are a safe haven, if they need help.  Be there for children.

Friday, April 10, 2015

If You Don't Go With Me

The first post I wrote before going to work had some interesting wording, but I deleted it all and will start fresh. I knew as I was writing it, One: I didn't have time to write, Two: I was in a bad mood, and Three: I couldn't find the picture I wanted to post with it. I know it was in the folders, but sometimes they are elusive.
I complained about no sunshine. We finally have the nice temperatures in fifties and sixties, but with rain or clouds. The rain ruined my book order of Main Street, as they left in on my step, while I was at work. Twenty five books hiding in a cardboard box. Now they are wavy. I wonder if WestBow Press will compensate that?
I also wrote how we all are Jobs. Ted Dekker's first book, Heaven's Wager, told a modern Job story. I read chapter 29 and 30 of Job today
Warped books and not that way!
for our church's reading through the Bible in a year schedule. I contemplated how my life as a youngster made faith easy. Now, life is making it strong, especially with the pursuit of a writing career and working in nursing home world.
Nursing home world threw curve balls at me this week. One nurse is being punished, but I feel it, too. My residents resent it. I keep telling myself, this too shall pass. I also think of the Southside Johnny song, Love on the Wrong Side of Town- "you were the one who cheated, but I was the one who cried. I did most of the talking, but you were the one who lied." I'm stretched by being on different halls. Smile and be professional, a good example, so they may all grow.
My evaluation was good. I got my yearly raise, just under the allowed amount, because they will never give the whole. They all run like that. We talked about my future. Again, I weigh my writing with the nursing career demands. Where do I want to go?
The dreariness of the days pulls me to sleep in. I've had less time, because a morning of sleeping doesn't allow for writing. Then I feel like a failure that day. I haven't written on my work in progress since Saturday and then just a few words. Not writing makes me grumpy. I keep proving to myself I can write in spurts, but I still fight with craving a large amount of time.
This too shall pass- TTSP.
Mary DeMuth wrote a post about being mad at God. We may not admit it when dreams don't seem to materialize like we plan, but we get mad. WestBow Press is an example. They take a lot of money and don't even pack books in plastic. That would have helped today. But I have learned I have to do this myself with God's help. Then I wonder, am I straying from where He wants my writing?  I ponder is that why I don't sell many books or get recognition?
I lean into Jesus. He has my right hand. I go forth with knowing the journey makes me strong. I don't want to do this any other way than the way Jesus wants. Like Moses told God, "If you don't go with us, I don't want to go." Lord, help me to believe that and know what that truly means.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Team Teddy Tuesday

Be an influencer. This page is to raise awareness of child abuse, stop it when you can and today, I'm encouraging you to be a light in a child's life. I was no victim of child abuse, but I had ladies, especially, who modeled behavior in my younger life.
One such lady passed away Sunday night in her sleep. She moved from this area about twenty two years ago to be with her kids. I'd seen her off and on in this period, but not much. I thought of her on Maundy Thursday, as I recalled when her son and I became communicant members of our church. My father was in the hospital and couldn't be there. My mom didn't drive, but Barb invited us to their house for a celebration after church with cake.
Barb taught Sunday school, release time and took an interest in our lives. She expected the best from us. Sometimes that seemed annoying, but underneath, we knew she did it with love. She was the first to really encourage Bible memorization with more than a verse at a time. She had no doubt we were able and we were.
Barb and her husband helped my dad out when my mother was bedridden with cancer. They sat with her if he had a meeting to attend. I remember hearing something about grapes. Barb's love wrapped with good deeds, as well.
At my father's death, she helped in our
Barb on the left, my mom on the right.
kitchen to prepare a dinner for our family between calling hours. I expressed displeasure with something my husband didn't do at the time. She calmly conveyed to not criticize him, because he was my husband. He had been doing something else to help. That feeling of her encouragement of marriage comes often when I want to cut down my husband. And to not jump to conclusions.
She and her husband also supported missions. They went on several assignments in America. One to Sitka, Alaska. Bob had electrical skills and she cleaned. Their humble actions used by God.
This couple also babysat our kids when my young adults had Bible study. My daughter called her Grandma Barb. I grieved because they seemed to leave our area too early. I yearned for more grandparent figures in my children's life.
In memory of Barb and Bob, who passed away in 2010, I ask that we all take an interest in a child's life. Encourage them to aspire to their best. Don't doubt abilities. Take them out to lunch. Listen to their dreams. Be an influencer.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Some Easter Images- Happy Easter Monday

 Kraynak stop Tuesday before Easter this year, by myself.

Our Easter Sunrise over Mahaney Boat launch, near Sharpsville, PA
Easter Monday pops up on the calender. When we didn't have many snow days to make up, we had the day off school. A day to unwind from the candy and hubbub of the day before. A few memories from those early years fly to my mind today. One of playing in the field behind the church and walking through the woods on a cloudy day, still needing to wear a jacket, but not a winter jacket. I think I was in first grade and very thankful to not be in school that day.
The next year, our wonderful Dachshund, Nicky, excited to chase a rabbit, egged on by the hunter, Dan, raced onto Main Street. He survived the collision with the car with a broken hip. The vet place a cast on him after pinning the curved bones.
My mom carried Nicky outside to urinate. Easter Monday, the sun shined brighter this year, the weather warmer, Mom looked down to blood trickling on her house dress. The pins busted loose. My folks thought it best to put Nicky out of his misery and he slept away to Heaven that Monday.
I cried myself to sleep. My dream that night revealed Nicky on a white dais floating in a space, like Heaven. A young child assured good dogs go to Heaven.
That has been affirmed to me through Bible reading and different men of the cloth. Some would disagree. But Heaven is full of joy and what more joy, unconditional love and adoration than a dog's love for his family?
How my sister saw Nicky

But he was a good boy
So on this Easter Monday, rejoice in the cross, redemption offered to you, not only in this life, but after death steals your breath, because of Jesus rising on Easter Sunday. All you have to do is accept His unconditional love and sin no more.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Maundy Thursday from 1979

At almost eighteen, in my senior year, I took a trip to my sister's in California at Easter time. This is my entry from my journal of a church service that touches my heart, still.
April 12, 1979
I have to interrupt my first story to share the most beautiful experience that happened to me tonight. Today is Thursday, but not any Thursday. It is the Thursday in holy week just before Good Friday and Easter. On this night many years ago, Jesus ate His last supper while He was living. on earth. He was celebrating the Jewish holiday of the old covenant. In this act, He began the new covenant. He broke the bread, as His body would be broken and gave the wine as His blood would be shed. Ever since this occasion, Christians have remembered the suffering of Christ in this communion.
Tonight was a celebration of communion.
I entered the Ridgecrest Covenant United Presbyterian Church, a fairly modern building. Greeting me were very informal ushers. I chatted awhile with them and then made my presence in the sanctuary. A young girl sat on the floor in a black turtle neck shirt and ragged jeans. No shoes were on her feet. Her sun bleached hair barely touched her shoulders. She was intently strumming a guitar. Only a few people had gathered and I sat in the second and last row.
I said a prayer of thanks to be in the Lord's house. As I finished my thanksgiving, I looked to the altar. Two loaves of homemade bread waited to be broken. Three pitchers, very sleek, of grape juice also were ready for the silver cup. Palms adorned the pulpit from the past Sunday. A peace filled my heart and I was prepared for the service.
While I was like the supplements on the altar, a crippled woman hobbled in. I asked her to sit by me and she did.
The pastor entered in his flowing black robe and the purple scarf of Lent. He was a tall man and middle age; a calm smile of assurance spread on his face.
He preached on the last days of Jesus' life, the holy week up till Thursday. He told of His teachings and His services to the people He loved. How Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. Jesus could be the servant to His disciples by washing their feet, are we greater than Jesus? We are to serve and minister.
The first song was the old Christian favorite, Amazing Grace. The truest song of any conversion. After the pastor told of the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, we sang Father, Good and Kind, a most befitting hymn. As we prepared for the actual communion, we joined together in As I Survey the Cross, a song I love dearly. 
The pastor invited us to the communion table, encouraging us to be ruling elders tonight. (in the Presbyterian church, the elected or ruling elders serve communion to the congregation) Our crowd was small prompting intimacy as we could serve each other.
As an acting elder, I served the bread and wine to the crippled lady. People served me, too, and it was so beautiful and close.
The loaves were actually broken and we drank hearty shares of grape juice. I imagine it was much like the Last Supper. The Christian fellowship was there and love poured from my heart. 
As Christians, we need the fellowship of other Christians and we need to be reminded of the actual broken body and shed blood of our Lord and Savior. We need simplicity and a constant communion with our God. One to one, yet sharing. We must not forget the Way, the Truth and the Life. We are part of Jesus and He lives through us in ministering to the world.

Engage today in communion with your God. Remember the roots and the sacrifice of Jesus.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

Nothing's on Facebook and Mommy has to go to work