Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Teddy Tuesday

Just as I'm wondering what I'm going to write about today to raise awareness of child abuse, a story over the hill, literally pops up on Facebook. It says Masury, Ohio, but it is in the country, over the line from South Pymatuning, next to Sharpsville and parts of Hermitage. A house is being searched  in child porn investigation. No arrests, yet.
We truly as a country must keep our eyes, ears and senses open. It doesn't happen only in the city. The address they give in the news report is out in the country, a lonely area. I passed the road often on my way home from Ohio when I worked home health there.
We don't know. Abuse can happen anywhere. So, don't bury your head in the sand, thinking it can't happen in your quiet neighborhood. And report anything that doesn't look right.
                                                                Child help hotline
                                                                  1 800 932 0313

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Wordless Wednesday

The view from my desk this afternoon. Back to a warm welcome.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Teddy Tuesday

Team Teddy may not have a facebook page, but the fight for Teddy's law and my fight to raise awareness of child abuse continues. I was pleased to see the number of people respond to Team Teddy and R.I.P. Teddy Foltz. Please honor his memory by fighting for every child. We need to protect them from physical, sexual, emotional and verbal abuse,

                                                                      Childhelp Hotline
                                                                        1 800 933 0313

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Grandma's Sweater

This morning's awakening thoughts pondered on what to wear to church. I knew the basic was a red turtle neck and tan pants, since I wore the charcoal ones over the weekend with a red sweater. A beige sweater would complement the outfit for this cold day, but I wished I had Grandma's sweater. Mary     Ellen commandeered it and made it her  own.

Also six weeks post op
Grandma's sweater. I chuckled a bit. I don't remember Grandma ever wearing it. I believe we found it on a cloyingly hot summer's day in the upstairs of her old house, most likely still in the plastic. Some one gave it to her and like her gifts, she kept them for later, a day she may need them. She had night gowns and house coats waiting in case she would go to the hospital.
On that day, after she died and we were cleaning out her house, which had been Uncle Bill's, and briefly Andrea's, then my mom's, I climbed the enclosed stairs I hadn't been up since my early childhood. Humidity and heat rose with me without any air conditioning in August. I found the job of searching through the cedar chest. A thick braid of hair, now faded, lay there with dust. Mom remarked, “Oh, that's from when she bobbed her hair. Don't you want it, Mollie? She really had the most beautiful blond hair.”
I shuddered, “Dead hair? No way.”
So I think Grandma's sweater came down to me from that day. A pearl knit serviceable white, most likely rayon, with white plastic buttons., not stylish or pretty in a fancy way, provided a dense warmth. Hanging down, it wrapped around me in comfort, because it was from Grandma's. Truly the only thing that made it special was saying, it was my grandmother's. Plus the warmth made it a favorite.
I thought of that sweater this frigid morning. Wondering where it was. Probably in Mary Ellen's room. She had it on the other day. The buttons fell off or were taken off. She replaced the top one with an ornate gold button and left the rest of it buttonless. She loves it because of the warmth.
Years later in my home health travels, I parked in front of the garage Grandma rented to the Westinghouse worker. Dad always careful to not block the renter in, as Mom reminded him every time.
Westinghouse left. New people lived here. I had taken care of the woman before at another daughter's home a few blocks over in Sharon. Now, she was much worse, dying. Her bed was in Grandma's old room, where Grandma laid listening to the radio all night on a lumpy bed. I slept there a few times with her. I still remember the eucalyptus aroma as she rubbed the ointment on her sore joints.
Funny how a house can look different with new owners, but yet I saw glimpses of Grandma. It had been ten years, I think, since she had died or almost that many. The old lady, I visited that day, rested in a bed set up the same direction Grandma's was, looking out onto North Oakland Avenue through the front door and windows. We used that porch to watch  the Memorial Day parades for a few years. I guess if Grandma used both floors, her bedroom would have been the living room. She always rented, first the downstairs, then the upstairs, until the last renters proved to be druggies and someone put a stop to her renting out part of the house.
I'm home from church, now. I'm wondering where that sweater is. I'm cold. I found it and it is as warm and cozy as I remember. Mary Ellen stretched the sleeves. Otherwise, it is still Grandma's sweater.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Outside of Time is Live

Outside of Time is live, now, on Createspace store and Kindle. I fought and fought the computer, Microsoft word and forces for the formatting. I lost, but I hope you enjoy the story.
I resolved, if I couldn't have it done for Arts Alive in the Dead of Winter, I'd cancel the show. Then in a moment of weakness, after wearing it over like a stone, I decided after midnight to order copies. I didn't go to bed in peace about it.
I woke this morning with worry. You know, she likes to tap on you in the early hours. And not just about the book, although, that was probably the biggest one. All those little and big things you can't do anything about rush under the covers or crowd the pillow.
I thought where did that calm go when I was in the Valley of the Shadow of Death? These problems are nothing. I got up and got into God's Word, as I prayed. I refuse to worry. She can have no home in my bed.
Some rules about the book. I can't link it for reviews. I ask you to give honest reviews when you read it. Createspace store gives me the highest royalty, but if you can't get to it, don't worry. Smile.
I know this is the first edition. I hope to improve it. I need to take classes, instead of trying to teach myself. I need to spend more time with getting a manuscript ready to publish.
I plan soon to publish a small books of poetry. That may help with my learning formatting easier. I envision it with some cool photography from my friend Sylvia Craig. This is all after I get back on my feet with a return to work next week. I'd say by Easter, but it's early this year.
Writing has to be my focus, now. I have Walking with Eternity first draft before me. After reading and proofing Outside of Time many times, I'm living Amy and Barry Wilson's life. Which is what story is.
I have some doubt, especially reading Stephen King's On Writing. I guess my excuse when I was young, I couldn't type. I definitely, as I've noted before, was too practical. Nursing is a good career to fall back on, almost too comfortable. In the book, Mr. King did make some reference to those writers who begin at fifty- when he was in college. It wasn't an encouraging reference. But I began and will continue to slug it out. As the man asked Jesus when his son foamed at the mouth, "Lord, I believe, help my unbelief."
I thought how I decided on nursing as a career and felt I needed to use my hands for God. I toyed with the idea of being a preacher. Maybe using my hands was for writing.
Then I also think of Mr. Yarian telling me I had the gift of writing, but I needed maturity to find and  write the stories. I loved he believed in a starry eyed seven teen year old.
As I dedicated this book to my husband, David, he has been encouraging me more lately. He also is giving practical advice. On Christmas Eve, when he admitted he read Summer Triangle and it made him cry ... and laugh, my heart soared. One reason, I called this Christmas, a Hope Christmas and I chose Hope as my word for 2016.
A bit of doubt, but I plow on a head.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Wordless Wednesday

Winter fest is Valentine's Day this year at Buhl Farm Park. I love the colors in this picture from the inaugural Winter Fest.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Honoring Teddy on Friday of writing about Teddy is to inform parents of ways to protect their children, as well as children at large. I had talked before of a very young girl messaging a 'fourteen year old' from Texas, when her diligent parents found the messages on her phone. This is just another source of the way perverts find our children. Remind your children, you own the phone. I saw a man instruct that he just picks up his son's phone, says, "I don't have my phone on me" or "My phone is charging, I have to check messages." It is his gentle way of reminding them the phone is not the kid's property.
I didn't write on Tuesday. I wanted to address a different topic, but it bothered me and my inner umph didn't rise to the occasion. A week ago this evening, a local woman was shot to death by her husband. Their children weren't at home. The victim's sister on a newscast stated, the woman had a plan to leave on Monday. She had been putting up with domestic violence for a long time.
In one day, these young girls lost their mother tragically and their father. The family dog was lost. God in His mercy, allowed the dog to be found. Again, I don't know why these horrid actions happen. Our fallen world and sin are the theological answers. But sometimes that gives little comfort. We have all been addressing what lies in a person's heart to allow them to harm a fellow human being. I touch on this in my novels.
Awareness and prayerfulness. Keep a close eye on your children. If you know someone is an abusive relationship, encourage in any way you can for them to get out of the house. We need to keep our eyes opened.
                                                                        Child Help Hot Line

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Wordless Wednesday

So far, this is the most snow we've had. But Valentine's Day is coming.

Monday, February 1, 2016

One More Time

In 2015, I read the Bible in smaller bits, to soak in what was being said that day to me. I still turn to several books a day, but instead of a chapter or two, I would read the section. I know a lot of the formulas for reading the Bible in a year. Some ambitious plans have it read in ninety days. I never looked at that. If you read five Psalms a day, you can read through that book in a month. Except Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible and it is hard on that day to read four more. Proverbs' thirty one chapters can give you wisdom every day of the month.
I started, too, reading a book in a month. Just read it over and over. Philippians' four chapters complement the month of Thanksgiving for me. In February, I read Song of Solomon and 1 and 2 Timothy, for the romance of one and the instruction of an older man to a younger pupil to remind me of my dad in the month he died. I carried this over to a lot of books, I feel led to read the upcoming month.
I ponder over the section I'm reading. I started reading the Bible when I first started reading. I had a small New Testament that belonged to my Grandpa Evans that became the first actual scripture. Before that I looked at the pictures of the Bible Stories books on the book shelf. Those pictures painted vividly, but maybe not always accurately. Somewhat like the flannel graph in Sunday school, release time and Good News club.
I earned a Revised Standard Version in third grade, the red letter deluxe model, that served me many years. The box it came in, I covered with red flannel and collected the pictures from the Good News Club teacher so I could tell the stories. I remember though some of the shock as I read the Bible on my own. Mostly about the shepherd boy, David, who killed the mighty Goliath. As an old man, in 1 Kings chapter one, he had a young woman sleep with him to keep him warm. I hadn't even read or remember hearing about 2 Samuel and Bathsheba.
I really don't know how many times I have read the Bible through. I try to read it every day, although some mornings, the routine is broken. I believe that is OK. The last thing I want is routine or rut. One reason, I have been altering the my approach.
November first, I am reading my Bible. One passage is Matthew 14, where Jesus feeds the five thousand men, plus women and children. I have heard this taught, since I was a child, a pre-reader. I have heard multitude sermons on this. I have heard the liberal view that because the little boy shared his lunch, the others followed his example in sharing and that's how they all were fed. Except the Bible in all four gospels gives no indication of that. It was a miracle, folks, plain and simple. I have also heard of this happening on mission fields, sandwiches keep appearing to feed those who come. I also have seen it happen with resources and finances. I have taught it, myself, with Pepperidge Farms goldfish flowing like there is no end.
This day, though, I prayed, "There's something more today. What do I need to learn today, Jesus?"
And the answer blew in on me. The little bit of love, the little bit of peace and the little bit of forgiveness in my heart, I will lift up, as the little boy lifted up his basket of five loaves and two fishes. I give what feeble amount I have and Jesus will multiply it. My heart will fill to overflowing if I offer my little bit. I will see miracles, if I do the first part of forgiving and being grateful.
The feeling of 'Hope' being my word for 2016 germinated from this thought and in my month of gratitude. 'Hope' in a fresh form followed me. I can't shake it (not that I want to). I should say, it feels it can't be shaken and we know how badly January started for me.
My hope springs from the Holy Spirit whispering, "One more time." I can forgive, one more time. I can believe, one more time. I can love, one more time. And my writing, the spiritual practice, I will continue, one more time.