Thursday, April 30, 2015

Xenophobia - A Product of Inadequate Immigration Reform?

Xenophobia, intense dislike or fear of people from other countries, seems to be growing in the United States. 

Our southern borders are porous.  Deported criminals keep returning to commit more crimes.  Citizens on the Texas border are disappearing without being heard from again.  Some groups are entering quietly and doing who knows what...

It is said that "good fences make for good neighbors."  What do you think?

What Are "They" Thinking?!

I learned today that cursive is no longer going to be taught in our schools.  Thank you very much, common core...not.

Cursive is an art.  It brings connection of thoughts.  Without it, one will never be able to read the writings of the founding fathers, grandma and grandpa's love letters, Mom's recipes, and so much more I am not able to think of right now.

Common core has some good points to it but it is going too far too fast.  My niece is a teacher.  When she and her fifth grade teaching colleagues took the practice tests, they each came up with different answers to the math questions.  Oh, by the way, my niece is certified to teach math.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Under the Wire

Yup, once again, I am under the wire in finishing this A to Z challenge.  Hey, I was doing well until I got sick!

Even in college, I was a last minute person.  I planned out a paper in my mind before I wrote it out.  I have read that this is one of two kinds of people.  The other  takes their time, writing it out as they go along with a lot of time to amend and correct.  I already amended and corrected in my mind.

One area that I have changed in this last year is in preparing for my small group.  Being a leader, it would be unfair to the people I am mentoring and discipling to cheap out on my preparation time.

It is true that people who teach learn as much if not more than those they teach.  Good stuff, eh?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


No matter how old I get I still can not believe the indecency of humans against other humans.

Bad things happen.  They have been happening since Cain killed Abel.  In what world does injustice make it right to hurt innocent bystanders?  To steal from your community?  To stop first responders from putting out fires?

When I went to Costco today, I wondered if I would be safe.  No, I am nowhere near any of the rioting and demonstrating going on around the country.  But maybe it is just a matter of time.  What else can you expect from a country that has murdered over fifty-six million innocents in the name of convenience.

As was mentioned by a friend of mine, if things don't change fast, it is going to be a long hot summer in the United States.  God help us all.


This past year I stepped out of my comfort zone in faith to apprentice and co-lead a women's group.  Last night I attended a Leadership Training class that our pastor tries to hold monthly.

I could have sat it out.  I could have attended without leading.  However, God wants us to step out of our comfort zones and, yes, "walk on water" as Peter did. 

My group just finished a study on this very topic (water walking).  People talk more about Peter's failure to have faith to keep on walking.  However, as the book points out, Peter was the only one to get out of the boat!  Everyone else huddled in fear inside of the boat.

Yes, I attend leadership training.  My toes are feeling a little wet.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Singing and Obedience

Singing is one of the most beautiful ways God gives us to express ourselves.  We can sing of sorrow, joy, pain, delight, healing, longing, any emotion actually.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been singing since I was a small child.  We used to put on shows to raise money for charity.  Then choruses and choirs throughout my schooling and church.

This year I finally was obedient to God's call and joined my church's worship team.  It had been years since I was in front of a microphone and I was afraid.  However, I know that obedience brings revelation and blessings so, after fighting God for years on this issue, there I stood there, knees knocking.  It took a few Sundays but now it is comfortable and fun.

What has God been calling you to do that you have stubbornly be resisting? 


This past year started off rough.  I won't get into details but personal issues caused a schism that was difficult to crawl out of.

Ever been in that situation?  "Crawl" is the perfect word because it is so very hard to forgive and work out what hurts us.  On my own, I can do nothing.  It is only by the God's mercy and grace, through His Holy Spirit that the years the locust have eaten can be restored (Joel 2:25).

Restoration is hard but, with Christ, all things are possible.  Give Him a try if you haven't already.  We can talk if you like.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Quadricep Quandry

When I started my weight loss journey a few years ago, I joined a gym.  Unlike most people, I stuck with it.

When the gym added a room with workout videos, I spent most of my time in there.  Hmmmm.....said I.  I could do a lot of this at home....and save the monthly fee.

This started my adventure with on demand and youtube exercise.  The best exercise for me is barefoot and low impact.  Ellen Barrett and Jessica Smith have great routines.  There is nothing frenetic about the workouts but you get cardio and strength training with no special equipment except for the occasional light dumbbell. 

I still want to take Krav Maga but that is going to have to go on the  back burner for now.

Peachy, Just Peachy

Well, today was the last visit with my BFF before she leaves for Tennessee.  When we were having lunch, I got choked up and nearly cried my eyes out.  I  do  not  cry.  But I had to hold back the tears.

A good thing that happened this year is that I believe I got over my fear of flying.  I still don't like it but I didn't have to medicate myself when we finally took a vacation last October.

Tennessee in June sounds good.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Oh, My Heart is Breaking!

Finally, my best friend and I had gotten into the rhythm of getting together on a regular basis.  We lived about 45 minutes apart, which, in my part of the country, is a little bit of a hike.  We found a halfway point and it has been a year or so of getting together on a regular basis.

Then her husband took a job in Tennessee.  Tennessee is NOT in the Great Atlantic Northeast!

Tomorrow we will have a quick lunch, hug, and say good-bye for now.  Excuse me whilst I look up airfares to TN.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

No Way

No way I am this far behind on the challenge.  This year I WILL finish on time!  I hope.  Really, really hope.

A cold is really not just a cold.

Monday, April 20, 2015

More, Please

This post is going to be hard because I have no idea how to describe the experience I want to talk about!

This past Thursday evening, Friday, all day, and Saturday morning, I attended something called The College of Prayer 

What is the college of prayer?  Oy.  How to explain it.  It is getting closer to God; getting rid of spiritual junk; healing and so much more.  To describe it is beyond me.  So I won't even try any more.

However, I want more, please!

Lyrics Matter

Music has always been a major part of my life.  I loved to hear my mother sing.  The radio was usually on in the family car.  Meet the Beetles was on the turntable as was Mario Lanza.

When I was in elementary school, I started singing harmony in a chorus and continued this throughout high school and a bit in college and church.  I now sing on the church worship team.

Ever hear of an earworm?  It is when you can't get a tune out of your head.  Often, I fall asleep with a song on my mind and wake up with one as well.

In the last few years, I have found that I have to be very careful of what I listen to.  Music has such power!  A song can bring me back to middle school, to memories of a dating relationship, to sorrowful times in my life, to sinful times that I don't need to dwell on bringing on spiritual attack.  One time, I actually had to leave a store because a song playing brought on a panic attack!

For new readers, if you haven't figured it out already, I love Jesus.  I try to love Him with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength.  It is for that reason that I have taken to listening to only Christian themed and classical music.

Have at it, earworms.  I am safe with what I have been listening to.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

K-not a Not

What an odd language English is. 

As Isabella's reading ability grows, she is in a constant state of pique over whoever it was who decided to invent silent letters!

"Booboo, how do you spell knot?"

"Do you mean like in, 'I did not do that?' or as in a tied knot?"

"A tied knot."

"You're not going to like it....."

"How do you spell it?"


Big sigh.

"Who spelled it that way?"

"I don't know, Boo.  It is very strange, I know."

So many conversations like this as she tries to comprehend what the most avid reader knows is a matter of memorization. 

Heavy sigh.  (Three silent letters.)

Thursday, April 16, 2015


Precious Isabella is now in the third grade.  Although she is still in a contained autism classroom, she takes her specials and eats lunch with the general education children.

The third and fourth graders put on a wonderful play from a book called "Jabuti the Tortoise:  A Trickster Tale from the Amazon" by Gerald McDermott.   Their music teacher wrote the music and they spent three months learning to recite, play act, and dance.

It was delightful from the moment we arrived.  A number of children greeted Isabella; she is one of them.  This is such an answer to prayer!

When the children were on stage, Bells was just as engaged as the other children.  More so, actually, as she was waving to her mom throughout!

The reason we stay in a town with especially high rents is because Isabella gets a great education.  I wish this was true for all people on the spectrum.

I'm Back!

There is no such thing as "just a cold."  They can be debilitating and that is what happened to me.  It has been a week and taking a shower still brings on exhaustion.  Oh, well, I have to catch up so the next few entries will probably be shorter than usual....

Friday, April 10, 2015

Hack, Cough

Yup, I have a cold. 

Not happy about it but it isn't as bad as it could be.  Could it be the "thieves" essential oil I have been dabbing twice a day?  Hmmm.....let's see how long it lasts.''

Essential oils are a new thing for me this year.  Friends had been raving about them so it was time to check them out.

"Thieves" is a blend that is supposed to ward off colds and such.  I have been using it since January and this is the first cold I have had this year.  I have also been using it on Isabella and she has been sick but not as often or for as long.

The oils for pain have worked well for Himself but not for me.  The difference is either spiritual or because mine is from fms.  I will explain the "spiritual" if anyone asks.

Anyway, I am going back to bed now that Bells is off to school.  I will try to catch up with the challenge later or over the weekend.

Cough, cough.  heavy sigh

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


This is a reprisal from a an entry dated February 26, 2011.  I am repeating it because the same thing happened to me today:

Something I might not have shared with you in the past is that, in the past, I have suffered from crippling panic attacks. It has been a while since I feared them but, this past week, that has changed.
Out of the blue, this past Tuesday I had a full blown attack. It popped up, seemingly, out of nowhere. I was so thankful that Isabella wasn’t with me as I have no idea how she might have reacted to her Booboo freaking out.

What does one of these attacks look like for me? The pressure in my chest makes me fear a heart attack. Sometimes some pain in my left arm almost convinces me. I tend to feel very hot. I believe I said out loud, “Oh, dear God, help me!” I left my seat in the living room and walked to the kitchen where I held on to the counter for dear life and remembered my training from the Claire Weekes book Hope and Help for Your Nerves .

Self talk:
You are having a panic attack
You have survived them before.
Accept that you are having this panic attack
Your heart is a very strong muscle and it will not explode.
Breathe and float through it.

Sounds too simple, right? Well, it took years for me to be able to work through this. Still, it is a horrible experience.

Why am I talking about this? Why do I talk about most things? To get the word out that we are not alone with our ills and heartaches. I could write about only rosey, wonderful things happening in my life and you could say, “Oh, what a lovely life she has!” Well, I do have a pretty good life but it is not all flowers and butterflys! It has ugliness in it. However, I always have hope.

Hope. How glorious is hope?! I know that this earthly shell is temporary and that I have a heavenly home being prepared for me. When I get there, I will not have panic attacks or fibromyalgia or weight issues. My Isabella will join me there and her autism will be left behind (Or maybe not because her autism is part of what makes her so special). My grammy, whose Parkinson’s stole her expressive face, will greet me with her smile. Oh, what a wonderful hope!


Along with the new neighbors, a dog, Fred, has been brought into the mix.  His name is Fred and he likes to lick toes, thus, his nickname, Fredlick.

He is a smallish black dog whose breed I have long forgotten.  My lease says no pets.  So does my neighbor's.  However, the landlord is a dog lover so.....

It could be worse.  There could be two dogs downstairs.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Early, Very Early

Another change 2014 brought was my early risings (five'ish) on days that my Isabella is here by 6:30 AM. 

I have been caring for my precious girl since she is an infant and it has always been my wont to sleep as late as possible.  This meant that I didn't spend time with God until she was off to school nearly two hours later.

This is not the perfect way to start the day.

Ask my mom and she will tell you that, from the cradle, I have not woken up well.  It is best to stay away for at least a half hour.  However, my new routine has changed that.....on the four to five days a week Bells is with me.

With hot tea in hand, I go to my desk and start writing out my prayers (this keeps my attention on what I am doing) and reading my Bible.  Sometimes I work on a Bible study.  Saturdays I pray for everyone in the church directory (we have a small church).  Daily, I pray for family and missionaries I have a relationship with.  

Not that time spent with God is limited to the waking hours.  It is an all day event.  However, time spent alone, in the dark, is the sweetest time of the day.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Dietary Changes in the Last Twelve Months

After researching which foods are good for one's body and which are bad, I have come to the conclusion that there are very few conclusions to come to!  What fats are good, what are bad; which carbohydrates are good and which are bad...proteins, seeds vs. grains, oy!

The one thing that did make sense is that sugar is inflammatory and inflammation leads to heart disease.  The size of cholesterol particles in your blood (bigger is better), rather than your HDL and LDL,  and your inflammation level is what influences your chances of heart disease.
See this large molar here?  This is my sweet tooth.  Oh, I enjoy sweets so much.  However, I wanted to get off statins.  A year ago February, I went off of added sugar.  My cholesterol levels aren't better, though my good cholesterol went up.  I don't feel any different.  However, it is great to not be a slave to the sugar cravings. 

It also feels good to not be lining the pockets of the doctors who have a monetary interest in Americans being on statin drugs.

Crank it Up!

When we moved from a single family house to a two family, we were blessed with very quiet, rarely home downstairs neighbors.  Ah, I love my quiet!

Last July, we were blessed with new neighbors:  a lovely woman and her two daughters, both in elementary school.  We hit it off right away.  We have been able to bless each other and Isabella, my nine-year-old granddaughter has found new friends.

That being said, with a family, instead of two single people, living downstairs, I realize much more that this house wasn't built with sound absorbing materials! 

I hear myself in the voice of the mother trying to get her girls to school on time.  It is my voice that I hear when reprimanding is done a bit too harshly.  It is my family I hear laughing. 

Sometimes looking in a mirror is difficult; sometimes it is sweet.  I am thankful for my new neighbors.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

(I) Broke Down....

...and went to Florida.  I had hoped to have it on my tombstone that I had never been to Florida or Great Adventure. There is still a chance for the latter.

However, Himself wants to move there (Gasp!  Leave my great Atlantic Northeast?!).  In order to have an educated argument against moving, I had to visit the Sunshine State.

My brother-in-law and his lovely wife were the perfect hosts.  It was the first time in the twenty-nine or so years that Himself and I have been together that I have spent any time alone with them.  We were always at family gatherings.  Blessedly, we really like each other!  That made the trip worth it.

As for Florida itself, do you know what the Bronx cheer is?  Also known as "raspberries?"  I was not impressed.  No offense to anyone but I like my green, four season, never know what is going to happen in those seasons Atlantic northeast.  You can keep the palm trees.

April Means Blog Time!

It takes the April challenge and a new laptop with a keyboard to get me back to my blog.  Working on a tablet is not conducive to writing more than a line or two.

A lot has happened in the last year.  I believe that will be my theme:  What a Difference a Year Makes.  At least, that will be my goal.......