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Our household has taken a number of hits the past few months:


1) June 1st Doug got laid off, and hasn’t been able to find work.

2) Before that we’d both had our hours cut.

3) In July Doug tried a job that didn’t work out, but delayed his unemployment by several weeks.

4) I had to call the mortgage company and make a new arrangement to pay our late payments.

5) The 14th of this month I fell off the porch and broke my ankle.

6) For some reason it took 15 days for our mailed payment to reach the mortgage company, causing us to default on our payment arrangement.

7) On the 21st, Doug started to hemorrhage and had to be taken, by ambulance, to the hospital.

8 ) The 23rd he had surgery to remove 2 polyps and a couple of hemorrhoids.

9) I spent 4 hours in surgery yesterday. It seems my ankle was actually shattered.


Yes, the storms have hit pretty danged hard around here, especially the last couple of weeks, but…


since Doug’s lay-off, we’ve been able to get a lot done around the house.

his unemployment cleared just in time to make a larger than normal mortgage payment.

he was here when I fell, and was able to stay home to care for me.

the default on our payment arrangement, worked out to a better arrangement for us.

Doug has had problems before, and now we know that it isn’t cancer, and he shouldn’t have anymore problems.

he was home the night of the 23rd, and is doing very well.

the doctor was able to put “Humpty Dumpty” back together again, and my ankle should be fine. I will, however set off the metal detector at the airport from now on.


There have been other blessings as well:


a) Thanks to a bonus and sick pay, I was saving, our bills are caught up until the 11th of November.

b) Both our cars are paid off.

c) My insurance will cover most of the bill for my ankle, because it was an emergency.

d) We’ve discovered we enjoy each others company, even in trying circumstances.


So, I will choose to praise Him in this storm, and thank Him for the blessings our hard times have brought to our home and relationship.


2 Corinthians 12:10 “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”


Psalm 56:4 “In God (I will praise His word),In God I have put my trust; I will not fear…”



I’ve been playing with my new digital camera lately. It sucks, but some of the pictures are still worth sharing.

never leave an empty bag on the table

never leave an empty bag on the table

safe from the dog mud

safe from the dog mud

just before he kicked the food dish off

just before he kicked the food dish off

Now that my Tony has turned into a large, loud, smelly tom cat it’s time to visit the vet. In a major way it’s for his own personal safety, as I can’t be responsible for my actions should he decide to “mark” me again, while I’m sleeping. Let me tell you, that’s one heck of a way to wake up!

His appointment is this morning, and he will stay overnight. The Ponder Animal Hospital is tops, and the people are loving, caring, and very good at what they do. So why, after running the cat carrier through the dishwasher in preparation for the trip, did I find myself in tears?

Maybe it’s because that carrier was last used to bring home the body of my best friend for burial, and because that was the last time I visited the animal hospital. Yeah, it’s a lot that, but it’s also that I don’t want Tony to be scared, and I’m not happy at the idea of him being gone for 24 hours.

So here I sit crying over a cat three years gone. Stupid, right? Maybe, but Shiloh was special. People who hated cats liked Shiloh, and for 14 years we were family. There are very few humans I’ve lived with that long. Heck, we got old together, and I miss him.

To make matters worse, I can’t sleep for worrying about Tony, more stupid. You can say he’s just a cat, but he’s my cat, dang it, and he’s more than loud, stubborn, and smelly. He’s also sweet, cuddly, smart, and terribly funny. Anyway, in this house there’s no such thing as just a cat/dog/bird. They’re family members, and we love them.

I’m going to be glad when this is over.

We replaced the old dinosaur computer a couple of weeks ago, and I’m finally getting around to figuring out how to work my digital camera. Most of the pictures were so blurry I had to delete them, but this one came out okay.

Remember Teeny Tiny Tony? Please meet Gigantic Tony Tom Cat.

Gigantic Tony Tom Cat

Most of you have seen this one before, but in the current economy it’s good to remember you don’t need a lot to have a wonderful Christmas.

My favorite Christmas memory is from the year I was ten. My parents, like most people who lived in our area, were having a rough time making ends meet. There were six of us living in a one-bedroom quadplex, with walls so thin my aunt and uncle, who lived upstairs, could hear the percolator making the morning coffee in our kitchen. Two of my younger brothers and I slept in the living room on rollaway beds, while the baby slept in my parent’s room.

We kids never knew how tough or scary things had become, and thought we had the coolest mom on the planet when she let us have popcorn for dinner. It never occurred to us it was the only thing in the house to eat, or that the custard and toast, we loved for breakfast, was served because it was cheap and went a long way.

Shortly after Thanksgiving, Mom started dropping hints that we weren’t going to have much of a Christmas, and there was no way we could afford a tree.

Two weeks before Christmas, Dad brought home a sheet of plywood someone had given him. When we asked what it was for, we simply got a look that said he’d never tell and asking too many questions might be dangerous for one’s behind. Our curious ears listened to the sounds of sawing, hammering and the occasional curse, while speculating among ourselves what he might be building.

The day we got out of school for Christmas break my teacher, who had heard we weren’t able to get a tree, sent the one we’d made for our classroom home with me. It was a five-foot cardboard monstrosity that almost didn’t fit in our car, but once we got it home Mother put a few touches to it, and it looked quite nice sitting in our tiny living room.

Mom has always made Christmas Eve a special time, and that year was no exception. She had put tiny lights around the “tree”, and there was hot cocoa, and marshmallows roasted at the gas space heater. Mom read us Twas The Night Before Christmas and the Christmas story from Luke, then we sang carols to Dad’s version of guitar playing, before hanging our stockings. We always used Dad’s clean socks, and they were hung very carefully, because he needed them back.

Christmas morning arrived, and we raced to our stockings. One would have thought they were full of diamonds and gold the way we acted when we dumped the oranges and hazelnuts out of them, which of course, quickly became breakfast.

Dad slipped outside, and we finally found out what he’d been working on. The first thing he brought in was a rocking horse for the baby. He’d built it so the rowdy little devil couldn’t tip it over, even at his rowdiest. Next he brought in stilts for the two older boys. They were only six inches off the floor, but they became ten-foot tall every time they used them. I waited for my gift, and couldn’t imagine what he could have built me. Then he walked in with a dollhouse that was better than any I had seen in the stores, and I played with it until it fell apart, years later.

Dad found a job in Dallas that next year, and things got better for us. There were always nice gifts under the tree after that, but there are times when I long for oranges, hazel nuts, and homemade gifts.


My dad is very ill, and it’s breaking my heart that I can’t get there for Christmas, this year. I will, however, be visiting them in February. Those of you who pray, please send up a small one, for me, that it won’t be too late.

Nope, not the soap, although there are times it feels that way. A friend’s post got me thinking about all “my” kids (some of whom aren’t even children) who were not born to me.

I have a very strong maternal instinct, so I played mother hen to my brothers all their lives, and did a lot of the actual raising of the youngest one. I also have children of my own, who are grown, and need Mom a lot less than they once did, though sometimes only the mother will do even now. And there are my granddaughters, whom I love to spoil. That’s ten kids under my belt, and you’d think that would be enough. Not even close.

There’s my husband’s daughters, C who I raised as my own from the ages of 12 to 18, and B who lived with us for two years, whose mother still calls asking me to talk some sense to her, when she’s being a bit of a pill. Of course, through the years I have befriended the children of friends. Several of them still call or email, and often ask for advice about things they’d rather not discuss with Mom or Dad. Mr. W. also has a heart for children, and at our family reunion nieces and nephews surrounded our table. Playing, laughing, talking, and cuddling with them is probably the biggest reason we go every year. Then there are my church children.

I met the “Bears” at my first church, three sweet but trouble little boys, whose home-life was less than wonderful. I taught them in children’s church, and many times they broke my heart with stories about a mother who loved them dearly, but because of a drinking problem allowed them to be exposed to things little boys shouldn’t even know about. We talked often about ways to keep our hearts clean in a world determined to hurt and corrupt us. I saw them a few weeks ago, they’re now young men, strong, beautiful, and with faith we could all learn from.

Another child from that first church, K, waits tables at one of the local restaurants and, though the odds were against her, will graduate early this year. She visits our church quite often, and watching her grow into a lovely young woman has been one of the joys of my life.

The children in our church now live in poverty, many of them in homes most of us wouldn’t consider fit for human habitation. Some of them are physically or mentally abused or worse.

T1 is a young woman with Down’s syndrome. She is married to M, who also has Down’s, and they have two beautiful children the State will not allow them to raise. In Texas one would go to jail for keeping an animal in the conditions in which she lives. If she had been born to educated parents, in the city, instead of a young, uneducated, single mother, in the sticks, people would describe her as a little slow. As it is, she never had a chance.

T2, a sweet little girl, who thinks my hubby is “all that and a bag of butterscotch”, has a great mom and dad. She also goes to the altar every chance she gets to pray for her daddy to join them in church.

H1’s mom wouldn’t be caught dead in a church, but doesn’t mind if her kids go. We’re glad to have them too. She’s a sweetie, and her brother though still a little distant is always respectful and kind. She was sick last week and broken hearted, because she couldn’t go.

H2 is another child who lives in deplorable conditions. With two large chows tied up in the yard, knocking on her door Sunday mornings takes a little courage, but many mornings when we arrive, we find she’s already there. She says she likes the peace and quiet. I watched her face crumble last Sunday when the Pastor was talking about how hard school can be and how cruel other children can be. All I could do was tell her, when it gets tough to remember hubby and I love her.

There are many more, and they each break my heart in their own way. Sometimes the worst part is taking them home. It can be very hard.

The Bible says, “And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.”  (Matthew 10:42)  But it doesn’t tell one how rewarding it is, right here on earth, to care for the little ones. I can’t even describe the incredible feeling in my heart, when “my” children are near.

They all need to know someone cares what happens to them and loves them.

I can do that.

1)   Now this was a real day off! It was the first one in about 3 weeks, and I must have slept sixteen hours of it. My ankles are back to their normal size, and nothing hurts! Makes one feel like a whole new person.


2)   I got an email from my mother tonight. She said my dad dreamed I visited him. For some reason reading it made me feel like I won’t be seeing my dad alive again.



3)   On top of that heartbreaking experience, a friend sent a beautiful poem she’s written. It was exactly the balm my hurting heart needed.


Thank you, dear Friend. (I’d love to put a link here for you, if you don’t mind.)

4)   All of the above has me thinking about relationships, and how they are sometimes toxic, without really meaning to be.


I’ve been removing the toxins from my 3D life (as another dear friend Baron von Rochester calls it) for several years now, and lately have been moving away from toxic 3D relationships, without even realizing it, until the last few days.

You’d think I’d be doing the same thing in my virtual life, but with a few exceptions I seem to have pulled away from those who’ve been the most loving and supportive.

It’s not like anyone’s ever actively ugly. The toxic things you keep around rarely are. It’s more a thoughtlessness. “Don’t ruffle my feathers, while I kick the crap out of everything you care about.” Well that, and a realization the because of my beliefs and political leanings I will, by some people, forever be treated like “The Other Sister”.

Like it or not folks Republican does not equal dumb and morally corrupt any more than Democrat automatically means trusty savior of all things. And quite frankly, Christian no longer means doormat.

As the song says “It’s time to fix what’s been broken too long.”

1. We went to the recent IRL race, here at TMS, and watched Robbie Knievel jump 21 Hummers (down from 25, due to the wind). He looked a little older and a lot more like a stoner than I expected. But when he proved himself a real class act, the TV audience didn’t even get to see it.


Mr. Knievel hopped off his cart and was making his way gently but firmly through the crowd at the entrance to pit-row, until he notice three men in army uniforms. Stopping everything else, he walked straight up to them, and shook each man’s hand, while thanking him for his service to our country. He also made sure they had the best seats available to watch his jump.

I’m impressed.


2. Went to my family reunion Saturday, and made a fun discovery. One of the nice young women, I work with, is a cousin! It’s very cool to have family so close, even cooler when it’s someone you like!


The one family member, I would have considered incapable of being cold and distant, was very cold and distant. Why is it the more important someone is to you, the less able you are to simply ask what you’ve done to offend or hurt him? 


3. Mr. W and I have both quit smoking during the last few months. I never wanted to be one of those former smokers, who wanted the whole world to conform for my comfort, so I let visiting family smoke in the house, while they were here.


Oh yikes! Did it always smell that horrible?! I love them to pieces, but next year all the smoking will be done outside.


4) Teeny, Tiny Tony is growing so fast. I swear sometimes he’s bigger when I get home from work, than he was when I left! We have to remind ourselves that, though he may not look it, he’s still just a baby.


Of course, then he’ll fall on his face, or take that flying leap that seems to be exclusively a kitten move, and it’s easy to remember.


5) Friday is our 10th wedding anniversary. We’re going fishing Friday night, and to a Foreigner concert Saturday night. It will be the first time ever, that we’re able to do something alone together, for our anniversary.

Here are the pictures I promised of our newest family member.

He’s cute and a royal pain. He’s also learning to cuddle, so yes, he’s worth it.

School and work are keeping me busier than the proverbial paperhanger.


1) Nineteen-year-old daughter informed her dad and I that she is planning to move in with her thirty-four-year-old boyfriend. I could rant for years on that alone, but am sure you all already know how I feel about it.


2) The atomic fur-ball is growing amazingly fast, and my arm is pretty well shredded from his first nail clipping.


3) There have been major improvements in my situation at church. I’ll probably write a whole post on it when time permits.


4) I’ve interviewed for a promotion at work. Prayer and positive thoughts would be appreciated.