E is for Eternity

An Egg basket full of E’s, and unless you have the full picture, they may seem >Enigmatic<.

*Elbows: Craig says to me, ” I can read elbows, and the elbows say you gonna be alright!” I want to believe the elbows.*
“Lord I believe, forgive my unbelief!”

Every cloud in the sky says, “You’re gonna be okay.”

*Emotional roller-coaster

“Echo echo echo…stand up!” In my head are the words to Papa Roach’s song, “Stand Up!”

Entrances and Exits on the freeway: work trip road trip in the RV, and I’ve never been to Wisconsin before!!

Express –your feelings… Express concern/ Express=very quick, like a speed train!

Evanescence “Bring Me to Life”–another song I really like!

Excellence of God’s creation

More clouds saying, “Everything is gonna be alright.”

Known from eternity are all His works even from the beginning of the world. Acts 15:18

D is for Damage

The other vehicle propelled us into a light post and the electrical box!

I am processing it all through an ABC list again. Some letters have more than one sentiment.

A is for Accident– on Wednesday, June 22nd, 2022.

B is for Bruises– I have many.

These have grown darker and increased through the week. Now they are finally going down, I think.

C is for Car Crash!

D is for Damage –I will miss our little Silverolla. It was totaled.

E is for Emergency–thankful for the crews of people who came to help us.

F is for Friend–my back seat passenger, who has been in a lot of pain, too, just like Mom and me.

G is for grateful–it could have been so much worse than it was.

H is for hospital–spent the whole day there.

I is for insurance–this is why we have it.

J is for Joy–I took her with me to the ER.

Joy is always riding on my rearview mirror. She was thrown to the dashboard and fortunately I was able to grab her before getting in the ambulance.

J is for Jaws-of-Life. They had to pry my driver side door open to get me out!

The first impact was on the driver’s side door.
Look how torqued my driver’s seat was! I didn’t even realize it when I was still in the car.

K is for Keep your Cool; something I always want to do in a situation like this.

L is for Listen–listen extra carefully, because my brain is muddled with adrenalin.

Both airbags deployed.

M is for Mom–my front seat passenger. She really scared me. The airbag punched her in the chest so hard she was having trouble breathing!

N is for Never Again. I know others have experienced worse crashes. But this one was bad enough.

O is for OOooooo– groans of pain–we are all feeling the impact.

P is for Police–gathering details and reassuring victims

P is for Prayers–praying with Mom that everything/everyone will be okay. (Appreciate all your prayers, too, my people!)

Q is for Quick–it happened in a flash, especially compared all the aftermath and healing that takes time.

R is for reports–police reports, ER reports, towing reports, insurance reports, the list goes on…

S is for safe driving–please be safe out there!

T is for Thankful; we are Fortunate –no broken bones; we are walking and functional.

“For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.”

Psalm 100:5

U is for Under the Influence? The report says no; but why would a person just barrel into us like that!?

V is for Vehicle: Silverolla is toast. We have to get a new one…

W is for wait; hurry up and wait. Hurry up and wait.

X is for “X marks the spot.”

Y is for Yes. “Are you hurting?” “Yes.” “Have you stayed conscious?” “Yes.” “Can you move your legs?” “Yes.”

Z is for zero. Zero broken bones. Zero casualties. But hopefully not too many zeros in the price of a new vehicle!

“For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”

Isaiah 41:13

And an original “D” word I’d planned for this week: Dog

This is Sasha, in a Good Girl moment. She is my brother-in-law Thomas’s dog.

Letter C

This week is brought to you by the letter C

My very best C = Craig. God knew just what I need in a husband, and I am very blessed to have him.  He is thoughtful and funny, huggable and talented, and he’s mine-all-mine! Thank You, God!

Cologuard–Yes, oh joy! Going to the doctor at age 51 equals getting to know your poop!

Cami Jammy poses for the camera

Chips- Every seven to ten days, I go through the drive-thru at El Indio Factory for fresh Chips! I love speaking to Mrs. El Indio; she is a lovely lady, and recognizes me by my order, because I almost always get a pint of her green chili beef as well as two big bags of chips! They have excellent flour tortillas too!

Greyson Cuteson–barely a baby anymore. He’s growing up.

Catch Happiness– I found some writings from the Creative Retreat 2019. This one is worth sharing.

“What wells up in me and overflows in tears when I think of the happiest blessed tiny moments.  I lost a $50 bill out of a shallow pants pocket and Craig was not happy with me about it.  I told my inner self that whomever got that $50 bill must’ve needed it worse than me.  The next day, I gave a penny up to the penny cup at the gas station.  I have, on occasion, been the recipient of a penny from the cup to even up my bill.  As I was driving home, I received a call from some source whom I paid and they exclaimed that I had overpaid by $200 and it was being reimbursed to me.  Thank You, God! It was returned to me, shaken down, overflowing and my cup runneth over. Feeling very blessed, lump in my throat, I cried happy tears all the way home.”

“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38 (NIV)

Letter B

Galileo got his name because as a kitten he was fearless, and ready to explore everything!

“Little Baby Boy” is somewhat of a misnomer; he’s the biggest of them all now. Hefty, sweet, and tubby.

Wilson is very photogenic and laid back, always ready to play or ready to relax!

One of Wilson’s nicknames is “Beautiful Baby Boy” and it’s easy to see why.

I don’t know which one is “older” because they were born within a couple hours of each other, and were both all white as newborns. They had one long hair black sister, Silky.
Jewel in a Box. Look at those whiskers.
Perro in a Box. He thinks it fits him well. He sits here often.
Books! I ❤️ books (& kitties!)
Baby Boy at Mom’s house = Greyson

Alphabetical Accountability

Photo by pexels

I have decided to undertake my own Alphabetical Accountability. This is to help me develop a habit of posting in my blog. I plan to take a picture a day, and post at least seven pictures per week with commentary. Not seven posts, but one per week, representing the entire week. Some commentary will undoubtedly be longer than others. There are 32 weeks left in the year. There are 26 letters in the alphabet. That gives me a bit of wiggle room to miss a week or two if I am not near Internet/not as inspired. Technically, I’m going to start from last week, to include a Mother’s Day picture. And this will be a double challenge, because I don’t always take a pic a day, so I may have to pull from the gallery a few times.

Bookend kitties. Not mine, but my sister’s: Arlo George and Totsie. We got to spend Mother’s Day weekend with her, and it was very enjoyable.

Among my sister’s recipes, I found a bit of inspiration for my Papercrafts class on Outschool. Did you ever make a paperchain with gum wrappers? This article features a 30-foot chain of them! (I think it is from a women’s magazine in the 1990’s.)

A Mother’s Day gift from the church we attended with my sister. Thick, tasty biscochitos-YUM! (I saved them for my Cookie Monster!)

The night of May 15th–just before the “blood moon”/moon eclipse. The sky was continuously beautiful all evening, and even though not full/not eclipsed, it was beautiful and large in the sky the next night, too!

It is amazing how many photos are in my gallery of just desert sky! This is the best of a series of twelve from April 4th. I just thought the clouds were pretty. This isn’t even including the Organ Mountains, which are picturesque on an almost daily basis!

Journeys in Jewelry: Della Wella

Kitty Della Charm– after she passed, the vet gave me this one.

Della Wella was a special needs kitty. She came to me from a home where she was treated as third in line behind a favorite dog and a new fiancee, (never an acceptable place for a cat!); apparently she had to go because new fiancee was allergic to cats. Della was misnamed, hid from everyone, and by her behaviors, I suspect was mistreated or ignored. I’m convinced she had a form of PTSD. She spent the first two weeks in my house under the guest bed. Each day, I slipped a bowls of food and fresh water under the edge of the bed, lying on my stomach on the floor, peeking under there just to get a glimpse of her. I spoke to her in a soft tone, trying to get her used to the sound of my voice. She looked at me with large green eyes full of fear and uncertainty. I know she must have come out a bit a night, to use the box. Eventually, she got used to me and Bilberry, but she was a true loner. I’ve always thought Della was one of those kitties who would have been completely in her element in a one-cat household. But I could not offer her that, so I did my best to make her content.

As for being misnamed, she came to me as “Franklin Delano Roosevelt”–NOT the right name for such a beautiful girl. So I kept her iconic initials (FDR) and renamed her “Fiona Delanore Russell,” Della for short, which became Della Wella in affection. (Fiona from “Shrek,” and “Russell” from Russell Crowe of “Gladiator.”)

Craig and I had our first real disagreement over Della. He had yelled at her gruffly for doing something very catlike. She cowered and hissed and actually swiped a clawed paw at him in response, and I told him tersely, “You can’t do that with her! She is a special needs kitty. She doesn’t respond well to loud voices and gruff words.” (How true that is for all people, actually…)

Della developed cat diabetes when she was about nine. For more than two years, she was a trooper about her twice daily tiny insulin shots (she received a small snack to keep her attention while I grabbed the scruff of her neck to insert the little shot). She lived happily for awhile and continued enjoying life despite the daily injections. She even got comfortable enough to come sit beside me in the recliner when I was reading, although she never would climb into my lap.

Della (right) eventually grew comfortable with Bilberry (left), too.

When we needed to be gone for more than a day or two, we had a wonderful catsitter, Sarah (www.hackmancreative.com) came in twice daily to give Della her shots. It’s a bit out of the ordinary to need a catsitter for only an overnight trip; cats are pretty independent, but Sarah was good to Della, coming twice a day! Since Sarah was familiar to her, it wasn’t excessively stressful on Della.

After about two years, she was losing weight again, and we were having trouble regulating a dose that was helpful for her. Her health continued to decline, and we came home after a weekend away to find her unresponsive. Apparently she had kidney failure. She never did wake up. She died later that night.

There are a few lessons we can glean from Della Wella in our lives: 1) Though it may not be visible to us, many times we encounter people or animals with a form of PTSD. Always respond in kindness. A little TLC goes a long way, even for people who aren’t suffering inwardly. It simply makes life easier. 2) We all need a little time to get used to new surroundings. Having patience with each other is really important. We may adjust to changes more quickly than others, but offering gracious flexibility and understanding is crucial. 3) The “special needs” a person might have aren’t always visibly evident, but we need to approach one another with sensitivity and compassion. And having a friend who considerately understands our uniqueness never hurts! (Special thanks to Sarah H. for being that to our dear Della Wella.)

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2 (NIV)

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13 (NIV)

Water Cycle Empath

I am okay with being part of the water cycle.

Tears fall in overflow of emotion

Clouds fill in atmospheric evaporation

Dew on a leaf in early morning condensation

A tree is watered by precipitation

Replenish the tears with hydration

My body slurps moisture from the air through absorption

And then it starts again.

I watch the news in frustration

I feel all the hurts of the world and my loved ones

I become a funnel for emotion

The distress of the world flows through me in resignation

My eyes leak in the excess of pain

The atmosphere absorbs the damp emotions

It is raining somewhere in the world again

And I’m okay with watering a tree;

I am praying for the rainbow.

… Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5

<<Lord, I pray that the morning peace and comfort comes swiftly for those suffering in the night of war in the Ukraine. >>

Journeys in Jewelry Part 4: Special Teacher

The fourth charm on my bracelet that I want to feature is an apple that has “Special Teacher” inside of it.  This is not just any “Special Teacher” gift, this is because Teacher Kathy to my nephew, Lincoln, is also Auntie Kathy.

My Charm Bracelet: Special Teacher

When the pandemic started and local schools shut down, I became Lincoln’s at home teacher. He learned very quickly how to log in and know his way around the laptop the elementary school provided, but he was just learning to tell time, and he needed guidance in completing his homework and turning it in online.  So every day we would log in to class times and try to complete homework inbetween.

A gift from Lincoln, in his own writing

Some days were more a fight than others, because he really wanted to play outside or watch a video more than he wanted to do class work. The PE homework was always the first to get done and turned in because they were usually fun and active assignments,  like making a video of him dancing, a throwing balls challenge, or counting jumping jacks or hops.

Now that he is attending school in person again, I worry he isn’t getting enough individualized reading instruction. The school doesn’t register that he’s behind because they say “Oh, everyone is behind because of covid…” There is evidence that he is making strides in his learning, especially in science and social studies. 

Recently I helped him put together his board and experiment for Science Fair. He had fun making paperclips float and learning about surface tension on water. The safety pins did not float. He did a great job helping put all the process parts onto his three-way board, and answering questions about the experiment.  He even won a medal at school!

I’m so glad that he likes his current school teacher. It takes many people with various skills to help a child learn all they need to as they grow. I am thankful for the teachers, librarians, coaches, and others who dedicate themselves to public school instruction, especially with the current challenges of the pandemic.

“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.” 1 Corinthians 12:4

I am also thankful for the gift of teaching. I think in any situation I find myself, I aim to be a teacher, promote learning and understanding, and help those who struggle. May the Spirit lead us to use our gifts to help those around us. May we always see the need and be willing to do what we can to address it.

Journeys in Jewelry Part 3: Middle Sister

My Charm Bracelet: Middle Sister

There are two paths on this jewelry journey:  the middle, and sisters.  The middle is a good place to be, unless it’s in the middle of trouble of the middle of a mess.  A sister is a good thing to be. I am blessed to be one and have two. And being the middle sister is a double blessing.

The middle sister is really just a big sister and a little sister in one.

sister memes

I like being in the middle. There is an example to follow and a follower to lead.  So the middle can be both a lesson in humility and lesson in leadership. One thing about the middle is that you are always surrounded, never alone. I have never known or felt totally alone, never been an only child, and I always feel like “someone’s got my back!”  I have read lots of different perspectives on the “birth order” and don’t agree with all of them, but being in the middle is not a bad thing, from my point of view. When I mentioned I was writing about being in the middle, my sister ironically said to me, “Your welcome!” with a smile, meaning, “We’ve given you lots of material to write about!” har-har. I was not the “guinea pig” for my parents to make parenting mistakes on, nor was I the “baby,” the last child whom we always considered spoiled by leniency. Many times one reads about the middle child being the “forgotten one,” but I have never seen it this way.  I saw it instead as an opportunity for autonomy, and to do things my way without a huge critique or audience to judge me in my independence.

What does God say about being in the middle? Be in the middle of Him. Be in the middle of His love. Be in the middle of faithfulness. He commands us to remain in Him, abide in His love, and remain faithful through our trials. And there is joy in that choice.  John 15:9-11 says, “9As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Remain in My love. 10If you keep My commandments, you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love. 11I have told you these things so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.…

“6In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in various trials 7so that the proven character of your faith— more precious than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire— may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with an inexpressible and glorious joy…”  I Peter 1:6-8

What does God say about sisters?  There are many biblical examples of sisters, many verses about the importance of family, but one admonition I really like is Proverbs 7:4, “Love wisdom like a sister; make insight a beloved member of your family.” It is one of the closest relationships a person can have. She is not a chosen friend, but a friend that God has chosen for me. And I have TWO! Thank You, God, for my sisters.

Because I have a sister, I will always have a friend.

sister memes

I consider “Middle Sister” to be a double blessing, and a double compliment!

Journeys in Jewelry Part 2: A Book

My Charm Bracelet: An Open Book

The jewelry journey I want to take here is the next charm on my bracelet: my book. An open book. And this is significant in several ways. I love that it is an open book. Not closed; not engraved. Open, and with blank pages waiting to be filled. Every book is a journey, whether you are reading it or writing it.

I am an open book. Most people can see what I’m feeling because it is written all over my face. I’ve never been much of a poker player because I just don’t have a poker face! I believe in being transparent. It’s good if you want to get to know me; not as good if you want to be my partner in a competitive board game.

An open book is also significant to me as a reader. I love to read. But you gotta open the book. Having numerous books in an intelligent looking pile, or alphabetized neatly on a shelf won’t suffice for the actual time investment put into reading a good book. (I have both of those…with ambitions to read all the ones I haven’t yet). Reading a book is an investment. An investment of time, and mental energy. Payout might be in the satisfaction of completing the story. Payout might be new knowledge or information. Ironically, payout for some books is the disappointment you feel when you read the last page, because you’re not ready to say goodbye to the characters yet. And whatever time you invest in reading (unless you’re an audiobook fiend) will be sacrificed and not spent on some other task. I saw a meme that I fully related to this morning. It stated, “Procrastireading: the art of reading instead of doing something else you should be doing.”

My debut novel

Please: open my book! My recent accomplishment in publishing my first novel certainly comes to mind. But I want it to be read. If you’ve read it, please review it for me online, then pass it on for the next person to read (if it’s not a signed copy)! My mom asked me once if I thought I had enough book ideas to make a living at it. The ideas are endless, but so are the bills, so until I get 20-30 titles published, I don’t know that I’ll make a living at it. But it is a passion of mine, I have lots of ideas in the works, and I will continue to produce books at least at a turtle’s pace.

“A book is to the mind as exercise is to the body.” Anyone who knows me knows I loathe exercise and love reading. But to me, reading as brain exercise is far from loathsome. It is a distinct joy, much in the way writing is for me as well. I realize not everyone shares this point of view. But some of my friends love Zumba and Aerobics–I don’t hold that against them.

Photo by John-Mark Smith on Pexels.com

The most important Book of all should certainly be an open book: the Bible. God’s Word for our lives. It is a guidebook for living, for dying, and for living eternally. I pray that it is an open Book in your life, and that you choose to live by its principles.

“For the Word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any two-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns. Point out if there is any offensive or wicked way in me; lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24

P.S. If you read my book, but your copy isn’t signed, just ask! I’m thrilled to do so. Thanks for reading it!