Saturday, July 14, 2012

Blessings on the Road (Part 2)...

Continuing with Ann Voskamps' "Joy Dare" and me combining it along with the blog, here is part 2 of our road trip.

June 25th: seeing nearly 300 miles of semi-arid Colorado during our map malfunction. Not saying all the negative when I wanted to. Having lunch at the Cracker Barrel using the gift card from my parents. Seeing prairie dogs. Making the smart decision to not stay in a campground, because fire seemed to be everywhere. finding an incredibly nice hotel that didn't cost too much. Finding a "replacement purse" for the one I had safety pinned together. Glow-in-the-dark mini golf! Still keeping with the low food budget.

June 26th: Despite the smoke, choosing to go to Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Seeing wolves at feeding time. Watching a bear scratch his back on a tree. The friendly gentlemen who ran the golf cart for less – then – abled people. Visiting Compassion Internationals headquarters! Finding a new book while at Compassion Internationals' store. Gaining a greater understanding of the amazing work they do. Lunch at Panera. Having the common sense to leave Colorado Springs when the wind picked up and the fires got out of control. Making it out of Colorado Springs, just hours before the highway was closed. Finding a campground up in Black Hawk. Experiencing a microburst (giggle.) Taking Owen to his first casino.

June 27th: Surviving a night where creepy critters were all around our cabin - or in our cabin. Having good weather as we headed out of Colorado. The car not breaking down in the incredible heat of Kansas. Seeing Wakeeny, Kansas again, even if my favorite spots were closed for the night. Making it all the way to Hays, Kansas. A peaceful nights sleep.

June 28th: Making great time to Topeka, Kansas and seeing uncle Walt and cousin Bill. Meeting Sleepy - the labaroo, and Ginger. Getting some dog cuddle time. Catching up with family. Listening to Walt's stories when I started showing him old pictures. Identifying more people from those pictures. Having an excellent Chinese dinner. Getting the car organized for the final leg of our trip.

June 29th: Getting an early start for Ohio. Being able to stop at Stonehill Winery and stocking up on my favorite wines. Having dad called while we were there, and us being able to bring two cases home for him. Having the nasty storm (later producing the Derecho) in front of us the whole time. Seeing my old teacher, Mr. Carl, for the first time in 14 years. Having the best white pizza in the world. Hours spent catching up with this amazing man. An amazing nights rest.

June 30th: Having the most amazing cinnamon bread for breakfast. Talking with Mr. Carl and his daughter Katie. The prayer Mr. Carl said over us before we left. Visiting the Air Force Museum in Dayton. Having an electric scooter available when my hip said "enough is enough." Being able to drive all the way to my parents house before sunset. Surviving having my brother, his wife, their three dogs, my two dogs, my parents, and us all in the same house and with the power only being on half the time. The greeting from Sadie one we got in the door ( I love that retriever.) Having a chance to share stories before we all rested.

July 1st: Going to church with mom and dad. Everything, including the dogs, fitting in the car for the trip home. The Internet at McDonald's being available for me to turn in my Bridgeway application project. No branches, or power outages blocking our way. Making it safely to our house, and being greeted by my cockatiels. Being able to unpack the car before passing out.

There were so many blessings in such a short time. Despite some difficulties, we had an amazing trip. There were many memories made. That was very important to me, as Colorado used to be filled with so much negative. I can now think about it and smile, remembering the wonderful things we did this summer.

#cheaptravel, #blessings, #healing, #thankful, #Colorado

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Blessings on a Road Trip (part1)

     Since I have been so busy on this road trip, I decided to combine two things and share the results with you. I am a fan of Ann Voskamp and have been actively participating in her "Joy Dare." It is a way to come up with one thousand things to be thankful for in a year. I've printed the monthly calenders and every day come up with three "gifts" from that day's guide (ex: something on a plate, something in a box and something hanging up.) Some of the days are harder than others. I've kept them in a scrapbook, and between the guide and her blog, it has helped me go back to being a more hopeful person. This road trip has made it hard to keep up using the calendar, and I really wanted to blog today, so here are a list of blessings that have happened since we left on the 16th.

June 16th: Great weather as we drove. Arriving safely in Howe, Indiana earlier than expected. Being able to bite back disappointment when the places I wanted to see were closed. Eating at Golden Budda. Running into Owens old friends and it leading to a wild reunion with the whole family. Excellent ice cream from a local shop. The storms going around us overnight. Spending less than $20 on food.

June 17th: Fourteen hours of driving allowing us to make it to Kearny, Nebraska. Great weather and very little construction traffic. Seeing four amazing wind farms off of I-80! Eating leftover chinese food that I reheated over a propane back-packing stove in the middle of a rest area! A comfortable hotel and spending less than 20 on food.

June 18th: Rest stops being in close vicinity when my stomach started protesting. Getting to Chris and April's house in just over five hours. Being able to spend time sitting and talking with them. Enjoying Aprils cooking. "Raid Style" shopping with April inside of Kohls. Having them teach us a new card game and me actually liking it. A wonderful nights sleep. Spending less than $15 on food.

June 19th: Getting to show Owen all around Colorado. Having a great tour, delicious tea and a yummy lunch at Celestial Seasonings. Going down the alpine slide at Heritage Square (and Owen nearly running me off the track). Spending time wandering around the Geology Museum in Golden. Having a great dinner with April. Spending less than $20 on food (ice cream splurge again!). Findiing out I made it to the 2nd round of interviews for Bridgeway.

June 20th: Seeing Anita and her salon again and having a great conversation. Seeing Cheri Lorenz again and more wonderful catching up. Visiting Hammonds Candy factory and the memories it brought back. Thinking of the smile on moms face when she sees how much candy I bought for her...she loves Hammonds Candy. Getting to my cousin Sherrys house on time! Enjoying great food and wonderful conversation with her and her husband. Meeting my adorable cousins Jack and Ben. Good sandwiches at Quiznos and keeping with the under $20 budget.

June 21st: The crack of dawn phone interview with #Bridgeway Homeschool Academy going wonderfully. Spending the day in the Nature and Science Museum with Sherry and Jack and Ben. Laughing a lot! The joy of having two bright boys with us and the amazing understanding they had for kids so young. The smiles whilst watching Ben play with toy planes and cars. Another great meal and good conversation.

June 22nd: Estes Park! Amazing joy as we walked and shopped and talked and ate our way through the day. Finding out a hiking pole works better than my cane.Poppys pizza and the memories that came with it. Dinner cooked in the campsite. Seeing the Milky Way for the first time in too many years and the time spent looking up. Finding out I made it to the final round for the position at Bridgeway!

June 23rd. Spending the morning in #Rocky Mountain National Park. Not getting altitude sick (those who know me well are laughing.) Seeing elk. Hiking for the first time in almost two years and not having issues during or after. Sitting peacefully by a river. A scenic route drive to Buena Vista and all the beauty of it. Dinner cooked over a backcountry propane stove. Hummingbirds and  ground squirrels keeping us entertained. A good nights rest. Still under budget for food!

June 24th: A calm Sunday spent staying close to camp. Having the best microbrew beer in the state. Spending an hour in a private room at the Salida Hot Springs Community Pool and how we enjoyed it. Napping with the breeze cooling me inside the tent. Cooking dinner over a fire and with the propane stove. The joy of just being.

#RockyMountainNationalPark, #blessings, #roadtrip, #thankful, #Colorado, #healing

Friday, June 15, 2012

On Remembering The Past

     It was in middle school when I was introduced to someone who made a profound difference in my life. He didn't know it at the time. All he knew was that he was out in the middle of a desert fighting against an injustice. He also knew he was helping to maintain our freedom. Something else he knew was that his former teacher was trying to make things a little better for him out there. That teacher, Mr. Carl,  had a group of students either write to this soldier or to "any soldier."
      I was one of those students, and chose to write to this former student. He quickly wrote back (well as quickly as snail mail allows from Saudi Arabia.) With some encouragement, I wrote a second letter. A friendship was quickly formed. It was one that would span nearly 10 years. The soldiers' name was David James Bassler.
     I was a struggling student, not just academically, but emotionally. Things have not been going well in the private school I attended. Bullying was occurring on almost a daily basis. Most teachers (all but the one who had us write the letters) did not understand what was going on and that trouble at home wasn't helping the situation. While I never was in trouble with the teachers, I was always in trouble with my classmates. I was quirky, constantly thinking "outside the box." If a book was not in my hands than a notebook was. My hands were busy either turning pages or writing pages, and my feet never stopped moving - constantly tapping out beats to my favorite music. I had an obsession with music, particularly with two Christian artists. In morning prayer, I usually had the same simple requests. I suppose it all made me an easy target, although  it saddened me that I was being attacked for trying to live the way we had been taught.
     David learned of some of these things through our letters. He encouraged me to keep pressing forward. When the torment became too much and I ended up being homeschooled for a year, his letters became an inspiration. At that point, he was back in the States and my parents had allowed me to send him our phone number. David would call every few months so we could talk in details that the letters did not allow. I saw him as an older brother or mentor. He helped strengthen my wavering self-confidence. Learning about his past allowed me to see that things could be much worse. When I wanted to quit school and music and everything else that was causing so much pain, he helped me keep going.
    Five and a half years and one high school graduation later, my parents drove me down to Nashville, Tennessee for a very special present. David met us there and we spent two days seeing the sights. It was beyond wonderful to see in person this man who had so much influence on my own life. There was a lot of laughter, a little bit of arguing, and many long hours of conversation. It was one of the most amazing experiences.
     The letter-writing continued until I was out of college. He moved around a lot and somehow we lost contact. A letter I had sent came back saying there was no forwarding address. I hope one day to find him again. I want to thank him, to be able to let him know all those little things that ended up making a big difference in who I am today. Some of you know that I mentor a couple of area teenagers. I do that, because of David. I want to be that positive influence that he was for me.
#PenPal, #DavidJamesBassler, #mentoring, #blessings

Sunday, May 6, 2012

On Mysterious Ways

     This week started out as any other. There were substitute jobs lined up, appointments made, and gardening to keep up with. Since the two new medications for my back and hip had failed due to bad reactions, I was frustrated at the level of pain. However, I pressed forward.
     Things changed quickly throughout the week though and by Saturday I couldn't even imagine what the ending held. Monday was fairly "normal" save for having one of the teens I mentor (he calls me "mom") come over to help mow the lawn. Our tractor cannot be fixed fast enough! Tuesday brought the beginning of what would become a wild week. I was at Farmington, covering for one of the amazing teachers who help develop those with major delays. I was outside helping with unloading buses when another teacher said "Aren't you the author who was in the Star-Exponent?" After confirming that I was, we chatted about the novel and how things were going with sales and such. Others got involved and the time passed quickly. Suddenly, she said that I should have a table out at the street festival this weekend. I admitted to not knowing about it and wasn't sure I could get a table this late. She instantly offered me a corner of her booth, where she'd be selling Italian Ice. I thanked her and said I would be happy to help her out for letting me use her table.
     That afternoon the faltering breaks on the back of my car failed flat out. I had to change my plans and grind over to the shop. After handing it off to the mechanic, I wandered to the grocery store and slowly meandered through my long list. I was at the mercy of Owen's work now. He'd have to leave there to rescue me from the far side of town. I was in so much pain and rapidly forgetting all that also had to be done this week.
     Wednesday was tough as getting Owen motivated to take me to work wasn't the most successful endeavor. However, the students at the high school were good and the weather was nice that afternoon as I waited for him to pick me up. There was a lot of house work to do that evening (moving furniture) and in the process, I had forgotten to order the books for the author table on May 26th. I had also forgotten to transfer funds into the proper account so that I could purchase the softbacks. I was losing site of all things good.
     Thursday, despite the pain, I worked outside for 2 hours whilst the installers started working their magic inside (the last of our new flooring). Once worn out, I went back inside, fixed the screen door that Hobo had knocked out in his panic to get to me, and sat in the kitchen. The dogs were locked in there with me and after making kale chips and some other goodies, I was bored and feeling really claustrophobic. The floors were finished around two and the process of setting furniture back in place began. By evening I was worn beyond measure and once again, forgot to transfer funds.
     Friday found me trying to contain a worked up fifth grade class, who were supposed to have field day and who ended up inside all day due to storm warnings. I had errands to run after school and it was late before getting to the computer. I went to transfer the money to the account we use for the novel and discovered it was too late. The transfer would not go through until Monday and there wasn't enough in the account to cover the purchase of the fifteen copies I needed. I looked at my main account and made the decision to pay from that, on a wing and a prayer that I could make up the amount needed to cover the full amount soon. Not forgetting the offer of the table at the street festival, I printed a couple posters, packed a bag and went to an early bed-time. I sure hoped she was serious, because the 4 copies I still had with me must be sold asap to make up those funds.
      Saturday morning was warm and slightly breezy. I made my way to the festival and found the teacher excited to see me. I helped her finish setting up and sales of Italian Ice started instantly. Before long, I was handling the money side of her booth and keeping her stocked with cups and spoons. There wasn't much time to work on making eye contact or calling out for the book. I did see one teacher from the high school though and she bought a copy. A short time later, a young man came up and we talked about the novel for some time before he ran off to borrow money from his dad for a copy. At that point, the Ice stand was in full swing and there was no looking back. I don't know how she ever handled it alone in the past with that many people! I would have been in a panic. By mid-afternoon, pain was radiating from my foot. The compression garment had pinched a blister onto my toe. I tried to fix the situation, but the pain just got worse. Knowing my physical limitations and knowing I had been pushing them for the past five hours, I sadly told Ms. H that I had to leave. I packed up the two novels and went to give her a hug. She surprised me by telling me to go take $40 from the sales bag. I started to protest but she said I had worked so hard when I didn't have to that she couldn't let me leave empty handed. With tears in my eyes, I thanked her. What was the amount I still needed to make ends meet for the novel order? Forty dollars.

#MidnightToMorning, #blessings, #justenough, #faith

Monday, April 23, 2012

On Pushing Forward

     There has been progress made on all fronts in these past few weeks. The biggest being that I finally had time to spend a handful of hours in Winchester, following up on leads from earlier in the year and ones my brother had sent me. The outcome was a few good sales and an author event being set up for May 26th! It will be at the Winchester Book Gallery and details are on the novels Facebook page. I am still trying to sneak in time for more online promotions as well.
     This post is being written as I munch on fresh-from-the-dehydrator kale chips. Soon there will be swiss chard harvested and the late April crops being planted. The bizarre weather we've been having has made it hard to transition the indoor-start plants into the raised beds and a few other crops are a week or so behind as well.  I love being able to grow so much of our own food and it does my heart good when the grocery bill gets lower and lower as we preserve what is harvested for later use.
    Time seems to fly when I'm outside. Bending over those now-not-so-small plants, pulling weeds from around them, prepping the other beds for later use and monitoring the progress puts me in such a relaxed state. I take my MP3 player and the ever faithful Hobo-dog (who must guard me at all times, according to him) out with me. Sometimes the music isn't even turned on though, as I am captivated by the sounds of the hawks calling or squirrels chasing each other. The butterflies flying around the flowers along with the sunlight shining down soothes anything that may be upsetting me. It is a time of healing.
    We have some answers as to what is progressing with my connective-tissue disorder and changed treatment around a bit. There was an utter failure with one medication as I broke out into massive bruises within days, but the other stuff is working and the new back brace is an amazing help. With less pain, it means I'm able to get more accomplished during the day and lately even into the evenings! My speech is still a bother, but that will wait until another time to be dealt with.
    Entertaining at our house will be happening soon, that much I promise. After three years of hoping and saving, the floors are finally purchased and half have been installed. After being on sub-flooring for so long, I am all smiles when walking into the house. It is really becoming something to be proud of. Before then, the garden was the only thing on the property worth smiling about.
    More will be coming as I get another spare moment. I want to share something very important to me with all of you, but that will be another time and post.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

On Slow Progress in a Busy Season...

     Spring is so very much here! Numerous hours have been spent in the sun either on the deck or in the garden. The early crops are planted and growing oh so fast. It never ceases to amaze me how seeds so small can produce such amazing beauty. A bit at a time, the raised beds are coming alive. Ever so slowly, the landscaping around the house is being repaired and planted. Being that once again time flew by so fast that a month has passed since my last blog, you can tell that things have been busy.
     The Culpeper Star Exponent interview made it to their front page. I was so excited. People I barely know were congratulating me on the novel and the history behind it. Apparently, the article also encouraged a few sales - as I just received an unexpected royalty check from Amazon for e-reader sales I didn't know occurred! Now to find time to promote up in Warrenton and get over to Winchester to follow up on those other offers. I'm also so very far behind with online promoting. Slow progress, but it is there at least.
     Book two is making slow progress. I'm about fifty pages into it right now and cannot wait until Spring Break so there are more hours to focus on it. Right now the writing is happening during random moments in Starbucks or those days I get a "planning" time at the high school. Once in awhile a page will get from my mind to the netbook right before bedtime, but those end up need a lot more editing later!
     Between the gardening, writing, household tasks, substituting near every day, various house projects, tutoring and mentoring my days are packed and come evening I'm exhausted physically and mentally. It is the hardest part of the day for me. I see so many things that should be worked on, but my physical limitations have hit the wall. All I seem to be able to do after dinner is some light work like laundry or animal care. I sit at this computer and talk to my wonderful online friends, play Star Trek Online (trekkie!) and catch up with my husband. Anything else hurts too much. Even during the day I notice that my steps are slower and the pain comes more than it should. The changes in my ability to speak quickly and precisely annoy me to no end. I've never had to sit and think for seconds at a time, looking for a word or phrase (those who haven't seen me in awhile, can you even imagine me speaking slowly...utter nonsense). I've never had so many words come out with poor pronunciation. The written word has come to mean more and more to me these last few months.
    Everything has to happen more slowly around here now. It is hard to accept. We are planning a two week trip this summer. It is a fine line to walk between pushing myself to get strong enough to hike or even handle something like a zoo or museum (possibly going back to the "I'm invincible" mindset) and limiting myself due to fear. Fear of another dislocation, another bad sprain, another setback. So, I am learning to go slowly and to push past the fear...but that is another blog for another time.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

On an Early Spring

     You were all warned that this next post was going to be about all things green. I can't help it, the urge to plant, cultivate, and harvest runs deep in the DNA. My mother came from a farming family and she had us kids in our large garden from the time we could walk. I was helping to harvest strawberries and cucumbers before I knew how to read or write what they were. It is something we all took pride in, especially as we grew older and were able to help our elderly neighbor with his two acre plot of green goodness. Ol' Ben and I spent many long hours under the shade of two trees that sat smack in the middle of his yard. He'd be in his chair and I'd perch on the picnic table, all legs and full of questions. I loved that man as if he were my own grandfather and miss him dearly. Between him and my mother there was no chance for the green thumb to remain dormant.
     Even when I could not have a proper garden, containers filled with tomatoes, peppers, carrots and lettuce would line the porch. Now that my husband and I live on a beautiful three acres, my life is made so much more sweet. We have five 4 x 10 raised beds, with a sixth one going in this year. Out of those seemingly small beds we raised enough vegetables and legumes that, since November, we've only purchased one bag of frozen vegetables and no cans. Where my mother shied away from preserving in any form other than freezing, I have embraced the pressure canner and food dehydrator. Our kitchen cabinets and pantry are lined with various products of our labor.
    And now, it is starting again. Last week, the box of seeds was taken from its secure location. Packets were counted, lists were made, visits to the co-op and an online heirloom seed exchange kept the credit card active and the "master plan" was drawn on graph paper. On Saturday, the table and grow lights were set up indoors. A collection cardboard drink containers, the tops cut away and bottoms rinsed, along with various planters, were lined up. Out on the porch, a mess was being made as I painstakingly mixed a custom starter soil and hauled the tub of it inside. The seeds, preciously tiny promises of a future plant full of nutritious fruits, were pressed into the soil and lovingly covered. Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cabbage, broccoli, marigolds, basil, parsley, and more are now burrowed in the ground, starting the birthing process and preparing to break soil and grow up towards the light.
     Next weekend, the first of the early outdoor crops will do the same. The beds have already been supplemented and turned over, thanks to the help of one very eager teenager. We built a second fruit bed, and the strawberries which I have carried from house to house for six years now are finally in a permanent location. Spring, it is my favorite time of the year.

    *Book update! I was interviewed by the local paper last week. We are waiting with anticipation to see the article. Sales have been steady and reviews have been amazing. I'm really hoping that this article will help with the next stage of breaking into the public. I'll be back up in Winchester soon too, following up with the bookstores who have offered signing events and consignment sales.*

Thursday, February 2, 2012

On Time Flying

     Here it is, February second, and I'm wondering why it has been so long since the last blog post. Some of you may be thinking the same thing. Last month went by in a blur and, looking back, it was quite an interesting one.
     January seemed to have started off slowly. Working as a substitute meant I was home on most days because refreshed teachers, term one ending, and state tests meant very few were taking days off. Those days at home were emotionally frustrating. I wanted to be at work and was missing the human contact. However, it allowed me to start on our big computer room renovation. The house is still a mess from that, but the new wall-to-wall bookshelf will be up by this weekend. Did I ever mention that I love painting? Working on those shelves, doing layer after layer of primer and is something I really do enjoy. Once those early days were over with though, I've been in the schools constantly and the rest of the month seemed to vanish in moments.
      Those days off also meant I could start working on book two. Yes, I know that book one has only been out for thirteen weeks, but these things don't write themselves. It was quite the experience, starting the second book in a series. There is a fine line to walk between writing enough information so that those who skipped the first one are not totally lost and the other side of saying too much. The first nineteen pages took quite a few re-writes before getting to that point. Midnight to Morning has been entered into the Amazon Breakthrough Novelist contest and I am praying it makes it at least through the first round. Self-promoting takes a lot of time and January was a bit slow for sales. However, several new reviews were written and praise God they were all good. I'll be focusing this month on getting the novel onto some sites that are specifically for self-promoting and will be continuing my efforts to let the local public know about it.
      I've found other creative outlets too. Don't get me wrong, I am still mourning the loss of my original outlet, SWG, but I've found a few things to keep my ADD mind going. Minecraft is a seemingly simple, yet amazingly complex building and survival game. While I love playing on our multi-player server, I have found something even better. The game in creative mode gives you all the building blocks and parts available. My big project is building the underground bunker from Midnight to Morning inside this virtual world. Sadly though, that is an isolating exercise. For the social side of me, there is Star Trek Online. It is now a free-to-play game and some of my old guild members are there. FDWS (the guild) may once again rise from the ashes! When I'm not there, my dear friend and I have gone back to Shores of Hazeron. It is a early beta test, really buggy, colony game, but its completely addictive. The big difference with all three though, is I am limiting my time online. There is so much I want to do away from the computer, that I've been logging in late and leaving early to do those things. Yes, that surprises even me! It has allowed this month to go quickly though and also allowed me to feel like so much more is being accomplished. Looking forward to what this month brings.
     This month? Well it is February....that means the homestead growing season starts in just a couple of weeks. But that is for another post (one done after the deck greenhouse is set back up and my fingernails are dirt filled) **for a hint of what is to come, see my Amazon store...its linked to this site**
Clear Skies!


Monday, January 2, 2012

On Looking Back

     A new year is upon us. For many it is a time to make "resolutions" and for others it is just a point in time to look forward from. The tricky part is remembering to look back without dwelling on the past. It is a point to learn from and a place to see where thing are changing. While thinking back over this past year, I started to make the mistake of lingering on the negative. It took me going up to my home state and visiting not only with family, but reconnecting with friends and acquaintances from my more distant past before I saw how positive the year really was. From there I thought that the best way to write about it is to just go ahead and list those focus points. The following is somewhat in order and have a positive, negative or both sign after them to show how they were perceived:
  • A online friendship renewed along with a lesson in forgive-and-forget +
  • The first draft of Midnight to Morning was finished +
  • I had several major lessons in the power of prayer +
  • The dog who had been wandering the neighborhood and we had been working with became ours when the people who had been "feeding it" moved. +
  • The garden was started early indoors and 90% of it was a success +
  • All early crops went in on-time and the harvest was beyond expectations+
  • Edits were being done to Midnight to Morning +-
  • The virtual world of New Kestic (SWG) was thriving and although it was stressful, in-character time and stories were near constant +-
  • Smaller compression garments for the lymphedema + Being in those garments -
  • The SI joint in my left hip tore out again, with no way to call out on the long-term position I was in -
  • It was four days before the joint popped back in again -
  • An over-demanding friendship had to be critically damaged. There was no other way to get the person to see the levels of emotional frustration caused on top of the physical pain. -
  • The garden continued to thrive despite the long periods of neglect while I was on my back +
  • Surviving the rest of the school year while teaching in 3 different rooms on 2 separate floors and hobbling around with a cane +-
  • Once school was out, and I was confined to the couch for six weeks, the depression kicked in...and it stayed all summer long -
  • Feeling isolated due to the injury preventing a trip to see family, friends not returning calls, IM's etc -
  • More lessons in prayer and learning to be perceptive to that whisper of a voice +
  • Canning, drying, freezing the garden bounty +
  • The announcement was made that SWG was being shut down in December -
  • Learning to live with a cane at age 33-
  • A very dear online friend pointed out my poor attitude, lack of hope and prideful compensating. It was like a slap to the face and I became determined to get myself out +
  • School started back up again, despite the "Shake and Lake" (earthquake and hurricane) +
  • The virtual world continued to thrive and the damaged friendship started to heal +
  • 9 months after starting edits it was finished. The cover was designed and the book went "live" +
  • Stories were finished, contacts were exchanged, goodbyes were said, and SWG was taken down -
  • Seeing that the year, although difficult due to my health and loss of creative outlet, was really one of growth ++