Thursday, October 13, 2005

Something to chew on..........

"I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I have just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well."

– Diane Ackerman

Thursday, October 06, 2005

I stole this.........

October 5th, 2005


Beth and I are sitting outside waiting for our shift to start. Claude, our local homeless guy, shuffles past us.

"Hi Claude," Beth says cheerily.

Claude makes no indication that he hears her.

"How ya doing Claude?" I ask. He usually responds to me.

Claude ignores me and strikes up a conversation with a lamppost. Mumbling something about the government taking away his house he kicks the lamppost and walks away.

"I've never seen him do that before," Beth whispers.

"Must be off his meds," I reply.

"He hears voices, right?" Beth asks.


"How sad."

Watching Claude as he disappears around the corner I remember a line from the Gospel of Mark.

"My name is Legion, for we are many," I sigh.

Beth looks at me quizzically.

"It's a line from the Bible," I explain, "Seemed appropriate for Claude."

"I'm not familiar with it," Beth says.

"Jesus was going to this town to preach," I begin to explain, "Along the way he encounters a guy kinda like Claude. The guy's a real mess; possessed by demons, living in a cemetery, screaming and yelling all day, cutting himself up with sharp stones."

"Sounds like a nut," Beth says, "What happens?"

Jesus asks the man his name. The man replies, "My name is Legion, for we are many."

"Sounds like he was hearing voices," Beth says, "Just like Claude."

"Maybe," I reply, "In any case, Jesus takes pity on the man and casts the demons into a herd of swine. The pigs, about two thousand of them, run off the edge of a cliff and drown themselves in a lake."

"Wow," Beth says, "What happened to the crazy guy?"

"He was completely healed."

"I wish that would happen with Claude."

"That'd be nice - but that's not the meaning of the story," I say.

"What is?" Beth asks.

"When the people in the town hear about the pigs going into the drink they're terrified. They go tell Jesus to take a hike. They don't want him anywhere near their city."

"Why?" Beth asks.

I sigh and look at my watch, "Are you up for a mini theology lesson?"

Beth smiles. "I've got nothing better to do," she says.

"What were Jews doing raising pigs?" I ask.

"Huh?" Beth says.

"Pigs are unclean animals. Jews are not supposed to eat them. Why is there a herd of pigs outside of a Jewish town?"

"I don't know."

"Well, there were non kosher people living in Israel at that time too; Roman soldiers, Greeks, Phoenicians. Someone in that town was selling those pigs to make money."

"I don't follow," Beth says.

"Bottom line," I say, "That herd of pigs was somebody's business."


"And Jesus destroyed that business without a second thought. Destroyed it for someone he didn't even know."


"What do you think would happen if a Holy Man came along and cured Claude of his demons - but destroyed the Bistro in the process?"

"I'd be out of a job."

"Would you like that?"


"Does that jibe with how you think of God?" I ask, "Him throwing you out of work?"

"Not at all."

"But that's precisely what happened with the pigs. You better believe the guy tending those pigs lost his job. Maybe he caught a beating too."

"That's not a very nice thing for God to do," Beth says.

"Beth," I reply, "God isn't always nice."

"Guess not."

"The world places no value in people like Claude and the possessed man," I say, "What do you think they're worth?"

"I don't know."

"To us they're nothing. But to God they're everything."

Beth is silent.

"I think God's sense of economy is very different from our own - so different it's scary. To him the plight of one vagrant is more important than all the money in the world. And He'll plunder our treasure to save him."

"That would piss people off," Beth says.

"You bet it would," I reply, "But maybe we get pissed because we realize we've been investing in the wrong kind of treasure. If we all acted like human beings, if our treasure was compassion, people like Claude might have it a little easier."


"The townspeople, instead of being happy that their brother was saved, send Jesus away. They're only interested in maintaining the status quo and their own comfort. They're unwilling to open their hearts. So, in the end, the townspeople were possessed by demons far worse than anything inside Legion. That's the true meaning of the story."

Beth looks at me.

You should've been a priest," she says.

"Me?" I say with a laugh, "I like sex too much."

"You think about this kind of stuff a lot though."

"It's a curse sometimes," I say, "Trust me."

"Well, thanks for telling me that story."

We go back inside and get to work. A vague unsettled feeling falls over me. At first I think I feel weird after waxing all philosophical outside. Truth be told? Sometimes I just like to hear myself talk.

No. That isn't it. The funk stays with me all night.

When I get home I turn on the computer and start to write. I can't think of anything so I write about my conversation with Beth. Writing this blog can be tedious at times. I can't seem to wrestle my words into coherent form. Then again I can't seem to write anything lately. I've been a bit depressed. It's been almost a year since my ex and I broke up.

I grab a beer and go out on the porch. I listen to the wind stir the leaves in the trees.

Then I hear the demons.

They whisper about promises not kept and promise unfulfilled. They mock my choices, dangling before me lives and possibilities that could have been. The demons chatter incessantly, their voices growing. They are many. They are Legion.

The lights of passing cars cast a flickering pattern of light and shadow across the floor.

One of the shadows lingers.

"You're a failure," it whispers.

I look towards the corner. The shadow congeals, grows darker, and rises from the floor.

Standing erect the yawning blackness moves to within an inch of my face.

This is my demon.

"And you will be alone until the day you die," it hisses malevolently.

Suddenly I understand why I've felt unsettled since talking to Beth.

My name is Legion.

When I was talking to Beth I was preaching to myself. I'm the crazed man living amongst the tombs. I'm the one who needs to be saved.

I've been alone for a while now and I've just begun to realize how loneliness can maim the spirit. Over the past couple of months I've noticed its corrosive effects.

The demon waits. Patiently

I want someone to pluck me off the side of the road and love me with total abandon. I'm not talking about God here, not something ephemeral, but a woman, a flesh and blood woman. A woman who'll cast out my self doubt and drive it into the lake to be drowned. A woman who thinks I'm worth everything.

Maybe I'm being selfish or overly romantic. Maybe I'm expecting too much. Maybe I have to change things before that happens.

But human love, with all its heat and tumult, with all its disappointments and triumph, is still the closet thing we have to heaven on earth.

Suddenly a woman whose face I cannot see is at my side. She gently caresses my cheek. I can hear her laugh. I can smell her smell. For the first time in a long time I feel a stirring of hope.

Besides, I'm due for a little kick ass redemption.

A faint smile appears on my face.

"Why don't you take a flying leap and go fuck yourself," I tell the demon.

The demon retreats into his corner and disappears.

Well, it wasn't exactly the Rite of Exorcism, but it worked.

I put down my beer. As I get ready for bed, the crystalline laughter of a young woman floats in through the window. I pull back the curtains. A girl and boy stroll down the street arm in arm.

I go to bed.

I guess my name isn't Legion after all.


This came from a blog site I enjoy - although I don't agree with all he writes. This time, I wanted some input from some of you.

It was at the point where he is saying he is lost, and wants someone to "pluck him off the side of the road", that my heart was torn. It isn't God that he is looking for, but a woman. I do agree that a marriage between man and wife, when built on a foundation of God is pretty close to heaven, but so is being a mom and the love you have for your child. It is only through God that we can claim our name is not Legion, to fight off the Legion, not in our human relationships. It is only through Him that we are not wandering through the tombs of the graveyard.

It also hit me how so many don't know the Bible, which I so often take for granted. I hit me that I am not doing my job as well as I need to be.

I love his point of God's sense of economy and it got me wondering, exactly where do I have my treasure. I'll be honest, sometimes I look at the less fortunate and my first thought is they are so lazy.

It needs to be, "What Legions are they fighting?", doesn't it.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Mom's have bragging rights.

I have to share this past weekend in regard to Nichalas.


He and three friends participated in the Midwest Monster Race. They were the youngest participates ever in the history of the race. They haven't let anyone under 18 before, as it is so taxing mentally and physically. Our team was awesome in their sportsmanship, team work, endurance, determination, everything.

This race consisted of.........

A 40 mile bike ride over roads and rough terrain. During this ride one team member dove into the swimming pool (Brrr) to collect 2 gold coins, 3 IL quarters from a pile on the bottom. They also had to paddle two inner tubes across the Quincy Bay and back. Upon arriving back at South Park they had to each carry one 40lb sandbag around the entire walking path and then complete 8 different obstacle courses. Next they ran 5 miles to Quinsippi Island where they had to move a sandbag pile from point A across the field to point B, dig a 36in hole with a post hole digger and complete a navigation course collecting 5 different city names. Then onward for another 7 mile run back to South Park to complete the race.

They finished (7 teams dropped out) in a little over 11 hours. One of the top placing team members was 63! This has so motivated me into getting into shape. If everything works out, I may be on a team with Nichalas, and two of my cousins. Curt and Adam aren't as excited as I am about this so I am unable to get a commitment from them. Although they are probably thinking about getting me committed, and not into this race!

Another thing this has motivated me to do is the Great Rivers Bike Ride. They average 60 miles a day for a week. My cousin is interested, as is my mom! Mom and dad said they would follow us in their camper so we wouldn't have to tent it.

Now - if I can figure out how to leave my business for one week, I mean really leave it behind, and enjoy the time off. Or perhaps I will have to wait a few years.

Either way - it feels so wonderful to be motivated again.

I also am now only 2lbs away from my goal weight! Not that it is the weight I want to weigh, but after six weeks of maintaining that or under - no more $$$$$$ to the WWLPP!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Run, Tami, Run

It was a marvelously bright, clear, cool morning, and hundreds of spectators had gathered on the hillsides to witness the Texas Regional Cross-Country Races at Mae Simmons Park. Most of the spectators were parents and family members who had traveled many miles, in some cases hundreds, to watch just one race. Their faces were intent, their eyes always fastened on the only runner they were interested in, and often when the runners were far away and could not hear their shouts of encouragement, still their lips would move, mouthing the precious, familiar names, and one other word. Sometimes they would say the name audibly but softly, as if for no ears but their own, and yet it seemed that they hoped to be heard.

"Run, Jimmy," they whispered urgently. "Run, Tracy, Run."

The cross-country race is two miles for girls, three for boys. It is a grueling run - physically and mentally exhausting - over hills and rough terrain. There were ten races that morning, beginning with class 5A boys and girls. Each race had from 80 to 120 competitors. The course ended where it began, but at times the runners were nearly a half mile away.

As the class 5A girls' race came to a close, I watched a forty plus year old mother - who was wearing patent leather shoes and a skirt and carrying a purse - run the last 100 yards beside her daughter.

She saw no other runners. As she ran awkwardly, her long, dark hair came undone and was streaming out behind her. Giving no thought to the spectacle she made, she cried,

"Run, Tami, Run! Run, Tami, Run!"

There were hundreds of people crowing in shouts and screaming, but this mother was determined to be heard. "Run, Tami, Run!" she pleaded. The girl had no chance to win, and the voice of her mother, whose heart was bursting with exertion and emotion, was not urging her to win.

She was urging her to finish.

The girl was in trouble. Her muscles were cramping; her breath came in ragged gasps; her stride was broken. She was in the last stages of weariness, just before collapse. But when she heard her mother's voice, a marvelous transformation took place. The girl straightened, she found her balance, her bearing, her rhythm - and she finished. She crossed the finish line, turned and collapsed into the arms of her mother.

They fell down together on the grass and then cried, and then they laughed. They were having the best time together, like there was no one else in the world but them. God, I thought, this is beautiful. Thank you for letting me see it.

As I drove away from Mae Simmons Park, I couldn't get that scene off my mind. A whole morning of outstanding performances had merged into a single happening. I thought of my own children and of a race they are running - a different and far more important race, a race that requires even greater stamina, courage, and character. I am a spectator in that race also. I have helped them train, I have pleaded, instructed, threatened, punished, prayed, praised, laughed, and cried. I have even tried to familiarize them with the course. But now the gun is up, and their race has begun, and I am a spectator. My heart is bursting - I see no other runners.

Sometimes their courses take them far from me, and yet I whisper,

"Run, children, Run."

They do not hear, but there is One who does. Occasionally they grow weary because the race is long and demands such sacrifice. They witness hypocrisy, and there are many voices that call to them to quit this race, telling them that they cannot possibly win. They lose sight of their goal, and they falter and stumble and I cry,

"Run, children, run. Please run."

And when they come to the last 100 yards - how I long to be there, to run beside them. What if I am gone, and there is no one to whisper, to shout, "Run" in their ears? What if they lose sight of the great truth that in this race, it is finishing that counts?

Dear God, please hear my prayer.

If they cannot hear my voice, if I must watch from beyond this arena, please run beside them as You have so often run beside me. Strengthen their knees that they might finish.

And when they cross that eternal finish line, may I be there to embrace them and welcome them home.

May we cry and laugh and spend eternity together.

Rocking Chair Tales - John Wallen Smith

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Our own worst enemy.

Why do you suppose that most persons paint themselves in such an ugly portrait, when those looking in see such beauty? Why do you suppose that most persons talk/think of themselves in a way they would never talk to/of someone else. Or why is it that we are always so quick to point out our downfalls, brush off compliments, think the worst of who, how we are?

Why is it that usually, WE are our worst enemy?

After all, it is in God's image that we are created. We are all made by Him, therefore, we ALL have His goodness within us. Yes, some of us discard it, cover it up fairly well, yet we all start out with it. Even those darling little monster children, who became monsters due to lazy parenting......that is a whole other issue.

I wish I knew how to convey what it means to read the comments on my blog. How uplifting and surprising that I am thought of the way I am. I wish that I wasn't surprised - that I already believed the goodness about me. Not to be big headed, but to be In Him, knowing me, seeing me, and particularly LOVING me - as He does. As apparently quite a few others do also.

I wish that others who struggle with this enemy would have the same thing. To be in that place in Him. To not fall to the lies that we create about ourselves. Even those who have had a pretty good upbringing fall prey to the lies. Is it society that teaches us that it is conceited to think and recognize the best things about ourselves? Why is it that we are so able to love others, some pretty unlovely, and yet not ourselves?

I wish that everyone would drop the barriers. That the things they usually reserve for the time after the person is dead, will be said while they are living. I wish that everyone who is hearing these things will believe. Not because it makes them feel better, but because it makes Him shine brighter. You see, when we discard the lies, the junk, the darkness, He is even brighter. And the brighter He becomes in "Me", the less "Me' begins to matter. The day that I fall in love with "Me" as He loves "Me", I have finally found that secure place in Him. For you see, He is what really matters. Not "Me". (It's really not all about ME!)

I am amazed as I go through each day the many, many blessings that come my way. The simple things, the big item things. Just so many. My relationship with Him, His word, my family, friends. The amazing thing called oxygen and that my lungs, my body processes it. That God made us to walk upright, how our necks hold our heads up all day. The persons He puts into your life when He knows you need them, when you don't even have a clue. How man has been gifted to create so many things and utilize them. Cars, mowers, computers, toasters, dish soap, shampoo, medicines, so much.

I wish that all who correspond with me through this site will know how very much they have come to mean to me. How it is only through Him that such a bond exist. How I so enjoy reading about your lives, your thoughts, about you.

My prayer is that each of you will truly and without a doubt believe and know -

O Lord you have searched me and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thought from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.

Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord.
You hem me in - behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the day, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.

If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me," even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day for darkness is as light to you.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of the came to be.

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake I am still with you.

If only you would slay the wicked, O God!
Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!
They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name.
Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord, and abhor those who rise up against you!
I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.

See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Psalms 139.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

As I walk through the valley...........

Perhaps it is because I am no longer on anti-depressants, that I am on a very serious life eating change (diet), that time is going so quickly - I don't know but these past few months have had such dark days.

So many times I wanted to blog, there just wasn't anything there. No energy, no thought pattern, just nothing. And I am not even blond! Graying, but not blonde. Work was very, very slow due to the drought. My life came to a sit still for much of August as I recovered from a Stress Fracture in my left foot. I could only use my Z mower, only be on my foot 10 minutes an hour, not a lot of exercise going on - thus my WWLPP results were very, very, very, slow. Did I mention very? By the time I arrived to a destination, 10 minutes were up!

I also drifted away from our Father and sat down. As I wrote to a friend, I sat down by the septic tank of life. Bible reading stopped, prayer life - I felt like I was talking to nothing. Do you ever feel so empty inside? I haven't been sad, hurt, angry, bitter, or anything - just nothing. Kinda hard to write about something so exciting.

And now, I am coming out of this valley. Bible reading has resumed - what instantaneous rewards come from this. I realize (again) why I felt as though I was talking to nothing, was it was all one sided. My side. And I really don't have anything to offer when it comes to taking over His side of the conversation.

The stress from being on the WWLPP. I am sure this is the stress that broke my foot. Not from exercise mind you. Actually, the WWLPP has been a blessing. I have now lost 28 pounds since May. Only 43 left to go...........That is so much more encouraging than saying 50 something! I (and my family) have enjoyed the meals prepared from the WW cookbooks. There are some fantastic chocolate items for very few points to satisfy that craving all women get. Particularly in the morning. For me it is usually around 2 - 3 am. That and my fat free milk! Two weeks ago, I went in for my weigh in - just knowing for sure that I had met my 10% goal. So excited, I walked in and happily got on the scales. My friend, Bobette, wrote down my new weight, so excited for me. I was completely crushed. The good news, I had lost 4 pounds that week. The bad news - I had missed the 10% by 4 OUNCES!!!! Nichalas asked why I didn't take off my clothes. It has taken me another two weeks to get my mind going again. After that letdown, I just didn't care. Down went a whole sleeve of Chip Ahoy Chocolate Cookies, Oreos, anything. Then I kicked back in and on weigh in yesterday - I made it! It only took me two weeks to lose 1 1/2 pounds. Now another 6 and I begin maintenance - 6 weeks on that and I won't have to shell out the $$$ unless I go over my goal. So pray for me and my big butt, big gut, and big mouth - that it will abide by the WWLPP recommendations.

The reason WWLPP has been such a blessing is that my weight had me in a place where I was embarrassed to be seen. It was preventing me from living a life, not just for God, but for my family, friends, myself. Through my relationship with God and WWLPP, I am getting my head and body back together and finally living again.

While attending a wedding last weekend with Curt, I kept trying not to cry. The couple - Whitney and Tommy - are so perfect for each other. They are so in love with God and so in love with each other. I tried not to cry as I wished that Curt and I could have started with that. I tried not to cry as I prayed that our sons would know that. I tried not to cry as I watched them look at each other, totally and completely in Him and in love. Wow. Do you realize how many marriages would work if they started out like that - In and on Him. He was the main guest at this event, as well as the main member of their family. I am so honored that Whitney has asked me to become part of her life. I am so excited thinking about what things I will learn from her. I am excited knowing that I am now the "older woman" scripture talks of teaching the "younger woman" and it doesn't bother me a bit. I am excited to be walking with Him again.

Who knows, perhaps she can set Adam up with someone!

Another thing that has set my priorities, again, one of my "daughters" mother will be going tomorrow morning so they may remove one of her breast. We are praying that everything will be successful. This lady is such a jewel to so many. Her faith and her walk have always been such an inspiration to me. Many times she has helped me in my walk, and in her humbleness - she wasn't even aware how much she was teaching me.

Life - it really is full. It really does fly by. It really does give blessings when you live it through Him. How much I have to be thankful for.

As I come out of this valley - I count so many things He has blessed me with. I smile, laugh, and enjoy. I also am thankful for those I have come to know through Blogsville. What a neat town to walk in.

The "don't buy gas day" has been decided - SEPTEMBER 10, 2005.























Friday, July 29, 2005

Kelley John Walker

It was about four years ago I first got to know this young man. It was through wrestling. A good looking kid, red hair, beautiful eyes and a grin that made you forget why you were exasperated at him. A kid with so much potential. A kid with a heart that was lost and lead him down the wrong paths at times. This was a kid who helped my Nichalas with his wrestling techniques. This was a kid who answered my many questions about the sport. This was a kid who made it into the championship, but didn't perform topnotch because of some lifestyle choices that robbed him of his physical performance. This was a kid that my heart went out to, he was one of the "underdogs" that I could see had so much going for him, if he would only grab hold of that brass ring and not let go. A kid that had so many in his corner. A kid that I grew to love. A kid that my heart would cry when he won, achieved so much, or was injured or lost a match, when he was frustrated or angry. This was also a kid that became a friend.

Kelley graduated this past May. He was looking forward to tomorrows.

"Kelley John Walker and his passenger, Evan Scott Laws, were pronounced dead at the scene about 10:30 a.m. Thursday."

I cry as I think about Kelley. I cry as I remember him raising his arms above his head and stretching them as he tried to get more air into his lungs during a match. I cry as I think about his last moments on Wednesday night, "the 1985 Buick was southbound when it went off the right side of the road, struck a guardrail, became airborne and struck a tree. The car came to rest on its top in Durgen's Creek. Where the car landed is not readily visible from the road." I cry as I think about some of his choices and pray that he came to know our Lord.

I cry as I think about his dad, John, "had been driving along US 61 hunting for the vehicle when he spotted it in the creek bed Thursday morning."

I cry as I remember how he was with his little brother who so looked up to him, how he was with my Nichalas.

I cry as I realize again how quickly life can be gone. How close to home this death is.

and I cry as I remember his grin.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Fabulous Fun Fridays

FYI - somehow, someone, has taken over my blog.

The first indication that I was no longer in control - the ablility to leave comments was no more. Since I was unable to fix the problem, I deleted the entire blog.

After receiving two e-mails (THANK YOU) and checking it out - I have found that Fabulous Fun Fridays should be called the Phoenix. It not only has resurrected itself, but obviously had a prob with it's original name.

So............FYI - I am clueless as to what is going on.

You know, I am thankful that I have a life and something like this, really doesn't amount to a hill of beans.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Have you ever.............

read something, or heard something, that made your heart tear. that made you feel a physical tear inside, because of the sadness that it brought.

i haven't been able to blog as of late. hormones, too busy, too --- just blank. but, i still like to read.


sometimes what i read makes me sad - that there is so much anger, so much evil, so much yelck in this world. but then, God takes my hand and leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul.

He lead me to this site - - that I so enjoy being refreshed from. He lead me to a fellow sister, to someone who is so in love with Him that i am encouraged, in awe, thankful, taught, humbled. He lead me to a site that i have laughed until my eyes shed tears, that i have been made speechless, that i have read words that i still carry with me and ponder on many moons later. He lead me to a new friend.

even though we have yet to meet face to face, we have met heart to heart through Christ. even though our e-mails are few and far between, daily our thoughts and prayers lift each other up to Him. it has been through the Lord that i was able to feel connected to this precious sister. to be able to open up and vent, to just be me. and how she showered me with so much love. i am so blown away that she not only has opened up her home to me but even more so, her heart.

Valerie Suzanne, I will so miss the inspiration your words have given me. Please do not give up on that book.

Week of July 18th posted

Friday, July 08, 2005

Week of July 11th posted

Before taking that next drink.............

Just think, this could happen to you.
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Mom Gives Account Of Wedding Crash That Killed Girl In Limo

MINEOLA, N.Y. - Two days after 7-year-old flower girl Kate Flynn died in a wedding limousine struck by an allegedly drunken driver, her grieving mother described how she cradled her daughter's severed head as others were rescued from the carnage. "As I crawled out of the car, the only thing that was left of Kate was her head," Jennifer Flynn said Monday from a lectern at Winthrop University Hospital.

"And I took her -- just that -- and sat on the side of the Meadowbrook (Parkway) and watched the horrendousness going on around me. I sat there for about an hour with her as they cut my entire family out of this crushed tin can that we survived."

Flynn's remarks, intended to emphasize the consequences of drunken driving, were met with stunned silence from reporters, photographers and TV camera crews. State police confirmed that the little girl was decapitated in the crash.

Flynn, who has been released from the hospital, was riding in the limo with four other family members after her sister's wedding.

The limo driver, Stanley Rabinowitz, 59, also was killed.

Still being hospitalized are Flynn's parents, Chris Tangney, 58, and Denise Tangney, 55, in critical but stable condition; her other daughter, Grace Flynn, 5, who is under observation; and her husband, Neil Flynn, in stable condition.

Grace and Kate were flower girls at their aunt's wedding at a country club in Bayville. The Flynns also have two sons.

Flynn's mother is running for a city council seat in Long Beach and her brother, Michael Tangney, is a Long Beach police lieutenant.

Police alleged that Martin Heidgen drove the wrong way on the southbound Meadowbrook Parkway when his pickup truck crashed into the limousine around 2 a.m. Saturday.

Heidgen, who suffered a fractured ankle, moved to Valley Stream from Little Rock, Ark., in 2004 after landing a job at a Wall Street financial company. He was arraigned Sunday and charged with two counts of second-degree manslaughter and driving while intoxicated, and held without bail at the Nassau County jail. He was ordered to return to court on Thursday.

"Horrible, Horrible," his mother, Margot Heidgen, of Valley Stream told The New York Times. "My heart is broken for them and for everybody. It's a tragedy."

Flynn said she decided to speak to reporters after reading newspaper accounts of the crash.

"Reading in the paper again yesterday that someone's in stable condition or in critical condition but they're expected to make it, it's so much more than that," she said.

"Drunk driving did this to us," Flynn said. "I don't want people to think this was a car accident. It was so much more ... Kate was stolen from us. ... But the life that she led -- and I want people to know this too -- was fabulous ... But she was taken, and it was taken with drunk driving."

"Our family has been torn apart," said Flynn. "We need prayers and we need to be left alone."

Friday, July 01, 2005

Week of July 4th posted

Right in the middle of my soap opera, too.

Posted by Picasa

Mary Nelson, still shaken after a deer jumped through a small living room window of her home Tuesday afternoon, surveys the damage as she recounts what happened. "I was sitting right here watching TV when it came in. I heard this explosion. Next thing I knew, a deer was in my living room," Nelson said. "It rammed the wall and then went into the bedroom, tore it up and went into the other bedroom and made a mess of it, too." The deer eventually exited through a bedroom window.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Standing in line

There I am at 7:30 this am. Waiting for the doors to open at 8:00. No, not for the grand opening of some posh store, a garage sale, a movie or a restaurant. The drivers license facility.

Tags for my trailer expire tomorrow.

I remembered at 7:00am. It takes about 20 minutes to get there. You can use your imagination as to how I look. I did take time to brush my teeth and gargle. Told Adam I could skip that, breath on anyone already there, and I would be first in line. He raised his eyebrows at me, shook his head yes and muttered that I'd be stepping over dead bodies.

So, there I am. The sky is getting dark in the north and thunder is rumbling. Some person commented that we may be getting wet. I was hopeful. We are so dry - I don't care if it ruins my morning hair if it means moisture for the earth. I was also eavesdropping. Wasn't that hard as the lady way behind me was talking loud enough for all to hear. She was complaining that her husband had not taken the same days off as she had and that their teenage son would be home alone. Never said why this was a bad thing. She did tell that she informed him he would behave, he would not mess up anything and if he did - she'd wallop him so hard he couldn't see straight. She was dead serious.

I started thinking. Have I ever said that to my sons? The famous, "Do you want me to spank you?" (they always said, "no".) question, yes. The "Your grounded for a month", which once one actually was. But never have I said the wallop or beat you black and blue. I wondered if her way of communicating had anything to do with his problems. I know that there are many, many, times I have screwed up as a mom (and I still do). The Lord has kept control and I am blessed with two pretty awesome sons. We went through a time with Adam being disrespectful and mouthy. That was it though. No drinking, drugs, etc. When they said they were doing something, I never had to worry about the other stuff. When they had friends over to camp out, play paint ball, target shoot, etc., never had to be concerned about anything being snuck in. The friends they have are just as awesome and have become like sons too. Right now, Adam is in limbo as to what he wants to do with his life. His two best friends are starting off in a very successful beginning of a career and I know this is hard on him. The pressure of not knowing what he wants to do. Nichalas seems to have his plan on course. I don't know if it will pan out, but he is trying to establish goals and ideas.

While growing up, I was hardly ever home. I am thankful that Adam is able to be at home while trying to figure this all out. That he isn't lost, out in the world. I think back when I was Nichalas' age - 17. I was on my way to Chicago already. That was way too much, way too soon. I am thankful that God has blessed me in that the boys like to be home.

Back in line.

I love to watch people.

As we all are politely standing in line, I wondered how they would react if someone acted like they were a movie star or royalty and just decided to walk right up and place themselves in the front of the line. Ever feel like doing something to see what reaction you would get? Would they let you stay? Would the lady in back wallop you?

Have you ever thought about how God uses the same ingredients and we all come out so different? Some people may favor someone else - but God has a different pattern for each of us. How we stand, we walk, talk, act, think - all different. All completely something of our own. Isn't that mind blowing? Think about how many people He has created over time, all out of the same stuff.

So, they opened the doors, I got my tags and returned to our home.

Guess what - as I got into the house it started to rain, which lasted all of about 20 minutes.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Just to share

Tears of My Father, by Patrick D. Odum

When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.
(Hosea 11:1)

By my reckoning, I've seen my father shed tears four times in my nearly-thirty-seven years.

It's not that Dad is distant or afraid of expressing emotions. He isn't. I guess tears just don't come easily for him. The first time I remember him weeping was twenty-five years ago now, at his mother's funeral. He cried at his father's funeral. And the first time he laid eyes on his grandson seven years ago, those eyes were brimming over with tears.

I said four times. The other time was my fault.

It was when I was in college, and my grade report came home. In those days I wasn't a very serious student. Let's just say there were lots of places in Searcy, Arkansas, that I knew better than the Harding University library. Actually, I hadn't been a very serious student for a lot of years before that, much to my parents' consternation. Report card time had long been an unhappy time in our house, and my grades had often provoked my dad's frustration and anger.
Never tears. Until that time.

I expected his usual disappointment with my performance. I expected the usual lecture about how I wasn't doing my best. I expected it and knew I deserved it. He would have been justified. But that's not what happened.

Instead, he teared up. He told me about his own lack of concentration and diligence in college, and told me that it hurt him to see me making the same mistakes he had made. Now, I can't honestly say that my grades or work habits improved much after that. I think the bad habits I had developed were a little too ingrained by then. But I can say he got my attention. I don't remember the lectures the other times I brought home bad grades. I don't remember the punishments too well. But, fifteen years or more later, I remember that conversation, I remember my dad's tears. And I remember that he shed those tears because of his love for me.

I don't think it's over-generalizing to say that when it comes to their kids, moms cry at the drop of a hat. On nearly any special occasion, you can count on a few tears from Mom. If their kids are hurt, or if their kids hurt them, mothers will shed some tears. But for most dads to cry, it takes something big. It takes strong feelings to coax tears from most dads.

If your dad weeps over you, it's because he loves you deeply.
Out of all the passages in the Bible that talk about God doing something, I couldn't find any that describe God weeping. Jesus is described as weeping twice: once at his friend Lazarus' tomb and once in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night of his arrest. But this absence of any reference to God's tears doesn't mean that God doesn't care about us. A lot of us need a revolution in this aspect of our understanding of God.

I'm afraid that too often Christians project an idea of God that makes him look like Mr. Spock from Star Trek: dispassionate, aloof, and coldly logical. We picture him sometimes as an observer, looking at our lives and our predicaments from something of a distance. He's interested, of course, but interested in the way a scientist is interested in a lab animal. Sometimes our words about God and our actions indicate that we don't think God has much connection with us. Oh, he provides us with the things we need. He watches over us. Cares for us. We believe he forgives our sins; we just sometimes seem to believe that he forgives grudgingly. We seem to doubt sometimes that he has any personal interest in us all.

And when we're not good? When we sin? Well, many of us imagine God with his arms crossed and his face set angrily. We picture him barely restraining himself from disowning us, or worse.

If that's your picture of God's feelings toward you, then look again at the book of Hosea. God is angry with his people. He's hurt by their unfaithfulness. He talks about how he's helped his people to walk, how he held them by the arms while they took their first toddling steps. When they fell and got hurt, he was there with a bandage. He was there to feed them, reassure them, comfort them -- and they forgot him.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Better sit down

Today was my third week of WWLPP!. I am so excited!

The result - (drum roll please)

minus .08! Do you realize that is half of a pound!

My friend celebrated with me by saying, "At least it's in the right direction".

Actually, I was surprised that I didn't gain.

This past week has been one of going out of town (Olive Garden), supper with my mom and brother (pizza), a house warming party (BBQ Pork chops, pasta salads, potato casserole, vegs), fishing results (fried bass, potato salad, baked beans) and oh yes, a bag of Hershey Kisses (a small bag)

Today though I am reformed and have started my week 4 of WWLPP! in a serious manner. Lunch today with my good friend (wonderful 2 1/2 hours) consisted of a salad. Mom just called and fishing is cancelled for tomorrow (too hot). She is coming down and helping me work in my gardens, dad will be out after his dentist appointment., they will stay in town for Curt and Adams ballgame at 6:00.

Oh yes, she said that we will all be going out to eat..............

Being the obedient daughter that I am, I will have to go.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

This blogging thing

Isn't it funny how our lives change from just corresponding with persons over the blog sites? How friendships develop, prayers are prayed for them, thinking about them off and on, whenever.

I'm thinking that this says something about our busy lifestyles. How people used to take time for each other. Just to get together, face to face. No special reason, just to visit. Spend time together. Making memories. Some good, some bad.

This blogging thing is really taking off for all ages. That is telling me that humans really need each other. No matter how many pets, hobbies, vices, addictions, etc. we have - we still need people.

In realizing this, I have decided to stop being so busy and start taking time to be with people. Tomorrow I am having lunch with a good friend that I have only talked to on the phone off and on for over two years. We live all of 20 minutes apart. Her sons are also my surrogate sons, so we have a lot to share. We have kept up with each other through our sons. It will be nice to actually be with her.

Thursday evening - I am going fishing with my mom. Haven't shared that with her for way too many years. I got my love for fishing from her, she from her dad. I can still remember him teaching me how to tie a knot for my hook.

My problem is that I love to be home, alone, working in my gardens. My problem is that I would much rather work than play. My problem is that already I am wanting to cancel and stay home on my days off. My problem is that these next two days will be enough time spent with persons to last another two months. My problem is that this is not how God designed me. Or you. He created us in His image. He desires to be with us. I need to be more like Him and desire to be with people. People that become family - sorta like my blogging thing has become.

I realize too, that the only way for me to grow outward in Him is to spend time with His children. So, starting tomorrow I begin to work on my problem. Please pray that I begin to make a habit of this weekly. To spend at least some time, face to face, with a person. There is so much I have to learn from His creation.

Add to your favorites

his entry today is one of my favorites.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Let's get excited........

Well, tonight was the end of week two weigh in for the WWLPP. Again, it was very hard driving by the tavern and not stopping in for the Jumbo Tenderloin.

One day.

I know that I am not supposed to reward myself with food, but I am not into jewelry, clothes, stuff, etc. And after living in Texas for almost nine years - where they don't have tenderloin - I know that it is okay to have one for a reward.

Almost convinced myself of this without any guilt.

I do want to share one of the best secrets of Quincy. The Ayerco at 24th & State - soft serve, low fat ice cream. You serve yourself. Make that baby as big as you want. Although if you go too big they may charge a little more than the 40 cents (not that I would know anything about this first hand). And it is only two points!!!!!

Okay, maybe three if you really pile it on.

WWLPP results - 3.2 pounds that means a total of - 5.4

Only six more months to go!!!!

I am still praying for that -20 in one week for about 3 weeks in a row.
miracles can happen!

Fabulous Fun Fridays

I got this from a blog site I visit and think it sounds like fun.

Let me know if you are participating, please do.

a meme n (mëm): is an idea that is shared and passed from blog to blog, like a question posted in one blog and answered in many other blogs.

I thought it would be fun to post a challenge, photo assignment or question each Monday (assignment day).

Then we could post our answers on (under links to the right)

each Friday so that we could all share together with each other.

"How much closer we'd all be if we stopped long enough to honor one another in a circle of show-and-tell. If we listened to one another's stories, looked at each other's creations. We're all hungry for community. We need more ways to connect. Adults still need show-and-tell. Literally." -Pam Grout "Art & Soul"


This week [June 12th] I am borrowing an upcoming question to be answered on "Fabulous Fun Friday". It is:

10 Things You Wish You Knew When You Were in High School

Thursday, June 09, 2005


Yesterday I went back after my first week of WWLPP! . How do you get excited over a 2.2 pound loss. When my goal equals the weight of a medium size child, I sigh at the realization of what is left after deducting the 2.2 pounds. Is it completely unreasonable to expect minus 20 pounds instead? (I know it isn't but one can always dream.)

Which brings me to now.

I am struggling this morning with a strong case of envy.

Last night as I dreamt, my friend Loretta made her way into my dream world.

I was at a wedding, whose I haven't a clue, and she just came walking up to me.

Smiling, happy as all get out, we hugged, and said we were glad to see each other. She may have been glad to see me but, I was struggling inside with deep down anger.

You see, she looked fantastic. (Not that she doesn't for real.)

As she held her arms out to her sides, and turned back and forth, it was oh so evident -

When asked by me, she replied, "Yes, I have lost 40 pounds in just these past two weeks. All I did was cut back a little and take in some walking."

Loretta - if this dream has come true - please find it within yourself not to let me know. Wear extra padding and large clothes when in my company - think of the movie Shallow Hal. I am trying to be a good Christian woman and envy is a sin. 1 Corinthians 8:9.

Monday, June 06, 2005


First off - thanks for the comments. Even though I so look forward to what others comment, I do have a life that doesn't center around blogging - barely! Does anyone else feel like this?

I really enjoyed the ones who revealed their "first kiss" experience. There are two that threw out enough info to get my attention - I am waiting!

And in response to my pictures. Yes, I am so blessed with the location of our home. The home is a two story farm house, surrounded by out buildings, which need a lot of work. I guess if I quit my day job everything would be as I want it - but then I would be broke - so then again maybe it wouldn't.

I enjoy working outside far more than inside. This is my favorite time of year to create and tend to my gardens. So far, many of the plants I ordered are beginning to take off and some are even going to bloom. Many of the bulbs I planted didn't do anything - but they are guaranteed until I stop gardening - so I will just order replacements. We do have mosquito's after the sun goes down. Not too bad. If you put OFF on, they pretty well leave you alone. When we have get togethers, Curt will spray the trees, lawn, etc. and that keeps all bugs away for up to a week.

We love using this place for the Lord. The sounds I most often hear are the birds, frogs, dogs, occasional car/truck and mostly the voices of the boys and their friends. They love to play flashlight tag, kick the can, camp out, do Olympic game events, fireworks, campfire, hot dog roast, hang around.

I really struggle with the fact that a subdivision will be to the east sooner than later. The boundary line is 20 feet from the side of our house. We are praying that our finances get in order and the asking price for a home on the bluffs, which I like, will go down. If this all falls into place, then we will probably move about 10 minutes south of here. Both of us being raised on farms has made us really not want any close neighbors. We've tried city life and it isn't for us. Quincy really is a beautiful area, right on the Mississippi. There are flat areas, bluffs, swamps, a good place to raise kids.

By the way - there is someone who I am still looking for your blog! You know who I mean. Thanks for a fun time Sunday. We would really like to get together as couples sometime.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

The end of our drive.

I am taking this while standing below my unders on the line. Posted by Hello

Future subdivision

yes, my laundry is safe from prying eyes.
For now.Posted by Hello
my morning view Posted by Hello

First Kiss

It was our first date. We were laying on his living room floor, side by side, elbows barely touching, watching TV. It was so hot and he didn't have air conditioning. Sweat was dripping off him and he was so embarrassed by that. We were pretending to watch TV, pretending that exchanging chit chat was what we wanted to do but really, all we wanted to do was kiss.

He was so shy, unsure, as was I. There was just something there that had never been there for me before. Something about this guy - this guy that numerous people had been trying to set me up with for two years and I just wasn't interested. This guy that I looked at and my heart would flip. This guy who was so good looking, what a smile.

And then he kissed me.

And today, 23 years later.........................

We don't kiss because he chews tobacco.

I was thinking that Curt is the only guy I remember my first kiss with - except for my "first kiss".

I was all of 7 and we were playing hide and go seek. We decided that we would hide under the blanket on the front porch. (I was raised during a time when kids were innocent.) He was a year younger. He leaned over and kissed me on the cheek.

In All Cases.........

What Then?, by Gene Vance

When you are really stressed, what then?

I again sat in the airplane on my way to my next destination. While winging my way through the blue skies, I observed a young mother and father caring for their three children. Youngest of this family was about 6 to 9 months old: he began crying. Dad was holding the child, yet the cries immediately attracted Mom's attention. Dad checked for a wet or smelly diaper, but all was fine. He then attempted to offer his son a pacifier and then a bottle of liquid looking like formula, but to no avail. This infant needed something else.

Mom gazed quickly at her other children, then shifted her attention as she held out her arms to take the crying child. She received the child and held him near. This precious young person stopped crying within about 3 seconds after being held near to the mother.

Was it the pattern of her heartbeat to which he had been so near for nearly 9 months; this beat that pumped nourishment and supplied all his sustenance?

Was it the gentle, soothing words spoken by the parent who loved him so dearly?

Was it the soft touch of the mother's hand, her perfume, or something else that comforted him?

As Dad appeared mystified by the instant change, my thoughts turned to me. When I am frightened, anxious, or have been wronged and hurt by those in the world, I do not hesitate to cry to the one who sustains me. If the unsettling state continues long enough, I share it with my friends, and like the Dad, they attempt to do all they know to comfort me. Yet most times, this doesn't help nearly enough. It is only when I draw near to the one who gave me life that I find my concerns are eased. When I read the words my Creator and Savior left for me, and I pray to him, I sense a greater closeness to the one who provided rebirth and continuing sustenance for my life. Only when I look to God and allow him to draw me closer to him, am I able to gain needed comfort from the Holy Spirit.

Whenever we call out to God, he is ready and willing to take the time to provide for the needs of his children in ways better than we could ever imagine.

Peter said it well so long ago: "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." (1 Peter 5:7)

Thursday, June 02, 2005


Well, I have done it. After almost three months - working outside very hard - watching what I eat - only to step on the scales and see that 2 pounds are no longer - yesterday at noon, I joined Weight Watchers - again.

I hate the word DIET. It makes me think of food. Food that I usually don't think about when I am not on a diet. Go figure. So to fool myself - I am officially on the WWLPP!. That would be Weight Watchers Lost Pounds Program!. I think it sounds more interesting and official.

We'll see how it works - this fooling myself.

So far, not so good. Last night I broke down and ate a Jumbo, not regular, Tenderloin w/bun and Texas Toothpicks. I had driven by the tavern at 1638 State on my way to WWLPP! and couldn't get it outa my mind. (The tenderloin - not the tavern.)

While I am beating myself up over my "last meal", I did do one of the WWLPP! recommended steps - "leave a little food on your plate".

I left some of the two serving size portion of Texas Toothpicks.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Today's Daily Heartlight

Because I am out and about in traffic much of my time, I notice many bumper stickers. I enjoy reading some of them, others I am offended by.

This persons view on them, particularly their last line, really hit my heart. Hope it hits yours too.

If You Love Jesus, Don't Honk!, by Rubel Shelly

You must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if you are asked
about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. But you
must do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience
clear.(1 Peter 3:15-16)

I'm not particularly fond of bumper stickers in general. And I tend to dislike religious bumper stickers in particular. So I've tried to figure out why.

Maybe it's because of their naivete. They reduce the irreducibly complex to a slogan. If issues of war and peace or personal rights and social limits can be spelled out in a dozen words or less, we are dumber than rocks to have debated them for thousands of years. For publishing books as thick as the Bible. Or for writing and annotating the various law codes of history's major civilizations.

On the other hand, maybe it is their arrogance that is offensive. I'm going to convince a stranger who is three car lengths behind me in heavy traffic to vote for my candidate, adopt a healthy lifestyle, or end domestic violence by slapping a mini-billboard on the bumper of my compact car? Right!

At the bottom line, though, I suspect my problem with bumper stickers – especially the churchy ones – is their intrusiveness. Occasionally the language chosen for shock value is simply inappropriate: "Read the Bible. It'll scare hell out of you!" Can't you see the apostles passing out those to chariot drivers around Jerusalem? Or selling them in bulk for churches to distribute?

My least favorite of all is this classic: "Honk if you love Jesus!" Get real. Does anybody really believe for one sane moment that a loud, blaring presence represents the Son of Man? Impresses anyone positively? Makes "outsiders" more receptive to our "insider" message of the redemptive love of God?

If you really want to lead someone to a positive impression of Jesus, try quiet methods over loud ones. Secret over public. Gentle over forceful. Even listening over witnessing. Certainly close and personal over distant and cold.

Jesus related to people with warmth. He treated them with dignity. He ate with them and responded to questions. He was not too busy for men and women whose lives were messy and whose reputations were scandalous. The more formulaic our message and the more frequently it is delivered by the marketing tools of big business or political campaigns, the less appropriate to the gospel.

If you love Jesus, don't honk at anyone. Don't get loud and brassy. Be as quiet as leaven in dough or a flame on a candle. Don't intrude or bully. Let them see Christ in the normal and ordinary things of your life in him. Let them learn over time that what they have come to respect in you is his gentle presence.

We're not selling ideas or memberships, after all, but making introductions.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Was it real?

You ever wake up, not knowing if what you just dreamt was real or not.

This am - I did.

I dreamt that Curt was leaving me, there wasn't anything I could do to prevent it. There wasn't any love from him to me. And my heart was so totally broke. I didn't know what to do. There was such an emptiness and pain within me - even when I woke up....

I rolled over and hugged him to me. He asked what was wrong.

Bad dream - I dreamt you were leaving me - that there wasn't any stopping you.

As he held me in his arms, he kissed the top of my head and said, "You know, there's only one way that I would ever do that."

I know that he wants to be with his Father one day

Selfishly - I pray that it is many,many, moons away.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

What a life.........

Today is my day off. Kinda. If you don't count catching up on housework, bill paying, book work, menu planning, grocery shopping, etc. God has blessed me with a beautiful day - the sun is out, cool breeze, everything is so green and pretty. This is where I struggle - I hate to do all the things listed above and I love to be outside. So, what do I do - I blog!

This week has been amazing. I found out that I got a major job (thanks to all who prayed). With Dave Ramsey's help, I am so excited about our financial future. I was so concerned about if I would be bidding too much. It finally hit me:
1 - I was putting too much power on myself.
2 - If God wanted me to have this job, it didn't matter if I put down a million dollars, I would get it. (too bad I didn't put down that million!)

Why do I struggle so much with putting me out of the picture and letting Him take control?

I was mowing on a lawn Monday - and there by the curb in her vehicle, was "one" of my surrogate daughters, who I had not seen since last school break. We talked for over an hour. What a blessing she has/is in my life. Right now she is going through a very rough patch in this journey of life. But I KNOW that God has so much ahead of her. She is one of the most rooted persons I know, she is so totally in love with her Daddy, her life is all about Him. I pray that she will look past this deep pain she is in and find comfort that He has the perfect plan for her ahead. And who knows where she will be meeting the perfect someone to complete this plan with her. It may be many miles from here. And then she will have a whole other solution to come up with. Meanwhile, I pray for her in her mourning, I love her no matter what, and I am so honored that I am someone that she shares her life with.

Tuesday - we are again on the north end of town. Same yard as last week and my blow Z has a pulley go bad. Load up the truck and leave Kathy - again. This time after reaching my destination - 20 min. later - I hear the part is not in stock. They were so surprised by this, as they always have them. I really wasn't surprised.

Head off to another place. The manager there is a good friend and neighbor. I go up to the counter and ask to speak to "Rex". The guy says he'll check if he is in.

After a few minutes, Rex comes out from the back and says, "She's an old woman". Turns out this guy went around the corner and told Rex, "There's a young girl out there to see you". And he was completely serious. Rex, still not believing him, went around to the back so he could look out through the window to check it out.

I will share though - that guy thinking/saying that - made my day! Even if it is far from the truth. Privilege of being a woman to believe what we want.

After working with Rex and not finding a pulley, I went off to another place. No luck. Back to Kathy and a beautiful completed lawn. We managed to finish most of our clients and on the last job - my other Z got a flat tire. This is a new tire.

When I got home, Rex had left me a message. He had located a pulley for me at Selby's. I headed out - guess what - I now have a new pulley!!!! My blow Z is now usable, kinda. New problem developing.

I was so excited that I told the guys at the counter to go home and have their wives give them a big hug and kiss for me. I doubt if their male clients respond to getting parts this way. Another privilege of being a woman!

It was on my way to Selby's when I realized that satan was really trying to bring me down. Usually when things are going well for me, my equipment starts to break down - weird stuff. Not your usual things, things that my mechanic friend, Dick, who I "often" consult with, says he usually reads about, never sees. Right now my blow Z is acting up again. I think it is the magnet under the fly wheel falling apart. This happened last year to my mulcher Z. Thankfully, I can replace/repair it (with Curt's help), so this will cut down on cost.

The thing is - in all the years Dick has been working on mowers - he has never seen many of the things that have happened to me, happen to anyone. Another thing - my blow Z motor is 2 years old.

So on my way to Selby's, I asked God to put a hedge of protection around my equipment. I know that may sound silly, but it is how I make a living. And I believe He did. I believe that satan doesn't have the power to create anymore weird damage. I know that I will have break downs, etc. that is life.

But I know, just like with my "daughter", God has a plan for us. And looking past the "weird" stuff that happens, I see that He is in complete control. He is the one who picks up the pieces, repairs the damage, and enables us to complete our walks in this life.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Let's laugh at youth

I was thinking last night about when I was young - Freshman in HS. I so wanted a Jr. guy to like me. We had gym class together - and every once in awhile he actually spoke to me. That was all the encouragement I needed! Every year we had to take swimming in Sept. - in an outdoor pool. My class was in the morning so I was usually one big goose bump.

Here I am - 5' 7 1/2" - 110#'s - skinny. I would sneak my mom's bikini to school and wear it - somewhere in my brain I had figured I could look as good as her in it. How the top stayed on I don't know.

I was always aware of where this guy was and when he was standing by the high dive, I thought here is my chance. Never mind the fact that I had never tried diving - even from the low board - and that I could only do a pretty mean dog paddle. Also, I was terrified of heights. But you know, anything for love.

As I climbed the ladder, I called out his name and waved. That got his attention, since he had noticed that I couldn't really swim. He stood there watching as I walked out to the end of the board. Bounced on it a little, and dove off. I did a perfect high dive "belly flop". Knocked the wind right out of me and the guy had to dive in to rescue me. That wasn't part of the plan, but it got him by me - until we got to the side and he knew I was okay.

After that, he usually pretty much ignored me. Like I was some geek or something. Can you imagine that.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Made for more than just mowing.

"As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
Whoever speaks, let him speak, as it were, the utterances of God; whoever serves, let him do so as by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen."
I Peter 4:10,11

What a day was yesterday. We are on the north end of town, adding air to my front mower tire, when all of a sudden it "threw up". Two weeks prior it was flat and they put a sealant in it as they couldn't find a leak. Yesterday from two splits, it threw up this lovely purple/pink sealant.

After dropping Kathy to mow on a property, I started off on what became "My Repair Journey".

Arriving at Ron's Tire in 20 minutes, they informed me that they didn't have this size tire in stock.

Arrived at Farm & Home - 15 minutes later.

During my driving time, I decided to place an order for a new muffler for my weed eater. Mine had fallen off last week and it now sounded like an incoming airplane while in use. At the counter I met "Jeff". While looking up the parts number, etc. we began to have a conversation. He asked me how long I had had my business - beginning my 8th year. He then said he was a Christian, and had been praying about going into his own mowing business. He told me that he made under 20,000 a year without benefits. I told him - Go mow! Then he started to ask me questions about how to get started, equipment recommendations, clients, etc. I answered his questions and also recommended very strongly to buy the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University and live by it.

He then said that he would have to convince his wife, who has a job with benefits, that this would be a good move to go without his income. Then he said that they were on their way to divorce court.

I told him that my husband and I had been there also just this past year. When he asked me what made things change - I recommended the "Love and Respect" by Dr Emerson Eggrichs, also to go to their seminar if possible. I can not say enough about this awesome tool. $20 for the book and $50 for the seminar. I then gave him the name of our counselor that we have been going to in Keokuk.

Leaving Farm & Home 30 minutes later.

Leaving Ron's 15 minutes later with my new tire. I purchased a spare for future use.

Arriving at job site. I had been gone for over 1 1/2 hours.

There went my mowing schedule for the day. Supposed to be done around 3:30.

At 5:00, we are on our next to last job site. I look up and see a man walking towards me. I am dirty, hot, tired, want to go home and DO NOT want to converse with anyone. As he gets closer, I see that it is "Jeff". Just happened to be driving home from work and recognized our uniforms. He stopped to tell me - my muffler would be in tomorrow. He had called our counselor and set up an appointment. And thank you. That when he was praying about going into his own business, his marriage, it had been that morning while driving to work.

Isn't it God that my tire decided to "throw up" on that day two weeks later, that Ron's was out of this tire, Farm & Home was the only place in town to get this tire, that my muffler had fallen off and I needed to go to the counter to order a new one, that "Jeff" was working while I was in.

I finished up my day thinking that my "special gift" from God isn't mowing. I often relate to Barnabas (encouragement) when I think about my "special gift". Although I am quickly humbled when I remember that he was skinned alive and then beheaded. My irritations about being thrown off schedule were replaced at the counter when I met "Jeff". And when I was towards the end of my day, about to die, God had Jeff drop by to let me know how He had been working through my encouragement.

God is so absolutely fantastic. I just love Him to pieces!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005


Reflection came about while celebrating Nichalas' day yesterday. It also brought about the fact that I have come a full circle.

After 17 years, I again weigh as much as I did the day I went in to have Nichalas.

Isn't life one big bowl of cherries! Chocolate covered in my case.


big/little brother - first of many, many talks. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, May 03, 2005


My heart is in such turmoil. How does time pass so very quickly? How do you go through life missing so much? Why do we waste so much time on the things that really don't matter? How painful it is knowing that yesterday is really only a memory.

Seventeen years ago today I laid in a hospital bed about this time, looking down at a very precious gift. Nichalas. All 8pds 11 3/4 - 24 inches of him. Blond hair, blue eyes that just stared at me, soaking me up as much as I was soaking him up. Meeting for the very first time face to face.

As I have went throughout this day, many memories have made me smile, laugh, cry and yearn for yesterday. To grab onto and not let go because time is going oh so fast. Yet at the same time I look forward to tomorrow, as believe it or not, each next stage really is better than the last. I can not believe how very blessed I am with not one wonderful son, but two. I am so thankful that God intervened when I screwed up and made things right. That He answered many prayers to hold them in His hand and guide them His way. That they responded.

I am so thankful that I am able to count Nichalas as one of my friends. I am thankful that we enjoy spending time together. That we share a lot of the same interests. That he isn't embarrassed to go on a "date" with his mom, even on a Friday or Saturday night! Okay maybe it's a small price to pay for a free meal, I just pretend he likes to be with me.

Nichalas today. Standing at 6'8" and still growing, he is my gentle giant. A deep thinker, funny, quiet, caring,introverted, good/loyal friend, people come to him for advice, financially sound, goal oriented, entrepreneur, polite, athletic, and most important - walks with God.

Nichalas' yesterdays. He never stopped crying or screaming when we were outside of the house, unless we were holding him. Coming home from TX one time, the doctor said to leave him in his car seat, he would stop crying. I kid you not, 8 1/2 hours later, we finally took him out. He shut up and fell asleep in my lap. Why do young parents take the word of their doctors as the word of God? In most situations, he hated to remove his coat. Did not deal well with change. Looking back at video - he manipulated me like a trained seal. Would often walk around the house and let out a very loud noise - "Bagrrrrr", for no reason. Always protected the underdog at events. When he and his best friend Lucas attended preschool, they would take turns "protecting" each other every day. They would walk around holding hands. We called them Mutt and Jeff, as Lucas came up to Nichalas' elbow. They are still best friends to this day and now Lucas comes up to Nichalas' shoulder. They no longer walk around holding hands, just a very precious brotherhood.

Watching as he and Adam talk, kid around, discuss ideas and dreams, knowing that they will always be close brothers. Asking God to bless their unions with their future wives, that the generations to come will be followers of Him. That when Curt and I are gone, their family units will still be as strong as one in Him.

Deciding to be baptized on February 29, 2004 @ 2:29pm. In a creek. The Lord blessed us with unusually warm weather that day. We were actually sweating standing there on the sand, by the creek that had ice on it here and there. Standing around Nichalas in a prayer circle as each of us, about 20, prayed for him specifically. My friend said all the cars driving to the the creek reminded her of a funeral procession. I told her it was a funeral in a way. Watching Curt slowly wade in and Nichalas in his long, strong strides go over to his dad to be buried in the water for his Father. Watching the sun reflect off the waterdrops as Nichalas was pulled up, a new babe in Christ. A mom standing there on the sand, her heart in her throat, tears in her eyes, praying, "amen - he IS yours Lord".

Going to Australia, New Zealand for 22 days in the summer of 2004 with People to People. Coming back changed. More grown up, more dreams, more goals. Making friends with a guy who had very long curly hair. Learning that he was growing his hair out for Wigs for Kids. His best friend had died the Christmas before from brain cancer. Nichalas' hair is now 8 inches with only 4 more to go. I will miss his long hair as he looks very handsome in it. I am thankful that one day a child will be wearing his hair. We discussed how neat it would be to look up and see his hair on a child in a store one day.

So many memories, so little time. All too fast, too soon.

Seventeen years ago today, the nurse brought in birth papers for me to fill out. Still a bit under the meds affects from the C-section, I couldn't remember how to spell Nicholas. Too embarrassed to call the nurse and ask her, I sounded it out. N I C H A L A S. The memory that comes with his name.

Today/tomorrow - "HIS" Nichalas

Friday, April 29, 2005

A surprising bit of news.

Europe's oldest hippo has been put on the pill to curb her sexual appetite and safeguard her health.

Zoo keepers were stunned to see 53-year-old Bullette energetically mate with her long-term partner Ede last week.

But vets warned that after having 20 calves, frisky Bullette is too old to give birth again, adding they were amazed she had shown any interest in sex.

Berlin Zoo spokesperson Ragnar Kuehne said vets were now giving the three-ton hippopotamus a specially prepared contraceptive pill the size of a bread roll every Friday.

My thoughts:

So thankful that someone has this serious problem all under control but, what about poor Ede?

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Age will happen to all of us.

My aunt was telling us about her friend, Doris, and how her parents are getting older. Her father called her the other morning, very angry at her mom. He insisted that she had picked up his glasses, put them somewhere and now could not remember where. Doris said she would get dressed and hurry over.

Her father met her at the door and for the first time, she saw him very angry at her mother. As they searched the house, he kept insisting that her mother had put them somewhere. After looking in the garage and some of the out building and still no glasses, Doris commented that they may just have to get him another pair. Her mother mentioned again to them that she too may need new glasses as her vision had gotten worse recently and her glasses weren't helping.

Doris then looked at her mother and asked for how long. Her mother told them since last night. Doris looked at her dad and asked how long his glasses had been missing. He said since last night. Doris looked at her mom and said, "Mom, you've got dad's glasses on."


Doris was unable to go to the doctor with her parents for her mom's appointment, as she had to work in the field. She asked them to stop by on their way home and let her know what the doctor had said. As they pulled up along side the field, she shut off the tractor, got off and went over to her mom's side of the car. After saying hello, she asked her mom what the doctor said.

She said, "I don't know, you know that I don't understand all that medical talk."

Doris then asked her dad if he knew.

He said, "I don't know, you know that I can't hear much of anything."

Later on her husband told her that he felt from now on she had better make sure she goes to all future appointments.


The real meal deal

Yesterday, I attended Ladies Day at Lincoln Christian College with my mom and two aunts. They had a pretty good sack lunch, but the real meat came from two of the speakers. Liz Curtis Higgs - Unveiling Mary Magdalene and Rebecca Manley Pippert - Sharing the Story - By Way of the Cross. Wow. Talk about getting more than you paid for. This day isn't about 2000+ women getting together and learning crafts, or sitting around talking about others. It is a day filled with being served with the main course - His Word. If ever you are able to hear either of these women - GO.

I was "chewing" on the things I learned yesterday and I realized there is so much to do for Him and so little time. Rebecca started Salt Shaker Ministries. She also starts Bible Studies for the unchurched. Now isn't that a concept? To actually ask someone who isn't into church, or God and ask them if they want to study the Bible and learn about Jesus. She has never had anyone say no. God has been putting ideas and people into my thoughts........

Sunday, April 24, 2005


and the scale. Posted by Hello

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Outa the Comfort Zone

Last evening I had a date with my husband. It involved food. And it involved persons I do not know. Because of the food, I committed myself to go. Not to be with my husband mind you, but the food. It was an Italian night at his golfing buddies home. Tim had prepared 28 different Italian recipes and invited people over to eat, visit, drink, just hang out. He does this at different times because he loves to cook, share, and enjoys people.

I on the other hand love all these things too, except the people. I am one who loves to stay home. The hardest thing for me to do is to walk into a place filled with people. Only my closest friends know this and also know that I really am shy. I often pray that God will use me as His vessel and there He puts me - with people. Growing up I was not the most popular kid in the class, unless you are looking at the kid made the most fun of. I was very shy, introverted, and usually only had one, maybe two, friends at a time.

Throughout the years, I have forced myself to be involved with people. To put myself outside my comfort zone and do His work. It is only with God that I have been able to overcome so much and most persons don't see how hard all this is for me. I also like to walk in behind Curt, I hate to be first in a room. I know that I just recently spoke at a workshop. I read that the reason that works is because it puts me in control. So back to last night.

We arrive and I am feeling very fat and ugly in my "tent shirt". The kind you wear to try and hide the excess. For some reason before I knew what was going on, Curt had me walk in the door first. Upon entering, we are right there where everyone is. And I look around and realize I know absolutely no one. I spied the food pretty fast too. Standing there feeling quite awkward and wanting nothing more than to not be there, I suddenly hear a voice from the corner, "It's the Holtschlag's".

There she was. A friend I had made when our sons were in soccer together while in grade school. We have never done anything together. But for some reason we just click. When we see each other, we pick up where we left off. And she is always glad to see me.

I am thankful that a long time ago I got out of my comfort zone and attended my sons' soccer games. I am thankful that this woman has always enjoyed seeing me. You see, last night after going over to say hi to her, she walked me over to the food table. Everything was something different and fantastic. She told me how she glanced over and saw this very pretty woman enter the room and realized it was me. She told me how good I look.

Yes, I am so thankful that I got out of my comfort zone, not just for the food, not just for being with Curt, but for God letting someone tell me what I really look like to others and to Him.

Actually, it is very sad how differently we see ourselves.

Ps 139:14 I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Friday, April 22, 2005

One thing that I love

My son, Nichalas, who is going to be 17 on May 3 is upstairs rearranging his furniture. He is playing his stereo full blast. That's okay with me. He has on a Tom Jones ALBUM. I like listening "Fly me to the Moon" that loud.

I wonder how many mom's yell at their kids to turn down their music and they're listening to Tom Jones, Johnny Cash, John Denver, Sticks, Earth Wind & Fire, Neil Diamond, etc.

What a neat kid. Good taste too.

Diet results - one month

Yesterday, I was weedeating. It was towards the end of the day. My clothes are covered with grass, my hair is all fuzzy from the humidity, my face is splattered with mud and grass - yes, I am looking quite good.

A man who was unloading a semi, came walking by smiled, waved and said something. I stopped and said I couldn't hear him. He said, "You look like one hard working woman."

Then he did the Hulk flex.

I thought to myself, " Never had that happen before. Yes sir, I must be looking pretty toned. What a weirdo".

That morning I had discovered that I have lost only 3lbs in one month.

At this rate Loretta, my missing person will never leave me.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The Mid-opaus hour

Ugggh - again I have been up for most of the night. Not my body, until 4:00 am, but my mind. I hate laying there in bed, exhausted, yet my mind will not shut off.

I am praying, thinking about the Lord, praying for a young girl who I just met that God has on my heart right now, why can't I get her off my heart, going through my day tomorrow, thinking I gotta get some sleep, thinking about chocolate, resisting the urge to go down and eat some chocolate chips (only because we are out of milk), thinking about how much weight I still have to lose, what am I going to wear with my jeans (again) for church, what are the dogs barking at, my flowers that I have planted, when will they start to grow, when will the rest of them get here, if anyone has commented on my blog, bills to pay, man the boys have grown up fast, Nichalas turns 17 May 3rd, Adam sure was in a talking mood tonight, I am thankful he was asking me for advice about a work situation, how far he and I have come, thankful that the Lord is in their lives, how long will it take me to do maintanace on my equipment tomorrow, is it going to rain before Friday, will I have to mow Saturday, I really wanted to go fishing this weekend, only if the wind is out of the east or is it the west, fishing is best or least from the west or the east, can not wake Curt up to ask him, man he snores loud, how can he just lay there and sleep making all that noise, and he says he doesn't snore, I should tape him sometime, thinking about chocolate again, now I have to pee, afraid if I do my body will get in the habit and then every night at this time I'll have to wake up to go, hell, I am not asleep anyway, does this never end, I would love to get a whole nights sleep, at least I don't have it where I wake up drenched in sweat, maybe I can wash the sheets tomorrow, I love to sleep on line dry sheets, right, what a joke, sleep...........

So here I am again in the wee midnight hours, thinking I'll try laying down, knowing that I will be getting my best sleep around 6:00am. Just in time to get up.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

I am so very amazing!

For the past week and a half, my mower has been cutting funny. Uneven, scalps when I turn, nice stuff you know. After checking the tire pressure, if my blades were on tight, etc. I thought perhaps the deck was unlevel, so I took the time, energy to raise it in the area that it seemed to be dragging. Upon completing this task, I was so very proud of myself, as the deck is heavy and I had to let it off the chain, lift it back up and attach the chain.

I am so very amazing.

It still cut funny. By now I wasn't so very impressed with my super abilities and resorted to the acknowledgement that what I had done, had not fixed the problem.

I swallowed my pride and went before my husband, Curt, asking him to please check it out.

He did.

Rather baffled by the change in the deck chain, he observed (and commented) very quickly that my adjustment wouldn't improve the cut. So much for my amazing talents.

He got down on the ground to check under the deck. I am standing there waiting. He looks up at me. I look at him. He shakes his head. I ask what. He looks under the deck again. I ask what. He looks at me, shakes his head. "You have your blade on upside down."

You know, Curt is so very amazing. He can fix just about anything. Thank the Lord I didn't have to take my mower to a repair person. Curt saves me a lot of money.

Curt is so very amazing!

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

You'll laugh and you'll cry

What a wonderful Christian blog site

One of her entries:

Friday, April 08, 2005
Electric Shock
Last night my aunt and I had a hilarious visit talking about many funny family stories. My aunt is a delightful, funny, intelligent woman who is nearly completely computer illiterate. It's a really sad day when I'm the one giving computer advise. However that's the position I'm in often with my aunt. I told her repeatedly over several weeks how to perform a relatively simple function on the computer. To no avail. She kept doing it her way, unsuccessfully. Finally I began to express my frustration that she wasn't listening to me. She said, "I can't help it. I was shocked real bad when I was 8 years old and I've been slow ever since."

Her comment about being shocked instantly reminded me of a family story involving an electric wire. When I was growing up on the farm, we had a number of electric fences. I do no know why; perhaps they were cheaper than fencing and cross fencing. For whatever reason, we had several. Often these fences would quit working and require my dad's attention.

The "electric fence box" was on the carport wall. Daddy cautiously gave Mama instructions. "Stand here and when I tell you to, turn it on. Don't turn it on until I tell you to." Mama stood there with her hands perched on her hips as if she was thinking of all the other things she could be doing.

Daddy walked along the path of the wire studying each section. Finally he bent down and studied the wire more closely. He hollered at my mom, "Don't turn it on" and then picked up the wire. My mother, who had a legitimate hearing problem, thought my dad said "turn it on" so she reached up and flipped the switch.

My dad's hands were firmly holding the wire. Unable to let go of the wire because of the shock factor, he was left holding the hot wire and yelling at my mom something nearly indiscernible. "Biiiiiii, Hu-biiiiiiiiiiiii, Hu-biiiiiiiiiiiiii." He looked rather silly out there holding the wire yelling, "Biiiiiii". My mother lost her mind with laughter and bent double laughing. She couldn't hardly stand up to turn the box switch off, but just as she flipped the switch, what Daddy was saying became clear. "Biiiiiitch, Biiiiiitch," he was yelling. Mama went double again with laughter as Daddy came across the pasture yelling at her incompetence.

My parents gave me a very good gift when they gave me a love for humor. That particular day my dad wasn't giving any laugh lessons, but there were certainly plenty days when he did. Daddy's humor was very different than my mom's. Mama went double laughing often, just like I do now. My kids imitate me just like I use to imitate my mom. She often lost her breath laughing and couldn't talk to save her life when she got going in a belly laugh. I am "blessed" with the same penchant.

Daddy's humor was a lot dryer and certainly more controlled. But a good sense of humor he had and still has.

Aside from my mom instilling Christian ideals, humor is the greatest gift they gave me.

Waiting Game

In some areas of my living - patience is not a problem. And then....

I am having such a hard time waiting for all the flowers to arrive which I have had on order for two months now! Most of my gardens are ready and waiting. I love to work outside and create places of beauty. Places to go and just sit, looking out over the fields, the woods, listening to a fountain, lying in the hammock.

What a joke - I usually am too busy creating more restful oasis that I don't take the time to enjoy the ones I have. That's okay though, I would rather be working than lying around.

But there are times when I do, and God rewards me so much in this silent time. I try to make it a practice to just say to God, "I love you" over and over for at least 2-3 minutes. Nothing more, no praise, no thanks, no asking. Just, "I love you". It's rather hard. Just like my physical self wanting to be busy - my mind is the same. Many times I have to "steer my brain" to the "I love you" section and get off the "other thoughts" aisle. Try it sometime - it isn't as easy as it sounds.

I find my relationship with God is like my gardens. It is good to be creating, working, admiring His miracles, feeling the dirt in my hands, the smells of the earth. Being so very hot and feeling the cool breeze on your face. I always say it is God sending me a kiss. And just as important too, is the sitting and enjoying Him. The silence, the whispers of His voice, feeling His arms as they wrap around you sharing the delightfulness of being close, the total peace that only comes from sitting in His lap. Scriptures running through my mind, my heart swelling up and my eyes start to tear as I realize what love He has for me. It is so important to stop and enjoy the beauty of being in His garden.

This weekend is going to be a time for growing and planting. I have been asked to speak on evangelism at a Women's Retreat. The request came some months ago and as of today, I haven't written much down. My prayer has been that God will use me as a vessel for His words, and I find that if I rehearse or write things down, they become more my words. From a very young age I have desired to share Him with others in this way but I find that His timing is rather curious, to say the least, as I have been in a valley for over a year. My marriage was almost over, my trying out different anti-depressants have made me "bloom". One med caused me to gain 26#'s in three weeks. I was having to deal with past issues that were buried and causing me to react in a negative manner. Thankfully, through prayer, counseling, etc. I am finally coming out of this valley.

The thing of it is though, God's timing is so unlike mine. Here I was, going into church, if I went at all, after the greeting time and leaving as soon as the last song, so as not to see or talk to anyone. Keeping myself isolated because that is what felt best. That is when I received the call to talk for this weekend. I had to laugh up at our Lord and tell Him he has quite a sense of humor. And I think about His patience. During my walks in valleys, when I insist on lying around, growing my way and not His.

I am not nervous about this weekend - I know I wouldn't be doing this if He didn't want me to. I am prepared - His words are there. But, I find when I slip up and think about me, what will I say, what will I wear, will anyone come, will they be bored, then I start to get nervous. I realize that I have taken my eyes off of Him and focused on me. So I am asking, please keep me in your prayers that I will be the vessel He needs to touch others for this weekend.

As to what to wear, since nothing fits, and I refuse to go buy something since I am going to lose this weight and I have clothes (albeit too small), I have decided that the jeans are going to have to do. After all, that is what I wear to church and if it's good enough for God, it's good enough for the ladies.

My mom will have a heart attack!