Category Archives: 2016

Maybe I should add “Politics”

I hate it when people intentionally misunderstand in order to cause dissention.  For example, I defended a friend and co-worker’s right to marry a woman who is not the same race as he is. A second student took offense at my question of, “Why is that a problem?” The second child’s parent raised quite a stink.  I was disciplined.  Why must I stifle my opinions simply because not everyone shares my viewpoint?  I ask you, “Is there anything wrong with people of two different races marrying?”  I can find no Biblical instruction about marrying outside your race.  I found, “Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness?”  Nothing there about red and yellow, black and white. (We are all still precious in His sight.)

Don’t vote for Hillary because she’s a woman.  If you want to vote for her because you like her political views, that’s awesome.  Vote your heart, not her gender.

Don’t vote for Donald because he’s a man.  If you want to vote for him because you like his political views, that’s awesome.  Vote your heart, not his gender.

Never vote for anyone based on a demographic variable that they neither chose nor have the power to change.  Vote for him/her because you believe his/her viewpoint is good for humanity, or for Christianity, or for America.  Vote. Your. Heart.

Words for the week:

  1. integrity: honesty, consistency, wholeness
  2. responsibility: duty or control
  3. invent: to create something new
  4. innovate: to change an existing product or system to make it better (or worse, depending on your viewpoint)
  5. encourage:  to infuse courage into someone or a situation



Isaiah 40:31

Green Thumbs?

My children have always said that I have a green thumb, and a green hand, and a green arm.  My pink hyacinths have bloomed.  The grape hyacinths were a lovely purple.  Does anyone know if they come in other colors?  My irises are not yet blooming, but I see a myriad of buds.  The ones I got from my Aunt Mary aren’t budding yet.  Red, pink, and white verbena grace the path from the back door to the fence.  I have red honeysuckle.  It is growing like crazy.  I didn’t check it for blossoms or buds.  I bet I get to it later today.

Most of my trees are putting on leaves.  I do have a small problem.  It is my dear little avocado tree.  I got the pit from a friend last winter.  (Thank you, Meleia.)  My tree did fine for over a year.  A few weeks ago, I notice it was leaning terribly to the side, so I cut a twig from one of my cottonwood trees and stuck it in the pot with the avocado to help support it.  I tied them together with a little pink ribbon and voile; my little avocado tree stood straight once more.  But then. . . after a few weeks, the cottonwood twig started putting on leaves.

Makes me say, Hmmmmmm.  I need to go on record as saying that I didn’t plant a cottonwood on purpose.

Todays’ words.

  1. knoll; a small hill, usually a grass covered mound.  Naturally occurring, not man made.
  2. gardener; one who keeps and or cares for a garden whether it is theirs or someone else’s, whether said garden is grown for pleasure or for financial gain.
  3. lissome; thin, supple, graceful, slender, willowy.
  4. guileless; (absence of guile–go figure!)  innocent, not deceptive, pure of thought and action.
  5. insalubrious; unhealthy, dangerous–especially when speaking of a climate or a locality.




Isaiah 40:31

So you want to be a writer.

The first step is (according to Rene G.) get your behind in the chair.  She calls it BIC. Butt In Chair.  She is right.

With that most difficult of all steps taken, write!

It is that easy.  Several authors have been credited for saying, “Writing is easy.  Anyone can do it.  Just sit down and open a vein.”  It isn’t easy to put your heart out there for everyone to pick apart or to love.  It is extremely difficult.  I have reached the point where I am unable to refrain from writing.  I can go a few days, but I have to let the people in my heart and head talk.  I am working on getting published.  This takes almost as much courage and fortitude as parking your hind-end in your chair.  Remember:  you are writing what you want to write and not what they tell you to write.

If you need more advice or how-to information, I’d like to recommend that you pick up a copy of (or download a copy) Darlene Shortridge and Daniel Mawhinney’s book 40 Day Publishing.


AND for our words of the week:

  1. sagacity:  shrewd, canny, wise.  Showing great sagacity, he neatly avoided the overly inquisitive reporter’s ambiguous questions.
  2. sangfroid:  (cold blooded) composure or coolness, sometimes excessive, as shown in dangerous or trying circumstances, composure, poise, self assurance.  Despite the unwarranted attack on his reputation, he replied with great sangfroid.  No one could tell if he was offended or not.
  3. pixilated:  crazy or confused, it may also refer to the blurriness of pictures that have been enlarged beyond clarity’s reach. That boy is pixilated.  No doubt he’s suffering from spring fever.
  4. inchoate:  not fully formed, rudimentary, still in its beginning state.  The new leaders are dealing with an inchoate democracy.
  5. indolent:  lazy, wanting to avoid or avoiding activity or exertion.  The indolent young man wouldn’t get off the couch to fix his own lunch.

Enjoy and Be Blessed!


Isaiah 40:31

Wonderful days to come . . .

I am married to Mr. Wonderful!  Every day I am grateful that he is in my life.  Not every husband is perfect.  Mine is closer to perfection than anyone else’s.  Still on our honeymoon?  Well, yes.  Quite frankly we are.  We’ve only been married a scant eighteen years.  It will be nineteen years this summer.

Everyday that I can get out of bed by myself is a good day.  Lord, help me remember to be thankful for that much.

Everyday that I have enough to eat is a good day.  Lord, help me remember to be grateful for that much–and not overdo it.

Everyday that someone needs me to do anything is a good day.  Not being needed would be a sad place to be.  Help me remember to be grateful that I can help other people.  Help me to be willing to help others.

Help me remember where I once was.  Lord, it has been a very long time since I’ve taken time and remembered what all you’ve brought me through.

Thank you, Father!


This week’s words are chivying, circumspect, convivial, curmudgeon

  1. Chivy:  to tell someone repeatedly to do something.  (Go clean your room.)
  2. Circumspect:  careful, guarded, unwilling to take risks
  3. Convivial:  usually refers to an event or an atmosphere rarely used to describe people, but it means friendly, lively, joyful
  4. Curmudgeon:  not convivial at all!  bad tempered, cranky, surly
  5. Debauch:  to destroy innocence or purity.  Debauchery is corrupting or ruining.


Enjoy your words.  I hope you’re finding them useful!




I need your help.

A tiny gift, almost weightless, lay in my hand. I was scared. It hurt to admit my trepidation, even to myself.  Even though my part was insignificant, the occasion was so very important, quite possibly life or death, but I’d never know the outcome for sure if it wasn’t life. My friend, Shala was adopting from Africa. What would happen to the child if she didn’t adopt? It is a question without answer, except to our faithful God.

She’d shown me a necklace she wanted. Expecting from Africa, the pewter words lifted from the small charm. It was $80.00, plus shipping and handling. I couldn’t justify or afford the expense. My heart had been torn. Our budget couldn’t be stretched that far. But, I wanted desperately to give it to her.

“God,” I prayed. “Please let someone give it to her. If it can’t be me, let someone who can afford it get it for her. You know my financial situation. We tithe and give offerings.  Our budget is stretched thin.  I want her to have it.”

His voice sounded like he was smiling. “So, if you can’t give her that, what can you give her?”

I frantically searched my brain for anything I had that resembled a pregnant Africa. I found nothing. “I don’t have anything.” It was honest.

He still smiled. “What can you make?”

“I don’t have a foundry. I could make her one if I had a foundry, but I don’t have any way to melt the lead or tin to make it.”

I felt him sigh, “What do you have?”

By now I realized I wasn’t clueing up to what he had in mind. “Give me wisdom. Give me knowledge. I don’t know what to do.”

In reply, he flashed a picture into my mind. It was a stack of paper-clad 1/8” thick sheets of acrylic that I’d purchased a few weeks earlier so I’d have materials of my own to use and use up while I learned to run the laser engraver at work. The company had purchased supplies for the projects and a little extra in case of mistakes, but I’d wanted to experiment with colors. The small piece of clear pink acrylic was lying atop the stack. “Make Africa.”

Today, I had the small pink Africa in my hand; I had three of them. Two had been turned into earrings and one into a charm for a necklace. I handed the result of my hours of work to my friend. A heart was cut out in the general area of Ethiopia. To see her smile had been my hope. It wasn’t the necklace that she’d wanted; I knew that. I had hoped, though, that she’d like this one, too. I had prepared myself for the possibility that she wouldn’t like it. Her joyful tears surprised me. In fact, her absolute delight astonished me. I shed a few tears myself.

Within three weeks Shala got the call to come get her daughter and take her to her forever home. She had been assembling gifts for the workers at the orphanage where her daughter was living and for the government officials who were in charge of the tiny girl’s release. She sought me out on Sunday morning. “How hard was it to make my earrings?” Reticence tinged her voice though I knew she fought it. I could see something in her face that surprised me. Excitement and something else. I knew she was going with several other families whose children had also been given final approval to leave the country. Did she have a particular friend who also wanted a set? I wasn’t sure what desire had prompted her question.

“Well, the first one was really hard. I had to learn how to use two different kinds of software. Now, though, if I want to make another one, all I have to do is pull up the right file and hit the print button. I saved it to a thumb drive and on the computer hard drive so I wouldn’t have to do it all again if you lost one.”

She smiled, “Can you make more, then? Fairly easily, I mean?”

I nodded. I could. I could cut out dozens at once. “How many do you need? I can hit print and walk away. The machine doesn’t need me to stay close.”

The upshot of the situation was that she needed 21 pair of earrings in a variety of colors. I also made some of them into charms and put them on key rings for the men who helped make the adoption possible. And then, a missionary from Germany saw them and wanted a few pair.

A few years later, our church bought three homes in Lesotho and started rescuing women and children out of human trafficking. I sent some earrings with our church members who moved there to help run the rescue operations. Many of my friends wear them. Earrings I’ve made are being worn on at least three continents.

But, God isn’t finished with me yet! Enjoying the earrings is a start for the thousands of women who wear them, but the more important part is praying for the women and children trapped in trafficking. That is where I need your help. Please, say a prayer a day for the people who are being trafficked.  I need your help because they need our prayers.



The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’  Matt 25:40


Thank God, I’m perfect.

Actually, I’m not.  Everyone who knows me knows for sure and certain that I am not perfect and don’t pretend to be.  Still, I wish my friends could be better examples for me.

This week’s words are mostly in the ‘a’ section of the dictionary.  I love learning new words and hope you do, too.

  1. absquatulate:  when it’s funny that someone leaves in a hurry, you can say they absquatulated.  So, I guess the definition is a laughable leaving.
  2. acerbic:  this word usually refers to someone’s speech.  For example, his acerbic wit.  Think acidic or sour, sharp, biting words.
  3. alacrity:  brisk and cheerful readiness.  The students changed into their Halloween costumes with alacrity.  (So would I for a plastic pumpkin full of candy.)
  4. animus:  hostility, ill wishes, evil thoughts.  He prepared the noose with more than the usual animus.  (Think animosity.)
  5. conker:  I couldn’t resist this one (I tossed anthelmintic in its favor.)  A conker would be an acorn if it fell from an oak tree instead of a horse chestnut tree.  Since I’ve never seen a horse chestnut tree or a conker either, for that matter, I shall leave you to enjoy this post and go look up images of conkers and horse chestnut trees.



Isaiah 40:31

Spring is on its way.

Seed catalogs!  Flowering shrubbery, hydroponically grown tomatoes with tender skins, silver maples fluttering their praises to a giving God.  I am ready for spring!

I’m ready to mow the yard, plant the garden, and I hope my apple tree will put on apples this year–even though it is barely taller than me.

But for now, all the promise of life outside lies hidden under the guise of death awaiting spring.  Plant corn when oak leaves are the length of the end joint on your thumb.  Plant your potatoes on March 17.  Plant peas on or near Valentine’s Day.  Wait a couple of weeks after planting peas to plant green beans.   Transplant your tomatoes outside on or after Tax Day (April 15.)  If there are any gardeners out there who disagree, please comment.  If I’m wrong, I need to change!

This week’s words are ingratiating, carapace, swarthy, smarmy, and swarmy.  I don’t remember where I saw swarmy, and was hard pressed to find a suitable definition for it.

  1. Swarmy:  creepy but not gruesome, sleazy.  He’s a swarmy jerk.
  2. Swarthy:  very dark, brown, olive skinned, rarely black or African, frequently Middle Eastern and especially Greek, usually refers to men not women, does not imply muscularity.  The man who stopped and helped me change my flat tire was tall and swarthy.  (No, I didn’t have a flat.  No, I don’t need help changing flats, but I do appreciate it.)
  3. Smarmy:  extremely polite or helpful, showing respect to such an extreme degree that it looks and feels insincere.  Those smarmy seventh graders are only looking for an easy A.  (No, it doesn’t help their grades, but I’d rather they act smarmy than threatening.)
  4. Ingratiating:  kind of a smarmy word, intending to gain favor or approval.  His ingratiating behavior made me think he was a seventh grader.
  5. Carapace:  the upper shell of a turtle or crustacean.  I made a rattle from the carapaces of two box turtles.  (No, I didn’t, but it’s a good sentence.)

I will be working on my entries (should have done it weeks ago) for the OWFI Contest!  Good luck to all the entrants!


Isaiah 40:31


Eat your words or choke on them.

The old adage says, “Be wary of the words you speak–of them oft you have to eat.”

I’m modifying that a bit, I’ve choked on words I’ve spoken.  And, more often, wanted to choke others for the words they spoke.  Like the erstwhile brother-in-law who asked my favorite aunt, “How’s that mean old man of yours?” Her reply? “He’s still dead.” I wanted desperately to reverse time fifteen seconds to choke the BIL before he got the awful words out.

My New Year’s Resolution is to help you along the same journey I’m taking.  I am intentionally expanding my vocabulary.  I have a cigar box where I keep words or phrases I find unusual or interesting—or strange. Erstwhile is a new word for me. I don’t know how I missed it for nearly sixty years!

Thank you to e e cummings for puddle-wonderful and mud-luscious. Thank you to unknown for drums of thunder.

One of my favorite authors, Linda Lael Miller, uses the word ubiquitous. Not everyone who tries to write cowboy stories has actually been on a horse. It is obvious to me that she’s been saddle-sore from long hours working on horseback. My own knees have buckled a time or two when getting out of the saddle after a long day of rounding up cattle on the river breaks. (We’d be at the river before sun-up, and were usually in bed before midnight—usually.) She describes the pain exquisitely.

I’ve been listening to Lady Gabaldon’s OUTLANDER series while I clean house or work out at the gym. She has a fantastic vocabulary. I get two or sometimes three new words out of each of her books. More often, I find new definitions or applications for the words I already knew.

I love Louis L’Amour. I must. I have a whole bookshelf with nothing but LL’A Books on it. I don’t find new words in his writing, but I’ve been reading them since I was in grade school.

Without further ado, here are this blog’s words in no particular order. Definitions are compliments of a variety of sources, including websites, people, and old fashioned paper dictionaries.

  1. hoike; to lift abruptly or pull upwards with great effort. She hoiked the soggy collie onto the examination table.
  2. amorphous; without a clearly defined shape or form. The fog alone wasn’t creating the amorphous ghosts between tombstones and statues.
  3. ubiquitous; pervasive, universal, found everywhere. Think about the teens at the mall with their ubiquitous earbuds.
  4. susurrus; whispering, rustling, or murmuring. I’d heard susurrus used to describe the wind in the pines and in the long prairie grass, but I hadn’t known it could rip a sword from its sheath. It surely can!
  5. unalloyed; pure. Copper is not an alloy, but bronze is. Bronze is made of copper and tin. Brass gets its “z” from zinc. Okay, I knew that! But, his unalloyed anger erupting with the susurrus of his sword being unsheathed from its metal encumbrance and re-sheathed in his enemy was a bit disconcerting.

There are your five words for the week. I invite you to send me your favorite words! I’d love to add them to my repertoire.

Happy writing and blessings to you and yours,

Isaiah 40:31