Wednesday, December 31, 2008

One-Minute Writer - Recap

Today's One-Minute Writing Prompt: Recap

Write a one-minute recap of 2008--either a recap of world news of or your personal year.


Wonderful, loving hubby
Three beautiful, healthy daughters
Two parents in good health
One mother-in-law turning 84
Overwhelming depression
Decrease in gardening
Struggling financially
Increase in writing
Started several blogs
Blogging became an addiction
Slowed blogging to 4 main blogs
Changes at work, everything good
Still grieving for my sister
Overcoming anti-social behavior

Looking forward to better and happier 2009

Touching Hearts

Today I received this lovely award from Pratibha at My WoRLD iN WorDs. Thank you Pratibha!!

Although I cherish all the blog awards I have received, this one is very special - it is my first international award. You see, Pratibha is from Bangalore, India! It's nice to know people from all over America read my blog, but to have someone half a world away reading - it boggles the mind!

We really are just a key stroke away from anyone in the world ...

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

One-Minute Writing

Today's One-Minute Writing Prompt: The Best

If you could be the best in the world at something, what would it be?

Being the Best

"You're simply the best!" Sorry, couldn't resist!

After 46 years on this planet, I've decided I don't care if I'm ever the best at anything. Being the best at something usually means you let other things slide. I would much rather try my best at everything than be the best at just one.

I try my best to be a good wife - so far, the hubby of almost 20 years has very few complaints.

I try my best to be a good mother - after raising 3 daughters, I've made my share of mistakes, but I'm hoping the girls will remember the good times over the bad.

I try my best to be a good daughter/daughter-in-law - okay, so I don't call as much as I should, or visit more than once a week, but I'm always there in an emergency and they are always on my mind.

I try my best to be a good employee - sometimes I love my job, sometimes I hate it, but I have learned I'm a much better employee now that I'm retired from nursing.

I try my best to be a good friend - although I have many friends, I have only one true friend, and she is okay if I don't call her for 2 weeks at a time; I'm always there for her and she's always there for me.

I try my best to be a good volunteer and community servant - between my local public library and Habitat for Humanity, I feel good about the things I can do for other people.

I try my best to be a good writer - writing is my passion, so this is not a hard task; 2008 introduced me to local writing workshops which have boosted my self-esteem.

I try my best to be a good blogger - but really the blogs are for myself; you guys checking in a commenting are an added bonus I never thought I'd have.

Okay, this is starting to sound a little sappy - not my intention when I started. The main point I wanted to make is, I'm happy being a sheep and not the shepherd - but I try to be a good sheep. I've never had a desire to be the top dog, I'm happiest in the trenches ... just trying to do my best.

(Artwork by Altered Art Fun )

Monday, December 29, 2008

One-Minute Writer - The World Today

Today's One-Minute Writing Prompt: The World Today

Is our world today a better or worse place than it was when you were a kid?

The World Today

It starts with a cyclone - Myanmar is dead
As the global financial crisis closes in
Then China is shook loose from its hinges
While Iraq still bubbles on
Afghanistan caves still hide the threat
And the Israel-Palestine hatred continues
Post-election violence in Kenya, what can it mean
Beijing Olympic Games could not distract the violence
Bhutan has its first ever elections
While the USA elects the historic 44th
Does Iran really have nuke capability
As Finland enters the world of school shooting deaths
Out with Fidel, in with Raul - nothing changes Cuba
Although France's first lady is now a lovely pinup star
Explosions rock in Turkey - and not the Thanksgiving kind
As Mumbai, India suffers its version of 911
Bangkok is controlled by airport occupations
And shoes are a threat to our decider-in-chief
My children never knew the untethered freedom of roaming a neigborhood or ajoining countryside
My grandchildren will have less freedom still
In many ways we are more advanced
But I'd take those simplier times over today in a single minute

Musing Mondays

This week's Musing Monday asks the questions:

How often do you recommend books to others, and who do you recommend them to? Do you only recommend books to your “reading friends” or to anyone you think might find the book interesting? What does it take for a book to make it to your ‘recommendation’ list?

As a book reviewer for my local newspaper - The Harrodsburg Herald - and the local library - Mercer County Public Library - I am always recommending new books to people. I currently have two book review blogs, MCPLib for library reviews, and Bobbi's Book Nook for my personal reviews.

Of course, I'm always recommending books to family and friends. I have certain books I recommend to my mom, my mom-in-law, and my aunts - these are usually books about Amish or Shaker life, or about historical events from the past. I have certain books I recommend to my oldest two daughters - these are usually wedding how-to books because both are getting married next year. I recommend car books to my dad and brother, and musical books to my hubby. My youngest daughter has such eclectic taste, she rarely ever likes a book I recommend.

Some of my favorite books to read are young adults, especially new young adult series. I recommend these to mothers of young children on the website BluegrassMoms. I've recently discovered several new series I recommend to every child I see: Fablehaven by Brandon Mull, Erec Rex by Kaza Kingsley, The 13th Reality by James Dashner and The Fairy Chronicles by J. H. Sweet.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sunday Scribblings #143 - I Believe

Sunday Scribblings - #143 - I believe...

In honour of the festive season, I think an appropriate prompt for this week is, "I believe..."

I Believe

I believe in unconditional love - for a child, a spouse, even a wayward niece like mine.

I believe there is something after death - but I'm not sure if it's heaven or hell, maybe a combination of both.

I believe in one great creator - but who really knows if it's God or Goddess or Ali or Who?

I believe in happiness - even though sometimes it may be very far from my life; I do have happy moments to look back on.

I believe in romantic love - the kind I feel for my hubby; it may not always be sizzling hot, but it is comfortable and just for us.

I believe in time because I see it marching across my face, I see it in my collection of daily journels, I see it in the progression of my children.

I believe in the constant seasons - though changing as they may; from fall to winter, spring to summer, they always come back again.

I believe in the moon to guide my lonely nights - the same continual glow and company my ancestors did enjoy.

I believe in the stars above for they have forseen the way - long before the lowly race of humans was a twinkle in someone's eye.

I believe in the sun who keeps us all alive - providing warmth and growing energy, the sun will see us through.

I believe ...

I really believe ...

Saturday, December 27, 2008

One-Minute Writer - Argument

Today's One-Minute Writing Prompt: Argument

Write about an argument you had with someone you loved, and how it affected your relationship.


How do you write about an argument, when you hardly ever argue?
How do you tell someone about your misunderstanding, when you don't even understand yourself?
How do you fix hurt feelings, when you weren't the one to hurt the feelings?
How you you listen to complaints from the heart, when the complaints have nothing to do with you?

Argument, altercation, blowup, brawl,
Controversay, clash, debate, dispute,
Exchange, feud, gin, hassle,
Knockdown, quarrel, row, ruckus,
Squabble, tiff, word, wrangle.

Our rhubarb was a nasty one
A clash of major proportions
The tangle finally ran a ground
A polemic disagreement

Friday, December 26, 2008

One Minute Writing - Yesterday

Today's One Minute Writing Prompt: Yesterday

Describe the best moment of your day yesterday. Focus on any or all of your five senses in your description.


Yesterday was a wonderful day
For happy, smiling kids
Wrappings torn and ribbons tossed
A seas of toys did form

Yesterday was full of smells
That assaulted all my senses
Mom's yummy dressing, the candied yams
And a turkey fit for a king

Yesterday did shame my diet
For I couldn't stop at smells
Oyster casserole, fluffy potatoes
Had my tummy yelling out for more

Yesterday, although for kids
Did give us grownups joy
From textured ribbons and crinkly paper
Our fingers touched them all

Yesterday, that holy day
Gave pause for carols of old
From Once Upon a Midnight Clear
To the end of Silent Night

Yesterday comes but once a year
Though we hold it deep in our hearts
That special something all year 'round
Until Christmas comes again

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

Musing Monday

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about Christmas book buying ...

In these last few days before Christmas, I'm sure there are plenty of us scrambling to get our last minute shopping done. Are you buying any books for friends or family (or even yourself)? Do you expect to recieve any bookish gifts from others - books, or book-related?

Books For Christmas

Books are the one item that is always on my gift giving and wish list. I love books and I try to buy books for each family member.

This year, books are the only thing on my youngest daughter's (16 year old) gift list. Some of the books she has asked for: Kiss Me, Judas: A Novel by Will Christopher Baer, The Kafka Effekt by D. Harlan Wilson, House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski and Complicity by Iain Banks.

My hubby's wish list includes: Inside Out: A Personal History of Pink Floyd by Nick Mason,The Pythons by Graham Chapman, and Too Fat to Fish by Artie Lange. Of course, my hubby's wish list includes several DVDs.

For my mother and mother-in-law, cookbooks are always a must. This year Rachel Ray's Big Orange Book. This one also works well for my 2 oldest daughters, since they are both getting married next year.

As for me, my book wish list is always too long. I have asked for a few vintage Trixie Belden Mysteries I don't already own - I have the first 16, but I would like to have the rest. There are also a few of Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake books I don't own in hardback - these books were originally printed in paperback, but have been reissued in hardback.

Typically, I use my Christmas money to buy books after Christmas - this is also what my youngest daughter likes to do. She loves getting money for Christmas to be able to buy more books. I think we've created a book monster!

Merry Christmas to all my readers - I hope everyone has a happy holiday season!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sunday Scribblings #142 - Late

Sunday Scribblings #142 - Late
In honor of being late putting up the prompt (hey, I thought yesterday was tuesday!), the prompt is "late." What do you have to say about that?

Late is Relative

It is never too late to fall in love

Better late than never

A day late and a dollar short

You're only late if you have somewhere to go

It's never too late to start over

I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date - Alice in Wonderland

Better never than late - George Bernard Shaw

You never know how soon will be too late - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Everything comes late for those who only wait - Elbert Hubbard

People never understand until it's too late - Thomas Merton

We get old too soon and wise too late - Benjamin Franklin

It is never to late to be what you might have been - George Eliot

How did it get so late so soon - Dr. Seuss

Tis not too late to seek a newer world - Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Stay out late, work is for people with jobs - Tom Petty

Tomorrow is nothing, today is too late - Marcus Aurelius

Life is like arriving late for a movie - Joseph Campbell


Friday, December 19, 2008

Fiction Friday

Fiction Friday #83: Challenge for December 19, 2008:

Write a short scene, with exactly two characters that involves a terrible Christmas (or similar holiday) present.

The Beginning of the End

"You know you're ruining Christmas for the girls, don't you?" Libby stood with one hand on her hip and the other wiping the flood of tears from her eyes.

"I'm not ruining Christmas, Libby - stop being so dramatic. The girls are now going to have more Christmas than they used to." Ronnie continued to throw clothes from the dresser into his worn suitcase.

"More Christmas! They are going to be separated from both of their parents. I don't consider spending Christmas Eve with me and Christmas Day with you more Christmas!"

The confrontation had been brewing for almost a week, since the day Libby got the phone call from the other woman.

"I hope you know he's leaving you before Christmas. Ronnie and his girls will be spending Christmas Day we me." Libby learned several hours later the woman was Peggy, an older woman who worked with Ronnie. Apparently they had been carrying on an affair for the past 18-months; it started just before Libby gave birth to their second daughter.

Libby was beating herself up for not noticing the warning signs sooner, but with a new baby and a second child under the age of two, her days and nights were filled with childcare.

"Look, Libby, the girls are going to be fine. They will get some extra presents this year and they'll never know the difference." Ronnie closed the suitcase and headed into the living room.

"No, Ronnie, it's not going to be fine. What am I supposed to do?" Libby was trying hard not to get hysterical, but her world was falling down around her.

"Well, I guess you'll have to get a job, won't you!" Ronnie walked over to the gun cabinet he had built last year. Unlocking the door, he removed two rifles and a pistol, leaving behind the bow. He looked the door back and walked to the door.

"What about the girls? How am I supposed to get a job and watch the girls at the same time."

"Libby, grow up. Women can work and care for the kids - you'll just have to put them into daycare." He opened the door and walked the guns out to his truck.

"Daycare," Libby screamed from the front door. "You want me to but the girls in daycare! We've never even had a babysitter for them other than our mothers!"

Ronnie walked back to the door; Libby refused to move out of the way.

"Let me in Libby." He pushed his way past his petite wife.

"You can't do this, Ronnie. What can I do; I'll do anything to make it better." Libby hated the pleading tone of her voice. "Just tell me what to do. Think about the girls - this is going to effect them for the rest of their lives!"

"It's over Libby - there is no more trying. And the girls will be fine. I'll call you in a few days to make arrangements for Christmas Day." Picking up his suitcase, he walked out of the house for the last time.

"Where are you going? You're going to HER house, aren't you? You son of a bitch! I won't let another woman be a mother to MY children. Do you hear me? These are MY girls and she's going to stay away from them!" Libby knew she was screaming incoherently, but she couldn't stop herself. This couldn't be happening. After 6 years of marriage to her high school sweetheart, her would was crumbling down.

"You damn sucking mamma's boy! I hope you'll be happy together! You can both rot in hell!" Libby slammed the door and collapsed under the Christmas tree. The house was quiet. Praying out loud, Libby asked God to help her.

She was still on the floor under the tree when her almost 3 year old daughter came walking down the hall, rubbing the sleep from her eyes. Libby picked herself up, forced a smile on her face and scooped her daughter into her arms.

Saying another prayer to God, she silently asked for strength to protect her children and make their lives better.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Cafe Writing - Unseen Wonders

December Cafe Writing: Option Six - Timed Writing

The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.
~Francis P. Church, “Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus”

Take twelve minutes (use all twelve, but don’t go over), and write on the subject of unseen and unseeable wonders. This is a timed exercise and it’s expected that it won’t be perfect. Any format - fiction, essay, verse - is welcome.

Unseen Wonders

I know they're around me every day
The evidence is right before my eyes
A beautiful flower, a glistening rock
A heavenly scent from above

Some will tell you things are not real
If you can't see or smell or feel
But I believe in the unexplainable
The unseeable wonders abound

What of the stars way up in the heavens
Or the fluffy clouds floating by
What of the sun and the moon
I can't touch them, but they're real

So, what of prayers escaping from lips
Hushed and hurried, whispered in vain
Does God really hear, is he listening to all
Faith, I have faith he can hear

So, what of dreams filling our heads
Wishes and goals constantly thought
Do our dreams come true, does wishing make it so
Faith, I have faith dreams come true

So, what of love in this harsh world of ours
Does unconditional love still exist
Or has the me-me generation changed our path
Faith, I have faith love will see us through

(Artwork by Josephine Wall)

Cafe Writing - Christmas Is Green

December Cafe Writing: Option Five - Fiction

Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.
~Laura Ingalls Wilder

Using the above quotation as your inspiration, write a flash-fic, scene, or short story involving childhood memories.

Christmas Is Green

Cold, damp, dreary. Why did she love these types of days so much? Everyone else hated these days, but she relished them. Maybe it’s because they reminded her of the holidays.

The holiday season was fast approaching. Just today a Christmas commercial came across the television screen. It’s amazing how those types of commercials could make her tear p. She wanted her girls to have the same kind of feeling for the holidays that she had. Sure things were different now. Kids were different, environments were different, and demands were different.

When she was younger, she simply lived for the holidays. She would start drawing pictures of Christmas trees way before Halloween. She loved to read any books that dealt with the holidays. She loved to pretend she was Snowbound with Betsy, or fantasize of a Christmas in the Big Woods. Reading only served as the fuel source for her imagination.

Christmas music; beautiful gospels, traditional tunes, and children’s classics - you could hear them everywhere during this season. Her favorite song used to be “March of the Wooden Soldiers.” Even though it was an instrumental song, she would always make up dances to match the movements of the music. Even today, at the age of 35, this song makes her well up with tears.

Christmas lights – oh, how she loved Christmas lights. Sparkling red, yellow, blue, and green … especially green. She would dig in the basement until she found the worn box of Christmas decorations. Then she would plug the lights in just to watch them glow.

At Christmas time, she used to lie under the tree just to look at the lights. Beautiful, dancing. She would always sneak out of the bed at night, turn on the tree lights and fall asleep on the couch, dreaming of sugarplums and the anticipation of the season.

Green was always her favorite color. Back when she was a child, Christmas tree lights were the large, screw-in types. She and her two siblings each had a particular side of the Christmas tree that they called their own. Mother was always complaining because the children would change the colors on the tree. One side would be all red, another blue and yellow, and of course, the green side.

It gave her great pleasure to have one side of the family Christmas tree to call her own. She would place her handmade ornaments upon the branches, as well as the traditional ones. Santa always left her presents beneath her side of the tree. Always …

Snowflakes, the Christ child, Granny Devine’s home cooking, and the color green ...these always reminded her of the Christmas season. She now wants the same for her children. Christmas Eve Church services, a birthday cake for Baby Jesus, supper at Nana’s and MaMaw’s, and the color green … no, not green. Her three girls are all passionate about the color blue. Blue for Christmas? Oh well, times are changing.

Cafe Writing - My Angel

December Cafe Writing: Option Four - Poetry

If we opened our minds to enjoyment, we might find tranquil pleasures spread about us on every side. We might live with the angels that visit us on every sunbeam, and sit with the fairies who wait on every flower.
~Samuel Smiles

Using the quotation above as your inspiration, write a poem (any form is fine) about living with angels or sitting with faeries.

My Angel

On windy days, my angel visits me
Blowing a breeze through the silver wind chimes
Reminding me to live my life freely
And not hide away from the rest of the world

On windy days, my angel visits me
Bringing me serenity with each gentle sway
Reminding to live in the present
And keep the past in the past

On windy days, my angel visits me
Whispering secrets with each little chime
Reminding me she is always near
Even though far from my sight she'll be

Cafe Writing - The Wonder, The Magic

December Cafe Writing: Option Three - Can You Picture That?

Use the following photo to inspire a piece of writing in any form (poetry, prose, whatever). Photo Credit: Konstantin Yuganov

The Wonder, The Magic

The wonder, the magic
Of reading a book
Sharing a world
Where authors have tread
Visiting places of pure imagination
Seeing the people
We create in our minds

The wonder, the magic
Of reading a book
Learning new phrases
An author has molded
Beholding new sights in imaginative form
Seeing the characters
Made-up into life

The wonder, the magic
Of reading a book
Enjoying the splendor
As crafted by authors
Rejoicing in glorious imagination
Seeing the pictures
The words bring to life

Cafe Writing - Was Jesus Born on Christmas Eve

December Cafe Writing: Option Two - Pick Three

Kindle the taper like the steadfast star
Ablaze on evening’s forehead o’er the earth,
And add each night a lustre till afar
An eightfold splendor shine above thy hearth.
~Emma Lazarus, “The Feast of Lights”

Pick at least three of the following words, and build a piece of writing around them. The form is up to you: poem, scene, flash-fic, essay, or general blog entry.

ablaze, earth, forehead, kindle, night, steadfast, star, taper

Was Jesus Born on Christmas Eve

The star in the East
As my Granny used to say
Will lead to the baby
Asleep in the hay

Though steadfast and true
This story is alive
Through the magical month
Of the Christmas hour

He was sent to earth
To save us all
Tiny and pink
And swaddled in clothes

Supposedly on a cold winter's night
But was it really Christmas Eve
When the babe was born
Or springtime when the dogwoods bloom

The story's been told
All of my life
But my aging heart wonders
Is this really right

Cafe Writing - My Magic Seven

December Cafe Writing: Option One - Seven Things

That’s the thing with magic. You’ve got to know it’s still here, all around us, or it just stays invisible for you.
~Charles DeLint

In improvisation, one of our exercises is a game called “Seven Things,” in which we go around in a circle giving each other the challenge, “Give me seven things that [whatever].” We are not going to go around in a circle here, but if you’re drawn to lists, this prompt is for you.

Give me seven magical things in your world. Interpret “magical” any way you please. You’re not required to explain the items in your list, but it’s more fun for readers if you do.

My Magic Seven
1.) My hubby is the magical being in my life. He saved me from drowning in misery and helped show me the way back to the like. I know it's corny to talk about soul mates or kindred spirits, but I believe whatever creator gave us this beautiful world is responsible for sending this love my way. My hubby loves me unconditionally and he supports me in all my endeavors. He is the steady hand that keeps me strong in times of stress and sorrow.

2.) My 3 daughters are also magical. Each one has brought with them a special glow that keeps lighting my life, even in the dark times. Although my girls are now grown, they continue to be a blessing in my life. I look forward to the magical miracle of grandchildren.

3.) Rocks also have magical properties for me. I love bright colorful rocks - when I hold them in my hand I always seem to feel better. I collect rocks from all the places I visit - I even have a few special rocks that are autographed by various people: all the band members of Jethro Tull and authors Patricia Cornwell and Bobbie Ann Mason. Rocks are a part of the earth and the earth has been around for billions of years. I like the idea of not knowing exactly how old some of the rocks are I own.

4.) The wind carries magical healing powers. Whenever I'm feeling sad or blue, I love to sit outdoors. For some reason, the wind always makes me feel better - the way it carasses my checks, ruffles my hair and carries scents to my nose. The wind has a way of wrapping around me and making me feel safe.

5.) For me Genesis' instrumental song, The Brazilian, from the Invisible Touch album, will always be magical. No matter how bad I'm feeling, this song will always cheer me up. There's just something about the rhythm and the percussion that is hypnotic - magical. For those of you who don't know this song, I've found it on YouTube - it's from a concert on the Invisible Touch tour.

6.) To me, daisies are a magical flower. Although we are just beginning winter, I continue to love daisies because they are so pretty and very versitile. Daisies have the ability to take me back to my childhood days - carefree days before stress entered my life. Daisies make me happy and daisies make me laugh - any object that can do these things is magical!

7.) And last but not least, I enjoy the magical times when I feel my sister close to me. Most of the time, this is windy days when the windchime on my front porch is ringing. This windchime is one of my treasures because it was given to me after my sister died almost 4 years ago. It hangs on the front porch so I can hear the musical tinkling and know my sister is watching over me and my family.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Totally Optional Prompt - Firsts

Totally Optional Prompt: Firsts

There is something very memorable about the firsts in our lives. I remember my first day of kindergarten, clinging desperately to my mom with one hand and having the teacher, Mrs. Neilson, practically pulling my other arm out of its socket trying to get me away from her. Kind of ironic that I became a teacher!

Anyway, that's the prompt this week: write a poem about a first in your life. The possibilities are endless, really.

First vehicle - First kiss - First marriage - First grade - First flight - First drink

It started out with young love
Happy, exuberant, joyful and free
He was my first kiss, my first love
But I've come to learn firsts don't last

Four years of dating
Freshman through senior
Couldn't wait to be married
It was my dream come true

The first three years were fairly normal
Learning to live as one
But a miscarriage of fate turned the tides
It was probably the beginning of the end

When the first girl was born
At the end of the third year
My heart filled with so much joy
Until the betrayal slipped from his lips

Where do I go, what do I do
I was hopelessly trapped with no way out
Embarrassed by the mistake
That was now coming clear

But I thought the second girl
Would change it all back
Unfortunate for me
This was the nail in the coffin

So after four years of dating
And six as man and wife
My world ripped apart
And would be years in the mending

(Art by Eric M. Chicago)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Happy Dance

HAPPY DANCE, HAPPY DANCE, HAPPY DANCE - Today's a snow day, which means NO SCHOOL, NO WORK !!! HAPPY DANCE ...

Monday, December 15, 2008

One Step At A Time

Janie from Write Anything posed an interesting question today:

How are your holiday preparations coming along? What aspect of the holiday season scares you, if any? How are you coping with your fear? Are you writing about it — or evading it?

One Step At A Time

This holiday season I'm trying to take a layed-back approach. I'm trying not to hurry, I'm trying not to stress, and I'm trying not to go overboard. These are all things that have defined my Christmases past.

Actually, I have not enjoyed the last 3 Christmases - since my sister died in 2005. But this year I'm making an effort. I have the Christmas tree up and I've been doing some baking. I've also been busily knitting all my family members scarves and matching hats. But I'm trying not to rush things - trying to take it one step at a time.

I don't think I fear Christmas - it's just the overwhelming sadness from the hole left in my heart. Writing helps me to overcome the sadness, and as a matter of fact, I have finished several short pieces relating to my sister. For some reason, getting my feelings down on paper makes them easier to deal with. If it weren't for my writing, I'm not sure where I would be. Probably in some deep, dark hole with my head covered up.

One step at a time ... one step at a time ...

Musing Monday

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about reading on the go…

I always like to have a book with me at all times – call it a nerdy grown-up security blanket – and rarely do I leave the house without slipping one into my bag (even if I KNOW I’m not going to have a chance to read it). Do you take a book with you? Do you take whatever book you’re currently reading, or do you have a special on-the-go book? And do you have a preference for a these types of book (paperback, hardback; short stories; poetry etc)?

Typically, I usually read several books at one time. I keep a book of short stories in my car - currently this is Stephen King's new book of short stories, Just After Sunset. I never know when I'm going to get caught by the train - I live in a rural area and the train tracks surround our small town - or if I'm going to have to wait for my teenage daughter after school. I also keep a book of poetry in my car - right now it is Afternoon in the Country of Summer by local author Charles Semones.

I also read many books at night while my hubby is watching TV. Currently I'm reading The Tale of Briar Bank: The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter by Susan Wittig Albert. It is a fictionalized historical look at the life of Beatrix Potter, the beloved author of such wonderful children's books as Peter Rabbit, Benjamin Bunny, Mrs. Paddleduck and other. This is the 5th book of The Cottage Tales. I also just finished reading Tomato Girl by Jayne Pupek. I loved, loved, loved this book and it is in my top 5 list of favorite books for 2008. You can read my review here.

I have found it is easier for me to read a book of short stories, a fiction book and a non-fiction book at the same time. For some reason different genres makes it easier for me to read more than one book at a time. For example, while I was recently reading Swallowing Darkness (fiction) by Laurell K. Hamilton, I was also reading O the Clear Moment (biography) by Ed McClanahan and Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs (non-fiction) by Scott Cunningham.

There are also many times - if I am engrossed in a book and can't put it down - I'll take my current read with me. Something else I always take with me is a notebook - I am constantly jotting down information from the books I read, or random quotes that appeal to me or relate to my life. My preference is hardback books over paperback books, but occasionally a book on my list will only be available in paperback. I DON'T like e-books! I need to hold the book in my hands, feel the weight of the book and the texture of the pages, not to mention the smell of a book, especially if it is an old book.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

12 Days of Christmas

This is something I learned last year from the pastor I worked for. I was reminded of the meaning of this song by an email from a friend.

The 12 Days of Christmas

From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.

The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.

Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.

Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.

The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.

The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.

The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.

Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit--Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.

The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.

Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit--Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.

The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.

The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.

The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.

Thanks, Kevin, for reminding me of the meaning of this song.

Merry (Twelve Days of) Christmas Everyone