Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’

P1140203“The sun…in its full glory, either at rising or setting –

this, and many other like blessings, we enjoy daily.”

–Izaak Walton

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We drove into the sunrise this morning on the way to school.  Oh, what a beautiful morning.  Oh, what a beautiful day!  Yes, it made me wanna sing.  I had my trusty cam with me so I snapped a few.  Hope ya like ‘em.

I hope you take the time to notice the beauty that surrounds you today.

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Trying to Enjoy the View

view  This was my view this afternoon while sitting in my front porch swing.  See the little patch on the ground past the shadow of the crepe myrtle?  A tree used to be in that spot.  A very large shady pecan tree that my grandpa planted there years and years ago.  In fact, that was one of my favorite climbing trees as a child.  We’d come visit here in the summer and my brother and I would climb that tree, among others.  I’d lay out in the sun and a squirrel that lived in that tree would come down and pay me a visit.

That tree held so many memories for me.  Good and bad.  When Hurricane Katrina hit, it took out a chunk of limbs along with the power lines and pulled it all down in the driveway.  Much of the tree was rotting and so, naturally, the best option was to take it down before it took out power lines again or a car.

I will forever miss that tree.  It looks and feels like a completely different yard — so desolate, so brightly lit.  I love my shade!  I love my trees!  Call me a tree hugger if you want.  I will not deny it.  God save the trees!!!

Still, as I mourn the loss of the tree, the view of the approaching storm is quite breathtaking.  The photo doesn’t do the sky justice.  The stormy blue was much darker to the eye and the shades of green more vibrant.

 

 

 

Are You Thankful or Are You Angry?

Colors and Light

Wow, I was so stinkin’ angry at God.  I yelled at him.  I cried.  I cursed.  I ignored him, because I felt he was ignoring me.  I told him, “You turned your back on me, so I’m doing the same to you.”  Then, I cried some more.

I prayed.  I asked for help.  I asked for more faith.  I asked for God to take away my fear, my doubt, my stress and worry.  All I could see was my loss, what I didn’t have.  I was more focused on what I needed and I was so desperate in that need that I could not see all that I did have, everything I should have been thanking God for.  But when you are in the midst of depression, despair, anger, bitterness, worry and fear, you can’t see the good stuff.  All you can see is darkness.  You can’t find much, if any light.  I’m so thankful for that sparklette of light I had that was holding me from going any deeper.

I kept praying constantly, after I gave in to ignoring God.  I kept praying for more faith than fear.  I knew I needed more faith than anything.  It took days.  It took weeks.  Sure, I’d go through anger again, crying, depression, doubt, but I kept praying and asking for more faith over fear.  A month went by.  More.  Then, something cool happened.

This peace come over me.  This peace made me feel like everything was going to be ok.  I felt like I handed over my anger and fear and doubt to God, finally.  I told him to take it from me, and to replace it with faith.  I knew more than anything I needed faith and patience.  Patience is a lesson I’ve never quite grabbed onto.  In fact, I downright suck at it.  This day came upon me and I woke up glad.  I started to think, “I have so much to be thankful for.  I am healthy.  My family is healthy.   I have the most awesome daughter in the entire world.  I have the most wonderful mother.  I have a home.  I have a car that runs.  Hallie goes to a great school.”  I kept on thinking of so many things I could be thankful for.

Then, I started to think what my loved ones must be going through.  I’ve been so focused on me and my selfish thoughts, poor me, my poor life …  What about them?

I’m sure Mama misses Daddy more than anyone and anything.  They were soul mates.  They had such a great love for each other.  Her heart must ache more during the holidays.  Daddy’s been watching over us from Heaven for 11 years now.  And Hallie?  I know how scared she must be with her knee surgery coming up after Christmas.  She’s so fearful, anxious and nervous.  I’ve been so selfish!  And my best friend, Jennefer, with her oldest off at college, and so many other friends who have needs and trials and I’ve been over here thinking “poor me.”  A friend told me once, “It ain’t all about you.”  One of the best things I ever heard.

I just wanted to take this time, here at Thanksgiving, to ask you – Are you thankful or are you angry?  There really isn’t enough room in your heart for both.  You just make up your mind to be one or the other, depending on where you choose to place focus.  You can sit around and have a pity party like I did, or you can write down every little thing and person and place that you are thankful for and then — well … you can be thankful.  I can nearly bet that you have more things to be thankful for in your life than things to be angry about.  And thankfulness is such a much better feeling to hold in your heart than anger and depression.

I want to take this time to say thank you, God and thank you, Jesus, for all you have given to us — more good things than we will ever deserve.  Please forgive us for our selfishness, for our anger, bitterness, depression and doubt.  All we have to do is let it go and give it to you, pray constantly, try to have faith, and wait on you, because it’s all in your time, not ours.  Thank you for all your many blessings.  Though we may not always see it, our cups runneth over.  I love you soooo much!

Can One Fall Off The Earth?

No, I suppose one cannot fall off the Earth, although my friends out there have probably been assuming I did.  I have not forgotten you guys nor have I forgotten the blog.  I have been self employed since May, working simultaneously for three jobs and between 30 to 45 hours a week, give or take.  Not much time for anything fun, except work, although we did take a lovely vacation to Gatlinburg and Chattanooga, Tennessee, for which I’ll be updating you with photos very soon.  Trying to make time to spend with family, albeit not nearly enough.  Not getting any time to spend with friends, except maybe a couple of hours a month.  Just wanted to update you and let you know that I’m working on a plan to increase income while decreasing work hours.  I’ll let you know how that one goes.  ;)

I will try to make some time to return emails to my buddies who have emailed me, and will try to make the time this upcoming weekend to do an actual blog post about our goings on as of late.  So sorry I have not been current and posting as I know I should.  It is still important to me and I will try to get better at updating regularly.

I know.  Excuses…  Excuses…

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Oh, and while you wait, and since you have been so patient with me, I will reward you with one of my latest photos.  These are Fennec Foxes.  These are some of the cutest furry creatures I have ever seen!  If any of you have ever read the Skippyjon Jones books, he might come to mind when you look at these sweet babies!!  I’m in my 40s and still read those funny books!!!  Of course, I got them when Hallie was little and we read them together (while, of course, using our Spanish Baby Hero voices) and they were so gut-busting hilarious, any time I need some laughter, I go read one out loud, and yes, using my Spanish Baby Hero voice.

I hope and trust that all of you are doing fantastically well.  Love ya!!  *smooch*  ;)

-Carol

Myrtle the Turtle

P1120445This sweet big girl had been camping out at the same spot for a couple of days on the other side of my driveway.  I went over to check on her and she had been digging a hole.  I’m not positive but I believe she laid some eggs in that hole.  This happened around June 1st.  I did a little bit of internet research and it said if she laid eggs, they should hatch anywhere from 45 to 90 days, so I’ll be checking the site come July 15 and every day thereafter just to see if there has been any change.  I looked in the hole and all I could see was mud and the hole.  Hopefully, I’ll see the pitter patter of little hatchling feet in the coming weeks or months.  She was so cute.  I just had a couple of little chats with her and she just carefully watched me.

Later, I saw where cars were slowing down in front of my house, so I went out to see why and she had her butt parked in the middle of the road, so I picked her up (to which she tried to fight me) and put her on the other side of the road in which she was headed.  Haven’t seen her since.

I’m not sure, but I believe her to be a Mississippi Mud Turtle, and I named her Myrtle, for lack of a better name.

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On another note, I have finally updated my 101 Things page.  Oh, and now not only have I snagged me a couple of cool jobs online (just got a second one today that I start Tuesday) that I can work from home, but I’ve also earned the title Freelance Writer, since I’ve sold my first article online.  Nice!  Dreams can come true.

I hope y’all are doing well.  I’ll try to establish a routine of regular posting.  Still working on my schedule.  Now that I’m working from home, I’m busier than ever, but a lot less stressed, if that makes sense.  At least I’m busy doing things I love.  Working in the yard, cooking, cleaning, hangin’ with my girls, writing, working online, among other things and just enjoying life.  I hope you are enjoying life, as well.  *smooch*

Love ya!

Carol

Beautiful Morning

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Week 13 of 52

Ok, so maybe not a beautiful morning for today’s morning, since it’s raining off and on all day long.  But it was a beautiful morning yesterday when we witnessed this sunrise  on the way to school.  We thought it was cool the way the jet was streaming through the clouds.  ;)  Wanted to post the coolest Easter egg that Hallie painted, but I suppose I downloaded those pics already to my home computer.  This sunrise shot was still on my memory card in my camera, so I’m using this one instead.

An okay week last week.  Carlie is still gone and we are sad and missing her like crazy.

We are a little behind on our 21-day meditation challenge, as we skipped the weekend, but started it back up on Monday.

Started Camp Nanowrimo on April 1st!  My daily word count goal is 2,000, so I will hopefully have roughly 60,000 by the end of April 30. So far, so good!  I hope and pray I can keep this momentum going.  I’ve been really blessed with some free time at work to imagine and type.  Not all days are like that.  Today is another free day, so hopefully I can get my daily writing/typing done before leaving work today.  The last couple of days, I start out early in the morning, then do more at work, especially on my lunch hour, then finish at night.  My friend, Gerry, is also participating in Camp Nano and we are encouraging each other.  Anybody else joining in?  It’s not too late to join in if you like.  Let me know if you do and I will be sure to cheer you on daily!  Encouragement from your friends helps sooooo much!  It helps me for sure.  Keeps me going.  Keeps me strong!

So, how are you?  What’s been going on in your world?

Hopefully, I will remember to go update my 101 things in 1001 days in just a moment.  Nothing really new going on.  Just sort of went into hiding once April 1 got here.  I am determined to finish this 50,000 word count goal.  It’s a really fun story – adventure/fantasy/sci-fi novel for young adults.  It’s the first in a series.  I haven’t mapped out how many books, as of yet.  I do know for sure that there will be three.  I’ve only mapped out the first book and not fully.  The second and third books in the series are only stacks of typed and written notes.  Half of me is a planner, and half of me is a pantser.  It’s more fun flying by the seat of my pants, but it can also be stressful.  It’s especially fun when you plan a story and then it takes on a life of its own and takes over your mind.  Right now, it plays like a movie in my head, and that’s when the writing is at its easiest, although my mind flies faster than my fingers, in which case I have to speak into my handheld, which I completely detest, as I cannot stand to hear my own voice.  Especially when I play it back.  Do I really sound like that to everyone?  Is my southern drawl that bad?  Yuck!  Yes, I get on my own nerves.

I’d much rather just type and scribble and never speak!  No.  Really.  I would not make a good platform when it comes to being a published author, especially if I’m a real success at it, because I would avoid public appearances and functions at all costs.  I would love to have all my stories published and for people to love them, but I’d like to hide behind my pen name, and live as a recluse in a house in the middle of 100+ acres, completely shielded by trees, and for no one to recognize me, and for no one to recognize my name.  If I could get away with that, I’d attempt to publish everything I have written.  Or at least the stuff I’m most proud of.  Is that crazy?  I don’t care if it is.  I soooo love my privacy, and I do not enjoy the social scene at all.  I remember a time when I loved to go out with my friends and party all the time.  Back before, during, and a little while after my Air Force days.  Now that I’m a mom, I am a homebody and I’m not ashamed to admit it.  I’ve had all the partying days I wish to have.  Been there.  Done that.  Don’t miss it.  I should probably spend more time with my friends (and I try to once per month), but truth be told, I’d rather be home, comfy, hangin’ out with my kiddo, and having Mama over as much as possible.  And if not at home, I’d prefer to be on the road, driving to some nifty vacation spot, taking photos and enjoying the sights and activities and food from that place.

Anywho, I realize I’m rambling, so I’ll shut up now. Let me just add the prayer requests:

Y’all just holla when ya have a prayer request, and please pray for those below, if ya don’t mind.

1) Please pray for Kristie and David, for comfort and peace.
2) Please pray for Jennefer about her job, as well as her co-workers. Please pray that her co-workers to treat her with love and kindness.
3) Please pray for Sherree to quickly sell her house.
4) Please pray for Carlie to be safe and well.
5) Please pray for Carlie to come by sometime and let us know she’s ok.
6) Please pray for Mama to get well and feel good again.
7) Please pray for Patrick to find the woman of his dreams, fall in love and get married. Pray he finds her this year.
8) Please pray that I reach my 2,000 word count goal each day of the month during April.

I’m hoping that you had an awesome week, you have an awesome day and the rest of your week is fantastique!  Love ya!!!  *smooch* ;)

-Carol

Epic Fail

Week 11 of 52…  (I failed at posting for week 10)  :(

Top o’ the marnin’ to ya!  Oh, savin’ a bit of the irish for this marnin’, even though, yes I know, St. Paddy’s was yesterday, which, in celebration of that day, my leeetle squish and I made lime cookies yesterday evening. She had been gone on Spring Break with her best chum, Huntleigh and her family, and just got home yesterday afternoon, so Mama cooked chicken ‘n’ dumplins, and we had supper over there. Then home to make cookies with my bambino. And did not let her out of my sight! Gone for almost a week, I was in baby withdrawals.

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Such a crazy and stressful week for me. Hallie left on Tuesday evening to go to Lake Washington, and I had planned to work on the business start-up thingy every night while she was gone, plus take care of the furbabes, clean the house, find time to do this 21-day meditation challenge, squeeze in time to write, etc. So, neglecting friends that needed chill time together, I immersed myself in as much as I possibly could to keep myself busy and keep my mind off missing Hallie. Did it work? No, not really. Did it make the time go quickly. Yeah, pretty much. But it still felt like she was gone for a month. Yes, I know, I am pitiful.

Well, like I said, H left on Tuesday. Carlie left on Wednesday. I have been soooo worried. You can check out earlier posts on Carlie. She’s our black panther baby. Princess Carlotta was one post. Yes, she thinks she is a princess, she should be spoiled and spoon fed. Well, she is spoiled, but no spoon. Anywho, went out to feed the babes Wednesday evening and she was nowhere to be found. Of course, Tiger came running, as he is surely to never miss a meal, that growin’ boy that he is. He’s my devil cat, in earlier postings I’ve explained how he’s trying to kill me on multiple occasions. Part of me wonders if Carlie ran away because she was tired of being beat up on. Tiger made it a daily habit to give her a good thrashing, and would show power over her by pinning her to the ground while she’s creaming UNCLE!!!! He’s a bully, I tell you! Pure meanness, that one. He sure wasn’t that way when he came to be a part of the family. Scaredy kitten is what he was. Well, not anymore. I wonder if Carlie finally had had enough and ran off. I called and called. I looked in the shop, the storage room, the barn, under the house, walked the land calling her in every direction. No sign of her. Drove up and down the country road. No Carlie. :(

Well, Hallie came home and I had to break the news. And needless to say, no tear was spared. She went out in the yard to sit with Buddy and wept. He was kissing her, trying to make her feel better, and then gently laid his head beside her leg, trying to comfort her. I joined her in the grass, and she just laid her head in my lap and I caressed her hair while the tears fell. Oh Carlie, please come back home?

Ya know, after Sammy left, he was gone for maybe a month, before he came by for a visit, just to let us know he was alright, plump from being fed well, and didn’t stay. A short visit to say hello, not to worry, and then he left again. He’d come by every few months to do the same. Weird right? But how thoughtful of him to let us know we needn’t worry. I sure hope Carlie does the same. She’s never left before.

Anyway, I slacked on posting for week 10 of 52. Sorry. I failed at posting every single week of the year. And, there’s no good excuse. All I had to do was fit in 10-15 minutes to post, and I simply didn’t do it. I thought about it while in the midst of a project, and then forgot again by the time I was done.
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Oh, and as for being sickly, Hallie and I are both over our sinus infection/allergy stuff, for the most part.  And then I went and covered myself in poison ivy.  My own fault really.  I had the oil on my work gloves from the last time I worked in the yard, failed to wash them, rubbed my face, and I suppose my legs.  It spread from there.  I am miserable.  I’d gladly go back and take the allergy/sinus stuff if I could say goodbye to this poison ivy!  Excuse me while I go claw my skin off.  Mama is still coughing and suffering from her severe bronchitis.  Poor baby has been sick for a month.

So, I guess I’m off to update my list of 101 things in 1001 days, and to let you know, the lime cookies turned out quite delicious. Hallie put cream cheese icing on hers. I just ate them plain. Tasted almost like a margarita in a cookie. Yum! Oh, and after all that sweat and flour and muscle and time we put into those yummy cookies, I should hope so….NOT! We used the boxed kind, so it took what, less than 5 minutes to mix the ingredients, ball up and transfer to a cookie sheet, pop in the oven for 8 minutes, and VOILA! Yummy cookies! Hey, sometimes, ya gotta simplify. And ain’t nuttin wrong with using the boxed set of prepacked ingredients. It’s all good.

So, if ya have a prayer request, please holla, and I’ll post.

1) Please pray for Carlie to be safe and well.
2) Please pray for Carlie to come by sometime and let us know she’s ok.
3) Please pray for Mama to get well and feel good again.
4) Please pray for Patrick to find the woman of his dreams, fall in love and get married. Pray he finds her this year.

Have a mahvelous Monday.  Know that I love ya!  *smooch*  And let me know if I forgot anything.  I’m not operating on all cylinders this week.

Oh, and I think I’m just crazy enough to do Camp Nanowrimo in April.  I’m getting ready now, establishing some sort of writing schedule, and gathering all my notes for this new sci-fi/fantasy/adventure I’m working on.  Why do I put so much on myself?  Do I enjoy setting myself up for failure?  Self-sabotage?  Who knows?  I’m doing it anyway.  We’ll see where I end up.  By the way, working on 2 different stories at the same time.  I think I’ll be smart about it and put the second one on the back burner for now, and just work on the main one.  Make sense?  Yeah, I’m surprised, too.  ;)

-Carol