Thursday, December 30, 2004

Country Music Fan

I am a country music fan. I haven't always liked country music, though. When I was younger all I listened to was rock, but what I sang was folk and gospel music. Now, as I've grown older, I've discovered a great love of country music. I especially like the new sound in country. It isn't rock exactly, and it isn't country exactly - it is...different. You have to love country music when they have added a bit of rap, like the group Big & Rich with the only black country rapper!

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Vacation Proceeds

Hubby's vacation is proceeding nicely. The only down side is not being able to up-date The News as I feel I would like. The fiction is indeed coming, the first draft is already complete. Come Wednesday of next week the first installment will be up for all to read.

On all other fronts, life is proceeding normally and quite on the quiet side.

The disaster in Asia has been on my mind and I wish I could do something. In fact, I've been pondering what I could do as a single person. If anyone has any ideas or is doing something I could participate in, please leave me a message or a comment.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Happy Sighs and Quiet Days

Christmas has come and gone. It was wonderful all-in-all. This year the most splendid thing was the fact that I far more enjoyed people opening their presents than I did mine (and, believe me, I REALLY enjoyed mine)!

Hubby is off work this week, so up-dating and keeping things moving are going to be a little spotty this week, but I'll do my very best.

Keep looking here because, beginning tomorrow, there will be at least one serialized story. It will appear on Wednesdays from here until it is finished.

Friday, December 24, 2004

It Is Christmas Eve

It is Christmas Eve and I am filled with a mixture of childish excitement, wonder, and a very adult sense of wonder-ing. It appears there is a big push in Kentucky, perhaps the nation, that it is very impolite to actually say "Merry Christmas" to someone. The correct response is supposed to be "Happy Holidays." Isn't that a bit odd? It is to me. The reason for Christmas was to celebrate the birth of Christ. You can't get away from it. The word Christmas came from the term Christ's Mass where everyone would go and have a special service. There isn't any way around it, Christmas is a Christian holiday and it is filled with great fun for old and young, for the devout and not so devout. It is wonderful to me that people all over the world can enjoy something about Christmas. It doesn't matter if you give presents or receive them. What matters is this wonderful sense of peace and happiness this season brings. What is wrong, then, with saying "Merry Christmas" to someone? Is America so paranoid of insulting someone we, Americans, Christians, cannot stand up for who we are and say such jovial words to the world? It just doesn't seem...Well, American.

I'm sorry if it is politically incorrect folks, but


Wednesday, December 22, 2004


I have an idea for a "serialized" story. It would be wonderful to print it here in The News don't cha think? I think it would be a really good idea and may start it up in just a few days. Maybe even some fan fiction or something. I just want to be goofy and, well, how goofier can you get at times than by writing, printing, and just having fun with a pulp type story!

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Merry Christmas Annie!

Christmas Day is nearing and festivities are here left and right. Hubby dug out the Christmas tree and ornaments from the back room, and in the box of Christmas goodies was a surprise. My rag doll my Mommy got me.

It isn't the original Ragedy Anne doll my Mommy got me when I was a little girl. Annie was loved and held through one hospital after another until she fell apart. She is currently somewhere in the closet Back Home in pieces and saved in a plastic bag with moth balls. She is so very fragile I really can't touch her any more. So, not too long before my Mommy started getting very, very sick and my Daddy got in such a bad way, she got me a new Ragedy Anne doll. This one looks more handmade and home-loved, but I so loved her, and it was this second Annie that was such a surprise in the box of Christmas goodies.

I picked her up out of the box and held her close to me. She was soft and warmed to my touch in just a matter of seconds it seemed. Images I had long forgotten of dressing another rag doll and loving her so intently came into my mind. There were also a couple of very bad days in the hospital when Annie was the only one that could touch my fevered skin and not hurt me, except for my Mommy of course.

Tears didn't come as I held my newest Annie, but a joy filled me and spread. For a moment it was like holding back time and feeling my Mommy ever so close and present to me, with my Daddy standing by so very protective and secure in everything he was to himself and to us. Now Annie, this new Annie, is by the computer and will forever remain close to me. Hubby doesn't remember putting her in the box last year or where she was at all. Perhaps it is a simple Christmas miracle in and of itself. Whatever it is, I am most happy to have her back. Although, I think she needs a new dress. I need to work on that.

Merry Christmas all!

Merry Christmas Annie!

Friday, December 17, 2004

Enter...the Cat!!!

Today my lovely JoJo, whom you have seen in a lovely picture, discovered the yarn I had balled up to do some knitting with. It didn't matter it was yarn, all that mattered was that it was a ball and it seemed to be moving magically upon its own! Soon the yarn was tangled around the front paws and JoJo was desperately trying to fight off the wayward "ball" when I discovered them.

For her part, JoJo looked abashed that a ball had taken her down onto the couch. She was playful as I began untangling her. The situation was so bizarre I didn't berate her for getting into my yarn and almost destroying the scarf I had almost finished. Perhaps I should have, but what happened next took all thoughts of berating and anything else out of my head.

Our beautiful fuzzy, furry Cappa, our kitty, my princess, leapt from her perch by the TV directly onto JoJo with all four feet. Cappa isn't a small kitty either. JoJo yipped in surprise and almost peed as Cappa's mouth opened and she bit down firmly into JoJo's neck, tail swishing, eyes gleaming, and then she leapt away, back to her perch to pretend as if nothing had happened.

Stunned, I finished untangling JoJo's front feet and then she got off the couch, eyes, all the while, keyed on Cappa who was seemingly oblivious, purring exceptionally loudly and cleaning her front paw.

What else is going to happen between now and Christmas? If my babies are involved, I bet it's going to be very exciting, for a few moments at least.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

On the Horizon: The First Snowfall of the Season

It has spat snow a couple of days this week. Despite knowing that once it begins to snow in earnest I will be snowed in for a good chunk of the winter (I'm not at all sure how well the motorized wheelchair can go in the snow), it was fun just to sit and watch it snow. Cappa, our cat, was in my lap, and I was surrounded by the dogs on the floor. The snowflakes fell so lazily, so gently it was like something from a book or a movie, yet ten times more beautiful because it was really happening. Now the weatherman, if he is correct, says it is going to snow on Sunday and Lexington is going to get its first accumulation of the snow for the season. Part of me is sad, but a bigger part of me is joyous. I think there is a part of the grown-up soul that always hungers for snow days, just like we did when we were kids. Snow days are just...magical.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

SPAMage Giggles

Today while cleaning out my email I decided it would be a good idea to make sure nothing important was in the Bulk Mail folder. Some friends have said they have sent me things and it hasn't been showing up in my regular e-mail box, so on to the Bulk Mail folder I went.

There was only 69 pieces of e-mail in the thing, which was quite a surprise in itself. A couple of pieces of e-mail from friends that had gotten misdirected there, including a wonderful e-Christmas card that I have since saved.

Foraging on through the rest of the Bulk Mail swamp of porn offers and credit card offers, loan reduction things, and the on-line pharmacy trash, I came upon the topic of one of the e-mails and I sat right here before the computer and laughed a good hearty one. It said, "(my email name), GROW YOUR PENIS LARGER!" in big bold caps.

Of course the sender doesn't know I'm a girl, but the very thought made me laugh heartily. Who says SPAM can't sometimes bring you cheer?

Tuesday, December 14, 2004


Yesterday, for the first time in over a year, I cooked a full meal. (The reason I didn't cook is because I didn't have a stove to do said cooking with.) As I prepared the tilapia I was going to bake, and the green-beans and potato dish I was also going to bake, a sense of quiet contentment came over me. It felt good to move about the stove and prepare the food. I discovered I had actually missed it.

When I was growing up it was wonderful to get to cook. As all of the sadness began to creep in slowly the love of cooking, which is really making a home, slowly left me. It was replaced with sadness, sorrow and dread in waiting for what eventually came. As I folded the aluminum foil over the fish I felt as if I had actually stepped over some type of threshold and some extra baggage slipped from my shoulders so that preparing the rest of the meal was an absolute joy, even though it made me extremely tired (messing around a stove with crutches is always difficult, especially when you're trying not to spill anything or burn yourself).

I have meals planned for the rest of the week and Hubby said he would cook one or two so I won't wear myself out.

It feels good to be back in the kitchen again. It makes me feel good and I love creating beautiful dishes.

Good golly! I sound like a housewife again!

Monday, December 13, 2004

The Real Saint Nicholas

I was reading in a Catholic book of saints recently and was dismayed to discover the Catholic Church was debating whether or not Saint Nicholas really existed and were considering taking him out of the list of saints!

Saint Nicholas isn't a myth! He was a bishop in Syria! Check out the link below and read for yourself!

Friday, December 10, 2004

Entering the Realm of a Foreign Language

For most of the world, knowing a second language is nothing out of the ordinary. Only knowing one is unusual there. Here in America, knowing two languages or more is most unusual.

Some have said that Spanish is the true second language of America, and, quite frankly, I believe it just may be correct. Still, learning a second language, in particular Spanish, was not a big concern for me until I started hanging out at my friend's store and trying to learn some tailoring. Latinos come in there all the time and ask questions and, although I try, I don't understand a lot of what they are saying. So, yesterday, in the midst of a Christmas shopping spree, I purchased a Spanish/English dictionary and a book called The Idiots Guide to Important Spanish Phrases.

The really neat thing is that I've really been paying attention to the words in there and it doesn't seem too awfully difficult and I already know the verbs change, and if I practice with the Latinos who come into the shop I might actually end up speaking Spanish!

Be very afraid people, The Author is entering the realms of learning a foreign language! ( least foreign to her)

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Jesus Wept

It has taken me a long time to come to the conclusion Christ Himself understood grief to its fullest. Although I had read about Jesus' reaction to the news of Lazarus' death, it didn't hit me until here recently that He cried.

Christ, the Son of God, cried because His friend had died. How greater can you experience humanity than by loving and grieving the loss of a loved one?

I am humbled, and awed.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Found This ...

Practical Tips for Practicing Orthodoxy in Our Daily Lives

*Prayers are said morning and evening, either together as a family or individually.
*A blessing (grace, we called it) is said by the head of the family before a meal, and a prayer of thanks afterwards.
*On entering a room where there is an icon, cross yourself before it and say a brief prayer.
*When leaving one's dwelling, make the sign of the cross over the door and pray for its protection.
*On seeing a priest, abbot or abbess, or even when phoning them or writing to them, always ask their blessing.
*Before going to bed, make the sign of the cross over it and pray for protection during sleep.
*When you hear of anyone's death, immediately say a prayer for their eternal memory.
*If discussing or planning the future say: "As God wills."
*If you offend or hurt anyone, say as soon as possible, "Forgive me," always trying to take the blame yourself
*If something turns out well, say "Praise be (to God)."
*If something turns out badly, if there is pain, sickness or any kind of trouble, say "Praise be to God for all things," since God is all good and, though we might not understand the purpose of these things, undoubtedly they have been permitted by God
*If you begin some task, say, "God help me," or if someone else' working: "May God help you," (How sad that this expression is so perverted in the modem exclamation "God help you!")
*Cross yourself and say a brief prayer before even the shortest journey by car.
*For a longer and more difficult journey, ask a priest to sing a Moleben, failing that, at home say the troparion and kontakion for a journey.
*If there is a possibility of future trouble of any kind, either for yourself or for someone you care for, say an Akathist to the Mother of God.
*When you receive a blessing after prayer, always remember to thank God; if it is a small thing, you may add a prayer of thanksgiving to your daily prayers or make an offering. For matters of greater import, ask the priest to serve the Thanksgiving Moleben. But NEVER neglect to give thanks.

--Mother Pelagia of Lesna Convent

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

The Glow of Christmas

Hubby and I have been out several nights this past week going to the gym, Christmas shopping, and a general errand or two. At first I saw Christmas lights on houses and it was a pang of sorrow, and then, slowly, I began to realize I was actually looking for them.

There is something about this time of year that simply warms my heart, and the visible sign appears to be the Christmas lights I see. In the mall some people have such a serious look on their face as they glance down at pieces of paper with notes written on it for gifts. Other people just meander through the mall and different shops and just simply shop for the gift that will make someone they know smile. There are still others who go straight for the bargains with the attitude of "(recipient) should be happy I even got them something!" (These people sort of annoy me in general.)

While in the mall Sunday with some friends doing some shopping, I couldn't help but wonder what type of Christmas lights these people would have outside on their houses. The first group, I thought, probably had a general lighting theme but wanted to make sure it was "just right" so they were always doodling with the lights. The second group probably had lights on their house and many ideas still floating around for the themes; not everything for them would be perfect, but it would be brilliant and very lovely because it had been done with great love and enjoyment. The last group I would expect to have only partial lighted houses and half-heartedly put up, like the "Twleve Things I Hate For Christmas" song.

Friday, December 03, 2004

There's Something Odd About Writing Vacations...

Have you ever noticed the difference between Writing Vacations and "writing" vacations? See, people like Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, Stephen Neal and a number of other established writers go off to some secluded spot to finish their novels and such and consider it a Writing Vacation. Struggling writers, such as myself, take "writing" vacations. What exactly does that mean? It means we take breaks from all of the ideas in our heads and don't write for a short span of time and let our heads and story ideas and story weavers rest before bombarding us again. In this light, I have taken a short "writing" vacation to let my head clear and now I am back in full swing and preparing for the on-slot of story ideas, article ideas and the like for the next year or so. I can honestly say I actually feel refreshed, so refreshed in fact I nearly completed chapter 3 of my novel last night. Since it has been at a standstill for days, I look upon the writing of the words last night with great joy and fondness and a renewed zeal for finishing it!

Thursday, December 02, 2004

And They're Off!

Thanksgiving is the jumping off point for the Christmas shopping frenzy. It becomes infectious hearing people talk about the places that have sales and which store has what. It fuels the blood and makes one want to dash out and shop without looking back! At least this seems to be so for a lot of the women I've heard talking of late.

It is almost as if we look around and see there is only 31 (relative) shopping days until the Big Event and then, well, the frenzy seems to set in and threaten to drown the sanity we have had up until this point. So, what am I going to do?

Are you kidding?! I'm going shopping!