Sunday, November 21, 2010

Here and Now

Falling down like dead leaves still green.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Just A Bite of Heaven

The St. Andrew's Heritage Festival was this past weekend.  I figured something out that was profound.

http://kentuckymountaingirlnews.wordpress.com/2010/09/21/just-a-little-bite-of-heaven/

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

So Josh Gates Is Still Looking for Truth?

Hello all.  Things are really popping here at The News, but I'm afraid we're moving to a different home.  For now I'll just have to provide links until I get all of the furniture moved so to speak.  You can click on the title above or the link below.  Hope you like the new place.  The content is the same, or maybe even better.  Enjoy!

http://kentuckymountaingirlnews.wordpress.com/2010/09/14/so-josh-gates-is-still-looking-for-truth/

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Labor Day Weekend...Already

It is hard to believe this is Labor Day Weekend.  Traditionally this is the supposed end of Summer and the beginning of Fall in the U.S. of A.  Schools are already in session.  Colleges are in full swing around the nation.  College town populations have practically tripled over-night, and life has become even more hectic in a span of just two weeks because of the words "school is in session."  Labor Day Weekend is a way of taking a break, a breath to prepare for the Fall, for the business of school and harvest and a slowing down and getting ready for winter.  It is supposed to be a time to thank the American working people for doing a good job in their chosen work field.  Sadly, there really aren't that many workers out there at the moment to thank by and large. 

I am not going to sit here in my wheelchair and place blame on why so many people are out of jobs here in America.  It doesn't do any good.  It didn't begin with this administration and it probably isn't going to end with it or the next (but I can at least hope).  The rich really do get richer and the poorer, of which I am one (the latter, not the former), really do get poorer no matter how much there is scrimping and saving and planning and being careful.  The ends just get further and further apart instead of meeting some months than others no matter what you do, and yes, this happens to be one of those months when the ends are about as far away from meeting as they can get. 

But still, it is Labor Day Weekend.  My husband doesn't have to go to work on Monday.  He has a day off to rest and sleep in, and, hopefully, he can forget about the worries of bank accounts and bills and medicines that have yet to be purchased and doctors' bills that won't get paid this month but hopefully will get paid next month.  Because I have wonderful friends I have several Barnes & Noble gift cards so I can run away to Barnes & Noble as long as I can pay the Wheels bus to get me there, and, with luck ,there might be some money left over from the bills that will at least let me get there one day a week, or maybe two if I'm extra careful.  All the important bills have been paid with the husband's paycheck this time and my own and there is nothing left over, but this is still Labor Day and friends and us are getting together to relax and take a breath and prepare for cooler temperatures and harder winter months that lay ahead. 

All of us have made it this far with our families in pretty good shape and our friends are as strong as they can possibly be and lucky to have the jobs they have.  The sky is beautiful overhead with little puffy clouds like in a painting.  God is still in Heaven and looking after us: if He wasn't we would all be in far worse condition than what we are now.

So those of you who have jobs, relax and thank God for your families and for the jobs you have and rest from your labors for this weekend.  To those of you who currently do not have jobs I say hang in there, things will have to turn around eventually, God hasn't abandoned us; rest from the worries from the labor of looking for jobs for just a little while and take a breather so that on Tuesday you can begin with a fresh spirit to look again.

Happy Labor Day Weekend everyone.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Yahoo! News Story - Goats rescued after 2 days on 6-inch ledge in Mont - Yahoo! News

Henrietta Handy (hahwriter@Yahoo.com) has sent you a news article.
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Goats rescued after 2 days on 6-inch ledge in Mont - Yahoo! News

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_odd_goat_rescue

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Thursday, September 02, 2010

Yahoo! News Story - The Stig's ID is 'Top Gear' secret no more - Yahoo! News

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The mystery is solved! And he isn't bad looking either! Way to go Stig!

The Stig's ID is 'Top Gear' secret no more - Yahoo! News

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100901/ap_on_en_tv/eu_britain_top_gear

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Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Sometimes Distance Doesn't Really Matter

Nikon Coolpix L22 12.0 MP Digital Camera with 3.6x Optical Zoom and 3.0-Inch LCD (Red-primary)Friday there is a small job I must do that requires me to take some pictures.  It is a simple job so I am not stressing out about it very much, which makes everything go much easier.  I am hoping that Friday will be as beautiful as it is today.  The sky is that brilliant blue Summer color that goes on forever without a single cloud.  It always reminds me of hope itself.  In the mountains of Appalachia these sorts of days were my favorites because the sky was perfect for the contrasting color of the green rolling hilltops that also seemed to go on forever and there I was nestled right smack dab in the middle safe from everything, or so I thought, when I was a child.  When the wind blew the trees would bend and move like ripples of water and I was there, immovable, like a stone unless I swayed with them. 

It was easy to believe the future was so bright nothing could stop me or anyone else from doing and becoming what we wanted.  We had a sturdy base beneath us as rock solid as the mountains themselves: our families.  Nothing would shake our faith, love, and trust in them.  It was the Outside world that was different, but we understood they didn't know any better, poor things.

Now I don't have the protection of the mountains around me like I did back then, but I still have that blue sky and the love, faith, and trust of my family just as unshakable as it ever was in my heart and soul...maybe even more so.  The mountains are still there, too, calling and speaking their wisdom I couldn't understand when I was a child.  I am surprised I can hear them being so far away, but there they are, whispering in the old stories and songs and imparting knowledge even at this distance.  Making me smile.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Sometimes Things Are Just A Little Out Of Focus

Sometimes when you are looking at something too hard or for too long, the image will blur and will look just a little out of focus.  Sometimes you may even catch a glimpse of something just out of the corner of your eye and not realize it was even there in the first place until that moment you see it that way.  And, sometimes, you can't actually see something unless you don't look directly at it. 

As I get deeper into the 103 form of tai chi I am learning to look at, and see, things differently.  Now I am discovering, slowly, that I don't like some of the things I see both in myself and in others.  My gut reaction to people is strong and I trust my gut reaction, and when I go against that gut feeling I have made pretty bad mistakes.  It works the same way with decisions about myself as well - when I go against my gut instinct for decisions concerning myself I usually screw up and make the wrong decision.  With tai chi, I am learning to trust the energy people put off and the energy's intent - which means I am trusting my gut more and more than I had before, and on a deeper level, as well as a wider expanse of area (although not as wide an area as I hope to be able to do one day).  In myself I am learning to trust my own energy on a more in depth level physically as well as emotionally and mentally, which is very different for me.  It is beginning to get easier for me to examine my stamina and go, "I am tired.  Am I too tired to go a little further without causing damage or pain?"  Usually I can go further, and when pain does come or if it comes I can stop now without some of the pride pushing me further until it hurts and cause damage; soreness doesn't keep me from doing the exercises the next day, only damage.  Since I have minimized the damage drastically I can see a huge development in my strength and beginning to see a huge development in my stamina.  All of this means progress.

There is also a calmness developing in learning the form, even though I am truly not very far along at all in Section One.  I am not purposely going slowly - this is just the way things are working out.  I am learning something new each week.  For example, I am now up to the point to where I was when I was forced to stop going previously to the Saturday classes and have made it passed white crane spreads wings and the first set of brush knees with a modicum of confidence.  (If the crane had been a real bird I could possibly have fried it by now it was so annoying!)  Was it the annoyance that has helped develop the calmness or the movements themselves? 

The main thing I have noticed really is how I am learning and how some of the other people are learning in class (and I can't attribute it to difference in age either).  There are people taking tai chi with me who seem to be wanting to learn the form only on their terms.  It is as if they do not have respect for the art, form, teacher, or even for learning in general.  It is as if because it is merely tai chi, it can be learned in any way and the benefits will still be the same.  One person will complain about not learning a new move, yet they do not know the form well enough to know where they are in the form to know what the name of the last move they were at to say "I am at the last brush knee in Section I and am ready for some new movements."  Another proclaimed "I am not going to learn 103 any longer, I am going back to the 16 form" and yet that person doesn't know the 16 posture form either!  And yet another person is convinced they know everything about how a movement is supposed to be and misses out on the subtleties and is in a hurry to get through the 103 posture form so they can get into the advanced classes not realizing that in order to get into the advanced classes you have to first know the 103 posture form quite well, because the advanced sections build upon the 10 principles and the 103 posture form!  Each person is missing out on so much because they want to learn tai chi on their terms instead of just wanting to learn tai chi.

I look at myself and see how much I have learned and see how much there is yet to learn with tai chi and qigong and it's immense!  Instead of looking at it and thinking, "I'm never going to learn it all" I find myself finding details that makes me go "Hm, I never thought of that before" which leads me to different questions than I had before and opens up even more knowledge.  This is a wonderful experience, one that isn't over as you learn the movements - it is just a beginning, but some of the people don't seem to comprehend this.  All tai chi is, to them, is just a set of movements.  Perhaps this will change the further they go, but Remember what I said about trusting my gut?  My gut says they aren't going to change.  They aren't going to get it no matter how far they go because all tai chi is going to be to them is just a set of movements, and perhaps terms.  I hope I am wrong. 

Monday, August 23, 2010

Yahoo! News Story - China's nine-day traffic jam stretches 100km - Yahoo! News

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China's nine-day traffic jam stretches 100km - Yahoo! News
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100823/sc_afp/chinaroadtraffic

There is just something about a nine day traffic jam that makes me think seriously about Dr. Who episodes.  Can anyone remember the name of the episode where people had been in the traffic jam for so long that their entire society had developed around it?  This actually gave me the shivers!
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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Monday, August 16, 2010

Birthdays

Laced with MagicHubby got me the book I wanted for my birthday!  Now I feel a huge need to hurry up and finish reading the second book in the Kate Daniels series Magic Burns (Kate Daniels, Book 2) so I can start in on it!  Not only did he get me the book I wanted, but he also got me the neatest book light for reading in bed and a book mark that is actually heavy enough to hold its place in a book! 

As far as birthdays go, this one was about my favorite so far.  We hung out at Barns & Nobles for a while, which is actually where we gathered together, then walked over to TGIFridays where we had lunch, then  we went back to Barns & Nobles where we actually had coffee and dessert.  From there we went to the movies and saw The Expendables

The Expendables was an excellent movie and perfect for my birthday!  It had all of the action heroes I could have asked to see in an action movie; explosions; heroism, muscles, knives/blades, guns, and simply a testosterone filled action-packed movie that made me clap my hands, laugh out loud, and cheer for the good guys unashamedly!

All in all, it was a fantastic birthday made absolutely perfect because all of my dearest friends and my dearest husband was there with me to help me celebrate it.  I am truly a blessed woman.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Pieces and places fitting back together...?

It has taken a while, everything is slowly beginning to get its natural order back.  It feels wonderful.  Surprisingly, for the first time in ages and ages, it doesn't feel weird or out of place that things are getting back to normal and life has its flow back.  I don't feel like I don't deserve to have normalcy or that happiness is for other people.  This time the hard fought battle through depression and pain has left me with a calmness that is a little out-of-the-ordinary for me, but, at the same time, it has given me a wonderful sense of another one down

It's kind of like looking at the long miles ahead and knowing there is a place you are nearing and the end of the journey is at hand and you realize you can keep going and you are going to reach your destination.  Now I realize it isn't all about how quickly it is going to take me to get where I am going, but just getting there.  Speed bumps and road blocks and detours aside, I am quite tired of hurrying through everything.  I'm going to take my time from here on out.  The rest of what is left to me is just going to be for enjoying what has been given to me, and I think that is actually quite fair. 

This last piece, this "not hurrying" piece, was the newest piece to actually fall into place this time.  Not feeling like I am missing out on life and living was the biggest surprise I have actually come to have.  Since the pain has eased up so much and I can breathe again in a much better sense of peace, my thoughts, I've noticed, have changed to enjoying what is around me and within me because the pain that has left me (thank You God) could rip the Soul out of the body if it had stayed much longer.  It sounds melodramatic doesn't it. It sounds like a monster doesn't it.  Sort of like I was living with a monster.  Like I was living a melodramatic nightmare of pretend something...but it wasn't in the slightest.

 I know monsters are real, and sometimes you can't get away from them like you hope you can, because they live inside you, with you; but they can be defeated, but not always by you.  It takes miracles sometimes.  When they are gone, though, that is when you understand what true freedom is all about.  At the same time, everyone else around you keeps going on about their daily routines because they don't know, they have no reference point of where you have come from.  Quite honestly, this is perfectly fine, because if they had such a reference point how sad would that be? ( If you genuinely care for someone, you would never wish that sort of pain and misery on them; even if you had an enemy I am not sure you would truly wish them such pain.) Then, as it dawns slowly that the pain is truly gone for a while (because you can never accept the pain is gone forever) and the pieces of your life fall back into place, just a little differently, new truths can be seen about yourself you didn't know before.

Like, for instance, I really like historical romance novels.  I don't know if I never just admitted it to myself before out of pride or if I never really did just acknowledge it before.  I wouldn't even mind trying to write one.  Yes, dears, please don't fall off your chairs.  When I realized it I just sat still and said, "How interesting."  It really shouldn't have surprised me, since it was about me, but it did.

Another piece that has fallen into place has been knitting.  I've picked up the needles again and have begun knitting a piece I am  going to felt.  A pillow for my neck.  Yes, I could go and purchase some felt already, but it wouldn't be contoured exactly for my neck like I can make it with my own needles for my own neck.  It is going to take quite a few hours and it is going to make my hands tired, but if it helps relieve the pressure in my neck, Why not?  If it works for me, then I can write down the pattern and put it here or on the knitting blog and perhaps it can help someone else who may have the same or similar problems with their neck.

Two big pieces that came smashing into place has been tai chi and qigong.  We already know how much I love qigong, but tai chi has surprised me.  I made a decision with my tai chi:  I am not giving up on my tai chi.  I am going to continue to practice it from my chair and I am going to be the very best I can be at it from my chair.  I will never ever be able to test like Hubby and all the rest.  It used to make me sad, this truth, but it's OK now, because if I can show other people in wheelchairs and on crutches what I can do from my wheelchair and give them help, then it is worth all of the hard work I am putting into it, because as I am helping myself, perhaps I am also helping someone else.  Don't get me wrong either:  I am not a gallant soul, everything I am doing in tai chi is hard as heck for me to do because my body doesn't want to move the way the movements are meant to go; however, if I can get my body to go as close to the way as it is supposed to go, perhaps others will see how beneficial it is and how much it does help and join in its practice from chairs as well.  Or from crutches.

For the first time in my life I am actually letting myself truly get excited about a martial art.  Genuinely excited.  And, for the first time in my life there are teachers who aren't just blowing smoke up my ass or telling me beautiful fairy tales, but genuinely pushing me as hard as they are pushing the other students to learn the form and helping me adjust a movement here or there to get the same benefit of tai chi chuan from my chair.  It is remarkable how much I am learning, how my strength is growing, how my energy is growing, and how frustrated I am getting over certain moves that don't want to go into the right places and Hubby laughs and so do other students who are ahead of me because they had the same problems in the same places, except they had to worry about their feet, too!  Egad!

God was holding all of the pieces of my life so patiently, waiting for me to be able to handle it again, and when I was, added depth and flavor the likes of which I could never have dreamed of before.  This time, there is an even wider field of common ground for me and Hubby to share that is unbelievable because all of the pieces and their places came fitting back together just a little bit differently.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Can We Use the Term 'Fag Hag' These Days?

As anyone who has ever read this blog in the past knows SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE is one of my most favorite shows on television, and only one of the few reality shows I actually watch. I don’t often blog about it because there are so many bloggers out there doing such a wonderful job of keeping everyone posted about what is happening that, well, I figured I didn’t need to lend my voice to the throng, and since each of us have our favorites, well…there just isn’t any reason for me to add to the hype. This past week, however, something happened that made me so very angry and upset that I have vented to my husband and to my friends enough they said, “Enough is enough! Rage to the blogosphere!” So I am.


What happened is this: One of the dancers, Billy Bell, tried to pull a fast one, and the judges, I figured it was mostly Nigel Lythgoe and Adam Shankman, we all know just how much Mia Michaels has her heart set on Billy winning this season, or perhaps Kent Boyd (anyone except Adechike Torbert); actually called him on it: Wednesday he said he had an injury to his knee – the doctors cleared Billy to dance, but he decided he wasn’t going to dance. Thursday he went automatically into the bottom three where two other dances joined him because of the votes from America.

When Billy stood by Jose Ruiz and Robert Roldan he stood there quite smugly. He wasn’t worried at all about going home whereas the other two were worried, frightened. To make it even and fair, the judges decided no one was going home this week but two dancers would go home next week. Those that were safe were stunned and frightened, those that were safe for one more week were also stunned and frightened – yes, they had a reprieve, but at the same time two people were now in danger of going home instead of two all because of Billy Bell.

Billy Bell didn’t care. You could see it on his face. Nigel said, “You have set a precedent on this show because you were cleared to dance and yet you didn’t….” That was the only time Billy stopped smiling because he realized he had been caught.

Billy’s ploy? Who knows at this point, maybe it was to rest up and be as fresh as he could be for the remainder of the competition. It is quite obvious when it comes to dancing with the female population he can’t do it: Billy is gay and uncomfortable around women. He doesn’t want to be masculine in any sense of the word and he is refusing to “butch” up to take on any of the masculine roles he is being asked to do. As long as he can hold on to the androgynous dance roles, the child dances roles, the roles where he can show his technical side and not his emotional side he is fine. He doesn’t want to show any of his emotions with a female. He has been called out on this repeatedly as well as not connecting with the audience. Billy is smug and completely centered on himself and his talent, not what he can share with the audience and with his partner (unless it is a male of course).

Every single male dancer there is SO much better in general than Billy at doing everything else – connecting with partners, connecting with the music, connecting with the audience, performing in general, even if they are not “technically perfect” that Billy really should have been gone several weeks ago. The only reason Billy Bell has remained has been tween girls and probably some tween gay boys who have voted to keep him there and Mia Michaels who simply is in love with him.

Ad├ęcheke has much heart as anyone else there in the competition and works so hard and yet Mia Michaels NEVER has anything constructive to say to him. Adam Shankman always gives constructive criticism as does Nigel. It’s as if Mia Michaels wishes they had never chosen the young man in the first place! Mary Murphy was always fair, even when she had bad things to say. She was fair. I don’t know why she isn’t on the show this season, but they need to bring her back for all future seasons. True, Mary had her picks, but she never had those that she absolutely hated on the show and wished had never been chosen. Adam is fair. Nigel is fair. Mia Michaels is not fair.

Billy Bell should have been automatically voted off of the show in my opinion, but Nigel had to be fair. We can only hope that he will be gone next week. The guy doesn’t deserve to be competing with the rest of those there that truly have heart nor does he deserve to go on in the tour. Actions such as his should never be rewarded – his nor Mia’s.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Is It Politically Correct to Censor Entertainment Now?

There is an article that caught my eye on Yahoo Music today that had me rolling my eyes because a disco group from the 1970s seemed to knuckle under to censorship for a paycheck, or perhaps to a threat. Maybe to both?


The group, Boney M, didn’t play one of their biggest hits at the Palestinian Music Festival because the “Palestinians often question the Jewish historical connection to the Holy Land.” Because of this it was considered “inappropriate” according to the organizers.

This made me roll my eyes.

The State of Palestine didn’t exist until 1988, but the area itself has been The Holy Land as far back as history itself!

No matter how some people would like to re-write history to suit them, Judaism was before Christianity in the area, and Christianity was before Islam. It is a fact. You can’t re-write history to make it different.

Judaism comes from the Jews and the Hebrews and thus the nation of Israel, which means they have a very important place and part to play in The Holy Land and thus they have a very important “connection” to it!

In the song that was scrubbed, “the song's chorus quotes from the Book of Psalms, referring to the exiled Jewish people's yearning to return to the biblical land of Israel” and is titled Rivers of Babylon.

Maizie Williams, the lead singer for Boney M said at the conclusion the little article, "At the end of the day, politics is one thing and entertainment is another thing and when I got into the entertainment business I didn't get into it for politics. I got into it to make people happy,”…. And I agree with her – you get into the entertainment industry because you do want to entertain (and make money), but there must come a point to where you stand up for singing your music for yourself and your fans. This smacks of censorship to me.  At the same time I wonder what would have happened if the group had sung the song.  What repercussions would have happened then?
To read the entire article, click on the title above and it will take you directly there.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Reba Sue

I feel as if I have been punt kicked out of the stadium and far up onto another mountain not of my choosing. The wind is out of me and the tears have flowed like twin creeks to matching rivers somewhere deep within my heart.


Someone very close to me has died unexpectedly.

She was my cousin and older than me by several years, a teenager while I was still a child, but she is one of those people, like her entire family, who matter. She matters to me, just as her sister and brother matter to me to the depths I often don’t, and sometimes can’t, express.

A day would hardly go by without us sharing an e-mail, and two or three weeks would not go by without us talking. She mattered to me because she was my cousin, my family, my blood, but more importantly she was my friend. She matters to me and because I know she isn’t going to be there to talk to and to laugh with and to share things with it hurts so very deeply.

My pain is nothing compared to her husband’s pain and her children’s, or her sister’s and brother’s. I have lost enough people to know I cannot make their pain less in any way, nor can I ease their burden of it; but I can hurt with them because Reba Sue is one of those people who matter to the people around her. That’s just the way God made her.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Unexpected News of a Sad Nature

I just found out some horrible news. I poured out my heart into a beautiful post that will make it here to The News, but, for now, the news I just found out is too fresh and too painful. Although I am not ashamed of the little piece I have written, it is quite honest and very open; too real to go down here. Just for the moment. Perhaps I am just being overly sensitive. Heaven knows I have not been over-sensitive with death in my family before, but this one, this passing, is still making me weep.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Friends & Tai Chi

It has practically all day today. A moment ago the sun peeked out and gave a beautiful beam that shown on the house next door that I could see from my window here in the office. It was spectacular, and it helped my spirits to raise some. What is it the song says about “rainy days and Mondays”?


A friend of mine has begun taking tai chi class with the Hubby and me on Sundays. (This Sunday I had a nice stomach bug so I wasn’t able to go this past Sunday, which really made me sad.) I have also begun showing him some qi gong breathing techniques as well as exercises.

This friend is one of those people who have a total Western mentality who genuine believe that very little can come from somewhere off of American soil. He refuses to watch martial arts movies because he says they “glorify” culture not American and that nothing like that can truly exist. However, he has taken wing chun in the past and truly loved it. He believes martial arts themselves are good for fighting, but that other than this there is little else they can be used for.

This friend says this, but has done each and every qi gong exercise faithfully I have said and it has helped him quite well. Now that he is doing tai chi he wishes to come by the house and practice because he doesn’t wish to forget what he has forgotten in his first class. This makes me quite happy, but, at the same time, I can’t help but wonder how long this is going to continue. It also makes me wonder if he is ever going to change his mind about tai chi and qi gong in general. He doesn’t believe the internal martial techniques can do anything, yet when *I* say they are beneficial he nods and seems to believe me. Is he doing this out of friendship only, or does he see something positive I’m telling him?

One thing I can actually say has changed has been my awareness: something fell in the house yesterday, a small something; I felt it fall before it hit me and was able to block it away! Tai chi and qi gong practice have mightily increased for me now because I know it works. Even Hubby, is quite proud of me.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Immovable Objects

Have you ever had a moment where you have just had to step away from what you were doing and take a serious look at it and what you knew about what you were doing, re-analyze it before taking a very big deep breath and start again? I have had to do that a couple of times in the past couple of months just to keep my head semi-clear on what I am doing with life and qi gong and how it is affecting my life and actually keeping me going in more ways than one.


In some ways qi gong has begun to re-write the pattern of my life, of my world. Strangely it fits in very well with my belief and helps me to organize my thoughts easier about my belief. Of course, when everything begins to fit nicely, the *human* in me rebels and simply refuses to accept that some things can be just as *simple* or *easy* as this or that, and then a nice big hole opens up for depression to form and then I start wondering when everything is going to end and whether or not anything I am doing is worth it at all, even, at times, faith wise.

This past week I had a very hard and cruel wake-up gong. I brought it upon myself because I was being simultaneously “stiff necked” and “weak kneed” in how I was handling certain situations and relationships in my life. Very important relationships in my life. *Passive aggressive* doesn’t come anywhere CLOSE to what was (is) going on with me, especially this past week.

This past week has been one of those times where I have wanted everything and nothing all at the same time. The main thing I have wanted is peace. I have wanted moments where everyone and every life-force around me to get along and be non-confrontational with each other, and, of course, it hasn’t happened, because people can’t be that way for very long.

Because I am married, I am the person who should be making everything better in my relationship with my husband, or at least making a huge effort to make his life easier than it has been. I admit I haven’t been the greatest wife in that department in the years we’ve been together and especially not here of late. Add into this particular combination that I have to also take into action my own rehabilitation and keep my physical strength up through water exercise the husband has fallen through the crevasses. PLUS keep my mind and outlook positive so I can achieve all of this – when do I get to rest from all of the labor? Trust me, it truly is labor: Sometimes I feel as if I am giving birth to myself, and it is a very difficult birth!

SO…this week, or more particularly this weekend, I have had to step away from everything and take one of those good deep looks at me and decide how to keep going and just where to go from this point forward. Even though it is Monday and I don’t truly have the entirety of the direction figured out, my faith, my husband, and qi gong are firmly in place and, for the first time in my entire life there truly are immovable objects in my life and it feels remarkably wonderful to have them.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Expansion of Trust

Have you ever noticed that when you take those first steps to trust someone just a little more than you have previously there are still those odd little woodpecker type butterflies in your stomach? OK, maybe not *everyone* gets them, but I do. It almost never fails they appear when trusting someone, even someone I have trusted for years, just a little more happens.


It is almost like walking down a familiar path you have known a long time and then discovering a deer path you didn’t see before and being brave and following that one day just to see where it leads you because you know the area around you so well you know you aren’t *really* going to get lost and you also believe that if you don’t show up in a few hours people who love you will come looking for you and will *find you*.

Maybe this is because I grew up in the mountains and you were taught to explore, but you didn’t go out further until you knew where you were like the back of your hand. You didn’t explore further until you knew how to get back to where you were, and if you got lost, well, you stopped and waited for the grown-ups to come and find you. This didn’t mean you weren’t scared or lost none-the-less, it just meant once you realized what had happened, you stopped and you waited.

No, I was never lost because I was too sick to explore, but I knew many who were lost and they waited just as they had been taught, and they were always found. The grown-ups always followed the paths they had taught the kids to take first, and then expanded their searches, and the kids were always found.

Things became more tricky when the kids got older and the explorations got wider, but by the time the kids were older, let’s say the kids were teenagers, their interests were in cars and other teenagers and by then they themselves were helping look for other kids or for tourists who had managed to get themselves lost in the woods, or National Guardsmen who had managed to separate themselves from their units, etc., etc…. I wonder if it still exists, this exploration and the trust kids of the mountains had/have in their parents and the other older members of their society.

Trusting is always dangerous, exciting, and scary. I have to remember to do it more often. I just have to let go of the vine in mid-swing and grab for the next vine and move forward. Swinging is fun, but if I don’t move forward I am never going to advance! *smile*

Saturday, June 12, 2010

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Sinkhole in Guatemala: Giant Could Get Even Bigger

Sinkhole in Guatemala: Giant Could Get Even Bigger

This isn't a bad science fiction movie. It's real! Wow! It swallowed a 3 story building!

Friday, May 21, 2010

This is Just Cool

Sometimes genius is quite simple. I cannot embed this particular video, so just make with the click and check it out. I hope you will be just as amazed as I was, and no, I didn’t find it on my own – the husband found it from a friend and e-mailed it to me. Enjoy! (Or just click on the title above and it will take you there without problems.)

http://www.wimp.com/solutionoil/

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Let's Admit to Part of Bush's Legacy


It is surprising to me how much flack the Obama administration is getting over the BP oil spill as if it is President Obama’s direct fault. Let’s face direct facts here people: President George W. Bush signed into presence the being that oil companies could drill off shore, deep off shore for oil. When he did this he was lauded as a great leader for helping America offset the oil shortage even though research had not been completed as to what would happen if there was a leak of any magnitude, although many environmentalists did warn that safety precautions did need to be taken and some more research did need to be taken just in case something like this were to happen. Out of pure greed and the out-going administration this was pushed through.


This tragedy is not something that is going to go away any time soon. It is going to directly affect us as a nation for many years to come, and, unfortunately, it is going to affect the world, I suspect, for many years to come on levels we are, as yet, unaware of at this moment. Why don’t we stop wailing and trying to point fingers at the current administration and actually try to stand behind it as we would any other because this president is actually trying to do something about it, not only for his children, but for ours. It isn’t just up to the government; it is also up to us to help. There are also ways WE can help by collecting hose and pet hair to help make the booms that are trying to suck up the oil mentioned in the news clip. You can check it out at this site here.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Blackberry Winter

In the mountains of Southeastern Kentucky when the blackberry bushes are heavy with white blooms the wise older people noticed a “cold snap” would always come and thus it came to be known as blackberry winter because it was cold and usually quite dreary, just not cold enough for snow (usually). Here I am in the suburbs of Lexington, Kentucky, one of the fastest growing cities of the state and blackberry winter is in full swing. It has reminded me just how much things can remain the same even if we are not where we originally started from.

As my husband and I drove home this weekend from his parents’ home you could see blackberry bushes heavy with white blooms and mixed in among them along the side of the road was a bush called Seven Sisters that looks remarkably like blackberry blooms but get their name because they have seven blooms instead of just one, like the blackberry. I had forgotten about the Seven Sisters bushes until I was speaking with one of my sisters afterwards.

Like me, she has left the mountains. She has moved to Florida and rarely makes it back home, much like me. We don’t get to see each other often, but we do get to call each other and visit via phone and cell phone, and there is rarely a time that passes when we are not asking each other some question concerning mountain wisdom about planting or one of the many “winters” that dot the landscape before summer arrives properly.

There were four of us girls and one boy that grew up in that house on Stinnett. All of us have moved away except one. One of us girls has moved just up the road into her own home and has made a good life for herself there. It hasn’t been easy for any of us in our chosen lives, but when those of us need a boost to keep on going we always end up on going back home, on revisiting where we came from – knowing where you came from sets where you are going into a better perspective. You can’t see this when you’re young and 23 and know everything there is to know about life and living any way. (Once you’re past 23, you can finally understand what wisdom your parents and grandparents had and were trying to share with you.)

Sometimes you just need to know, and accept, that, after blackberry winter, summer comes into full bloom.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Learning to Fly

There is a little brown sparrow that was laid and hatched in a tree in our back yard.  Now it has left the nest and is learning to fly.  Try as I might to capture his endeavors on film to share with the rest of the world, he keeps moving from one branch to the other, just a little further away than before.  His parents are still feeding him a little, but he is of good size now and they will soon pull back their aid and let him fend for himself.

Today I watched him flutter his way to the ground and do some exploring of food sources on the ground and then he looked back up, I believe at the tree, and perhaps wondered how in the world he was going to get back up there!  Finally he made it to our fence and then to the top of it, and from there to a low hanging branch of another tree, and his parents soon met him with a morsel of food to give him strength to keep on trying, learning, and growing. 

I feel much like that little bird today - I am just now spreading my wings in a different arena and trying to learn to fly.  It is frightening, but also thrilling.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

The orchid on the front porch finally opened!

Isn't this beautiful? The picture doesn't do it justice.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

!AHA!

The past 20+ hours or so have not exactly been pleasant ones for me: A migraine crept up on me and attacked about 8:45 p.m. last night and lasted all the way through to 3:15 p.m. today. Luckily for me, the hubby was here and was able to help me get to one of my migraine medications – it melts on the tongue and tastes almost like oranges – which effectively knocked me out, but not continuously. I woke up several times in severe pain either from my head or from one of my joints from having been completely still for a while. This morning there was an attempt to get some extra sleep, but the telephone kept ringing. A migraine and a ringing telephone do NOT mix.




As I got my pounding head out of the bed (by this time all I felt like was a pounding head) and stood up, my stomach felt as if it was going to empty itself of all of its contents even if there really wasn’t anything in there to empty. Nausea and a pounding head do not make you a happy person. THEN I had to call about a household bill. Right off the bat I told the call center rep a) I had a migraine and he may have to repeat himself; b) speak slowly; and c) let me know if he could hear me because I sounded very loud to myself. He was a trooper and we got the bill paid in no time. Despite feeling as if putting my head in lava might just be a good idea, there was a feeling of accomplish inside. I like feeling accomplished and successful, evidently even in misery. Go figure.

Any way – as the day progressed and the headache eventually got better and went away thoughts of how I was going to make a little extra money entered the consciousness. As it usually does in these sorts of moments, writing took center stage: I could WRITE and make a little extra money. I could SELL some STORIES and pad my pockets a little because writing you can pick up and put down at different times and you can…. Yeah, I attributed it to the migraine, too.


Once the migraine was gone, though, I sat quietly for a few moments and listened to a Kitaro CD and actually let myself think about this idea. Did I want to write? Yes. Did I want to write for a living? Maybe not for a living, but I still want my own stories and poems published. It is more important now for me to do so than ever before because I seriously do not know when that little bone spur is going to move and kill me.


(Yep, that little critter is one big motivator in my life for quite a few things now, and it is sad that it took something like this for me to put my life in order just in case a bad scenario happened. I could kick myself because I should have been living like this all along instead of just riding through life and putting things off, planning for tomorrow instead of today.)


So, exactly HOW IMPORTANT was writing to me (really, no bullshit this time)? It is important, like a lifetime goal that hasn’t been achieved, nor truly pursued in a very long time. Was it important enough to work on, seriously work on? Yes, but not to support myself. If I end up adding to the household income with writing then I will thank God for still letting me keep this wonderful gift, tithe, and keep on writing.

This caused me to take a deep breath and make a list of some of the basic things I needed to do in order to start writing again. At the top of the list was, of course, writing. I need to write and write a lot…and well, because no one wants a badly written story or poem. Next came the decision to actually put what little money I had where my love was and I purchased a monthly account of Writer's Market.com so I would actually know where I could send poems and stories out to once they were finished. Purchasing that monthly account made me so nervous I was half afraid the migraine would come back because knots formed for several long minutes between my shoulder blades and I had to do qi gong breathing to get everything relaxed again.


Getting the Writer’s Market monthly wasn’t anything new, mind you. I had kept it religiously way back when buffalo thundered across the mighty plains and dodo birds were aplenty. It hadn’t made me almost hyperventilate then. Why was it causing such a reaction in me like this now? I didn’t like the answer when it presented itself: Because then I was serious on a youthful level that everything would work out. Period. Now, I have to make it work out, there just isn’t any other answer.


This led me to think of what else had to work out and what needed to be done before I died so that when I faced God and looked back on my life I wouldn’t be quite so ashamed for wasting such a beautiful one. The list was surprisingly short, yet it too was accomplishable. None of what I see before me, and have set before me, is going to be easy to accomplish, but it can be done; I can even have great fun doing everything…. Migraines or not.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Actress Lynn Redgrave Dead at 67

Please click on title above for full article.

This makes me sad.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Waiting to bloom

These flowers are budding! I can't wait to see them this year!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Aunt Rose

This has been the strangest of days so far. Got up to realize the cell phones were dead because the payment had not gone through because of the McAfee problem from a while ago. Luckily it was handled in relative time and speed; i.e. it was handled relatively quickly and semi-painlessly. Then, while I was just beginning breakfast I received a call from Sister1 who had bad news: One of my favorite aunts had passed away last night.

Back in the mountains family is the center of everything. You know your lineage and you keep in touch with as many people as possible if you move away. When I was young and oh so very sick, there were just some truly special people who made life feel more normal because they treated me as a normal child even though I realized I wasn’t just like everyone else – everyone else got to go to school and play games outside, run, and didn’t have to go to the hospital all the time with high fevers and didn’t have near death experiences.

My Aunt Rose was one of those people who made life “normal” or at least treated me normally. I wasn’t the family kid who was constantly sick; I was just me. Aunt Rose married my Uncle Ova and they were in existence long before I was born so I never knew anything different than Uncle Ova and Aunt Rose together. When he passed away it felt as if things had changed forever in the fabric of my reality because he was one of those people you always expected to live forever because he had that huge love of life very few people exude any more. Aunt Rose was a very special woman to keep up with him.

Of course, they had the perfect children to keep up with them. Two girls. One athletic and one just the sweetest, dearest person you could ever meet. Both of them were my best friends while growing up, and except for Boon-Boon and his family, my only friends. They helped me understand what being a “real girl” was like. Their acceptance of me actually gave me confidence to go through life because if they accepted me, other “real” people would as well.

When you lose your Mom, a part of you forever is lost and you feel it down to the very depths and core of your soul. My heart goes out to them. I want to be there for them. I need to be there for them.

Why wouldn’t I be there for them? Because my husband is very protective of me at the moment, and the migraines can come at the drop of a hat and I’m not supposed to get over exerted or exhausted to make sure they stay as far away as possible.

I love my Aunt Rose so much.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Alive and Thinking

Sometimes it is very difficult to change gears in the middle of the race, or swap paddle strokes in the middle of the raging rapids – this is how I have been feeling since getting out of the hospital. I have been doing a lot of thinking, reassessing, and general deciding what this phase of my life was going to be like.

According to all of the tests results, there is a bone spur on a very sensitive spot of my spine. It is putting pressure on the spinal column and it is a good chance this pressure is what is causing the weird migraines.

Because of the medical problems I am not working, which has genuinely messed with how I am up throughout the days. So far I have not been up and doing very much because I have been battling migraines (one migraine lasted for six days last week and one was yesterday). The strength also has not returned to my left leg as it should, so I am working slowly on this, but probably not as die hard as I should.

With everything being in flux, the blogging, checking of e-mail, and so very much more has felt as if it has just fallen to the wayside. Or, it was, until this week when words began flowing in my head and thus onto paper. Through the writing and thinking that comes with it is usually how yours truly figures out what to do with a problem. Maybe I have finally caught up on enough rest so that my brain can now function on the problems at hand and the creativity that was backed up – nonexistent – has now released.

One thing that has helped me with this release has been qi gong. Yesterday I did some sitting meditation (working my way back up to the standing meditation), and felt as if everything was finally beginning to roll slowly back into place. Of course, the correct “place” has changed somewhat, but the places were familiar and seemed to just feel right.

There is part of me that suspects that this may be the final stage of life for me. It isn’t that I am going to die, although I could die at any moment according to the doctors’, but that this is the final stage I will live in my life and I need to make certain it is spent well and doing the things I love and need to do to fulfill my life. This is the stage of my life where I need to be happy and successful.

It sounds easy doesn’t it – live my life where I am happy, successful, and fulfilled. Do you have any idea how difficult this is? It is genuinely difficult to decide what to do with the rest of your life. Do I continue on with my job? Do I go back on disability and just make it work with the writing? Do I go back to school? Do I do anything at all? Well, of course I am going to do something; I am just deciding what needs to be done.

One thing is easy: I will give Hubby more serious time and my faith.

Following this I will also work on getting my body stronger, and will use qi gong and exercise to do this. I will get my house back into order. I will write and work on having the best life I can. And I will succeed. There are just things that need to be decided. Serious things.

Alive and Thinking

Sometimes it is very difficult to change gears in the middle of the race, or swap paddle strokes in the middle of the raging rapids – this is how I have been feeling since getting out of the hospital. I have been doing a lot of thinking, reassessing, and general deciding what this phase of my life was going to be like.

According to all of the tests results, there is a bone spur on a very sensitive spot of my spine. It is putting pressure on the spinal column and it is a good chance this pressure is what is causing the weird migraines.

Because of the medical problems I am not working, which has genuinely messed with how I am up throughout the days. So far I have not been up and doing very much because I have been battling migraines (one migraine lasted for six days last week and one was yesterday). The strength also has not returned to my left leg as it should, so I am working slowly on this, but probably not as die hard as I should.

With everything being in flux, the blogging, checking of e-mail, and so very much more has felt as if it has just fallen to the wayside. Or, it was, until this week when words began flowing in my head and thus onto paper. Through the writing and thinking that comes with it is usually how yours truly figures out what to do with a problem. Maybe I have finally caught up on enough rest so that my brain can now function on the problems at hand and the creativity that was backed up – nonexistent – has now released.

One thing that has helped me with this release has been qi gong. Yesterday I did some sitting meditation (working my way back up to the standing meditation), and felt as if everything was finally beginning to roll slowly back into place. Of course, the correct “place” has changed somewhat, but the places were familiar and seemed to just feel right.

There is part of me that suspects that this may be the final stage of life for me. It isn’t that I am going to die, although I could die at any moment according to the doctors’, but that this is the final stage I will live in my life and I need to make certain it is spent well and doing the things I love and need to do to fulfill my life. This is the stage of my life where I need to be happy and successful.

It sounds easy doesn’t it – live my life where I am happy, successful, and fulfilled. Do you have any idea how difficult this is? It is genuinely difficult to decide what to do with the rest of your life. Do I continue on with my job? Do I go back on disability and just make it work with the writing? Do I go back to school? Do I do anything at all? Well, of course I am going to do something; I am just deciding what needs to be done.

One thing is easy: I will give Hubby more serious time and my faith.

Following this I will also work on getting my body stronger, and will use qi gong and exercise to do this. I will get my house back into order. I will write and work on having the best life I can. And I will succeed. There are just things that need to be decided. Serious things.

Alive and Thinking

Sometimes it is very difficult to change gears in the middle of the race, or swap paddle strokes in the middle of the raging rapids – this is how I have been feeling since getting out of the hospital. I have been doing a lot of thinking, reassessing, and general deciding what this phase of my life was going to be like.

According to all of the tests results, there is a bone spur on a very sensitive spot of my spine. It is putting pressure on the spinal column and it is a good chance this pressure is what is causing the weird migraines.

Because of the medical problems I am not working, which has genuinely messed with how I am up throughout the days. So far I have not been up and doing very much because I have been battling migraines (one migraine lasted for six days last week and one was yesterday). The strength also has not returned to my left leg as it should, so I am working slowly on this, but probably not as die hard as I should.

With everything being in flux, the blogging, checking of e-mail, and so very much more has felt as if it has just fallen to the wayside. Or, it was, until this week when words began flowing in my head and thus onto paper. Through the writing and thinking that comes with it is usually how yours truly figures out what to do with a problem. Maybe I have finally caught up on enough rest so that my brain can now function on the problems at hand and the creativity that was backed up – nonexistent – has now released.

One thing that has helped me with this release has been qi gong. Yesterday I did some sitting meditation (working my way back up to the standing meditation), and felt as if everything was finally beginning to roll slowly back into place. Of course, the correct “place” has changed somewhat, but the places were familiar and seemed to just feel right.

There is part of me that suspects that this may be the final stage of life for me. It isn’t that I am going to die, although I could die at any moment according to the doctors’, but that this is the final stage I will live in my life and I need to make certain it is spent well and doing the things I love and need to do to fulfill my life. This is the stage of my life where I need to be happy and successful.

It sounds easy doesn’t it – live my life where I am happy, successful, and fulfilled. Do you have any idea how difficult this is? It is genuinely difficult to decide what to do with the rest of your life. Do I continue on with my job? Do I go back on disability and just make it work with the writing? Do I go back to school? Do I do anything at all? Well, of course I am going to do something; I am just deciding what needs to be done.

One thing is easy: I will give Hubby more serious time and my faith.

Following this I will also work on getting my body stronger, and will use qi gong and exercise to do this. I will get my house back into order. I will write and work on having the best life I can. And I will succeed. There are just things that need to be decided. Serious things.

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Wonderful Helper

Cheyenne working on the game with Jake's help.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Out of the Hospital

I'm out of the hospital! I got out Monday and am recuperating at home. It feels odd ot working, and in many ways quite good. I have needed a break for a long time. Yesterday I had a migraine, and today I've not felt as good as I have been. Still, I am home.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Saturday

Still in the hospital. Don't have to have surgery, though, which I am very thankful for. Walked some today. Maybe tomorrow I will be able to go home.

Friday, April 09, 2010

A Very Quick Quickie

In the hospital. More doctors coming, including a surgeon. Feeling OK-ish.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Drats!

I have been trying to upload a photo from my phone for a while now. Unfortunately I am going to have to give up on it - another day another attempt.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Today I am sick. I have been sick for a couple of days now, and it has been bad enough for me to take off work. Some would say that if I am sick enough to take off work that I should also be sick enough to do nothing at all. I beg to differ: You see there is sick enough to do absolutely nothing, which was yesterday. I slept to the TV yesterday all day long until Hubby came home early because…well, he wasn’t feeling very well either. Today I slept late and have been able to handle a few home-related business things like bills, etc, but as far as dealing with customers and being nice…not such a good idea. My brain cannot think quickly. Still, today is better than yesterday despite the weakness and dizziness and general feeling so bad it takes concentration to hold my head up at times, and relax my shoulders. So, I am better, but not well by a long shot. Tomorrow I will work and do my job and get paid for it. Today I will think, even if it is somewhat slow and apathetic at times.

What am I thinking about? Well, qi gong.

Saturday I went to tai chi for the first time in many, many months. I had to go into the beginners’ class again, but that wasn’t bad because I discovered I remembered more than I thought I did. As usual, we went to breakfast, which I was super ready for, and as we were breaking for the day, I asked Just Bill a simple question that may have just changed everything for me deep down inside. Here is how it went:

Me: Bill, is there a turtle qi gong?
Just Bill: I’m not sure, but not that I know of.
Me: Could one be made?
Just Bill: Of course it could.
Me: Could I do it?
Just Bill: Of course you could!


Before going any further I asked him if he would help me, and he agreed. From that point forward he told me certain key things I needed to keep in mind while coming up with the qi gong form and he said to make certain and write it down. “Write it down and keep an order,” he said.

Instead of jumping straight into the “writing it down” part I have found myself putting a great deal of thought into what needs to be present and in which order; how does the mind relate with the spirit and the breathing, and what should it accomplish.

I am quite serious about creating the turtle qi gong.

Doing this is going to take time and a lot of thought and qi gong practice. There is a great deal to keep in mind while working on the form, and, at the same time, it doesn’t feel overwhelming in the least; it is perfectly in order with me.

Although, I have actually considered getting a turtle, which the husband has not said no to as a matter of fact, because our very large aquarium is sitting very vacant and devoid of fish. The reason I am being hesitant about purchasing said turtle is because a) I don’t want to imprison a creature unnecessarily; and b) would having a turtle around actually help me with the form at this point?

In firmly deciding to do this something inside me has changed. A threshold has been crossed, and I am not exactly sure what type it was or what even to call it, but it has been crossed and it was a significant step (for me).

There is part of me that would like to say I have crossed into the “martial arts” world, but that isn’t exactly true. I cannot stand (or sit) here and proclaim that to the world and especially to myself. I can say that this feels right. This feels as if I am on the right path with my health and mind and body and that finally I have a chance to make a difference in someone’s life other than my own if I do this well. I may never live to see its benefits for others, but with hope, prayer, and a lot of hard work, others will also get benefits from what I do with this. Plus, I am also not dumb enough to say this qi gong form will be created in a day, week, month, or even year. It is going to take a while and I am going to have to practice qi gong steadily and tai chi. I am going to have to practice standing meditation and I am going to have to be diligent about so many other things to keep this moving forward properly.

Surprisingly, I am looking forward to it all. Finally, all of the pain I endure has a purpose and is not just a useless thing bent on destroying me and others.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Peter Graves of "Mission Impossible" No Longer with Us





Death comes to us all, but it is always surprising when some people pass away because you always expect them (unrealistically) to be around. It was a big surprise for me to get up today and learn that Peter Graves had passed away Sunday, 03/14/2010. Jim Phelps was always supposed to be around to save the day when no one else could, or would.



I watched the Mission Impossible series when I was a little girl, and then in re-runs in the 1970s as a teenager because it was one of the coolest shows out there, next to Star Trek of course. It was because of Mission Impossible that I got my first taste for the thriller genre and not only loved to read it, but loved to write it as well.



One of the more interesting things I discovered in reading his bio this morning was the fact that he was Marshal Matt Dillon's younger brother! That's right, James Arness was his older brother. He changed his name so he wouldn't be confused with his older brother by taking his grandfather's last name. In this picture here you can actually see a family resemblance to Matt Dillon/James Arness, but I never saw it before until I read the article and actually did a good examination of the picture.

Does anyone know if James Arness is still living? Everything I've researched on the 'Net so far says he is, and if this is so, that would make him 86 years old. Rock on Marshall Dillon.

For the complete bio of Peter Graves, click the article title above.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Not the Day Expected

There were quite a few plans made for today. I had scheduled a WHEELS bus to take me to Church and then take me on to Barns & Noble where I would enjoy several wonderful hours of not doing all that much except only the things I wanted such as roam the stacks, purchase a lap desk, and blog and write to my heart's content with a cafe mocha at my side and a sugar cookie chaser.

It didn't happen.

Why didn't it happen?

My back went out. Just like that. Well, not exactly “just like that” because I lay down last night to go to sleep and shifted to get comfortable and all of a sudden there was searing pain down my back to my tail bone and all the goodness of the day just vanished as if it had never been. It was sad, really, and depressing.

This happening caused the husband to go to Church alone. He then proceeded to cancel his plans he had made for the rest of the day to come home and take care of me. Can you spell guilt​​? Yeah, I have felt really guilty today because of my back.

Currently it is better thanks to meds and qi gong. I did several exercises I had learned in class, including the first part of the standing section I had attempted to do. There was pain, but in gathering the qi there was some additional strength and protection that wasn't there before.

As I collected the energy I imagined that the energy, the qi (pronounced “chi”) was going to the injured, painful portion of m spine and was surrounding it like a golden bandage of strength that was reinforcing and protective. With this in place, I was able to make it from the bedroom to my wheelchair and then, once I was on my feet to do the standing portion, I again reinforced this image with more qi collection and even though the pain was there and intense, I was able to stand for almost five minutes and do what needed to be done. My back popped quite loudly at one point and has felt better. Hopefully this will continue. The feeling better part.

The remainder of the day today has been spent playing video game demos and just relaxing. The husband is currently playing Halo ODS and is enjoying himself immensely.

This week is going to be filled with a couple of doctor's appointments and, with any luck, a trip at last to B&N where there will be some relaxation and writing happening. In fact, I am considering adding a couple of B&N days to the schedule just because I have tried so diligently to get to B&N and wasn't able to get there. Since the time has changed, I will use it to get to where I need to go and when I need to get there. Plus, any where is a better writing place than my house at the moment. I need a change of scenery like you cannot believe or perceive.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

In Love With Qi Gong

Qi Gong literally means “energy work” and I have never found something that satisfies something so deep in my life. It follows perfectly with my faith as an Orthodox Christian because both of them are lifelong entities you learn.

Recently I learned that this coming Thursday was the last qi gong class that would be taught and I find myself almost in tears each and every time I think about it, because this truly is something that matters to me.

I have studied different internal qi gong methods on my own, independently, but the pieces never completely fell into place until the previous class and then this intermediate class. Finally there was a real live person I could ask questions of and get answers from. As I began practicing anew, I have found myself feeling physically better, as well as emotionally and psychologically more relaxed in tense situations.

Because of qi gong I have come to the acceptance that what I am currently doing for a living is actually hurting me in more ways than I can explain, even though it is a job I can do. There have been some days, especially here recently when the qi gong exercises I have learned have kept me calm until the end of my shift when I can then do more in depth exercises that actually help me to release the day, which then leads into prayer and more settling.

My husband is in love with tai chi chuan, as you all know, and it is fantastic, but it didn’t suit me. Qi gong does. It isn’t that qi gong is not a “martial” art – something that can be used to defend yourself with if need be (this is a very loose interpretation and explanation) – because, as I have noticed, thanks to a statement Bill made at dinner after qi gong, that any particular movement learned can be a martial movement. I am not a pacifist in any shape or form, but have always been made to feel that any true martial art is beyond me except for maybe tai chi chuan. It also isn’t that qi gong is so out there it cannot be grasped by everyone, or anyone. The main reason it suits me, I realize, is that it is completely internal.

By this, I mean: it is me that is affecting me by reaching out into the Universe, to God if you will, to help myself. No one can take this away from me or alter what I know about it or how it makes me feel. It is as private as my faith. It is almost as important as my faith is to me. It is inside me and, most importantly, I am seeing and feeling results. Serious results.

I bet you’re wondering what type of results, right? Well, here is just a very short list I will share with you:
 My appetite and food desires have drastically changed. I love food. I mean I love food. Food is my drug of choice if I must be completely honest with myself. Nothing makes me happier than to cook, eat, and enjoy good food with good friends. I don’t want the same foods as I did. I have actually begun to listen to my body and realize that I need certain things, such as nuts. I have also begun an orange kick. Even though the oranges can hurt my gall bladder, if I eat these things in moderation I feel better deep down. Even going out to eat my taste has changed – soups are at the top of the list for me of late. And, when I have ignored my body and just picked something from the menu just to eat because I am hungry, it hasn’t worked out very well for me digestive wise, or feeling wise. I know when I am eating something I really shouldn’t, and I accept I must pay for it.
 I am very aware of how physically strong or weak I am and what needs to be improved. I know this doesn’t sound like very much, but, trust me, it’s huge! Up until now I have known I needed to be stronger here or there in my body, but only on a surface level. Now I understand just how important it is as a whole, and exactly which body parts need to be worked on. Another thing that is different is the fact that instead of just putting it all off, I actually work on it and put a good effort into improving and not just ‘trying’ to improve.
 I feel more connected to myself, and thus to the people around me, and thus to God. I hear my body and what it needs. I also hear what others are saying and needing from me or for themselves. I also hear, through reading the Bible and attending Church, what God needs of me and what I need from God.
Qi gong hasn’t answered all of my problems, and in some ways it has just presented me with more questions while presenting me with a more clearly marked path or direction I need to go for the different answers.

Don’t misunderstand either, qi gong isn’t something that teaches you to be completely calm, but it does give you a major avenue in calming down once you are upset or relieving the stress you find in yourself. It doesn’t make you a guru of peace and love, but it does give you a tool to use in obtaining a better understanding of what your need for you to be healthier, happier, and more balanced in so many different areas of yourself. But, this is what I get out of qi gong. Someone else may get something completely different from it. You’ll never know until you try qi gong. It doesn’t matter how good your body is, or how strong or weak it is – qi gong will give you a tool to improve your life.

And Bill, you realize I’m going to be hounding you with questions now about when and where the next class is going to be. You continue to teach me my dear friend, and I will learn…even though it may take me a bit to wrap my head around some concepts.
In Love with Qi Gong



Qi Gong literally means “energy work” and I have never found something that satisfies something so deep in my life. It follows perfectly with my faith as an Orthodox Christian because both of them are lifelong entities you learn.

Recently I learned that this coming Thursday was the last qi gong class that would be taught and I find myself almost in tears each and every time I think about it, because this truly is something that matters to me.

I have studied different internal qi gong methods on my own, independently, but the pieces never completely fell into place until the previous class and then this intermediate class. Finally there was a real live person I could ask questions of and get answers from. As I began practicing anew, I have found myself feeling physically better, as well as emotionally and psychologically more relaxed in tense situations.

Because of qi gong I have come to the acceptance that what I am currently doing for a living is actually hurting me in more ways than I can explain, even though it is a job I can do. There have been some days, especially here recently when the qi gong exercises I have learned have kept me calm until the end of my shift when I can then do more in depth exercises that actually help me to release the day, which then leads into prayer and more settling.

My husband is in love with tai chi chuan, as you all know, and it is fantastic, but it didn’t suit me. Qi gong does. It isn’t that qi gong is not a “martial” art – something that can be used to defend yourself with if need be (this is a very loose interpretation and explanation) – because, as I have noticed, thanks to a statement Bill made at dinner after qi gong, that any particular movement learned can be a martial movement. I am not a pacifist in any shape or form, but have always been made to feel that any true martial art is beyond me except for maybe tai chi chuan. It also isn’t that qi gong is so out there it cannot be grasped by everyone, or anyone. The main reason it suits me, I realize, is that it is completely internal.

By this, I mean: it is me that is affecting me by reaching out into the Universe, to God if you will, to help myself. No one can take this away from me or alter what I know about it or how it makes me feel. It is as private as my faith. It is almost as important as my faith is to me. It is inside me and, most importantly, I am seeing and feeling results. Serious results.

I bet you’re wondering what type of results, right? Well, here is just a very short list I will share with you:
 My appetite and food desires have drastically changed. I love food. I mean I love food. Food is my drug of choice if I must be completely honest with myself. Nothing makes me happier than to cook, eat, and enjoy good food with good friends. I don’t want the same foods as I did. I have actually begun to listen to my body and realize that I need certain things, such as nuts. I have also begun an orange kick. Even though the oranges can hurt my gall bladder, if I eat these things in moderation I feel better deep down. Even going out to eat my taste has changed – soups are at the top of the list for me of late. And, when I have ignored my body and just picked something from the menu just to eat because I am hungry, it hasn’t worked out very well for me digestive wise, or feeling wise. I know when I am eating something I really shouldn’t, and I accept I must pay for it.
 I am very aware of how physically strong or weak I am and what needs to be improved. I know this doesn’t sound like very much, but, trust me, it’s huge! Up until now I have known I needed to be stronger here or there in my body, but only on a surface level. Now I understand just how important it is as a whole, and exactly which body parts need to be worked on. Another thing that is different is the fact that instead of just putting it all off, I actually work on it and put a good effort into improving and not just ‘trying’ to improve.
 I feel more connected to myself, and thus to the people around me, and thus to God. I hear my body and what it needs. I also hear what others are saying and needing from me or for themselves. I also hear, through reading the Bible and attending Church, what God needs of me and what I need from God.
Qi gong hasn’t answered all of my problems, and in some ways it has just presented me with more questions while presenting me with a more clearly marked path or direction I need to go for the different answers.

Don’t misunderstand either, qi gong isn’t something that teaches you to be completely calm, but it does give you a major avenue in calming down once you are upset or relieving the stress you find in yourself. It doesn’t make you a guru of peace and love, but it does give you a tool to use in obtaining a better understanding of what your need for you to be healthier, happier, and more balanced in so many different areas of yourself. But, this is what I get out of qi gong. Someone else may get something completely different from it. You’ll never know until you try qi gong. It doesn’t matter how good your body is, or how strong or weak it is – qi gong will give you a tool to improve your life.

And Bill, you realize I’m going to be hounding you with questions now about when and where the next class is going to be. You continue to teach me my dear friend, and I will learn…even though it may take me a bit to wrap my head around some concepts.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Have A Light Spirit Today

It is rainy here, gloomy, and my body could be feeling better, but my spirit is light today.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Superbowl, Video Games, Creativity and Lent

Today is Superbowl Sunday and we're hosting a semi-early Superbowl party since several people are going to have to leave before the end of the actual game. This year neither team is one of my favorites, but I believe I'll pull for The Saints since they have never been in the Superbowl before.

Dragon Age is nearing its conclusion, and this makes me sad. It has been quite a number of years since I have found a video game that reaches out and touches the creativity inside of me as well as the adventurer and likewise lets me escape from this world for happy hours on end. I know that the major games out there for escape appears to be war games, but with wars really going on in the world and real people dying, this doesn't appeal to me at all. But the fantasy element in Dragon Age does and I simply cannot wait for the expansion game to come out! I just do not want the adventure to end.

Perhaps it is because of my enjoyment of Dragon Age, or perhaps it is because Dragon Age has let me relax so much that my creativity has indeed returned. The short stories are flowing, the novel ideas are flowing, and poetry has returned. Not only has written creativity returned, but knitting creativity has likewise returned!

All of this creativity has returned just in time as Lent approaches. One of the things I am hoping for to do through this Lenten season is to be creative and as peaceful as possible. Not a bad goal for Lent this year.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Qi Gong and the Golden Heal

So far I am keeping up with updates on Sundays at the very least, which is working. As I improve during the coming weeks physically I believe the updates will grow more in number per week.

This week has been a week of seemingly non-stop qi gong. I did my regular qi gong practice every day and began to feel stronger and stronger. Thursday I slipped with my crutches here in my house. There was a very loud *crack* and my shoulder just was not good. Since my shift wasn't over I still had to work so this meant between calls was a lot of qi gong, which actually saved me over.

I went to qi gong class that same Thursday where Just Bill began showing us "silk reeling" exercises and I have come to the understanding that my left hand does not understand making figure eights.

It still doesn't want to do figure eights.

I'll keep working with it though and see what it will do this week.

Any way....

As I was working with the qi gong when I was injured I kept imagining that the energy was golden and it was going to the hurt place and wrapping around it like a golden sheet and healing it. My shoulder began to feel better and have thus kept it up with qi gong breathing, energy collection, and my shoulder has continued to get better.

The qi gong didn't keep me from having to take some extra pain meds, but not as much extra as I would have been forced to take with all of the additional pain if I had not done the exercises. Plus, my mood has also been more light than it otherwise would have.

Yes, I have felt like absolute crap and moving has been a royal witch, but my shoulder's progression of healing has definitely increased.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Why Didn't My Kitteh Do This For Me This Morning?

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Feeling a little better today. My shoulder is better. My feet are not. The back is better. The knee is not. So, I guess this is 50/50 over all. Not too bad.

Today it has been very cold and has either snowed like mad (at one point while working I looked out my window and it was white with snow, I couldn't see the tree outside my window!), sort of drizzled cold rain, or just simply been frigid.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Not the Monday I Expected

There was a lot planned for today, being Monday and all. There was work, of course, and then writing and playing some on Dragon Age, and then the first night of tai chi. Sadly, none of this happened today because my arthritis attacked with a holy vengeance upon me.

Today has been a day of sitting as still as possible, or literally writhing in pain. It has been so bad that Hubby didn't go to work either today, but stayed around to take care of me, as well as to determine if we might need to get me to a doctor.

Currently the pain is better. I was able to do some qi gong that eased up a good portion of the pain. It was remarkably easy to direct the chi to the shoulder and other bad spots. My back received a lot of it, as did my hands. All it took was some concentration...and belief.

Surprisingly, chi work is coming quite easily for me. I have done energy work before, but never truly put this immense determination into it, some people would call it "putting my mind to it." Now that I have, and seen positive and real results from it, has pushed me over the edge of just playing with the concept of energy and chi work, into making it a goal of mine.

The qi gong did not stop the pain entirely, but it eased it up enough that I have manged to sit up and move a little. I have only had to take one dose of Advil, which is remarkable at a time like this. Advil does nothing for the pain either, but it does help the swelling of what few joints I have that continue to have joint material. I have been able to be civil to my husband and friends who have called to check on me, and although I am completely and utterly exhausted from all of the pain today, I know I will be able to work tomorrow.

I was also good and called and left a message with Just Bill to let him know I didn't just stand him and the class up, and tried to get hold of Bliss, but just didn't have the physical stamina to wait on hold for any length of time. Next week I am bound and determined to go to tai chi, and I am not missing qi gong class for anything!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Wittle Jake Got Upset With Pop

Once upon a time there was a little puppy named Jake. He was a lucky little fellow who went straight from his mama's side to Poppa, the bestest human dad evar! Jake's Poppa loved him and so did Poppa's sister and brother-in-law. He was a part of a big wonderful family.
wittle jake

Jake's Poppa stayed with him all the time when he was little and played with him and loved him. But then, as Jake grew up, Poppa said he had to get another job. So Poppa began going out during the day to something Poppa called "interviews", but he always came back to the Jake, which is what Poppa said every day when he left for a while. "I'll always come back for the Jake."
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It was never too long that Poppa left Jake, but it felt like forever! Jake would try and play with the cats, but all they did was make funny noises at him that were a little scary.

Poppa worked hard to get this thing called a job. Jake didn't know what it was, but it was very important to Poppa so it was very important to Jake, too. Poppa worked with a box that sometimes made noise and showed pictures. Jake would wait patiently beside Poppa to finish and play with him.
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Then, one day, Poppa came home and was so happy and excited. He had the thing! The job thing! Poppa said, "Things are going to change, Jake, but always remember: I will always come back for the Jake."

Jake was glad Poppa had this job thing. Nothing really changed for them except Poppa was happier and started pulling things out of the closet like nicer jeans and shirts and something that smelled good, even though it was washed called "a lunch box."

Then, one morning, before the sun had even woke up, Poppa was up and moving about the house putting on clothes and hurrying really fast. Jake got up too because, you could never tell when something might happen that would let Jake ride in the car! But Poppa didn't get the leash. Poppa filled the water bowl and the food dish extra high, gave the cats extra crunchy food, too; and then he petted Jake and was gone out the door.

Jake wasn't too worried about this because Popa had been trying very hard to find this job thing. The sun was good and up and still Poppa didn't come home. The sun was almost to its highest point when Poppa came home and fixed some food quickly for himself and set some aside for Jake, like always. Jake was SO happy Poppa had come home! But then, after eating, Poppa left again and Jake didn't see him for several long hours later.

Jake was so very sad. And bored. Jake was very bored. His toys weren't fun any more without Poppa.

The very next day Poppa did the same thing. He got up before the sun woke up, and was gone all day. He only had time to play with Jake when he was through with this job thing. Jake decided the job wasn't a good thing if it took Popa away so much.

Jake began to really not the like job thing because it took Poppa away from him forever and only gave him back to Jake on something called "days off" and they were never in a row.

Another thing Jake began to not like was the thing Popa talked into that always took his attention away from Jake and playing or just resting with Jake. Poppa called it "a phone."

One day, Poppa came home for the short time to eat, which Jake learned was called "lunch" and was in such a hurry he left the thing called "a phone" behind. It was the perfect opportunity to teach that nusance noisesome thing who was top dog behind Poppa: Jake.
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But maybe, Jake thought, he had taught the phone too good of a lesson because it crunched really easily. Just when Jake was thinking about eating the thing, Poppa came home.

Poppa was so upset! Jake had never seen him quite so upset and sad. "I need that, Jake," Poppa said. Jake felt bad, but it felt good too because he had shown everyone he was Poppa's second in command! Even the cats would show him some respect now! But that didn't make Poppa feel any better and Jake lay down on the floor and looked up at him with his bestest sad eyes and Poppa forgave Jake.

A new phone came to live at the house after the old one's demise. It still took Poppa's attention away as did the nasty job, but Poppa really did always come back for Jake.

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