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Change. I've learned to embrace it, ride it out til the end. Sometimes I'm kicking and screaming, other times weeping with my eyes clinched tight. Once in awhile I ride like a dog in a car, head out the window snorting what life has to offer. Mother to young adult children, a marriage of thirty years, and a desert to mountain to valley waltz with God have shaped me into someone I never imagined I'd be. Life is short and I want to live it. Tears, sighs, laughter and change. Every morsel granted to me. Scrambled, shaken or stirred.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ A Riddling We Will Go











What feels like noodles? Burns like asphalt on a 95 degree July afternoon? And is tight enough to bounce quarters off of?


Just about every muscle in my body. Ugh.

I have no idea why this working out thing appeals to me. It wouldn't take much to encourage me to sit on the sofa and down chips and ice cream. Reruns seem so much more appealing when considering the alternative: the attempt to run just a little further or work a little harder or sweat a little more.

Tonight I ran three full laps around the track. And in between there were some wicked ugly things like sit-ups, frog squats and push-ups.

But in the midst of the grunts and groans is a growing sense of accomplishment and a confidence. And I'm not wanting to trade those for a couch.

And working out in a small group has begun to breed other areas where we can grow and change and strengthen and push each other. And why not? Life is a one shot deal. Stagnancy and complacency don't appeal to me. I want to live the life I have and it's going to include my faith being tested and stretched, and my body being pushed to do things it screams about, and my emotional issues getting dealt with and healed. I'd rather those things happen with my willing involvement rather than to me.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Don't Read this While Eating and Don't Eat Dental Floss









Appropriate picture for today.

This was poor Feral Will a couple of years ago after a very unfortunate treasure hunt that yielded dental floss. Don't worry. Everything did come out alright. But there was serious stress and strain involved.


This morning I saved Feral Will from a similar fate. I walked downstairs and found him in the middle of trying to swallow a piece of fishing line. Rob has been loading a fishing pole for an upcoming trip and dropped a 20 inch piece and couldn't find it. Feral did. So. I attempted to snatch the line from his little kitty lips and he fled, with the line clamped betwixt his jaws.

As I got down to his level and cooed, "Here, Kitty, Kitty." I spied the end of the string and managed to grab it pulling it out of his little gullet. Whew. I got it all.

And. Today I went to the dentist. Weird, huh? Coincidence? I certainly hope so!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Monday Musings


















Our youngest, formerly known as 18, has officially changed her name to 19 today. Happy Birthday, 19.


85 degrees and 90 % humidity is not an excuse to get out of exercise. Today we did the Angie workout. Apparently Cross Fit names their workouts and the more difficult ones are women names ala hurricane.

Helen was last night's and it included jumping pull ups, running and some tricky kettle bell workout that could've taken out an eye.

The slightly modified Angie workout is: jumping pull ups, push ups, sit ups and squats. Because of the temperature, the usual 100 of each was modified to 75 each.

My ..... everything hurts.

And this weekend brought the blessing of seeing God's hand move in lives. Wow. He brought about every detail of some specific prayers and I got to see a miracle of physical healing via surgery, medication and speedy recovery. The details were a series of miracles and the end result is a strengthened faith for more than one person.

And. I had a conversation with someone that completely left me shocked and awed. God has moved a heart, and opened ears, and helped someone see some things clearly. And that is a miracle as well. A huge miracle.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Deal, Forest, Deal.

















Thanks for all the high fives and encouragement, Ladies. e.m.b. I love that suggestion. Nothing like a little added guilt/responsibility to get those last few feet or last corner rounded. I'm going to use that. I'm all for multi-tasking especially with two very important activities.


Now.

On to the second recent happening that has shown me that I'm further than I thought I was in the fear of others department.

I'm caring less and less about what people think of me. Not that I don't want people to like me or find value in my life's contributions...but...I'm not willing to lose sleep over someone's opinion about me.

Trust me. This is freeing.

Case in point. A few years ago I got a nasty, nasty personal email from someone who hated a review I wrote. The individual didn't pull any punches. And, very obviously, the person didn't actually READ the review. Scanned at best. It bothered me. Not devastated but bothered. But I kept writing reviews. Somehow I've slowly climbed into the top 1000 Amazon reviewers. I've not written reviews just because I want to be in the top 1000 because if that was the case I could write way more reviews and on odd things...most of my reviews are books and movies and those items take a major time commitment and sometimes reviews are tough to write. But. Obviously, I like something about the process. And until I no longer like the process, I'll keep writing them.

The other day I got a review comment that was just ridiculous. Someone didn't like a review I wrote and left a comment questioning how I could be a top 1000 reviewer and suggested that I be dropped several thousand notches in the rankings. And. I reread my review. I don't think I'd change a word. And when I reread the comment and clicked on the person who left it I just kind of felt sorry for someone who felt the need to attack with the passionate negativity that must make for a lot of acid reflux and angst.

So I thanked the person for taking the time to comment and moved on. And he's as entitled to his opinion as I am to mine. And I'm free from carrying his opinion around with me. Ahhh freedom. It's a fine thing.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Run, Forest, Run.



So Dear, Dear, Blog Readers.

I must apologize for leaving you hanging for nigh unto two days.

I just didn't have much to say.

The temperature dropped a bit so I did some laundry. Necessary. And my kitchen and now the entire surrounding areas of the complete and total household are covered in a fine white coating of drywall dust. As is my dear and awesome husband. This is the part that takes forever. The tedious time when nothing much changes and everything is in upheaval.

While dodging dust clouds and retreating from heat I have discovered a few things this past week. Want to know what they are?

Well. I'm going to tell you anyhoo. So jump off now if you don't want to know.

I've discovered that I'm not as fearful as I used to be, and that I'm stronger than I thought. Pretty monumental things, actually.

A year ago a friend suggested that I run a 5K with her. Ha. Really. And that was my reaction. She said her daughter wanted to run it read bad and had talked her into it. I told her that I wished her well and that the best I'd do was walk it. 3.2 miles. Running. Ha. Silly Bear.

Then her daughter found out she was pregnant with baby number three and I was
completely let off the hook.

I started taking exercise seriously a couple of years ago when I felt like a little old lady flopping around on the couch when it was time to get off said couch. Pilates to the rescue. My core now gets me out of plenty of tight spots. But my core is covered with some friendly little Tootsie Rolls and I'd rather not have quite so many. So I've done the crazy things like Shred and a few other exercise DVDs and the Wii. And our food intake has changed for the healthier. But. Running is out of the question. Running hurts. It made me sweat in high school and suck wind and feel embarrassed at my horrific time. Running. Bah!

Tonight I ran over a mile. Not all at once. Eight laps around the track but over half of it running. Why? I'm not sure. Maybe it's because I can see 48 descending rapidly, or maybe I'm just sick and tired of the limits I keep putting on myself because I am the opposite of the little engine that could.

Wonder where this path is going to take me.....

And the second thing experience that has me feeling a little bit encouraged that I'm headed down a healthy path....well, you'll just have to come back.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Don't Forget to Burp the Tupperware









The personality stew and the implements that keep it moving continued....and the storage container lid is snapping into place, or the end of the kitchen tool/personality profiles.

In my non-scientific research I discovered that I really began to understand the basics of the personality/temperament types and how the body fluids represent them, especially when I could wrap a kitchen tool around it, over it, under it or through it. Of course, the theories have been rethought and retooled for a few hundred years, and tinkered. But to my knowledge I'm the only one who has turned them into kitchen tools.

And as far as kitchen tools go. No cook, basic or gourmet would really have an equipped kitchen without the wire whip, the crock-pot, the 9 x 13 and the skewer. Oh, they are not necessary for all meals, most of the tools are not needed for most meals, but they all come in very handy and are staples.

As are the personalities.

We need each other. The diplomatic, peaceful 9 x 13 phlegmatics are slow to start but essential for roasting, baking and providing life's basic foods and they need cholerics and sanguines to infuse a little passion and enthusiasm into their lives. And phlegmatics are necessary to keep the melancholys from sliding into the dark depths of inner crock-pot stewing despair. What sanguine doesn't need a straight speaking choleric to shed a laser beam of light on a situation that can help them to focus. And the melancholy without an occasional dose of sanguinty can produce a stew that has such concentrated uck that life can become unbearable for those who love them. And without a helping of comfort food from the phlegmatic to ooze a little peace into the stab wounds from an out-of-control choleric skewering, the world would be a painful place. And without the melancholy, there would be a lack of rich and beautiful items that take time to create, and creativity to blend into dishes that enrich life and add beauty.

Bon Appetite.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Scribbles and Scrambles - Spiritual Toe Jam



(a devotion I wrote for my church newsletter)

Flesh has been on my mind.

I guess that's makes sense since someone I loved recently left his tent of flesh and entered into glory and into what no mind can imagine.

God didn't heal Bob's flesh. But He healed Bob fully and completely. What a blessed hope that is, to know that one day the things that make us crazy about ourselves and others, while we are struggling through the sanctification process, will be healed completely in Christ.

As wonderful as the hope of perfection is... as a follower of Christ, I don't think it's an option for me to say, "I am who I am", and be content to remain untransformed.

And if you don't want a poke in the flesh, you might want to stop reading right now because if you are anything like me, you probably won't like what I'm going to say.

Still reading? Good for you.

Reality in the church of Jesus Christ isn't even close to paradise. Reality is that people get their toes stepped on and their feelings hurt and they tend to want to be right, even at the expense of a brother or sister in Christ.

Can I go out on a limb, can I step on some toes, including mine for a minute? Toes are flesh. And what does God say about flesh and offenses and stepped-on toes? Exactly what I don't want to hear.

I'm not talking about black and white sin and righteous anger. Those are all about God's righteousness and His clear repeated teaching. And those are the unique passions that are His that He reveals in us as passionate desires to grieve over, and to strive to bring healing, restoration, and rightness to us and our broken world. He uses those passionate sorrows to remind us to speak truth and as reminders that sin hurts and steals and kills. He places people in our paths and He places calls on our lives to be part of the solution rather than the problem. These are the unique good works He created for us to walk in before the foundation of the world. Those are not what I'm writing about. They are the business of God and uniquely ours and His.

I'm writing about simplier issues that can become inflated above the passions and the lives of those around us. I'm talking about being easily offended, easily wounded and, when it's all boiled down, self-centered. These are the attitudes that we shine-up and paint whitewash over. What I'm talking about are the things that offend us about a brother or a sister. Those things like personality differences, ownership issues and hurt feelings. Things like placing our thoughts as higher than another's thoughts, considering ourselves more important than another Christ follower. Things like the type of music we "should" play during God's worship time, things like colors and walls, things like calendar conflicts and things that end up becoming about being right over being loving.

If someone is struggling with offense or defensiveness over another person's actions or words that can't be labeled as sinful...I want to throw this out there....is it possible that that offended feeling is a flesh wound? If it's not the Word of God which is a living active truth that strips us open and slices and dices us so the festering pockets of infection can be healed by the light, love and truth of God's Word...then the wound that's inflicted has to be a flesh wound. Our body of flesh is not something we are to live our lives from. If we are gathering flesh wounds from different people and situations we are going to be infected and it's going to go systemic, all through the body and soul. If we own an offense, embrace it and call it our right when someone doesn't behave as we think they should, we have the opportunity to bristle, fluff-up our flesh and to let that become an infected flesh wound that will poison us and those around us and the ministries that we have been called to do.

If we are bought by the blood of Jesus, then we need to be about the business of letting go of, and shedding those deeds of darkness that we don't call dark at all, the hurt feelings, the preferences, the "I deserves," the "you shoulds," the "my way or the highways."

Are you offended by someone in our body? Is sin involved? Is the issue that offends you a personal "right" that got stomped on? Please prayerfully consider letting this offense go, forgiving the person involved and not considering that issue/hurt again.

We can choose to show grace to an offensive person. We can overlook an offense or issue. We could understand that people are often immature and selfish, sometimes in different areas that are works in progress. My blueberry bushes have teeny, tiny, bitter green "berries" and fully ripened sweet berries at the same time. Can you encourage the offensive person in their walk with Christ? Can you pray for their walk with Christ? Possibly they have a crushed toe or two that hinders them and prayer or encouragement could end up making all the difference in the world for all involved.

God wants us to be free from our fleshly, emotionally-charged reactions. He wants us to live by the Spirit and produce the fruit that is only provided by the Spirit. If we could just grasp the truth in that and know that flesh wounds are a sign that it might be time for a good pruning we could experience the delicious fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. And the fruit will bless our lives and the lives of others, allowing us to dance in freedom instead of limping because of crushed toes.

This body, these emotions, our experiences...they are vehicles to bring us closer to Christ and to be used by Him to save the lost, one person at a time. Use these gifts well, they are powerful.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Skewered




The final personality/kitchen tool profile...one of summer's nicest tools. The skewer.

When the garden is producing (or the farmer's market is fully ripened) the plethora of colorful vegetables is endless. And one runs out of a way to prepare them. You can only do so many salads in a week's time.

Enter the skewer. This bad boy has a special purpose...to hold the veggie chunks and meat blobs on its metal core while the BBQ grill does its magic. The skewer, of course, has other faces ... it can be sweet (think dessert fondue or fruit kabobs). The skewer is even international (satay).

So what personality type is a skewer? A determined, to the point no-nonsense kind of a person. A choleric to be exact. Driven by a focused passion these individuals get a bead on a situation and go right for the heart of the matter. These are the folks you want to run meetings and head up corporations.

However, no matter how many marshmallows their skewer may run through, there's not a lot of soft in a choleric. And that can definitely be a detriment to relationships. Cholerics can help a sanguine stop spinning, a melancholy to cool down and stop throwing more junk into the pot, and can add a little heated focus to a phlegmatic. But, while attempting to do that skewer-style a choleric can do a little more hole-poking than helping. And the pointy tip of the passion can be even a bigger problem. When the passion runs through people...aiyiyi...little skewers...use your power for good!!!!

Friday, July 09, 2010

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Of Kitchen Tools and Thought Bubbles




As boring as this kitchen tool is, I think it's one of the most basic and valuable ones we've got.

The old 9 x 13.

And since I've taken a long break between personalities of kitchen tools, I'm revisiting and finishing up my series.

Here are the previous ones. Crock Pot

Whip

Wouldn't be fair to leave the cholerics and phlegmatics sitting in a drawer or cupboard somewhere.

Phlegmatic is one of the more disgusting words I've pondered in awhile. Eww. However, the body substance that was chosen is a fairly good picture of this this type of personality. Laid back, but of substance. Enough said.

A phlegmatic is one who will get the job done if the job makes sense or will keep the peace. Laid back to the point of lack of passion sometimes. A phlegmatic will just do what has to be done without a lot of associated drama.

Hence the 9x13. Without a 9x13 where would we cooks be? All our bar and cake recipes would have to be converted and there would often just not be enough. And lasagna? Nothing else can replace this beloved and often used kitchen tool.

As a personality, the phlegmatic is a buffer for the passions that can flair when the choleric and frothing sanguine come around. The phlegmatic also tends to be sensitive and a sounding board when the crock-potting melancholy sits in the corner stewing away. But, just like the other personality types though, a room full of phlegmatics could be a problem. Not much would get done, wars would not be fought, big changes wouldn't be made. It would be the equivalent to a potluck dinner where every item on the table was in a 9 x 13. Row after row of lasagna, jello salads and cake. Okay. But it's nice to find something a little different now and again.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Serials and Scenarios ~ Tomorrow We Die ~ Shawn Grady

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Tomorrow We Die
Bethany House (July 1, 2010)
byShawn Grady

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Shawn Grady signed with Bethany House Publishers in 2008. He was named “Most Promising New Writer” at the 39th Annual Mount Hermon Writers Conference. He is the author of the novels Through the Fire & Tomorrow We Die.

Shawn has served for over a decade as a firefighter and paramedic in northern Nevada. From fire engines and ambulances to tillered ladder trucks and helicopters, Shawn’s work environment has always been dynamic. The line of duty has carried him to a variety of locale, from high-rise fires in the city to the burning heavy timber of the eastern Sierras.

Shawn attended Point Loma Nazarene University as a Theology undergrad before shifting direction to acquire an Associate of Science degree in Fire Science Technology as well as Paramedic licensure through Truckee Meadows Community College.

Shawn currently lives in Reno, Nevada, just outside of Lake Tahoe. He enjoys spending time in the outdoors with his wife, three children and yellow Labrador.

ABOUT THE BOOK


Chase the Angel of Death and You Might Catch Him

Jonathan Trestle is a paramedic who's spent the week a few steps behind the angel of death. When he responds to a call about a man sprawled on a downtown sidewalk, Trestle isn't about to lose another victim. CPR revives the man long enough for him to hand Trestle a crumpled piece of paper and say, "Give this to Martin," before being taken to the hospital.

The note is a series of dashes and haphazard scribbles. Trestle tries to follow up with the patient later, but at the ICU he learns the man awoke, pulled out his IVs, and vanished, leaving only a single key behind. With the simple decision to honor a dying man's last wish, Jonathan tracks the key to a nearby motel where he finds the man again--this time not just dead but murdered. Unwilling to just let it drop, Jonathan is plunged into a mystery that soon threatens not only his dreams for the future but maybe even his life. He must race for the truth before the Angel of Death comes calling for him.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Tomorrow We Die, go to HERE.


My Review:


Shawn Grady's sophomore release shows great talent. I did not read his first book so I can't compare the two, but I plan to go back and pick it up based on what I read in Tomorrow We Die. I work in the medical field and am fascinated with the human body and its workings and Grady's EMT training has given him lots of details to provide. Tomorrow We Die is a fast read weighing in at around 200 pages (not sure of final count as I read an Advanced Reader Copy provided by the publisher). Plenty of action and emotional tension join with the medical jargon making the novel a page turner.

Readers who like twists and turns, medical fiction and first person narratives told well should enjoy examining Grady's novels. The end resolved quickly and there were a few predictable moments for me, but Grady's writing is strong overall and his characters are compelling enough to overcome a few minor irritations. Some details may give chickens the willies so be forewarned.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Scribble and Scrambles ~ Pantry Magic


So I was going to post last night. But once I sat down on the couch and quit crying from the pain that involved and then had to get up again I vowed to never sit on the couch again. OUCH! But this morning is different. I can walk and sit without whimpering.

Glad I waited. Here's what happened to m
y pantry last night.

Before I went to bed.


This morning.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Boom Across the Board.



Sigh. Including the amazing kitchen activity, my weekend was fantabulous. When it begins with a honey doing something that makes me weak in the knees and involves lots of friends, family and fireworks, what's to complain about? Then, the added bonus...Monday off of work. Yay!!!!

The Monday off of work will be paid for later because work piles up even on holidays. And my hind-end will be screaming at me, too. Odd combo, I know. 23's Crossfit fanatic, personal trainer friend spent the night. This morning dawned with cooperative weather, her gym was closed and she had a workout to do that we could do with her. (Well, modified, thank heavens!) So. On a rare mildly comfortable July noon time 23 and I rotated through a routine that included 60 push-ups, 80 squats and 140ish lunges!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm feeling great except when I have to sit down or use steps in either direction. So. Based on past experience with sore bun muscles, I will be doing a workout tomorrow just for a bit of relief.

Hope your weekend was GRAND! I'm looking forward to posting some new pictures of additional changes in the kitchen. : )

Friday, July 02, 2010

Scribbles and Scrambles - Kitchen Happy Dance!!!



Rob was busy today.

When I went to work my kitchen looked like it has for quite awhile. He's been working a little here and there...last week was the first big hint that change was on the horizon. Drywall was removed, some old section of a wall followed and the central air ducts were attached to the ceiling. Then the raw ceiling joists began to disappear under fresh new drywall.

But picture one shows the first big change today. Some cabinets and the dishwasher disappeared while I was at work. And that was just the beginning. I'm tasting drywall dust and the very close reality that this kitchen thing just might happen this summer!!!

Picture three is the
skeleton of my pantry closet/cupboard. That's what I'm talkin bout.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Fun with Words


A few of my favorite and not so favorite words.

Decroded.

Made infamous by Napoleon Dynamite, decroded was used to describe a piece of -rap. This went on to become even funnier when a friend who drove a minivan which needed yet another multi-Franklin visit to the mechanic used "decroded piece of cr--" to describe said minivan.


Slither.

Not my favorite. I believe you might know why. SHUDDER!


Discombobulated. (as pictured)

This is just fun to say. And it feels a little onomatopoeia-ish don't you think?

Onomatopoeia.

Fun. Who doesn't like words that sound like what they mean? I always think of the 60's era Batman with the cartoon words splashed across the tiny television screens during the fights. Pow! Bam!

Next not so favorite.

Drama. Really. Life is just tough enough to make it any more complicated by insisting on writing our own scripts and parts for others. And then punishing others for not picking up on the cues.

Sleep is a great word. And even though this will post automatically while I'm sleeping early Thursday morning, I am writing it late Wednesday night and I'm tired. So off to sleep I go.

Sweet dreams. I like that set of words, too.