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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.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Chirp…Chirp


chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp
said crickets, crickets, crickets. 
small Thanksgiving poem. (lame, silent, like an e) 

I think I will take poetic license 

poetic license
noun
license or liberty taken by a poet, prose writer, or other artist in deviating from rule, conventional form,logic, or fact, in order to produce a desired effect.
Origin: 
1780–90 

and call it a haiku. 

hai·ku

  [hahy-koo]  Show IPA
noun, plural hai·ku for 2.
1.
a major form of Japanese verse, written in 17 syllables divided into 3 lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables,and employing highly evocative allusions and comparisons, often on the subject of nature or one ofthe seasons.
2.
a poem written in this form.
Origin: 
1895–1900;  < Japanese,  equivalent to hai kai haikai + ku  stanza; see hokku

My little Thanksgiving haiku. Note. Poetic license has been around longer than haiku so poetic license trumps.

The Thanksgiving crickets chirp because I have nothing to say today. And I have a long shopping and to do list and a few things to accomplish to make Thanksgiving smell and taste yummy.

So. With no more ado. Here's to a wonderful Thanksgiving to you and yours. I hope you find joy in the interaction you have with loved ones, or in connecting with new friends. I hope you find more than food for the belly and instead find gratitude and growth in the upcoming year.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Too Cute

I think I should watch this every morning before I go out to face the day.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Serials and Scenarios ~ Random Words from Our Work In Progress


Just for fun. Just because I need something to post here. I've decided to share a few snippets of what I've been writing this month. 

Out of the Frying Pan…coming soon. Editors may allow the following words


Red and black Jackson Pollack streaks everywhere, her hair had gotten plastered to her tears. Her eyes had turned into melted Hershey's kisses and everything was wet. Flynn sucked in a deep breath almost tasting the brine from her sadness,


Fern slid on her black track jacket and zipped it all the way up to her chin. Then dug out the black stocking cap tugging it down over her hair and tucking the silver wayward strands up under the knitted band. She turned to face the other two and quirked an eyebrow at their apparent lack of readiness. "Chop. Chop. Ladies. And Zula. I am not going anywhere with you all dressed up like an entire circus act."

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Holidays Around the Corner

Here's a holiday suggestion. I personally have no experience with passive aggressive folks. I just hear about their antics. But I found a website where you can create memes and, well, I thought the creepy Willy Wonka guy would just be so much fun…right? 


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Serials and Scenarios ~ Book Stuff and A Cheap Download

Michelle. You know her as my partner in crime…most of it anyway. 

Michelle is multi-published. That's kind of fun, I wonder how often she uses that in a day. Hmmm.

"Hello, nice to meet you, I'm Michelle, I'm multi-published." awkward pause "Oh, no, thanks, but I'm not interested in buying three years worth of five different magazines for $200.00." 

Anyhoo. First off, her third book is on sale for ridiculously cheap. Here's the skinny. 


‘Tis the season to grab a copy of A HEART DECEIVED for $0.79 at http://tinyurl.com/llp4z83. Start your Christmas shopping with this historical romance…
Lies just may be the death of Miri Brayden, unless Ethan Goodwin—a master of deception himself—can rescue her before it’s too late.

Secondly, she's working hard to sell the crazy book we are writing. Yes, that's right. She is talking to her agent and they are putting out feelers. 

So how's that for motivation? 

The answer, I wrote two scenes last night. And I am 99% sure we can finish this little puppy as per our goal. We are now down to the page turning finales. I'm writing suspense and danger right now. Maybe I'll share a paragraph with you sometime soon. Duhn duhn duhn (that's mysterious music in case you didn't pick up what I was laying down). 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Scribble and Scrambles…Smudged.

Today, I am grateful for all the people who have left footprints and fingerprints in my life. 

Big or small, every one I encounter leaves a smudge or an imprint. 

Some teach me that I don't want to follow in their path. Or that I don't want to engage with them long enough to have a visible imprint on my life. They have taught me that wisdom says that I don't have to make every mistake on my own, that I can learn from others' mistakes, too.  I am grateful for those folks. They have been sandpaper in my life, knocking off bits of flesh while I attempt to love them. And they have given me the opportunity to see the Holy Spirit producing supernatural fruit in me as I am given the ability to be patient or kind or merciful. These folks have driven me to prayer and humbled me as I realize that without God, I am so very broken.  

Others have left footprints I want to follow. Some are even lit up because of who they are, or more importantly Who they follow and reflect. I am so grateful for those folks. Because they remind me that God is good all the time…even through adversity, even through sorrow, even through the most painful moments in life. God is so very, very good. And they remind me that God can accomplish His will in my life. He can shape me into the person He created me to be. 

So. Thank you. Thank you all for being smudges, and imprints and reminders of how very big God is. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Serials and Scenarios ~ House Pickin



Here is what I'd like for you to do. Vote on Fern and Zula's house. 

Go to Michelle's Blog and weigh-in with your comment/vote there. Pick a house, any house for the Hopkin's lovely abode.  


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Drive By Thoughts…Continued

If you want this to make sense you might have to read the past two days posts first. 

I'm talking about healing pain vs. pain. 

The inevitably of pain and choosing to open up the pain that brings healing and life verses the pain of living while dying inside. 

My mother-in-law wanted to wait for surgery because she didn't feel good. And had she waited, her systemic consequences would have increased her pain and the decay process. 

Her surgery anchored the broken parts. It gave the broken parts a purpose and direction. There was security in the wrapping of her wounds, and safety in the security. There is no future need to break a half-hearted healing attempt causing extra trauma because the parts were in the proper place when the healing began. With the security she now had greater freedom. When three areas of her body were broken she could lay flat. But, when those breaks were stabilized she was able to sit with help, stand with help, and walk with help. One by one the tubes and ties to the machines that provided food and circulation and waste removal were removed giving her more freedom. 

Amazingly, this is what happens to me when I really look close at my spiritual and emotional conditions and attitudes. When I hang on to a sin like unforgiveness, or choose to be easily offended, there's pain, but I'm also stuck, bed-ridden, drinking and spewing what is being fed to me. It's not until I choose to let God reveal the ugliness inside of my broken self and let it go to Him where it belongs, do I find direction and healing. 

I can not carry around attitudes and sorrows that are not mine to demand revenge or payment for. Because there will be no satisfaction in the failure of that person to provide what I'm seeking. I love the Psalm that David penned about his guilt. The aching, the physical damage that was being done in his body due to his unconfessed guilt, and the freedom and healing that came once he confessed. 

The times that I've been at the end of myself and I've poured out my ugliness to God, or my confusion, or my pain….it's ugly. Not going to lie. There are boiling tears, words that shouldn't even be in my vocabulary spewing out of me along with snot and goo. And when I'm done, I'm spent. I lay there, exhausted and with squinty, swollen eyes, and I thank Him for forgiving me or taking my burden. And I fall into a dreamless, peaceful sleep. The next morning, the world is different somehow, or maybe it's me. And I'm aware of processes becoming normalized, a knitting together of broken bits, and I know, that there is healing in the house. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Drive By Thoughts

I've discovered that you can write a book on an I-Phone. Do I recommend that? Nope. Not at all. But the commitment I made does not waver in the midst of lots of hours spent elsewhere than in front of my computer. I have now written two full scenes on our Work in Progress (WIP) from a hospital room.

Yesterday I mentioned what I had learned in this process about brokenness and surgery and the inevitable pain of life.

I'd like to add to that.

My Mother-in-Law was in horrible pain before surgery. Even though drugs are good, they confused her and didn't really ease her pain. Just masked it. After surgery, whoooo baby, she was so in the land of la la. Her pain was intense and her communication skills were deadened by the anesthesia. It was rough to see. She was as white as the hospital sheets and kept saying she wanted to understand but her brain was foggy. Once again, as they added pain medication, she would fall into a blessed sleep.

But what a difference yesterday morning made. I walked into her room bright and early and was shocked at her clarity and her color. She had turned from looking like death to very much alive. Her pain level was under control. she was completely tracking with the nurses, asking appropriate questions and remembered the night before, and she even smiled. The afternoon and evening brought even more improvement.

Not only is healing pain better because life is back in the house. Healing pain is quicker. Had she waited an extra day for surgery, there would not have been improvement. Not at all. There would have been more dying. Lying flat, unable to move, the consequences on her whole body were real and a concern. The gastrointestinal system, the circulatory system, the immune system. All were at danger of worsening….

I've got to go. I'll continue this tomorrow. Blessings on your day.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Take Care

Life is indeed what happens when you make other plans. 

My mother-in-law had her surgery on her elbow and hip yesterday. Even though several times she thought she would reschedule because she didn't feel very well. Poor little thing. 

The worst is over. The healing process can now begin. And it's going to be a doozy of a healing process. But, as the nurses told her when she asked to reschedule, pain is inevitable. The pain of healing is productive and going somewhere and there is an end in sight. The pain of fear, waiting, lying in brokenness is wasted pain. They didn't quite say that, I embellished. 

So today, please, use the railings, tread with purpose, wear your seatbelt, don't text and drive. Because the pain of prevention beats the crap out of the pain of oops. 


Monday, November 11, 2013

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Monday Blessings

Quite the eventful weekend. 

First up was 24 hours of Arbonne conversation where I was inspired and challenged. Plus the eight hours round trip which included more encouraging and challenging conversation.

I managed to crack out a few words here and there when I had a chance to work on Out of the Frying Pan. 

Also there was time for some reading for the book review that is due before Thanksgiving. 

And last night's snuggles on the couch with stinky, adorable grand dogs. 

The biggest event was spending time with my mother-in-law who fell and broke her hip, collar bone and elbow on Sunday morning.  Calling the ambulance, going to the ER, hearing that everything that hurt was broken, watching her slip into morphine induced sleep…thank you, Lord, for morphine. And realizing that no less than five details falling into perfect place were absolute God sends, because without them, things could have been so much worse. 

I am calling the rest of this month… No Room For Negativity November. Because there just isn't. Ain't nobody got time for that. 


Friday, November 08, 2013

Scraps and Snippets - Caulfredo Sauce

Caulfredo Sauce

1 head of cauliflower (leaves and tough stump removed and discarded but use stems) (about 3 cups)
2 1/2 Cups unsweetened "milk"(I used soy)
1 to 1 1/2 TBSP "Butter" (I used Earth Balance)
1/2 onion diced
8-10 cloves or garlic diced (I used 8, I’m going to add a little more in the next batch)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp lemon juice

Break up cauliflower and place in a pan with a steamer section and lid. Bring water to boilthen drop to simmer. Steam until tender, about 7 minutes. Let cool. 

Saute garlic and onion in the butter and caramelize.(if desired you could drizzle onion and garlic with a little olive oil and roast instead).

Place the cooled cauliflower, sautéed veggies, salt and lemon juice in a large food processor or super blender. Puree, add milk a cup at a time until you get the consistency you desire. Store in fridge if not using right away. Heat on low, or in low crockpot to warm sauce. (If you don't have a huge food processor, puree 1/2 the cauliflower, onions, garlic and lemon juice and salt. Add some of the milk. Dump into another pan or crock pot. Puree the remaining cauliflower etc in the food processor and do the same. Add to the pot and stir, mix in the rest of the milk until you reach the desired consistency.)

Serve over rice or pasta or vegetables. 




Thursday, November 07, 2013

Serials and Scenarios ~ Story Building...

Actually, one of the bad guys in Out of the Frying Pan.

Our character, Rudolpho Vasquez, is a drug dealer with entrepreneurial tendencies and has been known to deal with problems with a slightly murderous touch. 

Interestingly, Michelle actually grabbed these from news articles. Clearly, we are using the photos as a tool to help us with our descriptions not as any sort of statement about the men within the photos. However. As a blueprint for a character, which one would you pick? 

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Serials and Scenarios ~ A Heart Deceived….Super Deal

Michelle threatened to send me to a bad, bad place if I didn't share this. Whew. Crisis averted. But, if you are looking for a good read, you might want to pick this one. For the curious, Out of the Frying Pan is clipping along nicely. 

TODAY ONLY snatch up your copy of A HEART DECEIVED for 99¢ at https://vyrso.com/product/31963/a-heart-deceived-a-novel. It’s the perfect time of year to curl up with this gothic regency…

Lies just may be the death of Miri Brayden, unless Ethan Goodwin—a master of deception himself—can rescue her before it’s too late.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Serials and Scenarios ~ NaNoWriMo Adventure


 Michelle and I are cracking out this book now. Four scenes down and others mapped out. We ran into some serious road blockage trying to get the many characters to cooperate and get in the places we need them to be in to get to the ending we have charted. But I think we've got it. About 25 K more to go and all in this month. I'm glad I'm not signed up for the official challenge of 50K NaNoWriMo, though. 

Friday, November 01, 2013

Serials and Scenarios….Meet Fifi and Oh, Listen to the Music...


First day of NaNoWriMo. I didn't post anything yesterday because it was one of those days. Meeting myself coming and going. Have I mentioned anything exciting about violin lately? Oh, yeah, because NOTHING exciting is happening. I think I've entered the place where I just have to keep trudging until I get it. 

Eleven months after starting I know the main notes….know is used somewhat tongue in cheek because I "know" them but I don't. A fraction of an inch gives a completely wrong tone, and when my fingers are on all the strings flying this was and that and I can't really look at my fingers because then I get really screwed up, I'm playing by the seat-of-my-pants. Yesterday I got the lecture about enjoying the journey and how I shouldn't really give myself a goal that will tell me I've arrived. I am a violinist. I play the violin. And no matter how much I play or how much I practice, the chances are I am never going to nail, perfect or stand on a stage and have flowers thrown at me. If I do, then that's great, but the flowers aren't going to happen each and every time so then what? If I look at it as making art, making the world a more beautiful place just because I'm adding my voice in music to the world, whether I'm playing just for me or for others, then I'm going to feel more successful. 

I am a violinist. I make art. I make beauty. I am what I am. 

I'm also a writer. I create word pictures. 

Here's word picture for you. Michelle, the crazy counterpart of mine has chosen two pictures to represent Fifi, the wonder dog, from our novel, Out of the Frying Pan. 

She asked her readers to pick the picture that best represents Fifi. I should do the same. 

Here's the description (which I wrote, sigh, lovely picture is it not?) and the photos. Chime in with your thoughts. Maybe by the time the book is published I'll have created an artistic violin score. 


"We now have a dog Zula insists is “adorable.” Not a puppy, mind you, but a decrepit rat terrier who has to be lifted in order for it to fulfill its purpose in life — sitting on laps and yapping. Though other body parts fail, its barker is in perfect working order.

Fifi moved in three days ago when poor Randolph Johnson checked into Shady Rest. . . the nursing home, not to be confused with the cemetery of that same name three miles further south.

Zula walks the silly thing around the block with great drama but has to stop every few feet to let the rodent-on-a-leash catch its breath. It’s the most ridiculous sight here at Sunset Paradise. She’s sewn several doggy garments for their outings — which would look a lot less ridiculous without the bedazzling, but at least they hide the bald patches."