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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, April 26, 2017

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Dogs and Glasses

It's been awhile since I rambled about my dogs. Dog observation and interaction is a little easier than observing and interacting with children. For starters, one of the dogs is staring at me waiting for food. The other is throwing around her beloved alligator. Simple life. 

Kids. Well, that's another story. Case in point. The 8-year-old "left" his glasses at my house. So we spent several hours looking for said glasses. Rob scoured the yard where the "fart in a skillet" had bounced about. I checked the upstairs toy area. Cleaned, sorted, swept and found nothing. I called to tell 8-year-old that and he asked if I had checked the area behind the toys where he is not supposed to go. So I checked there. Then he was certain they were in the downstairs toy bins, mixed in with the toy food and cooking utensils. So I checked there. Nada. His mom sighed and put a call in to get them replaced. Yesterday he called me. He found his glasses. In HIS BACKPACK!!!!!!!!!

See. Dogs are way less complicated. 

On Monday morning I had to coax them out of their toasty dog beds at 7:20 a.m. to eat and take care of business. As soon as they got all those details taken care of they tore back upstairs and launched themselves into their beds. 

Tuesday I woke up with the head cold so my pooches helped in the healing process and snuggled with me on the couch. The snatches of rest time were punctuated with cujo barking when a heavy truck went up the road a few times. Oh, and cuddling seems to require standing on my body. Wait. They are a little crazy, too. 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Serials and Scenarios ~ People that Make People Look Good

I'm going to be honest. As members of the human race in the First World we tend to get pretty stinking selfish and self-focused. I don't need to wax eloquent about that amiright? We all know what I'm saying. 

When I run into people who think a whole lot bigger than how a traffic jam, slow barista or "#Unicorn Frappuccinos being gone so soon" wrecks their morning, day or life it's pretty refreshing. 

While doing my Out of the Frying Pan tour I've met some amazingly generous people. One of the latest and most generous is Greg from Abundant Life Coffee. My author group gives me a chance to invite people to review Out of the Frying Pan and do occasional shout outs to ask for help in promotion. As a reward I try to offer a monthly prize for those who have signed up. A simple drawing nets someone a book or a treat of some sort. One of the options is giving away a bag of Abundant Life Coffee. I thought I'd give them a try this month. When providing the winner's mailing address I also asked how to get the payment to them. He offered this one on the house. 

Paying it forward. A random act of kindness. 

Oh, and the mission behind the availability of the coffee? "Ending poverty, one cup at a time." 

Abundant Life is about the farmers in Honduras. Helping the former migrant workers to develop their own small coffee farms and paying them the highest prices possible to give them far and above the wages they are used to scraping by on. 

A couple years ago I read "Water from My Heart" a story within a story with a thread based on true conditions and about the people working to save a small Central American coffee farm. Since that time I have become more aware that an extra buck or two a bag can make a big difference to the people picking and working hard for my luxury item. I began leaning toward fair trade or organic. Just something to feel a little less selfish. Our church partnered with a mission group by selling coffee for a ministry that was helping in El Salvador and providing great coffee, too. There have been issues within the ministry so this has not been available lately. But here is Abundant Life Coffee. Great coffee with a life changing mission. How do I know it's great? Here's a review that sings some serious praises. 

I just have to share it with all my readers.  If you have Mother's Day gifts to buy for a coffee lover, please buy from someone like Abundant Life. 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Carving

My oldest daughter and I don't have conversations anymore. Not that we aren't talking to each other but more like with 4-5 or 6 little ones running amok there are just zero complete conversations. We speak in snippets. 

Which makes me grateful for texts. If I haven't heard from one of my kids for days, this happens with my man-child. Which reminds me...I need to drop him a howareya text. I can get a temperature reading with a text. "How is so and so?" (So many. My grandchild count for Easter was 8. How did that happen? Older daughter mentioned that she's sorry she's such a breeder. Hilarious since her five are adopted or foster, so not true. However, she did make me an instagrandma of three and I'm so grateful for those little stinkers!) 

Texting and snippets of life conversation are a season of life. I have reached a point where I feel like not everything has to be talked about or shared. That it's okay to pick up where you left off. Kind of like what's going on in the world, if it's important you are going to hear about it. 

But sometimes relationships and sanity and passions require creativity.

Both of my daughters blog. So oldest daughter has asked me to carve out time weekly to meet with her at a coffee shop and tandem work on our writing. Last night was our second adventure. 

The amazing thing is that in the car rides back and forth and standing in line to order and getting things fired up we do get to have conversations. And then we write. I began to plot the second novel, the follow up to Out of the Frying Pan. And I finished a couple of important blog posts. 

I came home to a house I probably wouldn't have done much with had I stayed home. And besides, I had cleaned for an hour between work and writing, looking for a young man's glasses he was certain he'd left at grandma's house "probably in the toys." The toys are sorted and organized and every corner is swept clean and the glasses were not in the toys at grandma's. 

So. There's that.  

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Monday, April 17, 2017

Calling All Bargain Shoppers

Through tomorrow, April 18th, you have access to the bargain of the century. Ok. Maybe not, but I am a fiction author, so I am required to make it exciting. 

Out of the Frying Pan. The novel spanning multiple states and years in the making, is free. 

Did you hear that? FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes. The e-book is nada. Zilch. Zippo. Z.E.R.O. at Amazon. 

Now maybe you've already purchased it. THANK YOU! But think of the people on your gift giving list. Who doesn't like to laugh? Who doesn't love a gift? This one travels well. See the places it has gone???? And it is enjoyed by many ages. 

Here's how to grab this. Go here. Click. And my co-author says this "And just in case you don't have one of them there fancy newfangled ebook reading gadgets, no worries. You can always download it to your computer and read it from there -- or if you're super lazy, install text reading software and have your computer read it back to you. Easy peasy."

"A laugh out loud mystery with quirky, lovable characters who find themselves in all sorts of trouble. The storyline is believable and comes with descriptions of mouth-watering food, which makes for a delicious plot! A cohesive and fast-moving novel." 4-Stars! RT Book Reviews

And here's a blurb:

Murder in Paradise whips life into a froth for FERN and ZULA HOPKINS. When the retirement center’s chef is found dead, the two ladies get folded in with the case. Their zany attempts to track down the killer land them in hot water with Detective JARED FLYNN. Should he be concerned about their safety—or the criminal’s?

But there are deadly ingredients none of them expect. Drugs. Extortion. International cartels. And worst of all…broken hearts, especially when the Hopkins sisters’ niece KC arrives on the scene.

Life at Sunset Paradise Retirement Village will never be the same.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ The Trouble With Shiny Things

While making online payments and checking emails in the early, quiet of the morning, before beagles hound (heh, heh, clearly pun intended) me for a toast crust and before I must head out for the daily grind, I peruse things that showed up in my inbox while I was sleeping.

I could be using this time to write. Or marketing Out of the Frying Pan, or even taking an online course on something to make me smarter or at least appear smarter. But instead I open interesting articles like the ones this morning. What to order at every MLB stadium. For starters, on this one, I clicked to see what a freakin MLB is. Major League Baseball. This I had to figure out on my own. It is so apparent to any sport fan that this is what MLB is that they didn't even define it. I had to figure it out via thinking and context! (Aren't there bunches of studies that show it's so good for your brain to do puzzles? Look, I was being productive after all!) Plus this is research for my recipe column. I can justify it doubly. I might just want to recreate a super churro or waffle concoctions. Probably not bacon on a stick, ever. However, carrot bacon is the newest meat free bacon option. (Also discovered in one of the many factoid newsletters I get in my inbox.) 

Then my little eyes spied a top 15 locations to visit in Italy. I've never been to Italy in my life. But dog gone it, I want to go. There is a huge part of me that wants to buy an Italian farmhouse and live off the delicious land. I don't speak Italian. I have no Italian roots that I'm aware of. I feel kind of the same about English, French, Irish, Spanish, Scottish, well you get it, any European countryside. Italy just feels like the food would be the best and for some reason they would be warm and friendly. The UK feels like it would be too gloomy and grey, (UK spelling, and if I lived in Italy, I could just hop a train and visit the UK and the corgis. I don't want to see the queen but I do want to peek at her corgis!). Also food.  In the UK
they eat things like blood sausage. In Italy there seems to be sunshine and bodacious red tomatoes everywhere. And grapes. If they only had mango trees I might just buy a one way ticket today. 

And look at the time! I've managed to use my morning well. Got a blog post done. Check. Did a little marketing. Look at the picture and the hot link to my book! Oh, and maybe I'll tweet a link with hashtags #shinythings #squirrel #whoamIkidding? 

Monday, April 03, 2017

Book Giveaway Chance. And Who's the Inspiration

Hum Chicago's You're the Inspiration while reading the last part of the post title. 

Okay. Now go to Elaine Stock's blog to hear Michelle's take on how she fleshed out her characters. Including Wifi the Wonder Dog. 

You don't know Fifi? Well, then you might want to go to the link under the book cover, buy a copy and meet her. 

Finally. If you like easy throw together meals, especially Meatless Monday ones, go to Zu-Fer and give Zula's Minestrone a try. 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ A Little Midweek Boost

This has been another challenging week. I went in Monday to hear that two of my co-workers had been released from their positions on Friday. Some of their tasks landed squarely on my desk. Jobs
I don't do very often and have only a small amount of practice with, but, I'm grateful to have the added job security. I am very sad for my former co-workers and just shudder at the thought of finding a job in today's climate.  

My kids are all immersed in raising their kids with various trials and struggles and their lives are sometimes just hard and stinky. Raising kids is not for those with week spines or stomachs. Can I just say that? Loving sometimes unlikeable, selfish human beings is rough. It takes a toll. I carry some of my kids feelings with me through life. I pray and I help when I can sometimes feeling that any tiny thing I might do is just not enough to give them real help. 

Then there is just the reality of the physical realm around me. The house needs to be looked after, the laundry done, the hedgehogs need cleaned cages, the dogs need to go out and have play time. We have an empty apartment that is probably rented, but that means painting needs to be performed, and new windows installed and there are just not the hours in a day to do it. Oh and we are trying to beat the annual call from our tax preparer giving us the date and asking us if we are going to be filing an extension yet again. Just once I'd like to drop our info off before he calls us. 

Our church is going through some transitions and changes. And being a leader in a church is taxing. As a leader you get to hear the complaints of the saints and see the inaction of a group of people who should be out there making a difference. And you get to find out the painful things going on in peoples' lives before the poo hits the fan. Loving people and serving them is a burden. 

Life get really heavy sometimes.  This morning I read this article. By Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist. He is the guy I ran across who inspired me to get rid of 1,000 things. I love to read his thoughts and the articles he shares every Saturday from resources around the world. Sometimes the articles are ones that inspire me to make a different choice, other times they are food for thought. But they are always valuable. 

Today he posted about the unsung heroes who aren't in the limelight. But they are putting one foot in front of the other on a hard path full of obstacles. They are the ones who are making the world a little better for their small circle. http://www.becomingminimalist.com/bad-situation/

It reminded me that our attitudes can make or break us. And that we aren't alone when we've attached ourselves to Jesus. It reminded me that little things are valuable and we can keep going and doing life because life is hard but life is glorious, too. So very glorious. Take a look outside on this dreary day and remember that there is a sun up there shining even if you can't see it. Or that God Almighty loves you, even if you can't feel it. Or that life is a gift. Or look inside and do what you need to do today to get back the hope you need to carry on. Take a deep breath in and thank your Creator that you can. Or take a shallow breath and use it to cry out for His mercy yet again. Hang in there, Buddy. The sun is still there, you will see it soon. And God's mercies are new every morning...He doesn't run out of mercy. 

Monday, March 27, 2017

E-Book Sale

For two days. Download Out of the Frying Pan for a buck! 
Michelle had to autograph a copy for a woman who had HIGHLIGHTED favorite passages. She then read her favorite line to Michelle and laughed hysterically while doing so. That. Makes. My. Day! 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Social Misfit

Man. Sometimes I just have to close my eyes and cover my ears. Does what you absorb on social media affect you that way? Of course its not just social media. It is media in general. It is society in general. 

Bad news, sad news, defeating news, all massaged to fit into a sound bite or an agenda. Likely both. 

People being proud to be "right" while trampling and labeling and crushing those who don't agree. Screaming accusations about the intelligence of lack thereof and even about the commenters mother. 

Even simple or sweet stories get the comments. 

My daughter belongs to a mom group of Facebook that has to delete posts and or remove members for being divisive and unkind. Folks are offended greatly by breast-feeding and don't hesitate to share their opinions, others are horrified that someone's kid is in public school. 

Maybe we've always been like that. After all gossip is as old as time. Maybe the problem is that now those who have made snide comments, or passive aggressive assaults have a bigger platform. And for some reason their opinion must be heard by thousands in order to find validation for the unloving, sniveling thoughts dancing through their heads. Christmas-sugar-plum-dreams morphed into festering rotten produce. The Grinch's huge heart shrinking into smaller and meaner than before. The more they find engagement on social media the more maggotized their thoughts get and the more their thoughts appear to be alive through the movement of the decaying process. UGH!

So on this Tuesday, officially a spring day, here are some uplifting moments. Thanks Bored Panda. 




Just don't read the comments. 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Serials and Scenarios ~ Winner of Rafflecopter

My big Rafflecopter event is over. The winner now has the e-card in his possession. 

If this above description does not fit you, well then, you aren't the winner. 

But I think Rafflecopter is fun. So I may just have to do a contest again. 

Congrats, Will. And remember you can buy two copies of my book for under $20.00. Just Sayin!

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Serials and Scenarios ~ Buy em Books and Buy em Books

I thought I needed to come back around and share some of the places I visited for our Out of the Frying Pan blog tour. 

In case you missed any of them I share parts of pieces of my story and my life at the following places around the world wide web. 

Of course you can get a copy of Out of the Frying Pan at Amazon. 

Without further ado, part two of my blog tour recap. 

http://www.mariaimorgan.com/loving/  about my admiration for a young woman doing great things. 

https://jenpheobus.com/2016/11/23/cats-vs-dogs/ on what kind of worshipper I want to be. 

http://shannonvannatter.com/kelly-klepfer-recipe-for-romance-part-2-of-2/  for my recipe for romance. 

http://shannonvannatter.com/kelly-klepfer-real-life-romance-part-1-of-2/ and the most romantic gesture my husband has ever made. 

http://sarahruut.com/2016/11/15/out-of-the-frying-pan-michelle-griep-kelly-klepfer-review/  Official review post. 

https://moderndaymishaps.com/2016/11/16/smiling-piles-of-ooopsss/ absolutely nothing to do with Out of the Frying Pan, but fun-funny. 

http://www.faithfriendschocolate.com/2016/11/buried-treasure.html?m=1 My love of words. 

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ There's a Pony Somewhere In Here

I tend towards optimism. Having been called Pollyanna a time or two, maybe a little too much. My mom has said I get it from my dad. She thinks we both encounter a huge pile of horse poo and start digging because there has got to be a pony in there, right?

Maybe I've been gifted with a little more faith. Where I know Who's in control and that I can trust Him. I can't say I always trust or always feel this. Sometimes I get down in the dumps and cranky and feel sorry for myself, overwhelmed or depressed. But I'm always looking for a glimpse of blue in that gray, murky sky. I can't stay down long. Which is something I'm grateful for. I don't have a long list of grievances that I can stew over or chew like a cud. I generally take things as they come, planning ahead to keep the crazy controlled if I can. And accepting it if I can't. I also don't take myself too seriously. Which makes me terrible at grammar and the annoying details of writing a book. Oh, the trade-offs in life. A comma placement isn't going to make me crazy but I sure know some who'd fall on their sword over grammar.

When I run into other optimists I can't help but just bask in their attitude.  This guy, Adrian Solano is from Venezuela and his first experience with snow, ever, was basically as this was filmed. He trained by roller skiing at home in Venezuela and had never seen snow. He had planned to practice a month or so before the trials on actual snow but the border authorities didn't believe his story so he returned home. He finished dead last. But said the best part was falling because then he could get up again. 

Read his story here. 
(And if you feel really optimistic after reading this...sign up to win the $20.00 Amazon gift card I'm giving away. The rafflecopter link is here. http://fernandzula.blogspot.com/2017/02/money-money-moneymoooonnnnneeeyyyyyy.html ) 

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Scribbles and Scrambles...V for Victory

I'm excited to announce that after seven or so grueling hours I have put together an adorable play kitchen. 

We've had a borrowed one that gets loads of action. But it had a new house to go to and since our wall was now blank, and Amazon gave me $8.63 off of a purchase, and the new kitchen was adorable retro turquoise, and an 18-month-old chef hangs here and loves it, and scads of visiting cousins might just want to play with it, I pressed submit order. 

It came in a flat box. Very flat. I've lived long enough to know that flat boxes mean lots of assembly. Whew. There were 38 pieces...maybe 39. And then all the supporting screws and bolts and nuts and accessories. I ripped the box open and began tediously putting this together. Note: If you want a play kitchen and you know it will arrive in a flat box, do not, I repeat, do NOT start this project two hours before gifting hour. You will hate yourself. This is not a Christmas Eve project. (Unless you start at 6:00 a.m. that is.)

I did have to enlist Rob's help. For a few things. A) when I exuberantly overtightened a screw on an accessory and heard a crack and suddenly the screw turned real fast I realized I broke the plastic screw housing. Rob came to the rescue with his super glue. Thank goodness the break was behind the cute medallion. B) The HINGES!!!!! I could not get those suckers right! Holy sweet everything that is good and wonderful!!!!! The HINGES!!!!! AUGH!!! So he invested an hour of his life in this activity as well. 

Ironically, I had been thinking I loved the fact that Kidcraft's directions were helpful. Rob did not think so. Apparently, our minds process instructions differently. We both loved that the screws etc were mostly in a bubble packaged box cardboard backing and the letter of the item was on the front and the back. No bags of screws! Once everything was open it turned into a little more complicated mess but it was less overwhelming than 15 bags of screws/nuts/bolts. Rob was so impressed with the quality and workmanship. Every piece of word and screw hole etc was perfectly lined up. The finish is great and it's rock solid. Definitely worth the price. For the record I got it for $112 before the discount. I included a link to it but it looks like the Amazon ones are sold out and it's third party only so definitely look around if you are thinking about getting it. 

It is so cute! 

And it's done! Yay!!! 

Monday, February 27, 2017

Serials and Scenarios ~ Giveaway Fun

In my never ending marketing of...wait for it....drum rollapalooza, my one and only book, Out of the Frying Pan, I'm giving away an Amazon gift card.

You might wonder what the strings are. Well, they aren't too terribly, mind-numbing. Simply a) Join my Author Page. b) Follow Zu-Fer's Facebook page, C) do some dang tweeting. There you go.

Author page: http://www.bookfun.org/group/kelly-klepfer-author-group Hint. You get an extra play for this. Just sayin. And if you tweet every. single. day. you can get 3 entries every. single. day. I mean, it's easy. Not like you have to bake a cake and decorate it. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Friday, February 24, 2017

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ White, Red or Rose?

Somehow I missed National Love Your Pet Day. But I'm still in the week, so that counts. Just don't tell the girls. 

Extra treats for everyone!!!!!!

Anyhoo I was asked to post this graphic about dog pairings. Ha. No it's not like pairing wine with meals. A little more complicated than that. However, not all breeds are cuddle buddies. My beagles get along with each other (mostly) and their boxer/lab nieces. But they come running when one of the big dogs gets too playful. They've also hung a bit with a German Shepherd, some dachshunds, and a few Heinz 57s and seem to do okay. In my experience the personality and heirarchy  seems to be the key with my pups. 

If you are a dog person, here's information you just might need! 
PuppySpot is a service committed to helping responsible breeders place their puppies with caring individuals and families. They take pride in their No Puppy Mill Promise and have a zero tolerance for puppy mills or substandard breeding practices of any kind. If you are looking for a new puppy, check out their adorable puppies for sale!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Thursday Thoughts...

My loyal companions and I had breakfast bright and early. Well, I ate while they stared at me willing me to drop said food. I think they are adorable when naked. And the chair sitting thing explains the tweed wardrobe I own. Of course, I also give them the last bite. Who's trained who? Or whom's trained whom. Ha Ha. I like that. Little freakin whoomers! Also I have convinced myself that they LOVE the heck out of me but the truth is they love my sharing spirit and the fact that I think they are adorable when naked, or in their harnesses or being naughty. 

So the last two days I've spent learning I know nothing about my job. Things I learned twenty years ago are supposed to be somewhere in my brain. I was tested over this, I am supposed to know some of it, right? Fortunately, they are expecting nothing out of me. I believe I will have to ask to be given a task to do. I asked if I could get an order off the order hook yesterday and was given permission. So there's that. They have students from the radiology school nearly every day and they are tweaking them and their performance constantly. So in that I'll fit right in. Maybe. I'm scared to death to touch the equipment. Also there is a big red button that shuts everything down. It is in a perfect location for a Kelhap. Which is a mishap where I am intimately involved. I am very afraid. 

I also forget how much I hate being out of my little village. I introduced myself to a couple of people and got somewhat pleasant greetings. One just said. "Hi...." monotone. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Then there are people dropping in constantly. Do I introduce myself to everyone? That's awkward, but so is standing or sitting on the outskirts of a conversation. Sheesh. Then, am I going to even be there very often? Should I just slip in and do my business and leave. Or is this actually going to be my new job and I'm going to be there every. single. day? I feel like when I am done with the huge amounts of medical records I'm dealing with the handwriting on the wall implies that I might very well have a new space to work from. The weird thing about the massive amounts of change makes me feel okay about that. What!?!?! So weird. Grateful for my job. And my crazy beagles. And goodness gracious every speck of the rest of my crazy life and the people who inhabit it! 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Presto Chango

Apparently, my life theme this year is change. Oh, wait, maybe that was last year's theme and it's oozing over into 2017.

Regardless That's my word. Change. Did you know it's trendy to have a word define you this year? And who doesn't want to be like all the cool kids? Finally, as we finish the 2nd month of the year I've found my theme word.

I mean I like change. I really do. Boredom gets to me. I like to shift and learn and rearrange things to keep them interesting.

To a certain degree.

One environment at a time.

Today I go to my job and then get to walk over to another clinic and get trained on equipment I've never laid eyes on. Our independent small clinic was purchased by a LARGE entity that has many locations. My x-ray equipment of 15 years is being phased out because it's becoming a dinosaur. And I will be an extra and floating tech in the other clinics in my realm that have x-ray equipment. YIKES! These clinics take lots of different x-rays. I've literally been shooting the same body part since I left my training days twenty years ago. I wouldn't know how to position an ankle at this point even if it came with Ikea style instructions. (That's supposed to be funny, so laugh, please. I am and I hate to laugh alone.) Can we all scream LEARNING CURVE?

Church. Yep. Change there, too. BIG CHANGE. We have rearranged our Sunday morning activities to make room for a church three times our size to use our facility. And we overlap a bit. Or a lot. And their aesthetic is different. Not their doctrine, though. And it's so great our facility is getting abundant use, but there's a wee bit of adjustment. Tweaks of space and attitudes. Challenges.

Home. Ha. An adult daughter and an almost 18-month-old refilled our empty nest. Change. So great. So fun. So doubling our house size and opinions and needs.

These are mostly amazingly rich changes. They really are. I'm getting better benefits, literally and figuratively. I'm benefiting from having my world stretched. I don't want or need my world to revolve around the things I have shaped into my safe havens or built a box around. I do want my faith stretched, my mind stretched and my self stretched. I want to live my life with hands wide open and heart engaged. Change will stretch me and grow me.

What I have learned while navigating so far into this sea or uncertainty:

One step at a time. One day at a time. One minute at a time. There will be interruptions. There will be stress and pressure and sometimes overwhelming urges to scream and pull hair. (Mine and others....not even kidding. But I am laughing.)  But if I can breathe through this minute. Communicate that I literally need a minute to breathe and process, I'm going to be okay. It's all going to be okay. I will be glad of all of these changes. They are challenges that will make me a more fulfilled and better human being if I chose to let them do just that! 

I can control my attitude if I can control nothing else. Panicked people react. I can choose to think it through and process those tiny details before I blurt things out or make huge statements that are impossible to unsay. 

Much of what is happening is transitional dust and debris. There appears to be more change than there actually is. Much of what is going on can be labeled "This too shall pass" and it will.

So there we go. What are you learning? What's your chosen or assigned word of the year? 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Thwarted Once Again

I always mean well. Really. I plan to do most of the many things I need to do every morning. But I almost always get sidetracked. Today, it's in my critique of my writing partner's newest work in progress. Michelle Griep, lovely gal that she is, often takes me into the past, mostly England, through via her writing. This time it's into a smuggler's lair. Shhh. I don't know that people know she's writing this one. Anyhoo, I've been cavorting with her characters instead of writing blog posts.

The Beagles of course are doing their part making sure to clean up any breakfast dregs and have any itches scratched. Oh, and bark their brains out at the garbage man. No matter how often I remind them that we pay these men to take our garbage every, single week, they are OFFENDED!

Just a reminder and since I was talking about that co-author chick, there is that little book giveaway happening. Don't miss it if you haven't already signed up. Go to the blue Rafflecopter link below and jump through her hoops! Ready? Go! (Oh, and try to be quiet so the beagles don't lose their minds, K?) 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Things I Learned This Morning

I woke up bright and early so I could do a blog post. 

I had no topic. I still don't. 

So instead, I went about my daily ritual on this fine Valentine's Day, 2017. 

I discovered the following: 

On mornings when my beagles get up bright and early with me they are needy. Real needy. It is impossible to type with one hand while the other one pets an insistently-depleted-of-affection dog. Why did they wake an hour early today? Good question. Normally, I'm coaxing, then firmly calling them downstairs to take care of food, drink and other business so I can leave for work. Maybe the siren call of melting-on-toast-peanut butter reached their little dreaming snouts. It definitely wasn't the dry dog food raining into their bowls...nope...doesn't do a thing. I've tried that. However, if I put any leftover human food on top of the kibble it does work like a magic wand at times. 

I learned that even though I can't type a blog post with one hand I can endlessly scroll and click. I discovered a site that shared Valentine's worst/best stories from servers' perspectives. Note: If ever going out for Valentine's Day dinner, treat your server well, you do not know what trauma she or he has encountered that very evening. 

I also found a recipe for chocolate and red wine truffles. The chocolate truffle part I likey. I can't say I've had wine and chocolate together and honestly that sounds kind of yuck. But if it floats your boat, it looks easy and kind of snobbishly elegant. http://www.purewow.com/food/red-wine-chocolate-truffles-recipe

So. Now my pups are curled back up in bed and my time is ticking away. So I'll say happy Tuesday, Happy Valentine's Day and well...that's enough. 

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ My Life Today

When you crawl out of your warm nest of a bed because your alarm beeps and you become aware that your bladder is going to explode. Then you stumble to the kitchen to make coffee and your dogs look at you like your insane to be up in the middle of the night and curl back up into their beds. And you go onto Facebook to see what others did yesterday and the day before and last week and a half hour later you realize you have gotten lost and you didn't do what you were going to do when you got up early and that's post in your blog....

Yes. It is that kind of morning. 

So here's the post. 

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Serials and Scenarios ~ Wait for it.....OUT OF THE FRYING PAN GIVEAWAY!!!!

Here we go again!

A chance at a free book. Yep. Easy Peasy.

a Rafflecopter giveaway  Disclaimer....trip to Europe NOT INCLUDED!

Just click and go. If you have a copy already, THANKS! But win it for a friend. Or enemy. Or for a random stranger. You could use it to prop a wobbly table up. Bird cage liner?

Regardless of how you use it, just go and sign up. Thanks. And tell your friends. That's all! 

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Scribbles, Scrambles and Scrambling

I love my kids. 

Really adore them. All three of them have grown into some pretty amazing adults that I consider favorites to hang out with.  

The past few weeks have been challenging for each of them. We are a little over a year from when our adopting mama daughter got Little Sister in a sudden turn of events. Little One spent all winter and most of the spring with our family and it was such a blessing. She is so missed by all of us. And yet we walk the line of hoping bio mom stays sober and can be a mommy to her and still praying that if bio mom can't that Little One would come back to her Heart Mama and our family. Her picture filled our 2016 calendar and we know that a year after those photos were taken so much has changed. She will have so much more hair, and so much more of life has touched her and shaped her. It was hard to take that calendar off the wall. In a grand show of grace a baby boy has joined the family. This one is a fragile hope. My heart is clutched in his tiny hand. As are all of the hearts. How can a baby with the fist the size of a Nilla Wafer hold so many hearts? My prayer is that he stays and never has an overnight visit. My heart knows that this is a state that is a reunification state. And that he may go the path of Little One. Right now I will love him, snuggle him, pour into him and pray for him and trust that God watches over him regardless of where he will be. 

Our son and daughter-in-law have said yes to foster care and have brought a little sibling group into their home. These two little ones are instant members and full-on love grandchildren. They are a joy. And a source of ache because they, too, are in a reunification situation. Oh, Lord, sometimes loving hurts so much. 

Our youngest daughter had a life quake shake her world. She and our little roly-poly baby boy moved in in November. Not sure how long it will be but we had been making room for our other babies. The nest was ready. It doesn't look good for full healing and restoration, not the way things are going right now. There is prayer, and hope, but there are also human choices and some of them just suck. I'm so proud of her for thinking first about her baby boy, and secondly about the mercy and grace that need to be extended in order for her to feel able to look herself in the eye in the mirror and know she has been above board. She is being gracious and kind in a situation where no one would blame her for choosing ugly revengeful game play. 

So right now we just pull in, wrap our arms around these precious ones and hold tight in the storms. And we remember that we have Christ and He can fill us so full of His love that we can and do overflow with it. What does that love look like? Oh, it's a beautiful thing. It makes people want to risk heart ache for the sake of others. It causes folks to stand up for orphans and the lost. It looks broken souls in the eye and says "You are precious, and valuable and forgiveable." 

1 Corinthians 13Amplified Bible (AMP)

The Excellence of Love

13 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not [a]love [for others growing out of God’s love for me], then I have become only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal [just an annoying distraction]. And if I have the gift of prophecy [and speak a new message from God to the people], and understand all mysteries, and [possess] all knowledge; and if I have all [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but do not have love [reaching out to others], I am nothing. If I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body [b]to be burned, but do not have love, it does me no good at all.
Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant. It is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; it does not take into account a wrong endured. It does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail]. Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening].
Love never fails [it never fades nor ends]. But as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for the gift of special knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part [for our knowledge is fragmentary and incomplete]. 10 But when that which is complete and perfect comes, that which is incomplete and partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 12 For now [in this time of imperfection] we see in a mirror dimly [a blurred reflection, a riddle, an enigma], but then [when the time of perfection comes we will see reality] face to face. Now I know in part [just in fragments], but then I will know fully, just as I have been fully known [by God].13 And now there remain: faith [abiding trust in God and His promises], hope [confident expectation of eternal salvation], love [unselfish love for others growing out of God’s love for me], these three [the choicest graces]; but the greatest of these is love.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Daffodil's Big Adventure

This is what we all need. http://www.boredpanda.com/cute-zoo-animal-tweet-off/

I had a cute animal vet visit the other day. Poor Daffodil is losing some of her quills. Or lots of her quills. Hedgehogs do a quilling thing when they are young where they lose and regrow quills, like a baby teeth kind of a scenario. At first I thought maybe we were dealing with that. But then I had to do some research and found out mites were very likely what was going on. Poor baby.  

Poor cranky baby. Daffodil is the sharpest and the crankiest of my girls. Of course, if you were losing your quills you'd be cranky, too. However, she's only been losing her quills for a couple of weeks and she's been kinda cranky from day one. Just sayin. 

The vet's office told me to allow time in my schedule to let her come slowly out of anesthesia should that be required at the check-up. Because if they roll up into a hissing crank ball there is very little a vet can do to check them out to make sure all is well. 

Fortunately, Daffodil did not require anesthesia. She did cooperate. The only unpleasantness was a) the pooped in carry bag which probably happened while she tried to climb out while I drove the 5 miles to the vet. Her bristly little head was peeking out at me. You can be certain I carried her slightly differently on the way home. b)The saddest scenario happened though while I was cuddling her when the vet went to check the skin flakes for mites. She was crawling all over me and I think she caught her toenail on a metal zipper I had on my jacket. 

I saw blood on my hand and thought she had stabbed me with a quill. Then I looked down at my shirt, bloody footprints all over it. Sure enough her little paw was bleeding. The vet walks in and recoils. "Augh!!! Did she bite you?!?" He stopped the bleeding and gave me 6 little syringes of topical medicine to get rid of mites. (Three for Daisy because they love to share with their friends.) Her little foot is fine. All is well. 

Already it feels like the loss of quills is stopping. Now regrowing them might get dicey. She may stab me on purpose. Fortunately, she only has a strip of bald sparse quillage. 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Excuses, Excuses

Excuses for why it's Thursday and I am just now blogging for the week. 

1) My dogs ate my homework. 

That's not true. However, I attempted to blog one evening and ended up having to hold my computer on a Beagle's body while it draped snoozed on my lap. This is not a good blogging position and certainly does not inspire creativity. 

2) I was invaded.

Kind of. My house was full of little human beings I love to death who came over to say "Hi!"including a precious little baby who required much eye contact, kissing and snuggling. 

3) Brain mush. 

This is a condition that happens when a 50+ year-old-woman is immersed in much change. Work = switcharoo from independent to corporate. Meetings. New everything. It's been almost a month. I think I understand my duties regarding the computer system. I am very likely deluding myself. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Coming Up for Air

Can you teach an old dog new tricks? I think this is kind of a philosophical kind of question. Like "if a tree falls in the forest with no one around to hear it does it still make a sound?" Deep caca kind of thoughts, right? Or is an old dog = new tricks more like "what comes first, the chicken or the egg?" 

Regardless, my brain hurts. For so many reasons. Right now everything makes noise whether I'm standing near it or not. The entire universe is a whooshing ocean of white noise residing in my brain. And chickens/eggs. I so don't even care. 

I like to think I'm computer literate. I'd even go so far as to say computer functional. I blog, there's a certain skill set in that. I text and manage to do many things over my phone. I can operate Netflix and Hulu for my frequent mindless television binges. I can navigate FB including looking at other peoples posts and not getting confused about whether I share something on my page or a friends'. These are all signs of some level of "getting it." Right? 

Enter computer program changes at work. 

Enter like a stealth missile including the boom that shakes the foundations for miles around. 

Our medical records system has changed. Radically. And everything. I MEAN EVERYTHING we now do at work has shifted and turned upside down and inside out. We are now part of a huge machine. From an independent office of 15 people with two/three/five bosses to hundreds of bosses. Seriously. From clicking on a Staples link with pictures and descriptions to order toilet paper to an old school ordering system that has random and obscure clues so when I try to order date stickers for x-ray envelopes I get one choice. One that is 5 times the price and will require a cupboard instead of a file folder. And that's after I jump through 5 hoops to get them added to the system. 

My job involves adding information into a system that is accessed by thousands of people. The click this, click this, right click, left click, change the date or else, make sure you cosign required or else for this scenario to the opposite in another window in another scenario. My trainer told me, "You got this" and left. Two days later she was back in my office. Two days after that a second trainer was in my office making me a cheat sheet of my click choices. Two days after that I got an email saying I had not updated a date in one of the three places I was supposed to so I had to cancel it and put in a new whole order with the second date. Oh, and if I save but not sign in another field I'll get put on a list. Yes. I have new lists I can be put on. Isn't the simple one list, the POOP LIST enough? Really people? 

We'll see what tomorrow brings. 

All this to say why this old dog didn't do any tricks last week but burn neural pathways, deal with quivering chins, and juggling what was with what is. This old dog was dog tired. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Serials and Scenarios ~ Spiky Balls and Iced in Mondays

I am currently experiencing and ice storm here on the edge of the Might Mo. That would be the Missouri River which is just down the old interstate from me and is very, very cold right now. 

All schools are closed. Many other locations are shut down. People are experiencing epic snowday fun inside their homes. I'm cleaning. And getting a few blog posts posted because I'm a slacker and have not done much of either the past few weeks. The doggos are going to get a bath today. The round headed little kid of cuteness is sliding up and down the stairs checking out the Hulu marathon upstairs and the crazy haired grandma downstairs. 

Two bloggers featured me last week. Well, not exactly me. My hedgehogs and my blog. But I'll claim it's all about me. 

My cute little daughter blogger (who shockingly still likes me after living with me for two months) posted about her love of this here blog. Silly girl who made a beautiful baby. You can read her post here. 

And my hedgehogs as writing inspiration is here. As you will see, they are not exactly muses

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Blink. It's 2017.

Well. I guess 2017 has happened. Weird. How time just keeps ticking.

This is the first year in about 8,-9-10 somewhere in that range, where we either didn't have our friendfamily staying at our place or we were up north visiting them. Our weekend was made up of a lot of "should we do this or that?" and snuggling babies. There was a lot of baby snuggling.  I'm thinking baby snuggling might be the best way to bring in the new year. Maybe a grandma came up with the concept of old year = old man, new year = spanking new baby.

No resolutions this year. As much as I like the idea of resolutions I have been there, done that and seen very little overall change. I do better when I thoughtfully just chose to change and go a different direction and reassess my priorities rather than have a magic day when things begin. I read an article I thought was fascinating. Compounding choices like compounding interest i.e.1%. Choose to focus on/tweak something you are seeking 1% more today than yesterday. If the goal is health, then add just a bit more onto an already healthy choice you are making or decrease slightly an unhealthy choice. Spiritual growth or disciplines, add 1% more Bible or prayer, or 1% less selfishness etc. a day. Financial, spend a few pennies less or put a few more pennies in savings. 

I like that idea. Incremental tiny choices toward a picture we have of what we'd like our lives to become. 

Here is a brilliant C S Lewis quote about choices.

“Every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different than it was before. And taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, all your life long you are slowly turning this central thing into a heavenly creature or a hellish creature: either into a creature that is in harmony with God, and with other creatures, and with itself, or else into one that is in a state of war and hatred with God, and with its fellow creatures, and with itself. To be the one kind of creature is heaven: that is, it is joy and peace and knowledge and power. To be the other means madness, horror, idiocy, rage, impotence, and eternal loneliness. Each of us at each moment is progressing to the one state of the other.”

― C.S. Lewis

We are the sum of our choices. I think no matter what has happened to us, our unique experiences both good and bad we are made up of how we process and handle those experiences. (I don't know about you but I am still processing things that happened in my life decades ago. Reframing, prayerfully forgiving, tiny attitude adjustments to line up more with God's Word.) As we age and change and grow and get wiser then we have more responsibility in making those changes in the way we think and process. And we are hurrying the process along to becoming a heavenly or hellish creature. Kind of brutal this truth.