Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A choice.

"There are two ways to live your life.One is as though nothing is a miracle.  The other is as though
everything is a miracle."      Albert Einstein    (1879-1955)

I prefer the second way.

Monday, April 26, 2010

. . . if you love one another.

    "By this all men will
know that you are my disciples,
if you love one another."
     John 13:35

Thanks for the "love." 
          Please pray for me
             and thus be
         the pink annd green
         in my tangled brown
             as I strive
               to love
      three very difficult young men
      who are tough on every teacher
           at my high school,
           but have singled me
            out particularly.

   You see, I won't be "their mother." 
    I'm "the mother" at school. 
      But they're too messed up
     for me to get that involved. 
        They are devious
       and could set me up
          for a fall. 
    Yet . . . they want my mothering.
  They also want to treat me shoddily
 just like they do or did their mothers.
    I won't stand for it ---
    there lies the problem.
        God did provide us
         with a principal
           this year
       who will stand up
      against the bullies.
         Most of us
        are thankful
        for this man--
       I certainly am.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

How did I get here?

Ever feel like
different one
a "bed"
of the same?

That's me right now.
Six years ago
I was so certain that this is where I belonged,
and now?
I'm tired.
I know He is my strength.
some days I wish I could jump this bed
and grow over on the edge of the lawn
with the other flowers like me.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Self-control Topic

You'd think
 after 40 years
of driving
in the foothills
the Appalachian Mountains,
country roads
with treacherous curves,
an abundance
roaming nearby
 I'd learn
too hard
get some place
gets me

"I operate in self-control and don't allow my spirit to be unruly.
I refuse to be like a city that is broken down and without walls.
Self-control and discipline add protection to my life."
Proverbs 25:28

I do believe I need to confess this aloud until it's deep within me and I truly live it.

For more on the topic of self-control, check out Blog Carnival at

ALSO:Check out the previous post if you want to chat about pets' names.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

They "made up."

All's right with George and Scruffy. They made up. After she lost the scent of the dank, dirty, abandoned house ( dubbed the "cat house," it is presently the home of five cats), he was all huggy again.

She has been my shadow when I've been home. Has she learned her lesson? I doubt it. She's got a wild, curious side to her.
Not George! However, when he was a kitten he was into everything, and I named him George after the children's book character, Curious George the monkey. But one day his curiosity resulted in a fall of substantial distance. He's been a "scare-d-cat" ever since.

Thank you for all those thoughtful comments. My condolences to those of you who mentioned the loss of a much loved pet. I've had to say goodbye to two dogs due to terminal illness. Both were special and I still feel a tug at my heart when I run across a picture of Katie or Tasha. It's been 16 years since Katie graced this earth, and five for Tasha.

To my daughter who made me laugh at her remark about how I should thank the stray: The stray shows signs of living on more than field mice. He is clean with a nice coat of fur. He also is friendly with people. All of these are signs of him being cared for, so I do not need to adopt him. I don't think he lives at the cat house; I think he just "visits" the female cats. Fortunately, Scruffy had a visit to the vet as soon as she was old enough, so I don't have to worry about a future litter.

Just for fun:What's behind the naming of your pets?
I chose the name Katie for the Heinz 57 dog because I knew I would not be having a third child, and Katie was the name I would have used if I'd had another girl.
Tasha was named after Tasha Tudor, the illustrator for children's books--one of my favorite illustrators.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

I thought I'd lost her.

Her name is Scruffy. She was a tiny kitten with tufts of fur sticking out here and there. I gave her a proper name--can't even remember now---I think it was Jessie. My husband saw her, burst out laughing and dubbed her "Scruffy" and that name stuck.

She's my "baby." Oh not in the same way as my own human babies who are now parents nor in the same way as my grandbabies. But in that crazy way that only those who have been totally loved by pets can understand, she's my "baby."

When my dad died, my world went topsy turvy. You see, I had to see that his wishes were carried out---that they let him die. I still wrestle with that. Sitting alone in this 1915 house Dad so wanted me to have, I missed him terribly. I told my husband that I'd sub for the next 10 years--- I just wanted to be back with him. Dad was gone and I could come back to Cincinnati. But then he told me changes were brewing in his company and that anywhere from one year - three years, he'd be without a job. We would need my health insurance. I had to stay. (He was to be laid off this past Feb., but they've extended it to May and now to August. They would like him to stay for another full year, but we have "moved" on and made plans up here. Neither of us want to extend this living apart).

So I spent a lot of nights crying, alone in B'ville. My fibro and osteo-arthritis flared up terribly and I thought I was going to lose it. Who climbed up on my lap, licked my tears, and snuggled next to me? Who let me carry her to bed and hold her close? Who still climbs up on my lap every morning as I sit in my recliner reading devotions? Well, I read them AFTER I pet her!
George, her brother is affectionate too, but he and I aren't attached like Scruffy and I are.

I spent the weekend at our lake trailer. My husband and I opened it. His nephew and family came and fed the cats. They are indoor cats, though they still have their claws.
Anyhow, I came home tonight and went to put the key in the back door. It moved away from my hand---it was ajar. Then I heard that tone of George's---the one that says sis is missing.

I thought I lost her tonight.

I don't know when she got out. I arrived home at 6 PM and the nephew stopped by at 3 PM yesterday. So it's a good bet she was out all night. I couldn't find her. I called my husband who was driving back to Cinci. Yes, I lost it---crying. Why wasn't she waiting in the bushes? I didn't see her dead body in the street, but again, why wasn't she hiding nearby?

He called his sister to drive in, calm me down, and help me look for her. I had walked all around this part of the neighborhood. But Robyn started back down the alley, calling out softly. I noticed the neighborhood stray for the 3rd time. He wouldn't come near me, but he kept coming out where I could see him and then heading back to the old abandoned house. The third time, I followed him. I'd walked by it already, calling her name loudly. But this time, I talked sofly, wooing Scruffy to appear. (Oh and yes, I had prayed that He (God) would help me find her dead or alive). I heard something, stopped, and listened. Then I saw some grey fur. She appeared from amidst a pile of blocks above my head. Rickety stairs loomed beside her, but her way back to them was blocked. She was frantic; she couldn't figure out how to get down.
I managed on tip toe to extract her. She clung to me, all the while scolding me. I held her close and brought her home. She leaped from my arms before the door was completely opened.

She was hungry and very upset. So was George. He sniffed her and then hissed at her. He still won't go near her. She smells weird. Plus she left him alone to fret over her and fret about being alone in the house. George isn't gutsy--he doesn't like to be alone. He doesn't try to get out. He knows he has a good life here. She wants both worlds. But I'm hoping after spending the night in a cold, dark, stinky abandoned house that she'll think twice before she ventures out.

So much more that I wanted to blog about--so much that needed to be done here tonight. But instead, I hold her close and write about her.

Oh, and I owe the stray a big thanks. He led me to her. Maybe he just wanted the house to himself or maybe God sent him. I choose the latter, because I think He cares about the little as well as the big. After all, he cares about the sparrows!

Thursday, April 15, 2010


"Because of the LORD'S great love

we are not consumed,

for his compassions never fail.

They are new every morning. . ."

Lamentations 3:22,23

Compassion--God's compassion for us, our compassion for others, theirs for us, and round the circle goes.

Today I needed a large dose of God's compassion as I struggled with issues with school.

I cried on the way to school today---really did not want to go---but I had to.

One of Joyce Meyer's favorite sayings is "You may not be where you need to be, but thank

God you're not where you used to be!"

A year ago, I would have called in sick. Today I didn't. I listened to a combination of music and scripture devotion Cd by a singer who I traced after loving a Praise Cd taped live at a Joyce Meyer Conference. That Cd was Free To Worship Live with Jacque DeShetler. She has a web site: After locating the site, I ordered several of her Cd's and they so touch me! I don't know whether she's made it to mainstream Christian music. It wasn't that long ago that I was listening to the Rolling Stones as inspirational pep me up & get me ready to face the "darlings" music, so I'm not familiar with who's who in Christian music!

The Cd I listened to this morning was my father's love, devotions for personal worship. The four songs are: "love unshakable"(a favorite of mine), "love again," take all of me"(new to me, but it turns me inside out in a good way) and "amazing grace." In-between she does awesome scripture narration.

I felt God's compassion and His love envelop me. The day turned out to be a good one. I've been praising Him a bunch today.

(Just a note: the boy I wrote about in the previous blog was not the problem. I ended up having to call his mom and she was quite supportive. Oh, she was not happy with the fact that he had told me that she and his dad went on long business trips; I couldn't get hold of them, and well just generally gave me the impression they didn't care. If she hadn't grounded him for the book report, I probably would not have called her. We were both grateful that I did.)

Hope you all had a good day!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Be Nice or Go Away!

Don't you wish life was this simple? This is a sign on my desk. The kids who notice it are the kids who don't abide by it! Interesting! (FRUSTRATING).
There is one boy who is especially annoying. He seems to think the rules are for everyone but him. He is a member of my kindergarten class--one of the ones who makes it my kindergarten class. Folks I teach freshmen and junior high school English. But lo and behold, I have a "kindergarten class" 8th period. Going into our last 9 week period, I got "fed up" and am now running it much like a kindergarten class. I haven't resorted to the board with the stars, etc., but I'm close!
Anyhow, this young man found himself with a D last Friday when report cards came out. He either rushes through assignments---has to be the first to hand them in, then looks for mischief or he doesn't hand them in.
Well, mama grounded him until the D becomes a C----oh and I do mean grounded---all kinds of stuff. He's a bit frantic. He wants me to drop everything else and grade his book report that he handed in LATE, AFTER mama saw the report card. I told him today that I have a life of my own and obligations and it's not my problem that he's grounded. Sound heartless? Seriously, I have another class whose notebooks and other work come before his class.
Oh my, how he's being nice, but from a distance. He's now decided he will honor my personal space. Hmmmm.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Look closely. Do you see the difference in the pictures? The top two are from 2 weeks ago before I left for Cincinnati on Easter break. I had to bend down closely to see the buds forming in my rose bush.
When I returned my eyes widened at the change in just 4 days.
I don't know what that does for you, but it gives me
"For I know the plans I have for you,"
says the Lord.
"They are plans for good and not for evil,
to give you a future
a hope."
Jeremiah 29:11 TLB
Friday night I had no color in my life. I was drained and heading toward being distraught.
But in between obligations, I checked out the sites of women I can relate to and also read comments they've put on mine. A lot of scripture. A lot of poetry. Photographs. Deep thoughts that I don't always get the first or second time due to Fibro fog, but I persevere!
Yesterday, last night, and this morning, I read the regulars, clicked on new ones, and with each post I felt something inside me. Renewal? Encouragement? God at work? Yes, to all three.<>
Thank you. My world is much greener today.
If you're interested in where I was Friday, check out "A Warped Door," the entry below this one.
If anyone close to you, or even you, suffer with chronic pain, then God might want you to read it. (That's between you and Him!)

Friday, April 9, 2010

The warped door

All doors in my 1915 Craftsman style "lady" who graces me with a quirky shelter--my "home away from home for 4 years this August"

My head throbs.
eyes burn.

neck tenses.

The pain courses through my body.

I'm trying not to listen.

Then should I?

Would it be best to take a muscle relaxer --

the one that mixes gently with a non-narcotic pain killer and eventually soothes me to sleep?

Normally I would.

But tonight my head tells me this is the difficult headache.
This is the one that comes with

too little sleep,

too much work,

-----Getting Off-balance.

A trip to Cincinnati

from my small town

is responsible--

does it

every time.
Four hours of driving one way.

once there--antsy--wired

from coffee



Then: finally

sleeping as if drugged

(without being drugged)

not a "good" sleep.

Then:not truly awakening

until late afternoon--

Yet--if you look at me you would think

I'm awake.

After all:

I'm dressed,

up and moving,


but still-- moving.

Want to know

the test

will reveal

the truth?
Ask me a question.

Expect an answer.

Wait some more.

"Uh, hey, are you there?"
[yea, i'm here-- somewhere--not quite sure where though]

"Well, could you answer me?"
[no, i can't.]

"But, I need an answer---now."
[wish i could]

The truth?

I know where I am.

Yet you can't see where I am,

so why should I try to tell you?

I can't describe where I am.

WELL --I could try
probably won't.
Why not?

even the mention of this place might
irritate you.
You don't want to hear about it.


Is it fear of entering that place and not finding a way out?
Is it fear of feeling guilty?

Might you actually feel a need to do something?

The tough task--yes, that one

Slow down,
take a deep breath,
and wait---just wait.
Forget for just a few moments
about all you need to do
and wait--just wait
while I figure out the words
that are there
somewhere in my head.
Lose the impatience--
that only shoves me deeper into that place.

If you use the right tone

sigh the right sigh (over the phone)

or give me "the right look" (if you're with me)

I will scramble for cover

end up in a corner


And you
angry (this is all metaphorical you---I'm not aiming at anyone nor do I literally hide) .

God wants me to attempt an explaination,

so (sigh)

I will.
Tonight I'm in that fibro--in- between--world
Can't find the door to REM -the sleep one, not the music group!:)

But the door to full awareness is jammed --

as if it's warped from moisture---change in the weather.

Warped--I'm smiling now---I just came up with another word for having fibromyalgia---being a
warped door (in my case "a been around awhile" door).

The warped door is still functional--still worth keeping---it still opens and shuts---
Granted--you have to shove against it with full body weight


Tug until you're convinced your shoulder has been displaced.

But---hey--you eventually get the door shut or open.

True--you're frustrated.
Want to take it off its hinges
Perhaps it would make a quirky headboard?
Surely there's another use for it.

But it's
a good door.

It's unique

Even beautiful in certain light

the scratches,
chipped paint,
mottled color--

together they make the door--well--

the special door that it is.
That's my world--a bit warped--but still beautiful



Be patient with those you know who suffer with chronic pain.
Look "real hard" for the beauty in the:

scratches (edgy, cranky tone/mannerisms-signs the pain level is up)

chipped paint(the lines/wrinkle--wear and tear of pain; puffiness, weight gain--meds)

dents (the memory lapse--multiple reasons)

mottled color(when effort to put on makeup is too much--exhausted-but out of bed; stress rash--they're trying to"it together")

and you might just get a glimpse
of what
God sees

(An important note: I do not pity myself nor do I want pity. I don't sit around saying, "Why me, God?" There have been times in the past when I did that. Waste of time, precious time. Now, I try to do what I know will help me feel better. Tonight it was to write.)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Clutter and fibro fog

The clutter of the weekend--
Easter weekend. Sorting, throwing out, setting aside, packing in boxes to store or to take up to B'ville to unload or store THERE---WHERE?
Such was my weekend. I blurred the lines on two of the pictures---my motive---to show the mind blurred by fibro fog. A symptom of fibromyalgia is "fibro fog." When it occurs for me, my mind seems to be enveloped in this thick, heavy fog. Simple decisions are difficult. The smallest picture is clear to represent the "norm." It's also small because when I have tasks like packing to perform, experiencing the norm has the smallest chance, but the "Big" fog---oh yeah.
Now for the dialogue that goes on in my head:
"Where do I start? How do I start? Where do I put this?"
"In the box," logic answers.
"Which box? How do I wrap it? Do I use just bubble wrap or should I put tissue paper around the bubble wrap?"
"Just wrap."
"Okay, one Lladro statue wrapped. Two pewter candlesticks wrapped. More pewter. More Lladro, then a glass dish."
"Uh, Beth?"
"Put the pewter on the bottom and the Lladro and glass on top."
"Oh, yeah, right. Der?!" Two boxes down and five to go. Guess I'm not heading up north tonight. Okay, another box.
"Now what do I do with this drawer full of stuff?" Do I throw it out or pack it? Oops, I forgot the art stuff under the bed in the guest room! Oops the angels in the guest room! Oops the attic! HELP!"
"Okay, go sit down, eat some protein, pray, and come back later. Try not to cry--it only makes the fog worse."
And that's my world when the fog descends.
Most of the items you see in the pictures were packed. (Some of the items were supposed to stay.) I got all done that I wanted except the stuff under the bed. As it turned out, I didn't have room in the SUV anyhow. I made it to B'ville by 3:30 PM Monday. I intended to arrive home about 3 AM Monday. Oh--that's another part of my fibro lifestyle --- being awake and ALERT in the wee hours of the morning.
And I was smiling at work today because my faith and my sense of humor pull me through.
That night I crawled into bed around 1 AM. My husband, sound asleep, still sensed my presence and shifted to envelop me in his arms. For many years I lived with a husband who would chastise me for my "fogginess" . When he "put me out to pasture," God brought this gentle, kind, patient friend from the past back into my life. He shows his love in many ways such as putting a light by the back door and not telling me, so that after he left for Cinci, I was greeted with a lamp to "light my way" when I come home late at night.
Such is God's way---He gently reminds us daily how much He loves us.
"The Lord is good; for His mercy, tender kindness and steadfast love endure forever."
Jeremiah 33:11
For more on gentleness, check out

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Up from the Grave He Arose (Low in the Grave He Lay)

Text: Robert Lowry, 1826-1899

Music: Robert Lowry, 1826-1899

Tune: CHRIST AROSE, Meter: 65.64 with Refrain

1. Low in the grave he lay, Jesus my Savior,
waiting the coming day, Jesus my Lord!


Up from the grave he arose;
with a mighty triumph o'er his foes;
he arose a victor from the dark domain,
and he lives forever, with his saints to reign.
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!

2. Vainly they watch his bed, Jesus my Savior,
vainly they seal the dead, Jesus my Lord!


3. Death cannot keep its prey, Jesus my Savior;
he tore the bars away, Jesus my Lord!
No, this is not a picture of a place anywhere close to where Jesus would have been buried. It's from a collection of pictures my husband took on a trip to Ireland. He and I went as a celebration of turning 50 together. Ireland is the one spot on earth I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY wanted to see. (Yes, I just broke the English teacher's rule of using "really" in a sentence not just once, but 3 times. But you do understand now how much I wanted to visit Ireland!)

I wanted a picture to go with the hymn. It's my favorite Easter hymn. If you go on, you can hear it played on an organ, and you can sing all by yourself. That's what I was doing at 1AM. My Methodist hymnal is in "my house" on the other side of the state.

[I'm at "our home" in Cincinnati. It was "Mike's house," but then it became our home. The house in Barnesville is a temporary "holding spot" for me as I had to go up ahead of him due to a job opening. That was 6 years ago. I'm here this weekend sorting through misc stuff, throwing some of it away, putting some in boxes for Good Will, some for Half-Price Bookstore, and some to actually take to B'ville as I call my smalltown USA. My husband is finally joining me in our hometown this August, and he wants some "stuff" cleared out so he can paint, etc. to get the house ready to sell.]

Anyhow, I wanted this song, "Up From the Grave He Arose." I couldn't remember the title, just that phrase. So I did an Internet search and found it as I've already said. My father loved this song and he would always raise up his right arm and hand at the chorus. He was raising it toward heaven and motioning to us to give the chorus "our all." We always did. Oh he looked glorious in his white robe with the special purple stole on. Prematurely white, 6ft. 3in., and handsome, his was a commanding presence, all the more so because of his love for Christ our Savior.
Easter was his favorite holiday and it was the hardest for me to handle after the divorce and the one that's still hard for me to attend church on. So I sang to God in the early morning hours and teared up some. Yet, while I was sitting there missing my dad, I was also giving thanks for such an example of Christ's unconditional love. I was truly blessed to have my dad as my dad. Friends and others have told me so over the years and some even envied me for having him, but I didn't have to be told. I KNEW.
So as I praise God today for giving us His Son to die for our sins, and then rise from the dead " . . . a victor o'er the dark domain . . ." I also praise God for a dad that taught me all about God and His Son. (For those who don't know me, I had a wonderful mother who believed before dad did and prayed for his salvation, and then became a minister's wife with all the responsibilities that the position demanded for her generation. She was 4ft.11in and the power behind the man as my dad always claimed. Her faith definitely influenced us, but Dad was "larger than life" and he is the one who stood in the pulpit as we grew up and now in our memories. )
With that, I will go back to packing. (I can't get the paragraphs to indent or to get space between the paragraphs. Once again, I must have hit something. So forgive the running together of this post. )
Happy glorious Easter folks!

Friday, April 2, 2010

A lesson from a couple of God's creatures

Loosen up. Relax.
"Peace I leave with you;
My (own) peace I now give and bequeath to you.
Not as the world gives do I give to you.
Do not let your hearts be troubled,
neither let them be afraid.
[Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed;
and do not permit yourselves
to be fearful and intimimidated
and cowardly and unsettled.]
JOHN 14:27