Tuesday, November 24, 2009

For all the teachers, band directors and coaches out there

Being a teacher/coach/mentor is hard these days. I don't know about you, but sometimes when things are not going as I hoped, I wonder why the heck I do what I do. I'm getting too old to mash my hands with a saber blade!

But then things like this happen. Today I received a message on Facebook from a former student when I taught special education full time at Sheridan High School. I remember this student well. He was not easy or even pleasant to have in class, refusing to participate and gladly turned in blank exams and homework assignments. He'd disrupt my class every few minutes with James Bond trivia. I tried to hook him into learning by having him write Bond scripts for me pertaining to health. I think it was the writerly connection that kept me from totally losing it with him.

Yesterday I got a message.

Here's a piece from the letter:

As for school, I kind of regret not focusing in your classes in 9th grade especially health class. Perhaps I found it difficult to do or just wasn't used to asking for help and that's why I ended up quiting. But I learned over these years that if you didn't keep going or if you didn't ask for help and just quit, you miss out on a lot of opportunities especially in life. I have now vowed and dedicated myself to be more open and willing to work even if it is a challenge. My philosophy I think is "Don't think about how difficult it is, just get it done" and after you get it done, you feel like you have made a huge difference instead of doing nothing and sitting there thinking that it is no big deal whether you get it done or not.

Anyway, I'll talk to you later.
This student was a freshman in my health class at least six years ago. SIX YEARS.

I consider my years of full-time teaching my "dark years". The four years of my life I proved to myself that I am a total and utter failure in the classroom. After I left teaching, I sunk into a depression believing I failed. I believed I wasted years and years of my life pursuing a teaching career that was no longer.

Two and a half years ago I had this experience w/ a former student and band kid: Redeeming the Past. This still grips me. It was dramatic and profound. Take a moment to read it.

A short note from a former guard kid who ditched most of my rehearsals and appeared to hate my guts says this as she graduated over a year ago:
To the love of my guard life, I might have been a pain in your butt, but I'm glad I did guard this year and got to personally know you. Your [sic] wounderful [sic] and most of all you can put up w/ me!

What this last note revealed is that sometimes kids test us to see if we will put up with them over time. So many find adults get exasperated and walk out of their lives. Guard instructors get mad and quit. Adults walking out of their lives creates a void. A void that fills with pain. So, in the interest of self-protection they test the new adult, or in some cases they are new to the adult who's been there a while.

Kids who complained I pushed them too hard in guard come back and thank me for teaching them how to be pushed and push themselves.

Again, I'm talking years later.

That's what's so hard about teaching. It can take years IF you get to see some of the fruits of your labors.

I'm not posting this to toot my own horn, I'll leave that to the brass section. Rather I want to remind teachers and coaches why we do what we do. No matter how our season or semester progresses, we are impacting lives.

All the kids want from us is to show up and love them when they are feeling most unlovable. We may not feel like we're giving or achieving our educational/competitive goals, but in their eyes, we're sick.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

It appears I'm dead, but I'm not.

September? Seriously?

I think I broke my own record for blog silence.

Can't count high enough to tell you how many times I've been asked, "Are you dead?"

No, I'm not dead. Felt like it at times, maybe wished I was, but I'm alive, kicking and coughing - thanks to the flu-y type things floating around.

Over the past few months I've been taking a break. Kinda reevaluating my life. What's important. What's not. Chasing ways to Make More Money and getting overwhelmed and discouraged.

Learning the definition of the words "simplify" and "focus".

I've come to the conclusion that I've been trying to do too much for all the wrong reasons. I've been struggling and fighting in my own strength the solve the How-will-we-feed-our-family-this-week problem. Taking on so much, I get NOTHING done.

Did you know it's possible to do so much you accomplish NOTHING?

Here's what I've learned.

  • I'm not the Avon queen - being as disorganized as I am, I can barely handle my own customers on top of being in leadership. I think I need to pass my downline to someone more organized and less scattered and keep my current customers happy
  • My novel may take a loooooooooooooong time to sell. Kinda knew that, but reality is hitting. It's time to let the process work and start something fresh and new
  • 9 years of teaching guard doesn't mean I got it all down. I'm in a new school, with new kids and feel like I've never done this before. My students are stretching me, challenging me to grow and evolve
  • I'm a mom. 3.5 year old boys need their mommies and love it when said mommies disengage from the computer
  • Laundry doesn't do itself
  • Spreading myself thin makes me holey. When I try to manage a dozen unrelated projects by spreading myself like a small pie crust in a huge pan, parts of me break and gaping holes open up and nothing turns out well
  • Litterboxes don't clean themselves
  • I've been waiting on Big Things to Happen rather than waiting on the Lord.
  • Small boys can flood bathrooms when left to themselves for more than 45 seconds
  • Friends are worth more than money
  • People do care about me
  • God won't let me or my family starve - he'll send people along with groceries or I'll get a call from a friend who found a great deal on potatoes and she bought more than she could use and wants to know if I need some
  • Less is more
  • I'm not stupid
  • I have a destiny (don't know what it is yet)
  • This too shall pass
I'm going through some really hard stuff and eventually my energy will return. Getting stronger hurts, but it happens. So, keep on checking back. I'll keep you updated and hopefully will blog more when I feel better.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Does your group need to raise money?

Fundraising is hard. Most of the time it's not much fun.

When I was in school, my mom made me wear my color guard uniform and go door to door in the neighborhood selling wrapping paper or cartons of citrus fruit. In the snow.

Going door to door is kinda scary these days, limiting those school fundraisers to nearby friends and family. And most programs only offer customers over-priced products grossing the organization only 15-20% of the profit.

Most of you know I've been an Avon representative for about nine months now. It's a way, in addition to my writing, to help put food on the table and take care of my family's needs.

What's in it for you?

I'm making you aware of an opportunity to help whatever group(s) you and your kids are involved in raise money.

Avon has a great fundraising arm. An ONLINE fundraising arm. Yup. You read me right. I can create an online event for your group offering all of Avon's deal-priced products to your group's supporters. Church groups, scouts, band/music programs, non-profits... groups with that tax exempt status can raise money through Avon.

What we do is register your group, assigns a special promo code unique to your group. Your group leaders and members do a publicity blitz. Customers go online to my website and order Avon products using that unique code. All of the order and profit activity is tracked and reports are emailed to organizers.

Customers order and pay online. Products are shipped to their door. No little kids banging on doors, collecting pocketfulls of money or juggling armloads of product (unless you really want to do it that way.)

Non-profit organizations earn up to 30% of their sales. Try to beat that with butter braids (15% -20% earnings) or entertainment books. And you get the creative, enthusiastic support of me!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Hey, I read a non-fiction book... and loved it

It says a lot about a non-fiction book if by the middle of the first chapter it's still in my hands. Even more so if I only put it down ONCE between peeling back the front cover and turning over the back with a satisfied sigh.
Only a mere handful of fiction books have earned can't-put-it-down-even-in-the-bathroom status from my finicky reader self.

Darcie's know the author disclosure: Kim Woodhouse is a good friend of mine. I've met her family and been to The House. I've even gone swimming with Kayla (she's a beast in the water let me tell you). So when I say reading Welcome Home is like sitting and listening to Kim tell her
family's story in her own voice, I know what I'm talking about.

Life is hard right now. Harder than ever for most of us who don't even have family members alive who lived through the Great Depression. People are wondering where God is. Americans, myself included, bought into the lie that if you love God and obey Him, life will be prosperous and full of vim and vigor.

Currently, people are either turning toward Him in the tough times or walking away. Welcome Home couldn't have been released at a better time. Kim doesn't come across as this unflappable churchy girl who bounces around on her tip toes saying, "God is good. All the time. All the time, God is good," to everyone she meets.

She's brutally honest about those bleak moments when God seemed invisible or absent. Her pain and hope are shared with clarity; even the studliest reader will be hunting for a tissue box. And think about the true nature of God and our purpose here on earth.

Most of all you will laugh. My poor asthmatic mom started hyperventilating while reading about an incident where the TSA suspected Kim of being the next uni-bomber. There is a lot of pain in Kim's story, but the pain juxtaposed on the joy is what makes the joy extreme.

You gotta go get yourself a copy of this book. Christmas is coming, nab a few for presents.

And best yet, pick up a few extra copies to hand out to people who are really hurting right now because life just sucks for them.

Happy reading!

Kimberley Woodhouse is a wife, mother, author, and musician with a quick wit and positive outlook despite difficult circumstances. A popular speaker, she’s shared at more than 600 venues across the country. Kimberley and her family's story have garnered national media attention for many years, but most recently her family was chosen for ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, The Montel Williams Show, and Discovery Health channel’s Mystery ER. Welcome Home: Our Family’s Journey to Extreme Joy, releases from Tyndale House Publishers September first. In addition to her non-fiction, she also writes romantic suspense and children’s books. Kimberley lives, writes, and homeschools in Colorado with her husband and two children in their truly “extreme” home. www.kimberleywoodhouse.com

Here's the blurb on the book

Overwhelming trials . . . met with overcoming joy.
Kayla Woodhouse is not your typical twelve-year-old. Due to a rare medical disorder, she feels no pain, doesn’t sweat, and needs protective cooling gear just to go outside. With her restrictive lifestyle; countless hospitalizations, including brain surgery; and the resulting mountain of hospital bills, what’s a family to do?

How the Woodhouse family has faced seemingly impossible challenges is a story that has captured the hearts of America. Millions of people have experienced glimpses of their lives on Discovery’s Mystery ER, The Montel Williams Show, and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (recently voted one of the show’s all-time best episodes!).

Now Kayla’s mom, Kimberley, takes readers behind the cameras to reveal their family’s journey as never before told. From medical sleuthing to cross-country moves, from freak fires to battles with insurance companies, Welcome Home proves that truth really is stranger than fiction. This candid life story reveals both success and failure and demonstrates how, even during tough circumstances, to shift your life from heartbreak to extreme joy.

Peek inside the Woodhouse family’s life (and their famous house) with a 16-page photo insert.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Is a dog just a dog?

Many of you may know via Twitter or Facebook, that my dog is very ill. He's suffering from a horrible affliction called fly strike. Never heard of it before and never want to see it again. There's a lot of it happening right now in long haired dogs b/c flies are laying eggs.

Adult flies are attracted to things that stink, including dogs. Caleb had a short bout of the squirts. Despite me washing his bottom when I noticed the need, a fly had already laid eggs in the mess. Fly eggs hatch within 8-12 hours. Fly larvae are maggots. Maggots are born hungry and look for stuff to feed on. They start with the ick, then bore into the skin. All within 8-12 hours.

If a dog has long hair, the problem may not be noticed right away. The first thing we noticed was the stench. Didn't know what it was. Next day the dog was lethargic and barely moving.

As the hours ticked by, the stench worsened and he started oozing from who knows where (Sheltie, long hair).

Caleb had to go to the ER Sunday night. He was shaved from neck to tip of tail. The maggots started traveling up his back bone under the skin.

Yesterday he wasn't doing as well as the ER vet hoped. As I type he's in the hospital until he's stable. Hopefully we can bring him home today.

Vet care is expensive. We are in a rough spot. Food banks, past-due bills, day to day decisions on what's important and what we can live without. Most of America is feeling similar pain in the bank.

I've received some comments from people; "He's just a dog! You can't afford this. Just let him die."

I'm combining comments above. No one person said all that in one sentence.

The moment we knew Caleb had to go to the ER, John and I were physically sick. The ER fee alone is $100. We debated waiting until morning. We consulted with vet techs. But Caleb kept getting worse. Both of us felt it would have been awful to let Caleb simply die b/c we didn't have the money to pay for his care. Neither one of us could live with that.

We took him in. Good thing. He probably would have died before morning.

But he wasn't doing too well yesterday. I was preparing myself for the "he's suffering too much, probably won't make it" talk. Tearfully praying my way through the day for the strength to let go if I he wasn't going to make it.

Caleb is a strong little dog. The vet has seen worse. Caleb's being screened for underlying diseases (less cost now than later if more complications arise). The vet and vet tech did not recommend putting him down. He has too much life and a great quality of life. His recovery will be hard and ugly, but they believe he may pull through if his blood tests come back good.

The maggots have done a lot of damage. Caleb may require surgery (worst case scenario) to debride all the dead tissue on his back. About a whopping 9 square inches! Dollar signs are floating in front of my face.

"Just let him die."

How far does one go?

My gut feeling is this: Caleb is a part of my family. God gave us stewardship over animals back when Adam and Eve were in Eden. God knows when one sparrow falls from the sky. He cares about his creation.

Caleb is our responsibility. His doggy life is not worthless. No life is. Yes, human life is above animal, but no humans are gonna die from this.

Both John and I are feeling like we need to take care of the life entrusted to us over 9 years ago. We are trying hard to trust God will provide to cover Caleb's care and treatment.

Okay, so we go back to the food back this weekend. I need to find more and new Avon customers and get through the revision of my novel and pray it sells. We don't spend money on anything that's not a dire need. We pray the IRS will continue to have patience regarding back taxes. We pray God will cause Caleb's skin to heal so surgery is NOT needed.

The vet clinic sees where we are. Kim Woodhouse in her new book, Welcome Home, talks about James 1 2-4 - finding joy in trials. I'm trying to find "joy" in this distress. Potential joy in how the vet and all involved will react when Caleb makes an unexpected turn for the best and God provides the finances to pay. But in the mean time my attitude and John's attitude are key. We can't grump. I'm getting the nudge that I need to believe all this will happen (Caleb gets taken care of) before it does. So not me.

I need to see first, then praise later.

What if...

But that's not faith.

Yes, Caleb is a dog. He's not just a dog, he's my dog. A blessing God placed in my life almost 10 years ago.

UPDATE: Just got word from the vet. Good news. Caleb is doing well. Up and about, devouring food. Vitals are good. He's ready to come home. We'll have to take him in every 5-7 days to have dead skin tissue cut away (think burn victim). Doc wants to avoid surgery. Pray skin heals up very well.

Monday, July 06, 2009

I'm featured in a magazine!

Check out this month's edition of Christian Fiction Online Magazine - a magazine that stands out from all the rest of the e-mags. The format is similar to a print magazine and is professional in appearance and quality.

Check it out! Read about your fave authors and their books and, well, check out the spotlight on little ol' me.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Mommy has a headache so...

I feel like someone's played "Whack a Mole" with my head, leaving my brain quivering in agony, and my neck feeling like a collapsed accordion.

Thunder and lightening commandeer the sky chasing me and The Booger inside.

I gotta lie down.

Next thing I know, tiny fingers grab my eyelids, pinching and pulling. "Mommy. Wake up. Mommy, why are you sleeping? You heads hurts? Are you sleeping?"

Someone's hands, probably mine, flail knocking the pincers away. Fearing a repeat attack, I cover my eyes with my hands.

My nose is twisted in an unnatural position. "Mommy, do you gots boogers? How 'bout snots? Hey Mommy, look. Look! I pulling your hair. Mommy, I'm pulling your hair."

Fanning my fingers ever so slightly, I brace myself for the next "incident." A brown eyeball hovers over my hand hole. "Mommy, are you in there?"

Air explodes from my lungs as a thirty pound toddler belly-flops on my tummy. "I'm not gonna bite your face, Mommy. I'm not."

"That's nice," I say covering my face as The Booger proceeds to lick me. Ew. I push him off. "Mommy's head hurts. She needs to rest a bit, okay?"

"Ohhh-kay. I gotta find my pick-up truck." Booger trots up the stairs. His voices bounces off the hall walls, "I foun' it!"

THUD! THUD! THUD! "Brrrrrrrrr, mmmmnnnnnrrrrrrrr. Mommy, your airms are roads. Mmmmneeeer. Motorcyles race up Mommy's arms, over her nose, down other side."

"Leave me alone!" Plastic motorcycles fly through the air. I cross my arms over my face.

"Ohhh-kay. I listen to thunder noise. God's playing the drums."


"Mommy! I make you feel better. Take your medicine." My right eyelid is torn back and a plastic object is shoved into my eyeball. Screaming I swat. "No, Mommy, you need to take your medicine!"

"Eyeballs don't take medicine," I sit up and grab his arms. "Booger, that hurts!"

"Your nose. What about your nose. Your nose takes medicine."

My hand shoots out like a striking rattle snake deflecting the doctor toy (the thingie they use to look in your ears) headed for my nose.

"Ohhhkayy." A plastic thermometer is shoved in my ear. "I take your temperature, Mommy. You have a fever."

By this time not only my head hurts, but my eyeball is throbbing and my ear stinging. The phone rings. It's John asking me to find a phone number. I sum up the past few minutes of torture and feel something rush up my leg.

A motorcycle.

"Mommy, the motorcycle is gonna get stuck on your butt."


Mommy has a headache so let's go ahead and take her mind off her head by making other body parts hurt.

Anyone want to buy a kid?

Disclaimer: For anyone considering calling child protective services over my last sentence... Don't. It's a JOKE. Like, I'm gonna sell the Booger on Ebay. Seriously?

Monday, June 01, 2009

Murder of music

I know my title is pretty extreme, but depriving kids of music is downright criminal.

Recently I lost my job as a color guard instructor. Not because I rotted at my job, but because school administrators didn't think music programs were important. I'd been at that school for eight years and feel like I'm grieving a death.

Below is a letter written to administration by a middle school parent. Permission to print and circulate this letter has been granted by the parent.

What A Loss 5/11/09

Today was the day I attended the last concert for my son’s middle school band at the Sheridan High School. The district decided to cut music from the school’s program from both the Middle School and the High School. All I could think of the whole time as we sat and listened, and then as we drove home afterward was, “What a Loss”. What a loss for those 20+ kids who practiced diligently and went faithfully to class each day to learn to read music and to play on an instrument. What a loss for the instructor who is so dedicated to instilling music into those kids, and what a loss for the parents, friends and family of all those kids sitting in the audience who will no longer have the enjoyment, pride and happiness that comes with seeing a child learn music.

Music is such a vital part of our everyday lives and has so many affects on a person’s all around being. A simple song can spark a memory and take you back to years and years in your past and bring forth a feeling inside a person of a time in their life that brought joy, sorrow, love or even laughter into their life. To take this gift away from not only the students of Sheridan, but the families of the students, the teachers, the staff and the community as a whole, to me, is such a great loss.

My oldest son graduated from Sheridan High School and was a dedicated musician to the Sheridan music programs and when I think back to all of the memories of those years, I cannot even tell you the disappointment that I feel. When I think of how many kids (my second son included.) will no longer have the opportunity to learn music or to have the memories of school with music all around them, all I can say is “What a loss.”

What will there be now to replace the music? HOW can you replace the music? Who will lead the Sheridan Day’s Parade? The Homecoming Parade? Who will play at the bon fires and basketball games? Who will play at the Pep Rallies and school assemblies? Who will play concerts for their parents and Christmas carols? Who will play for the school musicals? Who will play for the football, baseball, soccer, volleyball teams or wrestlers when they bring home the state championships? Who will play at the graduation ceremonies when our Sheridan students receive their diplomas?

Will you simply play a radio or a CD? Is that what this has come down to? Replacements? Can’t you see that you not you are not only replacing the music but you are replacing feelings, memories and most importantly, you are replacing PEOPLE.

When I think of the years and years of band competitions for marching band, jazz band and winter percussion that made so many students, parents, teachers and the whole Sheridan community so proud of what these kids from a small little community could accomplish, all I can think is – What a loss.

I pray there is some way to bring back the music programs of Sheridan. I want to hear the children’s music. If all we have, is to spend all of these events in years to come listening to a radio, CD’s or even worse, SILENCE, again I say, “What a Loss”.

Yvette Medina (Sheridan Middle School Parent)

Last week I was hired to teach color guard at Columbine High School. I'm excited about the opportunity, but my heart goes out to all the kids who'll never put their lips to a horn, sticks to a drum or hands on a flag.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Inconspicuous to mugglers?

Part of the whole geocaching thing is being inconspicuous. Don't want muggles to see where the caches are hidden so they can go steal or destroy it.

Pretty easy if you're in the woods, surrounded by rocks and trees. You can hide, or people think you're taking a breather or basking in the view.

In the city it's a different story.

There's this pesky cache titled "Duck Tape" that's located in strip mall retail area. Not many places to hide a micro cache (about the size of a film canister). Thinking I was oh-so clever, I wondered if the name of the cache was a clue. Did I have to duck down to find the darn thing?

Here I am with a orange drink sucking tyke following me around saying, "I wanna go home, Mommy. Do we have to geocache? There's no toys here."

If that wasn't bad enough, bending down with my big bottom up in the air toward passersby had to be the weirdest thing those people have seen in a long time. "Honey, why is that lady feeling around under the electrical box on the side of the store? Gee her butt is big!"

I'm amazed I wasn't arrested.

Not for suspicious behavior, but for grossing out people in cars and kids on skateboards.

Duck. Tape. I tried the "bottom's up" thing and am still scratching my head.

It was only my second attempt to find it. On the log, there are folks who went back seven times!

Wonder if they waggled their bottom round to the innocent folks at Mission Trace.

(My chiropractor's office was facing me and my butt. I'm so glad she didn't look out of her office and see me.)

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Tired, tired oh so tired

You know you're tired when your nose gets stuck between the "g" and "h" keys on the keyboard.

You know you're tired when your son stands in front of you with yellow socks and yells, "Come on Mommy, to the dishwasher! I peed!" and you don't care.

You know you're tired when it's a gorgeous 78 degrees outside - you have two free hours - and you wish you could just crawl into bed.

You know you're tired when you don't feel like getting into the car and driving to a nearby geocache that everyone's raving about (Duck Tape).

You know you're tired when you stare at Twitter and wonder... why?

You know you're tired when picking up your tooth brush causes your arm to tremble under strain.

You know you're tired when you see/hear something funny and can't remember how to laugh.

Know know you're tired when you have homicidal thoughts toward anyone who talks excitedly about an upcoming vacation.

You know you're tired when you have to abandon a room of your house to floor-collapsing piles of laundry.

You know you're too tired when you don't know the difference between Desitin and toothpaste.

You know you're tired when you're writing a blog entry and forget what you're writing about... like now...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Thick skin

Who knew a simple summary of a news story about the geocache at Fairview High School could rouse an individual to the point of calling me a "junk journalist". I was accused to getting the story all wrong and making up my own facts. The comment writer even tried to stop people from reading my article by begging people to stay away from junk like mine.

There's a reason why I include links and source info on all my newsy stories.

At first glance, when I read the nasty comment, fire swept up my neck into my face. How dare someone accuse me of making up a story like that? Honestly I wanted to slap that person who was too chicken to sign their name. But the fact they didn't put a name invalidated their criticism. Someone told me to disregard comments people don't own.

Really, when you get down to it, the person was slamming Boulder's Daily Camera. A long-standing local paper for that community.

But writing another article with in-your-face facts was the only way I could move on.

The more I write, the more people are not going to like what I write. Proving my point or my sources will become a time-wasting exercise in futility. There will come a point when I need to nod, smile and ignore nasty remarks paying attention to the more positive responses or even corrections from an expert.

I don't mind criticism. Or even fact correction. I'll admit if I got something wrong. But slamming me for saying stuff that's not true without checking the sources I cited or even reading the whole article... not gonna bother.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Confessions from an ADHD business owner

Ya never realize how much ADHD affects your life until you try to work for yourself.

I'm self-employed as a freelance writer/author and AVON independent sales rep. Both careers are in the growing toward a profit stage - emphasis on the growing part - requiring hours of attention.


Two weeks ago I was taking orders from staff at an assisted living community for AVON products. Everyone was eager to get their stuff. Much to my horror, when I got home I realized I jumped the gun on my campaign and was handing out brochures two weeks ahead of time! I was out of my newer supply of brochures before the older one. I had to explain that I oopsed and some items wouldn't be available for another two weeks.

Then there's the finding stuff. I touch something (a book, research notes, AVON business materials) and it disappears for several hours to several days. Each day I spend an average of two hours looking for something business related, forget the time spent looking for my car keys.

Invoices. They're supposed to make life easier on a sales rep. They list what each customer bought, calculate sales tax and total amount due. Great if after you print them out you can find them! Knowing things tend to walk away (Booger powered), I put things in a safe place.

My safe places must be super-safe b/c even I can't remember them! Something else grabs my attention, I forget my search for said invoices by a cat barfing, tweets from uber important people or the sudden realization I didn't publish an article to examiner, until a customer asks how much they owe for their stuff.

I should be able to hand a crisp invoice to them. Instead I bumble, stumble and tear my office apart for the tenth time that day looking. Knowing I had them.

I've got customers in all my different contexts of life. So, when I leave the house I not only need my purse and Booger stuff, I need AVON brochures, fund-raising materials that were requested, my judging stuff (if I'm going to judge a colorguard show) and writing stuff.

To date I have yet to arrive at any location with everything I was supposed to have. Oddly what I most forget is my wallet or Booger's diaper bag. Or appointments.


When it was just me, I didn't have too much of a problem being where I was supposed to be when I was supposed to be there. My Palm Pilot served me well.

Now, I get phone calls from doctor offices asking if I remembered I was supposed to be there thirty minutes ago. Crazy thing is, I had it all written down not only on ONE calendar, but also on my Palm. I looked at the darn thing in the morning, then over the course of all the Stuff to Do, my brain transposed the times. Here I thought I was making good time. In the three years I've been a mom, I've NEVER been able to get the time right on dr appts.

I go from feeling proud of myself for being "ahead and prepared" to panicked and hurried, forgetting something crucial.

Yesterday I was organizing new brochures. I gotta stamp my contact info and the expiration dates on the back of each. Of 100. With five left, I realized for the past MONTH of brochures, I'd been putting the wrong dates on the back! I mis-calculated another two-week cycle! I cut myself short two weeks for the current campaign and have handed a bunch of material out. Great.

Catagorization? What's that? I can't do it. When someone does it for me, I get confused. When my stuff is thrown into a box, I get confused.

Making a list of "priorities"?

Yeah. Don't make me laugh. I can't decide what to do and start staring at the list getting NOTHING done.

With all the writing and AVON stuff I have a lot of password protected thingies on the 'net. Do you think I can remember my passwords? Do you think I can remember the answers to the hint questions I thought at the time were Darcie proof? Hah! I waste hours each week retrieving passwords.

I DO write them down. Don't ask me where I put them! My safe place must've moved again.

Money = numbers. Do you know how embarassing it is to go into a bank and not only confuse yourself as to which money goes where, but you confuse the teller so bad she gets it all messed up too!

Deposit 40% in time-savings for taxes, 20% in business acct for expenses, 20% to personal to pay myself and while you're at it, I need this check cashed.

I only do drive throughs and dump it all into one account and do transfers when I get home via net. Forget the whole split deposit thing! I wish my windows were tinted b/c even when I roll up to the window, I see the eyes of the teller widen in horror.

Sorry Danica (our writerly tax expert), my recipts all go in a ziplock. Hey, at least they are all in one place! It's either that or they are lost in the vacuuous void of my desk for eternity. Danica told us at Words for the Journey that we need to be uber organized in case the IRS audits us.

If an IRS agent came into my working space and tried to look at my stuff, he'd burst out laughing. Laugh until he hyperventilated, became hypoxic and the ambulance needed to come to put on a oxygen mask. Then I'd be arrested for second deree attempt at homicide.

Yes I have a psychiatrist. I've tried Ritalin, Aderoll. I've even had cognitive therapy in the past (after a traumatic brain injury). So far I've baffled every professional whose tried to help me wrangle in the ADHD.

I baffle myself.

Now, what was I supposed to get done this morning before the Psalm 42 concert tonight?

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

God is good

This past week was scary. Finances were already too tight, then John's salary is cut on top of it all.


God is good.

After a morning of consoling a crying three-year old over the lack of Cheerios or breakfast food, I received a note from a friend telling me God placed it on her heart to wire money. I was able to go out and buy cereal and food for the week!

Last week the cats circled my ankles begging for food. I opened the cabinet and we were just about out. I had to give them a third of their daily serving. I asked God to somehow provide so the animals wouldn't go hungry.

A friend pulled me aside later in the day with the "God placed it on my heart to give this to you." She shoved dollar bills into my hands. Just enough to buy more cat food! Later in the day I was approached by yet another friend who handed me a gift card to the local grocery store as well as some cash. Both from annonymous donors. We were about out of food again and now we can supplement what we picked up at a local food bank last night.

Right now all of our resources are going into keeping our house any paying down the tens of thousands of dollars of medical debt. We still have to alternate which bills get paid each month and which don't (Exel Energy doesn't waste any time calling you again and again reminding you you haven't paid the bill for the month. Sorry. They have to wait till next month.)

Nonetheless, God is providing for our most basic needs. If we lose the house, we have a plan. Kyle and I would have to move to PA. John would stay and work out the details. That would be hard and heart-breaking, but we have a plan. We won't be living in a refrigerator box on the corner of Hampden and Wadsworth!

Things look bleak. But I feel a sense of peace. Those of you who've followed me over the years know that peace isn't exactly an inherent quality of mine. My first reaction to anything hard is FREAK OUT!

I'm finding that when I give up my lust to make it all better, that's when God steps in and acts. My flying around like a bumble bee on speed to make extra money right NOW only gets in His way.

That doesn't mean I'm sitting back in my reading chair analyzing my belly-button. I'm taking reasonable actions to add to our income. There is no fast answer. Building a business takes time. Between my writing and my AVON, hopefully one of these days we can bring home enough to stop going to the food bank we found last night.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Busy, busy, busy

I've been a bad girl. My poor blogs are being ignored and shoved to the bottom of the priority list.

What have I been doing all this time besides chasing after the now 3 year old Booger, trying to get him to use the potty not his pants?

For the past two months I've been writing for a cool website called examiner.com . Examiner is an info/news site specific to a particular city. They are servicing about 60 cities nationwide. Examiners are writers who are experts on a particular topic. Readers can expect at least 3 or 4 articles each week from any given examiner. Sometimes more if the examiner is a "breaking news" kind of writer.

Me? I'm the Denver Outdoor Recreation Examiner. I get to write about anything and everything outdoors. I do a lot of local stuff, but sometimes take things to a broader level (state or national). Scouring local news sources and Google Alerts keep me up on breaking news about anything outdoor rec.

Yes, I do get paid for it, but I get paid by page hits, so visit me, make me one of your favorite examiners and hit my pages often.

Several of my friends from Words for the Journey are examiners as well and I'll do a post real soon with their pages so you can read them as well.

My novel is being shopped to acquisition editors by my agent. So any day to forever I may or may not get a book contract. In the mean time, I'm working on novel #2.

To make enough money to pay for groceries and medical needs I've started an AVON business. A lot of hard work goes into building something from the ground up, but I'm encouraged. AVON unlike many other direct sales companies requires very little capital to get started as a representative. Get this - $10. Yep. That's all I had to invest to start making money. They have incredible training programs that are all free. I'm seeing small profits each 2 week campaign.

Building my customer base is key to making money. The more product I sell, the greater the percentage I make. My goal is $550 per campaign. I'm at about $200 and need more customers!

Before you think of spicy scented old ladies with blue hair, AVON has radically changed. It's actually cutting-edge when it comes to skin care products and undercuts Wal-Mart and Target!

My friend Susie is working on a price point comparison chart featuring commercial brands like Cover Girl and Almay as opposed to Clinique and Lancome. I'll share it once it's done.

AVON is quite high-tech. I have an online store from which people anywhere can order products and have them shipped to their door. There are a heap of free shipping coupons available and if shipping is needed, it's about $3.

Psalm 42 keeps the music flowing. We have are singing for a sister night at New Life Lakewood for a multi-housing ministry sister night. The one we had at my church, Bear Valley, went really well.

Finally, John's attention has been focused on taking the remaining units of his Architectural Registration Exam. He has one tomorrow and has been studying like a mad dog. I'm on Booger duty 24/7 and carry more around the house so he can get this done.

Whew. I'm tired thinking about what I need to still do today.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Don't pay your morgage!

Leave it to the O-trauma administration to come up with this great idea: punch the people hurting the most. A lot of homeowners were conned into buying beyond their means by the Democrat Party's belief that owning a home is a right, not an earned privlidge. Banks were forced to finance people who couldn't pay back loans. Fannie and Freddie are the poster children of that disaster. Will our "hope and change" prez help the people duped by his party? Nope.

... it is not only the over-mortgaged whom Obama will ignore, but those who have lost their jobs! If you do not make enough money such that your mortgage payments come to 31 percent of your income, you can't get your mortgage refinanced. If your income has dropped to a point where your monthly payments on your loan consume a greater part of your earnings than 31 percent, you are stuck. - Dick Morris former CLINTON advisor

As a parent, how do I teach my child about responsibility? Be frugal. Save. Don't squander. - when those behaviors are punished and irresponsibility and is rewarded? Personal responsibility is no longer a value of this new "hope and change" culture.

The new administration's beating down of the people he promised to help continues.

O-trauma is ripping scholarships out of the hands of poor kids in DC forcing them from the private education they earned, back into failing schools. But his kids go to one of the most expensive schools in the Capital. Public education was NEVER a viable option. What does this say about our prez? He doesn't want his daughters "soiled" by low-income influences.

Throwing fake money (I say fake b/c they're just putting ink on paper with nothing of value to back it up) only makes things worse. Obama's doing exactly what the consumers did to get into this mess in the first place! Over-spending. Extending credit beyond reasonable ability to pay.

Some of these trillions of dollars come from countries that hate us and are salivating over the chance to watch America collapse on itself. Who is Big Spender Obama selling us to, and why?

My family will continue to pay the mortgage and credit card debt and pray God will protect us from the insanity our government is imposing.

Friday, February 06, 2009

M. L. Tyndall's THE RED SIREN

Worlds collide when a pirate lady meets a godly naval captain.

Faith Westcott abandoned her shallow faith when a series of tragedies struck her family. To save herself and her sisters from forced marriages, this fiery, born-to-the-manor redhead is a lady by day and a pirate by night. How long can she maintain this dual identity before she’s caught red-handed?

The God-fearing Dajon Waite, who scours the Carolina coast, expunging it of pirates and smugglers, is a more-than-capable captain in the British Royal Navy. But when he is asked to take on the guardianship of Faith and her sisters, he’s headed for deep water. Having vowed to avoid women, what will he do when he finds himself falling for Faith?

Sir Wilhelm Carteret has always gotten everything he desired, but Faith seems to be unaffected by his charms. When he devises a plot to rid himself of his competition, more than Captain Waite’s reputation is at stake as alarming secrets are revealed.

Will Faith regain her trust in God only to find herself headed for the gallows? Will Dajon scuttle his good name—and neck—to save her?

Best-selling author of The Legacy of the King’s Pirates series, MaryLu Tyndall writes full time and makes her home with her husband, six children, and four cats on California’s coast. Her passion is to write page-turning, romantic adventures that not only entertain but expose Christians to their full potential in Christ. For more information on MaryLu and her upcoming releases, please visit her website at http://www.mltyndall.com

Lady Pirate. I like that. Actually, after reading about Faith's adventures, being a pirate sounds kinda fun right now... okay, so maybe breaking the law isn't such a good idea.

High seas adventure is what I enjoyed most about this book. Rich settings and historical characters transport readers into a fresh kind of adventure.

If you like romance, then you'll love this book. Romance isn't my thing, but Tyndall balances it well with enough action and suspense to satisfy my need for an intense plot.

So how in the world did the author come up with the idea of a female pirate? Check out her answers to interview questions below (Q & A provided by Tyndall's publisher, Barbour www.barbourbook.com )

Q: Pirates and adventures on the high seas are topics you love to write about. What draws you to craft stories about these topics?
A: Tall ships in the Age of Sail have always been a passion of mine-- one that I gained early on as i grew up on the beaches of South Florida. I used to lie on the sand, listen to the waves lapping onshore, and dream of grand adventures on the sea. There is something romantic, yet dangerous, about the sea, and I admire the men and women who ventured upon it seeking new lands, fortune, and adventure. No matter what story I formulate in my mind, it always tends to include at least one of those magnificent ships sailing on the ocean blue.

Q: In The Red Siren, the story of Faith Westcott is taken from the parable of Matthew 13 in which the farmer sowed a seed on rocky soil. When the plant came up, it was withered and scorched because it had no root. What are the foundations that are so important in order for us to develop a faith with roots?

A: Great question! I believe the biggest and most important foundation for a victorious Christian life is to know God. By knowing God, i mean to really know Who He is. To know His character, His desires, His sorrows, and most of all His love. And like any relationship, you cannot get to know someone unless you spend time with Him. To know God should be our greatest desire. And we do this by reading His Word often, by praying without ceasing and by abiding in His presence. When we do these things, despite our enemies' continual attempts to stop us, we will come to see how wonderful, how faithful, how glorious and how powerful our God is. But most of all, we will get a glimpse into how much He truly loves each one of us. Then when bad things happen as they did to Faith in The Red Siren we won't fall away or become scorched by our trials. Why? Because we know that God loves us, and no matter how bleak things appear, He is working all things out for our good.

Q: Of the three sisters in The Red Siren who do you relate to most and why?

A: I'd like to say that I relate to Faith the most. She's independent, strong, confident, and courageous: everything I've wanted to be most of my life! Plus, who wouldn't want to try their hand at being a pirate? But, in all honesty, Hope is the sister I relate to the most. She's had a tough go of things. She's insecure, wounded and she's seeking more than anything to be valued and loved. She longs to be strong like Faith and to be pious like Grace, but she finds she can be neither. Though she knows about God, she doesn't value herself enough to think that God would give her a passing glance. So, she is easily drawn away from Him by the things of this world. This was my life before I came back to the Lord, so Hope's story (The Blue Enchantress, summer 2009) is very dear to my heart.

Q: What kind of books do you enjoy reading?

A: What I enjoy most in any book is a great adventure, heartfelt romance, lots of conflict, edge of your seat tension, and deep interesting characters who I can root for, cry for, and rejoice with. As long as a book has those elements, I'm not particular about the genre, although if I find these qualities in an Historical Romance, I'm in heaven!

So, if you enjoy intrigue, adventure and romance rolled up into one package, pick this book up today. Oh, and don't forget Valentine's Day is coming - pick up a few for some friends and drop hints to the men in your lives!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Truth about depression

My Sunday school class is going through a book by Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Lies Women Believe and the Truth that Sets Them Free.

The author does disclaim that some of her opinions are controversial and not everyone will agree with her. That's cool. How boring this world would be if we all agreed!

Sometimes opinions can be dangerous and even deadly.

Miss DeMoss says this of depression: "The Lie: the answer to depression must first be sought in medication and/or psychotherapy."

In her opinion, depression is born of a sinful attitude or belief in untruth. She believes it first must be treated with Scripture and prayer and Godly counsel. My conclusion is that she's not too keen on medication.

I'm assuming the author has not battled with true depression.

At the risk of my reputation (again) and personal relationships, I'm gonna share my experience with depression and what God showed me.

During my first period at the age of twelve, something was terribly wrong. Exploding pain shooting up my side sent me to the emergency room. Doctors thought my appendix burst.

This scenario repeated itself over and over again until I was 18. Not only did I have horrific pain, I bled heavily and out of control for up to 12 days. That's not normal. For six years, I lost at least one to one and a half weeks of my life each month.

Relief came after I turned 18. Everything stopped. No period, no pain. Specialist after specialist could not figure out what happened. It wasn't until seven or eight years ago that finally doctors discovered I was in full-blown menopause. My hormones were whacked at best.

In addition, my thyroid went hypo (not enough hormone) and my other adrenal glands were depressed.

Balancing my female hormones became a priority because honestly, it's very hard to function without them. In the middle of that years long flurry of pharmaceutical roulette, the chemistry in my brain was affected. I was depressed, but no one including myself, diagnosed it. My symptoms were attributed to hormones and thyroid problems.

Add is life stresses and this biological cocktail grew deadly.

DeMoss argues that depression can be controlled, cured and prevented via prayer and bible study. She insinuates claiming depression is out of our control is a cop-out.

I love control. Who doesn't? While life spun out of control around me, I figured if anything, I could control my emotions and be that strong Darcie everyone expected.

The more I tried to pray it away and beg God to pull me out of the pit, the deeper I fell in. At the urging of one of my spiritual mothers who is a nurse, I went to my doctor.

Antidepressants are not magic pills. They are all different and work in different ways in different people. Psychiatrists look at a patient's medical charts and take a good guess at what kind of medicine may work best.

It may take several months of toying with drugs and doses to achieve some sort of balance.

Doctors warn that suicidal ideation and even attempts may occur during that investigational period.

My doctor prescribed one drug that wasn't working too well. So, we had to make a change. During that transition all hell broke loose. My brain didn't like letting go of drug #1 and fought back. I went bezerko. The teeny-tiniest things of life set me off into a spiral. Insensitivity toward my depression and a very condemning attitude from a few Christian peers was the match thrown in a kerosene soaked pile of kindling.

My brain was abducted. Honestly, that's what it felt like. There was a piece of me that watched in horror as the rest of me exploded into a suicidal fury. I could not stop it. Physically something was going on.

God stepped in through my husband. John had to physically wrestle me to the ground and peel pills from my hands as I raged and fought and screamed. Within 30 minutes he had me in the ER.

Psych consult attributed my suicide attempt as related to the medication transition. That mixed with the meds for my ADHD...

After I was released from the ER, I had to go every day to depression management classes and talk to a psychologist. Not to plant secular hooey in my head, but to help both John and I understand physiologically what was going on in my brain. My psychologist and psychiatrist gave us coping techniques to get us through that 6-8 week period of waiting for the meds to kick in.

Coming out of that episode, I was soaked in guilt. What had I done? What did I almost do to my family? I beat myself up mercilessly for my lack of control.

God whispered in my ear, "Darcie, you never have been in control. You never will be either. Only I am in control. Trust me."

What a hard way to learn such a seemingly simple lesson.

I don't advise it.

Here's the other assumption made by some Christian leaders who have never experienced depression for themselves. Antidepressants are just happy pills to avoid the real spiritual issues and sinful attitudes.

Oh how I wish my meds were happy pills! Medication only takes you to the point where you feel like your normal self again. They don't alter your temperament or attitude. They just create a balance in your brain so you can function.

In fact, anti-depressant meds won't work for long if you don't deal with some of the root causes or fuses to the depression. You must treat your whole person. Mind, spirit, body.

Christians have an advantage here, because we do have Christ dwelling in us. When we are weak, he is strong. His power is made perfect in our weakness. No one can have victory of this horrid illness without seeking and pulling out the toxic weeds.

When Christian leaders and authors advise heading to the church first when dealing with depression, they are putting lives at risk.

Depression MUST first be treated as what it is: an illness. Like any other illness. You don't tell a cancer patient to spend hours praying with the pastor or in counselling before trying chemo.

Depression is a cancer to the soul. You have to get the body in order and balanced so then you can get the mind and heart in order.

Severely depressed people, if pushed to repent, recite Bible verses or pray without medical help, may engage in self-destructive behavior. The energy and cognitive power to deal with issues beyond breathing and eating is not there.

Nancy Rue along with Stephen Arterburn are writing a series of novels that delve into this very issue. Healing Stones and Healing Waters (review) are of the transformative fiction genre. Through the lives of psychologist Sullivan Crisp and others, the authors go so deep into the heart of depression no one can emerge from the stories without empathy and hope.

These books both, have had an impact on my life. For the first time ever, I was reading my life on a page written by some very high-profile authors.

In the series character's backstory (Sullivan Crisp), Rue and Arterburn carve out how Crisp's wife ended up committing suicide and murder because well-meaning, yet ignorant believers told her depression was spiritual. The Biblical counselor she saw looked down on medication and psychotherapy. Prayer and scripture. Prayer and scripture.

The danger of discounting depression as an actual illness can't be played out in a more dramatic way.

In both books, depression is treated with such care and understanding infused with unflappable hope. A balance of medical help and spiritual growth is illustrated in a way readers can replicate.

I've blathered on for a looooong time.

If you know someone struggling with depression, encourage them to see a doctor first. Don't push the churchy stuff until they are stabilized on meds. In the mean time, buy and read these books mentioned above. Give them to the person to read once they can handle it.

God calls us to be Christ-like. Jesus Christ is grace and mercy. Draw upon him to flood you with the grace and mercy you need to show to a friend or even yourself when dealing with depression.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Against all my common sense

Gloom, doom and despair. The media and Democrats are trying to stir up such a panic over the economy that people will beg the government for help. It's their way of scaring the American people into allowing them to pass that "stimulus" package.

Obama is spending $200 MILLION to re-seed the mall in Washington b/c his worshipers destroyed it during the inauguration.

Citi Group is spending $400 MILLION of OUR taxpayer bail-out money for vanity rights to name the Yankees stadium after themselves.

The list goes on...

Then there's that guy in CA who lost his job and murdered his family before turning the gun on himself.

Scary stuff.

Saturday I was driving down Pierce on my way to Columbine HS for a winter guard show. Midway, I felt my chest tighten, my breathing shallowed and those weird star things poked into my peripheral vision.

IRS wants our money (peanuts compared to the dude Obama appt'd to take it over - the dude who is filthy stinking rich and "forgot" to pay taxes? The dude who they are letting it slide?). Excell energy wants to turn off the power (again). I need refills on my medications and my prayers for provision have not been answered. My husband is panicking. He's considering a night shift at Taco Bell if he can compete with illegal aliens for the job.

Panic, panic, panic.

I read Oswald Chamber's My Utmost for His Highest yesterday and came across this (again). "Jesus said if we would obey the life of God within us, He would look after all other things. Did Jesus Christ lie to us?...If we are not experience the "much more" He promised...we are not living the life God has given us and have cluttered our minds with confusing thoughts and worries."

A long time ago I read a biography about Oswald Chambers. He wasn't some prune-faced guru sitting in a zen garden smoking lotus leaves. He was a missionary in India. He died in his mid-thirties. All that wisdom in someone who died at my current age. Oswald lived everything he preached. His wife compiles Utmost so his example would live on.

All the disgusting thievery going on in our government and all those other money-grubbing institutions is feeding my fear, my worry, my anxiety. Due dates for essential bills have come and gone. And come and gone. And come and gone. We've prayed, we've cried, we've taken on extra work projects in hopes to make money to meet our basic needs of food, water, electricity, shelter and medicine. And it's far from enough.

Where is God? Where'd He go? Anyone see Him?

He promised to meet our needs.

I stopped believing Him and have been trying to take matters into my own hands (again).

Then I read that little phrase by Oswald: "Did Jesus Christ lie to us?"

Y'know, that thought was stabbing me in the brain before I read those words. The passage in Matt 6 seems to follow me wherever I try to hide. "Do you think I'm a liar?"

How do I answer that to my Lord?

"Oh no, Jesus, you're God for hiccuping out loud! You can't lie!"

"Darcie, you sure live like I'm a liar. Actions are louder than words. I'm hurt."

Then last night a Words for the Journey, my friend Kim Woodhouse spoke to us about writing through adversity. She changed it up a lot since I heard her speak in the fall.

Her family was in great need. Her daughter has a life-threatening condition and they were no-where Alaska. They needed the basics (food, electricity, water and medical stuff). Kim laid on the floor and cried out to God. "Don't you see our need? We are missionaries. We gave up everything to serve you and we are in such great need with no means of meeting them ourselves."

She and God went back and forth. He finally made it clear that she didn't need anything. Not food. Not water. Not clothing or medicine. She only needed Him. He had to be enough.

Slinking down in my chair, I twiddled my thumbs, counted canned lighting in the ceiling.

Kim's dynamic in her presentation and uses her hands. When she told about her begging God and His response, she clamped her hand on my shoulder.

Lord Jesus, could you be a little more obvious?

All that in one day.

The freak-fest in our home isn't only confined to me. My poor husband is a quivering mass of cellular matter. He freaks, I freak. He freaks more, I spaz and get headaches.

My other friend Kay told me (and Kim backed her up - double teamed) I need to focus on the God/me relationship. Let Him take care of John. John needs to focus on his God/John relationship.

But...but... the IRS...

Do I believe my God is bigger than the IRS? Excell Energy? Denver Water? Kaiser Permanente?
Maybe I need to rewrite the Veggie-Tales song, "God is bigger than the boogey man" to "God is bigger than the (pause) IRS".

Here goes. I'm gonna go against any and all common sense I might have and trust God. Not allow myself to get confused and distracted by all the crap swirling around in our world. When I want to panic, I need to run to my Bible. I need to let my friends know so they can pray me through it.

I don't have the strength or intestinal fortitude to do this.

But doesn't He promise He is strong in our weaknesses?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

If you Digg, you'll find some treasure

I've recently discovered an information site on which writers can post blogs and articles and what not then hope readers "digg" their stuff.

Reading and "digging" other writer's stuff helps you get noticed. digg.com is a tool to drive traffic to your webpages.

For example, I found this article on Yarnbombing. I found it on digg and "digged" it.

If you do go on digg, find me, befriend me and digg my articles. Hope to see you on there too!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Oh, give me a break

Oprah has a keychain that counts down the days, hours, minutes and seconds 'till Obama becomes president.

What do people expect? Instant wealth? Some kind of magical transformation?

QVC is selling anything and everything Obama. Plates, coins, mugs, T-shirts... I bet if I dig far enough there are sheets, pillows, boxer shorts and sunglasses! Wait, what about doggie dishes, leashes, diapers?

Or how 'bout some jewelry?

Rand McNally, the map maker is cashing in on the big O (is Oprah ready to share her letter?) with commemerative maps.

Better yet, get a load of this! The Democrats have a superstore with... you name it. So that's how they raise all their money. With the profit they bring in w/ the inaguration, they are sure to buy the world. Forget taking it over! Found the doggie wear on this site.

Personally, I think Mr. Obama is in for a shock. Terrorists don't do tea and crumpets, or share their toys. Nor does money grow on trees.

I hope Obama has a reality check and dives in to do what's best for the country, not what will make him popular. I want him to succeed so the US succeeds.

Until then, I guess I need to put my hope on a rope. (Take a look - a caricature of the to-be prez in soap !)

I'm crawling all over the web

I just started working as an Examiner for Denver. What is that, you ask? What am I examining?

examiner.com is an information site customized to a geographic location. On the Denver site, there are continual articles and feeds of entertainment news, heath issues, skiing article, and now my journalistic and adventuresome love of anything outdoors. I am the Outdoor Recreation Examiner.

I must submit four articles each week on anything outdoors that Denverites will find interesting. I get paid by traffic through my page, and comments etc. You can subscribe to my examiner feed by going to my site. It's free!

When my article goes up, I'll post the addy for it.

Also, I've started selling AVON and have my own website. AVON is doing well in these tight times b/c their products are reasonably priced. Some are priced lower than Wal-Mart! Soon, I'll do a post to show a comparison.

Ongoing medical expenses pushed us against the wall. My health costs more than we make currently, so I'm trying to do everything I can to bring in some extra $$.

Ever hear of Digg.com? It's a networking site for short articles on the web. Writers submit a post from a blog or other internet source, then people read it and if they like it, they digg it. Articles with the most diggs, get moved to the front of the line. to read the full article, readers are directed to your site which in turn icreases your traffic.

Digg, Facebook, Twitter, Examiner, Blogspot, AVON... I'm spreding. Come with!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tedd Dekker rocks.

Dekker writes some of the twisty-turniest novels on the shelves or in your Kindle if you've gone e.

I think his masterful use of story and allegory rival Tolkein and Lewis in his own genre. Check out his Circle Trilogy.

Anyway, if you're up for an interesting read, take this link to Ted's blog. This entry is titled, "The challenge of being gay". I won't say anymore about it b/c that would ruin the point he's making.

Writers especially -take time to read this.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Forgive me, but this is beyond funny!

England is known for its cultured society and fine arts.



Check out Mr. Methane (pronounced Mee-thane if your Brittish). This guy- no, you gotta see it to believe it! My words can't do this justice.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Tinker Toys: Girls vs. Boys

Something struck me this Christmas while my family lay scattered on the floor amidst a pile of Tinker Toys. What I was building was not even close to being in league with what my husband John was building. Then, add the element of Booger interest. Booger showed zero interest in my creations, but couldn't keep his tiny little fingers off of John's.

Clearly, boys and girls approach Tinker Toys in very different ways.

Blogger won't let me move my pictures and put captions. Grrrr. John's is the one with the wheels. It's a Uranusian Crater Rover, designed to explore the uncharted surfaces of Uranus.

I made the Snorkleblatt, Tinker Woman and Thing-a-ma-jiggy. Mine took about five minutes each. John spent four to six hours trying to perfect and Booger-proof his design.


Friday, January 02, 2009

Homeless teen blogs her journey

If you don't read suspense author, Brandilyn Collins' blog, take a hop on over.

One of Brandilyn's rabid readers (hmmm, that sounds like a facebook group name) lost her home and is living in her car with her 16 year old daughter. The woman may have a job possibility, but it requires a permanent address! I swear our system is so contrarian. Get a job to pay for a place to live. To have a job you have to have a place to live.

Brandilyn is taking donations on her PayPal account for this family. They are fellow beleivers and need help. I wish I could give $$, but my family is only a hair's width away from being where they are. What I can do, is make the need known among my group of readers.

To read Katy's blog (the 16 year old) go here.

Should you decide to help, let Brandilyn know you're a Litterbox reader! It will be interesting to see how the word spreads. Also, if you blog, link to Brandilyn's blog and to Katy's blog as well.