Monday, June 30, 2014

Moody Monday's: Having Faith

It's Monday again! That day of the week that is often dreaded. A time to shake of the weekend slumber/fun and head back to the work place.
It is a day that often starts out on the wrong foot. A day where nothing seems to go right. A day that finds most in a slump of negativity. 
So, how does one get past that slump?
I could list a series of ideas but I can't speak for anyone but myself. Each of us deal with life differently. For myself, I seek the Lord. 
It may not be the answer for everyone..but it works for me.
I have been in a slump these last few weeks. I feel the clutches of negativity and stress digging its claws in.  I have tried to face it with humor. I have tried to overcome it with projects. I have tried writing about it. I have been tempted a time or two to post about it. But in the end, none of these methods have worked...until I prayed about it.
God has helped me along the way.
With God:
I have been able to face my fears of success/failure. 
I have set goals and felt the exhilaration of making them. 
I have learned that procrastinating only gets you so far before you have to do something.  
I have learned the path is much easier when trusting God to guide the way.

I have been flipping a coin as to continuing my writing online. I have many irons in the fire that make it difficult to find the time to mingle with everyone I have meet. I love the writing family that has surrounded me and supported me. I am grateful to be a part of it. I don't want to give it up...but, in the same sense...I'm not sure this is the direction I should go. I will continue to pray about. For now, this will be my last post.
I will continue to keep in contact as time allows. 
I will think of you all often. 
I will cherish the time we had together swapping stories, laughs, and support. 
I will always be grateful for the friendships.
I feel blessed with the opportunity to meet and correspond with all of you. 
If in the future you want to chat, just drop me a line on FB or email.
I thank you all for everything you have done to help me to grow as a writer. I wish you all well in your adventures.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Moody Monday's: Kicking Fear to the Curb

I am in a mood this morning. It isn't one that can be quickly labeled. It is more like a swirl between the worlds of negative and positive. I am discouraged but not to the point of quitting. I feel determined but not at the level of success I desire. I am feeling encouraged and yet beat down. Oh, let's face it, I am a walking contradiction this morning.
I have been in a mood to write, but found myself lacking the desire to write online. I have tried to be sociable but find myself lacking in spirit. Could it be because I placed an unrealistic expectation on others, or myself? I have never been one that could smoothly fit in, because of that, it has become a stumbling block for me.
I have also placed upon my path the task of finishing projects I started months ago. This latest one was a quilt for my grandson to go with the log bed his grandfather made him.
Did you know you can sew a complete project with your thread threaded wrong? I didn't but found out the hard way this week. 
The log bed Grandpa made Little J.
photo by tlpoague
I also found that I have this problem. It keep holding me back from things that are so simple to achieve. It causes me to doubt myself and question every step I take. He also likes to call upon his buddies to hold me back from overcoming this problem.
His name is Fear.
I felt it as a child when I would give my heart to the world to only have it crushed by his friends Envy, Ego, Rejection, and Criticism. It didn't take long for his friends and him to dig their claws in for a long party.
“You're too stupid.”
“You'll never amount to anything.”
“Why do you even try? You always fail.”
Those are words that hung out with Fear.
Soon I began to believe them.
Then one day I woke up with a feeling I never knew before.
Her name was Desire.
I desired to find a way to overcome Fear.
I desired to write, to sing, to finish something...anything.
I desired to achieve the things I had given up for various reasons.
Slowly over time, I have met those goals.
I may not be a famous writer whipping out books by the masses, but I still love to write and share it with others.
I may not be at a Martha Steward level in creativity but know I can do anything I set my mind to.
I may not be able to belt out a tune anymore, without causing the dogs to howl, but I still have the desire to try.
While on the phone to my mother and sister this week, I was telling them about my dilemma with my quilt. I feared screwing it up. I didn't want to cut the pieces then it be too short. I wasn't sure about the design. I felt I had no clue what I was doing. 
It is still a work in progress.
photo by tlpoague
Then it happened.
Most of my fears came true.
Some of the pieces weren't right. Most of them wouldn't sew together. It bound up, thread broke, and measurements were off.
I adjusted the tension. I tested my decade old thread. I tried to blame the interruptions I endured while studying my problem. (How is it that when trying to work, one endures more interruptions and distractions than watching TV?)
Then it came to me clear as a bell, (and the fact that I finally pulled out my sewing book.) I had been threading my bobbin and needle wrong. This had affected the tension to sew the quilt properly. My measurements were off because I was trying to rush it. The thread broke because it was too old but still usable if I took my time.
Now I had a cross road to choose from....give up, tear it all out and start over, or improvise and finish it?
I choose the latter.
It may not be perfect but I will finish it.
Before, Fear would convince me to quit. I would tell myself it was too much. I didn't have the knowledge. Before, I would just dream about it, not try. That was before. I know I can do anything...just kick Fear to the curb.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: The World Is A Playground

Sometimes we forget what it is like to explore the world through the eyes of a child.

photo by tlpoague

photo by tlpoague

Come join the fun of Wordless Wednesday with Cascia Talbert and Abracabadra

Monday, June 16, 2014

Moody Monday's: Gardening Is Good For The Soul

I got into a mood this morning. I told myself, after a night of lacking sleep, that I needed to get more exercise. (I was seeing fluffy in areas that didn't need much fluff. If anything, they needed the elastic tightened.) I heard that housecleaning was a great form of exercise, but it sure wasn't cutting it for me, no matter how many times I trampled up and down the stairs. So...mood set, tools in hand, I headed out for the garden at six this morning.
It was a disaster!
All the hard work felt wasted as I stood there, hands on hips, surveying the tundra of weeds. With the help of our son, my poor hubby had struggled to till the plot. Then helped me sow seeds into the neat rows. Only to watch the weeds grow instead of our precious plants. (It was apparent that my seeds were too old.)
I wanted to admit defeat, but my soul said no. (And the part where certain critics wanted to say...I told ya so!)
As luck would have it, a small tornado came for a visit Saturday. It did a hop and skip over town, leaving signs of its presence behind in many forms of wind damage. Even a small plane was flipped on its top as it passed. This meant that most of Father's Day was spent squaring away the debris left from our visitor. (I am grateful that no one in our area and the surrounding areas were hurt.)

For my good fortune, this also meant that plants at store were on clearance. I grabbed as many flats as I thought would fill my precious space.
I wasn't too worried about the root plants or ones I could sow from seed for a fall harvest. Instead I felt a great joy finding hidden gems like Brussels sprouts in the broccoli and cauliflower, or green bell peppers in the hot peppers. Soon I had visions of my abundant garden dancing around my head.
This also meant that I wouldn't have to worry about being in short supply of exercise.
Here I was...bright and early...ready to tackle the weeds...and plant my produce.
The first couple of rows weren't too bad.
I didn't think my rows looked too bad.
photo by tlpoague
I had my handy hoe, with a fork on the back end, plowing up the weeds and pitching them in a bucket. I wanted to make sure some of them little critters didn't come back for a visit. I would come back, draw out a row, then fill it with my newly, bought plant. I had a pretty good rhythm going.
My hubby, feeling a might guilty that I was tackling such a big job, came out to check on my progress. It was then, with his kind suggestion, that I realized my straight rows had taken on a curved look. (Hmm, I was wondering why I was getting a bigger gap between a few of them plants.)
Horrified, I proceed to fix my mistake, while Hubby helped with planting peppers.
I still have a lot of weeding to do.
photo by tlpoague
Let me tell ya, by the time I was done planting them flats of plants. I had a burn in muscles I forgot existed. I didn't dare complain about it either since I had made such a big deal about needing exercise.
That much work called for a break. Since I had ran out of room for some of my hot peppers, I decided to share the wealth with my aunt and uncle. Snagging my bored nephew, we set off to the restaurant they owned.
I had just settled in with a sweating glass of ice tea when my elderly neighbor from across the street came in. We exchanged pleasantries before she finally chimed, “Girl, I didn't know what to think of you out there sweating in that garden. I feared you were gonna pass out. Don't ya know you shouldn't wear black in a hot sun? And that poor hat of yours fallin off your head. Ya really needed to tie it down with a scarf.”
It was my turn to chuckle at myself as I replied, “Well, when I started it wasn't that hot. As for the scarf...its around the hat.”
We both had a good laugh at my mistake.
Having a garden is good for the soul...and great exercise too!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Moody Monday's: Can you be your own dentist while curing acne with a cheese grater?

I have decided to step out of the box this week and post something a little different. I wrote this piece eons ago while writing for a writing challenge on HubPages. The challenge was started by a man named Stan Fletcher. He was well known across the HP community by his quick whit and sense of humor. At least once a month he would throw out a challenge to those interested in spreading their wings and trying something new.
I found these writing exercises invigorating, filling me with a faucet of ideas, and a chance to tap into another side of my writing. (I called it my warped, Redneck, dark humor.) 
If ever you find yourself lacking for an idea or challenge, check out...Stan Fletcher's Killer Ideas For Your Next Hub. 
(Just a note: what you are about to read is not for the weak of heart or weak stomach. Don't try this at home. This was simply a writing challenge.)

How To Be Your Own Dentist While Curing Acne With a Cheese Grater
Dear Mr. Stan Fletcher,
Just to let you know, I could never be my own dentist. I can’t stand the thought of using a foreign object to dig away at an abscessed tooth. However, I have been asked to be like a dentist to help someone else out.
Here is my idea of helping someone (in this case a poor teenager) to be their own dentist, while curing acne, with a cheese grater.

Open wide! This will only take a moment...
All it takes is a little imagination.
Children, bless their hearts, are plagued by a deadly chocolate disease that brings on a contagious case of acne. Their teeth begin to rot as their face pops out with spots, so it is handy to have some dental knowledge when dealing with high profile cases.

To get started you will need:

1 bottle of cherry flavored NyQuil (per child)

Fishing pole with heavy test line

Cheese grater (the hand held kind are the best)

One puke bucket (per child)

It will take a couple bottles of cherry flavored NyQuil to get the numbness going, followed by a bit of a buzz. Be sure to keep the fishing pole, with a heavy test line, and cheese grater handy. It also helps to have the puke bucket close by (it doesn't matter if it is for you or the kids).

Are you ready?
While they are experiencing a sugar high, dope them up with a couple bottles of cherry flavored NyQuil to prepare them for the dental work. Have them prop themselves up on pillows while lying on the couch in a comfortable position, head tilted back. Jaws opened wide, tie the end of a fishing line around the deteriorated tooth, making sure all the slack is taken up. Make sure to distract them with humorous pictures, or jokes, to keep their mind off the upcoming pain.

Now, once everyone is primed, give the fishing pole a hard yank. If properly prepared, the agonizing tooth should come flying out with ease. (Careful not to loose the tooth so the child may give it to the tooth fairy.)

Problem with acne? No Problem!
With the offending tooth out of the way, the parent is able to focus on the troublesome acne. Using a cotton ball dripping with rubbing alcohol, smear it along the troubled spots. This will not only clean and disinfect, but has a numbing agent to coincide with the NyQuil. A cheese grater with a long handle works best when scrubbing off the acne. Once the white heads have bled, reapply the rubbing alcohol to re-clean and disinfect. The child is now ready to face the world with a chipper smile and rosy face.

© tlpoague

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Being Still

Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. (Psalms 46:10 KJV)

Photo by tlpoague

 Wordless Wednesday Linky
Cascia  Talbert

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Moody Monday's: God Only Gives Us As Much As We Can Handle

Have you ever heard the saying, “God only gives you as much as you can handle?” Do you believe it is true?
For myself, I would have to say yes. I think God only gives me as much as I can handle. 
photo by tlpoague
I often joke that I never have a boring life. There is always some kind of drama going on whether it is in my siblings families or my own. Last week I had a very good topic I was wanting to write about. Then it happened. That little thing that often derails the best of writer's intentions.
Mine was a washing machine. It was one of those shinning moments where you have a houseful of company and things begin to go sour. My son had been washing his laundry when he noticed that the washer wasn't draining. Instead of intruding on his visit, we decided to post-pone the fix till after the kids left. This just happened to be the day I needed to post a Moody Monday. What timing!                            
“Well, no problem,” I told myself as I handed the tools to my hubby. “It should be a quick fix.”
Boy, was I wrong.
The filter of the water pump was full of garbage. Guess where the built up water went? Yup, all over the floor, despite the best efforts to drain it in a bucket. The smell was awful! I still gag thinking about it.
So, after cleaning out the pump and replacing it, I cleaned up a filthy mess. While cleaning this mess, I noticed that the drum of the washing machine wasn't spinning. It took awhile to analyze the problem and then find a solution. (There is a sensor inside the door of the front-end loading washing machine that becomes weak. When this happens, it won't spin properly.) This meant that we (the hubby) has to take apart the door and adjust the sensor to get by till we could order a new one. In the meantime, I was still trying to move things and clean up the smelly water mess.
By the time we had made a few more adjustments, finished the week's worth of laundry, and mopped the floors a dozen times, I was pretty pooped, but we still needed to plant our garden. I know, I know, it seems a bit late, but with all the weird weather we had been having, I wanted to make sure that the last frost was over so I didn't loose any of our precious plants. So, I figured...there is always tomorrow to write.
Never tell yourself that when making plans for the next day. For in my case, planning often doesn't go as planned.
Tuesday found me doing more housecleaning and helping the hubby finish a bed for our grandson Julius. I thought it turned out amazing. Of course this led to having the grand kids over for a bit. 
The grandson and his new bed.
photo by tlpoague
Wednesday was a surprise fishing trip. I had a great time trying to out fish Mr. P.. Naturally he caught the most fish while I managed to catch a lot of sun. To add to the excitement of fishing, we seen the largest snapping turtle of our lives.
I couldn't pass this opportunity up so I dug out my camera to snap a few photos. Just as I zoomed in to take a shot of the turtle, movement caught my eye. It was a water snake swimming towards my feet. For those that know me...I hate snakes! They freak me out!
I forgot about the turtle as I focused on the snake just inches from my feet. Mr. P. was doing his best to find a stick to scoot it away. (Have you ever had a moment where you have a deadly creature on the end of the stick and the stick breaks? Well...I did. Not once, but twice!) 
Mr. P. did his best to fling the snake back into the lake a bit further from where we were. This little critter wasn't impressed and proceeded to swim right back for my feet. The second time, Mr. P. poked at him till he moved on by. Of course, I think it may have been more productive if the sticks didn't keep breaking. By the time the excitement was over, the turtle had moved on, and I was done fishing. 
I am really not fond of snakes, no matter the size.
photo by tlpoague
We decided to head back home but first wanted to stop by my dad's, Big Nam, to see how he was recovering. (He had been really sick over Easter.) I was glad to see he was doing better. It was an enchanting moment of enjoyment to see the look on his face when we gave him a load of fish we caught. I was one happy french fry! By the time we arrived home, I hit the sack and slept like a rock. 
The stringer full of fish we gave my dad.
photo by tlpoague
Thursday we took off on a four hour drive to the doctor's for an over-night test. Along the way we had a lovely conversation about our week and future plans. (Our daughter had mentioned that she has a new job. This means that she will be moving a few hours away. I planed to get in as much time with the grand babies as I could before they move.) As for the tests... they seemed to have gone well.
Friday as we headed back home for a much needed rest, I received a phone call from our daughter. Our youngest grandson was admitted in the hospital for an over-night observation and more tests. He had been breathing too fast and had wheezing on his chest. As a grandmother, it was difficult to not want to control the situation. By the time I had arrived at the hospital, the doctor has determined that the little guy had viral pneumonia. They were keeping him under watch and administering medication.
Saturday, our little guy was doing much better. He was sent home. Needless to say, I think I have earned a few more gray hairs from all the worry. I am grateful that God answered our prayers. 
Our little grandson feeling much better.
photo by tlpoague
It was sitting here at my computer on Sunday, brushing off my keyboard, contemplating my next topic, and reading a few blogs, hubs, and bubbles, that I realized something very important.
No matter how busy I am, I need to find the time to write. This is important because to keep this talent in tuned, I need to use it. Not just talk about it...but take action and do it. The ironic part of it was that as I was catching up on some reading, I read an article from a fellow writer talking about how as writers we have a responsibility to write. This article really hit home. Sometimes it easier to get caught up in excuses than to just take that moment and...well...just write.

I look forward to seeing you all again next Monday for Moody Monday's.