Saturday, March 31, 2012

Stream of Consciousness Sunday ~ 4/1/12


Welcome to the Stream of Consciousness Sunday link up which I co-host with my BBF (best blogging friend) Shari from Rain Into Rainbows! Find out more information about SOCS here.

By the by, I'm writing these things as the week progresses, so if things seem out of order or strange for it to be occurring on a certain day, it's because I've been working on this post for a week. :D

Complete insanity! I've been to 3 appointments in the last 2 weeks and at all 3, I didn't have all the needed paperwork. Why? Because when I called and scheduled the appointments and asked exactly what I needed to bring, they didn't tell me everything that I needed. So frustrating!

Not at all wanting to or trying to get political here, but I just don't understand why health care is not a given right for all. It really stinks to be fighting a chronic illness and because I don't have health insurance, I cannot get the health care I need. And I know I'm not the only person experiencing this. It just doesn't make sense to me.

Grab the Stream of Consciousness Sunday button and use it in your post and if you'd like, we'd love it if you would put the button in your sidebar as well!

So what have you been thinking about this week? Let's hear your random thoughts!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Limits & Create


31 Days to Become a Better Writer - Day 18 & 19

Today's Challenge:
Today is all about parameters and staying within them. On our personal blogs we control the word count, but someday you may need to craft within the framework of certain parameters and this exercise is designed to help you practice that. So, since Easter is coming up and that makes me think about holidays, I want you to write about your favorite holiday and why it’s your favorite. Be creative. I know you all are super creative! There’s a catch, though. 300 words. Max. I know, I’m such a party pooper. Okay, what are you waiting for? Write! Now! Right now.


Create. Color, draw, bake, cook, build with Legos, sew, play with playdough, whatever medium you prefer, use it to create. Do you play an instrument? Try picking it up and see what happens. If you still feel like writing afterwards, Lisa-Jo’s Five Minute Friday is a great (and quick) link-up!

A day late (and a dollar short). My apologies. Had a rough day yesterday and just couldn't write.

A Very Merry Christmas!

White lights. Blue lights. Pink lights too! The lights have been gleaming non-stop for 30ish days. Tradition dictates that decorations go up during the Macy's Parade on Thanksgiving Day. Decorations come down on New Year's Day during the Rose Parade. What can I say, we really like parades!

Tradition also dictates Christmas Eve. We attend a service at church. Dinner of little smokies, cheese, chips, dip, and sweets awaits us at home. Reading about Jesus' birth from Scripture and praying together comes next. The youngest person in attendance (or a combination if the youngest person is a baby - like my nephew Wyatt who was 9 days old last year - or can't read - like my niece Lola who is 3 years old - so Damaris, the next youngest helped out) then hands out the presents from under the tree one at a time. We watch the person open their gift and all get to appreciate it before we move on to the next gift. We're usually up until midnight or later enjoying our time together.

Christmas morning is much fun for the kiddos as Santa has come overnight and filled everyone's stockings with little goodies. The rest of the day is spent celebrating the birth of Jesus our Liberating King and spending time with those we love (and enjoying some yummy food too!).

And my favorite gift ever you ask? Not a traditional gift, but celebrating our first Christmas with Damaris. She was 2 months old - our precious gift from God! Then, 3 years ago, we celebrated with my niece Lola who was 3 months old. And this past Christmas with my nephew Wyatt who was 10 days old. It's not about the gifts for me, but about the love from above, from beside, from all around.

Damaris' 1st Christmas

Lola's 1st Christmas

Wyatt's 1st Christmas

Woot! 300 words exactly! :D I'm fixing to work on a knitting project. And I wrote about the 5 Minute Friday prompt without even knowing it! Score!

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012



31 Days to Become a Better Writer - Day 17

Today's Challenge:
Write a stream of consciousness post. All of you are wonderful writers so I know there will be no shortage of words. Remember, don’t pretty this up too much, just check for gross spelling errors and such–ie. don’t use ain’t unless you are speaking in a particular vernacular that would make it appropriate.

stream of consciousness

Stream of consciousness? Are you really sure you want to hear all this? Well, you asked for it. I'm really tired. Busy afternoon and an appointment first thing tomorrow morning. That means I have to get up and around early which is a tough thing for me. Good news - Russ is scheduled for an extra day of work next week. That will help with the finances. I have now officially applied for disability. Hopefully things will go well with that. Prayers gladly accepted! I thought I had something else to say but my brain has gone into a fibrofog. By the by, Damaris has been participating in the 31 Days to Become a Better Writer challenge with me. You can see her posts on her blog. Damaris and I went to knit night at Yarnies for the first time last night. The ladies were so nice and it was good to get out of the house. Just wish I didn't have to save up several days worth of spoons in order to go. I guess that's about it for my stream of consciousness. I'm not very conscious tonight, so...

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012



31 Days to Become a Better Writer - Day 16

Today's Challenge:
Pick two topics and brainstorm about them! If you don’t have 3 x 5 cards on hand, just cut up a piece of paper into smaller pieces, or you could even just list the subcategories into groups on paper after brainstorming them.

I'm cheating! Well, actually not so much cheating as changing the assignment. The method of brainstorming written about in the assignment for today doesn't work for me, but I'll show you how I do brainstorm.

This is my blogging calendar/notebook. Isn't it pretty? <3 data-blogger-escaped-:="" data-blogger-escaped-br="" data-blogger-escaped-pink="">

This is two of the note pages in the calendar. As I think of new broad topics for my blog, I write them here. The topics typically become categories here on my blog. Sometimes two get merged together (like fibromyalgia and chronic illness).

This is the monthly calendar for next month, April. I write in pencil only on these calendars. When I'm ready to do some planning/brainstorming, I begin by writing in regularly scheduled posts (for example: on Monday I blog my 1000 Gifts/Joy Dare post, on Friday I blog my InstaFriday post, on Sunday I blog a prayer, on Saturday I blog my Stream of Consciousness Sunday post/link up for the next day, etc.). Then I write in the due dates of any reviews/giveaways or special events (for example: I have 2 reviews/giveaways I know that I'll be doing in April so those are written in on their due dates; I have two special events in April that I plan to blog about: TOMS One Day Without Shoes and Compassion Sunday). I also have written in the remaining days for the 31 Days to Become a Better Writer challenge. April is going to be a very busy month because I'll be participating in the Health Activist Writers Month Challenge as well. Then, each week, I sit down with my calendar and move around things that I want to change dates on (for example, I might do a review/giveaway post a few days before it's due date) - thus the reason I write in pencil. I've already written in some brainstorming ideas for posts in May which I'm sure will get edited or moved around before then. I keep my blogging calendar handy so I can jot down notes whenever they pop into my head or whenever I get a new assignment. I do mark things completed on the calendar so that I can see what I've done and what I still need to get done. :D

So this is my blogging brainstorming strategy. I hope it makes sense. Feel free to ask questions. Do you brainstorm a different way? I'd love to hear your strategies!

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Process of Knitting


31 Days to Become a Better Writer - Day 15

Today's Challenge:
Write a post involving a recipe or a process, but try to infuse the post with your personality or thoughts. Don’t over think this one. Brushing your teeth, cooking macaroni and cheese, and grocery shopping are all seemingly mundane processes, but they are intriguing when we see them from your perspective. Word to the wise, steer clear of the “and then I” syndrome.

coffee + malabrigo = yummy

Clickity clack. Clickity clack.

Needle through the stitch, left to right, front to back. Wrap the yarn, pull it through. Slip the stitch off. Sip of coffee.

Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

The rhythm of knitting.

The rhythm of life.

This row, then the next.

Two sticks and a ball of yarn. Transformation.

What will it be? What will the work of my hands create?
A scarf, a hat, a shawl, a blanket, a treasure.

Clickity clack. Clickity clack.

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Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Prayer for Today

God of suffering and glory,
in Jesus Christ you reveal the way of life
through the path of obedience.
Inscribe your law in our hearts,
that in life we may not stray from you,
but may be your people.

Prayer & Photo Credit

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Stream of Consciousness Sunday ~ 3/25/12


Welcome to the Stream of Consciousness Sunday link up which I co-host with my BBF (best blogging friend) Shari from Rain Into Rainbows! Find out more information about SOCS here.

By the by, I'm writing these things as the week progresses, so if things seem out of order or strange for it to be occurring on a certain day, it's because I've been working on this post for a week. :D

If you've read some of my other posts this week, you know I've had a really bad fibromyalgia pain week. So, this will be a pretty short SOCS post since what has been on my mind has been mostly pain. :(

Watching Glee and now Smash has brought back memories of performing in high school (well, even before that, all through school really) and college.

Got Abilene library cards this week so I've been spending lots of time reading. Found some new authors who write fiction stories centered around knitting. It's been nice to read about knitting even when my pain level wouldn't let me actually knit.

Grab the Stream of Consciousness Sunday button and use it in your post and if you'd like, we'd love it if you would put the button in your sidebar as well!

So what have you been thinking about this week? Let's hear your random thoughts!

Friday, March 23, 2012



31 Days to Become a Better Writer - Day 14

Today's Challenge:
Today I want you to visit Lisa-Jo’s and write about whatever prompt she has, but when I go back and read it later, I want it to scream you! It shouldn’t blend in with the post before it and after it. Instead it should shout your name.


LOUD! My body has been so loud this week. The screaming! Surely you can hear it too! Nothing is helping - medicine, creams, hot shower, trying to sleep, screaming myself! The pain is so loud today that I couldn't even go to the grocery store. Russ & Damaris went in my place. I hate how this disease just devastates my life. I don't know from one day to the next whether I'll be able to get out of bed or have dinner with friends or go to church or run errands or just sit outside. It's almost impossible to make plans because I never know if my body will be screaming LOUD or simply be a dull roar. Because there is never silence. No, that would provide too much relief. It's a good day when the noise is only a dull roar. Because then I can do some things, but heaven forbid that I try to have a normal day, because by evening, I'll be paying for it with my body screaming so LOUD I'm in tears. It feels like this has been a week where all I've done is complain. And that's not me. That's not who I used to be anyway. But now, I don't even know what to say or what to blog about or what to Twitter about or what to post on Facebook because I don't want people's judgments. I don't want them to think I'm just a complainer. So the LOUD scream gets tucked inside me until it's just sooooooo LOUD that I can't contain it any longer. And that's what this week has been. A body is not meant to scream in pain. Why is this my new normal?


Also linking up with:

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

My Voice


31 Days to Become a Better Writer - Day 13

Today's Challenge:
Choose five words to describe your voice or what you know of your voice. I know, here I go with the lists again. Then take two or three excerpts of your writing and see if your writing matches up with what you know of your voice. Pick out a few ways that the writing lets your unique voice shine through and a few areas on which you could improve. What keeps you from writing in your own voice?

I think these five words describe my voice, or at least what I desire for my voice to be.
1. Empathetic
2. Advocate
3. Conversational
4. Snarky
5. Passionate

I definitely think this blog post Our Miracle shows the passionate and conversational sides of my voice. This is an older post called Honest Scrap. Although it's a meme, you can definitely see the snarky and conversational sides of my voice. And I honestly believe that yesterday's post shows the passionate, empathetic, and advocate parts of my voice.

What do you think? How would you describe my voice? Any additions or changes to what I mentioned above? And what about you, how would you describe your voice?

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

31 Days to Become a Better Writer - Day 12


Today's Challenge:
Make a list of ten of your passions. Pick one and write about why that topic/subject is your passion. We want to know the nitty gritty whys and hows. Maybe your love for war reenactments stems from your father taking you to battlefields and forts when you were younger or perhaps your pottery obsession is from a desire to understand the verse, “You are the potter and I am the clay...” Whatever your passion, for whatever reason you pursue it, we want to hear about it.

If you've been a reader here for long, you probably could name ten of my passions. LOL! Just in case you can't, here we go:
1. PINK (seriously, anything the color pink has me at hello)
2. knitting
3. coffee
4. my amazing hubs and daughter
5. fibromyalgia/chronic illness/invisible illness/disability
6. Gilmore Girls
7. women in ministry
8. gluten free
9. homeschooling
10. reading

I had already planned to write a post today about passion #5 - fibromyalgia/chronic illness/invisible illness/disability and then when I read the assignment for the Better Writer challenge, I realized that my planned post totally fit the bill.

I read this blog post a few weeks ago and knew I wanted to respond. I just wasn't sure exactly what my response was going to look like. For those who don't want to read the entire blog post I cited above, in short, a woman with a chronic invisible illness was going into a store and used the handicap accessible door. A woman in a wheelchair about ten feet away went off on her and yelled that she wasn't handicapped and couldn't use that *&%^ing door. The first woman approached the second and informed her that she did have a disability, however, it is an invisible one. She proceeded to tell her that she was allowed to use whichever door she wanted and that she was not in the way or stopping this other woman from using that door. The second woman continued screaming profanity and pitching a fit as the first woman walked away. The blog post continues as she reflects on the need to support each other and stand up for each other whether our disease is invisible or not.

I have to admit, if this had happened to me, my temper would probably have gotten the better of me and I probably would have said some things I shouldn't have. And then my mind jumps to those times when I've seen someone park in a handicap parking space and then jump right out of the car and run in the store. In those moments, I have instantly made the assumption that they aren't handicapped and how dare they park in those spaces. The truth is, I am in the wrong in those moments. I don't know if they are handicapped or not. Who am I to judge?

As my fibromyalgia has gotten worse and has gone from true invisibility to a bit more visible as I use my cane or wheelchair, I have begun to experience a new type of invisibility. Shopping using a scooter (the only way I can shop) is one of the most miserable errands I have to do. Why? Because most people pay no attention to what is going on around them. I have been run into by shopping carts more times than I can count. Many times the aisles are so narrow, it is like running a gauntlet to try to get through. Those scooters have a horrific turning radius so when I go to turn down the next aisle, invariably I am run into head on by a cart or suddenly I am in someone's way. 9 times out of 10, by the time we are finished in the store, I am so angry that I want to yell at someone or so emotionally beaten that I am in tears.

All of these events and reflections lead me to some questions. When did it become acceptable not to have common courtesy for each other? And why do many with visible illnesses or those with no illnesses think it's ok to bash (verbally, emotionally, and sometimes physically) those with invisible illnesses? How can we change this? How can we encourage and respect and support each other? How can we have compassion for each other? How can we make a difference today?

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

31 Days to Become a Better Writer - Day 11


Today's Challenge:
Read these eyewitness accounts of President Lincoln’s Gettysburg address and then craft a post about them. The sky’s the limit. Be creative, be you.

Lincoln: Gettysburg Address text

I remember it as if it had happened yesterday. You see, it was the day I met the president - President Lincoln, that is. It almost didn't happen. The plan was for our brother Kersey to take Elmira Jane and I into Gettysburg. Something happened and Kersey couldn't take us, so he asked Mr. Walker to take us. However, at the last minute, Mr. Walker said he couldn't go either! Kersey then asked Mr. Wainer if we could ride in his wagon and he agreed. For a little while, I was sure there was no way we were going to make it. But we did! Ten of us piled into the wagon and headed for town. The road leading into Gettysburg was very crowded the nearer we got. So we got out of the wagon and walked the rest of the way. Elmira Jane and I left the rest of the group and headed for the center of town where our dear family friend Judge Wills lived. President Lincoln was staying at Judge Wills' home and we thought this was our best chance to see him up close. When we got there, we found ourselves suddenly looking up, up, up right into President Lincoln's face. He took my hand in his and smiled down on me. I couldn't believe it! Elmira Jane and I made our way to the cemetery, giggling and giddy the entire way. In the cemetery, we found a platform had been built. We sat in the stand waiting and from there, saw the president's procession make it's way to the cemetery. Then, his words rang out, clear and strong. Before I knew it, his speech was over. I'll never forget that day!

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