Archive for May, 2011

He had a vision. I had a vision. But he was building it. So I kept my mouth shut.  😀

It started off simply enough- we agreed to 3 chickens.  Both of us were bitten by chicken math pretty early on.  As any good builder knows (at least in our case :lol:), you put your plans together, and then you build bigger than you think you really need.

That meant I could get more chickens.  So then we planned on 6.  And he built bigger.  😀

By this point and time, I was in full addict mode, chicken math  and oops, I did it again having fully taken over.  And, to be fair, hunny was too, although you won’t get him to admit it right now.  😉

His vision was a chicken tractor that looked like a barn.  The upside to a tractor is that they are mobile, which means you can move them around your yard, making clean up easier, whilst giving your chickies fun things to do in the grass.

Work began. 

Then a bit of paint. 

Once it was finished, we moved it into place on the other side of the yard, next to the garden.

Long story short, we needed to add a run.  And probably another nighttime roost.  Plans for a silo to attach to one side were discussed and pondered. Materials for a run were acquired. Research was ongoing, and my “wouldn’t that be nice” list continued to grow.  😆

My big concern has been predators.  While I don’t think we’re going to get bears and coyotes in the backyard, I couldn’t emphasise enough how devastated I would be (never mind the kids!!) if something got in and took off the heads of my chickies and scooped them out one handful at a time.  More research was done.

This morning, he says to me, “I really ought to just build something else entirely.”  Can you see the jaw drop and the eyes bugging out of my head in sheer delight? (clap clap clap) So, we designed and priced, and off they went to get materials.

We moved the barn tractor back to the other side of the yard, so they can build in place. While I’m going to miss our little barn and its features, it’s going to a *very* good home. 😉

You can’t see it well, but the ladder is on sort of a pulley to close the ladder up at night.  Both sides of the roof open for easy cleaning.

I know that last one is redundant, but I can’t take enough pictures of the chickies!  😆

Round 2 is well under way.  The two oldest are out there (yes, in the 100 degree heat) pre-drilling holes and screwing things down.  My oldest dd is more inclined to this kind of work than my son is, which is interesting.  I think the only thing he really likes building is computers.  😆

Let the round two chicken fun begin!  😀

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With the invisible rapture behind us, I’ve moved on to the next thing to stress about and prepare for: zombie apocalypse.  Seeing as we have 5 months to prepare for the world to be destroyed on October 21 (according to Camping’s teachings), I thought I would shuffle my panic accordingly.

To be fair, this new threat has caught me quite off-guard.  With my eye on the rapture (according to Camping), I completely missed the Center for Disease Control (CDC)‘s May 16, 2011 emergency preparedness blog regarding a Zombie Apocalypse.  This is what I get for being asleep at the wheel!

To save the day, the CDC has compiled a checklist for people like me, who didn’t have this disaster on her radar.  I’m just going to highlight a few comments from the checklist.

2) Pick a meeting place for your family to regroup in case zombies invade your home…

3) Identify your emergency contacts. Make a list of local contacts like the police, fire department, and your local zombie response team.

4) Plan your evacuation route. When zombies are hungry they won’t stop until they get food (i.e., brains), which means you need to get out of town fast! Plan where you would go and multiple routes you would take ahead of time so that the flesh eaters don’t have a chance!

Now, if you are anything like me, you read the comments.  “Why read comments?” you might ask.  After all, the entity that wrote the article has included all relevant information, right? Usually, yes.  However, there are times when comments can reveal an additional layer of information.

Here are some gems I’ve gleaned from the comments, and will shortly be adding to my lists:

“I might suggest adding a baseball bat, preferably aluminum, to your emergency kit as well. It doesn’t require ammunition and can be highly effective at clearing a path through hordes of zombies whilst trying to make good your escape.”

 Then there was a link to the Zombie Squad (We Make Things Deader):  http://zombiehunters.org/whatiszs.php  “Zombie Squad is an elite zombie suppression task force ready to defend your neighborhood from the shambling hordes of the walking dead. We provide trained, motivated, skilled zombie extermination professionals and zombie survival consultants. Our people and our training are the best in the industry. “

Also from Zombie Squad (We Make Things Deader), “We want to make sure you are prepared for any crisis situation that might come along in your daily life which may include having your face eaten by the formerly deceased.”

Someone commented, “Really? I have to be the one to point out that seleniumExternal Web Site Icon. is an element in the periodic table and solanumExternal Web Site Icon. is the zombie virus?”

“It really depends on the zombies. If they’re Romero/Brooks, slow, lumbering zombies, a baseball bat will work just fine. Not so if they’re the Zack Snyder fast zombies. Running zombies change everything.”

Now I’m really freaked.  I had not considered the variables in the zombie threat.  I shall have to research diligently to come to conclusions.

In response to the checklist, my oldest dd has informed me that, “Ya, right.  If a zombie comes and eats your head off, the jug of water and bandaids are really gonna help.”  Can you see what smart, logically thinking kids I have?  😀

“human corpse mysteriously reanimated to serve the undead” I’m not sure I trust someone who doesn’t do research. this person doesn’t know anything about folklore, classic (or Romero), or modern zombies. Only the Return of the Living Dead (John A Russo’s breed) eat brains.” See, this is why I read the comments.  I would have never known that!

“Seriously, guys. Everyone knows that the refugee camp is the LAST place you want to go in the event of a zombie apocalypse. Hasn’t experience taught us anything?”  Hmmm, good point.  Will have to think about that.

“The Zombie Preparedness book is already out! : http://www.randomhouse.com/crown/zombiesurvivalguide/index2.htmlExternal Web Site Icon.

We at Zombie Training have been training for years. I give the CDC a B+ for effort however. But for the real deal check us out, we will educate your brain, not eat it.External Web Site Icon.http://www.zombietraining.comExternal Web Site Icon.

“If you want to learn to survive the undead horde enroll in ZombieSchool.orgExternal Web Site Icon.\’s online courses.”  Ooooo, now that is information I can take to the bank!

“Not to be picky, but any way you can begin investigating BEFORE zombies actually are roaming the streets? Might cut down on a few problems…”

 Oh my, I could go on and on.  The comments are fabulous, thought-provoking jewels! I have my research cut out for me.

The last comment I shared, though, just gave me pause.  The idea of prevention has been weighing heavily on my mind, particularly since yesterday.  What happened yesterday? Yesterday, I read an article that told of six seismologists and a lone government official who are being tried for manslaughter for failing to predict a 6.3 earthquake that killed over 300 people in 2009. 

Yes, you read that right. Italian officials have jailed – and are trying in a court of law – people for failing to predict a deadly earthquake.  This kind of “thinking” blows my mind.  It’s just incredulous to me. Seriously?

Well, maybe the zombie apocalypse will happen first, and they won’t have to worry about it.  I am glad to be an American, where the CDC is ahead of the curve.  😀

Whew.  Thanks, CDC!  I feel better already!

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Widowed mother of six. Wanna-be-photographer. Black sheep. Pariah.

Miranda Hanford knows all too well how these define her.  She might even add oppressed and bullied to that list. 

When the pastor of Miranda’s church requires the entire congregation to move with him out-of-state, Miranda knows she can’t do it.  She also knows now would be the perfect time to break from Mason Chandler and his ministry. Mason, however, has other ideas.  And he’s not above blackmailing her to get what he wants.

Set in rural Georgia, I was hooked by the end of the first paragraph which said, “She could steal a moment with Jezebel.”  Initially, I started reading with the intention of this being the book to read after dinner each night of the week.  By 10 pm, I knew I would have to stop and finish the rest later.  But I didn’t want to.

I loved Miranda.  I understood her motivation, and recognized how, all those years later, she woke up somewhere entirely different from what she had imagined as an adolescent.  Her fear was palpable; her pain unmistakable; the conflict in her soul evident.

Then there’s the accident and a relatively unknown brother-in-law to complicate things even more. Miranda struggles for control- control of any kind, even through the haze of her head and other injuries.

On page 97, there is a comment that still has me chuckling: “Not all homeschoolers were nut bags, but many of the nut bags in a certain off brand of Christianity were homeschoolers.”  As a homeschooling mama, I know all too well how easy it is to paint everyone with the same brush.  It made me chuckle, though, because where I live, there are a lot of homeschoolers.  And we’re not nut bags.  😆

I love thinking and guessing during mysteries.  While I had part of it right, the primary part led to a world with which I also have first-hand experience (although not to all facets), and also left me nodding my head.  Without going into details and spoiling it,  I can say that these things happen and are real.  And probably happening much more than any of us know.

I cannot say enough good about this book.  I loved it! I would definitely recommend this to friends. 

While I know some might disparage the depiction of this particular homeschooling family (and others who homeschool in this manner), I, personally, wasn’t bothered by it.  I think any time you look at an extreme example of anything, there are going to be people who assume everyone else doing “that” are the same way.  Judging, in my opinion, particularly without insight or experience, really is a personal problem for the person doing the judging.

I give this book 5 stars out of 5. 

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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Too many choices. In my world, I am very clearly Kobayashi Maru option 3 girl.  Give me two choices, and I’m going to find another one I like better (and that’s without cheating).  This is one of the reasons certain tests, like the Meyer-Briggs  (not to be confused with Briggs and Stratton engines :lol:) personality test drive me bonkers.  I rarely see things in black and white, although I do have strong feelings on what is right and what is wrong. There are usually too many variables/factors to take into consideration before making a decision.

But I digress.  😆  Today’s dilemma in my small little world revolves around books yet again. Nearly every day, I get freebies via Ereader News Today.  That means I am always reading something. 

Two nights ago, I started a mystery.  Yesterday, I got my Blogging For Books selection. Today there are titles that I’ve downloaded that look interesting.  One has a topic that if I was not already reading another book, I would start to read right away, even before the publisher title.

But I feel obligated to finish the one I’m already reading, which is good, before moving on to anything else.  See my issue?  😀

Maybe I’ll just watch chickens instead.  😆

Nah, I think I’ll finish the one I’ve started and move on to the hard copy next.  The weekend is right around the corner, and I can read the one new one without interruption – in theory, at least.

Having trouble deciding which book to read is one of those rare dilemmas that I don’t know I could have too much of.  Kind of like yarn- can’t have too much!  🙂

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I checked this morning on the websites proclaiming May 21, 2011 as being Judgment Day. They are still there; the count down clocks at 0. I wonder what those folks are doing today.  What is their plan now that “the date” has come and gone? Will Harold Camping issue a statement or apology?  Did he, the last time he was wrong?

Matthew 24:3- 5 says, “As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” Jesus answered, Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.”

From yesterday’s history lesson, we know that there have been hoards of folks buying into another’s claims to know when Judgment Day.  Another group that comes to mind is the belief of the Branch Davidians that David Koresh was the Messiah.   Yep, you guessed it- we can trace these roots back to the Millerites as well.

There are those that are unconcerned about folks who get involved with groups like these; many groups fit the classical definition of “cult.” Some believe that if a person is so weak-minded as to fall into a cult, well then, they get what they deserve. Very often, making fun of these people is part of the disparaging attitude dished out, particularly when there is evidence of a false or failed belief.

Me, I just feel sad for those people. I believe smart and intelligent people can be wooed into false beliefs.  And I believe those people, even though terribly misguided, are sincere in their belief, even in the face of failure. I also think that those doing the deceiving are often victims of the flawed thinking, too. 

Don’t get me wrong- I am quite certain that there are those that are knowingly and willfully deceiving others.  Evil is out there, and it can be charming. It can look good; it can look like good and make people feel safe.  It can lull and pacify, at least for a while, usually, long enough for a great many people to get on board and help proclaim its “righteousness.”

Herd mentality is real.  It’s also called things like “mob mentality” or “group think.”  There are those that will disagree, saying that mob mentality includes violence and group think does not.  There may be subtle nuances, but the underlying principle is the very much the same.

There are still others that believe this principle is what we call “the church.”  There are those that say this is what Jesus used, and he is a prime example of a cult leader. And Christians, well, they are just cult members.

For every school of thought, there is an opposing viewpoint. We can also apply this statement to Scripture. People have long had different interpretations of what passages in the Bible meant.

This difference in interpretation is what spawned the Protestant Reformation.  Indeed, this period of history was rife with conflict regarding the church, and it played out across Europe and England; completely standing society on its ear.

So, we know that different interpretations of Scripture is really nothing new. And, we also know that entire branches of religion have been spawned as a result of those differences. In this light, we can see that folks who follow Harold Camping and the like are really to be expected. Really, they aren’t that much different in their approach to following what they believe than any one else.

And still, I feel sadness for those that changed their lives based on the belief that Judgment Day was May 21, 2011.  There are folks that got rid of everything- their money, their belongings etc, based on their belief that they wouldn’t be needing them after that point.

It is hard to admit to being wrong, and harder yet to live with the consequences of the actions of those beliefs. A letter by Tim Dalrymple to Harold Camping and Those Who Expected Judgment Day does a good job of summarizing my feelings. 

He writes in part, When you want to believe something, and someone you respect tells you to believe something, and everyone around you also believes and wants to believe the same thing, those are extraordinarily powerful forces.  I wish that you had not believed in the May 21st prediction, because I fear that it damaged the credibility of Christians in the eyes of some.  But I see no reason now to belabor that point.  Rather, I hope you have grace with yourselves.  Those forces operate not only in religious groups.  They operate in political movements, activist groups, even in enclaves within scientific communities.  In fact, when your friendly neighborhood atheist mocks you for what you believed, you can point him or her to scientific evidence that atheists in general are more gullible.

And you know what?  God has a way of using even our mistakes.  Perhaps your expectation of the imminent return of Christ helped you assess your life, remember what’s important, reconcile with your brother or your sister, take refuge in God’s gracious provision for sin in the work of Jesus Christ, and pray with great fervency that you have lived a life worthy of the gospel.  If you did all these things, then perhaps you should not regret that you were wrong about the whence.”

For me, I personally don’t spend a lot of time trying to “learn” how to “nail down the date.”  A few verses come to mind:

Matthew 6:33-34: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough troubles of its own.”

This is followed by Matthew 7:1-2, which says, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

And ultimately, Proverbs 3: 5-6, which says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Instead of mocking, let’s give these folks some grace and forgiveness, much as we, ourselves, need from time to time as well.

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I’m waiting.  Are you? <tap tap tap>

<wait wait wait>


If you know me well, you know I was not gifted with a large amount of patience.  Yes, really.  😀

I like to plan.  I like to make my outlines (including notes) so that I am sufficiently organized to move forward.  Once I know what I’m doing, the written stuff can go by the wayside, as I learn what is working and what isn’t, and start tweaking, or de-bugging, as it were. My critical thinking skills are in near constant use.

Some plans take a bit longer to flesh out and implement, like getting chickens, for example (Do I really want to do it?  What will it mean for taking vacations? Do I really want more animals?).  Other plans are more straight forward; supplies are obtained and the plan is put into motion.

These are the kinds of things I prefer- the ones that make good logical sense (or do not) after doing research.  I’m always gathering information, and adjusting my opinion accordingly.  This doesn’t mean I’m an expert on stuff; just someone capable of researching and applying critical thinking.

The one area of my life where this M.O. isn’t based on that process is my faith.  Faith is its own entity within my life, and I have had plenty of actual experiences (working in hospice; dealing with and being there when people passed, etc) to know solidly where I stand on this topic overall.

One area of the Bible – or perhaps it’s a subscription to thought- that I have not extensively studied is Revelation and the End Times. I think on some level, it’s overwhelming, since there is so much stuff to wade through.

Put your boots on, grab a shovel, and let’s go……

**One thing to always keep in mind: most Biblical topics have some kind of debate somewhere, at some time; case and point, the books of the Bible.  Different denominations have different chapters in the Bible, not to mention the gazillions of translations out there. And then there is the interpretation of texts and the ensuing discussions…….. I don’t pretend to be a Biblical scholar, nor do I play one on TV.  😀 

This particular topic (as in May 21, 2011 being Judgement Day) reflects my travels on the internet in my quest for information and opinions.  In other words:  Don’t be throwing rocks at me, y’all!  😆

To begin with, there is not agreement of the End Times, nor how things will unfold.  This page of Now The End Begins does a pretty good job, I think, of demonstrating the 4 main schools of thought on the Rapture. This topic can be confusing, since conflicting beliefs are all over out there.

Last Saturday, I was sitting here, at my computer, cruising Facebook, when I saw the comment.  You know the one, right?   That comment about whether or not to do “x” because, after all, the world was ending May 21, 2011?  And then someone posted a link.

I ♥♥♥ links.  😆  They feed my desire to read.  So I clicked, and away I went.

That link went to the We Can Know website. This is just one of many sites that are based on the teachings of Harold Camping.

But let’s back up the bus a little and get a little history.  We all know that from the dawn of Christianity, there have been those (including Paul, although there is debate on his teachings as well) that believed and actively proclaimed that Jesus was coming soon. 

Some of those folks even gave concrete dates, like William Miller, out of which the Seventh Day Adventist Church  theology was rooted. (No, he didn’t found it- he was dead by the time the SDA Church was founded.  The church does credit him, however, with founding the “Adventist” movement.)

Anyhow, the followers of William Miller were called Millerites.  They believed that the second coming of Christ was going to happen soon.  At some point, a date based on the Karaite Jewish calendar was given to this event.  That date was October 22, 1844, and was preached on by Millerite Samuel S. Snow.

Obviously, the anticipated event didn’t happen.  As a result, a new name was given to it: The Great Disappointment. What’s interesting, though, is that there were religious groups that were born based on theses beliefs, and some of them are still around today.

So, it’s nothing new to hear about people warning us that the end is near. What I find fascinating is the money behind some of this stuff.  Granted, it doesn’t cost much to get a site on the internet.  It doesn’t cost much, if anything, to put a blog out there and share your two cents.  🙂

Harold Camping founded Family Radio, and has $117 *million* dollar radio network has predicted that Judgement Day is today, May 21, 2011.  This is not the end of the world. No, that will happen on October 21, 2011. *That’s* the day when, according to this website based on Camping’s teachings, God will destroy the earth.

“This web site serves as an introduction and portal to four faithful ministries which are teaching that WE CAN KNOW from the Bible alone that the date of the rapture of believers will take place on May 21, 2011 and that God will destroy this world on October 21, 2011. Please take your time and browse through the teachings of Harold Camping, President of Family Radio”

Today, though, God is just going to “take up” His believers. I was wondering last night, as I lay in bed, what was happening on the other side of the world; you know, where it was already May 21? I forget where it was I read it originally, but apparently, part of Judgement Day will start with an earthquake at 6 pm, local time.  The earthquake (which hasn’t happened yet) was to start at 6 pm on Christmas Island and then each time zone would have their own quakes.  That gives me a few more hours.  😆

Since I am still sitting here, and I wonder if I need to get back to the post-Rapture checklist.  Although, since Harold Camping originally predicted September 6, 1994 as being “The Day,” one has to wonder. In fact, he wrote a whole book about it, titled (wait for it……) “1994?”.

Another thing I have wondered about was how he arrived at this particular second date. According to these sites, this date was arrived on due to the date of May 21, 1988  that “God finished using the churches and congregations of the world.” 

I have yet to find a site that actually explains (in language I can understand) where in the Bible this “information” came from.  I did find another site whose author shares my concern, saying, “I was never able to figure out how he arrived at 23 years for the length of the Tribulation when both Daniel and Revelation make it clear that the Tribulation will last 7 years. I’m sure his answer is there somewhere, based on allegorical interpretation, but I couldn’t find it.”

As seriously as Camping takes his predictions – after all, his $117 million radio station is all around the world and translated into 84 languages – there are others who are equally passionate about questioning him and his teachings.  One of the better sites I’ve found is an entire site (as opposed to a blog post or two) refuting his teachings. This page of the Refute Camping website deals with just the timeline of his predictions.

The home page of the site explains its goal: “The purpose of this site is to diligently search the scriptures, like the Bereans, and to compare the teachings of Harold Camping and Family Radio with scripture, the bible.”  While it continues to be a work in progress, I’ll be interested to see what – if anything – more happens with the site, now that “the day” has nearly passed.

I think it’s safe to say that there will be others who predict “the end” and fail just the same. In the meantime, I’m going to keep reading and thinking.

Here are some links to things I’ve stumbled across that I thought were interesting.

Commentary on Camping’s, er, “group”: http://www.politicususa.com/en/the-world-to-end-on-may-21-2011

Prophesies: http://www.godswatcher.com/index.htm

Failed end of the world predictions: http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2011/0518/Judgment-Day-Five-failed-end-of-the-world-predictions/October-22-1844

Bible Prophesy Blog: http://www.bibleprophecyblog.com/

Feel free to comment and share your links with me!

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Where are we now?  Where are you now?

I imagine a good many people begin writing to try to sort it out. I know I’m not the only person on the planet that finds writing to be a helpful process by which to sort out one’s mind.

I’ve started reading blogs. I always fancied myself as being one who didn’t really like non-fiction. I figure this is probably due to my not really liking people in general.

Don’t get me wrong- there are people I like intensely.  I also have a few that I love deeply (even non-intimately). There are groups of people with whom I am acquainted that I think are generally good, or trying to be.

Perhaps my life experiences have jaded me, but by in large, I don’t have much respect overall for people. I have respect and regard for individuals I know personally.  But “people” as a whole, not so much.

I do, however, find people fascinating.

When I started blogging, I never thought I would enjoy reading as much as I enjoy writing. Not that I am perfect by any means, and goodness knows typos happen (in spite of editing), but reading lengthy writing that has murky grammar/punctuation can be challenging for me.  Much of that, I imagine, is visual, as I grapple with my eyesight and diminishing ability to distinguish patterns and such (one of the reasons I can’t much struggle through writing that is in all caps, for example, or all italics) which literally leaves me fatigued after a short amount of time trying to decipher text.

As a result, I’ve largely shied away from reading in the blogging world.  Besides, some people have been blogging literally for years and years, and I am inclined to want to read everything written so I can understand the writer.  If you have slow service, a slow machine, or not a lot of time, this task can be daunting.

But then one day, it happened. I honestly don’t remember how, just that I was reading a blog, and that I was intrigued. That blog led to another and to another, as I began to see the “network” of support materializing. And I realized that there were a lot of other people who, like me, started to blog as a means of untangling their thoughts, and many who were writing completely anonymously.

When I started writing, my intent was also to vent. I wanted to remain anonymous so I could write honestly. I also don’t like to be sneaky; to hide things; or to play games.  So that meant, naturally, that my husband would know that I was blogging.  I had wanted to blog for several years, but he is pretty anti social media; he thought it would be a terrible idea, and to that end, he was not really on board with it all. (yes, he has the site, but I don’t know that he has read anything I’ve written, and he is really just not interested)  I don’t think he’s so bothered by it now, though.

I have a lot to get out.  I’ve got a lot going on in my head most of the time. There’s a lot of stuff that has gone on- and continues to go on- in personal relationships -that leaves me with a lot of crap to have to wade and sift through and constantly try to reconcile within myself. I find myself angry much of the time when I think about it; still, all these years later. And given the ongoing issues because of people’s personalities, it’s not going to stop and it’s not going to change.  So I have to deal with it.

I’ve come to realize that there is something about this age. I don’t know if it’s physical age or emotional age, but it’s age nonetheless. Maybe it’s because many of the people I know are also this general age.

The last several years, I have seen marriages that I thought were solid – dissolve.  I have seen wives and mothers, like myself, being forced into situations not of their choosing, and having to live with it and deal with it even though they don’t want to. Some of this is divorce resulting from infidelity; some of it is death of a spouse. Some of it’s just flat incompatibility; a relationship built on lust and not love or friendship. Either way, it’s the death of something; death of a marriage; death of a way of life; death of a dream; death of contentment or happiness.

It scares me.  So much so that I have had actual nightmares. Perhaps it’s an issue of control; perhaps it’s an issue of direction in that I know I have none outside of the life we have carefully carved out for ourselves. We live relatively drama free by design- until it comes from other people.

I am not naive and think that things don’t change.  Indeed, it is *the* change I look forward to.  I, personally, thrive on change (so long as I can control it  :lol:).  It’s the lack of change in some areas in my life (like location, for example) that drives me crazy.

Everything changes; all the time.  One cannot stop change. One can thwart progress, but that’s another post entirely.  😆  The key, in my opinion, is to understand it. And that is why I write.  That’s also why I keep reading.  Sometimes I even comment.  😀

So back to age. Maybe it’s this period in life that allows people to feel like they’ve tried something sufficiently to know if it is or is not working for them. Maybe the kids are old enough to not be completely traumatized by the change. Maybe it’s the lack of kids coupled with the desire for them. I don’t know.  But it just seems to me that there are a good many other people around this age besides myself who are struggling to make sense of things.  Some are working on making positive changes within themselves, and I applaud them for their efforts.

Looking at oneself and not liking what you see is hard in of itself. But looking in and being willing to make an honest effort to change for the better- well, that’s fantastic. It seems it’s harder to look in after something has happened to you and you are being forced to look at it and deal with it, as opposed to becoming a self-realized and better person.

One thing I have noticed is a tendency towards drama. After all, it makes for good reading material, right? 😉 Well, yes and no.

It’s one thing to read fiction and to know that the drama isn’t real.  It’s another thing entirely when you know there is a real person living that drama because of someone else’s actions. And others who are seeking the situation that causes drama for someone, even if they don’t intend it to be that way. And yet others who have moment-by-moment drama because of their own actions.

Regardless, I find it interesting.  I find it sad.  I find it puzzling.  And sometimes I roll my eyes and think “Not again.  You’d think he/she would have learned the last ten times that stuff doesn’t work.” Drama is real, but it’s not real life, if that makes sense.

Real life is living and (hopefully) loving while changing the dirty diapers; taking out the trash; paying the bills; doing the laundry; mowing the lawn.  Real life is plumbing problems and flat tires.  Real life is getting older and having to address infirmities in mind and/or body. Real life is the stuff going on in the background while the drama is happening and the proverbial s**t is hitting the fan.  It may not feel like “living” to some, but it’s far better, in my opinion, than dealing with the constant drama.

Maybe it’s not an age.  Maybe it’s just life.  Maybe we all just struggle, all the time. And that’s not to say the struggle and the effort isn’t worth it.  I think it is. I’d like to think there is a reason behind the struggle.  I just wish knew what it was.

For many, the achievement is coming out the other side of struggle; overcoming adversity.  I, for one, am tired of the struggle. I am tired of having to deal with problems that come from people not doing their jobs, or not doing what they say they will do. I’m tired of wading through muck that makes no sense.

I guess I’d like this to be the age of enlightenment; the place where answers arrive and the veil is lifted. I’m not holding my breath, though. I can’t control anything outside of my own reactions (and sometimes, that’s a struggle too), and all too often I’m left recognizing the ignorance of those who shouldn’t be.

Don’t think I’m down or depressed, because really I am not.  I take comfort in knowing that struggle and challenge isn’t just happening to me. It makes me feel, for the lack of a better term, “normal.” It’s just a reflection of the human condition, I suppose, and that is encouraging.

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If you’ve been reading along, you know of my great, and sometimes detrimental, love of books.  😆

The question was a posed a bit ago: would you rather be deaf or blind? I used to answer this question without hesitation.  Why, of course, given my background in music, I would MUCH rather be blind than deaf.  I could not imagine a life without my music! 

Classical music soothes my soul.  So much so that time escapes and nothing else gets done while listening.  I know people (like my guys) who can listen to music while studying and doing other things.  Not me.  Once the music captures me, the world can cease to exist and I might not notice.

I can paint (as in, the walls) and listen to music; I can clean and listen to music.  I run and listen to music.  It’s not classical music, though, and that’s what allows me to get things done.

But, the classical comes on and I am lost.  I take great joy in identifying parts and seeing the weaving and the artistry of the composition, all the while recognizing I will never have that vision and divine gift. It makes me love it all the more.

Wednesday, however, gave me a new answer. We’ve been on vacation this week, and even though it’s a staycation -our first in years – I’ve done a bit of reading.  The last vacation we took was the first with my Kindle, and I admit, I barely crawled out of the bed the entire time because I was reading.

There is nothing better than having an unlimited amount of books to read. Always in the past, I had been limited to how much I could take by the amount of space available.  I even left yarn behind to take a few extra books!

But not this time, for I had loaded my Kindle with 40 some odd titles. Titles that were free!

One of the reasons I chose a Kindle over other e-readers was the amount of freebies I had stumbled on prior to purchase. Being married to an engineer has taught me the concept of payback.  In this case, it is initial cost of the Kindle vs. space and cost of e-titles. I figured I’d have to read enough free titles to cover the cost of the Kindle, and then I would be home free.

We’re now months later, and I’m still reading freebies. I don’t have magic; I don’t have psychic ability to predict which titles are free when.  I do, however, have Facebook. A friend shared a link and I’ve been hooked ever since.

In my I’m Drunk  post, I shared how a friend on FB posted a link to Ereader News Today, which sent me into overload.  I immediately joined, and have been loving it since. 

On Wednesday, there was a post simply stating, “There is some big news for free Kindle books today. There are over 200 new freebies! I’ve created a link to a list of all the free Kindle books instead of making a post for every one.” (insert drooling smiley here)

Over two hours later, as I finally finished page 9, I realized that getting through all those 584 titles (which is now 606) was not for the faint of heart. Some titles I already had. Some I didn’t want (like textbooks). Some were short stories. Some were sneak peeks of the first few chapters. On the Amazon site, the titles are just listed and you have to click through to get the description.  That’s time consuming, but the freebies are worth it to me.

I stopped at a suitable place (somewhere after 100) because, after all, I was eager to get reading. Another thing I really love about my Kindle is the light in the case.  I debated about spending the extra money on the light, but I will tell you, it was WELL worth the extra $$.  I have read while everyone else was in bed; I’ve read out by the campfire.

It was in bed, around 1 am when I finally finished the one book. I was surprised at the time, but it’s fantastic to finish a good book.  I remember thinking, “I could live here forever.” Meaning, I could live in the book world forever and do nothing else; taking minimal time to eat, reading all the while.

And then it hit me. I have changed. My Kindle has caused me to change! Instead of my default setting of being blind instead of deaf, I would now rather be deaf. (And this is in no way to make light of or make fun of disabilities, but thinking along those lines from time to time can help a person better understand themselves.)

Books captivate me; they take me to another place, where I get lost. And now I’m getting them free! 

I have something like 15 pages of unread titles.  And I haven’t gotten through the list yet.  I’m trying to work my way through it, but books are calling me……..

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This is a Ray Quinn Mystery, and my first read of this character.  

Ray Quinn, retired homicide detective from the Orlando Police Department (OPD), is finding the life of a Private Investigator to not be all it’s cracked up to be. After being nearly killed in the line of duty, his shattered hip and spirit leave his options for cases in the private sector limited at best.

He’s in chronic pain, needs a cane, and has a bodyguard to do his fighting. Being cornered in the bathroom by the husband of a client, he’s realizing the bodyguard bit is one of the more necessary elements to his life while disabled. And it stinks.

His finances are dwindling, and he needs work- real work;  work that not only pays his bills, but uses his skills and gives him a reason to feel like his years on the force weren’t wasted. As a consultant with the OPD, you’d think people would be banging down his door to enlist his services.  He was ready and waiting for a case that didn’t involve following around spouses suspected of being unfaithful.

He didn’t have to wait long.  Nearly accosted and escorted to the office of wickedly rich Armon Mayer, he knows it’s game time. Armon, it seems, has “lost” some important client information, courtesy of Ray’s former OPD collegue and current security officer for Mayer Holdings, Logan Ramsey.

It’s not long into the investigation before Logan turns up – dead.  Logan is dead, and the missing information on a portable hard drive is nowhere to be found. The heat is turned up on Ray.  With a ticking clock and an obnoxious employer, Ray struggles to untangle the riddle.

This book took forever to get to me.  I was ready for another mystery.  This one, however, was hard to engage in. Maybe it was because I was on vacation; maybe it was because I hadn’t read the first book in the series; maybe it was because I could hear the tv on in the other room……

Either way, I felt the pace was slow, and it was hard to connect with the character.  I think the story line was good.  It took me to nearly 2/3 of the way through the book before the character felt like a real person to me. If I get the chance to review another book with this character, I probably will, just to see if the experience is different for me.  I don’t know that I would buy another book at this point; I’m not sufficiently hooked.

If you want a book you can put down and read over several days, this is the book for you. I give it 3 out of 5 stars, just because I liked the character a lot more by the end of the book than I did at the beginning.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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Yesterday was big day here at home.  My “baby” turned 7; we had company; I had a luncheon, and a staff meeting. I headed out early in the am to get a cake mix and my son called to let me know chick were here!

Do I need to tell you it was a fast trip in and out of the store?  😆  We got our new babies home, and put them in the brooder. Last week, when we got the extra three, we knew we were rapidly running out of room in the original brooder.  Hunny started working on a bigger place for them, but as of yesterday morning, he wasn’t done.

There was no doubt that the babies would get trampled and smooshed if we didn’t get the other one finished soon.  Hunny had planned on painting this one bright red, to match the barn/tractor/coop, but time was of the essence.

By the time he finished in the evening, we both knew painting wasn’t going to happen.  😆  Into their new digs they went!



Things went along very well until we were ready for bed at 9:30 pm.

And then somehow, we had a crisis.  Pumpkin (second batch of chicks) started pecking at Butternut’s (first batch of chicks) tail feathers.  Then there was blood. 

Something to know about chickens is that they don’t clot real well. Blood on a chicken will cause the others to peck at it mercilessly.  If this isn’t caught, the others will peck the bleeding one to death.

Bad news.  Panicked mama.  Crying kids.  Late night.

I got the bleeding to stop, but didn’t have any Blu Kote, which is blue due to the gentian violet in it.  (gentian violet made me giggle, because this is something frequently recommended to nursing mothers who have thrush, which is a yeast infection on the nipples and in baby’s mouth; bad, bad stuff – but I digress  :lol:).  There’s other stuff in Blu Kote besides the gentian violet. 

Because it was late at night and everything was closed, the only course of action was to separate poor Butternut overnight. Now the question was, how do I keep her warm overnight?  I only had the one brooder light.

I filled up the hot water bottle and covered it with a towel.  But I wasn’t happy. Then, I got the brainy idea to put the original brooder into the new, bigger brooder.  We measured it, and lo and behold, it fit, with a ton of room to spare. So in it went.

My son stayed up all night.  Well, all night until he fell asleep.  😆  I went to bed around 11:30 pm; was up around 1:30 am; back up about 3:45 am, at which point I sent him to bed since he was asleep in the recliner.  I was back up before 6 after getting back to bed around 4:45 am.

I ran off to Tractor Supply first thing in the morning to get the Blu Kote.  It has not been easy to get Butternut back in the mix without Pumpkin picking at her. So much so that Pumpkin got a time-outs in the smaller brooder.  And then someone picked her open again, so stop bleeding, reapply Blu Kote, dry, reintroduce. When Pumpkin tries to pick- she gets a time-out. I am pretty sure Butternut will be isolated again tonight.

And to top it all off, we’re getting a foster chick this afternoon.  This chick is the same age as my older girls (2 weeks today) and is the only remaining chick out of a flock of 20.  😦  Apparently, one of the kids (prolly their neighborhood kids) left the back door open and in came then family dog, who found the chicks in the stock tank in the house.  By the time they got in, there was only one chick that was still alive. 

She is going to order more, but until they come, we’ll be keeping the chick so that she can be socialized.  Normally, the suggestion is to quarantine, but given that her chicks and mine started out together and that neither hers nor mine have been around any other birds (including wild birds), it should be ok.

I really hope it’s not another long night, because I am wiped out!  I have to say, I am not used to this amount of excitement at any one time.  Whew!  Here’s hoping there are no more injuries and no more excitement!

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