If you’ve been wondering what the book is about, the Kindle Version is being offered free for a few days. Feel free to share this post with people you think might be interested.
Thanks to my friends for your support.
Friends have asked, “How’s recovery going?”
It’s been a humbling experience.
Think about your daily life. Then consider needing someone to help you do everything!
The question, how’s recovery going, is thought provoking.
Recovery happens one day at a time.
We celebrate small accomplishments and victories. Small events make up life.
How’s one to thank the many friends who stopped by to visit; who gifted me with flowers; who brought or sent food to the house to simplify meal preparation; the people who prayed for me regularly and sent short notes of encouragement?
Early on, I sensed my focus needed to be on getting better. I wasn’t interested in many aspects of my life. Leaving home was exhausting. It took much effort to get ready to go to doc visits or PT, do the program, and return home. After arriving home, I’d collapse in a comfortable location.
For me, time stopped. We returned from vacation, and I had plans to market my book. I’ve put those plans on hold.
This week recovery turned a corner. I want to take part in my regular activities again. I still have to pace myself as I tire after being out. I’m told, rest is crucial to healing, and that’s the top priority. So the focuses of my life are PT, both appointments and exercises at home; a few activities; a few interests; and using wisdom to know I need to stop.
Soon I hope to hit the RESET button.
Things can change.
I experienced one of those moments on January 18th, when I slipped and fell while shopping and broke, not one arm – but both of my arms. With one elbow broken and the other shoulder fractured life slowed.
I have time to reflect on the blessings surrounding me. Beauty encircles me and resides within each of us. Family, friends and my beloved hubby are needed to help me achieve nearly everything.
God heals in many ways. Healing is a daily transformation that happens one step at a time. I’m confident His healing power is at work in my body.
Have you ever felt trapped in your marriage, in another relationship, in your job, in your town, whatever? Well, I’ve spent times in my life trapped. Trapped in a job, like a wild bird in a cage desperate to fly free. I thought there wasn’t anywhere to turn.
One day someone asked me: what happens if you find a cookie on your desk, day after day – and then one day a note replaces the cookie?
The idea fascinated me.
I explored the emotions of being trapped and the options yet at the same time considered other fall-outs of ‘escaping’ the office.
A story was born. My character, Liz becomes the trapped employee. One thing leads to another. The story solves a mystery or two; unlocks dreams or passions previously dismissed as financially impractical or immature; and necessitates dealing with a tangle of relationships – both building new ones and healing old hurts.
Writing this story I explore another place. I bring all the senses into play of being somewhere else and find Liz’s special place. You will too. Join Liz on her journey and discover what the Dream Glasses reveal.
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Our trip to Ireland, bookended by England happened because of people.
There are many memorable things about our summer trip to England and Ireland, but spending time with people we knew was a big highlight!
We forged a plan to travel to Ireland for 2016 in 2014 while old friends visited from Germany. The four of us wanted to get together again and wanted it to be sooner than the nine years since our earlier visit. The question was, “how do we make this happen?”
We discussed the possibility of meeting up while traveling and moved onto places we wanted to visit, but had not. Tom immediately said, “Ireland.” This location was also on their list.
We agreed on Ireland and the summer of 2016, figuring we had lots of time to make our plans.
Christmas of 2015, family was home from England. They suggested we visit them as well. We planned to do so, but hadn’t figured out the details. Jonny was great in suggesting a route allowing us to begin and end our trip in England. Instead of traveling back and forth in one country and then heading to the other, we would travel in one direction, starting and stopping in London. This also simplified travel arrangements to and from the U.S. Once we had that information and a contact in Europe who could make recommendations to us, the planning became much easier.
We landed in London and took the bus south where we spent the first days of our trip in the Dorchester, Dorset area. Reconnecting with friends and family, enjoying such a relaxing atmosphere was the perfect way to start a long trip. Thank you Sony, Alastair, Jonny and Abby. We had a great time!
Then we were off to Ireland. After landing in Dublin and renting a car, Tom navigated the challenges of driving on the ‘other side’ of the road. The first week we spent alone in county Kerry, Tralee.
From there we drove to county Galway, Galway and connected with our friends from Germany. What a delightful adventure, the four of shared as we toured the surrounding area and explored the seashores. Thank you Gudrun and Caj! We also had the pleasure of meeting Larena and Chris, missionaries to the youth in Galway.
We spent a few days in county Wicklow – Bray exploring by ourselves. One day was a train ride to Dublin where we explored part of the city; one we went to Waterford to visit the crystal factory and a trip to a lighthouse that has been in operation over 800 years; one we explored local gardens and old city ruins.
Then a short flight from Dublin to London allowed us to explore parts of London and wind down with Tim and Marina. This provided an opportunity to slow down a little and reconnect with family before heading back to America and home. Thank you Tim and Marina for your hospitality!
Interactions with people are what I tie my memories of places to. This trip was so rich with those experiences and opportunities. There are many we exchanged conversations with not mentioned here; they each added to my memories.
Thank you all for contributing to my memories. It was an amazing epic trip.
During one of our trips to the mid-west, we enjoyed the privilege of staying with good friends. We were each looking forward to spending time together. Mary wanted everything associated to our visit with them to be perfect. We shared many good memories with them, so being together again felt relaxing and comfortable. The four of us settled in the living room and planned to catch up on the news in each of our lives. The guys would share a white wine. Mary had a special red wine she wanted me to try. Everyone was comfortable, and we toasted one another. I took a sip of my wine and was pondering the flavor. She took one sip, stood up and said, “This wine is not what I wanted. It won’t do.” She took my glass, headed to the kitchen where she proceeded to the sink and dumped the two glasses of wine down the drain. Surprised and shocked, I didn’t know what to do. This was so out of character for her, and I thought the wine tasted superb.
She rinsed our glasses and opened another bottle of wine; then returned with a different red wine. Mary found this wine satisfying. I considered it enjoyable, but I liked the first better.
Because of the memories associated with that evening and our friendship, I try to keep at least one bottle of Wild Horse, Pinot Noir in my house. Whenever I open a bottle and enjoy a glass, I am transported to another place in time. I remember our evening, our friendship and the pleasure of our shared relationship.
As Iron Sharpens Iron
Writers Sharpen Writers
Most writers I’ve met are solitary creatures. We do our work alone.
Yet it is in coming together, baring our souls and sharing our work we are honed to be better at our craft.
I’ve found writers either instantly bond, or take some time to develop a relationship. Once that relationship is developed, they tend to hold others gently, recognizing we are each a work in progress – both in our lives and in our work.
It is in those relationships other can speak into both your life and your work. In the differences of opinions, the suggestions or the encouragement we learn. I learn. From these people, I hone my skills. I change and my writing changes. I hope I do these things for other writers as well.
My goal is to become a better writer this year. That means I have to commit to more time writing. We’ll see how that works for me.
I’ve been helping one of my dear friends pack up her house to prepare for a move to another community. It has been my pleasure to watch she and her husband embark on this adventure. They’ve lived in this valley for so many years. They raised their children here, owned businesses, know many people and have more memories of this place than I can imagine. Yet, they heard God say it was time to move.
I heard she told her son how thrilled she is to have someone help with the packing, one that had moved many times with the military. Wow! I think so seldom of those years and when I do, my thoughts are of places I traveled to or people I met who impacted my life. The rigors of packing, moving and unpacking are not high on those memories. Yet God in His infinite grace makes something out of what we may perceive as nothing. I’m honored that a friend can use something past, which seems like part of another life, today.
This will become a new favorite at our house!
We enjoyed a new great new sauce last night and a new way to fix chicken. (no photos – I had no idea how great it would be.) The chicken was a golden brown, and the sauce was flavorful with a touch of freshness.
Here’s the how to instructions. Please note, when cooking meat, I rarely measure ingredients, so feel free to play with the quantities.
Wash chicken cavity and sprinkle with salt and Herbes de Provence. Then stuff the bird to capacity with fresh rosemary and parsley.
Place the chicken in a roaster pan. (I use one of those old blue-flecked ones.)
Dot the chicken with a small amount of butter.
- 1 Cup of brown stock
- about 2 teaspoons butter
- about ¼ Cup red wine
Spoon a small amount over the chicken now and again every 30 – 45 minutes until chicken is done..
Cover the roaster pan and bake in a 350° oven.
When the chicken is cooked to your satisfaction, remove from the pan and let sit for at least 10 minutes before carving.
Mix any left over liquid with the drippings in the pan along with the juice from 1 lemon. (You could thicken this for a more traditional style gravy.) We just heated it and served it over potatoes and the meat.
What yummy flavors!