Monday, December 31, 2007
Isn't it wonderful?
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
Monday, December 24, 2007
All hearts come home at Christmas
Memories of Christmases past bring people vibrantly back to life – people who have long since passed to other realms. And any less-than-perfect memories of most of these people have faded and are now surprisingly insubstantial, leaving only their true essence to flicker in holiday candlelight.
Wounded people wound people. It isn’t intentional; it becomes instinctive at an early age. The only loved ones who will ever hurt you deeply are those you love deeply (and who love you to the uttermost limits of their wounded abilities to love).
Forgive them. It frees you to love them again, and it frees them, wherever they are, to find some peace.
You can do this with living people, but it’s usually easier to start with people who have passed on. Forgiveness is key to "the peace that passes all understanding." Start with forgiving yourself for any part you had in the mutual wounding and animosity, whether intentional or unintentional.
If we can all get just this far, imagine the repercussions for a world at war! Swords into ploughshares, lethal missiles into loving missions, a world that knows it must hang together or all in it will eventually perish in the same moment.
The world has too-dangerous weapons to allow our egos to be in charge of anything anymore. Surrender to peace and see where it takes us. We’ve never tried it before worldwide – and yet it’s what we all crave – peace to pursue our lives and care for our loved ones…
MERRY CHRISTMAS – GOD BLESS US, EVERY ONE!
Friday, December 21, 2007
Wahoo! We’re only working half a day on Christmas Eve here at On-Hold Concepts (www.onholdconcepts.com), and we don’t have to get here until 9 am on the 26th! That’s terrific!
The company owner gave me an iPod Shuffle for Christmas, so last night I set it up and downloaded some of my favorite songs from decades past. How the technology allows so many songs on one teensy weensy gadget is beyond me, but I’m enjoying my iPod Shuffle tremendously! There’s a lot more room for songs, but it took me three hours last night just to choose the fifty I chose! I bought a few Johnny Mathis, a few Robert Goulet, a few Elvis, a few Kenny Rogers, some Simon and Garfunkle, and lots of singles by many, many artists – Celine Dion, Dan Fogelberg, Amy Grant, Michael W Smith, Tree 63, Casting Crowns, Josh Groban… and on and on. Whee!!! It’s great to be able to pick and choose off albums, because I usually only like a few of the songs on any one album.
One item got onto the ipod automatically – the Sci-Fi Pulse interview I did with Rico Dostie last year about DeForest Kelley. It’s over an hour long, and needs to come off, because it isn’t something I’d listen to more than once every blue moon (if ever; I saved it to email to others). I can’t figure out how to isolate it so it won’t start playing… but will figure it out soon! In the meantime, I just push "next" whenever it comes around. But it’s taking up a lot of space on my iPod, so I need to find out how to delete it from there!
Yesterday’s holiday party was great fun. It was also a retirement celebration for one of the ladies who worked here for almost twenty years. And we enjoyed a "white elephant" time after a wonderful dinner, which was a lot of laughs. The boss couldn’t be there – that was the only bummer. He was at Seattle-Tacoma airport picking up his 89 year old mother, who had been stranded in the Dallas Airport all night long! She flew from Houston to Dallas and then her flight was grounded. Her trip should have taken three hours – instead, it took over eighteen, so she was very weary and beyond ready to be arrive – and Chuck was right ready to pick her up after such an
unfortunate and unforseen ordeal! Poor gal! I bet she’ll think twice about flying anywhere, ever again, at her age! I’D think about it at MINE!
The Realtor will stop my my condo tomorrow morning at 9. He canceled last night because a storm was supposed to come in. It didn’t… but boy, was it FRIGID this morning. The sheet of ice on my windshield (all over the car, actually) was THICK! It took fifteen minutes of running the car to get the ice to melt away I could see out and drive. That’s unusual around here…
Christmas Day scant hours away now. Wheee!!! Monday night I’ll stay at Jackie’s (it’s a tradition, so we’re all there when the kids awake and dash toward the tree). Just think… next year at Christmas time, God willing, I can sleep in my own bed on Christmas Eve and just walk upstairs when I hear the scuttling of little feet. Now, THAT’S lovely to contemplate!
In case I don’t get to this blog between now and Christmas, please accept my warmest Christmas greetings for a blessed day!
PLEASE TAKE TIME TO REMEMBER THE REASON FOR THE SEASON!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JESUS!
Thursday, December 20, 2007
My favorite Christmas songs are O Come Emmanuel and Mary, Did You Know? My mother’s favorite Christmas song was The Little Drummer Boy. (Mary, Did You Know hadn’t been written by the time she died, or I have a sneaking suspicion it would be her favorite, too…)
If you don’t know the words or the songs, you can look them up by doing a search on O Come Emmanuel + lyrics in your search engine. Same with Mary, Did You Know? And if you don’t know the words, please do the search and read them. If you can find a musical rendition on line (they exist; I’ve heard them), listen to them if you haven’t heard them.
Both of them make me cry the first time I hear them every year…
I think The Little Drummer Boy resonated with Mom because she was alive during the Great Depression and knew great need and of so many peoples’ inability to "give" anything of "earthly" value to the Christ Child. When the little drummer boy asks if he should play his drum for baby Jesus, and Mary nods, and he plays, Jesus smiles… that gets me, too. Jesus wants our hearts and our love, because he knows our obedience will follow… and his blessings will follow that, in abundance!
Before I was born again, I thought Christians must live awfully boring lives. Not only boring, but judgmental and nit-picky, too! Boy howdy, was I wrong! I have been more alive during the past nine years than I ever was before, except perhaps as a very small child, 5-10 or so. (I was terribly sick and scrawny until I was five and don’t remember much of those days except for Mom rubbing my back and singing songs to me as I lay on the couch.)
The (practicing) Christians I know are full-out surrendered to letting God’s spirit direct their paths. When I allow that, I bless and am blessed. When I pull back into my "old" self-protective, reactive ways, I suffer, and those around me suffer, too, even though I try to isolate when I’m feeling low. Others suffer because they don’t get the "Christ in me" when I pull back. They always notice and always ask if anything is wrong when I get quiet or uncommunicative.
If you ask almost anyone to describe me in one word, the word is "enthusiastic." That thrills me, because it comes from the word "entheos" which means "God in me." The Jewish people have Emmanuel – "God with us." Christians enjoy Entheos – "God in us" (via the Holy Spirit).
I know that when I give The Holy Spirit carte blanche with my mind, emotions, will, intellect and my personality, people get blessed. And when I get tried, or stressed, or miffed, the "old" me takes over and becomes a giant pill – or can, if I succumb to the temptation.
The great thing about being born again is that the experience of becoming a blessing rather than a bother is so enjoyable that it encourages itself! I can’t stay mad anymore… or bored… or ticked… I start giggling and laughing whenever I decide I have a "right" to be proactively cranky or isolationist. I used to feel "pride" and what I considered "righteous indignation" when I was miffed. Now I realize that my Adamic nature is trying to grab hold of me again, and I respond by thinking about that… forgiving it… and getting bored with it. The process always returns me to ebullience and joy. Every time. Being cranky and judgmental just takes too much energy! Joy gives and gives and gives -- and rarely gives out unless I’m close to exhaustion!
I haven’t had even ten Christmases yet in my life where Jesus was the sole reason for the season. In a way, I’m luckier than most (nominal) Christians who more or less take Jesus for granted. Since He has become my dearest friend, all I can think of is how blessed I am and what a blessing He is. And I know I want to be like him "when I grow up," and as I grow into the fullness of this new experience of being an adopted child of the Most High God.
Christmas is my favorite time of year. And it doesn’t have a thing to do with presents. It has everything to do with Presence!
Thank You, Father God, for loving us so much that you sent your only son to die as a substitute for all of us, who have fallen so far short of our mandate to be your image-bearers and to reflect Your light and love. I try to fathom a love that great. I don’t know of a single terrestrial father who would give his son in the way you gave yours to save all of us from the penalties of our transgressions against Your Word and direction… and even if there were such a father, his son could not accomplish what yours did at Calvary. He canceled our sin debt and threw open the Holy of Holies to each of us so that we can elect to walk with You again in the Garden forever. It had to hurt to do that… it had to be hell to see your son endure all He did to win us back. I will not forget Your love and Your sacrifice. You love us beyond our comprehension or understanding…beyond our own abilities to love! One day we will love as you do. Until then, help us reflect as much of You as our dirty lenses will allow… and clean and polish and de-smudge us in every way possible so that the reflection off us will reveal Your Face and Your Love. It is in the precious Name of Jesus I pray. Amen, amen, and amen!
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
You can find out more about Joe Vitale at his website: mrfire.com
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Friday, December 7, 2007
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
-- Macrina Wiederkehr
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Looks like my last blog (about relationships that reek) hit a nerve almost everywhere. Readers are emailing me heart-rending regrets over not having shown more love in a troubled relationship before someone died. Others have said they patched their relationships and their world is brighter and much less stressful than in it was in days of yore. They're smiling and laughing again instead of living with knotted stomachs and rampant bile! Still others are struggling with the issue and realizing they need to do something to regain lost ground in the "human heart" department.
What a wonderful world it can be when we realize we are all in this together and that each of us can make a difference that soars rather than sinks and stinks! (The difference you make in any relationship makes it soar or sink. What do you do differently in healthy and troubled relationships? There's your key! Treat everyone like a treasure and they'll likely become one -- and if they don't, you've done your best -- which feels great all by itself, provided you don't let your pride and ego rule the day by feeling "superior" to the one who doesn't "get it"!)
Imagine the possibilities. What's holding you back? Ego? Pride? Stubbornness?
There's a spot in each of us that knows better. There's a spot that's pure love, aching to come out and "get real."
Find it and re-make your world!
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
The year that is drawing towards its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.
In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.
No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American People.
I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
I awoke with a start! Realized I hadn't written a holiday newsletter yet! So I did that this morning in the wee hours and have emailed it to everyone I have an email address for. This will cut down on obscene postage prices and hand-cramps from sending 100+ envelopes. I'll send cards and newsletters to the folks I know who don't have email. (Yeah, I know and I apologize already -- it's so much less personal to get an emailed newsletter and holiday greetings, but this girl's on a budget and this is the way it has to be until I get R & F (or just R).
Don't worry if you didn't get an emailed newsletter. If you're following this blog, you know all the news anyway! I just buttoned it up and tied a bow onto it (in under two pages) for those who don't have access to this blog. or to emails to me. If you didn't get one and want it, just let me know your email address and I will send one on to you!
Saturday, November 10, 2007
So I bought a mens Diamondback Wildwood Bike (same as my sister's, whose bike I rode and loved a couple months ago), a bike carrier for my car, a bike lock, a gel bike seat cover, and some biking gloves. The total price came to less than the bike would have cost with tax, so I got away like a bandit. A store employee even put the bike rack on my car so I didn't have to figure out that part of the conundrum. Good thing I asked, too, because he had trouble, so I would STILL be in the parking lot if I'd had to put the thing on! He's not even sure he got it on right, but it's solid and the bike made it home without a hitch, so I call that a success.
I've already ridden about three miles, even though it's nearly arctic outside. I plan to ride it for thirty minutes every day it isn't raining all winter long unless the roads get icy. It's great cardio-vascular exercise and is fun besides!
Casey's last soccer game for the season this morning was terrific and the sun was out (forecast was for rain, so God blessed us). The girls (most of them 7 years old -- Casey turns 7 on November 22nd) have improved tremendously over the course of the season as they learned not only rules but strategy. At this age, no one keeps official score, but I think "our" team (The Wildcats) won most of their contests. Of course, their coaches are my niece and nephew, Wendy and Phil (Casey's parents), and Wendy was a soccer star in high school and college, so our team has the best coaching available to seven year olds, probably.
Wendy is just something else with kids. She's perfect -- encouraging and inspiring. She corrects with love and by example. Every kid should have a coach/parent/mentor like Wendy! Phil didn't play soccer in school -- he was a football jock -- but he's out there with the kids and Wendy every week doing his "positive male figure" thing for all concerned. I'm crazy about them both and about both of their kids.
[Addendum: I'm also crazy about Dawn Foxley and her kids (Lizzie and Isabella) but they don't figure into today's blog because they are out and about doing something else today. In fact, I haven't seen them in three weeks! What gives?! I need my Foxley Fix!]
Casey told me last weekend that she is beginning to write stories and LOVES it. Wendy says Casey's teacher always comments on how much more she writes, when given assignments, than the rest of the class. She said she's lucky to get two or three sentences out of most kids, while Casey regularly turns in a page -- with writing on both sides! Way to go, Caserooni!
Casey interviewed me a few weeks ago and then wrote up the interview and had me read it. Except for spelling errors (hey, she's only six -- and the way she did spell the words made sense phonetically), it was complete and amazing.
Since she is getting into it with such passion and success, for her birthday (shhhh!!!) I have bought her a blank book journal and eight pens -- four black, four colors -- and have written, "Given with love and pride to the newest writer in our family CASEY HOPE McNIVEN on your 7th birthday, November 22, 2007, by the other writer in the family, your Aunt Kris." Then on a facing page, I added, "You go, girl! Create a world, or write something about the world you're in... Whatever you do... Have fun, share wisdom, and ENJOY!"
I think she's going to be surprised and very happy.
She's the kind of kid who remembers what I got her last year for her birthday. She told me today, "You got me an otter puppet last year!" Why, sure enough, I did! It's in her bedroom and she says she loves it.
I told her I had decided on something this year that I think she'll love too -- "Something that you and I have in common other than a love for animals." She doesn't have a clue what that might be... and don't you tell her!
Guess that's it unless I get an inspiration later today...
Friday, October 26, 2007
Valerie (God, I love that name!) Barrett paid me a compliment in an email that I really shouldn't repeat, but will anyway -- because it gives me a starting point for a blog!
Val emailed to say she has harp CDs too and loves them. She says I'll love mine and they should work fine at work without putting me to sleep. And they'll keep me relaxed and peaceful during all future double-duty weeks at work (www.onholdconcepts.com).
To that I responded, "I actually kinda enjoy the frantic pace this time of year -- it gives me a chance to feel like a freakin' hero!"
To which she replied, "Baby you ARE a hero!"
Now, Val is a school chum of mine. We go WAY back to the 60's. She and I were gonna be actors (known as actresses back then, before the world became gender neutral) when we grew up.
To think that a dear friend considers me a hero is high praise...
I wanted to react, "Oh, C'MON!" but then remembered that I am supposed to accept compliments and say "Thank you."
Deflecting a compliment is rude to the one who offered it and also reflects that the one complimented doesn't hold herself (or himself) in equal regard on the point on which said compliment was made.
I suppose that's my problem.
I think firefighters, soldiers, teachers, and most moms are heroes. I think all those who consider others before considering themselves on a routine basis are heroes: pastors, volunteers, caregivers... the list goes on and on!
Truth time here: I don't routinely consider the needs of others before considering my own. Whenever my conscience (which is johnny-on-the-spot in many instances, for which I thank God) would crucify me if I didn't do something I "should" do, I do it, no questions asked.
Some of the things I've done for others truly have been a sacrifice (of a career, of time, of money, even of close friendships -- when I told a truth that had to be told) but my conscience wouldn't have allowed me to get away unscarred without doing them, so where's the "hero" in that? (God's Spirit is the hero in that! Just answered my own question. The Holy Spirit prompts my "conscience" to insist on the proper course of action!)
DeForest Kelley's biographer asked me one time why I sacrificed my career at Warner Bros. (at heavy expense to me -- it took until just this year to recover financially) to help the Kelleys when they asked me.
My answer? "It never even occurred to me not to help them when they asked. They were my chief encouragers and mentors for over thirty years." I can't, to this day, even imagine telling them, "No." I'd do it again!
Yes, I probably "should" use my brain as well as I use my heart at times! But the analytical side of my brain is semi-retired or semi-retarded or something. And I'm glad. It frees my heart to do what it knows is right, no matter what the consequences feel like "analytically" after the fact.
This year I invested significant time helping Aunt Tod after she moved up to Washington. There were times I was exhausted and really didn't "want" to help. But that's when Love (Christ in me) does His mightiest work! It's easy to help when you WANT to. It's when you're dragging that Love keeps you going like the Eveready bunny!
Me, a hero? Naw. I'm just a vehicle. The Hero is sitting at the right hand of the Father writing names into His Book of Life. According to His holy word, my name is in it because I'm so eager to acknowledge him as my Lord and Savior and to follow His urgings (my "holy" conscience).
What better way to say "Thank you!" than to reflect His love into the world as best I can?
That's my plan!
Monday, October 22, 2007
The above is a great idea for parents and grandparents!
Consider this: I got started writing because I was a huge Roy Rogers fan and RR comic books only came out once a month or so. I badgered Mom so often for another RR comic book, she finally said, "There aren't enough RR comic books in the world to satisfy you. You'd better start writing your own."
That's all it took. A light went on. I realized I could take my hero, Roy, and place him in situations where he could be a hero yet again! Revelation!
Thursday, October 18, 2007
If you know anyone else who does this -- male or female -- share this with them. I'm sharing it with a fellow copywriter at work...
Do not belittle yourself with your words. Your words create your world.
Don't believe it?
God created the world with His words. What makes you think you don't?
Amy Grazda from New York writes, in answer to yesterday's final question of the day on my blog about why it's so hard for people to believe that Jesus is the full meal deal and that "Jesus light" (pick your favorite Jesus, even if you don't believe he's at the right hand of the Father as we speak) is easier to swallow:
Good morning. I read your blog last night....GREAT WRITING!!! But you wonder why it is so hard for people to believe?? Well...easy answer....since I was an atheist a little over a year and a half ago, I know how it is not to believe!!
It is hard because in this day and age, everyone is into VISUAL things......If it is right there in front of you, it is easy to believe in. There are so many VISUAL distractions between computers, phones, TVs, yada yada yada.......people use these things as FALSE IDOLS, so why would they need to look for anything more, especially when you can't SEE IT!!!
To repeat again, you know the saying SEEING IS BELIEVING!!!
Just like Jesus when was resurrected, and he went and showed Thomas the holes in his hands to show that it was really him.....and when Thomas said he believed, Jesus then said, "It is easy for you to believe because I am standing here in front of you, but what about the people that won't be able to see me??" They are blessed by faith waaaaaaaay beyond sight! Their faith in Jesus is what saves them!
I think I have answered your question????
Indeed you have, Amy. Any other respondents to this puzzling phenomenon?
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
My condo has been re-listed at rock bottom real estate prices for what it is. If it doesn’t sell by month’s end, I’m taking it off the market and living in it for several more years – or until I croak, whichever comes first.
If it doesn’t sell, I can bring stuff back into the house that I haven’t had ready access to in five months, and I will be able to park my car in the garage once again. For the winter months, that’s necessary unless I want to spend inordinate amounts of time scraping the windows, warming the car and, in general, making it habitable and survivable for the drive to work.
I put new tires on it. Just got the front tires replaced a week ago; the back tires were attached in January, so they’re almost new. (I don’t drive a lot.)
A week from today Alison Winter (http://senoritainvierno.blogspot.com) will be arriving at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (God willing and the creeks don’t rise). I will make her comfy a hundred or more De portrayals and appearance so she’ll have something to do during the hours I’m at work. That should keep her busy for a good three weeks straight unless she OD’s on De and cries "Uncle!" (Do Brits cry "Uncle?") Don’t know that she’ll be here three weeks, though: she appears to have plans for warmer climes during November and December. I’ll find out more about her "shed-jool" when she gets here…
This time of year I’m going to seem like a drag, methinks. The sky goes dark around 6 (by December it’ll be dark at 5:00) and by seven my eyelids are coming down around my shoe tops. During the summertime, I have a lot of energy because there are 17 hours of daylight – but in winter we’re lucky if we have seven hours. My circadian rhythms are definitely solar-powered. I’m even thinking that my moods and attitudes are solar-powered. I have been cranky twice this week – just briefly, because I kick myself and get out of them almost as quickly as they appear. I don’t recall being cranky even once all summer long. This is the time of year when isolation is good for me.
I’m not happy being a bear, but being a bear is kinda native to me fall and winter. But I fight it and am good actor, so in most cases the bear just peaks out upon occasion in language that is unbefitting a Christian woman. I believe I uttered the f word this morning when the timesheet wouldn’t come up to log into – for seven minutes. (Clarification: I didn’t say the f word for seven minutes – I said the f word – very quietly in an empty room -- at the mid-way point in the seven minute frustration, then repented and used much less foul words, like "sugar jets," a word I came up with as a kid that has served me well for a lot of years when frustrated…)
Terri tints and cute my hair tonight starting at six o’clock. Wahoo!!! Tomorrow at noon I’ll be going to Safeway to get a flu shot. (My co-pay is so high that I’ll actually save money getting the inoculation at Safeway.)
I’m going to sell a book to Terri tomorrow. She asked me about it last time I was in for a haircut. A relative of hers is a big TREK fan and she wants to give him my De book for Christmas.
Hey, gang – now there’s a thought! Do you know any other TREK fans (or animal fans, or Hollywood fans, or Christianity fans) who might enjoy receiving a copy of one of my books from you this holiday season? Put on your thinking caps. If you can’t think of anyone to get a book for, get my books for me!
Ain’t I shameless? Sometimes I astound myself. Hey, "If you don’t ask, you don’t get!" Carolyn (Mrs Kelley) always told me that. It’s even biblical. "Ask and ye shall receive…"
I am also going to leave a "lobby copy" of the De book at the hair dresser with the website address and toll free number attached to the back of it… in the hope people will pick it up and start to read it and get hooked and want to buy the whole thing… or get one for a friend or relative for Christmas. I made two other "lobby copies" out of the two others I have left over from the Vegas convention and am trying to pick the two best lobbies in Tacoma to put them in. Does anyone have any ideas? A medical lobby would be good…
Oh My Goodness! I just got back from the staff meeting. I’m taking my break now to tell you I was awarded On Hold Concepts’ (www.onholdconcepts.com) Traveling Trophy for "Employee of the Quarter"! I’m thrilled to the tips of my toes and up to my eyes in sighs because the award is given by my peers. That’s HUGE to me!
But now the pressure’s on: Winners of the Traveling Trophy have to add something to it before it goes to the next recipient in three months, so I have to come up with something "appropriate." If I had some Spock ears, I would put those on it. Everybody around here calls me the Trekkie. Imagine that. (Well, I suppose it’s worlds better than being called DE-Mented…)
I have a very stretchable rubber alien I’ll attach, and will cut out the photo of the transporter that was on my On-Hold Concepts post card at the TREK convention. That should satisfy those who think of me as their own personal space cadet.
That should satisfy their funny bones. Thinking about what else I might place there instead will give me a headache…so I officially quit thinking any more about it right NOW!
But quit thinking about the honor of receiving the Traveling Trophy?? Not on your life… Not for the rest of this week, anyway!
I’ll take a photo and put it into my archives.
Sigh upon sigh upon sigh…
I work at the best place on the planet!
Monday, October 15, 2007
I’m enjoying the stuffing out of The Year of Living Biblically by AJ Jacobs. It’s very funny and has so many good tidbits of Biblical insight and history throughout that it’s substantive as well as humorous – something I appreciate, since I’m not necessarily into humor for the sake of humor.
I adore Dave Barry and tend to write the way he does when I write humor. Jacobs’ humor is tamer than Barry’s, but no less entrancing and at-times juvenile (which is just fine in short spurts). There’s a kid in all of us and when that part of us gets delighted, there’s almost nothing more fun!
The first three quarters of the book is mostly concerned with aspects of Jewish faith, except for brief forays into visits with lesser-known and lesser-followed sects of Christianity (a creation museum, an Amish farm and family, a visit with a Jehovah’s Witness member who Jacobs’ apparently out-visited: after three and a half hours, the fellow excused himself and went home at 11:30 that evening).
What Jacobs finds wherever he goes are sensitive, good-natured, sold-out souls living for the Lord in whatever flavor their Lord comes in. He learns to value the hearts and sensibilities of others and makes a lot of friends along the way (as we do, following along on his adventure).
I love humor when it’s good-natured and self-effacing – and Jacob’s is all of that. There’s nothing cruel or insensitive about anything he says when he does make an observation or a joke. I think he’s a sweet guy at heart.
When he dances with Hasidic Jews ("who danced like David danced") he gets caught up in the "joy of the Lord" in a way that has never occurred to him before. It’s fleeting and at first embarrassing and perhaps a wee bit frightening, but he "goes with the flow" and finds himself enjoying the freedom of behaving wildly ecstatic as he praises with his body. It’s just terrific!
I worship at a non-denomination church with numerous Pentecostals, and have seen some wild gyrations myself. They always bring joy to me and a smile to my face. My shyness keeps me from joining those who worship this way, but my spirit absolutely loves and leaps at the wild abandon that Pentecostals display when praising the Lord.
There are also Lutherans at CFAN – and every other denomination. You can tell by looking around which worshippers came from which denominations, almost. There are those who stand stock still, thinking the noisier, gladder portions of the congregation have lost their ever-lovin’ minds… and those who are "catching the spirit" and raising their hands waist-high, shoulder high or as high as they can reach; there are the members of Jewish Dance, who dance to the Lord; there are the prone or the kneeling, who contact the spirit of God in those ways. The deaf church signs the songs and sermons, leaving the sighted often in tears as we watch the translator using hand signals that so-well capture the essence of a word ("spirit," "God" and "Hallelujah" in sign language are lump-in-the-throat hand movements).
But back to A.J. I think his book is important because people will read it for the humor and may decide to look into the Book he’s living by (or trying to, with varying degrees of success at every turn) to find out why so many people have endeavored to live by it. Any attempt to do so definitely transforms one’s thoughts, views and behaviors -- not a bad outcome at all…
Sunday, October 14, 2007
I rushed home from church to be here in time (noon) to reconnect with Billie Rae Walker (in New York) on the phone. (Billie Rae interviewed me for STARTREK.COM and STAR TREK MAGAZINE, as you may recall. We met in Vegas at the TREK convention in August after corresponding for almost a year.) Things have been so nuts with me here that we haven't talked on the phone since before the convention.
When I got home I had a voice mail from her. Her car broke down in the way to or from church; her brother and sister in law are en route to rescue her. She'll call again as soon as she gets home... Gads... I hope the weather is decent over New Yawk way. It's lovely here in the Pacific NW at the moment. We even have sunshine after a very foggy morning...
Sad news. One of the young men who went through our ministry course at Church For All Nations (CFAN) lost his life in Iraq this past week. His name was Jeremy Burris, and he was 22 years old, from Texas.
CFAN has been very blessed to have lost just one fighting man. Our congregation is pretty much jam-packed with soldiers and their families from the famous Stryker Brigade (and other military brigades Army, Air Force, Marines and Navy), so we have prayed for and sent many off to war. Until this incident, all of them have come back alive and well.
Jeremy was proud to serve, and said that if he lost his life there, he couldn't imagine any better cause to lose it for, as a devout Christian devoted to setting people free from oppression. To find out more about him, here's a link to his hometown newspaper, where he is remembered:
Pray for his family. Jeremy himself is now just fine, living with the Lord... ("To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.") That doesn't make it much easier for his family, but it does make it surviveable to know they will see him again...
I have two new books to recommend. The first is Lee Strobel's The Case for the Real Jesus, A Journalist Investigates Current Attacks on the Identity of Christ. I was up until 1 am reading it. Bought it around 1 pm at Costco. Couldn't out it down until the last page. It's just fabulous!
The back cover reads (in part) :
"In this dramatic investigation, award-winning writer and former legal editor Lee Strobel explores such controversial questions as:
* Did Christianity suppress "alternative gospels" that portray Jesus more accurately than the New Testament?
* Did the church distort the truth about Jesus by tampering with early biblical texts?
* Have fresh insights and explanations finally disproved the resurrection?
* Were the essential beliefs about Jesus stolen from earlier mythology?
* Have new objections disqualified Jesus from being the Messiah?
Evaluate the evidence for yourself as leading experts grapple with the latest objections from today's foremost critics. Then reach your own verdict in The Case for the Real Jesus.
The six current and most-often voiced "challenges" to the veracity of the "Christ as Savior and Messiah" claim are these:
"Scholars are uncovering a radically different Jesus in ancient documents just as credible as the four gospels."
"The Bible's portrait of Jesus can't be trusted because the church tampered with the text."
"New explanations have refuted Jesus' resurrection." The cross examination.
"Christianity's beliefs about Jesus were copied from pagan religions."
"Jesus was an impostor who failed to fulfill the Messianic prophecies."
"People should be free to pick and choose what to believe about Jesus."
The book concludes with two appendices. Appendix A is a summary of evidence from Strobel's earlier book, The Case for Christ. Appendix 2 offers helpful websites to investigate the real Jesus, to help separate the wheat from the chaff that exists across the Internet and around the world within different major religions.
About the author, Lee Strobel: Atheist-turned-Christian Lee Strobel, the former award-winning legal editor of the Chicago Tribune, is a New York Times best-selling author of nearly 20 books and has been interviewed on numerous national networks including ABC, PBS, CNN, and Fox.
He has won numerous journalistic awards. He has a free e-newsletter. Access it at LeeStrobel.com.
If you read both LEARN THE BIBLE IN 24 HOURS by Chuck Missler and THE CASE FOR THE REAL JESUS by Lee Strobel, you will begin to understand why it's vitally important to join a Bible study, if you haven't joined one already. There are very real consequences to living "Christian Lite" and to ignoring the claims Jesus made about himself. You are in a position to save lives for eternity, but until you believe the facts about Jesus as they are laid out in the Holy Bible (Old and New Testaments), to the core of your being, the likelihood that you will become an eternity-saver for someone you love and want to be with in heaven is pretty close to nil.
The next book I want to recommend (even though I haven't read it yet -- I will start on it later today and take this segment away if I'm not as crazy about it as I expect to be) is The Year of Living Biblically, One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible, by A.J. Jacobs. It has been recommended by Bruce Feiler (author of Walking the Bible and Where God Was Born), P.J. O'Rourke, Rabbi David Ellenson (president of Hebrew Union College), and Rev. Jim Wallis (author of God's Politics, a book I recommended a few months back for anyone who votes in this country).
The jacket cover reads (in part):
Raised in a secular family but increasingly interested in the relevance of faith in our modern world, AJ Jacobs decides to dive in headfirst and attempt to obey the Bible at literally as possible for one full year... [including stoning adulterers!] The resulting spiritual journey is at once funny and profound, reverent and irreverent, personal and universal and will make you see history's most influential book with new eyes... He immerses himself in prayer, tends sheep in the Israeli desert, battles idolatry, and tells the absolute truth in all situations -- much to his wife's chagrin. Throughout the book, Jacobs also embeds himself in a cross-section of communities that take the Bible literally. He tours a Kentucky-based creationist museum and sings hymns with Pennsylvania Amish. He dances with Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn and does scripture study with Jehovah's Witnesses. He discovers ancient biblical wisdom of startling relevance. And he wrestles with seemingly-archaic rules that baffle the twenty-first century brain. Jacob's extraordinary undertaking yields unexpected epiphanies and challenges. A book that will charm readers both secular and religious, The Year of Living Biblically is part CliffNotes to the Bible, part memoir, and part look into worlds unimaginable. Thou shalt not be able to put it down.
"A hilarious memoir." -- Time
"Tender... Entertaining." -- Janet Naslin, The New York Times
"Inspired and inspiring." -- Vanity Fair
I expect to laugh and learn!
May as well get started... until the phone rings and Billie is there to say, "I'm home, safe and sound!"
Be well. Read! Let me know what you think of these two books after you've read them. Also let me know what you think of LEARN THE BIBLE IN 24 HOURS, which I have been recommending for months. Let's get a discussion going!
Saturday, October 6, 2007
Guess I'll write the Saturday blog while I figure out which is the wiser of the two choices. :)
Works for me! hee hee hee
This morning I drove to Midland (about six miles) to watch grandniece Casey and her team (Casey will be seven on November 22) play soccer. It was my first time watching them and it was a blast. She has five more games this season and I will try to make most of them.
The whole family turns out for these games: Grammie Jackie and Grandma Sue, Grandpa George, Jackie, Phil, Wendy, and wee Jamie Lee, Casey's little sister. Jamie joins the team for the warm-up session and for the "bridge" session when the two teams run through a "bridge" made of parents and other supporters.
Casey did a fabulous job and her team mates are also very good. The other team didn't score any points -- I think Casey's team scored 10 or 12 in the 35 minutes they played. No one actually keeps score at this age -- it's just all in good fun and a training time as well as playing time.
It's easy to tell who's in the game to please their parents and who's in it to have a blast playing the game. There's one little lady on Casey's team who, I'm told, plays every sport with utter aplomb and great delight -- and she's very, very good. She isn't self-conscious or looking for shouts of encouragement or applause. I can envision her going into some sport as a career: she just loves it!
Jackie was going to drive here after Casey's game and help me move a dinette set out, but we're re-thinking that for now, so the plans fizzled. This leaves me with less room in the garage to futz around and re-organize stuff. My plan was to get pretty much the same-size boxes and fill them, then stack them neatly against the walls, so that people looking to buy the condo could actually get some idea of how large the garage is. Right now stuff is pretty well organized but there's a lot of it. The better part of me wants to donate a lot of it and "simplify" -- which would free up a lot of room in the garage, for sure. To do that, I would have to divorce the "sentimental hoarder" in me, who thinks that every item ever given to me or bought by me should be preserved and cherished till I die -- at which time the less sentimental in my family can go through it and throw stuff out that nobody else wants. I realize the sentimental hoarder is largely nuts. So I am going to see if I can convince her to less loose of things that a less-well-off person would truly use, need and cherish in a daily manner, rather than keeping stuff hermetically sealed like a fly in amber. There is no need to keep stuff I will probably never use.
This is only logical. (Spock, thank you.)
OK. I've made my decision. I'm going out into the garage now and start looking at what I can donate to Goodwill. Yes. Good for me. I feel better now.
I just have to remember to keep my eye on the time so I don't forget the 1 pm appointment at Les Schwab. Multi-tasking is a dangerous proposition on weekends. I get so wrapped up
doing what I'm doing that I forget about time.
I will put a bothersome sign around my neck to remind me. That oughta work!
More later. Or not.
Friday, October 5, 2007
I’m a better writer than I was on January 2nd, for sure. This position has honed my skills as an ad writer. I’ve learned to "cut to the chase" and use words that draw the listener into what seems to be an intriguing private conversation, whether it’s a warm conversation, a fast-paced conversation or something in between.
I write differently for different clients, often based on the music background they choose. If they want smooth jazz, I write copy that’s smooth, elegant, lyrical. If they want something upbeat (as auto auctions and casinos usually do) I write copy that’s fun, energetic and sometimes even bizarre! A Mercedes Benz and Infiniti dealer expects (without saying so) different copy than a Chevrolet or Mazda dealer because the businesses cater to different kinds of people – well-heeled, status-conscious folks on the one hand and fun-loving, family-friendly rides with family pets on the other.
My aptitude regarding different clients has improved. It has become second nature to "know" the type of writing different businesses expect.
The amazing thing to me is that so few of "my" clients have ever rejected outright anything I’ve written – and in the few cases where they did, they decided to lean in a different direction than the direction they asked me to write toward; in other words, their vision of what they wanted running on-hold changed.
The bosses are always remarking how quickly I "turn copy around" – that is, how quickly the copy I write is approved by the client and placed into production with the voicing team and music men. It has always been that way, since the beginning. Rarely does a client find fault with more than a word or two out of six different fifteen to twenty second messages.
It’s a total blessing to find myself in a career where what I do is viewed as "right on" most of the time. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried when I first came on board. I was given the low-down on the job: It’s fast-paced and deadline-driven (we try to have an on-hold program ready to voice within 48 hours of the time a client says they want one).
The powers that be weren’t sure I could handle the "pressure," the stress of having to produce copy on command day in and day out. I certainly didn’t know, either – but I wanted to give it my best shot!
As it turns out, I write BEST when deadline-driven. There’s no time to be an internal critic or second-guess what needs to be said. I’ve been a writer long enough (40 years) to know that my Critic is the worst thing going and that other people think I’m a much better writer than I do. So being on a deadline frees me from the straitjacket of perfectionism and allows me to gallop full-speed toward whatever destination the client has outlined for me. I catch their passion for their business and head out with it, choosing words that reverberate and hypnotize as much as possible (using alliteration, empathetic resonances, and the like).
It’s actually FUN! I’m not saying it’s not also hard work, but it’s FUN hard work. I realize how hard it is when I get home at night and my mind goes on the fritz and I can’t come up with words to carry on a conversation on the phone! It’s quite exhausting – but it’s an exhaustion I was born to meet daily! I just love what I do! And others do, too! How cool is that?!
So! Do you know of a business that can use what we do here at On-Hold Concepts (www.onholdconceps.com) ? Wrack your brain and tell me about the worst places to be put on hold. I will go after them and see if we can’t change your odious experience on-hold with them to a glorious one instead!
WE CAN DO IT. WE’RE DOING IT ALL OVER THE COUNTRY! Why not let us do it wherever you find yourself being put on-hold – and wanting to cry?
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Ooh-whee! I was watching Christian TV tonight and one of the pastors Jesse Duplantis was interviewing said, "You got to let go of fear. Fear activates Satan the way faith activates God!"
What a statement -- and boy howdy, is it ever true!
We stop ourselves when we feel afraid because of what we "hear" being "said" to us by the great deceiver about the situation or circumstance (or thought) we're having or anticipating trying: "You can't do that. You're not _____ enough!" Satan will fill in the blank: good, smart, old, young, educated, brave; whatever word or words it takes to get you to re-consider and STOP what you're contemplating doing; to make you give up the attempt altogether!
But when we pro-actively and consciously ignore the limiting thoughts that Satan brings to our minds and instead elect to activate our faith, we hear from God instead: "You are my child. I love you with an everlasting love. Nothing shall be impossible for you. You can do all things through Christ Who strengthens you... You are more than a conqueror. You are My heir and my friend. Ask and you will receive. Seek and you will find. Believe and receive. I am with you always."
Powerful. Think about it. Act on it.
Go out on a limb.
I’m pretty sure Jackie and I won’t be getting the "Kelley-like" duplex. The seller is dreaming to think she can get what she’s asking for in this market, especially in the location it’s in.. but let her continue to dream: it will give me more time to sell my condo and I won’t have go bargain basement with it to make a deadline…
I’ve lost about five pounds over the last week or so. Haven’t been trying, but have been so busy and have been watching what I eat, so reckon it’s a natural occurrence. I hope it continues… I would love to lose about 30 pounds.
There isn’t much other news. I’m tired. The long night-time hours of fall and winter at this latitude make me feel like a bear: I want to hibernate about mid-afternoon, which would be detrimental to retaining my job… drat!
Alison Winter will be here in a few weeks. That’s a bright spot on the horizon. I just have to remember to go get her when she lands on the 23rd!
She’ll be in America until mid-January but probably not with me (or Jackie and me, if I sell the condo before we find a duplex) all that time. She’s planning to fly all over, meeting folks I know (and that she knows) who live in various parts of the country. She’s looking for a possible place to land where she can get a job and also get into acting. That probably means LA, Chicago, New York or Seattle – oh, or Hollywood, but that’s the last place people should go to get discovered – because everybody goes there to get discovered, so it’s the biggest crapshoot in the country. LOTS of talent, limited spots to fill.
Canada is also blossoming as a creative area. There are many production companies working in Canada. I can give Alison some names and ideas, but that’s about all. I think she’s great and will vouch for her. She’s a lovely gal – people would enjoy knowing and working with her – and that’s important to employers in any field.
I wish her well. She has to stay strong and keep motivated. Don’t think I could do that as an actor. I’m too easily hurt by "rejection" even when I know it’s nothing personal, as it usually is in the acting business. You have to have the hide of a rhinoceros to volunteer for frequent rejection. I can hardly handle it when I’m job-hunting for a long-term, permanent job. Imagine having to go job-hunting every few weeks unless you land a contract on a series that becomes a hit?
No, thank you very much…
Thursday, September 27, 2007
If there's anything objectionable, let me know and I will remove the link from my blog...
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Archie, one of my cats, darted out the door last night despite my best efforts to keep him. He stayed out (‘cause no way was I chasing after a cat that bent on FREEDOM in a nightie) until 3:30 when he launched himself upward onto my bedroom screen. Darn cat! It really ticked me off. A simple "Meow" would have sufficed, with less damage to the screen and my subsequent dreams of breaking and entering. Grrr…
I’m working ahead at work so there won’t be any clients for the other copywriters to deal with on Friday when I’m out. And tomorrow morning early I have a dental appointment, so I worked ahead for tomorrow, too. This way I can catch up quickly if I’m a little late getting to work. (Doubt it.)
Wrote copy for five new clients in the past two days. Yippee skippy! That’s my favorite part of this job! I’m blessed because 99 out of a hundred times the client absolutely loves what I write, so there’s not much re-writing that needs to happen – which is great because the client gets their on-hold program quick as a bunny that way! Lisa is always wondering how I turn clients around (get them going) as fast as I do. Giving it the best I’ve got the first time is a good start, I reckon! Usually only a few words here and there need changing, if at all, so it all comes together pretty quickly…
Tomorrow I’m in charge of the production sheet in the afternoon. I’m really getting the hang of it these days and kinda enjoy it now. It was a fearful thing to contemplate doing it at first, like most new skills, but now that I understand its dynamics, I don’t fret at all. And I have a new skill, to boot!
I don’t know that it’s a transferable skill, but I don’t plan to transfer, anyway, so I’m good with it! I have a less-eager attitude about learning new skills that are non-transferable to another job or to life. If the new thing doesn’t seem it has long-term value, I prefer not to have to learn it. It’s all I can do now to keep what I do know in shape and growing! J I’m getting wise as I age: If it doesn’t have considerable value to help or to revolutionize a particular aspect of one’s work or life, why the heck invest time and trouble learning it? I’m an inveterate learner, but some stuff just doesn’t hit mt passion button.
I’m in touch now with a Messianic Jew, who just sent me an AMAZING dissertation he wrote titled TORAH (God’s Law) VS. GRACE ??? In it, he details why God’s Law (The Ten Commandments and many of the Jewish holy days) ought to be a continuing part of all believers’ worship activities. Many Christian denominations teach that not only did Jesus come to fufill the law (as a sacrifice) but that he came to abolish it altogether; that the law was placed there by God simply to show us what sin was and what we could do to avoid being ensnared by it – and to show us that there was no way we could uphold the Law perfectly (the tenth commandment makes it utterly impossible), which is why a Messiah was needed who could (and did) uphold it perfectly and who could die as a perfect (without blemish) sacrifical lamb to open the way for us to have fellowship with the Father again.
My new friend, Tod Sherard, argues that throughout the Old and New Testaments there are many, many references to the commandment to keep the Torah (God’s Law) – to keep the holy days ennumerated by God to the Jews sacred. Then he goes on to show that although Jesus either completely (regarding animal sacrifices) or partially fulfilled the law (regarding other rituals), in no way did He intend for the days that God set apart as "holy" (Sabbath – Saturday, the Feasts, Festival of Lights, etc.) to be forgotten or "overwritten" by Christian holy days. In fact, Tod shows that the meanings of the feasts and the holy days ALL were either wholly or partially fulfilled by Jesus when He was on earth the first time, and that the rest will be fulfilled when He comes again! I was reading it and thinking, "WOW!"
I hadn’t realized that! Messianic Jews now celebrate all the Jewish holidays but they do it with the knowledge that these days were all symbolic of what God planned -- since the foundation of the earth -- the Messiah would do/arrange/complete when He came in the flesh, while more traditional Jews still don’t know why, for example, they celebrate using some of the tools or articles they do. Every article used in the feasts and holy days relate in some way to Christ! The Tabernacle itself is a study that bears this out! It’s undeniable that the Old and New Testaments fit together and complete each other the way skin "completes" our bodies!
I need to re-read Tod’s essay a few more times to really understand the intricacies of his argument, but already I intuitively "know" it’s sounds very, very right. He invited me to attend some Jewish holidays at his Messianic Jewish temple/church. I will study a little more about the different feasts and holidays so that when I go, I will be aware of the meaning of each of them – both as traditional Jews experience "the meaning" and as Messianic Jews experience them. It has to be different.
Traditionalists are still waiting for their Messiah – while "completed" Jews are anticipating His return! So the holidays are anticipatory in both cases, but one’s a longing that seems long-denied while the other is a longing to reacquiant oneself with a Messiah they didn’t get to meet the first time but "know" well already. The former must feel like a fantasy; the latter feels much less theoretical and much more imminent!
My realtor will be by tonight to re-list my condo for another month.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Busy, busy couple of days at work and when I got home I was too tired to blog. But the weekend is coming ‘round again and perhaps I will be able to think of something outstanding - or at least ostentatious -- to say by then…
I’ve had three nights of really great sleep. It’s the hot chocolate, I tell ya, along with the cooling of the night air brought on by the change of seasons. I always sleep better in the winter. Nights are a lot longer up here in fall and winter, making it easier to go to sleep sooner but harder to get out of bed in the morning! That’s a small trade-off for living in God’s Country, though, isn’t it?
I watched KID NATION last night, episode one. Don’t know that I’ll stay with it, because I am SO not a TV watcher. Also watched an hour long Pacific NW special on global warming and what it’s doing to the Pacific Northwest. We’re losing glaciers at almost breakneck speed along with snowfall, the sources of cold water for essential salmon runs and for agricultural and forestry interests, not to mention drinking water). Some experts see the Pacific Northwest getting 10 degrees warmer before the year 2100 – just 93 years away. Ten degrees is HUGE when you are talking about eco-systems designed by God to retain and recycle watershed minerals and sustenance to them…
I’m kinda glad I won’t be here in 50 years (in probably 30 years!) but that doesn’t make me feel much better. My grand nieces will be and their kids will be, should the Lord tarry (which I don’t think He will, much longer).
People and industries who think only short term extinguish themselves and their progeny left and right. It’s criminal that we have looked the other way while pavement has been laid over vast expenses of cities, towns, highways and byways without much regard to what it would do to the environment the moment the vehicles, appliances and other industrial-age wonders began to encroach…
We’re digging our own graves and the graves of our progeny and it’s all but too late to turn it around. And NOW President Bush concedes there might be something to this global warming thing… the same week he conceded that Hitler wasn’t a very nice man…
Gawd Awmighty. It’s enough to drive me to despair.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
My poor cats. I had barely enough time to put food in their dishes this morning in the mad scramble to get out the door on time. They probably thought I had gone mad overnight. The strange thing is that they didn’t dig under my door to wake me at the usual hour – or, if they did, I was dead to the world and didn’t hear them (a distinct possibility). I will have to spend some extra-special time with them this evening to make up for being a frantic Mom-Cat this morning…
My mood and attitude is back to par… the sadness and regret that things didn’t go as planned for Aunt Tod (getting her into assisted living, etc.) is passing as I realize that it was time for God to take her home and that she was enormously happy at Maple Creek and nearby the past five months and happy with what everyone was doing for her, even during the last few weeks as she began to be shuttled between hospitals, rehab centers, dialysis centers and finally to Hospice. If she were still here in the condition she was in, it would do her absolutely no good and we’d all be worn to an even-larger frazzle than we are now. God really does take care of His children… I’m glad we’re not where we were last week at this time anymore. And so is Aunt Tod!
A Blast from the Recent Past
Was it just six weeks ago that I was having the time of my life at the Las Vegas STAR TREK convention? So much has happened since then that the memories had to be put aside while I dealt with other things – some great fun, some not fun at all. But since I haven’t given a convention report yet in depth, is it too late to start now and see how much of it I can remember?
Friday afternoon, August 10th, Betty Mosher picked me up at McCarran Airport and whisked me over to the Hilton to drop me off. The moment I walked in through the revolving door into the Hilton, I spotted a very attractive, very anticipatory young lady fairly bouncing on her heels with her gaze locked on me. I quickly discerned, "Alison?" and we embraced.
Alison Winter is much better-looking in person than she is in photos. In photos she’s great-looking, but most people look better in person than they do in photos because seeing someone in 3D is better by far than seeing them lying flat on a piece of paper – DUH!
Anyway, I felt almost as though I was being greeted by an eager puppy and wondered how long I’d be able to live up to THAT degree of anticipation! For a moment there, I knew what it felt like to be a "celebrity." Eegads!
Don’t get me wrong. Alison was lady-like and professional from the get-go – I could just see that she had been looking forward to this particular moment for days already (since she had flown into Vegas on Wednesday, two days before) and this was the official "kickoff" to the three-day STAR TREK weekend we looked forward to sharing. She told me later that she was shell-shocked the first evening we were together and didn’t really "settle" until sometime the next morning – the morning when I spoke to the Vegas audience about De.
Later Friday evening, we connected with Billie Rae Walker, the interviewer responsible for the two great interviews at STARTREK.COM (Sept-October Special, still available at the website under STAR TREK/SPECIALS) and STAR TREK MAGAZINE (July-August 2007 issue). It was another moment of great anticipation for all concerned. Suddenly, I had two FRIENDS IN FACT AND IN THE FLESH who had been, up to this moment, virtual friends (via email and a few phone calls) for several months.
It wasn’t long after this that Angela Solomon from Texas spotted us and we all went to dinner. We were going to eat in Quark’s Bar but it was roped off for a special event, so we went to a Mexican restaurant inside the Hilton. Surprising the starch out of us, Angie insisted on picking up the tab for the dinner! Thanks again, Angie! I won’t forget that and will do the honors next time!
Billie Rae, Alison and I talked late into the evening – much about De, much about each other as we got to know each other better.
Alison was given some (wise?) counsel from the two of us that probably went about as far as it would have gone with us at age 27: Try not to be in such a rush to get to the next life event/adventure -- enjoy what you have right now because this day is one that will never be repeated, just as are the many you’re always anticipating.
We both said that whatever "control" she has of her life is tentative at best – but that with God, all things are possible, and that He knows her heart and her desires in all areas, and that He will get her where she’s going as long as she trusts Him explicitly (and no one else to the same degree, including herself).
In a nutshell: "Hand Him your life and then pray for discernment – he’ll direct your path and will take you places you cannot even imagine, just to delight you and to show you it has always been His will to bless His kids with the best life has to offer."
We affirmed to her that she’s a blessing (when you meet her, you will know this, too!), all praise to God, and that her career will bless others as long as she doesn’t relinquish her dreams and goals to modify the nay-sayers’ apprehension about the path God gave her to walk. God doesn’t give us a safe journey – He just promises to be there the whole way with us! If she’ll risk for what she wants, she will be leaps and bounds ahead of those who just wish, and stop short of taking leap of faith to the next level.
I wish someone had told me this early on. I was so convinced by the fearful around me that I wouldn’t make it, I let the words fulfill their prophecy! Not any more I don’t, but I did for complete DECADES!!! What a waste of a unique, individual life!
Or was it a waste? It gave me ammunition to help Alison and others, to encourage them, to tell them that there’s always room for the blessed, for the determined, for the folks who know to the marrow of their bones, "I cannot live any other way but this way. I must be who I am in order to be have the outcome God wants me to achieve."
This is a miracle –- thank You, God! -- but because I was well-occupied visiting with Alison and Billie Rae Saturday morning, or talking to De’s fans who recognized me prior to my appearance that morning, I wasn’t even remotely nervous when it came time to step onto the stage and "do my thing." The appearance went well, based on the response as I finished: loud and boisterous. Billie Rae and Alison assured me I’d done very well…
I’m sorry to say I was given only 25 minutes instead of the 35 I had expected to speak, so had to amputate the last half of the presentation and was unable to tie it up with a nice bow or to mention that the new deadline for my new De (THE ENDURING LEGACY OF DeFOREST KELLEY: ACTOR, HEALER, FRIEND) book is March 5, 2008.
The rest of the weekend was non-stop chatting and visiting. For several hours Billie Rae, Alison and I sat at the book-signing booth in the dealer’s room so I could meet De’s fans who came by and sign their books if they had them or wanted to buy them from me. That was a lot of fun for me, but Billie was sitting on boxes and I think doing that for so long put her into some serious back pain that night… poor gal!
Saturday night I took six or seven people to Quark’s Bar and picked up the tab for dinner and a drink two gals bought that looked to be the size of a volleyball! It was a Quark’s Special of some stripe. I don’t even want to know what it was. All I know is one of the gals who drank it got sick afterward and we didn’t see her again, except briefly, for the rest of the night.
Quark’s Bar was a hoot. Servers and others were dressed as aliens and the costumes and banter were outstanding.
The next morning we went to have our photos taken on the bridge of the Enterprise, and there was quite a wait to do that – but that was okay, because it forced us all to sit in one place and actually connect for the first time with Margot Worthington and her friend from Colorado! I had seen Margot perhaps five minutes all weekend up until this enforced waiting period, so it was a good thing that we had to wait a while.
When the photo op was over, Alison hugged us all and rushed to be in line for a photo op with Shatner and Nimoy, so that was the last we saw of her that weekend. Billie Rae and I parted company with Margot and … ?? … did we go eat after that? No, we called Betty and had her come get us, THEN we ate at a Cheesecake Factory with Betty not far from the airport…
An update on Betty – she didn’t have cancer near her bile duct and the other cancer was removed. Last I heard, she was recovering well – but slowly – ay her brother’s place in California. She should be home by now. I will call her this weekend for a further update unless I get an email from her before then.
It occurs to me that I may have written a convention report after it happened, but it seems a lifetime ago so I have just done it again!
Two days after the convention, Bobbie Bobstein came out and spent two weeks with me – and a few hours with Aunt Tod, as well. That adventure was pretty-well covered in blogs, I remember…
I basically just did a recap to get myself back on track and to try to re-capture the WONDERFUL aspects of the past month. And I have done that and am smiling as a result!
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Friday, September 14, 2007
I am planning to have a VERY LONG long two-day weekend. To accomplish this, I am going to do very little. I will not do anything I don’t absolutely have to do unless I absolutely WANT to do it. One of the things I want to do is go to the Puyallup Fair (the Western Washington State Fair – look it up on the Internet if you don’t have a clue what it is, so you can be envious that you’re not a resident of the Pacific Northwest). That may be the ONLY thing I do this weekend other than attending Bible study on Sunday morning.
I will answer the phone if I feel like talking to someone. I may even pick up the phone and dial someone if I feel like talking. But right now I just feel like being very quiet and walking around the fairgrounds looking for things that make me smile, like lambs and calves and lop-eared bunnies and kids in pigtails and long-married couples holding hands.
I might do some holiday shopping there and come home with small goodies for loved ones. I might. This is the weekend when I indulge in whatever the heck it is I want to do, and nothing else.
What a concept. A weekend just for me… OK, and you… my virtual family… because I love doing this for/with you, too!
Now let’s see if God laughs at this plan, or if He lets me actually have it this way this weekend. You just never know! I’m open to suggestions, God. I’ll be very quiet this weekend and see if I hear anything more from You!
Thank You for the life I’ve had – every moment of it. It’s all good – even the hard parts that don’t seem to make much sense at the time…
Thursday, September 13, 2007
I took half a day off work yesterday afternoon to rest. It made a lot of difference, although now that it’s Thursday afternoon, I seem to be fading again. Perhaps I ate too large a lunch… a steak salad… plenty spicy… with the thought it would wake me up… but all it did was clear my sinuses (and I didn’t know they needed it)…
Luckily, I’ll be doing the production sheet this afternoon, so there will be something to do to keep me awake and alert. Without that, I’d be prone to fading out of my chair and falling underneath my desk… The weekend should turn me around and give me back some of the spunk I’m noted for…. Yeah…
Two of my wonderful co-workers brought me flowers today – a bouquet and a magnificent mum plant. One is bright and multi-colored; the other is creamy white. Both are precious (as are the folks who thought of me in such a sweet way) and do my heart good.
Laurel and Jackie will be going to Maple Creek on Saturday afternoon to go through Aunt Tod’s personal effects; they’ll decide whether Maple Creek would be able to use some of it for their residents who are less well off – people who don’t have the benefit of Medicare or another program to get them a wheelchair or walker, for example. It’s a way to give back to the community that took such great, loving care of Tod for five months. Yeah, it feels right…
I’m not going because I can’t bear it right now. I hope I won’t have to go back at all… but probably will. I’m taking this weekend to rest and recover. I’ve been at warp seven for over six weeks, with the convention, a lovely visitor, and Aunt Tod’s decline and death, so I’m going to the Puyallup Fair on Saturday for a few hours (to do something FUN for the first time in two weeks) and to church on Sunday. After that, all bets are off as to what else I might be doing.
I’d like to do a whole lot of nothing, but found that pretty hard to do yesterday afternoon when I had the chance. My hairdresser cut my hair at 3:30 and I watched a movie Bobbie sent me that evening – MONA LISA SMILE. Then I went to sleep for a few hours, but the sleep didn’t last. My mind is still in "red alert" mode and probably will be for a few more days. It’s not easy to come down to "all is well" after something like this… it takes the adrenaline a while to leach out, I guess!
I’m looking forward to feeling "normal" again…
In a couple weeks I’ll be going on a two days women’s retreat with my church to Cannon Beach, Oregon. If I’m not fully rested by then, I may just sit on the beach and veg most of the time… That sounds like heaven to me right now…
Please keep Alison in your prayers as she goes through the process of dealing with her father’s unexpected passing from an auto accident. She is having to deal with international laws, foreign accident investigations, wills, people coming out of the woodwork she doesn’t know who knew her dad… It’s all been very trying for her. She’ll be here in Washington in late October and by then things should be less stressful for her, and I should have recovered from the bone-weariness I feel. We’ll probably do a lot of hugging and crying because we both lost loved ones on the same day (her dad to an auto accident, my aunt to a massive stroke that left her unable to communicate until she passed away yesterday morning)… but that’s okay. That’s what friends and families are for. I’m so glad Bobbie was here when she was to meet Aunt Tod and bless her in the way she did. She lifted Tod’s spirits every time we visited her because she had so many bird stories and other comments that blessed Tod… plus that million-dollar grin and gleam that lifts spirits just because she’s in the same room with you. Bobbie helped me love on Aunt Tod and that’s HUGE to me…
All for now…