Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Down to Brass Tacks... and They're Melting Down, Too

The oddest thing is happening. I've finally proven to myself (and anyone else who's paying attention, but most of them knew it long before I could see it for myself) that I'm a very gifted and competent writer and I feel utterly convinced that writing is my only real gift and destiny. Nothing else interests me, or ever has, as much as writing does.

My clients are tickled pink, I'm getting repeat business as often as not, and yet... and yet... I'm not making enough money to keep my head above water! I don't have enough clients yet, and the ones who are repeat clients come and go. I can't configure a budget around them...

This is probably very understandable in this downtrodden economy, so I've been applying for part time jobs to supplement what I'm making as a writer. But none of the jobs I've applied for (and there have been literally dozens) are falling to me. I don't know if it's because I'm 58, if it's because I'm over-qualified and am trying for jobs that are entry level or slightly above (because I really don't want to get into a big rat race wherever I do go; I want to have enough energy left over at the end of the half day to be able to write for another six or more hours and keep growing my business and clientele).

I don't want to get full-time work because that would wipe me out for sure and leave very little energy for freelancing at Elance (which is where I make the best money hourly and where I find the most enthusiasm and job satisfaction).

Even so, I have applied for full-time positions because let's face it, at some point (very, very soon, if things don't turn around) I am going to have to take whatever is offered me (if anything ever is offered me again in my whole life!) in order to be able to pay my share of the mortgage and utilities.

And I ponder and I ponder... Why should a competent writer have to scramble to make ends meet in this day and age? What am I missing? What am I not doing that I should be doing?

It's hard to understand why God would give me a gift that I simply must use in order to feel truly alive, and yet deny me the income I need to make a go of it. It isn't like I need gazillions. I work from home; don't even need a car unless I do find a part time or full time job elsewhere.

I just need "enough," and to me enough is just what it takes to keep food on the table and my mortgage and health and life insurance paid, plus a few incidentals that don't add up to much at all: cat and guinea pig food, utilities, a phone, the occasional stamp...

I mean, I'm about the easiest person to support that I know! I don't go out, or spend frivolously, I don't drink or smoke or do drugs, so the budget I do have is bare bones -- there isn't much to throw overboard to lighten the load unless I find homes for my pets... and come on, that's something I really am loathe to do! I committed to them for their lifetimes when I adopted them as kittens. They're 13 already. And who's gonna take two geriatric cats, even if I do decide I have to give them up?

I dunno. It doesn't seem fair. But most writers and artists die pretty broke, so I guess I'm in lots of good company. Their talents are often discovered after they're dead, when what they created no longer can serve them financially.

I would really like to avoid that outcome, if I can! Ya know?

So I just keep on bidding on projects... keep on applying for part time jobs... keep on wondering when this test is going to end and God is going to decide I'm not giving up on Him no matter what.

I hope He really does know that. I know what Job knew: God is in control and has my back and my absolute best interests at heart. He knows what's He's doing with me. I just wish I could take a look at HIs calendar and find out what it is! I might be able to plan better..

Then again, maybe it's best that I don't know. (I reckon it is, or I would have been told, or figured it out, by now!)

He's my best friend.

As utterly broke as I am, I am not panicked or frantic. Now, that is the promised "peace that passes all understanding." That is God. Because the human/fleshly being that is Kris Smith would be a freakin' basket case if it were not for her deep-seated faith.

It utterly astounds me how I can be thisclose to financial ruin and still feel as calm and as balanced as I do...

Praise God for that -- because I'm doing absolutely everything I can to make things better, and nothing seems to be pulling me out of the tailspin.

It's a pickle.

"Though He slay me, yet will I believe!"

Please keep me in your prayers. They're obviously helping me cope!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Was Michael Jackson Accidentally Killed By His Attending Physician?

I took first responder training at Warner Bros. One of the first things we learned in that class was how and when to administer CPR to an unresponsive person.

The victim had to be unconscious.
The victim had to have stopped breathing
The victim had to have no pulse.
The victim had to be lying on a hard, flat surface (the floor or a rescue board).

In other words, they have to be, to all intents and purposes, dead.

Yet, the report coming out about Michael Jackson states that his doctor said he was warm and had a pulse when they began CPR on him as he lay, unresponsive, on his bed.

The reason that TV shows and CPR classes can't show actual CPR on an actor or on a living person is because doing CPR on a living, breathing person can stop his or her heart.

So... was Michael Jackson killed by the doctor that was attending him that morning?

What he should have done when he found Jackson in that condition was to call 911 and then POSSIBLY begin rescue breathing for him (mouth-to-mouth resuscitation) if the 911 agent directed him to do so. That's ALL that should have been done for/to Michael at that point.

I wonder why no one else has mentioned this? Are other medical experts protecting this doctor? How many people hearing the Jackson story will now try administering CPR prematurely because that's what was done by a doctor in this instance?

Not that finding out the truth can return Jackson to life, but the doctor should possibly be brought up on charges of malpractice. He may have have killed Michael Jackson through his actions. And since he's a doctor, I very much doubt that Good Samaritan laws would protect him against a lawsuit. Doctors are supposed to know what to do in an emergency, I would think!

This possibility haunts me....

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Health Care -- Why We Need Change!


These stories are only the tip of the iceberg. I have been a caregiver more times in my life than I care to remember, and each time I found instances that appalled me within the health care system: billing, treatment, paperwork, privacy, you name it.

We have to do something.

There has never been a better time, or a better opportunity.

Let's get going!

Friday, June 26, 2009

I Have a New PC!

Phil worked for two and a half hours to get my stuff from the old PC to the new one because my old PC was so old that the tools for making the information travel to the new one have been through so many metamorphoses between eleven years ago and now that very little of what works now will"talk to" what worked back in the dark ages. Phil has the patience of Job, I swear. I am SO thankful for his expertise and steadiness.

This new PC is lightning fast and the program (Vista Basic) is glorious to behold. It has so many terrific new features that I'll spend a couple hours tomorrow and Sunday just going through tutorials to bring myself up to speed on all I can do on it. Phil showed me enough that I can function at Elance and access all the files I need to keep on keeping on as a copywriter, so I feel confident I won't be flailing on Monday when it's time to jump into that ocean again.

The old Laser Jet IV I've had since I left Warner Bros. can't be used with this new PC, but I have a HP inkjet I can use in a pinch. I rarely need a printer, but when I need one, I need one!

I walked for about 20 minutes with Jamie this afternoon just before dinner. She picked dandelions for her mom and some clover and honeysuckle for guinea pig Joe as she told me about the part of her day when she wasn't with us.

It's 11:30 pm and I'm exhausted. The outpatient surgery went well this morning and was quite easy (THANK YOU, JESUS!) to get through, but I'm a wee bit sore tonight, so need to get off my sitter and lie down. Hopefully all will be back to normal tomorrow...

A Visit with De -- Thanks to Mary Doman for the Link!


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson -- King of Pop -- May He Rest in Peace

First off, I'm not a huge Michael Jackson fan... never have been.. but I have always (for the past couple decades, at least) been more or less fascinated with him...

Mostly, I have felt very, very sorry for him.

Here was a man with fabulous wealth and talent who was obviously a very unhappy man. He was child-like because, I guess, he missed his own childhood as a constantly-working part of the world-renowned Jackson Five.

He probably had gender-identity issues. This is pure speculation, but it's just a sense I get because he seemed so sensitive... so un-manly in so many ways... too gentle in spirit to be a "real" guy.

He was haunted by something. I'm not convinced, as others are, that he was a pedophile. I think he was a man in a boy's body, wanting to be with kids because that's where he felt most comfortable, most understood, most like himself.

All I know is that, while I was saddened to hear of Farrah Fawcett's death earlier today, I was utterly shocked to hear of Michael Jackson's. As soon as I truly grasped it, tears welled up in my eyes, quite unexpectedly. I would never have anticipated this reaction because, as I say, I was not a follower, a fan. I don't own a single one of his records.

Maybe the tears were because I believe he's finally at peace now. I don't think he ever was in life.

And that is a tragedy.

It's a tragedy because , to my way of thinking, a man who brought so much excitement, joy and music to others should have been able to enjoy the fruits of his labors with a full heart.

I'm sorry, Michael. Truly sorry that your life ended so soon, and sorry that much more of it was not happier for you.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Grrrr and Rats! My PC Didn't Come Today!

I'm bummed because my new Dell PC didn't arrive today. Finally this afternoon I decided to track it down and discovered that it won't be here until Friday now, unless by some fluke it gets here tomorrow. Grrrr...

I canceled my hair appointment and changed it to tomorrow so I would be here to sign for the PC all day today whenever it arrived (because the carrier won't leave it unless someone is here to sign for it), and now I'm risking missing the delivery and having to wait until Monday to get it because I have a haircut tomorrow and that miserable surgery on Friday, and should it arrive during the brief times I'll be away, the carrier will drive off and take it with them! And I really, really, really need it this weekend so Phil can set it up for me so I can work again without a hitch or a glitch on Monday. He can't help me set it up on weekdays 'cause he's a busy guy.

Grrrr.... I hate to be told a date and then plan everything around it only to have it not happen. But as my mama always said at frustrating times like these, "If this is the worst thing that happens to you in your whole life, you'll be lucky." Somehow that takes all the starch out of my "righteous indignation." Things could be SO much worse!

I'm working on two white papers for two Elance clients... editing a children's book for one... may be hired to do some publicity (PR and more) on still another person's children's book... Plus, there are several other clients who appear to be vegging right now, but when they decide to get underway again, it should be busy times for me and smooth sailing financially once again. I just don't know when that will be, so I keep on bidding and bidding and bidding, like the Eveready bunny. That's what it takes to stay gainfully employed as a freelancer. I'm bidding on small jobs that only take a couple or more hours each, because when my "veggers" want me again, I have to be able to jump on whatever they have for me to do without delay. (Among my unique selling points is "fast turnaround.")

WOO HOO! It sounds like a friend will be able to house sit while I'm away for the haircut and surgery, so I will be able to get my PC when it arrives, even if I'm away! Thank God for other "available weekdays" friends!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

WOO HOO! My New PC Shipped Yesterday!

I am so excited! I'll be sitting on my front porch next Wednesday waiting to embrace the deliveryman or -woman who brings me the new jewel!

It's arriving a week earlier than expected -- and not a moment too soon! I am SOOOOO ready to have a PC that doesn't take 5-8 minutes to be ready to roll, and that doesn't freeze up on me several times a day.

Christmas will come early to me this year!

Olive Garden Yanks Letterman Ads Due to Palin Pout

OMG, Olive Garden! Just get over it! That's what the Obamas did when The New Yorker published a cover of them as closeted revolutionary terrorists. That's what grown-ups do.

I won't visit Olive Garden again if you want to be this petty. Even Governor Palin has forgiven Letterman (after far, far too long).

Grow up. It was a tasteless joke, but not worth firing Letterman or getting your knickers in a bunch!

Olive Garden yanks Letterman ads

Friday, June 19, 2009

The DE-Mented (Crazy About De) Side of Me...

This afternoon Dr. Mary Jo Robinson and I spent a couple hours watching convention tapes of De. It was a lot of fun and reminded me of his fun, funny side and all the ways we frequently cracked each other up before life became so blasted serious and precarious toward the end of his time on earth. I have been living in the aftermath of his loss for so long that I more or less laid the humorous memories aside, other than the couple dozen or so that I put into the first book I wrote about him (DeFOREST KELLEY: A HARVEST OF MEMORIES).

Then I got an email from Mary Doman today (whose essay in the newest book about De, ENDURING LEGACY, is nothing short of fabulous) telling me that she hopes I'll still write the book about De that I intended to write before I got the idea for ENDURING LEGACY; a book that tells "the rest of the story" of my fun association with the Kelleys: all the silly, fun stuff I edited out of the first tome so that readers

a.) would be able to lift the blasted thing and
b.) not have to pay an arm and a leg for it
Talk about perfect timing.
But... another book? Eegads...

A book is hard work, really hard work, even when they're labors of love. And I barely broke even on the other two I wrote about De, not because they aren't good, not because people who read them don't love them, but because the mass media folks couldn't care less about letting people know they exist! (The reviews at Amazon are mostly 5-stars and at Payloadz they're 100% 5-stars and the e-book is still #1 in the non-fiction category nearly two months after its debut.)

And publicizing via the social media route is so time-consuming that if I did that as often as I "must" to keep the information out there, I'd wind up bleary-eyed for my day job (copy writing at Elance), at which I have to be very, very sharp to keep earning glowing reviews and additional clients! So it's kind of a Catch-22: I can write good books, but where do I find enough hours in the day to multi-task (Elance work and viral networking, plus life as a homeowner, yard mower, weed puller, vegetable gardener, sister and auntie) and still stay sane and viable? It's a pickle!

So, since I need to make money if I'm going to be investing significant time writing more about De (this time totally humorously), Mary suggested that I "blog" the stories going forward and when I have enough of them down in black and white, I can compile them into an e-book and offer them for sale. This way, she says, I'll only be investing the time I usually invest in blogging and won't need to take time away from my real job to make headway on it.

Hmmm... Sounds totally do-able.


Doesn't logic suggest, Mr. Spock, that if people can get stuff for free (via this blog) they probably won't bother to buy the same stories in e-book form later?

Mr. Spock : "Not necessarily. Many people glean postings from their blogs and create viable e-books with the information. However, if memory serves, most of them are 'how-to' or technical books."

Oh joy... (Vulcans sure can be wet blankets at times...)

Mary says she will buy one, for sure! So I have one confirmed buyer! The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step!

So now I'm going to ask YOU: If I do as Mary suggests, and you get to read all (or almost all) of my previously-unpublished funny De-related tales for free right here on my blog in the days and weeks to come (off and on), would you, too, be willing to buy a compilation of the same material if it's offered for under $5 at some time in the future, to share with friends and/or to keep for yourself in one convenient volume?

I need some encouragement, here. I don't need to make a killing, but I do need to know that people would value a De-based (debased?!) book of humor enough to buy it at some point... and tell others about it... and purchase a few extras as gifts, even...

(Hey, you could do the same thing with the two existing De books, too, and the other three really good books I've written that aren't De related.)

[No pressure! wink, wink]

Whaddaya say?

Let me hear from you! Would you help support this "starving artist" if I blog my best stuff before publishing it? LET ME KNOW!

A Humor Sampler
(no real-life anecdotes included, yet, but I have a bunch of them!)

A never-before published limerick that I wrote and sent to the Kelleys:
It isn't all a bad dream -
I'm as stuck on you as I seem.
If you had your druthers,
You might prefer others -
Or even the transporter beam!
A never-before-published poem I wrote about the RowDE Cowboy:
(based on a real incident)
Now, De was a cowboy with flair
He rode side-by-side without care
'Til one day, while dismountin'
He spurred he next mount an'
Spent half of the scene in midair!
Song I co-wrote to the tune of Yellow Rose of Texas:
(semi-raunchy ranch humor)
De is De Rowdy Cowboy
We girls just love to love
His eyes are even bluer
Than Texas skies above
You can talk about Roy Rogers
Or the dudes from Lonesome Dove
But De's the only cowboy
That we will ever love.
My mama told me not to love
A man with big blue eyes
He'd only steal my heart away
And tell me lots of lies
But let him tell me all those lies
and lead me to the straw
'Cause De's the sexiest cowboy
That I have ever saw!
Can you tell I started out as a silly, starry-eyed teenager?
Yup! And it was a lot of fun!
Then I grew up
and life got seriouser and seriouser...
but we still laughed and laughed
right up until the end.
It sure beat crying!
"Return with us now, to those thrilling days of yesteryear.
The RowDE Cowboy rides again!"

If any of these blog posts give you a grin or anything else of value please tweet them! Thank you!

This Weekend... Why Not Give Peace a Chance?


Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Fulfilled another project for an Elance client today, so I'm heading back into the black again after a couple months of very little work. Now I have three "regulars," not just one, so I expect this is the last time I'll find myself absolutely floundering as a self-employed copywriter. I feel a whole lot better! I'm not out of the woods yet financially, but it's a'coming -- I can feel it in my bones!

Jackie has joined a workplace "Biggest Loser" contest so I'm her 5 a.m. accountability partner. We went for a 30-minute walk this morning, and will every day from now on. I'll try to get her to walk "my" route in a week or so because it's a 40 minute route (32 blocks) and that's what we need to start losing excess weight. I was walking the 32 block route twice a day up until we started yard work, tree clearing, and frequent bike riding several weeks ago; I figure the yard work and tree clearing alone make up for at least one of the 32 block walks!

Our garden has peas, corn, lettuce, carrots, cucumbers and a couple different types of squash pushing up through the dirt now. And one of our tomato plants produced its first ripe tomato this past weekend; Jackie scarfed it down and called it "great. Mm-mmm... perfect." Well, would we expect anything less from a garden we planted and nurtured and sweated over? Of course not! That would be downright rude!

Our grape arbor is greening out and some of the fruit trees already have little fruits on them. That's pretty good for the northern hemisphere this close to the Canadian border.

Jackie planted the corn and carrots too close to each other; we'll have to thin them out at some point unless some wild bunnies do the honor (where the carrots are concerned). Jackie says I planted the second row of peas too far away from the wire fencing that they'll need to be tacked to at some point. Hey, we're new at this. It's gonna take a season or two to know the proper procedures. This is our first year as adults. When we were kids, Mom and Dad were in charge of the plantings, and that was fifty years ago. I don't think either of us were paying the least bit of attention back then. And of course, Jackie didn't read the seed packets. (I did, so I have no excuse where the peas are concerned.)

What else? I'm getting 11% of the Elance projects that I bid in -- up from 2% a year ago. It helps to have certified test results, certified work background, and lots and lots of great reviews. It gives Elance buyers a good feeling to know that others have found my copywriting services exemplary. I am even being asked to bid on projects at a rate of one or two a day. I can't accept them all -- I don't qualify for all of them (I don't write in the real estate, IT, or finance sectors at all unless the client has specific talking points I can work from, because I have no working knowledge of those sectors) -- but it's great to be asked!

Guess that's about all for this time. Oh! Two teenagers from other countries -- Italy and Germany -- wrote to me about De this week. They had more questions about him, some of which I couldn't answer (what was his favorite color, food, vacation spot), but most of them I could. I hope both of them will contribute to the second edition of ENDURING LEGACY because they're very young and it's positive proof that De's legacy lives on and on and on!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Busy But Fun Week Ahead

In addition to several new Elance projects I've just been awarded, I will be hosting De Kelley fans twice this week.

On Tuesday Mary Rodeman Harrison and her roommate will be driving over from Spokane (clear across the state!) to meet me and we'll all spend some time getting to know more about each other. We'll also take in a convention tape or two since neither of them had the good fortune of seeing or meeting De when he was doing them in the 70's, 80's and early 90's.

Then on Thursday or Friday (depending on her schedule) I'll be meeting with a Doctor and De fan, Mary Jo Robinson, for a mini De fest to watch a convention tape or two and perhaps a remastered episode or two. (Both of these De fans have Facebook pages, so you can check out more about them there.)

I usually only receive flurries of De fan visits and De fan emails around special dates -- 35th, 40th, etc, anniversaries of the original STAR TREK series, or around "De dates" -- his birth date (Jan 20) or the anniversary of the day he passed away (June 11th -- especially this year, since it's the 10th anniversary of his passing). I suppose the infrequent flurries are also because during these well-remembered anniversary dates, media folks seek me out to ask for radio or magazine interviews, and it's when I'm most likely to be invited to speak at conventions, all of which bring up my name from the dusty confines of memory and make fans want to reach out and touch someone who understands, and continues to promote, their undying love for the man, which he richly deserved.

In between times (as you can tell by these almost 1,000 blog entries!) I can go days/ weeks/ months without mentioning De much at all, and without receiving De-related contacts from his fans (unless I've befriended them, as frequently happens, and then we talk about many other things besides De).

The on-again, off-again white-hot interest surrounding De throws me for a loop at times, but it also keeps me in the loop regarding STAR TREK-related happenings, something I wouldn't otherwise pay much attention to. I have a busy life that is nowhere near as De-centric as it was when he was alive (DUH!). I mean, I did have to "move on" after he passed away; I couldn't hermetically seal myself up in saran wrap and stop living. No one wants their friends and loved ones to stop living when they die, unless they're completely narcissistic, a malady which never affected De.

On Wednesday Jackie and I will be having dinner with a dear lady named Darlene who Jackie lived next door to before we moved here just a year ago on June 26th. We haven't seen Darlene in months (pathetic), so it's overdue, and Jackie scheduled it. I'm very much looking forward to this get-together, too.

For a gal with a wee bit of a social anxiety disorder (I'm the shy type, except on paper, but am such a good actor that nobody has noticed my shyness in years!), three meetings in three days makes me feel a wee bit frantic, but the nervousness will only last a few minutes each time. I'll get over it almost as soon as I say "Hi!" because there is a social animal in me (and a bit of a ham as well) that enjoys some attention.

A little background for those of you new to this blog or to me: I was born a Shirley Temple-type "sparkler" - dancing, twirling, singing, chatting, interacting with everyone in an ebullient manner - which my folks felt they had to "tame down" or I'd end up monopolizing every social interaction that took place within "my" realm! When they did this, it made me feel there was something intrinsically "wrong" about the way I interacted wih the world, so I became very shy and withdrawn in public. This lasted until I was in junior high, when I "willed" myself back into the limelight by signing up for drama, public speaking, and debate because I was tired of living in corners, praying no one would pay me any mind. I just knew that I was somehow beyond the norm, alien to my species; I'd been re-trained to see myself that way. My painful shyness is also why I became a writer at a very young age: I had stuff to say, was far too timid to say it in public, but could write it down and be understood, and even received positive strokes for my efforts (even though the teacher's kind comments in class embarrassed me horribly and made me want to melt and run underneath the nearest shoe).

Note to Parents: You can really mess up your kids' minds and ways of being in the world if you haven't taken DISC Personality Profile training, which probably didn't even exist when I was a kid!

I took DISC training a few years ago and discovered that I'm a "very high" I,D,S (Shirley Temple material, indeed!) and that my parents were high C's and of course didn't understand their little "sparkler" even a little bit! As far as they were concerned, I was from another planet/realm. I must have been a real conundrum their entire lives! And they were to me, as well... but we loved each other, so we all survived... not always amicably, but hey... how many folks didn't grow up in at least a semi-dysfunctional family?

Very few!

Friday, June 12, 2009

De Day In Hollywood -- June 11, 2009

June 11, 2009
(in order of appearance)
Lisa Hamner and Alison Winter,
two actors,
polish De's star on
Hollywood Boulevard
to thank him
for his
Thank you, Ladies!
Alison's tribute to De appears in my newest e-book,
in the Enduring Legacy (final) section of the book.
Lisa's tribute to De appears frequently on her blog, DeForestKelleyForever.blogspot.com
and, I hope,
in the future second edition of Enduring Legacy,
if I can twist her arm hard enough!

Very Cool!


The little girl has a real treasure -- and a real treasure of a President, too!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Thank You, DeForest Kelley...

I face a blank page here... wondering where to start...

I've been contacted several times already today - via phone and email - telling me that others are thinking about De today, too, and thanking me for being there for him and Carolyn when they needed someone they could count on.

Sometimes it seems it just happened; at other times, it seems like it couldn't possibly have happened the way it did, that it must all have been a really great dream that ended very sad...

When someone you love and rely on for wise input and undying encouragement dies, you go into a kind of shock, especially when you have to carry on, make arrangements, be strong for somebody else. You manage to function in a fog, day to day, like an animal, out of memory, out of instinct more than out of any real desire.

Over time, as the numbness fades and the big hole in your life (where your friend once stood) yawns before you, you find healing to be slow. You're alternately angry, afraid, confused. You wonder anew if the tales of heaven are true or only fabrications of a mind that refuses to let go of the person you loved and the person you are. You realize you MUST see them again, be with them again, to tell them that even though you appreciated them in life, you had no idea how little you could measure their worth to your world until they were gone.

I'm lucky in so many ways. When it comes to De, I have hours of convention tapes to keep me company when I feel a need to re-connect visually, viscerally. Not that I do it much, because even though it's cool, it's never enough. It isn't now, it isn't here, it isn't real. It was real, but now it's just a memory, as blessed and as wonderful as memories are.

I think, "People like De should never die. They're too valuable. They love like too few others do."

I interact with other Christians frequently, and see glimpses of De in them, but even in this rarefied atmosphere, so few of them seem to "get" Christ and his message in the way De did. God's message ("love one another") inhabited De the way beauty inhabits a rose. Never a Bible-thumper or preacher, De was simply a mirror -- a reflector of God's love and light.

St. Francis' saying fit De to a T: "Preach the gospel always. If necessary, use words."

It's this quality I miss most about De. He knew what a failed human being I am, when compared against my actual potential. I have always wanted to grow up to be just like De, a reflection of Christ (since becoming like De seems at least remotely do-able, while becoming like Christ -- completely perfect and without sin -- does not).

De was a touchstone for me. Here was a man who had mastered the art of being in the world but not of the world. His ministry was to lift up the downcast and downtrodden and help them realize they are worthy of love.

He was an encourager, a helper, a reliable beacon, and an invaluable friend. I have no doubt whatsoever that when he arrived in heaven ten years and fifteen minutes ago, he heard, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

De, I miss you, love you, and will never forget you. And I look forward to seeing you again soon. You are as irreplaceable in my life as you are in eternity.


"Our relationships are the only things we carry with us into eternity."
Pastor Bill Wolfson, Church For All Nations

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

It'll Be Ten Years Tomorrow....

The tenth anniversary of De's passing is tomorrow. Lisa Hamner is going to polish his star tomorrow (along with some other fans who are gathering for the occasion, I believe) and will write an article for the Long Beach newspaper about him that will appear tomorrow or shortly thereafter.

As for me, I'm going to focus on all the years he lived and on the blessing he was to so many. If I focus on the day, I'll get sad and weepy.

He would hate that, because it was a GREAT day for him! He was welcomed home to heaven by a chorus of angels and the outstretched arms of his Savior.

"Better is one day in His courts than thousands elsewhere..."

We miss you, De, but we wouldn't call you back here, even if we could. We're selfish, but not that selfish!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Sunday Doings

Yesterday Jackie and I worked in the clearing for three hours, then for half an hour in the garden in front. After that, we went for a 2 1/2 hour, 15 mile bike ride with Wendy, Sue (Wendy's mom), and Casey and Jamie. (Phil was out on Puget Sound fishing with his dad.)

The McNivens got a contraption that looks like half a bike which straps onto the back of Phil's bike. Jamie sat on that and peddled as much as she could while Wendy "drove" the two of them along the trail.

Jamie is a wiggler and kept leaning from side to side or looking back, which threw Wendy's stride and balance out of whack almost as often as not, so Wendy didn't exactly have a nice, relaxing ride. On the way back, I could see she was really tired, so I offered to switch bikes and give her a break. At first she said no, she was fine... but then she finally agreed when I asked a second and third time (a mile or so apart).

I made it all of a mile and a half before I had to dismount and save my -- uh -- under regions from destruction. Phil's bike seat is built like a freakin' banana (I guess to accommodate the male anatomy comfortably); I am not. And Phil's bike seat was as far down on the bar as it could get and still accommodate Jamie's contraption, so I had less than zero space between the bike seat and my crotch at the conclusion of each down stroke of the pedal, and riding in front of the seat standing just on the pedals wasn't an option because of Gyrating Jamie bringing up the rear; too risky. Had that not been the case, I could have driven the contraption all the way back to the starting point (another mile and a half or so), but there was no way I could do that and save my skin. I walked funny most of the rest of the night and part of this morning before my diaper rash (or whatever the hell it was) healed.

When we got home Phil was back from fishing (no fish) and he and Wendy prepared a pork roast and lots of fixings. After we ate, George (Wendy's dad, Sue hubby) joined me in my living room to watch the remastered "Enemy Within." George wants to do a STAR TREK Marathon sometime this summer; he really likes the show, and especially in the remastered version.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Rained Out But Not Vanquished!

The unexpected rain showers didn't dampen our spirits or shutter our plans for a wonderful Writer's Edge meeting.

Instead of meeting outdoors at beautiful Point Defiance Park, as planned, we were welcomed with open arms by the nearby Antique Sandwich Shop, where each of us wrote something (in ten minutes!) about God's creation.

The results were powerful. You can read what various participants wrote as they get posted to the Writer's Edge blog. (Yvonne asked everyone to post what they wrote to the blog, so I expect they will.) You can access Writer's Edge (where everyone is blogging for Christ) by clicking on the link in the first paragraph of this blog entry.

Here's what I wrote:

God's Creation
copyright 6/6/2009 by Kristine M Smith

In the beginning, God created...
In the middle, God creates...
At the end, God will create a new heaven and a new earth...

God is active, manifesting every sunrise and sunset
Every rainbow and rainbow trout.

When we forget this, life seems predictable,
sometimes shallow, often profane.

Walk in a garden during the rain;
What dampens our spirits awakens the earth

Nothing God does is wasted;
Everything God is, is here to remind us:

"I am with you always, even to the end of the age..."


I took the Bible Challenge on Facebook and earned a "Bible Scholar" designation. I must thank all the pastors who took the time to teach me (and so many others) the foundational aspects of the Judeo-Christian faith. Without them, I would have received a Bible Dummy designation, without a doubt! I am indebted to all of them for giving me a love of and devotion to the Bible and to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

11 at Night... What Am I Still Doing Up and Awake?

I need to go to sleep very soon. I didn't get to sleep until this morning at 1 following the wonderful two-hour interview (which you can still catch by clicking on the link in an earlier blog) at NDR Radio. Then I got up at 5:15 and worked on the clearing for over two hours because I knew it was going to get to 90 degrees here today (which is ridiculously hot for the Pacific Northwest with its 85% humidity).

I wrote some more blogs for a client (which he loved) and wrote and sent the beginnings of two white papers to two other clients, then spent the day updating things at Elance and bidding on some more work.

Oh, I did some Facebook stuff, too. Voted on a controversial issue (probably surprising a lot of my brothers and sisters in Christ, unless they've been reading my blog for months) and started to get some snarky remarks from a fellow to a response that a dear friend sent me who disagreed with me about my vote for same-sex marriage, with appropriate biblical quotes to back up her view on the matter.

Before I could respond (humanely and with love and understanding), this Southern gent took on her comments in no uncertain terms, ripping them and her rather savagely. Almost as soon as that response appeared, my friend pulled her response, so I deleted the fellow's response to her response so I could bring the page back to earlier (noncontroversial) topics and avoid causing a verbally abusive, name-calling free-for-all. It is, after all, my Facebook page, and if we can't disagree with civility, I elect to delete unkind responses as soon as I see them.

My friend didn't deserve to be vilified and castigated for defending what she believes the Bible dictates about homosexuality (even when I disagree with her conclusions on the passages in question). I am so sick of circus maximus-type, combative responses: "I disagree with you so strongly that you must be squashed like a bug and humiliated." Not on my watch!

I like the fellow, too, so hated to delete him. But when the original response was pulled, there was nothing left to his response that needed to remain, as he would then be appearing to be responding to thin air. (Besides, he was so snarky in his response, I wrote a response to his response that also had to come out, saying that there are people of good will on both sides of this controversy, which is what makes it a controversy worth delving in to and meditating on...)

So my Facebook page is all tidied up again, and peace reigns, and no one looks intolerant. I just hope my friend isn't feeling embarrassed, or disgraced, or in any way less good about herself than she did before!

Or if she does, maybe it's a God thing and He's helping her discern whether her stand is unduly law-based (Pharisee-ism) at the expense of God's gracious, forgiving spirit. I think it's something we all need to consider when we stake our claim on Bible passages that divide people and cause them to pick up arms, rather than extending their own arms to embrace and honor those whose opinions and beliefs differ from their own.

Blessed are the peacemakers...

President Obama on Muslim Soil, Making a Way Forward...

This speech brought me to tears.


We have the right man in the White House during these perilous times. I truly believe he will make them less perilous.

He "gets" what all the major religions have been saying for thousands of years. And he can help others get it.

God bless Barack Obama and God bless our nation and the world.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Link to the DeForest Kelley/Kris Smith Interview...

In case you missed the interview, you can access it here. It's two hours long, so sit back and relax! (Get a tissue first, though! Some of it is mighty poignant...)

Are There Any Questions You Want Me To Answer Tonight During the Radio Interview?

I've seen some of the questions I'll be asked tonight. There are 12-15 of them. If you have a particular question you would like me to answer tonight, please let me know what it is by emailing me at kristinemsmith at msn DOT com.

We get underway at 7 pm Pacific Time, so be sure I have them in hand by 6 pm. Thanks!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

By Contrast... There is Such Hatred in This World...

After seeing the joyful video I just posted, I read about a new billionaire who decided to spend his money setting up a foundation. That was all well and good; he has turned his blessing into blessings for others.

But then I began to read the comments that readers left. There was such demonic hatred and racism in many of those comments. I was absolutely appalled. One writer, commenting in the guise of Jesus Christ Returned (a blasphemy if there ever was one), said that 90% of blacks, a lesser % of Hispanics and a far lesser percentage of whites should be allowed to starve in order to "reclaim" the America he seeks.


I had to hit the "REPORT ABUSE" radio button and complain and ask that the posting be removed. He is touting himself as Jesus Christ Returned. That's obscenity enough. But to follow it up with White Aryan Nation comments that quickly establish his dog in the fight, I was just sickened by it all.

If the only people left on the planet were ignorant, racist, vitriolic people like him, I can guarantee you that Christ would return and send every last soul to hell. (And for those of you who think that would be "wrong" or "un-Christ-like," read your Bible.) These people are NOT his image-bearers.

God is love. What I see evidenced in comments that display hatred is not just its opposite (hate and apathy), but true Evil incarnate.

My stomach turns violently when my sensibilities are assaulted by demented, demonic souls like these. It brings out the violent and vitriolic in me. I wish these kinds of people dead, beyond even the reach of the saving power of my Savior! Isn't that awful? Yes, it is. I must pray on it.

But I won't like it!

There is such a thing as righteous indignation, and I have a bellyful of it right now.

I have to stop reading readers' comments at the end of worthwhile articles. As often than not, what I find there makes me despair for our planet and doubt its capacity to survive. As long as hatred this vitriolic exists, life will always be precarious for everyone...

This Video Brought Me Such Joy -- Hope It Does You, Too!


For some reason I found myself grinning and getting teary with joy about a minute into it.

Really, really great...

Monday, June 1, 2009

Help Yourself or a Friend in Need -- For FREE!!!

Need to save some dough during the recession? If you have a computer, try this tactic. (If you're blessed and fine as you are, please take the time to pass this information along to someone you know who does need a little financial assistance, or a lot! I guarantee they'll thank you for it!)




Sonny tells me the interview is not available to listen to later. But he's sending me a CD with my segment of the show on it and says I can use it any way I want, so I'll see if I can attach it to this blog somehow.

"Dammit, Jim, I'm a Trekkie, not a techie!"

Here you go! Give it a try!