Back away from the laptop

I had one of those lightbulb moments yesterday afternoon!

I had taken a copy of my latest writing assignment to work hoping that I would have an opportunity at lunch time to do some editing. I had been struggling with the ending for a couple of days and especially needed some inspiration in that area.

So, after heating up my standard cardboard lunch (aka lean cuisine) I settled down with a pencil and began to go through it. As I read through it making changes here and there, I realized that reading it on a piece of paper was different than reading it on a computer screen. Somehow, my mind seems to process it differently. The coup de grace was the inspiration that hit me in the side of the head in the form of a great conclusion!

Sometimes I get so obsessed about finishing a task, that I forget about the value of stepping away for a while in order to gain fresh perspective. I've had to learn this lesson many times, and it appears that I will continue to revisit this one for a while longer.

Playing hooky

It's 6:13 am on Friday morning. Normally I would be at work by now (or on my way if I had stopped for a Starbucks). Today I'm sitting at home getting caught up with everyone's blogs.

I'm going for some blood work this morning (gulp...the dreaded cholesterol test!) and so I'm just hanging out until the office opens at 7:00. In the past when I've done this, I've brought work home the night before that I could do first thing in the morning. My plan this time was to do some final revisions on the assignment for my writing class that I have to turn in tonight.

This morning, as I sat down at my computer, I made a conscious decision to play hooky from responsibility and spend some time catching up with my blogging friends. I'm fifty now. I can play hooky if I want!!

Happy Friday everyone!

Blog award

I received a blog award from Angie over at Gumbo Writer. Thanks Angie!

Premio-Dardas: "This award 'acknowledges the values that every Blogger displays in their effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values with each message they write. Awards like this have been created with the intention of promoting community among Bloggers. It's a way to show appreciation and gratitude for work that adds value to the Web."

The rules of the road are as follows:

1. Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who granted it to you, along with his/her blog link.

2. Pass the award to (15) other blogs that you feel are worthy of this recognition. Remember to contact each of them to let them know they have been chosen as recipients.

I'm not sure I can do this part, because I think most of my bloggy buddies already have received this award, but I'll do my best to find some worthy recipients later today.

I'm off running this morning...have a great day everyone!


Today I am fifty! I am thrilled to meet this milestone head on!

I thought I'd start out this new year with five things that are fabulous about being fifty!

1. Retirement looms close enough to see on the horizon
2. Grandchildren
3. Seeing our children grown into happy healthy productive members of society
4. Now I can act goofy and people excuse me for it! (there's a new "Grandma Dance" that happens in our home once in a while that you wouldn't believe!)
5. Did I mention Grandchildren?

Out of touch

It had to happen eventually. I was hoping that it would be a few years down the road, but it happened yesterday. My official induction into the "Out of Touch" club.

I've been struggling with the speed (or lack thereof) of my laptop lately and finally sent an email to my son (the techno wizard) asking what I could do to kick her up a notch. Well, he responded with a link to a product advising me to print the page and take it into any techie store and they would be able to give me what I needed.

Yesterday after church, my husband and I dutifully took the piece of paper into Best Buy. After wandering around in a daze in the computer department, hubby finally asked for help, and we were directed to the Geek Squad at the front of the store. (honest, that's what they're called!)

I handed the young fellow my piece of paper saying "I need one of those" not having the faintest idea what one of those really was. I was doing fine until he asked me a question! A question?! Please!

I responded in the way I've heard old ladies respond in the past. "I don't know, my son just told me to get it.".

Welcome to the club, Linda.

The power of a memoir

I am taking a writing class called From Memory to Memoir with Paula Stallings Yost and I just finished the first assignment. In this assignment I wrote a story of my family tree that included my birth-mother, Mary.

Those who have been with me for a while on this blogging journey may remember the "This Little Girl" series that I was working on last year, and my struggle with trying to write about my birth-mother. Predictably, this new piece brought up old hurts and unforgiveness toward this woman once again.

I struggled for days to find a way to present Mary's story, all the while dealing with unresolved feelings about her. In the end I found a way to turn the story into something uplifting and even positive.

I realized, as I worked through this conflict, that the power of a memoir is not only in creating something for future generations to read. The power of a memoir is also found in providing a means to healing old wounds and empowering oneself to forgive and understand choices made by those who have gone before.

There is much more that I have to come to grips with in my birth-mother's story, but I have made great progress this past week.

Finally Friday

Why is it that a short week can feel so long? I had Monday off (and hubby had to work) so I was able to spend the whole day writing. What a treat!

Of course this week at work has been busy, and I've felt like there hasn't been enough time to get everything accomplished that is on my list but, I've been very disciplined about leaving on time, mainly because I've had committments after work that I needed to tend to. Today, I hope to have time to mark some things off my "to do" list, but who knows what will happen!

I have a typical weekend planned, shopping, dog washing, office organizing, writing, potluck with friends......

What plans do you have for the weekend ahead?

Dream Killer.....version 2

Angie had a post this morning called Dream Killers and I had to smile when I read it because I had a dream killer of another sort last night.

I just don't understand how my subconscious mind works sometimes. Last night, my husband tells me that I was talking in my sleep calling for my mom. I understand that one since I've been working on an assignment for my writing class where I'm writing about my birth-mother. I don't remember what I had been dreaming about, and don't recall calling out loud either.

Later, I woke myself up calling "No....I can't do it!". I remember this vividly. I was having this crazy dream that I was trying to eat a RAT! I had just bitten his head off....when I spit it out and cried "No....I can't do it!".

Heaven knows where that came from, but it sure was a dream killer for me!

Enjoying the view

The trouble with being on top of a mountain, is that the only way to go is down. The view when one finds oneself standing on top of a mountain is spectacular and breathtaking but eventually one has to make the descent.
There was a period in my life when I thought that I would be content to stay in level ground with no mountains and definitely no valleys. Time has brought me to the understanding that to attempt to live on level ground, is to miss out much.
While I don't believe that we're meant to make continual and rapid trips up and down the mountain, I think it's right and good for us to spend time celebrating on top of the mountain, understanding that the experience is only for a season.
Our time in the valley, while perhaps not pleasant, is necessary. Looking back at some of my personal valleys, I find that I grew closer to my God, and learned the most in those seasons of my life.
Today, whether I'm on top of a mountain or down in the valley, I know that it's only for a season. I've also learned that from deep in the valley I can still see the magnificence of the mountains. It's my choice to look up.

I saw the light!

I noticed something yesterday when I left work. It was something that made my heart sing and made me step a bit livelier.

So what was it? Actually, it's more like what wasn't it? It wasn't dark! There was some daylight left, and as I walked to my car I glimpsed the sun just beginning to drop below the horizon. It doesn't sound like much, but for someone like me who only sees the light of day on weekends all winter long, it's cause for celebration!

Today was a picture-perfect day here in the Pacific Northwest. The sky was blue and the sun was shining, I even saw someone driving a convertible with the top down!

I observed a couple of other things this afternoon that also made me do a little internal happy dance. My grocery store was selling daffodils! The bright yellow flowers literally scream "spring" don't they?

And finally, on the way home I saw a flock of geese......flying north!

I know it's only January and we're still a long way from the official change of the seasons, but I'm thinking spring!

What did we do without.....

While waiting for my turn at the microwave at work today, I was having one of those mundane conversations comprised of "what in the world did we ever do before microwaves" and "it's amazing how long one minute can seem".

Nothing new there, but it got me thinking. What did we do before microwaves? I thought about my parents who both passed away about 25 years ago, and how they would be amazed if they could see all the changes that have taken place since then.

Here's a few things that my parents never got to experience that are an integral part of my own life today:

1. Microwaves
2. Personal cell phones
3. Personal computers (laptops!)
4. The internet (and blogs!)
5. DVD players (or VCR's for that matter!)
6. Satellite radio
7. iPods
8. Digital cameras
9. Sony eReader (or Kindle!)

I can't help but wonder what will be on a that my children and grandchildren write someday!


This little guy sits on my desk. His unlikely name is Plopper ( was on the tag that was attached to his ear when I got him!)

Plopper was given to me by a friend when I was in hospital a few years back. He was a reminder to me that someone cared about me while I was dealing with the hospital experience.

When I went home from the hospital, Plopper took his place on my bed and suddenly developed a voice of his own. As in "honey, Plopper thinks it's time for you to make coffee".

When we got our first yorkie, Plopper had to leave the comfort of our bed in fear of him becoming a chew toy for Chelsea. Now, as I mentioned, he's been relegated to the top of my writing desk.

He doesn't speak much anymore, but he's still a wonderful reminder of caring and fun in years gone by.

Do you have a "Plopper" in your life?

Missing my rut

Okay, I admit it. I'm a creature of habit and I don't do well when my routine is disrupted.

Having just been through the holidays and the awesome experience of spending a week with daughter and husband and precious Makiya (neither of which I would trade for anything!), I'm having trouble settling back into my routine.

To top it all off, my husband is sick. Well, he has a cold.

Before the holidays hit, I had settled in nicely to my daily routine (or rut as some might like to call it), but I'm having struggling to get that mojo back.

Life is disrupted and I don't adjust well to disruption. Perhaps it has something to do with the looming big 5-0 that is coming up very soon, but I feel that I have somehow earned the right to my rut and I would really like it back.

Sigh....hopefully soon.....

Nature or nurture?

I've finished my first book in the Her Stories Memoir Challenge, and I'll finish the second one tonight. This is an activity that's supposed to be one book per month from January to April. (Do you think I'm too goal oriented?!)

At the moment I'm almost obsessed with the second book Identical Strangers. It is the story of identical twins who were adopted by different families and who were reunited as adults. In addition to the story of how they met and came to know each other, is a parallel theme of whether their genes or their environment played the greater part in forming the women that they became.

As an adoptee, I am extremely interested in this discussion. I can't help but speculate as to whether my personality traits (both positive and negative) were inherited from my birth family, or if my adoptive family had more to do with shaping who I am today.

It's an interesting thing to think about. Who would I be had I remained with my birth-mother and/or birth-father? Would there be a different person sitting here right now? Would my passions for books and writing still have been a part of who I am? Would I still have made the same choices I had made along the way, or would I have been wiser and been able to avoid some of the heartache along the way?

Since I have been fortunate enough to have connected with my birth family and to learn much of the history, I am able to recognize that some parts of my character must be due to the genes handed down to me by my family. At the same time, much of who I am I attribute to the family I grew up in.

It's really a dilemma, and possibly not worth spending too much time speculating about. Still, I can't help but wonder.....

A week to remember

Tomorrow I will be heading home after spending one of the best weeks of my life with my daughter and her husband and baby Makiya.

It has been such a blessing to be able to share this first week of Makiya's life with her parents. While I have been here to help the new parents out a bit, I have received the most abundant blessing I am sure, as I have seen the love that they have for each other spill over onto this precious little girl.

I take home with me precious memories of this week that I will hold in my heart always. It will be sad to leave tomorrow, but I leave knowing that God will keep this family in His tender care, and filled with gratitude for this experience.


Today I felt my world shift.
I was sitting on my daughter's sofa folding baby clothes fresh from the dryer, and Laurinda was sitting nearby with baby Makiya. Suddenly my mind travelled back 30 years when my own mother sat on my sofa folding baby clothes and I held a baby Laurinda.
I realized that this little piece of life has moved 360 degrees and I am now the visiting Grandma. I'm the one helping out with the baby, cooking meals and just generally trying to help my daughter as she moves into her new role as Mom.
In a few weeks I will turn 50, I am now a Grandma, and life moves ahead. What a miracle this circle of life really is.

Makiya Rose

Call me Grandma!

Makiya Rose arrived on January 2! She was 7 lbs 11 ounces, 20 inches long, with lots of brown hair, and as precious and beautiful as can be.

Mom and baby are heading home to come!

How blessed we are!


It's hard not to get caught up in looking forward on this, the first day of a new year. I shy away from making resolutions and lists of things that I want to accomplish this year, but I can't help but reflect upon a vision that I have for 2009 in general.

All day today I have been thinking in terms of focus. I recognize that there are things that I would like to focus less on this year, and areas where I need to direct more attention this year.

As I was out walking this evening I was thinking about my last visit to the optometrist.

In his office there is an eye chart on the wall across from the chair where I sit. The object of the exam is for me to attempt to focus on that chart and to read the letters printed on it.

When I am not wearing my contact lenses or glasses it is impossible for me to read any of the letters, but the doctor puts a contraption in front of my face and inserts different strengths of lenses in the slots and suddenly I am able to see all of the letters clearly. Without those lenses, no matter how hard I try, I am not able to focus on the letters in such a way as to read them.

This year, my prayer is that I will remember that within my own strength I will not be able to attain that sense of focus that I need to walk the path I am called to. I pray that I will not forget to look at life through the lenses of Jesus Christ living within me, knowing that it is only then that I will be able to maintain the correct focus and balance in my life.