Power Outage!

Early morning storms and those who know me know that I love BIG weather; that’s what began just before dawn. My dogs, however, hate storms, in fact, Shadow actually moves a chair to get behind and under it, where he whines incessantly.  Soleil, not the brightest dog on the planet, seems lately to take his cue from Shadow and now whines as well.  Maybe there’s a blessing in my hearing being less than its pre-surgery state.  How’s that for a positive spin?  We all know I love spin 🙂

Back to the subject at hand.  Being here at the Homestead, I often think of how things were, as my daughters say, “back in the day.”  My first thought when the power went out was whether a power line was laying somewhere, like between my truck and me or on the roof.    My second thought was no Internet, meaning no PC or laptop.  But I was still connected, as long as my cell phone battery held out.  No lights, no running water, affecting bathroom functions as well.  You bet, with a well and an electric pump, no power means not much water available.  I believe that’s enough said, but cell phone in hand, I was able to text my dilemma to my Meghan and post on facebook.  ErinLee will hear about it later; even now, it’s only 10 a.m. in her time zone and I know better than potentially waking sleeping daughters.

Back in the day, and I’ll have to ask my  favorite Auntie Arlene, how where things at the Homestead when the power went out? Did they light candles, perhaps an oil or kerosene lamp?  I’m fairly certain they weren’t concerned about an Internet connection and didn’t have a weather radio connected to NOAA or 24/7 meteorologists on TV.  Maybe they sang together,  played a game or read a book, maybe the Bible and prayed; I’m sure I’ll hear from cousins offering information.  

So I was out of touch, but thanks to the cell, able to post on Facebook and make a few jokes about passing the time singing the blues, accompanying myself on the piano.  There’s that spin again, but to be honest, I soon tired of bad blues and fell back to my standby, not rock’nroll, fan that I am; my first thought was not the old REO anthem, Riding the Storm Out.  A favorite that seemed appropriate during this morning’s big weather was the hymn, Jesus Savior Pilot Me with the familiar lyrics, “Unknown waves before me roll.”  That old seafarer’s hymn goes on to praise the Lord for piloting us through dangerous waters and storms.

Despite all our technology, there’s a raw power to the natural world that isn’t held at bay by anything humans can create.  When the power goes out, you best believe that there is a Power beyond anything on earth and cling to that life-preserver of hope.  Being me, ya’ll knew there was a message coming and here it is.  My faith is anchored on the One who has and will continue to get me through the biggest waves and the most fearsome storms.  My hope is that you already have or find your way to this lifeline as well. 

Be blessed and make it a fabulous day, despite anything going on in your life!

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WHERE’VE YOU BEEN?

I certainly have heard that question lately and I will admit to being MIA these last eight weeks, more specifically the last three weeks. Where have I been? Finishing the first eight weeks of the sixteen-week spring semester, then last week a break before beginning the final eight weeks of this semester today. Between working and school and life I was staying under the radar, even missed church for a few weeks. I figured the Lord would understand as I was deeply involved in the study of Revelation/Daniel (by whose infinite wisdom do those two books make one course anyway?) and the Book of Acts in the other course.

Folks who know me get that on a good day I’m not big on phones or checking voice-mail, for that matter. Send me a text or an email, but when time is tight, I’m not likely to answer the phone unless you’re one of my daughters, in which case I would know you by your very special ring-tone and definitely answer if at all able. Hey, I’m a mom and some things will always take precedence. I managed to continue teaching and to stay in touch with and share lunch with my special Auntie Arlene now and then, a priority for me. Lots of things have taken place in the last eight weeks.

There have been two major world events and and an ongoing piece of Wisconsin political gamesmanship – enough said there. The point is, I’ve been absent from a lot of daily events, but the world and life kept spinning as it should and always will. Family and friends had birthdays and vacations, ups-and-downs of all kinds. In the world -at-large, there’s been a disaster in Japan and it appears we’ve become embroiled in another war or an act thereof. Those things make me and my life challenges seem fairly small. As I wrote recently in a post titled It’s All Relative, it really is. My stressors seem minimal compared to earthquakes and tsunamis and pending radioactivity.

Where’ve I been? Flying low and taking care of business, thankful for continued health and the approaching five-year anniversary of my life-changing experience. Life is good and I’ve resurfaced successfully – having just received final grades in those last two classes and yes, folks, my withdrawal from the world paid off.
New adventures are ahead; two more classes before taking the summer off, a special trip to celebrate Easter, my birthday and being cancer-free for five years!! New endeavors on the business front and leaving an old one behind. Where’ve I been? Right where I’m supposed to be, I believe. The Lord’s leading, opening the doors and I’m moving through them. What a wonderful place to be! Blessings!! Continue reading »

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To Everything There Is a Season…

I’ve written about seasons before , how there are many seasons through which we pass on this journey known as life. My trip to Seattle, just ended, was a wonderful season filled with new memories made and great insight into my ErinLee’s day-to-day life, some things I’ve not seen before. I returned to a new season, actually a new year, and of course, new challenges.

That’s right, I came home to a truck with a dead battery, missing keys and, oh yeah, a brake challenge on the truck as well. If I believed in cosmic jokes, I’d believe this was my payment for a wonderful trip. That’s not my worldview; thankfully. I know lots of folks believe differently than I do, but I’m comfortable in my belief system and have enough life experience within that system to keep me moving forward. Batteries can be charged, keys located and retrieved, brakes repaired and in my world, you’re not made to pay for the good things that come your way as a matter of course; the cosmos isn’t in charge.

So I’m back to my real life, dealing with the challenges and savoring the time spent with my daughter – another season. literally, through which I’ve passed. I have great memories and new insight and I’m ready to take on this new year and make a difference because that is what I believe – the gifts and blessings I’ve received call me to bless others. So I’ll move forward, sharing the gifts and cherishing the memories of my Christmas season, 2010.

I’m excited about the possibilities and to see how the plan plays out in this next season of life here at Her Father’s Homestead – new classes begin soon, new goals for my business and new opportunities, likely some surprises. Isn’t life great? It’s all in the spin, in the attitude and the approach. And there truly is a season for each new phase. Savor them, cherish the good and enter with hope and a sense of healthy anticipation!

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Another TA DA for Me!

It’s nearly 10 a.m. on Saturday morning and I am NOT studying, NOT rushing to beat a deadline, NOT frantically looking for one more resource to beef up a reference list. I AM having a ball here in my special kitchen, just me, some great music – Transiberian Orchestra turned up loud – a couple phone conversations, plans to visit my favorite Auntie Arlene in a few hours and NO deadlines for the next several days at least. I AM a happy woman. This is in stark contrast to the last two weeks. I had talked to Auntie Arlene and told her I’d visit in two weeks and probably not call before then either. What a great niece 🙂

The fall term ended last night at 10:59 pm CST – with six minutes to spare, literally, I was submitting my final exam – too close for comfort! Two exams last night – went okay, As, but not 100s; results of the last two weeks’ papers still out, but I’m done! I told my brother, Steve,this morning that I can breathe; the heavy weight is off my chest. And I can dance around my kitchen, having a blast with my own self. God is good.

Less than five days till I’m hugging my ErinLee – counting down and so looking forward to holding her and burying my face in her hair!! Now I’ll do some laundry, begin to pack the bags, clean the house, all those weird /”>going away things I inherited from my mom, though she denies it:)

As the French say, tu connais la musique – translated you know the deal (literally, you know the music) I do know the music and I’ll be doing my thing today, thankful to have completed the term, happy to feel so much lighter and off for a day of visits and errands and life is very good!

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Sparkles Revisited…

I haven’t written about Sparkles in a while, but I got a good-sized dose of them today.  In with the beauty was a lesson and that is another Sparkle in and of itself.  What is this about anyway?  To keep y’all in suspense (ancient literary secret) we’ll talk about the lesson first.  Let’s begin with a question.  Is okay really okay or is it just acceptable and maybe not okay at all?  Don’t you love words?

I had an experience at the end of last week that several people told me was okay.  Obviously I wasn’t feeling that way or folks wouldn’t have felt the need to tell me it was.  Regular readers will know that I don’t believe in dwelling in the negative – word or thought.  So I had my experience, was disappointed, expressed it to three people close to me and received that okay response.   I processed those responses, my own reaction, chalked it up to did-my-best and moved on.  Healthy, right?

Today, it was brought back to me in a most Sparkly way!  An unanticipated action  far beyond my control and the picture was altered.  I felt amazingly different.  Why?  Had I changed?  Was I a better person?  Not at all and a lesson I love to share looked me right in the eye.   I was good enough before this Sparkle occurred; I was just as worthy and valuable last week as I am today.  Why?  Because, my friends, my worth and my value is not about what I do, it’s about who and what I am.

Nothing like having your attitude adjusted with your own words, like a cosmic kick in the behind, though I’m not as into the cosmic thing as I am the belief that my Heavenly Father makes use of every teachable moment.  That was my Sparkle for the day – another reminder that we have value because we have it; it is unconditional and not tied to any achievement.  What a gift!  I’m accepting it and thanking my Father for His blessings and His lessons.

Oh yeah, the disappointment, the okay thing?  I got a B instead of an A on a tough class just completed.  The Sparkle?  Found out today that the professor rounded up, if you will, and gave me the A after all.   And B was okay, but bottom line, in all honesty, I’m lovin’ the A.  In my secret heart, A is still better, but I’m a work in progress and will absolutely get this value and worth issue more deeply embedded in my heart and soul as I grow.

My prayer is that you, too, will have a deeper sense of your worth and your value and if you want some encouragement, come on along – it is a worthy journey.

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Worth the Wait

Just six hours now and I’ll be at the GB airport, waiting for my beloved Meghan to walk through the door!!  We’ve been counting down together, sending little texts each day with the tally and now it’s here.  I’ve been working hard to be ready – not that she is demanding or critical.  It’s me, Mother, as she’s always called me, wanting everything to be just the way I know she likes it.  All her bedding was washed and line dried, so will have that wonderful fresh scent.  Her room has been cleaned – dusted and vacuumed top to bottom, thanks to my cousin, Susan, who lent a hand and a couple hours on Labor Day!!  We have plans for a special luncheon on Saturday with our favorite Auntie Arlene and close cousins.  Hotel and dinner reservations made in Chicago for one night – two days in one of our favorite cities – Michigan Avenue here we come!!  Dinner and a night spent with Meghan’s  Auntie Mumma, a story there, too 🙂  And that’s just for starters.  We will have a TIME, let me tell you!

It’s been too long since we were together, but you can bet that I’m not dwelling there and am most thankful for for the time ahead of us.  Counting my blessings sitting here in the sunshine, taking a break from my homework and pretty soon I’ll be counting the minutes and there you have it!!   Bénédictions … and don’t be surprised if you don’t hear from me during the next eight days!!

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What’s Your Worldview?

You gotta love philosophy – full of questions, wonder and oh, so many words!!  My old friend Marlee called me early this morning- time for a catch-up. On our respective phones in front of our respective monitors, we visited the Homestead Website and poked through some old blog posts.  From there to the business of daily life – what’s new with each of us since we were together last to celebrate birthdays, which led to how school is going, which led to words and studies we’ve done together in the past.  And that is how I arrived at this title.  Worldviews, yep, that’s what I’m studying now and how fun it is!!

Ever thought about it?  Summer’s good for that – reflection – and that’s where I am today, reflecting on worldviews, how they’re formed, what they mean, who cares, anyway?  I do, thank you very much.  It was Socrates who said, “an unexamined life is not worth living,”  Interesting that he said that while on trial for his very life, for being a philosopher.  The first paper in this philosophy class was did I or did I not agree with the statement and why.

I did, wrote the paper, got max points – I so love to write.  So it’s summer, time for reflection and trying to catch up on reading.  In the theme of worldviews, an old favorite read is Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and I pulled it off the shelf again – old books are like old friends. So ponder a bit on your worldview – perhaps examine your life on this journey to wellness and wholeness and no surprise to regular readers, my worldview is definitely Christian and my belief is that it’s the way to wholeness and wellness.

Agree or disagree, I’d be interested in feedback – food for thought and reflection.  Thanks for visiting…



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Happy Anniversary to Me !!!

Yes, indeed, I’m one fortunate woman, sharing my story and my joy with y’all today.  Four years ago right about now, a neurosurgeon and his team took a buzz saw to my skull and then a scalpel to my brain.  Later he visited me in the night and delivered the news that the tumor they removed was malignant and I had a fairly serious form of brain cancer.  Waiting daughters, family and friends had already been given information and the stats were not great; but the clinical world leaves out a huge piece and that piece is a fairly major game-changer. My Father had plans and as He says in His Book, (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)  “I know the plans I have for you … plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Those plans included handling this tumor and four years later, I surely do have hope and a future and I’m on a mission to share the blessings and the joy!  I am well, most content and because I can, I’m heading out into the sunshine on this beautiful Sunday in April, 2010.

Bénédictions 🙂

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What’s in a Number?

Stats, ugh, I’m so not a numbers person, witness my go-round with algebra in the last year.  Those who know me know this, and know also that I believe health issues are a private matter, to be shared if so desired, but definitely not anyone’s business if you choose to keep it to yourself.  As my brother, Steve, says regularly, there’s a reason for health privacy laws.

Close family and friends also know I’m the survivor of a health challenge over the last four years, sometimes kept private and sometimes shared.  So why now and why here?  In an early-morning phone conversation with a dear friend, I was encouraged to share some health news because, as she said, share the hope!  That is the intent here.

Yesterday, during a routine MRI/check-up, my favorite doc (I have a team) gave me a number for the very first time.  After confirming my continued healing and recovery, he shared a stat with me, a statistic, and I was surprised.  I knew, statistically speaking, the initial odds were not great, but had no idea that the point I’m at now is one that, statistically speaking, only 14 out of 100 people with this challenge would reach after four years! That’s what he said – only 14% are still breathing, let alone living well, happy and fulfilled and I’m here.

It was a moment of celebration, hugs all around – my doc, his nurses, the office staff, the friend who accompanies me to all medical appointments, everybody hugging and grinning and laughing out loud – it was a time, let me tell you!!

So here I am, a statistic – feels weird, actually, and I’m not sure I fully grasp the reality, the numbers thing, you know.    Will I dwell on it?  That’s not me, but share the joy?  You bet, for the reason of encouraging others.  I’m still standing through more than one life challenge and my belief system tells me there’s a reason – a greater purpose for this life of mine and I’m here to pursue the dream, the goal, the opportunity to bless others as I have been so richly blessed!

There is hope; there is always hope, just as there is always faith and trust.  This is a great place to be on this beautiful Tuesday morning – a regular day in a regular woman’s life – could be me, could be you or your neighbor or your friend, but a regular person just trying to live my best life on all levels.  And a big AMEN to that!

Ayez un jour béni!!

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Bunnies With No Heads???

Do not be dismayed, this post will give you hope and encouragement,  I promise 🙂 As often mentioned in these pages, I’m a traditionalist;  I believe tradition is the glue that binds us together.  Today I’ll tell a quick story about a mother who used to buy the best solid chocolate Easter bunnies for her girls, year after year.  Tradition was that early Easter morning, the mother would hide the colored eggs and then the baskets.  While the girls were hunting for eggs and baskets, the mother was cooking a special breakfast, one for each of her daughters as they had different favorites.

This particular year, the night before Easter as the mother was preparing the baskets, the temptation of those fabulous bunnies overcame her.  Just one little nibble, the mother thought, who’ll notice?  Y’all know how this goes – the edges had to be evened out and smooth, so one nibble followed another and all of a sudden one ear was gone – Horror!  What could the mother do?  She had to do the same to the other bunny; it would never work to give one daughter an intact bunny and the other, one with a missing ear.  On with the “evening-up” process.  Now two bunnies without ears, very uneven, more work to do.  Before the mother knew it, the ears were gone – all four of them.

Holy cats, what now?  May as well even things up, you know, neaten it up a bit.  One head gone, on to the next – gotta be fair.   Enough already.  So the mother tucked each bunny back into its little bag and tied them shut with the original ribbons, pink and purple.  It’s Saturday night, Easter eve, no replacing these special bunnies.  Early Easter morning, the mother went about her business, then woke the daughters to begin their hunt, while the mother went into the kitchen to begin cooking those special breakfasts, didn’t miss a beat….

All of a sudden – horrified screams.  The girls had discovered their headless bunnies in their otherwise beautiful baskets.  And they had no doubt as to the culprit.  Good thing they were of the age to know that the Easter Bunny really was the mother.  To use FDR’s words spoken years ago, this was a day that ” will live in infamy.”  And it has; brought up every Easter and shared with love and much laughter.

I promised encouragement?  You bet.  My friends, regardless what you may be thinking about your shortcomings, faults or misses, remember the mother who ate the heads off the bunnies and laugh!  You haven’t done that yet, have you?  There is HOPE and there is GRACE.  My daughters love me, forgave me and we share another precious memory.

The thing that I remember most clearly was Meghan’s absolute indignation that there were teeth marks in her bunny – eeeuuuu!!

I’m off tomorrow for a week in Kentucky with a beloved brother and his family.  I’ve got about 30 hours to finish my travel prep so it’s time to close.

Remember, there’s abundant hope and grace for all of us.  I hope you’ve found yours in our risen Lord.  Easter blessings!!!


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