Thursday, March 31, 2005

RIP Terri Schiavo

The poor woman has passed away. For her, the fight is over.

Thought for the Day:

"A clean house is a sign of a broken computer."

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

A child's step by step

I've been thinking about this as I watch my 18 year old, John. Even though you can tell when he doesn't shave and he towers over me at 6' 2" (and growing) he still doesn't look like an adult to me. He is still my child, who I once held in my arms and played with.

He is a senior now and can't wait for high school to be over. His college is already selected, and we are making plans for taking him there in August. I'm already telling myself I can't cry until we leave.

When I took him, his brother, and myself to the dentist last week, I had to make an appointment for him that was not with his brother and I. It means he will be gone in less than 6 months.

Each day I watch him take another step away from childhood, towards adulthood and independence. I know it is how it must be, and I will not try to stop it.

But sometimes I think about it and wish I could hug the little boy again.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Writers read...

...and writers who are going to a workshop in 5-6 weeks read a LOT. There is a required reading list for a short story workshop I'm going to attend in May. Seven books. All anthologies of various genres. Someone on the list estimated it was something like 3500 pages.
I had to order 5 of the books - the last 4 arrived yesterday. The six I haven't read yet are now stacked on a table in my office. I am almost finished with the first one and my brain is buzzing with ideas.
We are supposed to refrain from commenting on the books until the workshop, where I assume we will tear them to pieces. So if my online friends wonder where I am, I'm probably sprawled on my bed or curled up in a chair - nose in a book.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Spring Break!

It's Spring Break, which means the boys are off school for a week. That also means I can follow doctor's orders and try to catch up on lost sleep, since I don't have to get up to drive them to school.

I got some good news over the weekend. As some of my friends know, I was slated for a major 2 week Writers' Workshop in Oregon that was cancelled. Well, there was an opening with the same group for a week long Short Story Workshop in May, and I got in. I am now trying to catch up with the rest of the group, which means getting my hands on and reading 7 books by May 7th. I have 2 of them, both anthologies, and they are HUGE. Good thing I love to read...

Friday, March 18, 2005

Hurricane aftermath still

I heard on the news recently that Florida wants all hurricane claims settled by mid-April sometime.

That's funny to me given we still have a fence damaged by a hurricane and we were only able to get our first estimate at repairing it this month (we're getting another one this weekend). It would be nice to get it fixed before hurricane season 2005 starts up. :-)

Terri Schiavo

I find this whole story so troubling. If we tried to starve an animal to death, we would rightfully be called barbaric and unfeeling. But it's ok to starve a human being?

Part of this is the husband does not really come across to me as being concerned for his wife. He has constantly refused to attempt to rehabilitate her and is currently living with another woman with whom he has fathered children. Some people say he has a right to have a life - why stay married to Terri if he wants a life?

While I deplore the slow starvation of Terri Schiavo I have mixed feelings about Congress stepping in. As was pointed out, they had 5 years to intervene, why now?

Whether you think my opinion is a load of peanut butter or not, I think we all can agree about the importance of having your wishes written down someplace. Had Terri's wishes been codified in a document instead of having to resort to hearsay, this story probably would not be making the news it's making.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Ok, I don't understand...

...the whole thing about the Senate Democrats crying "filibuster!" without having to actually filibuster. I mean, shouldn't we be seeing Democrats going hoarse from talking hours upon hours and nothing being done because the Democrats are talking 24/7 ala "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington?"

The Republicans are getting slammed for a "nuclear" option to restore the Constitutional requirement of a simple majority vote for judicial nominees. Where is the slamming of the Democrats for falsely crying "filibuster!" without actually doing it?

Ok, I called "The Rush Limbaugh Show." The call screener there explained to me that the laws changed in the 1970's so that all you have to do is call "filibuster!" and then it is up to the other side to get the 60 votes. I think it was a stupid change.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Currently Reading...

Dan Brown's "Deception Point." I finally got around to reading "The DaVinci Code" not too long ago and found Brown has a good flair for storytelling. I enjoyed the book even accounting for the fact that I found its theories on Christianity's history somewhat disturbing and eyebrow raising. But this is not the first time I've been able to lay aside my disagreements with a writer's conclusions and still enjoy the tale.

I liked "The DaVinci Code" enough to get and read all of Brown's work. I read "Digital Fortress" and liked it a LOT - it had as many twists and turns as a good roller coaster. Now I'm into "Deception Point" and find that Brown does characters fairly well.

For me, this is not just reading for enjoyment (though I am an unrepentant bookworm). It's also learning the craft. It is said that writers read a lot and write a lot - seeing how this author weaves his story may help me as I try to weave mine.

Anyway, if you are looking for books to get lost in, try some of Dan Brown's stuff.

Friday, March 11, 2005

We have links!

Look on the left side of the page and you will see links. If your blog is listed and you don't want it to be, then let me know and I will remove it. If your blog ISN'T listed and you want it to be, let me know THAT too! :-)

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Can you say, "Sleep Apnea?"

Looks like I have to - I had a sleep study done last night (how they expect you to sleep when they wire you up like a Christmas tree is a mystery, but anyway...) and it showed that I do stop breathing sometimes - at one point my O2 levels dropped to around 85%, a significant number.
So now the question is what to do. There is a machine that you can use at night, but I want to avoid that. Losing weight will help, but there is also a surgical procedure that can replace the machine. I am looking into that. Will keep you posted.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

A Warrior Now Rests

This was originally published in the Highlands County News Sun on Sunday, March 13, 2005 in the column "Laura's Look." Please do not reprint without my permission.

I met June about 6 or 7 years ago when she and her husband Ed first moved to the area and became members of our congregation. June was a marvelous lady, upbeat, with a sense of humor and a lovely singing voice. Those who saw her on the street or about her day probably did not guess that she was engaged in a long battle with cancer. For 18 years June fought the disease, undergoing surgery and treatments. She was able to keep a bright side through most of it, cheerful and refusing to feel sorry for herself. She was active in the work of the church and our Ladies Bible Class.
June was a singer. I loved listening to her as we sang during services. She often sang tenor, and did so beautifully. She once told me I had a good alto voice, but I could never sing as easily as she could. Let me put it this way: I sing. June was a SINGER.
June was a good friend to me. I remember being upset about something that had happened one day and calling her on my cell phone. She comforted me as I sat in my car sobbing in a WalMart parking lot She could make this wonderful chocolate dessert. Knowing my love for chocolate, she once made one of these things just for me. It was huge, a delicious layered dessert in a glass trifle bowl. It took me several days with the help of my family to eat it all, and I enjoyed every bite. When I announced in our Ladies Bible Class that I was going through problems with my siblings, June made a point of sharing the problems she had gone through with her sibling and encouraged me that, in the end, it had turned out well. This was while she was dealing with her last fight with disease. Even though she was going through so much in her own life, her heart had room to embrace my cares and reach out to me. June's last fight was a hard one - fluid in her lungs made breathing difficult and cancer weakened her. While she was in the hospital for treatment, her husband Ed passed away without warning. We mourned his loss, and I knew it would be harder for June to fight. She had long been ready to go home; she had waited out of love for Ed. Early last week this brave warrior laid down her burden and went home to rest. The tears I cry are not for her - I know she is so much happier now. I cry for my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, June's daughter, who has lost both father and mother in so short a time, and a lot for myself.
June taught me that bad things did not have to mean you had a bad attitude. You could look outside yourself and the things that tried to drag you down and see sunshine. You could be going through the worst time of your life, but you could lay aside your sorrow and reach out to someone who was hurting.
June also helped me to put my problems in perspective when they threatened to make me crazy. If she could make lemonade out of the lemons her health handed her, what made me think I couldn’t when my problems were so small in comparison?
Somehow I imagine June entering Heaven with a smile on her lips and a song pouring out. While my world is a little darker with her loss, surely Heaven will be a little brighter with her presence.
Rest well, dear June. You have undoubtedly earned it. May I remember your bright outlook when things look dark.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Working at home and other myths

"Work at home," they say. I am blessed that my hubby and I can get along on his income and I want to write, so it sounds great, right? Sounds totally doable, right? Let's deal with reality, OK?
Reality is that everything else seems to come first - house, kids, errands...I know, I know, don't answer the phone, lock your door, etc. I have been trying by setting a specific time to write. It is not a total success yet. Probably no one else's fault but mine - I am not by nature an organized person and I could probably grow in the area of discipline.
So why am I typing on my blog instead of writing? Umm....good question!


Ok. I blame my friend Tina for this. She got into blogging and asked me to visit her blog. Well, to leave a comment on one of her posts, I had to register...and here we are. We'll see how long this lasts.
If you checked my profile, you know I am a writer. I have a column that appears in the Highlands County News Sun on Sundays called "Laura's Look." It has dealt with a variety of subjects over the years, from the serious to the silly. It is a lot of fun to write.
I hope to keep this active as I go on my merry way. Thanks for reading!