Well, my last post was in March. I can’t believe it’s been so long. I have been wanting to write for some time now, but I just haven’t been able to. I thought I had writer’s block. I bemoaned the fact to my husband as well. I haven’t been able to write my blog or work on my book. I just couldn’t think of anything to write. The words wouldn’t come, the plot wouldn’t thicken -nothing was working.

I began sleeping more and more until I realized I was sleeping twelve hours at night and then had three hour naps during the day. This, of course, happened over a period of time. I had less and less energy to do any of my daily chores and when not sleeping, I was just sitting. I began to worry I was just lazy. However, I wanted to get things done, but I just couldn’t make my body go.

I went to the neurologist for a check up and I mentioned it to him . He asked me if I had been waking up with headaches and I told him I had. He suggested a sleep study test, which I had already had, but thought I might have to have another. I didn’ t get the test done because it had been roughly five years since my previous test. Besides, I already knew I had sleep apnea and  had a cpap machine several years ago. A cpap machine forces oxygen into your body while you sleep. But, it didn’t really do much and I hated it because it was so uncomfortable to wear a full face mask while I was sleeping. I sold that machine and have been sleeping without one for years without any real trouble. But, now it was different. This was beginning to affect my life, for heaven’s sake. I went back to the neurologist just within the past month and he ordered a new cpap machine for me. I was hesitant, but thought I might as well try it. It couldn’t hurt anyway. Tuesday of this week, I went to pick it up. Admittedly, it was difficult to get to sleep with the nasal mask on my face. But, when I finally did, it was AMAZING! Here is my machine:

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This machine is so quiet, my husband woke up to see if I was all right! There was no noise coming from my side of the bed at all. Not from the machine and not from me. No snoring, no tossing and turning, just sleep. When I woke up the next morning, I felt as if I’d had a good night’s sleep and even awoke two hours earlier than I had been. I didn’t go into the living room and lie back down. I was actually able to get some things done.

So, I say all that to say if you are lacking energy, sleeping many hours a night only to be napping in the daytime, talk to your doctor about sleep apnea. The main symptom is snoring. If you snore, you are not getting the type of rest needed for your body to run smoothly during the day. If you have apnea, the real danger is oxygen levels go down and one stops breathing many times an hour. I stop breathing 37 times an hour every hour and my oxygen went down to 80%. Just make sure you check it out. It can be fatal if left untreated. I’m sure glad I listened (for once) to my doctor and my body. I hope you do too.

I’m hoping I’ll be back to writing in no time. I’m feeling better and stronger every day.

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Eloise Dowager, If You Please

Who is Eloise Dowager?  Eloise Dowager is the main character of my book , The Conservative Congregant.

But, who is she? What does she think? What does she believe? This short little interview with her might help you know her better.

Paula:  Hi Eloise. Nice to have you here, visiting my blog. I’ve wanted to have you as a guest for a long time now. Thank you for coming.

Eloise: Of course! I’m so glad I could be here with you.

Paula: Well, let’s get right down to it. Please tell the readers about yourself. Start with that day I met you at church.

Eloise: That day was a good day. But, I was at church only because I thought it was what I was supposed to do; you know, to be a good Christian. And I have always been a good Christian woman, but have been kind of bored with it  all. Until that day, that is.

Paula: What was so special about that day?

Eloise: That was the day that Father Don came and told us about The City of Hope, the church for the unhoused people.

Paula: Excuse me, what do you mean “unhoused”?

Eloise: Well, the thing is unhoused people are homeless people. They are homeless and on the streets, but at The City of Hope, no one is homeless. The City of Hope is their spiritual home.

Paula: Oh! I see. I love that.

Eloise: Yeah, so do I. That place, The City of Hope changed my life! I was so bored with traditional Christianity. Nothing challenged me anymore and I felt myself becoming stale, stagnant, like an old pond in the country. I made the meal for the unhoused folks of the City of Hope and suddenly, my life had some kind of new meaning. I had actually come out of my comfort zone and did something I would have never dared do. I had never seen a homeless person before, you know, except in magazines and newspapers. Never saw one in person and you know what? They are just like you and I, but they have no physical home. There are good people with no homes. People with feelings just like you or I, people who have needs just like I do, people who just need a step up; a little help- not necessarily money or anything, but with clothes, shoes, bus passes, getting doctor appointments, things like that.

Paula: I can see that it really means alot to you. In what way did you get involved with the church and how have you stayed involved?

Eloise: Well, a couple of friends and I made the meal for the people one Sunday. See, they have a sermon and then afterward, they have lunch. Each week, different parishes make the lunch for the people and I offered to make the lunch for them one Sunday. It changed my life. Truly. I gave of myself; moved out of my comfort zone to help other people and I have been changed and I found something that I could never have dreamt of. Oops! That’s all I can say about it now. I must be going. Thanks for the interview!

Paula: Okay! Well, that was Eloise Dowager. Clicking the link above will guide you to my author page where you can buy the book  and find out the rest of the story! Thanks for stopping by and meeting Eloise! TaTa

 

It’s Been a While

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve written anything. Well, almost anything. I’ve been stuck with writer’s block for a bit now and I can’t tell you how frustrating it is. I have things I want to say, things I want to write, but when I go for it, it’s not there. I hate it when my creativity just stops like that. It used to be because of the medication I was on for bipolar. Those meds flatten me out so badly sometimes, that the creativity slithers through the cracks in the walls… or someplace. But, now, I’m just not sure where it’s gone.

I am trying to write my third book in The Conservative Congregant series and the words are just not coming. Many the time has been when I write that my fingers fly on the keyboard  and I’m always surprised at what comes out. But, it hasn’t been happening lately. I’ve been trying to do writing exercises, and all sorts of writing prompts, but there has been nothing there either. This is truly not good for me!

All is not lost. I intend on persevering  and getting back to the way things were. Thanks for hanging in there with me.

 

 

 

Peacemaker or Hatemonger?

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” -Proverbs 15:1

I have been working on a Bible study  in the book of Proverbs in the Old Testament. This was one of the Proverbs we studied. I thought about this verse for a couple of days. How many times have you bitten someone’s head off with a response? How many times have we all barked words at someone and then regretted it promptly-as in, as soon as the words were out of our mouths? Answer softly, gracefully and we miss the wrath of someone, whether they be close to us or not.

Social media has many benefits, but the one down side to it is that because one is not standing in front of the other person, the one person feels powerful enough to say things they would never say in person. Social media affords some type of anonymity. No one is looking in our eyes saying something. No, they are behind their keyboard spewing hateful words, bringing the other person to anger. Harsh words, that are often found on Facebook stirs our anger, fueling the fire against those who would be our friends. Remember, on Facebook, you’re contacts are your friends! Friends ought not be spewing hatred and discontent. Yet, there have been those who have. And it angers most. How many times have you seen someone post, “There is such a thing as an opinion, but if you want to be uncivilized and call names, then I’m unfriending you.” (or something similar) Well, that’s because the words have not been gentle and they have generated anger.

I am going to make sure my words do not generate anger, that they do not generate hate. I want to be a good influence in the world, a gentle speaker, don’t you?

 

Arctic Cold Front in Texas

The funniest oxymoron I can think of is the one about the Arctic front coming to Texas. The reasons are many, but mostly because we don’t often have a winter to speak of. We might have a single “snowstorm” in a winter and those are usually in February. But, already this year, we’ve had two Arctic fronts and one snowfall. That happened yesterday.

I was at work yesterday when the flurries began. Yes, at first, it was so light and there was nothing for me to worry about. But, little by little, those beautiful, one of a kind snowflakes began to get bigger and bigger and heavier and heavier. I began to panic. Unlike most Texans, I will readily admit that I have no clue how to drive in the ice and snow. Just none! So, I began to panic with each passing minute until I almost reached a sheer anxiety attack. How was I to get home? Should I stay or should I go? I texted my husband, who thought I’d be okay to drive home safely and I talked to my clients who are from Wisconsin. I’m sure they thought my panic was ridiculous as seasoned as they are in driving in the snow and ice. Still, I rambled on and was served some hot chocolate. Hot chocolate cures everything and as the snow slightly slowed down, so did my panic attack.

This is not the climate for an Arctic front! It’s hot here, even unseasonably warm sometimes in the winter. So, when the temperatures hang around 21 degrees Farenheit or less, people begin to panic. It’s not just me. I used to work in a grocery store and everytime cold or the mere mention of snow was uttered, people would go to the grocery store and clean out the shelves. It was if they wouldn’t have anything on hand for just a day or two. No! They bought enough food, water and supplies for two weeks! It was amusing.

Funny how certain things bring on panic. For me, it’s the thought of driving in the snow. I just don’t know how and I’m not about to start now! So, now that the temperatures are going back up, I fondly bid the Arctic front adieu and hope not to see you back soon!

As the sun rises over the horizon, I am still in bed, sleepily hitting the snooze button time after time, until there is no more time to waste. My husband dutifully feeds the animals – dogs, chickens, donkeys and horses. He lets the inside dogs out and lets them roam in the backyard for a bit. After all, they have been sleeping too and need to get up and stretch their legs and play. He lets them in, and they all clamor to get in the door at the same time. Suddenly, there is a rush of dogs in the house and they beg their dad for their treats.

Meanwhile, the inside dogs are put up so he can feed the outside dogs and get ready to take his beloved Twig, and her daughter, Red for their morning walk. I walk through the house and by this time, Stephen has leashed Twig and started their morning walk. In the front of our house is a field in which he walks the two dogs. In the spring and summer, it is waving with green grass, but this time of year, the grass is brown and dying. Still, the dogs love to run and play in it. As I walk through the house, I stop to look out of the bay window. There, frolicking, are the two dogs and my husband. He watches the mother-daughter team play and I can see him talking to him, his arm gesturing with his words. Twig, leashed for her own good, is able to go a pretty good distance with the leash on and Red runs off , sniffing here and there. She might stop and look around and then runs to her mother , as if Twig was going off  without her. She is very much a momma’s girl and lives to be with her mom. My husband is patiently waiting for the two to play and run and wear themselves out.

This has to be my favorite thing to watch. My husband  has such patience during the walk and I know he enjoys it every bit as much as they do. He looks at his charges with loving looks and handles them with gentle leadership. It reminds me of how God must watch over us, His children. Yes, there are times Stephen must gently discipline the girls, as God disciplines us. The dogs run from Stephen only to come running back. Just like we do.

It is my favorite time of day and my favorite  thing to watch. What is your favorite thing to see each day? There must be something you love as much as I love this. I’d love to hear from you.

 

Reflections

I’ve been sitting on my couch, thinking about the year past and have come to the conclusion it was not such a bad year for our little family. There were many blessings, such as no major illnessess, no real mania or depression as is the norm in my  bipolar world. No seizures. One book published, one baby born. In other words, no disasters. Not even close. I can’t remember a year when just about everything was status quo.

I know for many, 2016 has been an awful year. Lots of celebrities have passed away. Of course, that is not the year’s fault. Just life, mostly. I think it is funny when people say, “Another celebrity gone. Dadgum 2016!”(or worse!). Like it’s the year’s fault. Nope! It’s just the way the world turns. I have good fun reading those on facebook. Anyway, I digress.

I have been trying to sort out a writing schedule and have ordered a planner in which to accomplish my goals for the coming year. I’m not really a planner person, but it is time to get to marketing my books and finding time to write daily. It’s a lot of work marketing books and trying to get sales as an independent writer.But, I am confident my books will speak for themselves and once I get a good marketing plan, I’ll be off like a hurdle of turtles.

I really am, for maybe the first time, looking forward to seeing what new adventures await me and the husband. Could it be possible we’ll have even more fun next year than we did best-happy-new-year-picturesthis year? We’ll see.

Happy New Year to all my friends and readers near and far! Be blessed in 2017!