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.

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.

 

nominee newHi! It has been a while since I’ve written, but I have been so busy with the third book to The Conservative Congregant Series. I have some fun news and that is that The Conservative Congregant has been nominated for the 2016 Summer Indie Book Awards! I am so honored and surprised. Voting begins on September 1 and as time draws near, I will post the link to vote. I would love to win this award in my genre ,which for this award, is contemporary.  I wish you could see my face! It’s excited!

Secondly, as I’ve already stated, I am working on the third Conservative Congregant Book and I have to say, I’m pretty pleased with the way it is moving. Look for surprises, conflict, resolution and who knows what else in this book.

I have some events coming up in September and October and I’m very excited about that.

My friend and mentor, Jackie Smith has won an award for her book Backstage, a Boy Band book. I’m so proud of her! Well done, Jackie!

That’s all the news I have for now. Ta -Ta!

 

 

 

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I have always been the ultimate Daddy’s girl. My dad was the apple of my eye and the center of my universe. I loved to play tricks on him, tell him jokes, tell him his muscles were “wet noodles” (I thought that was good.) He loved to call me “Jug Ears’ and things like that. We had a funny little relationship. But, it wasn’t always easy.

My dad and I were so much alike. I understood him and he understood me, for the most part. Where ever he was, that’s where I wanted to be. While I was not afraid of my dad, I had a healthy respect for where the lines were drawn. I knew when his gray eyes went steely blue that I had gone over that line and until I became a teenager, I reeled in my disrespect.

My dad didn’t have an easy life after coming back from WWII. He was a Yeoman 1st class in the Navy. I have always been proud of that. But, the reality was that his job was to toe tag his friends/colleagues who gave their lives for our freedom. Because he had seen too much in the war, he came home a very different man than the one who went to war. By today’s standards, he came back with PTSD. But, back in the ’40’s, ’50’s and ’60’s, PTSD had not been founded. So, he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. He was in the hospital and had to take meds and shock treatments the rest of his life. Mental illness had such a stigma attached to it, we could not tell anyone lest he lose his business. Because of his illness, he had an inferiority complex, never thinking he was good enough. But, I always thought he was the best. His illness did not scare me. He didn’t drive me away, nothing like that. It drew me closer and I understood on some level.

Our life was not all gloom and doom. We had fun, went on fantastic trips across the United States and Canada. He made our lives full and educational and fun. He had his dad’s ’48 Ford  and he loved to tinker with it from time to time. He let me hand him the tools he needed and I thought I was working on it with him. He made me feel important and  I knew he loved my sisters and I so much.

No, life was not perfect for him, but I hope it was as good for him as it was for us. Because of him and my mother’s hard work, my sisters and I never wanted for anything. They gave us all they had and more.

My dad was simply the best dad he could be and I thank him and miss him every day. Happy Father’s day, Daddy. I love you.

When I am not writing books, I am a caregiver for elderly folks. I have always loved the elderly. It started with my grandmother, really. I was sure she was among the wisest of all the people I knew. Today, I think most elderly folks are pretty dadgum wise. They’ve lived a long time and have had time to make mistakes and make amends. So, my love of elderly folks continues.

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I have been working with two ladies, one in the mornings and one in the afternoons. Today started my  weeks’ vacation from caregiving with the first lady and also marked my last day with the other lady. She will be going to a care facility nearby.

It is always  a difficult decision to make – putting your loved one in a nursing facility. It is probably one of the hardest decisions one can make. So many feelings are attached to it. Among those feelings, often-times, there is a sense of betrayal. It is important to know we are not betraying our mother or father, aunt, uncle or cousin. It is equally important to note this new phase of life can be positive.

I worked, for a time, in a nursing facility and while there were residents who resisted being in the facility , there were the more social ones who liked getting together with friends their age to play games, exercise, go on field trips, paint or what have you.  There is an adjustment period, as with everything else in life. It is our job to make our elderly folks feel just as important in a facility as well as at home. Just because they have moved, doesn’t mean they should be left with no visits. I have seen many residents who had no visitors. The main thing is to make sure they are not forgotten.

Most folks I know who have placed their relatives in care facilities continue to visit and are active with their relatives. This eases the transition in every way.

So, I am praying for my little lady. I know her family will continue to embrace her and help her transition to be a smooth one. It  was my honor to be able to care for her during this time.

We have a dog who can climb the fence. Seriously, a chain link fence! So, last night, my husband and I began working on a new fence for her. As we worked, sharing the drill and putting these little clamp thingies to connect the fencing, I found myself occasionally getting frustrated with my husband’s directions. Sometimes, he just was not clear enough for me to understand what he wanted me to do.

As I stood holding the fencing close enough for him to put those little clamps on them, I began thinking it is kinda like dealing with God. I can only speak for myself, but you know, there are times that God wants to tell me something or lead me to something and I get frustrated because I can’t understand what He is telling me. Sometimes, He just doesn’t seem clear enough to me. Does that ever happen to you? I want to put a trumpet up to my ear and say, “Eh? What’dya say?”

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So, while  my husband was giving  me instructions, I decided I’d just be still and try to listen harder to what he was trying to explain to me. To my surprise, I didn’t get mad, huff and puff at his direction or stomp off and say, “You do it, I have no idea what you are talking about.” I did, however, tell him I had no idea what he was saying, so could he explain it to me in a way I could understand. (Mind you, I’m not too handy with tools and building things and such as that). And he did. When I was able to understand, I was able to follow his direction.

And so it is with God. Instead of huffing and puffing, shaking a fist at Him, yelling all the while, I think I’ll try to just be still. I think I’ll try calmly telling Him I don’t understand what He wants me to do and could He tell me in a way that I would have no problem knowing exactly what He means. It helps to calm in any situation to avoid “brain junk.” You know  “brain junk”. It’s the stuff that jumbles up your thinking. So, next time I hear God knocking, I’ll calm my mind and let Him do the talking. I’ll  just sit and do the listening. In that way, I know I’ll be able to follow His direction.