Here’s To A Snowy Day

Sunday night snow began falling and we had several inches on the ground when I woke. As I was taking pictures through the storm door, Templeton saw the snow collected in the corners of the glass and tried to lick it. LOL! Poor little confused cat!

Monday was a perfect day to stay inside. I need to buy a filter for my house humidifier as the inside humidity has been 24 degrees. I so dislike getting shocked every time I reach for a light switch. But there was no way I was venturing out. Instead I nurtured a pan of boiling water on the stove throughout the day. Didn’t help much, so I will get that filter as soon as the weather allows.

I was able to Skype with my dear friend who is also my accountability writing buddy. We haven’t been able to visit face to face much in the past two years, so Skype is a wonderful tool for us.

Spent 30 minutes on the elliptical as well as working through another scene in the book. All in all it was a productive sort of day.

Snow days are kind of fun for me! I am thanking God for the beauty of the snowfall, the joy of watching a younger than me neighbor walking in the snow to look at the pond, and remembering the days when I used to shovel snow and enjoy it! God’s handiwork is always indescribably beautiful!

The Joy of Writing

When I felt led to come out of retirement and begin writing again, I admit there was trepidation. Doubt slithered in…it came from Satan. Though I knew this, I’m human and I harbored feelings about whether I could actually write a book.

So I turned to prayer. Whenever doubts arise, only God can provide the truth. If this was His calling, I wanted to answer yes. For several weeks, I sought God’s guidance. I’m sure He got tired of listening to the same old whiny cry.

Then I decided to step out in faith. If this was God’s will, He would provide everything I needed, including the confidence. I changed my prayer and asked instead if God would bring back the joy of writing again.

I remembered the hours I would lose myself in listening to my characters and seeing their story play like a movie in my mind. Finally, I took action. I opened the book I’d started several years ago. The story line and plot were solid. I knew it would be one of my best books ever.

As I read through the first two chapters, adding more depth to the scenes, I found myself immersed in the emotions the characters felt. I saw them as the scenes played out and lost myself in the joy of writing.

God gets the glory! This story is one He laid on my heart to write and I know He is revealing how it is to be written. I have a lot of cutting to do in the finished chapters and a lot of new chapters to take their place. God revealed where I had gone astray and how I needed to fix this.

Oh, how I’m enjoying the process of creating though writing. Isn’t God awesome?

Guess What I Learned Yesterday!

I had my annual ophthalmologist appointment yesterday morning at 8:00am. Why I keep scheduling all my appointments that early is a question even I can’t answer! Even if I set my alarm to get up at 6am, I have trouble sleeping. Even took a 2 hour nap yesterday afternoon!

So what did I learn that surprised me? He also does botox injections and eyelid lifts! So I don’t understand why my primary care doctor sent me to the other guy. I mean, my primary care doctor is the one who sent me to my regular eye doctor three years ago so I would get a diabetic eye exam yearly. Sigh.

But I learned more about how common the botox injections are for eye twitching problems. And why eyelid lifts are important if the peripheral vision is impaired. But since my eye twitch isn’t affecting my eyesight at all, there is no reason to even discuss it at this time. Same with the drooping eyelids.

My ophthalmologist, let’s call him Dr. M so I don’t have to keep typing that long word, is wonderful. He has a very pleasant manner and he takes time to listen and provide answers. I do have cataracts which he is watching and will require future removal. He explained they are part of the problem I’m having with extreme sensitivity to sunlight. He even suggested two things that may help. One is to get a darker tint on my glasses and the second is to buy sunglasses that completely encase my glasses and provide a tinted side window. They may not be pretty, but if they help I’m going for it. They didn’t have the right size yesterday, but Friday they will be in.

He also cautioned me about keeping my blood sugar numbers stabilized. While there is no arterial damage behind the eye caused by the diabetes, the changes in prescription have been caused by the diabetes. So I’m on a mission this year to lose weight and do a much better job of balancing my blood sugar.

As we age, so many things begin to give out. These earthly tents weren’t made to last. Sometimes it is hard to accept when we have an eternal soul. My mind still wants to think I’m young until my body screams “stop!” LOL!

I want to live each day to the fullest and with joy. This is how God wants our lives to be. I’m fasting along with my church for 21 days and I gave up eating after dinner and all evening television. I must say the evening quiet time is quite refreshing and relaxing. I’m spending more time in prayer and reading. Since I begin my day with Bible Study this seems to add a balance to my day. Start and end with Jesus!

Thanking God for the three wonderful doctors who are all willing to listen and have such a calming spirit. Until next time…

I Didn’t Expect It To Be Fun

…and it wasn’t! I spent most of the day working on my fiction writing. Well, not writing but setting everything up. First I had to finish the Books by Carol Ann Facebook page. That took most of the morning.

Next I wanted to update the Books page on this blogsite. I added the links to the books on Amazon and added blurbs about each book. That took most of the time right after lunch.

Since I’m fasting from watching television in the evenings, I decided to make sure I still had the partially written book from 2019. I searched and searched but couldn’t find it on my laptop, nor on the flash drive. I had moved the desktop computer into my bedroom for safekeeping so I decided to check it. Yay! I found it. I copied it to the flash drive, but then I began thinking how much I enjoyed writing on the desktop because of the larger monitor. The only problem is I need a pull-out drawer for the keyboard because my desk is a bit high for me to do a lot of writing without having issues.

I began thinking about a small portable table I have that slides under the sofa so I can color or diamond paint in the living room. It might be just the right size to hold the desktop and keyboard and at a good height. Oh, those thoughts we get when we want to make something work!

Actually, the all-in-one computer fit perfectly on the little table. The mouse, though, wouldn’t fit alongside the keyboard. Then I turned to look at the desk again. If only I had a pull-out drawer for the keyboard. I could also keep my laptop there. Sigh.

Then the brainstorm hit. I bet the table would slide under the desk and it would hold the laptop and the keyboard! So I moved the all-in-one desktop computer to my desk and plugged it in. Sure enough the table works perfectly underneath the desk. I just need to be a little careful when I slide it out.

Happy with the new setup, I turned on the computer so I could update to the newest version of my writing program. The download went great, but then I had trouble entering the license key. Part of the problem was trying to see around the cat who was insisting on sitting right in front of the monitor. After four tries, I was sure they would think I was trying to steal the license! On the fifth try I succeeded and was happy to see the notice that I could legally use the purchased software on more than one computer.

Now the book is ready to for me to complete. I’ve saved it on both computers and the flash drive just as a precaution. But looking at the clock I saw it was 9:30pm. I’m usually in bed around this time, but I had to write a blog. So here I am!

Thanking God for giving me patience to accomplish what was needed to get back to the business of writing!

Until next time…

Time For…The Dentist Visit

My dental visit was scheduled for 8:00am this morning, which happened to be the coldest morning of this winter. Snow on the ground, wind chills near zero, 13 degrees F. Roads were a little dicey, but navigable.

Last night I went to bed telling myself I would call and cancel the appointment. I’d use an excuse like “I am coughing, so I don’t think I should come in.”

I woke at 6:30am and decided to snuggle a little longer in the warm covers until the auto thermostat cued heat at 7:00am. I woke again at 7:15am. I really wanted to call and cancel the appointment, but I knew I couldn’t lie. So, I fed the cat, showered, brushed my teeth, dressed in my warmest clothes, and at 7:55am, I left.

I don’t like visiting the dentist. With Covid variants so rampant right now, the thought of sitting with my mouth open for any length of time in a dentist chair is not appealing.

The first thing my dental hygienist did was take me to a room to have a wrap around x-ray which occurs about every five years. Unexpected. Like having a mammogram, I had to hold onto the machine and place my chin (not my boob) on a small flat area that was too high for me to reach. She kept lowering it so I wouldn’t have to stand on tip-toe. Then I had to bite down on a plastic piece and smile! Really? The x-ray only took a few seconds, and I was happy to move to another room.

My hygienist is very friendly. And she likes to talk. After settling in, I mentioned I should take off my glasses so I wouldn’t get splatter marks. Know what she said? “I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but we are supposed to tell people to leave their glasses on in case I should slip and poke your eye.” What? So I asked, “What about the people who don’t wear glasses?” She said, “I don’t know! I suppose we should give them safety glasses or something.”

All my years of going to the dentist, I’ve never heard this before. She was treating it lightly and I’m sure no one in the office were given safety glasses! I decided to leave my glasses on.

My exam went smoothly as always. The part I dislike the most is when she measures the gum recession to see if there is any disease. The number 5 means disease is present. Thankfully, almost all my numbers were 1.

I returned home exactly one hour after I had left. Honestly, I was happy I went. And when we scheduled my six month visit, I asked for a later time of day, because the older I get, the more I enjoy sleeping in a little.

Next week I have my ophthalmologist yearly visit. Which reminds me I do need to fill you in on what happened at an eye specialist visit in December!

I’m grateful that I only see my primary care doctor twice a year, my dentist twice a year, my cardiologist twice a year, and my ophthalmologist once a year. I keep urging all my body parts to hang in there with me. I know things could be a lot worse. Overall, I’m healthy for my age and I thank God for this.

May your day be filled with beautiful things! Until next time…

A Special Morning with D!

D and Me…Her hand is the pretty one!

Ever had a special day where the unexpected blessings just left you thanking God over and over?

Yeah, that happened to me yesterday. I had planned to call my best friend, D, but I also needed to get to the grocery store to pick up trash bags. I was totally out! Can you imagine? No way!! I like to do my shopping early before the crowds take over.

So I was quickly scrolling through Facebook when I saw a response to a comment I made on D’s post the previous evening telling her I would call in the morning. She had responded that she would look forward to it, but that she had a doctor’s appointment in CW, the city I live in.

At this time it was nearly 8am. I responded by telling her she should just come to my house to visit instead of me calling her!

Okay, so I wasn’t thinking clearly. It was 8am and her doctor’s appointment was at 8:30am. She lives in a different city so I knew she was enroute already. She wouldn’t see that comment. But what if she had FB on her phone and looked at it while waiting for her doctor and saw my comment? If she did, then I’d have to wait until later to get my trash bags. I wouldn’t want to miss her! Sigh. What to do?

The old gears in the brain began to warm up and I decided the best thing would be to text her and ask her to come visit with a big “pleeeeeeese” ending the request. I hadn’t seen her since before Thanksgiving! The trash bags would wait until Tuesday. I had plastic grocery bags I’d use until then. So what if they piled up a bit?

Anyway, I digress. She texted me back a little after nine after her appointment and told me where she was and asked if I needed anything from Aldi’s. Really? That’s where I’d planned to go to get the trash bags on that very cold and wintry day! A win-win for me!!

About 20 minutes later, D showed up at my condo. She handed me the trash bags right away! Wow, two blessings in one! D was here for me to hug and I didn’t have to go out in the cold after all.

We had a wonderful visit with lots of laughs and trying to recall the names of people we’d worked with a LONG time ago when we worked at the same corporation. And the sun began to shine! It’s been so dreary here for way too many days. It’s like D brought the sunshine, the love, and the trash bags. God is so good!

Not a day goes by that I don’t wish D lived closer, like in the adjacent condo unit so we could spend more time together. Though we are very different in many ways, God brought us together and we have become forever friends. She’s a sister of my heart.

What a great day I had. And D if you are reading this, thank you again for coming to my place, for the love and laughter, the hugs, and for the trash bags which you wouldn’t let me pay for! I love you!

God puts people in our lives for many different reasons, sometimes for a season, sometimes for forever. I wish for everyone reading this to be thankful for these gifts. Cherish your friendships and nourish them.

Until next time…

Nacho Average Christmas Fiesta

We had a wonderful family get together yesterday. Instead of a traditional Christmas meal, we had a “Nacho Average Christmas Fiesta.” Fajitas, tacos, queso, guacamole, chips, rice, beans, choices of four different meats, and all the trimmings. Plus added fun things like tiny sombreros, fake mustaches, maracas, and so much more. Lots of laughter and love shared.

And so as Christmas week is officially here, I want to wish each of you and your families a very merry and blessed Christmas and a wonderful 2022 filled with hope and love. I’m going to take the next two weeks off and will resume blogging on January 3, 2022.

Lifting my cup of tea with a smile and heart filled with thanks to each of you. God bless. See you next year!

The Question I Never Asked

I never did understand why my aunt’s hair was so thin I could see more scalp than hair. At the time I was a young teenager and very naive. I loved her dearly and never asked the question about her hair.

Now I’m older than my aunt was. My hair isn’t as thin as hers, but mine is not the thick mass it used to be. I am frustrated by the two cowlicks at the back of my scalp that want to part my hair and let the scalp shine through. I have to work to get any volume in my hair and then to get it to last.

I wonder if that is why older people keep their hair short. I have kept mine short for a number of years by visiting a hairdresser once a month. Now with the rising costs of living, I’m scaling back on a lot of luxury things like seeing my hairdresser. God knows the number of hairs on my head. I wonder if he is keeping a countdown! LOL! Life isn’t just about hair, or about how we look, but as a woman, I confess to the sin of vanity. I should feel blessed that I have hair because so many do not.

Lifting my cup of tea and realizing there are many areas of my life that need to change in order to age gracefully with God.

It is Difficult to “See” When Consumed With “Me”

Usually I look back on the previous week to write Monday’s blog, but yesterday I began thinking about how easily it is to get consumed with thoughts about myself. How I’m feeling. What I wanted.

I looked at how I make sure I have breakfast every morning. I was never a breakfast kind of person until diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. My husband loved breakfast. It was his favorite meal of the day. After I retired, my hubby was already ill with COPD and heart disease. He would stay up until the wee hours of the morning and wake after a three to four hour sleep. During the day he took multiple naps. I would wake every morning to find him drinking his first cup of coffee and doing a breathing treatment. He had gotten used to eating toaster waffles in the morning. So that’s what I fed him.

Sundays we went to one particular restaurant for breakfast, and when he had doctor appointments, which were frequent, we’d stop to eat wherever he chose. But, now, as I fix a breakfast for myself every morning, I regret not doing the same for him. Not toaster waffles, or my homemade version of his McDonald’s favorite, but a good breakfast he would love. Hashbrowns, eggs, sausage, toast and coffee.

I was retired. I had no appointments other than his. So why didn’t I take the time to make every breakfast special? A time to eat at the table together and talk would have been wonderful. Instead, I fed him junk, then showered, dressed and prepared for my day. I regret this. There were too many times in my past life when I was consumed with ME. This distracted me from focusing on others.

I realize I can’t change the past, and I shouldn’t look back. Yet, if I could change anything, it would be making breakfast special for my beloved hubby in our last years together. In the future I’m asking God to help me remember life isn’t about me. It’s about God. And that translates into being a servant to others, not being consumed with me.

This week, I had appointments every day of the week. I started coloring a Christmas picture, but remembered I wanted to complete the Hannah Lynn Steampunk book and there was still one picture left uncolored. Rarely do I use a collection of Sharpie markers, so I decided to try using them. I used them to color this picture with the exception of using a chalk medium for the sky. Yay! One more book complete!

This week I need to concentrate on making the gifts for my daughters for Christmas. One needs to be mailed, so it is important to get it finished early this week. I hope to finish the Christmas picture I started on Friday as well.

Lifting my cup of tea and looking at a rainy morning outside my office window and feeling grateful it isn’t snow!

There are No Limits to Aging

I read an article about a woman getting an award for aging gracefully. I was intrigued by the headline. After reading it I learned the award was given for her creativity in art and how she has continued despite reaching the golden age of 92. What a wonderful recognition and honor for her!

One should never think of age as a reason to stop pursuing a passion and talent. I’ve never possessed any artistic talents like painting or drawing. These are simply things that make me wish I could. Like listening to one play the piano. Music touches my soul and I sometimes wish I had the ability to create beautiful sounds on those ivory keys.

But we all have different talents. I can’t paint or draw, so I color the pictures others create. I can’t play music, but I listen to it and receive enjoyment. My aging gracefully with God is simply a matter of trying to live a good Christian life and deal with the changes without focusing on the negatives. Giving thanks for the beauty and the mercies God bestows every single day.

So never, ever give in to believing you must sit quietly and age. Instead keep a positive mindset and pursue your interests with a thankful heart. Lifting my cup of tea as I look at the beautiful blue sky God has painted for me. He is a master painter!