Time for Christ: Carol in my heart

Carola folksong with religious meaning usually sung at Christmas, a familiar tune to welcome and celebrate the spirit of Christmastime


My friend Carol. She’s a wonderful lady. I met her several years ago, before 2012, at Shoal Creek Community Church, back in Missouri. Carol is soft in voice and features, hard to know. Blonde. Statuesque. She could be a secret, delicate ballerina that only dances for God. Full of passion. A deep river of heart and love, running fast, yet soundless. And at the bottom of all, a Christ-centered human. She is generous of spirit, kind and, in a way, mysterious. If she were a song (carol)–Silent Night. Awe-filled, yet restrained and humble. I admire her quiet dignity, beauty, strength and grace.

After I mentioned (several times online, sorry!) about my upcoming trip to Israel, I recently discovered that Carol volunteers at Habitat for Humanity and I couldn’t wait to interview her about her service. Thank you, Carol, for answering my questions with such thoughtful responses! Thank you for sharing your heart and being comfortable enough to do that! You’re a good writer, Lady!


What is the name of the organization that you volunteer with?

Habitat for Humanity RV Care-a-Vanners

What is their mission?

It supports Habitat for Humanity’s vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live.

How long have you been serving with this group?

3 years

Where did you go this summer on your mission?

Brookings, SD

What did you do on this mission?

It’s usually a two-week period of helping to build a house. We do whatever we are capable of doing, at whatever stage of building they are when we arrive. We have started from slab, framing walls and have gotten there at the stage of putting on siding, putting in windows and painting.

How do you feel you’ve grown as a Christian or person after this trip?

As a person, I’ve learned skills I never thought I would ever know. People are willing to teach. All you have to do is ask. Also, I’ve become more aware and accepting of other cultures and religions. Habitat for Humanity is a Christian organization, but they don’t discriminate on the basis of religion, age, gender or lifestyle. Morning devotionals are a regular part of every site build. It helps us keep our minds focused on why we do what we do. It doesn’t have to be a prayer. It can be a story or poem or quotes to inspire. We do usually close with a prayer and then hold hands and speak the Habitat motto:

“Habitat’s not a hand out but a hand UP!”

I now feel more comfortable sharing about my faith than I used to, so I feel I’ve grown some in that regard.

Why do you serve?

We like it because we love to travel, camp, meet new people and share God’s love by giving to those who are less fortunate. It’s a way we can do all of that and also work on keeping ourselves somewhat fit in our retirement. We love the camaraderie and being part of a group of like-minded individuals coming together to work towards a goal for the betterment of a family’s life. The thankfulness of the family shines through to return God’s love back to us.

Additional details:

Once you join the group you can go online to sign up. There is a schedule of locations and dates and number of spots available. Usually it’s free or reduced cost camping for the two-week period of the build.


Thank you, Carol! For your service to H for H! And for donating to my trip. I truly value our friendship, even if we can’t sip coffee together. Wouldn’t that be great?! If you’re ever in SW Florida, please do stay a while and we’d love to entertain you. I hope to serve one day with you and Steve! That would be so fun. H for H is a wonderful organization and it’s so inspiring to see our former president, Mr. Carter, still such an active participant. The organization and people like you give families dignity and hope. I admire you and your husband. You’re good, good folks with big hearts! ❤

Prayers for you and your family!

I get to do some Carol-ing of my own soon in Israel. 😀

Habitat for Humanity has many opportunities for those who own an RV or anyone who just wants to help, even locally. The have ReStore (local donation centers, maybe even in your town or nearby) and countless ways to serve. H for H is a nationwide organization that focuses on providing housing for all, no matter who they are or what they believe.

Advertisements

Pee! The world’s on fire.

My only brother, 11 years older than me, used to sleep in late. As teens do. After being out late with his friends, he would sleep late. Also, at one point, I think he worked evenings or nights at a local gas station, so he might have been sleeping during the day for that reason.

Well, my father creeps into the hallway with an impish grin. He was in a goofy, manic phase and holds down the smoke detector test button.

BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!

Except, our alarm was louder and more terrifying. Enough to make you piss your pants.

At the same time, my dad hollers down the hallway, “Pee! The world’s on fire!” Laughing his country-ass off. (One of his favorite sayings was, “I work my country ass off!” I still say that. So does my husband. LOL My husband does a perfect impersonation of my father, even though they never met, mainly because I say it exactly the way my dad used to. Love it.)

My brother comes running out of his bedroom, his long, usually-perfect, feathered hair tousled from sleep and his eyes barely open. His eyes quickly narrow even further at the sight of my dad and the rest of the family giggling maniacally.

He did not pee. He was pissed though! I think my dad just wanted him up and out!

Good times.

Rag Wreath Therapy

To keep my Crafty status, I make a craft once a month or so. I’m going crazy on rag wreaths. I don’t know why I like ’em so much other than they are so easy to make and I love the texture. I’ve made like 7 recently for gifts and to keep some around the house. Super cheap and you can put it together while streaming Netflix. 🙂 It’s a very comforting project. It’s like sewing, but not. Wish I could sell ’em. 🙂 When I give them to people, they can’t help but touch them. And keep touching them. LOL It’s very soothing and tactile. It’s a fidget spinner for adults! Baby blanket with textures.

rag wreath white and blue

This one’s really fluffy and full. It will probably never show dust because it’s mostly white. It’s a very tranquil pastime putting one together. Try it! You just need a wire wreath form and your favorite colors or scraps of fabric. Cotton works best since you can rip it instead of cutting all the individual pieces. Ripping it gives that rag look anyway. And ripping is therapeutic!

Here are the wire forms:

green metal boxed wire wreath form

Available at any craft store usually. Even Walmart has them. If you want to go in there. LOL

Cut up and old sheet or curtain even and start tying! Single knot around the frame, tie on the wire. It will stay, believe me. Once you jam all your fabric on, it’s too tight to come loose. Show me your projects! What are your favorite patterns or colors?

My daughter said this looks like an angel in wreath form. LOL And my husband said it looked like a fluffy sunshower storm cloud.

Cats and Cigarettes

My daughter, Pencil Princess, drew these. I love them.

She does not like them (hates them), but said I could post them on my blog.

She did these in art class. The little girl is watching big sister smoke. Then in the next panel, as an older kid, she’s now smoking. Their faces are scratched out, but I love that. So, the little girl is wearing a cat dress and then she’s wearing a cat shirt to show progression of time. I love the exaggerated clouds of smoke and how the smoke lines up almost perfectly from panel to panel.

I forget, did you do that on purpose, PenPrin? Nice job. Love it.

Check out her creations on her blog. She’s really developing her illustration skills.

Dogs in Strollers Signal the End of Times

A repost. Because I just watched John Mulaney’s new Netflix special Kid Gorgeous and he talks about his dog stroller. I’ve lost all respect for you, John. Sigh. But you still make my whole family laugh. So. You got that goin’ for ya.


Do you suppose that at the height of any advanced civilization, pets were carted around in small chariots and worshipped? And then the civilization collapsed due to economic and political disaster? Egyptians, Romans, Mayans. America?? The sign of the end is animal worship IMO. LOL

I don’t know if it’s Florida, old people or Wal-mart, but the amount of small dogs in strollers is increasing. I just saw two Shih Tzus being walked in a stroller on our street on the way home this morning. I saw a Yorkie in a stroller at Wal-mart last week. North Korea has missile capability. The end is nigh. (Please remind me to never go to Wal-mart ever again. Even if they have the cheapest aprons for high school ceramic students in town.)

Seriously though, why stroll a dog? Isn’t the purpose of walking a dog that the dog actually gets exercise? God have mercy on our confused nation. I mean, I love dogs, but a baby stroller?? Please euthanize your dog if they are unable to walk any more. For God’s sake. If you are offended by this advice, you might be a dog-strolling Wal-mart shopper. Or from Florida.

For years I have openly laughed at neighbors standing in small, sad patches of grass behind their dog, watching said dog poop, relaxed with total apathy except for their anxious blue-gloved hand in permanent claw pose, waiting to scoop said poop. The dog always has a smirk or a smile, “I got this human to pick up my shit for free just because I lick his face when he walks in the door.” Or the dog looks totally strained or confused. “Why do I have to poop in front of everyone??”

Who’s in charge? Someone once famously said, “If aliens came to our planet, they would think dogs were in charge because we are picking up their poop!” Aliens would definitely think dogs are in charge if they saw us carting them around in a baby buggy. Gah!

Flooding in Texas. Increased earthquakes. Global climate change. Start prepping now. Actually it’s probably too late. Watch Red Dawn and buy a bottle of Tequila.

Free!!

I have 3 publications on Amazon.

Present Tense is 99 cents today. Check it out. I can’t always offer these on sale, but it is right now, so go grab it.

My game play manual is FREE!!! right now, so check that out! Updo Salon & Spa It’s cheap at $2.99, otherwise. It’s a whole night of fun with your galfriends! Fun to just read, you don’t even have to throw the party, but you’ll want to.

Then I have my newest pub, House Full of Hope, a play. 99 cents today as well! Thanks for checking me out OR just joining me in celebrating my New Addition. LOL Bad joke, I know.

Writing a book or blog article or play is very much like giving birth. There is immediate joy after the delivery and you forget how bad you felt in labor. But even in the tears, even in the pain, there is joy to be found and pleasure to be experienced.

Forgive me if I’m the mom who is making you look at all the cute pictures of my new spawn! LOL I’m just so excited to offer low prices (or FREE) on my babies!

Sideways

This is a repost. Still like it.


There was a tentative crab
Crawling out to sun.
Dodging surf,
Sideways and unsure.

I could barely see
Against the sea,
But once I found him,
I couldn’t lose his shiny-gray body.

My head half-buried in the sand.
Body unmoved. Just my eyes.
And the light felt silvery as the sun was falling.
And my skin felt brown and warm in the silver.

GrayCrab skittered about, back and forth,
Picking up dark blades and sea offerings.
But then, he disappeared
As quickly as the shore.

Down his hole,
Back to his underground palace
Filled with treasure, shells, spells,
Beach snail friends, and wonderful tales.

See you later.

Roundabout Okie

Hey y’all! I’s done did it now! I was cast in Grapes of Wrath here in Venice. I get to play Ma Joad. I can’t tell you how excited I am. I’m fit to be tied, I tell ya.

Grapes of Wrath is epic. Christian-themed, full of religion and tragic as hell. You could tell me it’s based on an ancient Greek play and I’d swaller that whole. I can’t wait to get started.

Hear tell, I’m an Okie. Sorta. Little bit. My kin come from all over, but my granddaddy’s daddy married a full-blooded Native American down in Oklahoma and had hisself a brood with her’n. My dad’s dad was 1/2 Chickasaw, came up from Oklahomie and put hisself thru Chiropracty schoolin’ in KC. He was a farmer, doctor of sorts and fishing lure inventor. He even patented a complicated, new-fangled, unsuccessful lure design, had a couple made, and sold a very few. My ma still has one. Ugly thing made to impress with multiple hooks, shiny plastic housing, and bright, fake insect-like bait, but in all probability, totally useless.

I am particularly proud of my tangential Okie connection. My Native American heritage. My own Missouri family history through the Dust Bowl and Great Depression. I am proud to come from a long line of working class folks. The people who work hard and do what it takes. I’m not sure how or why they (we) made it through such a terrible time, but it tells me even this minute detail:

“…we’re the people that live.” (Ma, Grapes of Wrath)

I’ve overcome terrible sickness/surgery, my own personal depression, and raging food addiction for the last 5+ years, but I am the person that lives. 🙂 I come from a long line of hellers. 😉

10-word poems

I saw a prompt today on Facebook in a writing group. 10-word poems. Feel free to leave one in the comments!


All I ever wanted was everything.
Turns out,
It’s you.


Warm room.
Foggy windows.
Red cheeks.
Big sweater.
Tired.
Loved.


Children playing with Christmas toys.
Knee-deep in shredded wrapping joys.

(Is knee-deep one word?? LOL)


Ten-word poems are tricky
When you don’t fully understand hyphens.


Please leave me a 10-word poem!! 😀 It’s fun. Write something today!