Tuesday, April 30, 2013


The A to Z Challenge is over now. I am off to sleep, but I have left you a couple of videos and some photos which I hope will allow you to relax and ease into a deep sleep as well. 

God bless. It has been a wonderful journey. 


[These photos were taken by me while on vacation in Hawaii (I think), Mexico, Greece, the Panama Canal cruise, and Treasure Island in the SF Bay. Except the clouds picture, which I call "God's Hands" was taken by my mother's friend from her backyard.]

Monday, April 29, 2013


Many dreams come, developments are reached and goals are attained because of initial yearnings for things not yet at hand. 

If so much good come from yearnings, why is it that they seem to have negative connotations? People often say we should be happy with what we have, which could mean that yearning for what we don't have focuses selfish attention on ourselves. In that sense, yearnings are like discarded branches and twigs strewn about on the shores of who we are - the ignoble parts of our character. I know I often have an inner sense of guilt for wanting what I don't have when I have been blessed with so much already.

I think that guilty feeling, however, does not come from God, as God wants to show his children favor with many blessings. If we don't acknowledge the yearnings we have, there is a great chance that we will unwittingly not accept blessings from God who supplies the fulfillment of our yearnings.

I do yearn, and these yearnings bring me feelings of melancholy, hope, loneliness, joy, fear and expectation. The negative feelings in this list, I'm realizing, come from not acknowledging that many yearnings are good in God's eyes. Indeed, wishing for more than I have is not sinful. I would not be who I am today if I did not yearn to write a book, to help care for my family, to travel, to further my education, to speak another language and to please God.

Starting now, I will allow myself to have yearnings, free from feelings of guilt. I will accept God's desire to bless me by bringing these yearnings to completion. Only then will those seemingly discarded and ignoble branches and twigs become part of the beautiful landscape that will be my final portrait.

My vacation at the coast in Mendocino County, CA

Please visit these other A to Z Challenge blogs:
Elaine AM Smith
Devin Dahl

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The X-es Mark the Spots

Time again for the A to Z Challenge and Save-a-Word Saturday blog hops. Click on the links to learn more about them.

S-A-W word for today: Xanthic – (adj) yellowish in color.

S-A-W theme: Kangaroos

AtoZ letter: X

The X-es Mark the Spots

Maxine didn’t know why she’d dug two holes. It was hard enough to dig one at the depth and width she needed. By the end of the second one, she was exhausted, but she didn’t have time to rest before Axel came home expecting dinner.

While putting away the shovel, Maxine had to admit to herself why she made two holes. Alexis would want one too. Although her best friend adamantly discounted Maxine’s plan, she was sure that Alexis had enough time to reconsider. Maxine was so sure of this that she knew Alexis’ husband Xavier would be with her when she came.

A large, devious smile came across her face that was in direct contrast to how energetic she felt. But she only had to consider how happy Alexis would be with having a hole too, for her to be revived enough to get back to work. There was still a lot to be done.

Four hours later, the dining room table was set for four. Serving dishes of stewed potatoes, honey glazed chicken, and roasted Brussels sprouts and mushrooms filled in the table. Xanthic candle lights ignited the mood she wanted in place when they arrived.

As soon as Maxine dimmed the lights, she heard the keys unlocking the door. Axel was home. Multiple voices and laughter told her that Alexis and Xavier had arrived as well. Maxine’s heart drummed, and her hands began to shake with anticipation.

Dinner went without a hitch, and the men were stuffed enough to not put up argument when Maxine demanded their attention. “It’s time for your surprise.” She gave the hand-drawn maps to Axel and Xavier, and continued, “The exes mark the spots. Go look for them now.” They began to grumble, until in a stern voice Maxine said, “It’s easy and fun. And afterward, apple pie alamode will be waiting for you along with a nice bourbon.”

The men quickly gathered their maps and seemed to hop faster than kangaroos to go out to the backyard. Alexis gave Maxine a knowing smile. It didn’t take long for them to hear the first gasps and yelps.

Moments later, the two women gathered their desserts and drinks and made their way outside. Maxine walked over to where she saw Axel laid out perfectly still, and Alexis went around a sturdy gate that separated the spots with their husbands.

Maxine set the dessert and drink on a small table beside the hole she had dug. With a squeal, she jumped into the hole, and landed on a luxury mattress made specifically for the depth and width of the hole, and which was delivered and setup an hour before dinner.

Axel rolled over and wrapped himself around Maxine, covering them both up with the down comforter. “You are amazing. This is an unbelievable Father’s Day gift.”

“Luckily Alexis’ oldest daughter is home to babysit,” Maxine said, looking up at the stars. She then added, “So you like it?”

Axel kissed her deeply as an answer, and said, “Now I’m ready for pie alamode and bourbon.”

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