Friday, June 30, 2006

Oh- this is just silly....

A Beach Pic!!!!

A "Blues Brother" I'm not....but it's fun to look like one!
( A "Sister" would be more like it!)

What was I thinking?


My boy...just trying to have fun. The surf was rough and I told him not go out past his knees!

My kids are great. They really are :)

He was playing in the sand and trying to make the best out of a "NO BODY SURFING" situation! :)


My "girl" JLB...

who wouldn't look at me for anything!

She took a nap...and she was like that even as a baby- loved to sleep on the beach :)

Thunder Storm Shopping

A storm was rising.
I HAD to go to Kroger.

I LOVE a THUNDER STORM...under the proper "conditions" of course.

Mostly this means I like to be home in a storm...and have someone to snuggle with.
Candles, wine, and quiet music are optional...a snuggly someone is less optional- but I take what I can get! :)

On this particular day- I had to go shopping. This did not make for the best of conditions.

I made it to the store just in time for the sky to rip open and dump it's contents, shake it's fist, light up dark clouds, and rattle the earth in an angry rage.

I sat in my car.

I watched as both men and women jumped out of their vehicles and ran for the door- did their shopping, and rushed back.

I stayed put. Yes, I did have to go shopping, but whatever I needed could wait a few minutes more.

I felt a it wasn't was the Muse of Thunder...gently whispering to me.

A stream of verses filtered in~ Where was my note book, my pen??? I sat in my car until the Muse had finished with me.

He was as good a snuggler as I could have asked for on that afternoon! He made me think, all the while leaving a trail of cloud kisses down my right arm.

Ahhhh- Thunder Muse...I think I love you.

Always in motion-
Just gotta' move.
Can not be still,
Too much to do.

The rain comes down,
And in it we run-
From errand to errand,
But never for FUN!

At the office we work,
At home we clean.
And even vacations,
Are not what they seem.

And forget being sick-
There's no time to be ILL!
Bring out the Meds,
Can afford to sit still.

No time for "I love you's",
No time to be kind-
Can't tell you I'VE MISSED YOU,
I've not had the time...

So I've sat in this parking lot-
And I've watched you all run.
Ducking the rain drops,
And NOT having fun.

And I see I'm no different-
Your life is like mine.
Would we be happier,
If we just had more time?

(I don't think so...)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

GONE- But not for long!

A dear friend and I are going to get-away for the next 36 hours or so...I promise to take pictures! LOL

We are off to the beach!!!


Sunday, June 25, 2006

When I open my eyes...

This is the first thing I see...

Trees in winter. I love trees in winter.

The 2 pictures on either side are the same, they kind of trail off- or draw you in.

As some of you know, I've been married for almost 17 years.

I never got around to decorating the bedroom- in any of our homes- until last year.

I decorated/ painted the kids rooms, the bathrooms, the dining room- the kitchen. I put a lot of emphasis on the comfort and enjoyment of my kids dwelling places, and the rooms that would be seen most often by other people...but my sanctuary was left undone for a long time. Why?

Why have I let many dear and personal things of importance slip past me like so many foamy bubbles in a rushing river? Why have I not insisted on what was good for me- when I could have insisted? Why have I placed such grand importance on so many others...and not on myself?

Don't I like me?

I'm not talking about my kids- because they always come first. For years and years I have put Hubby first- but he doesn't like it. Then there was the Church, and my extended family, friends, the school...and anything else that came up.

"Everyone was more important than me".

I wrote that yesterday to a friend- in reference to my being the oldest of 6 kids and the little ones in the family having greater/more urgent needs than I did.

I'm not sure their needs were greater- but the one crying with dirty britches is going to be attended to before the moody teenager who is "processing"
heaven-knows-what in her pubescent brain.

This is not to say that I was not important to my parents- I know that I was- but there are only so many hours in a day.

I learned to be independent and resourseful and I had an excellent knack for taking care of others...I am very good at it.

Tim's grandmother died a year ago in January- I had been taking care of her until the year before her death. 10 months later I painted the bedroom by myself.

This past spring I finally bought the comforter set of my dreams- at Costco.

The beautiful "Trees in Winter" came from Costco too- I felt guilty for spending $550 for "art"...but I fell in love with the pictures the moment I saw them.

I knew that for the rest of my life- I could gladly wake up looking at those prints, and never tire of them. I was worth it.

Those are life chaning words- not to be abused, and not to be used an excuse to have whatever you want whenever you want it. But, if you have lived most of your life blindfolded to your own "Significance" (blog coming on that soon!)- it's a powerful thing realize how much worth you have- TO YOURSELF.

I am worth the time it takes to go for a walk to be healthy.
I am worth the effort it takes to be good at what I do.
I am worth the money and skill it takes to have a sanctuary for my bedroom.
I am worth someones time.
I am worth his attention.
I am worth being loved.
I am worth being loved.

So are you.

Friday, June 23, 2006

I won!!!

The Southeastern Writers Conference was the first conference of its kind that I have ever attended. Naturally there was a contest for all groups of writing...Fiction, Non-fiction, Childrens literature, Inspirational, etc...

On a whim, hoping that I had SOMETHING worth submitting, I sent in a childrens book I have written, "The Little Cloud", and an Inspirational piece, "The Potter".

The Awards banquet was last night and we all dressed up. Nice clothes, a good meal, wonderful friends all around--people I had scarcely known a week but felt like I had known my whole life...all of us were gathered in a banquet hall, and having a lovely time.

After a good meal of roasted chicken, green beans, mashed potatoes, a fresh salad, and an unbelievable turtle cheesecake, it was time for the awards! :)

I won 3rd place in the Inspirational category! :)

Pretty good for a 1st timer! :)

It was an honor I did not expect, but one I had hoped for. What a thrill it was to be announced by Ms. Catherine Guess!

It has been a wonderful week- being at the Southeastern Writers COnference at St. Simons Island, staying at Epworth by the Sea. Almost magical!

I really hope that some of you, who might be so inclined, will look into this Conference next year! I'd be willing to split the room with you! :)

It was one of the most rewarding weeks I have ever had.
I am a writer...I am a writer....


This is a tiny Palm tree...a Segao Palm? It grows very slowly and stays low to the ground...just like me :)

Monday, June 19, 2006

Brought to you by MONKEY LOVE :)

I am writing this from a wonderful Coffee/Dessert cafe in St. Simons called "Monkey Love"...and I do feel the love in here with my Chai Latte and "Blondie" bar...seemed appropriate! LOL!

I remember the first family Re-union I went to on the Runkle side of my family- my dad's side. I was about 11 and I distinctly recall KNOWING in my gut, even if no-one had told me where I was- that I was related to some of these people. They were LIKE me.

Their physical build: Good short German stock- not like the tall lanky Germans who model clothes and sports cars, but the ones that farmed, and smoked pipes and whittled coo-coo clocks!

Their demeanor: Cheerful, warm spirited, spiritual, outgoing, loving, but also no-nonesense- Pennsylvania Dutch orthodoxy. Men sit on one side of the Church, the ladies on the other side.

I noticed their hands, the hands of my Great Uncles. They were small and strong, weathered, knuckled, hard working...Hands that were rarely idle.

The women were busty, with solid hips for carrying children both inside and outside the womb. They were curvy, but not thin. Lovely, but not breath-takingly beautiful...they were smart, crafty (in the best way), and talented homemakers.
The food was wonderful, except for the Ruhbarb pie...ickkk! LOL!

Their blood and mine come from the same man, a guy named Abraham Runkle that we can trace back to the 17oo's. We are all watered down quite a bit from then, but what struck me was how many things I saw in common between us.

A SPIRIT, if you will, that I don't often see in large group settings like chuch, or school events. A Reunion is a special thing indeed.

It has been like that for me today at this writing conference.

One writer/speaker in particular, Catherine Guess, really stood out to me as a kindred spirit. The way she talked, moved, interacted with us, her passion for writing, her sense of purpose and ability to encourage each of us...she gave me many visons for the future.

And not just the instructors are inspiring...but the other writers!
How about the 21 year veteran fireman who is a world class story teller?

Or the mom who 7 years ago decided that she needed to get her writing carrer in order so that in 5-7 years time, when her kids were heading off to college she would be ready. Now 7 years later kid #2 goes to his University this fall- and her novel is finished!

Before she could tell me this story, I was explaining to her that my son would be off to college in 5 years, my daughter 2 years after him, and that I knew I needed to start getting ready now... LOL! Of all the people I would tell that story to!

The tools I have been given, in just one day, I know I will use for the rest of my life. I even have homework tonight! Whoopieee! An exercise :)

I had to stop and take inventory today...Where have I been published? 7 or 8 places...from Devotionals that have been circulated by my church, to the total creation of a newsletter for the Womens Ministry- "The Pinnacle", to making and writing brochures for small business in my city. One devotional entry from my booklet "The Pursuit of a Heart of Wisdom", was entered in a book by a fairly well known writer, Billie Cash, and was published last year. So, my stuff is not just in local things, but in at least one book published nationally too.

Today was pretty wonderful. And it has been a day where I connected with people I didn't know, and better yet- it was a day where I kind of reconnected- reunited with myself.

Talk sbout a famiy Reunion! LOL! More tomorrow I hope!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

St. Simons Island, Georgia

Two things...

1) I am in Georgia, and it is beautiful...beyond words beautiful. Here for the Southeastern Writers Conference

2) I am alone :(

I wonder how I get myself into these sitations.
I need the down-time, the away time, but I would give my left kidney to have a friend with me!

I'm sure that by this time tomorrow I will have several new friends...friends who will help me down this writing path I have chosen.

Already tonight though I have shed tears...wondering aloud what I am doing here. Looking at a sunset through aged oaks cloaked in Spanish Moss...and feeling more alone, more at a loss, more at a crossroad than I have ever felt in my life.

Pondering longevity...asking, "What endures?"

Standing in the presence of these Live Oaks, so huge and old...and me being relatively small and new in comparison...and KNOWING that these trees were here for years before my birth, and will last years after I am dead. It is hard for me to get my mind around it.

Words endure. Words pluck the strings of my heart.
Old words, His WORD...truths that have lasted 4,000 years or more...speak to me in this day.

I listened to Shakespeare's "Tempest" on tape! What a wonderful story, he used the phrase "Gentle Creature" (for Miranda), and "Puppy headed Monster" for Caliban (sp?)...and I was moved almost to tears, and then laughter. I don't have a copy of this play, but I will soon.

I feel like a blubbering idiot-- being moved so easily, being touched by the untouchable...loving with abandon and suffering with broken-ness.
Being alone when all I want is arms around me. And when I have arms around me, wanting to be alone.

Maddness, pure maddness I tell you.
Think of me tonight...pray for me if you will.
I will be fine-- I will learn to my hearts fill this week- 7 hours from home for the next 5 days.

A stranger in a beautiful place. I want to soak it all in. I want my bleary eyes to clear up! :)

Tomorrow the sun will shine and I will smile...Turst me, I know I will.

Bear with me...

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Happy Fathers Day Dad!

My Dad, me, and my Grandmothers. Charleston SC, 1969

He is the father of 6, Grandfather of 7, and according to him he is "at least 39" years old (and holding). With his eldest, me, turning 37 last month...the "39 and holding thing" is a sinking ship I think! LOL

My dad has done many things over the years- notably he is a wonderful photographer, he served in the Navy for 4 years, and can do just about anything he sets his mind to do. I have seen him paint houses, rebuild a car, move underground plumbing, build a house, plant a garden, finish a triathalon, teach Sunday School, play golf, fix a dishwasher, teach 5 kids how to drive, let his granddaughter beat him at checkers...and a million other things...and usually he does all of this with a smile. (Usually...except for the driving thing--but all of us kids are excellent drivers, so he is smiling about it now, at least! LOL)

I will be in Georgia on Sunday and will not get to see him before I leave...but I hope this tribute of Quotes, written by better people than myself, will say all that needs to be said in honor of my Dad.

So, here's to you Dad! Hope you have an awesome day. I love you! -Cora

Good Quotes about fathers...

All fathers are invisible in daytime; daytime is ruled by mothers and fathers come out at night. Darkness brings home fathers, with their real, unspeakable power. There is more to fathers than meets the eye.
- Margaret Atwood 1939- from Cat's Eyes

By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he's wrong.
- Charles Wadsworth 1814-1882

"When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years." (one of my favorites!)
- Mark Twain

"I watched a small man with thick calluses on both hands work fifteen and sixteen hours a day. I saw him once literally bleed from the bottoms of his feet, a man who came here uneducated, alone, unable to speak the language, who taught me all I needed to know about faith and hard work by the simple eloquence of his example."
- Mario Cuomo

"Be kind to thy father, for when thou wert young,
Who loved thee so fondly as he?
He caught the first accents that fell from thy tongue,
And joined in thy innocent glee."
-- Margaret Courtney

"If the new American father feels bewildered and even defeated, let him take comfort from the fact that whatever he does in any fathering situation has a fifty percent chance of being right." -- Bill Cosby

The word "Father" is both a noun and a verb...if it applies, it is Who You Are as well as What You Do. -Cora/Maydens Voyage :)

Friday, June 16, 2006


(Read "Tomb Raider on the 38th Parallel" to follow along...1 post down)

So...back to the war.

When North Korea attacked South Korea President Truman was determined to bring it to an end--Pronto! He had made a promise to the American people in 1947 that went something like this:

" support free peoples anywhere in the world who were resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures."
This later became known as the "Truman Doctrine".

He was of course referring to Communisim. It would have been interesting if President Truman had called the Communists "Terrorists". But it isn't really "terrorisim" if the crimes aren't being commited against you, is it?

It was not until 9-11-2001 that the word "Terrorism" took root in our collective souls. Pearl Harbor was an "Attack", "Open War" if you will...but even in my reading about Japan waking the sleeping giant (the US), I still didn't hear the Japanese being called Terrorists. Sorry--I wandered off topic!

Anyway, Truman went to the United Nations--which Russia was boycotting at the time--and got full support. The war in Korea was fought under UN command and several other nations contributed troops and supplies, but in South Korea it was mostly an American affair. Truman called the US involvement a "Police Action" so he could bypass congress' permission for going to war.

(That's as good as it gets folks! If I look at my kids this way,
they run!!!) LOL!

US fighting in Korea did push the Communists back almost to the border of China by a brilliant manuver by General MacArthur...but China had been very clear: DON"T APPROACH THE YALU RIVER!!!
Yet we approached it.
And 200,000 Chinese troops crossed the river to meet us and we lost more ground than we had started with! Finally, US soldiers managed to reclaim the land up to the 38th parallel and held it securely. I imagine it was then that the landmines went into the ground that were planted by Americans and South Koreans.

There are over 1 million landmines along a 2.5 mile, by 156 mile stretch in the middle of Korea...just north of the 38th Parallel, and the rumor is that there are 3 million more stockpiled just in case we need them.

The sweet victory of pushing the Commies' out, and then the bitterness of being pushed back was a hard blow for the US.

Keep in mind that we had just come out of WWII -victorious- and the sentiment in the country was that we could not be defeated.
MacArthur, as any hard-fighting-die-hard-soldier can relate to...wanted to BOMB China! Bless him...I admire his spirit--though I have to agree with Truman that it would have been a big mistake. Truman made him resign his post and Americans were very angry about this.

...not a new concept.

My history book says the folllowing:

"MacArthur's dismissal in April 1951 set off a great debate in Congress over the conduct of the war. Trumans critics denounced him as an imbecile and an appeaser. Truman's insistence on civilan authority received wide support, but his policy of LIMITD WAR came under heavy attack. The concept of limited war ran counter to the national spirit. Many Americans assumed that if there was reason enough to go to war there was reason enought to fight on to victory, using any means necessary."

Now a days, with Iraq, it seems that LIMITED WAR has been the mindset from the beginning. We don't want to turn the country into a parking lot, we want to weed out the Terrorists, set up a democracy, and turn the whole thing back over to the people. It's a noble mind-set, but I am unsure of it's merit. I have friends who are soldiers there...or were there. Their hands are tied by the media, image problems, and of course the occasional screwed-up soldier with an anger problem.

I hate the idea of limited war. Either go in and kick a*s and get out...or don't go. But it's not that simple, is it?

An interesting side note to all of this is a quote I found to be nothing short of amazing...

In one tiny place Russia touches Turkey...and Turkey, in an even smaller place touches Greece. In 1947 Russia, as I said earlier, was doing it's best to expand...and it seems the Russians had a knack for "wiggling in" in tiny places.
Russia was demanding that Turkey give up it's rights to the strategic waterway of the Black Sea to the Mediterranean...and at the same time Moscow was working in Greece to overthrow a conservative government supported by Britan. They, the Russian, had fingers in many pies it seems!

The Undersecretary of State, Dean Acheson, spoke before a private meeting of congressional leaders and said, "Like appels in a barrel infected by one rotten one, the corruption of Greece (by Communist rebels) would infect IRAN and all to the east."

Whoa!!! Did you hear that? In 1947 the US was worried about what Communisim would do to IRAN?

Lets stop and think this over for a minute...
Do you think Iran, had it been taken over by Communisim, would have surrendered it's Islamic core?

And had Communisim spread to Iran, would it not have also crossed the border of Iraq?
Would the American public have been surprised to learn all about Jihad in the 1950's?

And how long before Communisim spread to Turkey, and Bulgaria, Romania and Poland...and then to the rest of Europe?

What would the world look like today, if not for the Korean war, and the landmines that hold the North Korean Communists, and Chinese, and Soviets at bay???

And which is worse...Communisim or Islamic Terrorism? Have we been able to put an end to either?

The world is getting smaller my friends. Can we all just get along?

No, probably not.

This story is WAY bigger than me...and I could probably study it for the rest of my life and not digest all the facets of this bit of history. I really stand amazed by what I've read and posted here. Please feel free to add any comments, make suggestions, or correct any errors found.

I think Korea will be on my list of places to visit...just after I spend a month or so with Lux at her new school! :)

"Sigh"...thanks for hanging in there...I leave you with a happy pic! Maybe it will make up for the history lesson I've dragged you through! LOL

And tell me, honestly...if you'd have had a history teacher like me, wouldn't you have paid a little more attention in class? NOT BECAUSE I AM BLONDE!!! But because of something else??? Because I found a way to tie Angelia Jolie into the subject matter??? LOL!

No matter what your answer is...I like you all the same! :) Really!

Thursday, June 15, 2006


I took the kids and my 4 yr old nephew to see "Cars" today:)
I highly recommend you go see was hillarious!

I will see it again, without the kids, and I will buy this movie when it comes out on DVD. The "inside" jokes are fantastic! If I was a chick who swears (but usually I'm not!) I'd swear that Cheech and Chong were back together again--if only for a few minutes. (I didn't catch all the cast memebers and haven't had time to look them up.)

This movie was just fun, fun, fun! You don't need kids to appreciate the humor, however, if there is a special kid in your life, specially if he/she is between the ages of 4 and 10, take them and enjoy it through their eyes too! I thought my sweet little nephew was going to have a fit when the film started...and me looking at those big blue eyes- wide as saucers, wearing his "lightening MeQueen" t-shirt...he was as adorable as he has ever been! (You can't tell that I am smitten with this child, can you?)

"Cars" is a good ride for everyone. The only people who won't like it are people who only listen to classical music and watch documentaries! LOL :)

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Tomb Raider on the 38th Parallel

It's Angelina Jolie's fault I became interested in the Korean War.

A few years ago while filming a movie somewhere in South East Asia she encountered a lot of adults and children with missing limbs. They had been victims of landmines.
She made it her mission to spread the news about the dangers of landmines and urge all countries, the US specifically, to sign a landmine ban- to keep this weapon of war from being used again in the future. She was quoted as saying,

"The most upsetting thing is that the US is a leader in the world, and if they don't sign, then how do you expect to convince Russian and China and Iran, Pakistan, all these other countries, to sign? They simply won't. (The US government) feels it's against their constitutional right to bear arms, or they've said that it's needed in North and South Korea, on the border. I don't think any of these are good enough excuses for the damage."

Being a fan of Miss Jolie and of little kids all over the world, I figured I must also took a look into the landmine situation in Korea.

My inital questions were simple, "Why are there still landmines in Korea?"

My 2nd question was, "If the landmines have been there since the 40's and 50's, aren't people aware of them and keep their kids out of harms way?"

Well...not everything in life is as simple as my little mind would like things to be. Here is what I discovered...

In the late 1940's Communisim was all the rage in Russia, and the Russians had been expanding their territory as best they could. Sometime during the mid- 1940's the Russians had wiggled their way down into N. Korea...see the map below and the little strip of land that connects the 2 countries:

I had always thought it was the communist Chinese who had been perverting the poor North Koreans, but I was wrong! At this point in time the Chinese were not offically a Communist country. American troops went into the southern part of Korea to keep the Soviets at bay. Unlike the sweet baby that was spared by King Solomon, the appendage country of China was split in the middle, right along the 38th parallel. The 2 forces went at it for 4 years. Tired, battle weary, and neither side making any progress, both the Soviets and the US withdrew their men.
Poor Korea, like a pitiful, innocent bit of a girl--had been used and abused and then abandoned by the 2 great men who fought over her. The country was terribly divided, vunerable, and at the mercy of whatever, or whoever might take the lead in the next dance. It was assumed that the "division" of the country would dissolve with the US and the Russians out of the picture, but that did not prove to be the case. A communist leader named Kim Il-Sung took a postion in the North, and the less developed south was led by a man named Syngman Rhee. Rhee was not in a postion of strength.

Sometime between 1947 and 1949 all of China became a Communist country. The Nationalist Chinese leader, Chaing Kai-shek, was defeated by communist Mao-Tse-tung. Chaing fled to Formosa in 1949 and established the government known today as

Reader comments*** Blah--Blah--Blah...

****Landmines, I thought this was about landmines!!!! I'm so bored with this I'm ready to step on a landmine!!!! More pics of Angelina? How about another pic of me????

Whew! Glad that is over! Obviously I'm no Angelina Jolie :) But, I had loads of fun trying to take the pic! LOL! Anyway...who can you email? Angelia, or me???
Me of course!

OK...Back to the landmines...and who planted them along the 38th parallel? The Americans, or the Koreans, or the Soviets?

On June 25th, 1950, North Korea attacked South Korea.

More soon...

Thursday, June 08, 2006

"Carolina Hurricanes"

A Storm is a brewin'

I am not a sports nut- not at all.

I mean, I love to go to a baseball game, or watch the Tarheels and the Blue Devils play against each other (or the Wolfpack!), but I have to tell you that Ice Hockey
is, or has been, pretty far down on my list of things to get jazzed about...

Until now :)

Things I have recently learned about hockey:

There are actual rules.

The game is divided into 3 "Periods", not "sections" (LOL, yes, I did say that!)

The Penalty box is a bad thing if your team is in it.

The Edmunton Oilers have a terrible name...not cool at all!

The Oilers player "Torres", is not MEXICAN!

The announcers look like (from left to right) 1) a total stud, 2) the bald eagle character from the Muppets, 3)Barney Rubble, with black hair 4) Hair club for men success story

The players can REALLY skate

Slamming into the wall seems to be absolutely necessary.

Beating someone with a stick seems to be absolutely necessary.

If the puck manages to get past your mask, you will end up in the hospital.

Olympic Ice skating has lost its allure for me!


How about a nice Triple Loop just before you slam the puck into the goal?

Some fast paced music to really get the fans into a frenzy! (kidding! LOL!), I guess it's offical...I'm a Carolina Hurricane Hocky Fan!
Yeahhhh!!!! We've won 2 games...lets win some more!!!!

I'll be watching the game from Emerald Isle (or close to there) this weekend.
Girls trip to the beach!

Hope you all have a great weekend! ;)

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

A Personal Story, Part III

The wings moved!

Maidens eyes became as blue as a sapphire and her her pale lips and cheeks turned pink...and she smiled at the shop keeper.

The shop keeper was surprised, but not terribly so. This kind of thing had happened before. It did not always occur, but several times- and in special cases- some of the figurines he had repaired had received a voice and a new life.

Maiden whispered- almost tearfully,
“Thank you—thank you for not giving up on me. Thank you for seeing me the way you did when others thought I was ready for the trash pile, and for seeing past my dirt. And thank you for making wings for me in place of those ugly scars on my back."

In the shop, there was a murmur, and a tiny wave of very quiet whispering coming from the cabinets. There was a slight flurry of activity, almost imperceptible at first- if one did not know where to look.

Maiden grew very still, but slowly she looked around, and she saw some of the figurines moving ever so slightly. There were others similar to her, with eyes like jewels, and mouths that smiled and moved. Each were whispering their own “Thank you” to the shop keeper for the way he had cared for each of them, as well as letting Maiden know she was not alone.

The shop keeper just smiled, touched Maiden gently on the forehead, and said, “You are most welcome”. He placed her back in the cabinet and sat her next to a Fairie to keep each other company. He kept working and loving the people who crossed his path, and mending the broken things that had been entrusted to him.

He had been broken once too.


This story is dedicated to Chris, a friend and minister at my church.
Several years ago, when I thought of myself as a woman with such a black mark in my past that there really was no place for me— he helped to change my perspective.

He is getting married at the end of next month. I would have married him, except I was already married at the time! LOL

Like all of us, I have been broken...scuffed, dropped, over used and discarded, and thankfully, loved and mended. This story is flawed--or perhaps it just isn't finished...the figurines do not sit in a curio cabinet forever- they have to go back out into the world at some point. I did.

I suppose we all have black marks, made wrong turns, and have ugly scars from self inflicted wounds. Nothing hurts me more than the times and places that I let myself down...the times when I could have made better choices, but didn't.
Forgiveness is easy, as long as it's not myself I'm forgiving- but I'm learning.
And I am still making mistakes! :)

Why did I share this with you? I'm not sure. It's not the best story I've ever written, it was predictable (thanks X~ lol!)...but mostly it was true. As I tried to write a letter to the "Bride To Be" (a woman I have not met yet), I had so much to say, and no way to convey all that I was thinking--I had to turn my letter into a story! :)

The best I can hope for is that one day I will be a "Shop Keeper".
Until then, I at least know how to be a friend :)

Thank you for being mine :)

A Personal Story Part II

( the post below for part I....I'm away from my regular computer for the next few days-but I promise to be in-touch soon :) )

The shop keeper held the broken pieces in his hands and looked at the little figurine lovingly. "Oh dear", he thought, "This one is in bad shape. She is nearly ruined, but I think I can help to restore this one...I hope I can."

The badly broken figurine took up a lot of his spare time.
He worked all day in his shop helping customers, but in the evening he focused on mending the figurine. It was a figure of a young girl, and he began to call her "Maiden". Her arms were broken, as well as one foot. Her ears were chipped, her shoulders were scuffed, and her paint was worn off. There were times when the shop keeper would look at Maiden and wonder how...How could this one have been damaged so badly? How could she be considered "trash" by anyone? Who could have done such a thing? A tear would fall on the figurine and another layer of dirt would wash away. He glued, and polished, restored, and repainted Maiden until she looked as if nothing had ever happened to her.

It took a long time, but when he was finished, she was as beautiful as he knew she was made to be.

However, there was still something wrong. There were 2 places on her back, 2 very bad looking scratches. No one could see the marks from the front, but the shop keeper knew they were there and was unsure of how to fix it. After some thought, he figured out what to do.

Using an old piece of silk and a few small pieces of lace- he gathered some wire and some more glue and went to work. It was a tedious job, but the results were wonderful. Carefully taking Maiden from the cabinet he turned her in his hands and looked at her back. He gently rubbed the marks he saw and then began to attach his silk and lace creation to the area just under her shoulder blades.
When he finished he turned her back around to face him...he had given her a pair of wings.

At this moment--something remarkable happened...

A Personal Story, Part I


Once upon a time there was a shop keeper once who collected and cared for fragile things.

His shop was full of curio cabinets with glass doors and each cabinet was filled with little figurines, and all were quite special to him.
Each figurine had a story of its own, and all of them were damaged in some way when he found them. There were angels, and kittens, and puppies, and little glass flowers; as well as hand painted children, wood-elves, and fairies, horses, trees, birds, fishes, and oh-- just about anything you can imagine.

He did all he could to make repairs so that any flaws would be corrected. He had painted, glued, melted, soldered, dusted, washed, and anything else he could think of to restore the figurines to their original beauty.

The shop keeper had many customers visit his shop everyday. Some customers were regulars, and some were new, but they all admired the many figurines in the cabinets, and everyone had a favorite. The figurines were not for sale though, even though some people tried very hard to buy them.
The shop keeper would explain, “These are special to me, and they are fragile. Each one has its own story and only I know where they have been broken and how to take care of them.”

One morning, the shop keeper arrived at his shop and found a box on the ground in front of his door. There was no note, and nothing written on the box, but the shop keeper picked it up carefully and carried it inside. He hung up his coat, put his keys in the drawer, tucked his umbrella away, and turned his attention to the box that he had laid on the counter. Carefully he opened the box and found it to be full of old newspapers.

As he removed the newspapers he discovered a badly broken figurine, loosely wrapped in a sheet of paper. On the piece of paper was a roughly written note that said, “This was mine, and I broke it. It was special, and now I think it is trash. If you can do anything with it you can keep it. Otherwise, just toss it out.”


My quote...

If" the BIGGEST word in the world.
Brimming with possibilities, tense with all that can be done or undone, makes what we long for, or dread-- hang in the balance of what comes after it.”

-Cora/ Maydens Voyage

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Tequila and Salt

My great Uncle sent this to's one of those sappy emails, but it's sweet and it has a new twist at the end-- which I like! :)

This should probably be taped to your bathroom mirror where one could read it every day. You may not realize it, but it's 100% true.

1. There are at least two people in this world that you would die for.

2. At least 15 people in this world love you in some way.

3. The only reason anyone would ever hate you is because they want to be just like you.

4. A smile from you can bring happiness to anyone, even if they don't like you.

5. Every night, SOMEONE thinks about you before they go to sleep.

(me-last can see my braces! LOL! Kate, this is especially for you!)

6. You mean the world to someone.

7. You are special and unique.

8. Someone that you don't even know exists loves you.

9. When you make the biggest mistake ever, something good comes from it.

10. When you think the world has turned its back on you take another look.

11. Always remember the compliments you received. Forget about the rude remarks.

And always remember....when life hands you Lemons,
ask for tequila and salt and call me over!!!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Strange Poem

*K9 said something on **Bens blog that lept up off the screen and licked me in the any good Rottie should! :)

He said,

"the best art is a specific vision that pings the universal inside the viewer"...

I read it again...

"the BEST art is a SPECIFIC vision that PINGS the universal INSIDE the viewer"...

I was a little jolted when I thought of how this applies to poetry, and even to Scripture...

Our lives are not lived in isolation; and we are woven and shaped by our parents, and educators and friends, and by experiences-- some are universal.

There are similar things inside all of us...we have hearts, and lungs, and blood that filters through liver. We don't all learn the same way, or process things the same; but we do learn and we do process. Most of us have seen sunrises and sunsets and had a first day at school.

A philosopher may argue that none of can be sure that the color black is the same to everyone...but a plain speaking Mamma will tell you thats hokey psycho-babble!. ha ha! When we tell the children to get out black crayons -they ALL do!

You humor me by continuing to read...I thank you.

I wrote the poem below the year my son was born. Since he was small (in-utero!) we've read hundreds of books.
I love childrens stories more than just about anything- (the poem reflects that.)

Anyway, K9's comment made me think of this crazy poem I wrote 13 years ago.
I loved it as soon as I birthed it...and it still makes me laugh. Will it "ping" what's universal in any of you? I don't know.

I can barely remember what I was thinking when I wrote it--like faint strains of music in my head...I can almost catch the tune, and then it fades out again.

Ready? For a Strange Poem?

This or These?
What or That?
Is this world tall,
Or is it flat?

The kingdom falls –
And swims away.
The trees eat chocolate pie all day.

A little off?
Or don’t you think,
The time has come to fly or sink.

What does he mean?!!
Are the clues in its feet?
There goes a word— Sluicing down the street.

Chase the word!!
Stomp it down.
The answer lies in the color brown.

Because all things drip,
And run together.
Wonder what it means, forever.



***My new email address...

Lilium longiflorum

In my front yard...

Easter lilies are native to the Ryukyu Islands of southern Japan, and the islands of Okinawa, Amani and Erabu. (I did not know that!)

Info taken from

Look...A little bug doing his buggy work!
Apparently he didn't like having his picture taken! Click on photo for a better look :)

It stormed all night in central NC. I awoke at 5 am, and unable to go back to sleep, I started thinking about my lillies...and how cool it would be to take pics of them as dawn was breaking. So I did :)

Too much flash...but you see how many lillies there are!--->

This one Lilly...she was at the bottom of the class, but did that stop her from blooming? Nooooo!

She danced like a ballerina and her feet/petals barely touched the ground :)-->

For this lovely shot, I had to LAY down! I rested my head directly under the flowers (which are about 3 feet high...I am only 5 the view wasn't much different! LOL), and I got fairly wet, with all the water dropletts falling in my face! It was worth it!