Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Book Alert

Just a quickie post to shout out:

Please hit the link on the title to this post. I want you to check out the excerpt from "Stigmata" by Phyllis Alesia Perry (and remember that name!) because it is the most readable, wonderful story I have read in a long time.

Once again, here is the link to the excerpt.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Two Traveling Angels Story

Two posts today - because I am singing because I'm happy! I finally found the angel story that I had referenced in this post. It's a nice lesson.

Two traveling angels stopped to spend the night in the home of a wealthy family. The family was rude and refused to let the angels stay in the mansion's guest room. Instead the angels were given a small space in the cold basement. As they made their bed on the hard floor, the older angel saw a hole in the wall and repaired it.

When the younger angel asked why, the older angel replied, "Things aren't always what they seem."

The next night the pair came to rest at the house of a very poor, but very hospitable farmer and his wife. After sharing what little food they had the couple let the angels sleep in their bed where they could have a good night's rest.

When the sun came up the next morning the angels found the farmer and his wife in tears. Their only cow, whose milk had been their sole income, lay dead in the field.

The younger angel was infuriated and asked the older angel, "How could you have let this happen? The first man had everything, yet you helped him. The second family had little but was willing to share everything, and you let the cow die."

"Things aren't always what they seem," the older angel replied. "When we stayed in the basement of the mansion, I noticed there was gold stored in that hole in the wall. Since the owner was so obsessed with greed and unwilling to share his good fortune, I sealed the wall so he wouldn't find it."

"Then last night as we slept in the farmers bed, the angel of death came for his wife. I gave him the cow instead. Things aren't always what they seem."

Sometimes that is exactly what happens when things don't turn out the way they should. If you have faith, you need to trust that the outcome has a purpose. You just might not know it until some time later...


We Are More Than Conquerors

 "I sing because I'm free!"

I've been on such a hard long road & I have such a long hard road ahead of me.

I am asking God to be with me as I start out on a long road of "starting again." I have worries and fears and plenty of anxiety about what life will bring, but I don't doubt God.

A while back, when I was angry about things that have happened in my life, I thought that there was no good in any of it. My mother used to say that God has a reason for everything that happens. I am just now realizing that. I'm not saying that I'm glad for the things I have been through, I'm just more aware that they have changed me for the better.

A few years ago, I was complacent and apathetic about a lot of things. I went to work, spent money, paid bills, ate more food than I needed, bought things I could have done without, and went to sleep not worrying about whether I would wake up.  I took so much for granted. I have since learned how precarious everything is: food, shelter, comfort, laying down to sleep with no known worries. I guess I'm back on the "This Too Shall Pass" thought!

When I get scared about tomorrow or even the next hour, I try to think about people who have been through the valleys and made it to the peaks to praise God from there: Maya Angelou and Tyler Perry come immediately to mind. Now I understand why Mr. Perry is so very thankful.

If you are out there, comfortable and feeling safe in your life, know this from someone who has been there: you should be ever so thankful for every single moment of peaceful rest and daily contentment that you have. Thank God every day for your blessings because it will make you stronger for anything that might come to test you.

I have been (am being) tested every moment right now, but the best way I can give glory to God is to not give up. He knows me, He knows my troubles, and I believe He is with me. I know that He won't let me get so low that I cannot get back up.

But [even] the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not be struck with fear or seized with alarm; you are of greater worth than many [flocks] of sparrows. (Luke 12:7)

My current test is to remember that His promise is for daily bread - not a week's supply or more, not a pantry full, but just daily bread.

So, the following is my favorite promise from the Bible:

Who shall ever separate us from Christ's love? Shall suffering and affliction and tribulation? Or calamity and distress? Or persecution or hunger or destitution or peril or sword? Even as it is written, For Thy sake we are put to death all the day long; we are regarded and counted as sheep for the slaughter.    Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us.    For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers,   Nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-39)

Keep this blogger in your prayer.


Monday, February 23, 2009

Bailey Quarters

Baby, if you ever wondered, wondered what became of me...

I was watching WKRP In Cincinnati today on Hulu & something occurred to me. You know how whenever you watch a show from the 70's or 80's, you notice how not only the general fashions have changed since then, but even the way people seemed to look and act. Well, if you take a look at the character Bailey Quarters (played by Jan Smithers), you might notice that she has a look that didn't really go out of fashion. Her hair, her make-up - and even, most of the time, her clothes - would all fit in today. She was naturally pretty & didn't need a lot of make-up or hairstyling to enhance her looks. Maybe that's it.

You can see what she looked like in this pic.

Anyway, once I noticed that character, I started to really pay attention to the others. Loni Anderson's Jennifer Marlowe was, for that time period, the sexy one, but looking back, the character's look is so ...seventies.

Of course, once I got started (what can I say, I needed a 15-minute diversion from stress), I went ahead and looked for current pics of the ladies. Not many very current ones of Smithers, but from the ones I saw, she still is a beauty. What I didn't know was that she had once been married to James Brolin... Hmmm. And Loni Anderson still looks great. I mean, these ladies have to be in their 60's, right?

I checked out Gary Sandy (he played Andy Travis - remember, he had the great hair?) and he seems to have aged well too.

With all the TV Land & Nick At Nite (and Hulu and Joost), we get used to seeing these people frozen in time, playing those characters from 30-some years ago and it's hard to think of them as aging along with us. WKRP started airing the year before I graduated from high school & I KNOW I've aged (nicely, I'd like to think!), but it's still such a time-warped kind of feeling.

Just think - in 20 or 30 years, my little nieces and nephews are going to be talking like this about the Disney kids they are so into now... Time does just go on, doesn't it?


Saturday, February 21, 2009

Easy To Connect

It's amazing to me how easy the internet makes it for people to connect.

I was checking out some links for my other blog (yes, this IS a plug for Trudy's Tracks!) and I ran across the Yahoo-run MyBlogLog. (The funny thing is, I have had a Yahoo account for at least 6 years & I'd never heard of MBL.)

Anyway, while signing up for MBL, I was offered the chance to include all my other web "connections." There was a long list of sites - Twitter, Blogger, Facebook, etc - that, if I was a member of them, I could show that on MBL for others to connect with me. Like I said, there were the usual, well-known sites listed, but there were a bunch of other sites I'd never heard any word of: Bebo, Bright Kite, Dopplr... It's a long list. There was even an alternative to Twitter (Google's Jaiku).

Of course, I checked out the sites and added links to them over on Tracks, but I am still kind of amazed at the variety. If you are searching for real estate - there's a site. If you want to share your travel tracks - there's a site. If you are a DJ and want to be listed in a directory - there's a site for that too. If you want to list a product or service, share stuff you find online, network with gamers, or if you want to help people out with micro loans - there are sites out there for ya. It just goes to show, if you have an interest in something, you can always find other people with the same bent. The web just makes it nice & easy for us all to connect.

One of the sites that really caught my eye was Shelfari - a networking community for book lovers. Wow.

Anyway, I just wanted to give you a heads up about the kinds of things you will find over at Tracks.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Talking About In The Nick of Time (happy endings)

Just when I was thinking what a miracle it was for a woman to be saved from gunshot by her dang hairweave... I was so happy for this guy. He was in a coma and about to have his life support turned off - just before he woke up...


Nothing else to say about this one really except I spotted it on my Google Reader and then discovered a site called News Monster. An interesting site, this one. Along with the coma rescue story, I noticed one about Hitler connection to the occult (yeah - big surprise there, huh?) and links for other "weird" news. You might want to give the site a look-over.

Ann Coulter Is Worrisome

I watched Joy Behar's interview of Ann Coulter on Larry King Live. I'm not sure what hits me wrong about ol' Annie. Well, actually, it's that so much about her is wrong or somehow "off." As I listened to her, some things flashed through my mind:

1. She does not really take herself seriously. She does what she does for the status and the money and the thrill of it all.

2. If she'd been born in a different time, she might have been a Hitler mistress or one of the plantation women who hated and lusted after the slaves.

3. She takes herself seriously. (That right there frightens me.)

4. If she woke up changed into one of the types of people she likes to criticize (let's say, black or Jewish or a 911 widow - ooh, or maybe a single mother) she'd never be able to survive the hardships they all have.

5. She is ignorant in morals and compassion while being book-smart. (And there really is a difference in being "book-smart" and intelligent.)

6. She is dangerous.

7. She has a hard time admitting any truth that does not fit with her opinions.

Yeah, so... I thank God that Annie is at least well-known because undercover haters can do a lot more damage.

Here's the interview I saw:

Embedded video from CNN Video



Just a quickie post to thank the the dude over at The Blogger Guide. What a life-saver.

I needed to widen the columns of my blogs - Being Free & Lotta Laughs. Well, this is no easy trick if you are a ME and have not a tech bone in your body... I went right over to Blogger Guide and he had the instructions (blessedly dummy-proof!) for changing the width of both templates (I use a Minima on one & a Scribe on the other) AND, get this: if I hadn't found the details for the templates I do have, I could email him for more. Whatta guy! Whatta nice, nice (and SMART) guy.

So, a big Thank you to The Blogger Guide Guy (BGG). He's the second person on my Tech-Hero list (Kim Komando was the very first).

If you need to fiddle with your blog, I suggest you go over and check out BGG. He's got info on adding and changing columns, customizing colors & fonts, and all kinds of other stuff to either jazz up your blog, promote it or keep track of what's happening with it. Go on over there and get schooled by the best!



A while back I heard the story of 2 traveling angels. They stayed one night with a poor but nice family who were having a lot of troubles & spent another night with a wealthier and not-so-nice family who also had troubles. The junior angel was puzzled that the senior angel helped the wealthy family and not the poor family. The senior angel explained that things are not always as they seem and the poor family turned out in the end being blessed most of all. I don't really remember the story better than that, but I did get the lesson. Sometimes we should realize that the very things that annoy us are really blessings. My niece Gwennie sent me an email with the following that illustrates that very nicely:

I am thankful for the wife
who says it's hot dogs tonight,
because she is home with me
& not out with someone else

For the husband
who is on the sofa being a couch potato,
because he is home with me
& not out at the bars

For the teenager
who is complaining about doing dishes,
because it means she is at home
& not on the streets

For the taxes
I pay,
because it means I am employed

For the mess
to clean after a party,
because it means I have
been surrounded by friends

For the clothes
that fit a little too snug,
because it means
I have enough to eat

For my shadow
that watches me work,
because it means
I am out in the sunshine

For a lawn
that needs mowing,
windows that need cleaning,
& gutters that need fixing,
because it means
I have a home

For all the complaining
I hear about the government,
because it means
we have freedom of speech

For the parking spot
I find at the far end of the parking lot,
because it means
I am capable of walking
& I have been blessed with transportation

For my huge heating bill,
because it means
I am warm

For the lady
behind me in church
who sings off key,
because it means I can hear

For the weariness & aching muscles
at the end of the day,
because it means
I have been capable of working hard

For the alarm
that goes off in the early morning hours,
because it means I am alive

I am thankful
for the crazy people
I work with,
because they make working interesting & fun!

And, finally,
for too much email,
because it means
I have friends who are thinking of me

P.S.: I even like the tags at the bottom of the email. One reads: "Live well, laugh often & love with all of your heart!" The other reads: "Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is SERIOUS!" (I may have to take one of these as my blog motto!)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Genevieve (she's a dog, people!) & Gizmo (he a dog, too)

My niece has had her shitzhu, Gizmo, for a few years. He's a character, truly. He is the only dog I know that 1) "talks" back (he does this little bark/yowl thing when you are fussing at him) and, 2) can sit straight up on his butt for the longest time (this is usually when he is trying to beg you out of something). He's a little piece of my heart.
Gizmo has been an only pet for all this time, so when Gabby - my niece - got another shitzhu, Gizmo was wary - but he's trying to be nice:

Giz is the bigger, lighter-colored pup. Genna is the little brat acting like she doesn't want Giz sharing HIS bed with HER...

Genevieve (Genna, for shorts) is also a character. For one thing, she looks really sweet and timid - but she's NOT. The first time Gabby brought her over, she looked so lost and helpless (you know, getting used to the big fam and the other dogs and a cat) that you just thought, "Awwwww..." Yeah. Until one of the dogs tried to take away her treat.

You do not want to tick off this little doggie. But she is a cutie:

See what I mean? "Awwwwww..."

Anyway, Gabs has been going through all the minor adjustments of having a second dog in her home. Genna and Giz have their jealousy issues, they compete for Gab's attention and the toys, etc. Genna is pretty opinionated & if you think a dog can't be opinionated, you will understand when you see this pic Gab sent me the other day. She had just bathed Genna and the subject of the email the pic came with said it all: "She's pissed":

I love it.

Poor Gabby.

Showmanship vs Salvation

I saw this over at C&D and I thought it was going to be a little bit humorous. Shame on me.

I'm not sure how I feel about this "sermon." I mean, there is a message and their seems to be a lot of sincerity, but... Does it really take all that? I grew up going to the Holiness church, so I'm used to the style of preaching, but when they rolled that casket out... and then when he made his "re-entrance," all I could wonder was, was he preaching to reach people for Christ, or was he just showing out? (Imagine the conversations later when people are talking about how he "Sure did preach today!")

Lately, I've been through some major stuggles and changes in my life. I have been crying out to God and literally putting my face to the floor in prayer. When I see this over-the-top kind of theatrical preaching, I'm thinking that's not what people need in these tough times. People need a pastor who is touching them in a way that matters to their situation. If I'd been sitting in that congregation, I'd probably have wanted him to stop all that carrying on and just put his hand on my head in prayer. Or preach about getting through trials. All that acting out that he did would have probably sent my nerves right over the last edge. We have to start getting real here, folks, times are really rough and souls are in pain - even Christian souls - and if I want a show, I can go to a movie. Church is for faith and strength and encouragement to hold out in this race we are in.

I know that some of you are going to think I'm being too critical, and maybe I am. I just don't know how this one makes me feel. Take a look for yourself.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Lotta Laughs

I am just such a glutton for punishment. I had an old defunct blog (actually, I never posted anything on it!) and I deleted it today. Could I leave well enough alone? Nooooo, not your girl. So, I replaced it with a new one. This makes, what? My second new blog in a week?? Yeah.

Anyway, the new blog is Lotta Laughs. Because I always find something hilarious when I am darting all over the web. Lord knows, in these rough times, we can all use more laughter. So. Skip over and check out the new spot. I found a new fave blog to visit: Cake Wrecks (you'll love these guys) and I put in a nod or two at a couple of blogs that poke fun at celebs.

Please enjoy. Oh, and check out a site called Feedjit. I love that they feature blogs regionally. I found some gems over there today.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Words By Maya, Lesson By Life

I do so love Maya Angelou - she and Countee Cullen are two of my favorite poets. I ran across a piece Maya's poem, "Alone" the other night:

Lying, thinking
Last night
How to find my soul a home
Where water is not thirsty

Wow - "Where water is not thirsty." That made me think of Heaven and the promise of faith. (It's even better when recited by a skilled reader.)

And, in the mood I've been in lately, there is this one by Pablo Neruda, "Clenched Soul."

We have lost even this twilight.
No one saw us this evening hand in hand
while the blue night dropped on the world.


But I will go back to the main source of real comfort. 2 Peter 3:10-11, 10But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will vanish (pass away) with a thunderous crash, and the [[a]material] elements [of the universe] will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and the works that are upon it will be burned up.

I've heard it said that this was the inspiration for the following poem.

This, Too, Shall Pass Away
Author: Lanta Wilson Smith

When some great sorrow, like a mighty river, Flows through your life with peace-destroying power And dearest things are swept from sight forever, Say to your heart each trying hour: "This, too, shall pass away."
When ceaseless toil has hushed your song of gladness, And you have grown almost too tired to pray, Let this truth banish from your heat its sadness, And ease the burdens of each tring day: "This, too, shall pass away."
When fortune smiles, and, full of mirth and pleasure, The days are flitting by without a care, Lest you should rest with only earthly treasure, Let these few words their fullest import bear: "This, too, shall pass away."
When earnest labor brings you fame and glory, And all earth's noblest ones upon you smile, Remember that life's longest, grandest story Fills but a moment in earth's little while: "This, too, shall pass away."

Beautiful. This, too, truly shall pass. Thank You, Father.


Monday, February 16, 2009

New Site O' Mine

I can't believe I didn't mention it here (or maybe I did & in my recent state of craziness, I don't remember), but I have yet another site.

The new site is called Trudy's Tracks & it's nothing but links. I created it because the most popular posts I did on this site was one filled with links for writers. When I created BLinks, I didn't get the same kind of response & I figured it's because the links got lost in the posts I would do. So. I created the new site with very little posting and just a ton of links under various categories. Of course, the biggest set of links are for writers and researchers (since that is still my main love), but I included a bunch of stuff for other interests.

There are links for doing cool stuff with your PC (like tweaking some functions or getting free protection), shopping (so far, a lot of cosmetics, but a bunch of bargain sites and some tech sites too), some of my fave blogs, and lots of other stuff, including networking sites for us "older" folks.

The site is turning out to be a lot of fun for me. I get to share links of all the various places I seem to run across all the time and, of course, I am forcing myself to discover things that I might not have otherwise. One of the more interesting categories I worked on was for the networking sites. Like a lot of people in my age group, I knew about the Facebook/MySpace sites, but I was surprised to find that there are similar sites geared to different interests. I found sites for Baby Boomers and people looking to hook into family... Oh! And I added some genealogical sites. That was another favorite category.

Right now I am working on transferring some of the sites listed on BLinks over to Tracks. Eventually, I will be deleting the BLinks blog. Let's face it, I have way more blogs than I have time to deal with them! And it's not like I get a bunch of traffic on them. I figure if I concentrate on the content of one or two blogs, I will get more response because of the better content. Makes sense, right? Right!

Anyway, try to get over and take a look. Probably I need to change the headings of some categories, but I'll get to that later. For now, just browse through and check some out at random.


Sunday, February 15, 2009


I thought that marriage was going to mean never feeling alone. You know - even at the worst of times, financial, emotional, worry, joy, tears, laughter - all that would be shared. I thought that being married meant having someone who understood you better than anyone had since you were a child & your mother could tell your mood just by glancing at you. I thought that I would feel somehow more complete.

I don't think I have ever felt more alone than since I got married.

When I was single, I never really felt alone. I guess because I realized I was single & didn't have the expectations of a married woman. I had friends and family and my writing - and that was all I counted on. But to count on another person only to be disappointed... I guess that's what the saying "You don't miss what you never had" means - except in my case it would be, "You don't miss what you never hoped for."

Now, these days, I often contemplate leaving my marriage so that I can be more fulfilled. Or at least have a reason for feeling lonely.


But I am trying to hold on just a little bit longer. Mostly because I take my marriage vows so seriously, but partly because I am afraid of leaving just when things might actually get good & marriage might just become what I had hoped.

Isn't the mind a funny thing?


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Rescued on Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day almost sucked, but then a friend sent a poem written just for me.

Self-esteem is such a huge part of human survival. Lately, my feelings of worth have taken such a beating that I sometimes can't remember how joyful I used to be; how beautiful I used to feel. So I am very grateful that there is at least one person out there who cared today.

Thank you (& you know who you are).


Monday, February 09, 2009

I Can't Stop Myself

I've gone and done it again. I have another - yes, ANOTHER - blog.

I wanted to improve on my concept of offering useful links. My BLinks blog wasn't feeling right to me. Now I have Trudy's Tracks (and, yes, I know I need to improve on the name; I'll keep working on that. In the meantime, tho, I am really pleased with the content.

Check it out HERE and then let me know if you have suggestions for more links or categories.

I believe that fellow writers and researchers are going to like the new blog.


Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Christian Bale Needs to Get a Grip (No matter what Whoopi says)

Apparently, Joy Behar has more common sense than Whoopi on ths subject of Christian Bale. The ladies discussed that maniac's rant & Whoopi had this to say: “If I have to jump out of character to tell you something you should know?” Goldberg later continued. “You’re in a zone and it’s crazy.”

Yeah, it's crazy all right because it's just a movie!

You can try to defend Bale all you want, Whoopi, but he's still a jerk. And if you think what he did was okay, then you're buying into a whole selfish argument that being an artist comes before being human. When anyone behaves the way Bale did, what they are saying is, "I am so important that I can disregard being mature or decent or in control of my temper. I am important, damnit."

In a zone, my a**. He's in a fog of his own ego dust.  He should try getting out of his zone and realizing that his "zone" doesn't over-ride anyone else's zone.

Whoopi, Bale acted like a jerk. You are being silly when you try to defend his behavior by calling him an "artist." Like artists cannot be expected to behave decently. And you have the nerve to talk about being "professional"... C'mon, that's such a joke. What Bale should do is put himself into the shoes of the guy he went off on. What if that guy had things going on in his life (and not just his "art") that Bale didn't know about? What if when Bale's rant came on a bad day for this guy and made him feel more depressed or despaired or worthless than he may already have been feeling?

I don't know about you guys out there, but I've had days where a smile or decent word from someone (even a stranger) is the only thing that kept me going for a while longer. I've also had days where I was really feeling good only to have a Bale-like jerk be rude and ruin my sunshine.

Here's what I want to know: does Bale just have anger and control issues? I think I remember hearing about his bad temper from other incidents. Hmmm... Maybe he was just being a professional then too - no, wait, the last time I heard about him going off, it had to do with his family. Want to explain that one, Whoopi?

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Christian Bale Needs to Get a Grip

What a jerk.

I just listened (over at Perez Hilton's site) to Bale's tirade. Man, this guy makes so much money to do something that he supposedly likes doing, but he has to act like that big of a jerk when something pisses him off? He couldn't just be pissed off and done with it? He has to rant and rave and be that self-important over a scene in a movie? It's a freakin' movie, jerk - not a cancer research project, not a world-hunger-solving problem, not anything but a damn MOVIE.

If you want to put your anger where it counts, take it to Congress and argue for better healthcare. Stand in line with a homeless person who is trying to get a life together away from the streets. Stand up to someone JUST LIKE YOU who may be acting rudely to some LIKE THE GUY YOU WENT OFF ON.

Get the hell over yourself and just be thankful that all you have to be pissed about is someone "ruining" your scene. At least you don't have to be worried about where your next meal is coming from, or how to pay your kid's doctor bills, or ... Well, you don't have anything THAT life-important to worry about. Guess that's why you have energy to bust an artery over a scene in your movie & yet you lack the guts to do something more useful with yourself...


Sunday, February 01, 2009

Where the police wrong? Should this woman be compensated?

There is a local story in the news here about what happened to a woman back in 2004.

This lady was out shopping in a mall with her son. There was a robbery at a bank in the same mall. The police showed up looking for a female suspect of a certain description (a heavyset African-American female in her 30s wearing a dark blue shirt, dark sunglasses, a black headband or bandana, tennis shoes and carrying a dark bag). The police detained the female shopper (45 at the time, was smaller and wearing a white, nylon jogging suit with a light blue shirt underneath. She was carrying a purse and a white Sears bag, and was with a child) - cuffed her, searched her, refused to let her son use her phone to contact his father.

This all happened in view of one of the busiest roads in town. People gawked, there was news footage, and a couple driving by recognized the woman being detained as someone from their church.

Eventually, the police determined that the woman they had detained was not the suspect. They released her. No apology.

The woman later sued. She lost (well, she won a part of her suit and was awarded $1) and now owes court costs and attorneys' fees of over $45,000. The judge thinks the lawsuit was frivolous. The jury was an all white jury.

By the way, here is how the news describes the innocent female shopper: 
  • Anchorage businesswoman and mother of two
  • She and her family were immersed in a church conference in the days leading up to the incident. 
  • She was at the mall shopping for something to wear to a church banquet
And her husband was, at the time all this happened, on active military duty (the police found the female's military ID).

The real robber was found later that evening, dressed as she had been described, hanging out in a seedier area of our town.

So, what do you think?