Two Shoes Tuesday #72 - Attitude, Anger, or "A"

Two Shoes Tuesdsay
Welcome to Two Shoes Tuesday...  a place for those who love to write!

There are two word prompts to choose from... you can use whichever one inspires you. You are not required to include them both. You do not have to include the prompt word, but please use it as the theme for your post. You are welcome to write a post for each prompt word, if you like. Posts unrelated to either word prompt will be deleted from the link list.

Your contribution must be in the form of an original poem, essay, or short story (fiction or non-fiction), and it must be a new piece - not something drawn from your other writings or archives.

Your link must go directly to your post for Two Shoes Tuesday, and somewhere in the post you must provide a link to Two Shoes Tuesday.  It doesn't need to be big or fancy, just a text or logo link at the end of your post will be fine. You can add a link anytime through Saturday night. 

Please take some time to visit as many of the other TST participants as possible during the week, we all love feedback on our efforts!  Feel free to email me at jts.2000@yahoo.com if you have any questions.

The April 1st writing themes to choose from are attitude and anger

A to Z.. It's Time!!!

Tuesday is the Big Day, April 1st, the official beginning of the 2014 edition of the  A to Z April Challenge.  There are already over 1800 bloggers from around the world signed up... Wow!
 
I've participated twice, last year and two years ago, and I learned that it's easy to burn yourself out before the month ends if you try to do too much or visit too many new blogs.  You will also encounter visitors who want to follow every blog they read, and will ask you to follow theirs.  By the end of the month your blog roll will be out of control.  I've become more selective, checking out a few sample posts on a given blog, and looking for the stand-outs that appeal to me on various levels.  Those I'll add and follow for a bit to see how they pan out.  Blogging is not just a writing exercise for me, it is a connection to other hearts and minds, so I look for those I can best relate to, even if our lives are very different.  In my past A-Z experiences I've made real connections with a handful of awesome folks that I now count among my friends, and that possibility is what make the A-Z so exciting, along with the inspiration that comes from reading the work of so many talented writers!
 
Last year my theme was Counting My Blessings.  I listed ten each day.  It was both challenging and fun, as I included big things and small, serious, and not so serious.  I was on vacation in Savannah for one week of April and that made for some interesting list items too!  It was also time consuming and the posts ran a little too long for readers who were hopping blogs.
 
This year I plan to keep it simple.  I've spent the last twelve months or so writing short stories and flash fiction/non-fiction pieces, and I find I like the challenge of learning to be more concise.  Anyone who's read my blog for a longer period of time is well aware that I can ramble on with the best of the best! :-)  In keeping with the concept of brevity, and with a nod toward my proclivity to preach a bit,  my theme for this year's collection of A-Z posts is going to be "Six Sentences From My Soapbox" on the chosen topic of the day. That's the plan anyway.  I have a few topics in mind, but I haven't written a single post yet, so we'll see how it works out. :-) 
 
I'm eagerly anticipating Tuesday, I hope that I'll see many of you participating. If you haven't signed up yet, it's not too late to join the fun!  By the way, Two Shoes Tuesday, my weekly writing prompt, will continue to run as usual, and will include a third "prompt" option of using the A to Z letter of the day.  That way no one has to double their efforts, a single post can be linked to both A-Z and TST.
 
Ok folks, let's dust off our keyboards,  pull on our thinking caps, shed the stigma of being April fools, and get this amazing international blogfest underway... See you Tuesday! :-)

New Shoes

 
I was getting the itch for a new pair of blog shoes, and as I searched Google Images I found these wonderful glow-in-the-dark shoes at Laughing Kids Learn - a delightful blog full of amazing creative projects for children.  Many of them looked like they would be a lot of fun for not so young people too! :-)  I emailed Kate with a request to use the photo of her awesome shoes for my new logo button and she very kindly granted me permission.  I love the new JTS logo - simple, light and dark, and a little weird... just like me! :-)  You can grab my new button below or on my side bar, and when you have a bit of free time, go check out Laughing Kids Learn  and find something fun to do with your children or grandchildren... maybe even make your own pair of glow-in-the-dark shoes! :-)
 
Josie Two Shoes/
 

In The Past

Regrets?  Mabel had a few, more than a few to be  honest.  She'd made some bad choices back when she was young.  She ended up marrying, not the handsome guy who tried so hard to win her attention, but the fast-talking, hard-drinking bad boy who promised her excitement.  She got that, for sure, if you could call dodging the blows when he was angry exciting, or trying to make ends meet when he was out of work.  When she got pregnant for the second time he left her.  Mabel figured it was probably for the best.
 
With two little mouths to feed and rent to pay, Mabel ended up working two jobs and farmed her kids out to friends and relatives when the babysitter didn't show. By the time she finally got off-shift they were usually fast asleep. How she longed to be the kind of mom who was there to read them bedtime stories and take them on outings to the park. As it was she was doing good just to get their clothes washed and a few groceries in the house.
 
As soon as they were old enough, Mabel's children became latch-key kids, letting themselves in the back door after school, eating the sandwiches she'd left them for supper, and hanging out with other kids in their rough and tumble neighborhood until dark and sometimes later.  Most often they would fall asleep in front of the television waiting for her to come home. 
 
One thing led to another.  Mabel's son fell in with the wrong crowd and had some minor run-ins with the law.  Then he learned there was money to be made in stolen goods, and it wasn't long before he was reporting weekly to the juvenile authorities. Mabel yelled and screamed, and cried, but he wasn't listening. He told her what did she know about right from wrong, and always having nothing.  She knew, Oh Lord, she knew,  but he was at that age where parents don't know anything.
 
Mabel's daughter made up for being lonely, and being made fun of by her classmates for her shabby clothes and unpolished ways, by hooking up with the first guy who paid her a little attention.  Mabel nearly went hysterical when she discovered that relationship, but it was too late by then, and a baby was on the way.
 
Now here it was fifteen years later.  Mabel's daughter had dropped out of school when she got pregnant, but eventually she got her GED and then started taking courses at the local college. Mabel heard that she had graduated with honors, but her daughter hadn't told her; she never stopped by to see her and didn't want to talk. Mabel figured that her daughter blamed her for not doing a better job at bringing her up.
 
Today was really going to be something.  Mabel was so nervous that she sat out on her porch and rocked away the morning trying to soothe her jangled nerves.  Mabel's son was being released from prison.  He'd been writing to her regular.  He told her that he'd found Jesus and was cleaning up his ways.  Mabel's daughter was going to pick him up today when they released him, and then they were headed her way with Mabel's grandson in tow. She hadn't seen him since he was a baby.
 
The family reunion she'd been dreaming of and praying for all this time was about to happen.  Would they forgive her?  Did they know how much she loved them?   Mabel wished that she'd done so many things different when they were growing up, but at the time she'd done the best she could. No more time for regrets now, she could see the car kicking up dust as it headed down her road.  It was in the past, and she hoped they understood.   
~*~*~*~*~*~*~
 
This was written for Two Shoes Tuesday
where the theme choices this week are rocker and regret

Two Shoes Tuesday #71 - Rocker or Regret

Two Shoes Tuesdsay
Welcome to Two Shoes Tuesday...  a place for those who love to write!

There are two word prompts to choose from... you can use whichever one inspires you. You are not required to include them both. You do not have to include the prompt word, but please use it as the theme for your post. You are welcome to write a post for each prompt word, if you like. Posts unrelated to either word prompt will be deleted from the link list.

Your contribution must be in the form of an original poem, essay, or short story (fiction or non-fiction), and it must be a new piece - not something drawn from your other writings or archives.

Your link must go directly to your post for Two Shoes Tuesday, and somewhere in the post you must provide a link to Two Shoes Tuesday.  It doesn't need to be big or fancy, just a text or logo link at the end of your post will be fine. You can add a link anytime through Saturday night. 

Please take some time to visit as many of the other TST participants as possible during the week, we all love feedback on our efforts!  Feel free to email me at jts.2000@yahoo.com if you have any questions.

The March 25th writing themes to choose from are rocker and regret

Two Shoes Tuesday - Prompts for the Coming Week

~TWO SHOES TUESDAY~
Stories, poems and essays - original fiction and non-fiction 
 Your choice of themes for Tuesday, March 25th are: 
rocker or regret
Find out more about Two Shoes Tuesday here
Put your thinking cap on and come and join us! 
 

 
 

Breathe Josie, Breathe

6:10 AM - The iPhone alarm clock screeches some odd tune in the darkness of early morning, and my mind fights being wrenched from the soft fog of slumber. Hit the snooze, snuggle into soft flannel sheets, shove the phone under the pillow in feeble attempts to muffle it's second demand that I arise. Breathe Josie, breathe.

Hurry now, just time to shower, dry my hair and dress.  Start the car by remote, greet the furkids and feed them kitty treats, tug on clothes and shoes in laundry room so as to let sleeping Papa Bear sleep one more hour. A different alarm tone sounds, reminder to put in my hearing aids; else I would forget them, and I have.  Hurry, time to leave! Grab coat, purse, and water bottle, turn off house alarm and slip out the door. Settle into car seat and Go!  Breathe Josie, breathe.

Turn left on to busy two-lane highway and head for the city.  Damn oil-field trucks and equipment have it so congested.  Speed limit is 75, but traffic crawls at 60, no room to pass.  Muscles tense. Hit the main highway, keep eyes open for road construction and accidents, join the lines of lemmings moving into town. Red light, red light red light, how do they time these things?  Breathe Josie, breathe.

Zip through McDonalds line, though more often not zipping but instead queuing up as yet another new trainee tries to master speaker and register keys.  Check tea before leaving window, always check the tea - 50/50 chance it's unsweet as you requested. Exit, turn right, headed downtown. Idiots flying up behind you before applying brakes, watching in the rear view mirror, anticipating jarring crunch. Breathe Josie, breathe.

Arrive at work early thinking there is time to soak in a bit of quiet and check email before others arrive.  Wrong.  Attorney calls, "Will you please fax a file to me for the hearing right away?"  Coworker calls, "I'm running a little late, can you call my first appointment". The next to arrive initiates play by play review of yesterday's issues. One round of the drama wasn't enough? Breathe Josie, breathe.

Time to kick it into gear, phones begin ringing in endless succession. Questions and concerns, heart-breaking stories, appointments, files, forms, faxes, bank deposits, and mail. Go, go, go, everything must be ready to go by end of day.  Breathe Josie, breathe.

Finally going home time... but no, not quite yet... drop off mail, pick up dry cleaning and/or groceries, or maybe stop by pharmacy, or get gas.  Join traffic crawling slowly out of town while mentally listing the things that must be done before bedtime. Breathe Josie, breathe.

Pick up mail from Post Office, carry in bags from car, feed furkids, scoop kitty box, make supper, stack dishes (don't ask for how long), wash a load of laundry,  fill pill boxes, pay bills, try to read, write or blog a little, play with furkids while visiting with hubby and watching TV in background - or get tied up in long winded phone conversations that make me squirm as time disappears. Breathe Josie, breathe.

10:30 PM - What? It's bedtime already?  But I wanted to.....  Ok, you're right, if we don't go now I will be even more tired tomorrow.  Slip into soft flannel sheets, visit, snuggle and sink into darkness. Little light in brain flashes off and on, thinking of all the things to be done tomorrow, pressing life issues and worries regarding family, friends, jobs and money.  Breathe Josie, breathe.

Deep breath... more like a deep sigh. Don't check blood pressure, you can be sure it's high.  Sleep comes at last, maybe good dreams, maybe bad, but at least distance from the endless list of "must do's."   My last thought before drifting off, and my first one when arising, are the same... Is this rat race really what life is supposed to be?   Please, slow down!  STOP!  I want more time to play and breathe!

Note: Not all days are this bad, but often this is how they go, and I am saddened by the way we hurtle through life at blinding speed, missing so much of the beauty and opportunities for interaction because we must run the race, there is little reprieve.  If we should live long enough - maybe someday we can opt out. But realistically, we all know that someday is not to be found in the days of the week. I keep looking for ways to break the cycle and make more room to breathe. 
 
~*~*~*~*~*~*~
This story was written for Two Shoes Tuesday
where the theme choices this week are breathe and spring

Two Shoes Tuesday #70 - Breathe or Spring

Two Shoes Tuesdsay
Welcome to Two Shoes Tuesday...  a place for those who love to write!

There are two word prompts to choose from... you can use whichever one inspires you. You are not required to include them both. You do not have to include the prompt word, but please use it as the theme for your post. You are welcome to write a post for each prompt word, if you like. Posts unrelated to either word prompt will be deleted from the link list.

Your contribution must be in the form of an original poem, essay, or short story (fiction or non-fiction), and it must be a new piece - not something drawn from your other writings or archives.

Your link must go directly to your post for Two Shoes Tuesday, and somewhere in the post you must provide a link to Two Shoes Tuesday.  It doesn't need to be big or fancy, just a text or logo link at the end of your post will be fine. You can add a link anytime through Saturday night. 

Please take some time to visit as many of the other TST participants as possible during the week, we all love feedback on our efforts!  Feel free to email me at jts.2000@yahoo.com if you have any questions.

The March 18th writing themes to choose from are breathe and spring

Thankful Thoughts - March 15th

Today I'm participating in Ten Things of Thankful, a weekly blog hop that asks us to "focus on the good things going on in your life by listing ten things you are thankful for..."   Sometimes I have some things in mind before I begin, sometimes I have collected "thankful bits" throughout the week to share here, and sometimes I just "wing-it", like today! :-)  Here goes...
 
1) I am thankful for the luxury of no alarm-clock on Saturdays, of being able to snuggle back under the covers after Papa Bear leaves for work and sleep a little longer, or catch up on Facebook,  WWF games, and the news on my phone. (I wonder when we will stop calling them that, I rarely make more than two  phone calls a day on my phone, but I use it a hundred times for everything else!)

It is heavenly to just lay there until I feel ready to begin the day.  Of course if I make even the slightest sound, my cats hear me and commence playing outside the bedroom door in attempts to call me out.  This morning it was a small can they had pulled from the trash and were using as a hockey puck on the hallway floor. Maybe there was a message in them using a cat food can? :-)

2) I am thankful that I've come up with a plan for my A-Z posts.  I'm going to do a series of "Six Sentences from My Soapbox"... little life lessons that won't take long to read or write, but will be fun to do.  Now I'm busy collecting alphabetical themes for each day. I won't have the post written ahead of time though, I'm just not that organized, and for me it would kind of take the  fun out of the process.

3) I am thankful for Notes on my phone. Wow, do I use that app! I have saved countless Post-It Notes and trees, and a great deal of frustration over a pitiful memory, by being able to instantly save all those random ideas, shopping lists, and bits of info.  I love that it automatically backs up to the iCloud too, just in case I someday lose my phone, though I haven't managed that trick yet, thankfully!

4) I loved watching and listening to Celtic Woman one night this week on the PBS Fundraiser.  Celtic Woman is an all-female Irish musical ensemble, and they are outstanding!  Papa Bear and I both love Celtic music, and the lively spirit with which they perform is so uplifting!  I was also much impressed by their clothing choices... gorgeous formal gowns that were flattering, attractive, and so very feminine.  How refreshing to see beautiful women, all with curves (not a skeleton in the bunch), dressed like ladies instead of "ladies of the night" as we so often see with performers now.  Sexy doesn't have to mean vulgar, and these ladies pulled that off with style!  If you ever get a chance to see them in concert... go, we surely will!

5) I am thankful for the wonderful cap we found for Papa Bear at the Scottish-Irish Faire last weekend.  The wool is woven and made into caps here in Killarney, Ireland and it suits him so very well, don't you think?  He's already received many compliments on it.  I am loving his beard as it grows longer too! He started growing it out from it's original close-trimmed look at my request for Christmas, and he has come to like it as well.  I think it will be staying! :-)
6) I am thankful for each day God gives us with Sophie.  She has lost so much weight, and I had to make her collar smaller recently. :-(  But she is still  bright-eyed, eats well, gets around well, and interacts well.  We will know when the time comes, but I'm glad it's not quite yet.  She is truly the sweetest little rescue kitty God ever made.  I wish we could clone her.  I am thankful that God chose us to give her a good and much-loved life.

7) I am thankful on behalf of all of us that Spring is almost here!  It has been one of the hardest winters in recent years in many parts of the country and we have had more than our share of cold too. There have been several beautiful days here lately, just right for taking my lunch to the little park a few blocks from where I work, a wonderful mental health break from the stresses of the day!

8) I am thankful for the new metal/glass table I found at Amazon which is 14" wide and 42" long and has a second shelf. It is going against the living room wall to become our "charging station".  Our wireless printer can go on top... along with a box for incoming mail and a kitty basket, since they will surely take it over as soon as it's assembled and in place.  (There is nothing cats love more that something new to sit in or on).  The second shelf will hold a handy little multiple-USB port charger box (also from Amazon), so that we can plug in our laptops, tablets and phones, and keep them charged and ready to go.  Right now we have them on assorted tables and floors and charging cords and power bars everywhere.  This will be much neater, and more convenient, and safer for our electronic toys too!  This is what the table looks like online...
9) I am thankful that that things are rarely as bad as I anticipate they will be.  It's funny how we let worry take up so much of our time and energy when there often little we can do in advance about the things that stress us!  Yesterday was one of my attorney/supervisor's last day, and it has been a hectic week as we prepared for her departure, as much as possible.  That was coupled with computer issues which took us out of action for half of one day and a couple hours the next, but still we got through it, and ended it on a pretty good note.  While I dread the coming weeks with more changes in the works, and surely a hundred phone calls asking why she left (as by law she was required to send out letters to her clients... a few hundred of them), I realize that day by day we will get through them and things will fall into place one way or another. 

10) I am thankful that despite the ups and downs and daily stresses, I can sit here and smile and say "I am blessed, my life is good!" After so many years of living in emotional turmoil, inner peace is a wonderful thing! I don't know what tomorrow will bring, but I know it will somehow be ok.
 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Ten Things of Thankful
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If you enjoy creative writing and want a place to share your efforts,
 join us for Two Shoes Tuesday this week!

Two Shoes Tuesday Prompts for the Coming Week

~TWO SHOES TUESDAY~
Stories, poems and essays - original fiction and non-fiction 
 Your choice of themes for Tuesday, March 18th are: 
breathe or spring
Find out more about Two Shoes Tuesday here! 
 
Put your thinking cap on and come and join us!
~~*~*~*~*~*~

Six Sentence Stories - On Hiatus


Six Sentence Stories
Six Sentence Stories is on hiatus for the time being.  I encourage you to share your writing efforts with us at Two Shoes Tuesday each week, and if the spirit moves you, write a six-sentence story for one of the prompts there.  You'll find that trying to tell a tale in short form is a fun challenge! :-)

Just A Spoon

When one thinks of keepsakes, things like jewelry come to mind - unique things, fancy things, expensive things... not things as simple as a wooden spoon.  And yet the wooden spoon pictured above is one of my most precious keepsakes. It is old and worn thin from use, and upon closer inspection you would see that it has a tiny chip on the front edge of the bowl and the beginning of a hairline crack.  I don't use it anymore, but I once did, as did my mother, and her mother before her! It is that history of women working in the kitchen that makes this spoon precious.

I do not know how old the spoon is, but very likely seventy-five years, and possibly more.  I don't know when my grandmother obtained it, if it was a wedding gift or something passed down to her, or just something she purchased out of necessity, but a necessity it was.  In the days before electric mixers most baking was done with the help of a wooden spoon. My mother learned cooking and baking skills by helping her mother, and my sisters and I in turned learned from her... starting when we were very small with simple tasks like sifting flour and helping to stir it into the batter with the wooden spoon. This spoon has been used and washed hundred and hundreds of times; it would be fun to have a list of all the things it's helped prepare, my favorite being mom's chocolate chip cookie recipe that is also one of my son's favorites now.

I have other wooden spoons that I use when baking, but they are cheaply made with round dowel handles and shallow bowls; they do not feel the same, and there is not the sense of tradition that came with using my mother's wooden spoon.  Hers is too fragile to use now, too precious to risk it splitting and breaking.  I brought it home with me when I returned from my mom's funeral in 1995, and it resides in a place of honor in our china cabinet along with her set of Desert Rose dishes. Long ago it was just an ordinary hard-working wooden spoon but now it is a treasured keepsake that stirs up precious memories in my heart.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~
This story was written for Two Shoes Tuesday
where the theme choices this week are lucky and keepsakeA

Two Shoes Tuesday #69 - Lucky or Keepsake

Two Shoes Tuesdsay
Welcome to Two Shoes Tuesday...  a place for those who love to write!

There are two word prompts to choose from... you can use whichever one inspires you. You are not required to include them both. You do not have to include the prompt word, but please use it as the theme for your post. You are welcome to write a post for each prompt word, if you like. Posts unrelated to either word prompt will be deleted from the link list.

Your contribution must be in the form of an original poem, essay, or short story (fiction or non-fiction), and it must be a new piece - not something drawn from your other writings or archives.

Your link must go directly to your post for Two Shoes Tuesday, and somewhere in the post you must provide a link to Two Shoes Tuesday.  It doesn't need to be big or fancy, just a text or logo link at the end of your post will be fine. You can add a link anytime through Saturday night. 

Please take some time to visit as many of the other TST participants as possible during the week, we all love feedback on our efforts!  Feel free to email me at jts.2000@yahoo.com if you have any questions.

The March 11th writing themes to choose from are lucky and keepsake

Thankful Thoughts - March 8th



Today I'm participating in Ten Things of Thankful, a weekly blog hop that asks us to "focus on the good things going on in your life by listing ten things you are thankful for..." 
 
It's been awhile since I've done TToT, not that I haven't had plenty to be thankful for.  I haven't really been doing a lot of blogging lately, just a few posts and stories here and there, not a lot of commenting either.  I have been so very exhausted, and the wind kind of got knocked out of my sails awhile back, or maybe it's the dreariness of gray winter days, but it's high time I get back in the saddle and start gearing up for the April A-Z Challenge, so this is a great place to start!
 
1) If you read my last post you know that there are big changes going on where I work, and things are going to get very interesting/challenging in the next few weeks.  Waiting to see what transpires is stressful to say the least.  So this morning as I sit down to read, write and play games online for a bit, little Toby, now four months old, races to my lap, climbs up my shirt as he always does, rubs his head against mine over and over, nuzzles underneath my chin, and finally settles on my shoulder with his motor rumbling in my ear.  He shuts his eyes, and I shut mine, and I am transported to a place of total peace, where time doesn't matter, work doesn't matter, and a house full of chores clamoring for attention don't matter.  It's just us, cat and human, connected by our love for each other and for life itself.  What a blessing this little love bug is to me... and he has chosen me to me his human, which is amazing since the other three kitties are all Daddy's girls.  :-)  Toby can be such a little terror when he is in "fully-charged" kitten mode, but he makes us shake our heads and laugh, and I know God sent him to me.
 
2) I am delighted and so thankful for the eager responses to my last TToT post where I noted that I love to play Words With Friends.  A few wonderful folks reached out to connect with me and present new challenges.  When life is stressful, nothing is nicer than the quick mini-breaks to think up a new word to play!
 
3) Yesterday was my Mom's 87th Birthday.  How I wish she were still alive to celebrate it with us! But something very wonderful has transpired in the last month or so that I know is the best gift we could give her.  This year I made it my goal to put more energy into my relationships with my husband, my children, and my two sisters.  I've written much I the past about the challenge interacting with my sisters can present, but I was determined to make things better between us, to re-open the lines of communication and caring, and God has blessed that intention mightily.  First, I took the brave step of adding both sisters to my Facebook, something I'd said in the past I would never do.  It's a big leap of  faith and trust on my part, and so far it's working out ok. I found out that my younger sister likes to play WWF, so we started playing daily.  Then I encouraged my older sister, who is a bit hesitant about trying newfangled computer things, to get on her laptop and play WWF with me too. It didn't take long for her to get up to speed and start enjoying the challenge, and of course the small chit-chat that goes on with messaging while we play is perfect for sharing our days without the issues that can occur with longer emails or phone calls.  Then, last night, I finally managed to convince my two sisters to connect with each other on FB and start playing WWF with each other too!  I'm still totally amazed that we are all getting along, at last, and I'd say that at 56, 60 and 62 years of age, it's about time!  Proceeding carefully and trusting God to make this work! :-)
 
4) John's boss gave us prime-seat tickets to "The Hendrix Experience" at the performing arts center here for tomorrow night.  This will be our first visit to the new center, and we're both excited about enjoying an evening of good "flashback" music and entertainment!
 
5) I got a small pay increase for my 2nd anniversary on the job. In light of company finances, this was surprising and very welcome.  Every bit helps make ends meet, and is motivational too!
 
6) Tomorrow one of John's friends has invited us out for Sunday Dinner.  That doesn't happen often, and I'm not a very social person, but this is a small-group setting, just the three of us, and it will be fun.  He's a talker, yes - even more than me, so we can sit back and enjoy the company, no pressure.  What a nice thing for him to do!
 
7) My daughter's on-again off-again relationship is on again and they seem more determined to make it work.  She is happiest when they are together, so I am happy for her.  He loves her cats and they love him, so that's an added plus. :-)
 
8) Today when Papa Bear gets off work we are going to Midland for the Scottish-Irish Faire!  It's a small indoor affair with lots of  Celtic merchandise booths, music, good food, and outstanding beer. Maybe I can talk my Scottish-Irish husband into buying a kilt this year.  Probably not, but he would be so cute in it! :-) 
 
9) A friend of ours who recently went thru a very painful break-up and divorce after being married since their teens has found a new friend that is making him smile a lot these days... he is happier than we've seen him in years.  This is wonderful because just a few months back he was really struggling  to survive the break up and we were really worried about him.  Life goes on, it always does!
 
10) Today is International Women's Day.  I am thankful to be a woman in a country where I have the freedom to be all that I want to be and all that I can be. Equality? Maybe not, but so much better than it is for women in some countries.  I thank God for that, and hope we will all join together to promote the causes of women round the world!
 
"Here's to strong women... may we know them... may we be them... may we raise them!"
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Ten Things of Thankful
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If you enjoy creative writing and want a place to share your efforts,
 join us for Two Shoes Tuesday this week!

Two Shoes Tuesday Prompts for the Coming Week

~TWO SHOES TUESDAY~
Stories, poems and essays - original fiction and non-fiction 
 Your choice of themes for Tuesday, March 11th are: 
lucky or keepsake
Find out more about Two Shoes Tuesday here! 
 
Put your thinking cap on and come and join us!

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Note: SIX SENTENCE STORIES is currently on hiatus but I encourage you to try your hand at writing a six-sentence story for Two Shoes Tuesday this week - it's a fun challenge!

Here It Comes Again

In the last forty years I have worked at seven different jobs, all for multiple years, one for nineteen. In each place there has been at least one change of leadership or ownership, sometimes for better sometimes for worse, but always causing a great deal of stress and upheaval. Sometimes I chose to ride it out, sometimes I chose to move on.  Now, very suddenly but not unexpectedly, I am again facing this situation.  Change comes much harder at sixty than it did at thirty or forty, and I am indecisive about staying or going; there are pros and cons to both.  I can't help but wonder what lesson it is that I am supposed to be learning from all of these work transitions, and I hope I get it figured out this time.

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This post was written for Six Sentence Stories
where the theme this week is lesson.  Join us!

Six Sentence Stories #29 - Lesson

Six Sentence Stories
Welcome to Six Sentence Stories...  a place for storytellers who enjoy the challenge of keeping it short and sweet - a place that includes a sense of community, interaction, and encouragement - where everyone will feel welcome to join in and develop their storytelling skills. Even if you've never done it before, give it a try! :-)

Early each Thursday morning I'll put up a new Six Sentence Stories theme post, and then you'll have a week to write a six sentence story to share.  The rules to this writing prompt are simple... 1) Your post must be in story form, either fiction or non-fiction.  2) It must relate to the theme, though you don't have to use the prompt word in your story.  3) It must be a new original piece, not something borrowed or from your archives.  4) It must be exactly six sentences long, using standard sentence structure. In other words, stringing one sentence on forever and ever is probably not in best form.  5) The link you add must go directly to your 6SS post.  6) Somewhere on your post you must provide a link to Six Sentence Stories.  It doesn't need to be big or fancy, just a text or logo link at the end of your story will be fine.  Posts that fail to adhere to these rules will be deleted from the link list out of fairness to those that do.

If you're curious to know next week's prompt ahead of time, it will be posted on the 6SS tab at the top of my blog on Friday night along with being announced in a special blog post on Saturday.

Please take time to visit as many of the other Six Sentence Stories participants as possible by the end of the week, we all love feedback on our efforts!  Feel free to email me at jts.2000@yahoo.com if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.

Our 6SS theme for the Week of Mar. 6th - 12th is: "lesson"

Carry On

In life there is no back button, no undo, no return to the place from whence we came. We have but two choices, to imprison ourselves in the moment and hide in the corner, which is to wither and eventually die inside... or to carry on. 
 
When the above bit of clever food art first appeared on the Internet, I was drawn not only to it's charm, but also to the message it illustrates so clearly... it is up to us to carry ourselves onward. It is my belief, a belief that I have come to understand gradually over many years of picking up the pieces of my life and cobbling them back together as best as I could into some sort of usable form, that we have within us the strength and ability to weather any storm, to survive any catastrophe, to endure any agony.  We have that tiny spark of light... soul, that connects us to the Greatness and to boundless love and energy that are encompassed in the realm of God.  Faith is our recharger, hope is what gives us the courage to plug ourselves in.
 
We ARE stronger than we think, we are more durable and more resilient than we have come to believe.  It doesn't have to be pretty, we don't always dance in the rain; more often we slog through the mud and arrive with scratches and tangled hair, and one shoe missing. It isn't easy, life ISN'T easy.  I don't trust anyone who says it is.  But in the many times that were so dark and desperate that I was quite certain I couldn't make it another day, and was even more certain that I didn't want to, something inside me clicked into gear and locked me in tight to the Power Source of life - even as I denied it's existence.  I didn't really want to give up, I wanted desperately to believe there was even a tiny bit of hope that life could at some point right itself and be better than what I had known.  As the old adage says "When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on."  Yes, hold on tight to the lesson you've already learned... that you WILL make it through that night, and the next day... and the next week... and the next month... you always have before - you are still here,  and you will again. 
 
Make the choice to carry on... to make it through the next moment, and then the next hour, and then the next day.  Situations have an amazing way of changing, or at least of changing our perspective, often in just a few days.  What seemed insurmountable or unbearable two days ago, we become less intimidating if we give it time.  Don't give in to panic and desperate acts.  Breathe, put one foot in front of the other, reach out to those who are also on the journey... and carry on. 
 
When I look back now, from a sixty year perspective, I realize that eventually I always found my way, and I know that no matter what life brings, by the grace of God I always will.   
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This story was written for Two Shoes Tuesday
where the theme choices this week are carry and coincidence

Two Shoes Tuesday #68 - Carry or Coincidence

Two Shoes Tuesdsay
Welcome to Two Shoes Tuesday...  a place for those who love to write!

There are two word prompts to choose from... you can use whichever one inspires you. You are not required to include them both. You do not have to include the prompt word, but please use it as the theme for your post. You are welcome to write a post for each prompt word, if you like. Posts unrelated to either word prompt will be deleted from the link list.

Your contribution must be in the form of an original poem, essay, or short story (fiction or non-fiction), and it must be a new piece - not something drawn from your other writings or archives.

Your link must go directly to your post for Two Shoes Tuesday, and somewhere in the post you must provide a link to Two Shoes Tuesday.  It doesn't need to be big or fancy, just a text or logo link at the end of your post will be fine. You can add a link anytime through Saturday night. 

Please take some time to visit as many of the other TST participants as possible during the week, we all love feedback on our efforts!  Feel free to email me at jts.2000@yahoo.com if you have any questions.

The March 4th writing themes to choose from are carry and coincidence