Time Out

 
I'm taking a much needed break from blogging,
I'll be back when life settles down a bit.
 
In the mean time I'll be checking out some of your posts, 
and I'll be hanging out at Facebook as usual.
 
If you've enjoyed writing for Two Shoes Tuesday
Please participate in Six Sentence Stories at Ivy's blog -
It's easy and it's fun!
 
~*~*~*~*~*~

Coloring - Not Just for Kids

At one time I supervised the reception staff at a non-profit agency.  One of our receptionists who was near fifty had experienced a rough childhood and occasionally those memories would surface.  One day while discussing kids and school supplies, she noted sadly that she never had a brand new box of crayons.  Such a little thing, but symbolic of so many things that she went without, including nurturing relationships. 
 
I remember shopping for school supplies each Fall so fondly, and that box containing a rainbow of bright colors all perfectly pointed helped fuel the excitement for the coming term.  I decided that it was long since time to rectify this situation for our receptionist, and on her next birthday she received her very first box of 64 brand new crayons, along with some wonderful adult coloring books with beautiful designs.  She cried.  It is so often the little things that matter the most.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~
This story was written for Two Shoes Tuesday here at my blog
where the prompts this week are Crayon and Crash
 
Tomorrowlady

Two Shoes Tuesday #135 - Crayon or Crash

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 next Monday. 

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 June 16th writing themes to choose from are:

CRAYON or CRASH

Please remember that the THEME of your post must be based on the prompt
 you choose, rather than it just appearing as a word somewhere in your post!

In the Face of Danger

~Photo Credit~
We are often told that fear is irrational, but I don't think that is always true. There are legitimate concerns about things we might be afraid of, things that are happening or could happen in our lives... fear of the loss of a job, or a loved one. Fear that someone we care about in in a situation in which they might be harmed.  Fear of what the future will hold as we grow older, what medical issues we may have to deal with, and if we will have enough income to meet our basic needs. 

That's just a small, off-the-cuff list, there are many more potential dangers and legitimate reasons for fear.  Legitimate to me means things that could realistically happen, as opposed to irrational fears like the odds of a meteor crashing through the roof of my house or a serial killer showing up on my doorstep.

Sometimes if we start thinking about bad things that could happen to us or the people we love, anxiety kicks in and it becomes hard to breathe.  Our mind dwells on it and it becomes hard to sleep at night or focus on our tasks during the day.  Our relationships begin to suffer because we are preoccupied with fear.  If we give into it, fear can rapidly become overwhelming.

I've given a lot of thought to what we can do about fears that threaten to take over our lives and destroy our inner peace.  For me, the answer is a simple, even though I sometimes need to remind myself when I feel my level of anxiety start to grow...  I believe that there is a power/force greater than I, which is loving and wants what is best for us, and I believe in the power of prayer.  "Let go, let God" in whatever terms you want to use.  We have to surrender the things we have no control over and focus on the things that we do.  We may or may not be able to prevent some bad things from happening, but we can pray for protection, for guidance, for courage, and for peaceful hearts.  That way we will have the strength we need to deal with any fears that actually do become realities, remembering always that we are never left alone, we will always be surrounded by God's love to see us through.
~*~*~*~*~*~
I'm linking up with Patricia's blog hop In Other Words
 where the creative writing prompt this week is the following quotation:
 
"Danger is real, fear is a choice."
- Will Smith

 

Thankful Thoughts - June 13, 2015


1. This has been a week of life challenges for a couple people that are important in my life.  I am thankful that I have learned in sixty years that we do survive what at times feels so overwhelming, and we come through on the other side stronger and ready to take on the next obstacle.  We need to remember that we have survived everything life has thrown at us so far and have an inborn ability to overcome.
 
2.  I am thankful that Papa Bear and I had a wonderful long-weekend in Ruidoso for his birthday.  It was green and beautiful, and the mountain air smells so fresh!  The break from our work routine did us both a lot of good.  Being away together is my favorite thing always.  I posted the following birthday photo of him on my Facebook page which garnered the most likes of any of my posts ever, much to his pleasure.  I tell him that's because I am such a good promoter, letting people know what an awesome guy he is!
 
3.  I am thankful for the new coworker at our office, bringing our team back to three once again.  Ideally we need four and have had that at times in the past, but we've also been struggling along with just two of us for awhile now so I am overjoyed that a little of that overwhelming burden has been lifted.  She learns quickly and isn't afraid to pitch in and get to work.  Hoping she'll decide to stay! She is also an intelligent conversationalist, which I enjoy - I'm not good at trivial chit-chat.
 
4.  At the moment I have four of my five furkids gathered around me within hand's reach.  How I love when we share our quiet time together!  The fifth one is snoozing happily on the cat tree.  If only we could all nap whenever the urge strikes us!  I am thankful for each and every one of them and the joy they bring to our house.
 
5.  Someone that matters to me found the strength and courage to break free from an unhappy,  opportunistic relationship this week, with much cheering from her friends and supporters on all sides.  I know how hard it is to make that move and stand firm with it, so I am extra proud of her for realizing that this isn't what she wants for her life or her future, she deserves so much more!
 
6.  I am thankful for good vision insurance at work and some gift money from my son which enabled me to order a new pair of glasses this morning.  Trifocals are so blasted expensive!  I really like the new frames I picked out - see below (please ignore unwashed Saturday hair), I was never really happy with the last ones I chose.  I've been wearing wire-rims for the past 40 years, so this is quite a change. They are plastic all the way around, the bottom half is just lighter in color, and there are rhinestones on the bows.  You know how I love things that sparkle! :-) They will be ready in 7-10 days, can't wait!
 
7.  I am thankful for the beautiful view we have of summer storms. I love their raw power!  Living in such a flat, rural area, we can see the storm clouds build up and roll in, watch the downpours and lightning bolts streak across the sky, and feel grateful when they move on without doing any major damage.  We have had such an unusual amount of rain this year with more looking likely for today, it's nice to keep that West Texas dust settled. 
 
8.  I am thankful and happy when I take a risk with sharing a story on my blog that I'm not certain others will relate to or like, and it garners a positive response.  Sometimes I am doubtful about the quality of my efforts, and surprisingly those often seem to be the ones that go over well.
 
9.  I say this every summer, but I am so thankful for air-conditioning in our vehicles, home and office.  Days are already hitting the 100 degree mark here and will soon be much hotter, and heat makes me so sick.  It is awesome to be able to escape that.  I often wonder how it is that it didn't seem to bother us so much when we were growing up and a couple fans were all the A/C that existed. While it wasn't quite this hot in South Dakota, it was certainly humid and sticky at times, and I remember it being hard to get to sleep on warm summer nights.  Here it cools down nicely after dark.
 
10.  I am so very thankful for the friends and family in my life that don't judge me or voice their opinions on what I am or am not.  It is hard to deal with the criticism of people who don't really understand me, and are basing their opinions on what they think they see on the surface.  Although it can be easy to forget, it's best if we keep such opinions to ourselves unless asked, and our judgments to the very minimum.  When someone misjudges me, it reminds me of how hurtful that is and that I shouldn't be doing it to others.  If you can't say something positive, just keep it to yourself! :-)
~*~*~*~*~*~*~
I'm linking up with Lizzi
at Considerings for Ten Things of Thankful ... 
Drop by, check out the awesome posts, and add a list of your own!

Ten Things of Thankful

Two Shoes Tuesday Prompts for June 16th

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 next Monday. 

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 June 16th writing themes to choose from are:

CRAYON or CRASH

Please remember that the THEME of your post must be based on the prompt
 you choose, rather than it just appearing as a word somewhere in your post!

Checklist

1. Hot shower - check.
2. Clean pair of coveralls - check.
3. Ribeye steak dinner and apple pie - check.
4. Visit with mom - check.
5. Prayers with the padre - check.
6. Time to take that final walk - let's go.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~
I'm linking up with Six Sentence Stories
now at its new home on Ivy Walker's blog "Uncharted"
where the cue this week is "CHECK"

One Place, Many Stories

~Photo courtesy of  Papa Bear~
We just returned from a long weekend in Ruidoso, New Mexico located in the Sierra Blanca mountain range.  It's a beautiful area. While there, we made a twenty mile drive to one of the most intriguing places I know... Fort Stanton.

Fort Stanton was built in 1855 to protect settlements along the Bonito River from the Mescalero Apaches who inhabited the area.  Kit Carson,  Gen. John "Black Jack" Pershing, Billy the Kid and the Buffalo Soldiers of the 9th Calvary all resided here at one time or another.  

Union soldiers occupied the fort during the early stages of the Civil War, abandoning it to Confederate forces in 1861.  The retreating soldiers tried to burn the fort but rain extinguished the fire.  The Confederates completed the destruction when they left after a month's occupation.  Fort Stanton then stood vacant for nearly a year until the New Mexican Volunteers reoccupied the fort and rebuilt it following the war.

After closure as an Army post, Fort Stanton served as Civilian Conservation Corps camp, and as a WWII internment camp for German Merchant Seaman who did much to improve the grounds.

In 1953 Fort Stanton was given to the State of New Mexico and used as a Tuberculosis Hospital.  It then it served as a state hospital for the developmentally handicapped from 1960 to 1996. Following that it was briefly used as low-security woman's prison, and then housed several rehabilitation programs for drug and alcohol offenders and at-risk youth.

In 1997 Ft. Stanton was designated a State Historical Monument and Museum. Work is now ongoing to restore and  preserve several of the 88 buildings on the 240-acre site.  Much has been done since we visited the fort four years ago.  There is a wonderful Visitors Center and we were able to tour several buildings which were not previously open to the public.  The building pictured above served as officers quarters.  My favorite building is the Catholic Chapel pictured below. 

While the history of Fort Stanton is in itself fascinating, even moreso is the variety of people who occupied the fort at one time or another.  Marriages took place; children were born and attended school here. Many people also died here over the years; they are interred in the nearby cemetery.

Fort Stanton is in an isolated area with only a small two-lane highway passing by.  It is a place of quiet and great beauty, and there is a prevailing sense of peace,  yet one can almost sense the presence of many spirits who yet reside here.  I asked the museum curator who lives on the grounds along with other employees about ghost stories.  He smiled and admitted that there are some but he is not allowed to share them, nor do they permit paranormal investigators, desiring instead to attract visitors who want to learn about incredible multi-layered history of this place.  While I am curious about the spirits in residence, I have to agree - let's keep it a respectful memorial for future generations to experience.
~Photo courtesy of  Papa Bear~
~*~*~*~*~*~*~
This story was written for Two Shoes Tuesday here at my blog
where the prompts this week are One and Wonder
 
Tomorrowlady

Two Shoes Tuesday #134 - One or Wonder

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 next Monday. 

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 June 9th writing themes to choose from are:

ONE or WONDER

Please remember that the THEME of your post must be based on the prompt
 you choose, rather than it just appearing as a word somewhere in your post!

Shut the Door

~Image Credit~
Deciding that it's time to end a relationship is one of the toughest decisions you will ever make. When you have invested not only time and effort but your heart as well, it is so difficult to come to the realization that what you once had, or thought you had, or wished you had, is no longer there. We tend to get stuck in the rut of what is familiar.  Even a bad situation feels safer than the unknown beyond the door. 

We sometimes reach a point where we have existed in a bad relationship for so long that we become oblivious to how destructive it really is, it begins to feel like the norm.  But deep down there is always that little voice that whispers "You are better than this, you deserve so much more."

Having been in that place more than once in my life, I can tell you that the amount of courage it takes to make the decision to walk out the door is nothing compared to the courage it will take to make a new life for yourself, and to explore new relationships when you are ready.  They thing you need to know is that your heart knows when something is lost beyond the point of recovery and it is time to move on, it is part of the survival instinct. Listen to your heart.

Life is like a series of stories in which you are the main character.  When you finish one relationship, you put that book down, and then you pick up the next to discover what your next adventure is going to be. You can't begin the new book until you put down the old one.  I can assure you that one volume of your story ending does not mean that the world is ending or that our life is ending - even if it feels like your heart is breaking and part of you secretly wishes you could die.  You will survive this!

If you are in a place where you know that your relationship is destructive and making you unhappy, end that story and put down the book.  There's a whole new story about to begin for you, it's just waiting for you to walk through the door and close it behind you.  It is not the end, it's the beginning... and life most assuredly goes on. 

~*~*~*~*~*~
I'm linking up with Patricia's blog hop In Other Words
 where the creative writing prompt this week was the following quotation:
 
"Every exit is an entry somewhere else."
- Tom Stoppard

 

Two Shoes Tuesday Prompts for June 9th

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 next Monday. 

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 June 9th writing themes to choose from are:

ONE or WONDER

Please remember that the THEME of your post must be based on the prompt
 you choose, rather than it just appearing as a word somewhere in your post!

Off Balance


~Image Source~

Cherie had been working both low and high balance beams since she was a young girl and could do it blindfolded, but lately her timing was off, and she knew that losing her balance had more to do with her mindset than where she placed her feet.
 
Her relationship with her boyfriend of seven years had recently ended when she spotting him walking out of her best friend's apartment early one morning.  Then the corporate sponsor of the gymnastics school she operated for disadvantaged youth cancelled their funding citing the deterioration of the neighborhood where the school was located.
 
Up until now working out on the balance beams had been Cherie's therapy and her saving grace, but tonight when she lost her balance and fell to the floor she couldn't find the desire to get back up on the beam, so she sat there in a crumpled heap crying.
 
That's how the striking young man in the gray tailored suit found her when he entered the empty gym.  Bending down to offer Cherie his hand, he lifted her gently to her feet and said, "I'm Edgar from the new whole foods distribution center on the South Side, and I wanted to talk with you about the possibility of our company doing a promotional campaign featuring your school."
 
~*~*~*~*~*~*~
I'm linking up with Six Sentence Stories
now at its new home on Ivy Walker's blog "Uncharted"
where the cue this week is "BEAMS"
Please come and join us with a six-sentence fiction or non-fiction tale of your own!

Junk


As I sat down to write for this week's "Two Shoes Tuesday" and "Wednesday Wit and Wisdom", I remembered that I'd written a good story about junk for the original "Sunday Scribblings" several years ago. This is a repost of that story from October 2009...

Todd found Elisabeth sitting on the floor of the spare bedroom they used for storage. Next to her was an old battered suitcase he'd seen her looking thru at least a dozen times before. Contents of the suitcase scattered around her on the floor, Todd could tell that Elisabeth was somewhere far away, lost in her memories.

She didn't notice him standing in the doorway watching her as she picked up items one by one - an old postcard, an empty perfume bottle, a faded man's handkerchief, a tarnished locket, a battered pocket-size New Testament, a ragged piece of fabric that looked like might have been a baby blanket at one time, a small teddy bear with a missing eye, and at least a dozen other things that looked more like trash than treasures to him.

Elisabeth touched them gently, caressing them and holding them close to her heart as if they held some magical power. It seemed like every time they'd had an argument, and there had been a lot of them lately, Todd would find her here going thru this stuff. He'd asked her about it once, when they were moving and trying to pare down the stack of belongings going with them. But she'd cut him off short with a glare, "Drop it... it goes."

Elisabeth wasn't one to open up about her past, but Todd was growing impatient with this suitcase ritual. "Good grief" he exclaimed, startling her as she became aware of his presence. "It's just a bunch of crap, a pile of junk. Why don't you get over it and get rid of it?"

She looked up at him with more coldness in her eyes than he'd ever seen before. It scared him and he backed off. "Fine, just sit here with your suitcase full of garbage and stare off into space" he snapped, "I'm going out", and with that he stomped down the hallway, grabbed his keys from the hook, and slammed the door.

A tear rolled down Elisabeth's face, and then another and another. If only he could understand that this beat-up old suitcase held all that remained of what once was her life - before the fire that took her Mom and her baby brother, before her Dad became a raging alcoholic and hung himself one night... and now Elisabeth feared that she was losing Todd too.
 
~*~*~*~*~*~*~
This story was written for Two Shoes Tuesday here at my blog
where the prompts this week are Jumble and Junk
 
at Senior Adventures
Tomorrowlady

Two Shoes Tuesday #133 - Jumble or Junk

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 next Monday. 

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 June 2nd writing themes to choose from are:

JUMBLE or JUNK

Please remember that the THEME of your post must be based on the prompt
 you choose, rather than it just appearing as a word somewhere in your post!