Monthly Archives: April 2012

Restoration, Rainbow Trout and Friends I’ve Never Met

gone fishin'

So there you have it. My hand holding my new fishing rod and enjoying every minute of it. I took off on Wednesday, April 18th, for the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. I wished for restoration like in Psalm 23: “He leads me beside the still waters.He restores my soul.” God gave it to me.

Ever since I can remember, trout fishing has been one of my favorite pastimes. At one point in my life I was lucky enough to live in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains and went fishing every day I possibly could. I had just been through a series of difficult times in my life, and God restored my soul each day I sat with pole in hand, marveling at the wonders of nature. I watched a family of baby ducks grow up, saw the seasons change from fall to winter to spring and felt that I had learned several very important lessons.

These last four days helped me put some things into perspective in my life and get a renewed energy toward finishing my book. I’ve needed that for a long time now. I’m looking forward to getting it done!

Everyone needs restoration time. And we don’t necessarily have to get away to get it. If we set our minds right, we can rest from our busy lives just about anytime we want.  But we have to REALLY want to do that. Otherwise, it’s useless.

Time was when I would have done nothing but fished. My passion would have been my obsession. But I have changed. Now I can exercise my passion and leave myself open to opportunities of the moment at the same time. And as a result, my trip had many facets: fishing, meeting new people, cooking at the condo and eating out, reading, sitting quietly without reading or watching tv or doing anything, praying, meditating and more. I’m glad I didn’t lose those things by spending all my time trying to catch my favorite fish.

As a result, I did catch one fish, which was more than anyone else caught. 🙂

What do you do to restore yourself?

On this trip I stayed in a modern condominium with all the comforts of home, met some friends I hadn’t met yet, ate some tasty treats, and visited an historic general store.

Old post office at Mast General Store, Valle Crucis, NC

500 types of old-fashioned (mostly) candy



Filed under Travel, Uncategorized

Starting Over…If I Can Do It, So Can You!

Up, up and away! Photo by me 🙂

Writing: my hope, my dream, my nemesis, my muse. I had my first story published when I was eight years old. It was about a water moccasin in the toilet. The local paper published it, and I was a proud writer. And then, it got sidetracked — that dream of mine — to be a full-time writer. It went off course because of getting married at a very young age, moving out of California to the South, supporting my husband’s career instead of my own, and mostly because I didn’t believe enough in myself in order to work at making my dream come true.

Then, in 1997, it happened. I saw a commercial with Magic Johnson. “If you do one thing toward your goal every day, at the end of a year you’ll have done 365 things.” Or something like that. Bingo. Hotter than heck light bulb goes on. Serendipity. Inspiration. And YES – my muse started working overtime for the first time ever. Within a month I was published. Within a year, I was making pretty good money writing. During that year, I went to South Korea to teach English for the first time.

The trip and living in another culture  inspired my muse even more. Plenty of subjects to write about. Lots of time to write. Success comes in the form of published work, both in the United States, on the internet and in Korea itself for the Korea Times, Seoul’s English language newspaper.

Then back to the United States in 1998. I move back to the South to be near my only grandson, who is one and one-half years old  at the time. What a sweetie pie he was (and still is). And writing. Yes, yes, YES! I am a full-time freelance writer and editor, adding credit after credit to my resume.

And then it all falls down, like the proverbial Humpty-Dumpty sliding down the hill. Clients don’t pay, I get depressed and more. I go back to South Korea and that falls apart as well. “What is happening to me,” I scream at my God. “ARE YOU LISTENING? HELPPPPPP.” I go back to South Korea and learn valuable lessons there.

And God does help, but not in the way I thought he would. I come back to the U.S. and do some writing for a content mill and am frustrated the whole time with the complete idiocy of the editors the mill selected. They mangle my work, add more mistakes (my writing is usually pretty much error free, and suppress my style.

More changes. Now I am ill, so ill I can’t work. This lasts for more than two years. In the hospital, out of the hospital, one thing after another, aches and pains all over, and I feel as if I am aging so fast and so prematurely that life hardly seems worth living.

Finally feeling better now. Thank you again, God.

And that, my friends, brings you up to date (without ALL the details) on my life. And HERE I AM.

So now, I’m starting my writing career over, because all my really good credits are a few years old. But it’s okay. Starting over is better than not starting at all.

What do you need to start over? Do you need to quit smoking or drinking so you’ll be healthier? Is there a relationship that you need to work on without blaming the other person for the problems in the relationship? Are you sick and tired of your career and need to start a new one? Do you need to lose weight so you can walk up stairs better or fit into clothes you really want to wear? No matter what it is, you can start over. If I can do it, so can you!


Filed under Behavior

My Mind Was Waiting on the Bedpost This Morning

Lovely tree in front of my home

So, I woke up this morning only to find my mind waiting on the bedpost of my four-poster bed. I’m not sure which one it was on, because it went to work so quickly that I didn’t even have time to wipe the sleep out of my eyes.

A couple of weeks ago, I read an article about making sure to think happy thoughts for the last five minutes before you go to sleep. I am usually praying then, so that hasn’t been a problem. What I need is a magic bullet to shoot my mind off the bedpost as I wake up! Why?

Because my mind is not always my friend. I’ve learned this the hard way over the years. My mind likes to instantly go to the worries or the negativity or the confusion in my life. And, by the time I realize what’s happening, it’s too late. Bingo. I win the prize for negative energy first thing in the morning or for consummate grumpiness when waked up from a nap. This is why I now usually turn off my phone when I sleep. I figure if there’s an emergency, I can find out after I wake up.

Anyway, back to my mind not being my friend. I think overall that I am a positive person. I look on the bright side when the world kicks me in the shin, try to find the good in all people I meet even after being betrayed, and love to hear people laugh when my quirky sense of humor jumps out. So why do I let my mind convince me in the morning that a) nothing will work out as planned that day; b) even if it does work out as planned, it will probably be awful; or c) I’m really not a good person after all?

One thing I’ve learned is that everyone has times like these. Not everyone admits it, and some people deny it, but nobody can be positive ALL the time. It goes against us being human. Thank goodness my mind doesn’t grab my attention in a negative way every day. I’ve been working on ways to defeat it.

1). Start petting my kitty and telling her how beautiful she is and how much I love her. A cat will do in the absence of my next true love;

2). Make a gratitude list in my head. Being grateful and having things on a list helps put everything else in perspective; and

3). Say my morning prayers right away when my mind starts. Nothing like talking to God first thing.

What do you do when your mind is waiting on the bedpost?


Filed under Feelings, Uncategorized