Category Archives: Uncategorized

Eyes for new widget

You can blink all you want to while I try to get the widget for Every Child Can Bloom working so  you can see the inside pages. It’s a crazy way to do business, and every step of the way has taken time, time, time and has made me feel very stupid.  The last step, the code, hasn’t worked for days, so I called Bowker today.  They have no power due to the storm.  Sounds like me in my office: no power due to the storm of stupidity floating around. But then, wait a minute, I’m not really stupid, just stymied. Anyway, keep blinking, and one day soon you will be able to see the way Homer made my words readable and colorful. His design is worth all this effort so you can see it.

On other fronts, sorry about the power outages, and hope everyone has snowboards. If not, try a cardboard box laid out flat or pull your child around on a shovel; the handle makes for easy pulling.

Laugh of the Day

I am still laughing over a junk email I get almost every day. Usually I delete pronto, but today just reading the sale line, “Protect and Beautify your Garage Floor,” gave me a vision of the garage I had just left. I thaw! My garage freezer holds food for the month. Surrounding the freezer are (in no order whatsoever) a bicycle with two flat tires, an unused treadmill, a spare power wheelchair that barely works, a couple of wheelchair batteries, a wall of garden tools and some antique garden tools from my Dad’s garage, shelves of everything,  a table top, extra kitchen chair, bird food, squirrel food, etc., etc. You get the idea.  See why I am sitting here laughing at the thought that I would beautify my garage floor which in my book translates to sweeping the leaves out the door. Well, it IS spring, so maybe we will do some spring cleaning as soon as we find the broom. I think it fell down behind the freezer some time ago.

The Long Road Home Romance Series

Long Road HomeFrederika from my young adult historical novel had more romance in her bones than I knew, and The Reluctant Immigrant is now one of four books in a single volume of a romance series. Available November 1, The Long Road Home Romance Series features Mandy, who didn’t expect to be left alone in the wilds of Indiana, Bess  a prostitute growing up in the unsettled West, Deidre, a runaway slave looking for her husband who had been sold away, and Frederika who didn’t want to leave Germany to come to the wilds of Texas. Each of the four discovered love on the frontier.

Available in paperback: Amazon,  $ 12.80

Kindle: Amazon, $9.99

Tooth Varnish

Had my teeth varnished today. Yep, She did it with a tiny, little paint brush right after she cleaned my teeth. Apparently, the special varnish absorbs into the “pores” or something like that of the teeth, thus making the enamel stronger.  It better work. Tastes terrible for overnight. Never heard of tooth varnish, so I had a first today. Wise in ways-of-life coaches tell us we should try something brand new often to keep us young. I feel younger already.

Naomi Mitchum’s Retirement

A surprise king size retirement party is plannned to celebrate my 19 years of service at Chapelwood United Methodist Church, Houston, Texas. During that time I worked to make our church accessible in mental environment as well as ramps and other architectural features. From the disability taskforce came Signs of Grace, and with the help of the taskforce we started a group for adults with functional challenges that has grown from 4 to 60 and we have added a teen group that numbers over 35. When our groups outgrew their one room facility, the generous church build a master room/wing to house them, and we have now outgrown that wing. Other programs are now featured, each with a director. It has all been  a team effort, so I’m really humbled by a party celebrating ME. Anyway, can’t wait to see what is in store, since I know the drama group has been preparing, and how could I not overhear the drum group practicing. I’m taking a crying towel. Stay tuned.

Mary MielkeTribute

Yesterday in Wasilla, Alaska, Mary Mielke’s family celebrated her continued spiritual life and her physical life on earth. She was my best friend and sister. We were railroad kids living next to the MKT switching yard and roundhouse where we heard thumps and bumps that reverberated in the walls of the house and startled us awake at night. Mary and I didn’t mind, but the noise drove our mother crazy.

Mary and I took turns practicing. Her piano specialties were Chopin, Kitten on the Keys and Beer Barrel Polka, and my violin specialties were scritches and scratches until I got the hang of it. Mary taught me the basics of playing the piano after each of her lessons, so although I am self-taught, I was first Mary-taught. For many years, Mary played the piano and organ for  her Pioneer Bible Church, but nixed the Beer Barrel Polka.


Mary always had a cat wrapped around her neck or under her arm, she hatched eggs in her electric skillet, she nursed an injured fawn and she nursed all animals, finally graduating to people. She delivered a baby at the front door of Bethany Hospital where she was working as a medical technologist.

Mary nursed, tugged and pulled me through college chemistry while we both prayed that I would just pass. I did, but she was embarrassed because she made all A’s in organic, qualitative and quantitative analysis chemistries. As a certified and gifted medical technologist, she became assistant to a well known clinical pathologist. That era of her career ended when handsome David Mielke swept her away to California.


She became a master party giver for all kinds of groups including many of her Sunday school classes for which she bought a soft serve ice cream machine and a pop corn machine. Her garage is stuffed (I do mean stuffed) with Christian education materials she purchased to make her classes more fun plus boxes of prizes for attendance and certain learning goals.

One of the amazing things is that Mary lived to be eighty-five since she drove like a wild woman, wearing out a set of tires a year (sometimes less). I counted 39 hairpin curves between Mary’s mountain ranch and the main highway, and most of them have Mary’s tire marks in perpetuity. In the high school band hall, one of Ivan’s friends asked him if he had seen his mother next to her car down a certain ravine. Well, he hadn’t but the rescue people found her. Car was a little messed up, but Mary ‘s guardian angel saw to it that she didn’t have a scratch. We think she slowed down on that curve.


Sometimes Mary’s hurry in driving was to get to a sale at the Toy Store in Placerville before other people got there for the sale. Her grandkids were the light of her life, and her closets were stuffed with boxes waiting to be mailed.

Mary was fun, and she was good, and she was generous. She was bookkeeper for her church and a master of casseroles and apple pies. She was faithfully cared for by her boys, and isn’t here to say thank you, so I say it for her. Good job, faithful servants and children.



Googlesymptomitis Considered

Lack of information from doctors these days can drive you to google almost any symptom or medical procedure often with terrifying or hilarious results.


I googled a 2 D Echeo test of my heart and came up with this,”A Negative test is not always an indicator for euthanasia.” Yipes! Then I noticed the site was one with the title Vet in the middle.  Glad I’m not a dog.  I was recently removed from an experimental 4 Aminopyradine  drug for multiple sclerosis, and, with a lack of information about withdrawal, I googled it.  “Direct effects can be paw pinch and skin shrinkage,”  I googled paw-pinch, and found out that it is a dog thing. So I don’t have paw-pinch. You never know about some of these crazy terms.  Lots of information out there, some of it correct, some of it from a foreign country with poor language and primitive ideas, some from other sources that are helpful, but care is needed to read the site name and take information with a grain of the well known salt.


It would be so easy if doctors would take a few minutes to answer questions, but since most don’t, thank you, Google.


Google with good sense.



Green Time

Today is spring. I know this because the many trees in our backyard look green not with leaves but with green  buds or green branch-fur much like the fur on a deer’s antlers. Just a hint of green!


Leon Hale, Houston Chronicle columnist, often wrote about going south to meet spring. He had his little tests for spring, and I have mine from a different viewpoint. My wheelchair has a tilt back feature that lets me look up to see minute pretties the average person can’t see. If they tilted back that far to look, they would fall over.


My backyard pet squirrels are also telling me it is spring when I see them optimistically dig up most of the peanuts I gave them during the fall and winter, and they are chasing each other with gleams in their eyes.


People who live along the Gulf Coast meet spring earlier than, say, New England that is still covered with snow. We are already whooping it up in heat and sunshine, taking advantage of perfect patio weather before the iron patio furniture in summer is too hot to touch.  Yay, spring! Yea, spring! Yeah, spring! That covers it for the spelling buffs. Happy spring. The blessing of yet another season arriving in God’s beautiful world must be celebrated.




Your mouth is talking too fast!

My newest discovery is that right before my ears, the English language is changing to a new language called Newglish. All those beautiful mouths on television have a big daddy sitting behind them saying, “Talk faster, so we can say more in less time.” If they want their paychecks now and another job later, the mouths acquiesce. Their brains tell their tongues who tell their lips, and a sound bite becomes a soundbite.


Other fast talkers that take prizes for Newglish include Sherlock who talks so fast even he doesn’t know what he has said. Watson, his partner, talks even faster but mumbles, so the guessing game is on for all of us who hear Slowglish. Oh well, you can guess the plot on this show without knowing what they are saying.


If you don’t believe in this fast-talking of English turned into Newglish, listen to your children and grandchildren. They don’t speak in cursive, either, with words gracefully strung into sentences. They speak in texting shorthand. We love them anyway, so we listen fast.

Killer Bees

A boiling swarm of killer bees came out of the wall of my living room when the ABC Pest control technician, clad in heavy bee suit tried to get rid of them.  They about got rid of him by stinging him through his canvas suit, and he had to flee to the truck and put on another layer. Mad! Man! Were they mad, so mad they tried to attack me where I sat to watch the show behind the glass of the bay window in my dining room. Their bodies slammed furiously against the glass.  They previously stung people working in the yard and cleaning the windows.  (Yes. I’m way late with spring cleaning. Just look at it like I’m early for next  year.) I’m told that if the extermination got the Queen bee, the colony left, if any, will move on.  Check in a week from now, and we will know.

Red wasps have been a problem in the neighborhood, building nests in walls. A swarm built in the wall by our front entrance, so guests had to go to the back. On the way they had to pass the killer bees, otherwise known as  African bees. However, you’re welcome to come any time now that the front door is under control.