Posted in Posts

When You Realize The Truth

The definition of hoard according to is; 

a supply or accumulation that is hidden or carefully guarded for preservation, future use, etc.:

From <>

Synonyms for hoarding are: accumulate, collect, acquire, stash, gather, store, etc.

I’m sure you’ve seen or heard about the shows on TV about hoarding. Well at this time in my life when I’m about to make a major life change, I have to admit I am a hoarder.

I’ve known it for a while but just didn’t want to admit it to myself or anyone else. They are my things and no one is taking them away from me or making me get rid of them until I’m ready.

Now I’m not one of the types that keep food, trash or unsanitary conditions with my hoarding but I do have a tendency to hang on to things that remind me of memories.

I know they are just “things” but somehow I feel if I get rid of things that remind me of someone or something, that I’m being disrespectful or trying to remove the memory if I get rid of the item.

Little by little I am sorting through the things that I’ve held onto for so many years. Some I will be tossing, some I will be donating and some I will still keep.

In order to start this new phase of my life, I’m trying to start new and only taking what will fit in my car. I’m coming down to the day that I will be leaving the only home I’ve known since 1966 and going back to where I was born and close to my family.

I had great plans for this post when I started writing it but it’s kind of fizzling out as I write.

So I’ll leave you with these questions. 

1.  Do you have hoarding tendencies? 

2. Do you have so much stuff you can’t find something you know you have and then go buy another just because you can’t find it?

I’d like to hear from my readers on the two questions above.

I am looking forward to having my own place again. I’ve not had my own place in about 10 or 11 years.  Going for a new decorated look (thanks to my sweet niece and her decorating skills).

My preferences are “country, Victorian” if there is such a thing.  I did find that term on Pinterest, so I guess it is a valid decorating style.

So on this eve of Memorial Day 2021, I leave you with this request. Remember those that fought and died for the freedoms we have in this country. We have to guard and protect the freedom that so many sacrificed and are still sacrificing for. 

Remember to tell a “Veteran” that you acknowledge the service they gave and thank them and their families.

Memorial Day 2021

Posted in Posts

Wheels Are In Motion

So what’s new today (May 12, 2021)?  I received the phone call this morning telling me that my apartment in Ohio will be ready at the end of June 2021. I honestly thought since I was “on the list” it would be quite a few months, if not a year or more before I heard anything.

I’ve been so frustrated and anxious about moving back to Ohio and wondering if I’ve made the right decision. 

I decided to leave it in God’s hands but I’m still learning to let God handle things. I still have the notion that I want to be in control. I learned three plus years ago that life is so much easier when you allow God to “take the wheel” but being human I forget that at times.

Last evening, I prayed again that He would let me know in some way that I’m doing the right thing and that I am supposed to be wherever the phone call came from first. I had applied for senior apartments both here in Fort Myers and in Ohio. 

This morning, the phone rang, and I had to look twice to make sure I was seeing right and to believe the caller ID was from the apartment in Ohio.

Now tell me that prayer and turning your problems over to God doesn’t work!

I still don’t have all the moving details figured out, but I have until the end of June to get my stuff and myself up there.

I’ve lived in Fort Myers since 1966 (about 54 years). This town is all I’ve ever known. It will be hard to leave my home, my friends, and memories but I know I need my family around me now. Losing one of my sisters on March 28, 2021 has really put things in perspective for me and a realization of how important family is to me.  I hope you come to that realization for yourself before it’s too late.

I know I jump back and forth from decision to decision, and it really irritates me when I do that to myself.  From reading my last post on April 28, 2021, I mentioned about starting my jewelry shows again.  I did two shows (May 4 and May 6, 2021) and it just wasn’t the same.

I’ve decided to liquidate my jewelry inventory and concentrate more on my spiritual and creative sides with reading my Bible more, writing, quilting, embroidery, diamond painting and family history research.

I’m really not looking forward to the drive from Fort Myers, FL to Washington Court House, OH.  It’s been a long time since I’ve made that trip and of course I’m older now. I’ll just take my time and be careful. If it takes me a few more days, then so-be-it.

Distance from Fort Myers, FL to Washington Court House, OH

Keep me in your prayers through this major event in my life.

Thank you,

Posted in Posts

A Major Life Decision

March 31, 2021

I flew out of RSW airport in Fort Myers, FL at 11am, heading to Ohio for my sister’s funeral.

On the plane, I kept thinking it isn’t real. We all know we are facing death at the end of our lives but when it happens to someone you love, it’s so hard to accept and face it.

I’m getting older and have resigned to the fact that I now have to use a wheelchair to get to and from the gates in the airport, along with other things I can no longer do. It was embarrassing the first time but until I lose more of this weight, I’ll have to use the services of a wheelchair in an airport.

My sister and my niece picked me up at the airport in Columbus, Ohio. Took forever to get my luggage. Lots of tears and hugs for the reason why I was there. Stopped to eat on the way home.

April 1, 2021

My other sister and I took food out to my sister’s house that passed away. She has children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren coming in for her funeral. It was so very sad to be in her house without her and knowing that I will not hear that beautiful laugh of hers. I still hear her laughter in my heart, and I guess I always will.

April 2, 2021

The day we have all been dreading, Connie’s funeral. I was so not wanting to do this.

We walked in with the sounds of Elvis coming softly through the speakers (one of her favorite singers) and I took one look at her in that silver box in the next room and I could not hold back the tears any longer.

So many family members, coming from all over that I haven’t seen in years – coming together for a funeral.  For years, my mother was the glue that held our family together. She made sure there was a family reunion planned every summer.  Some came, some didn’t. My sisters and I (the two I have left) decided we are going to try and have some sort of get together so a time like this is not the only time we connect with family.

My two cousins talked about how they hated funerals. I guess I hadn’t really thought of it like they did. I looked around the room and just as my cousins described, groups of my family gathered in different areas.  They were laughing, talking and crying but it almost seemed like it was some sort of party – save my sister lying in a silver box and the last time I’ll see her.

This caused me to make a decision that I had been putting off. I do not want this when my time comes. I don’t want my daughter and grandchildren to go through this. I’ll tell my daughter to save the money, have me cremated and put together with my husband’s ashes and from then on, it’s up to her what she does with us. I wouldn’t mind a “Celebration of Life” get together but leave our ashes at home.

We went to the cemetery where many of my family members are already at rest. My sister was laid beside her husband, the love of her life. She’s gone to be with God, her husband, Mom and Dad.  She’s in no pain any longer. We are the ones in pain when we lose someone we love.

While there, I visited my mother’s grave and asked her to watch over my sister in her journey. The church where my sister attended hosted the funeral reception which is a time set aside for family members and close friends of the deceased to come together in honor of the decedent, typically with food, and without the formal structure of the funeral service.

You may be reading this and thinking I’m a little off by talking with my mom and even my sister, but we believe there is a Heaven to go to when we live our lives for Christ our Savior.

The last request my sister had for her immediate family, she said, “I want to see ALL of you in Heaven.”

April 2, 2021 was such a long day; 10am to around 7:30pm. Mourning and crying is exhausting.

April 3, 2021

My sister’s funeral was yesterday. I must mention since my sister was a “Child of God” that her funeral was on Good Friday, the day Jesus was crucified and laid to rest in the tomb. Jesus rose again on the third day. For a split second, I wondered and hoped she would rise on the third day.  I knew that wouldn’t happen, but it was a thought.

April 4, 2021

Easter Sunday we watched church services on TV and had dinner at my niece’s house.

April 5, 2021

So now we come to the whole reason for my writing all of this. In December of 2019, I considered moving back to Ohio where I was born. We moved to Florida in 1966 and Florida is really all I’ve ever known. I went to school here. I married for the first and second time here. I had my daughter here in Fort Myers and she had my two grandchildren here. My whole life has been in Fort Myers, Florida.  I barely remember living in Ohio. It was just a place we visited in the summer.

As I mentioned, I did consider moving back to Ohio but once I returned to Florida in January of 2020, I decided to stay in Florida.

Losing my sister on March 28, 2021 changed my way of thinking in so many ways. I needed family to get through the pain of my sister’s passing. Other than summers, I really didn’t know how important family is and how much I had missed them. I only wish I had made this decision earlier before Connie passed away. I did spend that month with all three of my sisters in December of 2019, so I do have that to remember.

Many have asked me if I really want to move this time as I really don’t like cold weather or snow but this time when I was asked the question. “Are you sure you want to make this move?”  Without hesitation, I said “Yes.”  I want and need my family. My second husband has passed away, my daughter has moved to another state and my grandkids will be living close to their mom and my friends have their own lives and families around them.  I want that for myself.  Connie and I were the babies of the family, so now it’s just me being the baby sister.

April 6, 2021

My niece took me around to the different apartment complexes so I could fill out applications.  I’m “on the list” for four apartments. So when I’m back home in Florida, I’ll start to pack and await my phone call that tells me there is an apartment available for me to move to.

This is a major decision in my life. I’m both happy and looking forward to it but I’m also a little bit scared of what lies ahead for me. I’ve turned it over to God and I know that He will make a way for the best place to become available for me.

April 7 through April 28, 2021

I spent the next month with family there for me every day. I stayed the first half of the month with one sister and the second half with my other sister. There was lots of crying, hugging, talking, and plans being made for when I do get moved.

My sister was extremely outgoing and a well thought of person in our hometown, as was her husband who passed about six years before her. Their house was the “house to go to” for many, many years.  She ran a daycare business and had a hand in raising almost every child in town. They loved to play games and she taught me one of her favorites when I was there in December 2019. 

The game she loved most and last was Mexican Train Dominoes  We played that over the month of April. We missed Connie dearly and she should have been there to play the game with us, but she was with us in spirit.

My sister was also a writer. Her children found her 3-ring binder that was full of her poems she wrote. I tried reading them, but the tears became too much. I asked for copies of the poems when they get a chance and little by little, I will read them all.

I spent time with Connie’s children, grandchildren and great grandchildren a while before I came back to Florida.  Some of them I hadn’t seen in maybe 15 or 20 years. Just not right to be away from family that long.

I have some dear friends I’ll be leaving in Florida but I know this is the right thing for me to do. I’m retired now, so I can visit Florida again pretty much any time I want to.

I am a borderline “hoarder” so it’s going to be rough for me to part with things I just can’t take with me. I don’t really understand why I feel the overwhelming need to keep things like I do. Sometimes I think it’s because things I’ve loved in the past have left me alone and I can control the “material things that I keep, toss out or sell.”

My niece shared this on Facebook today and I wanted to share it with you.

I Heard Your Voice In The Wind Today

There are so many things I need to take care of to move to Ohio. It seems overwhelming at times.

I’m still writing this piece and now wondering if anyone will even be interested in reading it. I guess it doesn’t matter and will only matter to my true friends.

I hope and pray that I get that phone call before it turns winter in Ohio again. I have never driven in snow and ice and at my age, I don’t plan on learning that skill.  I’m a homebody, so basically I’ll be hibernating during the winter months. Not much different from here in Florida (staying in because its too hot).

Okay, so this is my big news and I welcome any suggestions you have, to make this moving process easier. 

I’ll be starting my Simply Fabulous 5 Dollar Jewelry (Paparazzi jewelry) shows again very soon and I plan on doing them once I’m moved and settled.

I have some other things in mind but as always, I tend to pile too many things on myself and I get stressed out. So, I won’t mention those right now but will when and if they are a reality.

Remember say “I Love You” to those you love. We never know when will be the last time we get a chance to say those three words.

God Called Your Name
MLE Signature

Posted in Posts, Short Stories

But You Didn’t See Their Faces

(I wasn’t sure I ever wanted to publish this story but I did publish it for the first time on Memorial Day 2013. I have decided to publish this again in honor of my husband and all soldiers; past, present and future) and anyone considering suicide. There is help out there.
“But You Didn’t See Their Faces”

He was raised by Christian parents in the rural part of Tennessee.  Each Sunday the whole family would go to church to learn about God and the 10 Commandments.  As he grew a little older the family unit, although still with their Christian beliefs began to fall apart.  He left home when he was 14 and traveled to a far away place new and unknown to him.

As a young man of 14, he was tempted by many evils of the world and he fell prey to some of them but his upbringing and faith was still inside him.

At 17 he had a brush with the law and was given a choice of spending time in jail or serving in the military.

At that age, he still needed his parents permission to join the Army so he traveled back to his hometown and things were no different, so he obtained the signed papers from his father to be allowed to join the US Army.

He had finally found his home and where he felt like he belonged.  He excelled in everything he tried, won awards, medals, honors and certificates. He moved up the ranks in the Army at a very fast rate with high commendations and felt the Airborne Rangers calling out to him.

Again, as an Airborne Ranger, he excelled in every way possible and was one of the most dedicated, trained and honorable members of this prestigious sector of the armed forces.

He didn’t really think too far ahead about what being an active soldier would involve. It seemed like a game while he was training.

Then came the day that he was deployed in Desert Storm.  Reality was presenting itself in full force.  This means there is actually going to be a time that he may have to kill or be killed and follow orders to kill.

His Christian upbringing had taught him over and over that killing is wrong. What is a young man to do when they want to serve their country but the orders they receive go against everything they believe in?

He followed orders and performed his duties as a soldier as he was taught and had trained for.

With his heart breaking, he had to create a hardness to his heart so he could act upon the orders that he was given.

Thirty years later and many “kills” recorded on his record he retired and came home to try and learn how to deal with the sins he had committed in the name of a “soldier following orders and protecting his country.”

Many, many sleepless nights were to haunt him with visions that he could not get out of his head of what had happened, what he was ordered to do and what he had to do.

As his wife, I saw the anguish and torture he was going through and tried to help the best way that I knew how.

PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) affects every soldier; man or woman that has been on active duty in a foreign country at war.

The sights, the sounds, the smells and the visions, they cannot escape.  They have to live with the torment for the rest of their lives.

Wounded Warrior Project and organizations to help the returning soldiers was not around at the time he was discharged. I doubt he would have asked for help since “Airborne Rangers” are taught to “suck it up” and never to show any sign of weakness.

Many days and nights he would weep in my arms wondering if God could or would ever forgive him for the sins he had committed as a soldier.  I told him that I believed that God does forgive those sins because he was following orders and it was not his choice to decide to kill anyone.

Many of his buddies also were going through the same torture of their experiences.  Too many times he would retreat further and further from me and I soon learned at these times he had received word that a man he had served with or a man he had trained had survived the war, only to come home and not be able to survive the memories and they committed suicide.

Suicide was one of the 10 commandments that he was taught as a young child that was wrong and it was a sin.  Many times he thought of suicide himself because of his pain and the memories he could not escape.  I sometimes worried about him but I felt relief in knowing that his Christian teaching was instilled in him so deep that this was wrong and that he would never take his own life.

There were still many times of overwhelming sadness, grief and crying over the horrors that he had seen and done.

As I held him one night and tried to comfort him as best as I could and told him to ask God to forgive him for what he was ordered to do. He said that he had asked God to forgive him but then he said something I don’t think I will ever forget as long as I live. 

With tears streaming down his face, he looked up at me and said,

“But You Didn’t See Their Faces!”

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May 2020 Take All of the Bad With It

I came across this that I wrote in the latter part of 2020 and although it’s done and gone, I still think there are a few points in it that I want to share.

2020 has been a year like we’ve only read about in history books.

Pandemic all over the world. A virus called Covid-19 has took hold of so very many people.  Countless numbers of people have died, some lingering and suffering, some being taken out of this world within hours after being exposed to the virus.

This being an election year has made things so crazy, violent and corrupt.

One candidate says the virus is no big deal. The other candidate says it is a big deal. Both are claiming this was a fraudulent election – wanting a “Do Over.”

So many people are short tempered, scared and just plain mean and evil. The quarantine orders and overall guidelines to keep us safe from the virus is misleading and confusing.

Many, many businesses have had to temporarily close their doors and some have closed for good. We’ve run out of toilet paper, paper towels and disinfectant wipes because so many have hoarded for themselves with no regard to others who also need them.

The only good thing I’ve seen come from the year 2020 is that so many new and non-believers are reaching out to our Lord and Savior, asking for forgiveness and help.

Satan is trying to latch on to as many as he can and he’s finding people are calling on God and the scripture.

James 4:7 – Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Satan cannot stay where our God is present. I’ve had to call upon God quite a bit through this past year.

My feelings are: The election is over. What will be, will be.

I wrote this when I was in Chicago this past Christmas 2020 visiting my daughter.

It’s supposed to snow today. Not seeing any sign of it yet.

It’s 1:22pm and I’ve been awake since about 5am. Feels like the days never end here.

It’s snowing. It just started at about 4pm.

The place they live in is called: “Buckingham Place.” I thought kind of a cute play on words.
Posted in Posts

My Thoughts For Today

I’m into my 9th week of being on Weight Watchers. I’m doing pretty good but today is one of those weigh-in days where it looks like no matter what I do, I wasn’t going to lose anything.

I hate these stages of a diet. But I’ve learned not to let it discourage me. I continue on with the day, watching what I eat as usual and keeping track with the Weight Watchers app on my phone. 

For a while, I considered gastric bypass surgery but I did not find many favorable results in my research. It seems there wasn’t really any middle ground. Either it worked for some or it went terribly wrong for others.  So I’ve decided to stick with what has worked for me in the past and that is Weight Watchers.

This last week has been a sad one. Two friends lost their spouses and while I’m sad for them and I do pray for them, I can’t help but go back to my own loss in 2008.

This coming August, it will be 13 years since he left me that Sunday morning. Such an odd number and sometimes hard to relive in my mind which I try not to do but it still replays over in my mind even though I try to stop it. That morning seems like it was yesterday and yet at the same time it also feels like it happened hundreds of years ago.

I’m not angry with God any more, although I still don’t understand why it had to be this way. I’ve dedicated my life “again” to Christ and I try to remember each day that He has a plan for me and He’s the only one who knows the reason why my dear husband is gone.

This month has been three years since I was baptized for the first time. I asked for forgiveness and I am now a “Child of God” with lots to learn. 

I’m starting to write again so I will be working on the new book I started a few years ago. The first book I wrote tells of the journey I had, my thoughts and finally realizing I need God in my life.  You can find it on Amazon in Kindle or paperback formats; Saved By His Amazing Grace: He Never Gave Up On Me

My second book will be learning to live a Christian life day by day. So many of the old ways that I was taught growing up, did not tell you how to live day by day. It was basically, “Ask for forgiveness, live for Christ and if you mess up, there’s no second chance.” 

It doesn’t work that way. We are not perfect, only God is perfect and as long as we repent of our sins each day, read His Word (The Bible), try each day to live more like Christ, then we’ll have a better understanding of what God wants for us.

As I mentioned before, I still have a hard time understanding and dealing with death and loss and to put it bluntly, I’m scared of it and I keep searching for answers and for peace of mind.

My sister in law, Margie was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer at the beginning of 2019. She was told she had about another year to live. She didn’t quite make it. She passed away on October 29, 2019.

During her illness, we talked a lot about death and she wasn’t scared at all. One chapter of the book will be dedicated to Margie and with her permission I’ll share her thoughts during the last 10 months of her life and what it was like to know you only have limited time left.

I didn’t really intend for this post to be full of gloom and doom but I do have to admit, getting this out of my head has had a therapeutic result for me today. 

This is why I recommend to everyone that they should be journaling or writing in a diary of some sort.

Our world these days is stressful, fast paced and we’re all affected in one way or another from this world-wide pandemic.

Have you noticed…

  1. Drivers seem to be more angry than usual? 
  2. People are too quick to judge more than ever.
  3. The masks while I believe do help, they are creating anger in people behind the cloth we wear now. 

We wonder if there will ever be a time again that we don’t have to worry about masks or wear them. Myself, I have anxiety when I wear one, so I don’t leave the house much. This is okay with me because I’m a home-body already but just the fact that I can’t go out when I choose to and without a mask irritates me.

Well, now that I’ve possibly put a negative spin on your day for which I do apologize, I do admit I feel much better.

There is positivity buried deep within my post today. You just have to look for it.

Philippians 4:8 “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”

Whoa, I did have a lot to write about this morning. I didn’t realize I’d written so much until I started to check it over.

I’ll leave you with a positive thought…

“Stay positive. Sometimes you don’t even realize you’re blocking your own blessings by thinking negatively and holding on to the past. Learn to let go.” -Germany Kent

Posted in Posts

Tell Me What It’s Like

Writing has been a part of my life since I can remember but it’s been a lifesaver to me after the death of my husband. I turned to writing to help me cope with my loss.

I was angry at God for taking my husband away from me. Eventually, I realized I needed God in my life to get through the pain completely. He’s been gone 13 years this August 2021.

So now, I thank God for the blessings I have and work each day to realize He knows what’s best for me and it will all come in “His timing,” not mine.

Posted in Short Stories

Writing and Short Stories

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ― Maya Angelou

From time to time, I have these random thoughts come to mind and I just start writing. Sometimes it’s a rambling mess of words but sometimes they turn into some pretty interesting short stories.

When I write a new “Short Story,” I’ll post it in this section for you to read.

I’d love to get comments and feed-back but please be kind with constructive criticism.

I have many, many stories saved up that I would like to share with you. Some I’ve shared already on my old blog and on other writing sites but all have been removed from their previous platforms.

I used to publish writing prompts each week and I’ve had some people ask about them and wondering if I’ll do them again.

I may start posting some writing prompts again. They are fun to do and always good for practicing your writing.

I haven’t published anything online except for a few things on Facebook in almost a year. I’ve missed writing and looking forward to letting my creative side flourish again.

I hope to wake up the writer in you and follow along with me. I’d be happy to share your stories here on my new blog or link back to your blog.

Just a reminder; I’m not playing by the rules here. No SEO. No keyword optimization (although I will use keywords to help people find something they’re interested in reading.)

So until next time, God be with you and stay positive.

Posted in Posts

May 2021 Be A Good Year

I’m getting a late start on this new blog that I have decided to start. It’s the end of February 2021 and already lots of things have happened in this new year.

I’m not going to rehash over the year 2020. It was bad for everyone and praying that 2021 is going to be better.

I’ve let my writing go dormant for so long and I forgotten how much I loved writing.

So, here we go with thoughts, ideas, opinions, information and even questions that often rattles around between my ears from day to day. I hope you find my writing interesting, as well as informative.

I spent Christmas and New Years in Chicago with my daughter, son in law, my grandson, my granddaughter and her boyfriend. I had never been anywhere up north except to Ohio where I was born. So this was a new, exciting and a “cold” experience for me.

If you do not know, I was born in Ohio but moved to SW Florida when I was 9 years old, so Florida is home to me. FYI: It doesn’t snow in Florida.

I started back on the Weight Watchers online program on January 4, 2021 and happy to say that as of 2/22/2021, I’ve lost 19 pounds and happy that I’ve made this new decision and that I’m sticking with it.

I’m also mentioning my weight loss journey online again to help keep me accountable.

I started keeping a journal of sorts with lots of pictures the day I flew from Fort Myers, Florida to Chicago, Illinois.

Eventually, I’ll share them with you. I promise it won’t be overwhelming.

Now that I’m retired, I want to be able to do other things and not stay in one place too long. NOTE: A big cause of my weight gain over the last few years (sitting.)

A combination of grieving over the loss of my husband, depression, anxiety and just in general feeling like I don’t belong anywhere has put my weight to an amount that I can’t seem to even write those numbers down but I will say I’m heavier than I’ve ever been in my life. I can’t believe I let it get to this point. It creeps up before you know it.

My trip to Chicago in December 2020 was an eye opener (I’ve had quite a few eye openers in the last 3 to 4 years) that have been life-changing and life-altering for me.

Starting with the fact that due to my weight, I almost fell while getting on the train to go into the city. Had it not been for my daughter and my granddaughter’s boyfriend, I would have hit the ground. As the day went on, I grew more tired and more short of breath that I basically ruined the day for everyone, as they had to wait on me. We didn’t get to go to all the places my daughter wanted to take me to see.

No one was angry with me but I could see the hurt in my daughter’s eyes as she worried about me. I don’t ever want to see that look in her eyes again. Bring the diet on and let’s get to losing this excess weight.

I’ll let you know ahead of time, this blog is not going to follow all the rules of blogging. Writing is no fun for me if I have to worry about ads, SEO and other statistics.

I do hope you’ll follow me on my journey, no matter where it may lead.

Enjoy your week and I’ll see you back here very soon