Happy 2017

Looking back on 2016, It was ROUGH.  My rough patch started on January 29th, with an unexpected journey to the ER, and ended with my continuing the fight of my life.  It would be easy for me to make a list of New Years Resolutions.  Something that may include– lose weight, eat better, drink less, be more patient with my kids, and all the usual trappings that I promise myself that I would like to accomplish in the upcoming year.  This next year is a little different, besides my “What The Hell, I Might As Well” list, here are my New Years Goals:

1. I want to live.  Yeah, my number 1 to 1000 goal is to be still alive in 2018.  This may be obvious to many readers, but I have learned that it is not a guarantee.

2.  I want to get my health back.  I would love to continue to hear my oncologist state that besides cancer, I am the healthiest individual he treats with cancer.

3. Finish that G-D Novel.  I need to finish it.  I’m so tired of telling my family that I am writing it, but it’s not done yet.  Well, I want it finished.  I have about 20,000 more words to add.  I’m also tired of trying to decide whether to send it to a publisher, or publish it myself.

4.  Continue working on my fan fiction.  See number 3, but more geeky.

5.  Do more of what I enjoy.  I got a gift card from my husband for Christmas, so I decided to spent it on what I enjoy.  I enjoy reading, so I bought some Carrie Fisher Books.  I enjoy painting, so I bought a few Paint By Number  kits.  I enjoy fitness, so I bought some low-impact cancer DVDs.  I enjoy writing, so I am going to start writing more on this blog, and finish number 3 and 4.  I enjoy photography, so I joined the 52-week picture challenge.  I enjoy packing all my shit up, and moving across the country (oh wait, I don’t enjoy doing that, but that is happening).

So that’s about it…  Five goals this year, instead of my normal 10, and they are pretty straight forward.  Happy New Year!  Hopefully, this year we won’t be staring up into the heavens, and saying WTF God!

A Poem Within

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A Poem Within:

I am intelligent.
I am amazing.
Although, there are days when I barely manage.
And sometimes I feel downright stupid.
I know that on those days I just need to try.
Perception is not my reality!
I am an original.
I will never give up, never!
I am gorgeous.

I am invincible.
I am wonderful.
I know that sometimes the odds are incredible
Inward I lean;
I will learn.
I will live,
And the things that leave me insecure,
Will be vanquished and I will have victory
And I will endure!

I am imaginative
I am amazing
I have the will and the drive to move mountains,
To be an example of strength.
There are times I feel terror,
Those days I remember
Bad things will occur
I keep hope near
And then I keep going and going.

Because I am strong…

This poem was inspired in the car driving to chemo today.  It is a poem within.  It may be easy for most, hard for most, or you won’t get it.  That’s the beauty of poetry.  Sometimes the obvious answer is the one staring you in the face.  If you figured out the conundrum message me, but don’t give it away to others, because that would ruin the fun.  Share if you would like, but don’t copy, because that would be rude, and ruin my copyright…

Day Five: The Perfect Day

I am weightless.  I float through my home uninhibited.  Each day I see the sun rise and set 16 times.  When I look beyond the Earth to dark sky, I see the universe completely different than I do when I am Earthbound.  I imagine that each speck of light is a planet, galaxy, or star in far off land.  I wonder if there is someone like me in a space station looking through a small window staring at the dots of light in their field of vision wondering who is looking back at them.  Every so often I see an identifiable planet.  The one that is most recognizable is Mars.  I think of a book I read recently, “The Martian,” and think to myself how much more I have in common with main character in the story than I do with most of my fellow Americans.  I feel more at home weightless and in space than I do on the ground.  Today, though, Venus is more visible today than any other planet.

I switch windows every so often and look down at Earth.  It looks so peaceful from up here.  At night, you can tell the developed countries from the undeveloped countries based on the twinkling lights of the cities.  There are no land boundaries, the only boundaries you see are land and sea.  You can’t see war, you can’t see poverty, you can’t even tell the race of any of the multitudes of people living on Earth from up here.  All you see is land.  You see the lush green of the forest, you see the white mountain tops, you see the vast oceans, and you see browns and greens of deserts and plains throughout the world.  At night, you can see the storm fronts that move across the United States by the lightening that flashes from above.  During hurricane season, you can see the frightening beauty of a storm.  You can see the slow shift of the clouds with every sunrise and every sunset.

Every so often we pass between the moon and Earth.  The sunlight reflects off the moon’s surface, and the view is phenomenal.  It is not like a full moon that you see on Earth.  Instead, I see the moon in all its phases multiple times each day.  I see the crevices and pot marks made by meteors.  I see the Sea of Tranquility as the moon rotates with the Earth.

From space you see how perfect the Universe is even though I know that it is utterly imperfect.  My perfect day is waking weightless in my temporary home.  Looking out through the tiny windows of the International Space Station, and observing the universe in all its perfection and glory.  My perfect day is the first day and the last day I spend up here, and the realization that comparatively speaking I am so small and the Universe is so large.  Even though each star I see in the sky appears to be a mere speck of burning gas and dust glowing in the night sky, it is far larger and more significant than I am.  While my life, the world, and everything else is imperfect on the surface; in space everything is perfect, peaceful, and real.

I am an astronaut, and this is my perfect day.

This is a short fictional piece.  I have never been in space.  The references to space are from various sources, but primarily from Kevin A. Ford.  I had the pleasure of meeting Colonel (ret) Ford in 2011 before his mission to space while he was visiting Wright Patterson AFB, OH.  After a day of briefings, and being escorted around by my husband, he stopped by my home for apple pie and ice cream.  It was humbling speaking to him, because he was the most down to Earth guy you could possibly meet.  In 2012 and 2013, Colonel Ford was the flight engineer on an STS mission to the International Space Station.  He has also flown the August 2009 mission on the Space Shuttle, and is one of the last space pioneers.

He smiled while my daughter asked countless 4-year-old questions, and my son with un-diagnosed Tourette’s yelled swear words.  I have met a few celebrities in my time, but this was one person that I was utterly star struck by.  He is probably the closest I’ll ever get to space.  I am writing a novel about a space traveler, who comes to Earth, and Colonel (ret) Ford is truly an inspiration and a hero to me.  To read more about Colonel Ford, and the rest of heroes at NASA visit: http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/

Source:  Colonel (ret) Kevin A. Ford, USAF/NASA, http://www.jsc.nasa.gov

Day Six: Tell a Short Story that Starts With a Ransom Note

Day One: What can happen in a second?

My writing prompt for today from the book 642 things to write:

What can happen in a second?


I normally don’t do a lot of research for blog posts, most of the time they are opinion pieces, and it’s nice to get away from my normal topics of being a military spouse, running, fitness, eating, autism, or photography.  I learned a little bit about what can happen in a small fraction of time.

Anything, and everything can happen in a second…

A butterfly can flap its wings.
A drop of rain can soak into hot, dry concrete.
Molecules bump into each other, creating warmth.
A star is born, a star has died.
A person can take a breath, blink their eye.
The heart valve can open and close sending blood through your veins.
A hummingbird can flap their wings 80 times in a second.
Neurons can snap in an instant.
Lightening can strike, thunder can loll.
You can type a letter, perhaps if you are quick enough a word.
A tear can form in your eye, and start it’s journey down your cheek.
A beam of light can travel 186,000 miles, and a noise at ground level can travel 1,072 feet.
The fastest space ship in the world can travel 18.76 km in one second.
The world’s fastest computer computes 33,860,000,000,000,000 calculations.
A photon can travel 278,000 km in a vacuum.
2,393,470 e-mails are sent.
There are 48,745 Google searches completed.
A snap judgment on 10 unfamiliar faces can be made.
1,120 tons of CO2 emissions are released globally from industrialization and use of fossil fuels.
$3.4 million value of all goods and services in the world are produced in one second.
The International Space Station flies 7,700 meters in space in one second.
11 trees are cut down in the Amazon rain forest.
Warren Buffet earns $407, and the poorest people in the world earn .001442 cents.
On average 4.3 people are born, and sadly 1.8 people die in one second.A
Earth travels 29.8 km as it travels around sun.
1.3 cars are built throughout the world.
A honey bee flaps its wings between 200 times.
A bullet penetrates its target.
A ball thrown by a pitcher leaves his gloves and is hit by a bat.
A snail moves 1 cm to avoid a raindrop.

There are so many amazing things that can happen in a mere second.  A second is such a short period of time, and there are so many seconds throughout the day, it really is overwhelming how amazing our world is that a bee can flap its wings 200 times in a second.  The advancements of science have allowed instant communication, and contributed to the miracle of space travel.  Sadly 11 trees and 2 people die every second, a little over 4 people are born.  A second is so minute, yet so significant.  It just goes to show you that our world is pretty damn amazing, and you learn something new every single day.  Personally, I like being a sponge rather than glass.

Tomorrow’s topic:  The Worst Thanksgiving Dish I Ever Had…  Recipe and story included.  Have a great day :).




The Book


I am not talking about the first book, or the second book, I’m writing; I’m talking about the book pictured above on my nightstand.  This summer has been an adventure for me, and it is not been a pleasant adventure.  It started out with a phone call from my mom, stating that my dad had had a massive heart attack.  The phone calls following that one phone call had confirmed that my dad had lost his battle with heart disease, diabetes, and obesity that had plagued him since he was in his forties.  After that, the summer was a blur.  I went from one thing to another kind of in a zombie state.

While I was in Orlando burying my dad, I restarted my second novel, I had been working on it kind of half assed all spring.  The first novel, I put down on the desk, and I have not touched it.  I became obsessed with finishing the second novel.  When I got home from Orlando, I struggled with everything.  I struggled to get up in the morning, I struggled with meaning in my life, and I struggled with some of the decisions I had made.  I started to even resent some of those decisions, and I felt completely powerless.

In July, my husband told me that he was going TDY the first week of August to fly, and then he was going to say good-bye to one of the Technical Sergeants working in the squadron that was leaving Oklahoma City to greener pastures, and he said that we were going to come with.  He took us to Shreveport, and we spent the days he was flying going bowling, at the SciPort, and then we went swimming at the base pool.  Before the bowling alley opened the first morning we were Shreveport, I decided to make a Target Run.

Growing up in Minneapolis, I have a love-passionate love for Target.  Needless to say that at most bases south of the Midwest the Targets are scant and rare.  You have to travel quite a distance to get to our favorite store.  There is a Target right outside of the base at Shreveport, so the kids and I ventured to Target.  I walked the aisles.  I didn’t know why I wanted to go Target in the first place.  Ryan shares my love for Target, perhaps we ventured there to get him a shirt, which we did.  I promised Sophie a toy of equal value to his shirt.  She picked out one of those old school 1980s coloring relief fashion designer toys.  I remember owning one as a child.  She was absolutely enamored with it.  I walked through the grocery section, looking for Boom Chicka Pop White Cheddar Popcorn (my weakness), and snagging a few boxes of fruit snacks. I then remembered I needed to pick up a gift card for someone, so we ventured to the gift section.

Target has a new aisle of dorky little gifts.  I remembered that I had bought a gag gift for the Holiday Party last year there.  It was a coffee mug that changes when you put hot water in it.  When the hot water hits the mug, a Great White Shark appears to be eating swimmers.  I saw that mug, and laughed at it.  Then the book caught my eye.  I picked it up, and turned it over in my hands. Shrugging I put it back down.  My daughter asked me about it, and I think I told her that it was a journal of some kind.  She shrugged too.  Ryan picked it up and put it in the basket.  I picked it up again, I think I was frowning, and I paged through it.  Something told me I should grab it.  I don’t know why.  It was the only book like it in the whole aisle.  I picked up a few blank journals.  I usually buy a journal and only half way fill it.  I put the journals down, and picked up the book.  I paged through it.  I put it back in the basket, shrugging again.

I checked out.  I thought about sending it to my mom.  It would be something she would appreciate.  It sat at the bottom of my backpack.  We got back from our road trip.  It took me several days to unpack.  The book was left untouched.  School was starting in a few days, my husband was preparing for yet another TDY, and I was back to struggling, resenting, and trying to adapt to my new normal (my parents and I are close, so this is tough loss for me).  I set the book on my nightstand, waiting for the perfect time to send it to my mom.  The time never came.  I will probably send it to her untouched, as I flipped through it, I decided that it was the perfect blog fodder.  The writing prompts are genius.  So for the next 642 days, I will be writing between 500-1200 words on the topics in the book.  Perhaps it will help me break the writer’s apathy I have (I don’t really call it writer’s block, as there is no block, namely it’s 100% apathy)…