People, People!

The Eighth Sin

Remember the seven cardinal sins? You’re given the serious task of adding a new one to the list — another trait or behavior you find particularly unacceptable, for whatever reason. What’s sin #8 for you? Why?


Since I was not reared in the Catholic church, I had to look them up.  Last time we did this post I wrote about the misuse of grammar, and tried to do it in a comical way.  I’m not feeling comical this morning, and this question has set me to thinking.

About what?

Well, about the way people treat each other.  I did a post about this  here  yesterday, and I’m still thinking about it.  I’m a therapist, so I spend my three working days each week listening to accounts of how people mistreat each other.  It often boils down to a simple lack of courtesy; it often involves loving self far more than loving God or anyone else.

Jesus said this: (Matthew 28:37-38)

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38This is the first and great commandment.39And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Do you notice that Jesus assumes that we love ourselves?  Otherwise, He would not have instructed us to love others in the same way we love ourselves, would He?  It would also seem that before we can love ourselves, we must learn to love Him  without reservation, with every bit of our being. Then we are imbued by the Holy Spirit to share His love with those around us.

I’m not going to try to figure out any extra deadly sin here.  I share this with you this morning only because it is so much on my mind right now.  People treat people poorly.  Hurt people hurt people.  Angry people hurt people.  Selfish people hurt people.

It is not and never was God’s plan that people should spend all of history hurting other people.  It is not God’s fault that we do it.  It is our own self-centered, narrow-minded, egocentric perspective.

And that’s enough sermonizing for today.


DAILY PROMPT Saturday Night

I wrote this on April 19, 2014.  Nothing has changed. 


If you’re as old as I am, the first thing you thought of was this:

There’s another one that hit the pop charts during the late ’50’s, I think, but I couldn’t find it. Well, anyway.

Saturday nights are generally not party nights for us these days. We look forward to a low stress, low activity Saturday night. Oh, now and then we’ll get together with family or friends, but generally we’re tucked in and snoring before 10 p.m.  I know, that sounds really dull, but you come to appreciate dull  as the years pass.

So I don’t really have anything funny or wildly exciting to offer on this one. Quiet is what I crave these days.

Alpha Male

Note:  Mac was 15 years old this past November, and he was in a lot of physical discomfort.  He was still dedicated to my daughter, but he had so many problems that she knew it was time.  She had him put down a week ago today.  We will all miss this great little dog, who had a wonderful life and brought a lot of happiness to the whole family. I wrote the following story about a year ago. 


The last Christmas our daughter lived with us, we got her a puppy.  He was the offspring of a friend’s tiny little Maltese and the neighborhood Dachshund who came visiting one day when she was out on a running leash in their back yard. This little five-pound momma had a litter of six finger-length pups, with all the varieties of color and markings you can imagine from such a combination.

Our daughter used to babysit for this family, and she immediately fell in love with one puppy in particular. When she first met him, he fit nicely into the palm of her hand. She talked about him all the time. That was in the late fall.

My husband got busy and built a crate for the pup, without telling our daughter, of course. Just before Christmas, he passed the crate over to our son, who stopped  at the home of the puppies and picked up the one our daughter loved.  He was too cute for words by that time.  If memory serves he was about six weeks old.

When our son walked in the door on Christmas morning with the crate in his hands, Deb was completely taken by surprise. She was in tears pretty quickly, and Mac the Dachtese became our entertainment that day and for many months following.

That spring, Deb got her first phone call from the young man she would marriy.  He was quickly a frequent visitor in our home, and Mac wasn’t especially thrilled. At four or five months old, Mac’s attachment to our daughter was very strong. When Aaron showed up, Mac would raise his little black lips and snarl. There was never an all-out attack, just the snarl.  Often, Mac would insinuate himself between Deb and Aaron if they were sitting on the sofa. We laughed. Well, most of us did. Aaron wasn’t so sure.

Although Mac was doing well with house-training, we kept him off the living room carpet  by propping a piece of plywood across the opening between the living room and dining room, exiling poor puppy to the back side of the house. One day when Aaron came over, Mac was especially unhappy. He growled and howled, but no one took much pity on him. We all went about our business.

In maybe fifteen minutes, I realized Mac was nowhere to be seen.

“Deb, do you know where the dog is? I haven’t seen him in several minutes.”

“Uh oh.  Better check.”  Deb got up and stepped across the plywood, checking first in the kitchen and then coming back through the dining room to the bedrooms.  I’d gotten busy with something else, so when I heard her say, “Oh, NO! Mac! Bad dog! NO!” I  had to go see what the problem was.

She found him in the bathroom.  He had spun all the toilet paper off the roll and trailed it all over the place.  Fun new trick.  But that wasn’t all.  In several places, this tiny little dog had dropped enough  doodoo to make a whole new version of himself!  Piles of it, all over the bathroom floor.  Then he had sneakered out to a corner in the dining room, leaving another pile in one corner.  When Deb found him, he was hiding behind the bathroom door.

“Oh gross!  Oh man!  I can’t believe this!  How could such a little dog have that much in him!  Mac, you little brat!”  As she cleaned up the mess, though, she began to laugh. And so did all the rest of us–except Aaron. This was  such a perfect display of alpha dog marking his territory, letting Aaron know who was boss, keeping Deb’s attention on himself.

Well, things are better now.  Mac has reluctantly accepted Aaron’s alpha male position, and has even  welcomed three new little people into the mix.  He and Aaron aren’t exactly what you’d call soul mates, but they do all right.



Friends At Last!

Favorite Things

Just Another Day

Our days our organized around numerous small actions we repeat over and over. What’s your favorite daily ritual?


The first thing that popped into my mind was   GOING TO BED!!  See, it involves several pleasant little rituals.  Heating up my new electric mattress pad; putting some lovely aromatic essential oil in my diffuser that scents my room all night; checking my alarm, especially if I don’t have to get up early;  setting my pillows just right for reading; placing my bedside light just right, resting in the knowledge that it’s on a timer and will turn itself off around midnight, when I’m usually deep in dreamland.

When I was in my teens, I got into the habit of reading myself to sleep.  Many of my dreams have evolved from a book I’m reading, and can be quite colorful. Sometimes they wake me up, but not often.  I love my sleep, and I have an incredibly comfortable bed. In the winter, I put my down-filled comforter on my bed so that I’m sandwiched between my heated mattress pad and my cloud-soft comforter.  It’s like being wrapped in a fluffy cocoon.

Maybe I should go back there for a while.  I just got a call that my first client for the day cancelled.


Quote Me

Do you have a favorite quote that you return to again and again? What is it, and why does it move you?


Psalm 119:165 has been my life verse for over 30 years.  It says, “Great peace have they which love Thy law; and nothing shall offend them.”

Especially in my work, I meet people all the time who are coming to me in search of two things:  Hope, and peace.  Hope that things can and will get better, and peace to get through whatever storm they’re walking through.  I almost always offer them this verse in the course of our work together.

How do I get a great sense of peace?  By loving the Word of God.  If I want to learn to love God’s Word, then I need to be IN the Word.  Often.   Daily.  More than once a day.  Nothing brings peace to my heart like finding some familiar passage that suddenly speaks to me in a whole new way.

What is the result of this wonderful peace?  Nothing offends me.  Nothing.

The word “offend” is also accurately translated “cause to stumble.”  If I have the peace of God’s Word to light my path, then no stone, hole, or crack is going to trip me up and cause me to fall.

Hot-tempered impulsivity was something that characterized me when I was much younger. Hurtful words would pour out of my mouth before I even knew what I was going to say.  It’s been a very long time since that happened, and I’m sure the folks who know me are thankful.  I just don’t get offended much these days, and if I do, I get over it pretty quickly.

Peace is a wonderful thing.  Living without a constant volcano of anger boiling deep inside is a wonderful thing.

Computer-Free Living

Life After Blogs

Your life without a computer: what does it look like?


I wouldn’t like it, but I could do it.  Lots of things would have to change.  I’d have to go back to banking and bill-paying the old-fashioned way.  Communication would have to revert, as well, with friends and family. Being the forward-thinking person that I am, I’ve already made sure I have hard copies (paper–remember paper?)  of all our personal and financial information in case the internet breaks.  Al Gore won’t have the first idea how to fix it.

I’d be scouring the anitique shops for a typewriter.  Do they still sell typewriters anywhere else?  I’m assuming that if there’s no computer, no internet, then there’s probably not much for cell phones to do, either–at least, not smart phones.  Yikes.  Back to the olden days, for sure.

But that’s ok.  We useless old people know how to do things without computers 🙂

But this is supposed to be, at least in part, about how blogging would change.

It wouldn’t change.  It would cease to exist.  All of us wannabe writers would either throw our hands up in despair, or we’d get busy typing and sending things to editors, newspapers, publishers, just like we had to do pre-internet.  Yes, Virginia, life existed before computers.

No one can deny how much computers have changed the way we do things.  I love mine, and I grieve when one or the other of them takes a temporary leave of absence. The power supply for this computer, my PC, fizzled last week.  My ingenious husband got it up and running yesterday, and I am very thankful.  I love my Mac laptop, but this one is easier to type on, for me.

By the way, if you have a MacBookAir, can you tell me why things on my screen move all over the place at the tiniest touch on my trackpad?  Drives me crazy.  I use Chrome, and sometimes the tabs just start trading places with each other willy-nilly.  When I point and click, sometimes whole paragraphs, pictures, whatever, go floating off to wherever. I really love my Mac, but this is driving me nuts. I’ve  tried looking at settings, but I can’t find anything that addresses this particular problem.  Any gurus out there who can help me?  I have no desire to take it to an Apple store, where if you’re not exactly on time they just think you died and they move on to the next person.  At least, that’s what I hear. Besides, I think the nearest one is down by Philly. Blech.  Not in this weather!

Speaking of weather, the sky is very grey today and Terry says it’s raining!  That should do away with some of our 30 inches of snow that fell on Saturday, but it could also make an unholy mess of the roads if the temp drops below freezing–to say nothing of possible flooding in some areas.

Winter in PA.  Gotta love it.

Write Often

Key Takeaway

Give your newer sisters and brothers-in-WordPress one piece of advice based on your experiences blogging.

If you’re a new blogger, what’s one question you’d like to ask other bloggers?


Blog often. Daily is good.  And connect with other bloggers.  Read, comment, look to see what makes some bloggers  highly popular.  Look and learn.

Prayer is Powerful!

What’s the 11th item on your bucket list?                                                                                        ********

I don’t have a bucket list.  I may have made up one for a prompt, but really, I don’t have one. I have some goals, but they are personal and private, and not even my husband knows about them. So I’m obviously not going to share them with you 🙂

On to better things. We’re in the middle of our first big winter storm, and it looks as if we’re going to get at least a foot of snow, maybe more.  That means a nice quiet indoor day for me.  Terry is out on his tractor/plow, having the time of his life. Crazy man loves snow and cold.

So I’d like to tell you a story this morning.  My little grandson, six years old, has been watching his mommy pray  on a daily basis.  She is a prayer warrior, and she gets things accomplished. So he is learning to pray, too.

Terry had a kidney stone that was taking its sweet time journeying to the outside world. The pain was very bad at times. Luke was very concerned, and one night during family devotions he asked God to please take away Grandpa’s kidney. Good thing God knew what he really meant.  The next morning, Terry proudly presented me with his stone, which had passed painlessly. Nasty looking little piece of whatever kidney stones are made of. Grandpa made sure to call Luke and thank him for praying.

Luke had been given a Toy Story watch for, I think, a birthday gift.  And he lost it.  Broke his heart, and he talked about it for months.  He knew his mommy was praying that they would find it.  Mommy had given a box of clothing to a family with a boy younger than Luke, and included in the box was a jacket Luke had outgrown.  The other boy’s mom was washing the jacket, and as all good moms do, she dug into the pockets before putting the jacket in the wash. And there it was!  She called to confirm, and she brought the watch to church on Sunday and presented it to Luke.  Joy!


When I asked his if he’d been praying about the watch, he said, “No, but Mommy was.”

I love it that my grandkids are learning that God wants us to pray, and that He loves giving answers.


No Bungees for Me!

Witness Protection

When you do something scary or stressful — bungee jumping, public speaking, etc. — do you prefer to be surrounded by friends or by strangers? Why?


You can read my first response to this prompt here.

Today, I’m taking it more literally.  You could never find enough money to get me to go bungee jumping, with or without witnesses.

However, I do a fair amount of public speaking, and I love it.  Friends, strangers–it doesn’t matter.  It’s just a whole bunch of fun, and the more the merrier as far as the size of the audience goes.

And th-th-th-that’s all, folks 🙂