Finishing Well


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“Could you turn your music down, PLEASE!  I’m trying to study for my finals, and the music is very distracting.”

“Aw, who cares about stupid old finals,” responded Carly, Joanna’s roommate. “I’m sick of studying, and besides, it’s a gorgeous day. You should get out of your books in into the fresh air.  C’mon, walk with me!”


Joanna shook her head as she gathered up her books, notebooks, and computer. “No, thanks. I can’t. These finals matter. They’re my ticket into law school. You’re so smart, Carly. You should be studying too, if you want to keep that funding for your master’s degree.  I’ll see you later.”

Joanna did, indeed, see Carly later. . . much later. They lost touch after graduation as Joanna headed to law school and Carly headed into a serious relationship with the latest boyfriend—who turned out to be a loser.

Joanna had been practicing family law for three years, and she loved it.  She didn’t love the divorces that were part of her case load, but she loved being a part of the system that brought families back together. Sometimes, even the divorces were worth the battle. When someone was experiencing violence at the hands of a spouse, and there was no remorse on the part of the batterer, then separation or divorce was the best remedy.

She sat at her desk one morning, glancing over a new file. The woman wanted a divorce, Domestic abuse, drunken spouse, two children. The woman’s name was Carly, and of course Joanna wondered.

When her secretary opened the door and introduced the new client, Joanna got up from her desk and enveloped her old roommate in a lingering hug.

“I’m glad you studied for your finals,” whispered Carly.

Don’t Trust the Cheap Airlines


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A certain airline whose name I will not mention has made getting a ticket/boarding pass like getting out of a very complicated maze.

There are dead ends in every direction.

And it’s entirely the fault of the airline, but that doesn’t matter.  They got the name wrong, and it’s been a massive headache ever since.

Lesson?  Don’t trust the very cheap airline to get it right. Apparently their computers don’t have any programmers who have brains.


Pinking Shears


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Long before I could sew, I used to enjoy watching my mom as she worked at her sewing machine.  She was an excellent seamstress.  She had many tools unique to her craft, but there was one thing that always made me curious.

Pinking shears.  Scissors with teeth that left a saw-toothed edge on the fabric.

Why were they called pinking shears?   When I asked, she laughed and said she really didn’t know.

So, of course, I looked it up. Here is what Wikipedia has to say:

The cut produced by pinking shears may have given its name to (or been derived from) the plant named pink, a flowering plant in the genus Dianthus (commonly called a carnation). The color pink may have been named after these flowers, although the origins of the name are not definitively known. As the carnation has scalloped, or “pinked”, edges to its petals, pinking shears can be thought to produce an edge similar to the flower.

The word “pink” can be used as a verb dating back to 1300 meaning “pierce, stab, make holes in”.

And here is a pink dianthus:

So, there you have it.  I love words.  There is so often an interesting story behind a word; a story that brings the word to life and makes sense to something that otherwise made no sense at all.

More than a Fender-Bender

Friday Fictioneers:  The photo prompt, by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields:

The police called a tow truck for my crippled car.

They took me to the hospital. The impact damaged my pride more than it damaged my body, but they wanted to check me over.  I had a concussion and a bloody nose.  Nothing else.

The real injury, I feared, would be my husband’s wrath when he saw the damage to my brand new car.

He never let me see that, though. Instead, he just wrapped me up in his arms. I was pretty sure I felt him sobbing.

He denied it.

DISCLAIMER:  Because so many of you assumed this was a true story, or asked if it really happened, I hereby declare and proclaim that this is FICTION.  I promise.  It didn’t really happen.  At least, not to me 🙂

Don Quixote


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The word pursue doesn’t appear in the song that immediately came to mind: To Dream the Impossible Dream. Also known as The Quest, it’s from the Broadway musical Man of La Mancha. If you’re in my age group, you’ll remember the song very well.  It was immensely  popular in the mid-60’s and beyond, and has been sung by the era’s most popular artists.
The story is based on The Adventures of Don Quixote, who traveled the countryside looking for evil knights to conquer.  He was old, creaky, deaf, and nearly blind. Once he mistook windmills for soldiers, and had a rather fruitless battle from which, in his own mind, he emerged victorious.
So what’s the connection?  Don Quixote pursued his dreams.  He let nothing get in his way.  Although he never quite succeeded, he had a rollicking good time following his dream.  Everyone else thought he was nutty as a fruitcake, but he never let go of his dream.

Almost Over


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Aren’t you glad that some things are temporary?


Getting a tooth pulled.

Image result for getting a tooth pulled

Getting epidural shots to ease the pain.

Having a flat tire.

Feeling embarrassed because you just said something you didn’t mean to say.

Having to apologize for the above.

 Getting a biopsy on something or the other.

And this next one may not apply to anyone else but me:

Having to drive to a place where you’ve never been, in heavy traffic, with no one sitting in the navigator’s seat.

I get sweaty palms just thinking about that one.

Snakes.  Pictures of snakes. People talking about snakes.  People who HAVE snakes.


Antidote for Bitterness


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“If you are an angry, critical, bitter young woman, then you’re going to be a miserable, lonely old woman unless you take steps right now to change.”


This statement, from a speaker named Marlene Evans, woke up a lot of people–including me. I didn’t want to be miserable and lonely.  No one does.

Mrs. Evans gave us the scripture we would need in order to deal with our anger, bitterness, and critical spirits.

What I’ve learned, in the years since then, is that change so foundational is a process, not an event.  Anger, even if it is justified, leads to a “poor me” attitude if the anger is not addressed and the offender is forgiven.  That “Poor me” attitude spirals down into bitterness, and it’s just a short trip from bitterness to depression.

Forgiveness is the only antidote I know for bitterness.  The longer we don’t forgive whoever has hurt us, the stronger the bitterness. And, ironically, the stronger the hold the other person has over our emotions.

If you don’t want to be bitter, learn to forgive.

I wrote about forgiveness on my other blog, starting with the post I’ve linked here and including several more. You’ll need to read up from the first post to get them all.

Believe me, the journey to learning forgiveness is hard, but so worthwhile.

How do you know if you’re bitter?  One of the biggest clues is that you can recall every detail of every offense, and you repeat them to everyone you know. If you do that, you’re bitter. You need to forgive and get on with life.

It’s a beautiful thing, forgiveness.  I’m so thankful that God has forgiven me!

Old-Fashioned Sayings


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Every now and then, one of my offspring tells me that some of the things I say are very old-fashioned. I reply  that it’s not surprising, since I AM kind of old-fashioned.

I hear, often, my mom’s words coming out of my mouth. For instance, would say she was “tickled pink” over something.


Another one she said was, “You’d better had!”

Strangely, I knew exactly what she meant.

Here’s how it worked:

“Linda, did you clean up your room?”


“Well, you’d better had!”

I have no idea how that would diagram. It certainly doesn’t fit into any sentence structure I know of.  But the meaning was clear.

As my dad would say, “Well, I guess!”

Neither Rich nor Famous


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My lifestyle?  Ordinary.  Thank God. No way would I want a herd of paparazzi hounding me, or those awful “news” magazines publishing stories about my private self.  I’m content to be obscure in my little corner of Pennsylvania.


Wouldn’t I like to be wealthy?  Only if no one else knew it.  Only if I didn’t have to live in an ostentatious house just because I can afford it.  Only if I could use that wealth in some positive way other than just making myself more comfortable.

But wouldn’t I like to have fame?

No.  Really, just no.

I like having the lifestyle of the “got enough money” and “ordinary.”

Chicken Little


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Image result for Chicken Little the sky is falling

We all know people who live in a constant state of panic and fear.  It’s not a good way to live.

So much of my practice is comprised of people who experience terrible anxiety (a nicer word for fear) and who have panic attacks.  If you’ve never experienced a panic attack, count your blessings and go on enjoying life.

If, however, you are quite familiar with the horrible, gut-wrenching, sweating, speeding heart, sense of impending doom that is a panic attack, I am sorry for you. It’s real, not imagined. The roots of a panic attack, though are usually in our minds.  Of course panic and anxiety are features of PTSD, when what goes on in one’s mind is the result of something that was actually seen/experienced, such as the terrorist attack in New York on 9/11.

Be assured that, as far as I know, no one has ever died of a panic attack. You may feel that you’re dying; you may even wish you could, just to escape the attack. I don’t blame you. A panic attack is a terrible thing.

So what can you do?  Well, first of all, try to stop the negative thoughts that are filling your head.  They probably are lies.  Choose instead to grab a truth that will counter-attack the lies, and set your mind on that truth.

While you’re doing that, take some slow, deep breaths in through your nose; expel the breath slowly through pursed lips.  Deep breathing will re-oxygenate your blood and help you refocus on truth.

You need to have a store of truth to grab when an attack starts.  For me, scripture is my go-to.  I’ve never had a panic attack, but my mind is perfectly capable of spiraling downward into doom-and-gloom thinking.  It pretty much ruins my day when that happens and I don’t get control of it. So I pull up a couple of my favorite passages, kick out the negative thinking, and focus on God’s words instead.

Psalm 13; Psalm 119:165; Philippians 4:4-9; Jeremiah 29:11; Deuteronomy 33:27, Psalm 23; Isaiah 43:1-6.  And this is just the beginning.  While you are focused on such verses, I guarantee that your panic attack will fade.

FDR famously said that all we have to fear is fear itself.  Don’t be afraid of your fear. Fear/anxiety are bullies.  Stand up to them.  Bullies are usually cowards.