Category Archives: Challenges

I’ll tell you mine, please tell me yours

Today is Have a Bad Day.

This is a picture of my last bad day.

This is a picture of my last bad day after the nurses wiped some of the blood away. Yep. Broken nose, split lip, bruised elbow, sprained wrist, banged up knees, and a bruised heel. Not fun.
How did this happen, you ask? Easy if you’ve been diagnosed as a Klutz.
As I hurried back across our apartment parking lot, thinking of five things I needed to do, and trying not to bump into the pyracantha bush on one side and the car parked on the other, I slipped off the curb and fell. I landed so fast I smacked my face on the curb. I heard a crunch and knew I had broken the nose. I jumped up, holding the blood and rushed home. My husband took one look at me and went for his shoes. I grabbed a towel (it happened to be red and didn’t show all the blood) and put it to my face. My husband drove me to a local hospital.
I spent five hours in the Emergency Room. They x-rayed my knee and wrist, not broken, and did a ct scan on my head and neck, no concussion. Eventually, the nurse put a stitch in my lip and glue on my nose to hold it together and sent me home.
I’m healing quickly, thank you. The scabs on my face are gone, though I still hurt.
I’d love to hear about your last bad day. Share in the comments below here.

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Everyone Talks about the Weather, But …

Weather.

Amazing how it affects us. Too much sun, or not enough. Rain pours down, drowning us. Or snow buries us. Never the right amount, always overdone. Or, the wind blows, hard. Blowing trees from their foundational roots. Darkening the sky with the dust and dirt picked up as it whooshes past.

We’re “enjoying” monsoon season here in Las Vegas, which means clouds blow up every day, promising rain and bringing lots of humidity. For a desert, 40% humidity is lots! (I know, I know. I’ve lived in Virginia Beach where the humidity was closer to 90%, but this is a desert!) And when the rain finally comes, it floods the valley, or a section of it. Our little section usually gets missed. But other sections get flooded, people are hurt, trees are felled in the wind, water gushes through the streets, and all that beautiful rock people have trucked in to create a “desert landscape” gets washed down the road. Now, if it was grass, it wouldn’t wash away, but … No. I won’t go there today.

Mark Twain said, “Everyone talks about the weather but no one does anything about it.” I suspect we’d do something more than react to it if we could figure out how. I think we could, but that’s an op ed for a newspaper.

Hope you aren’t suffering from the recent tornadoes. How is your weather? Drop me a line and share. Maybe we have a poem we could write.

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What Price Happiness?

We watched “Unsinkable Molly Brown” yesterday. John Brown was a genius in the west, with the ability to find gold or silver any time he needed more money. Molly grew up poverty stricken with a desire for more. No matter how much John gave her, she couldn’t find happiness, until after surviving the sinking of the Titanic.

I have friends and family who struggle with happiness and joy. Some cannot be happy with a million dollars and a fancy car. They are always, like Molly, searching for something more. Other friends have little, they live in small houses or apartments on tight budgets and find joy in their families and their friends and their God.

Which are you? Do you always need more or can you find joy in the life you have?

I don’t mean to suggest that because we are happy we don’t want or need to make our lives better. I’m happy with what we have, and it isn’t a mansion or a million dollars. But I’d love for my book business to grow much more rapidly. I wouldn’t turn down additional sales. We all want to make our lives better.

In my next book, Abandoned Hope — that is still awaiting a cover, Daphne is happy to be with her papa as a trader, until he is abducted in Nod. Daphne had to find a way to find her own joy. Not with money, not with things, but inside her.

From Abandoned Hope:

Daphne sorted through the bundles of goods her papa had already prepared to take with them on their return journey to Bashan. The silk fabrics and copper bowls and pans would be welcomed in the small villages and larger towns they passed through on their journey home. However, they were common here in Nod. Certainly not worth a gold.
What was she going to do to rescue Papa? How would she ever come up with fifty golds?
The door to the small barn stood open, allowing warm sunlight to fill the small space. As long as the breeze did not become a wind, she would leave it open. She returned to her sorting, submerged in her fears for her papa.
A shadow blocked the sun, chilling her. Daphne turned expecting to see Joyanna. Instead David entered. His hair stood out across his head and his rumpled clothing looked like he had slept in it.
“Do you have news for me?” she asked.
David crossed the space between them. “No, and yes. Kenji will not take trade goods in exchange for the fifty golds. He is determined to take the coin or the important thing, nothing else.”
“Then Papa is without hope, for we have not fifty coins in our pockets or in our baggage and he cannot have my book.” Daphne glanced at the stack of bundles she had not yet searched through. “Most of what is here will be welcomed in small towns on the way home. But of no use to acquire gold coins.”
“Can you sell it all back in the market? Surely, it will bring you some coins.” David turned to look at the items in the open bundle.
“Perhaps a few. Nothing is so rare or unusual that people here will want it back. They will not give me the fifty gold coins I need to save Papa.” Her hands flew out to flutter toward all the bundles. “And if I could sell them all to set Papa free, how would we get home with nothing to trade along the way? There are still bundles I have not gone through. Perhaps …”
“Let me help. Perhaps I can find something you would otherwise overlook.”
Daphne sighed. “If you wish. I fear for Papa.”
“And you should.” The frown on David’s face sent a chill down her spine.
(Abandoned Hope, to be published soon)

What about you? Where do you find your happiness? What are you working on now to improve your life?

A Short Questionnaire:

1. Are you a reader who loves my books?
2. Are you also a writer, or someone who has thought about writing?
3. Would you be interested in support or help from a published author?

I would love to hear from you.

Happy Reading,

Angelique

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Do You See the Beauty?

Today has been a day filled with many emotions.

I learned that a loved brother-in-law returned home to his Heavenly Father this morning. He discovered only three weeks ago that he had a type of cancer. Not feeling ill, he and his wife went with a daughter to New York state, the other side of the country from him, to settle business for his brother. He returned home in time to feel sick. The hospital sent him home to hospice care about three days ago. The family was told he would not recover. This morning, he moved from this life to the next, leaving the rest of us behind.

We live about five hours away and knew his life was near to ending. We planned to head up to visit him one last time after church on Sunday. I had purposely left the Internet closed on my computer this morning to get some editing done on my next book. When I opened it, I discovered this good man had lost the battle.

After calling his sister, and sharing condolences and sorrow with her, my husband needed to do something, go somewhere, so we went for a ride to our local National Conservation Area, Red Rock Canyon. This is a beautiful loop drive, with stops for hikes and overlooks. Today, however, we just drove through, slowly, enjoying the beautiful mountains, rocks, trees, cactus, and plants. I even saw a rabbit run across the road. As we drove through this beautiful area, my phone played music praising God for his wonders through our radio. It filled us with joy.

God, in His majesty, filled us with joy and understanding of His plans for us. Each of us will leave this world at some point in our future. Some, like my brother-in-law, will find that his future no longer includes the pains and sorrows of this earth. Many more of us will continue through this life for many days and years.

Some of us will drive through the beauty of the earth and miss it, swallowed up in our own sorrows and griefs. Others, like my father, will look at the desolate desert and find a flower, the darkening sky and see hope for moisture, or the loss of loved ones and see blessings and hope for that person.

On days like today, when it would be easy to see only the clouds and the sorrows, I am grateful to hear beautiful music and see colorful mountains and growing plants, reminding me that life will continue. What is important is what I do with it.

What will you do with your life? Seek the shadows or look for the shining sun behind the clouds? What sorrows do you face today?

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Is the Problem Guns or God?

The world seems to be falling apart, a city at a time. This last few weeks, there has been hurricanes, fires, shooting in Las Vegas, shootings in other towns and cities, and this Sunday a shooting that killed 1/10 of the population the small town, mostly children.
What is going on?
The pastor from the church shot up on Sunday and a fellow pastor from down the road suggest the problem is a turning away from God. God is not invited into our universities and schools or our courts, and is driven from many of our families.
Governments pray at the beginning of a session, then turn their backs on God while they “grind on the faces of the poor” and take bribes from big corporations. How is God welcome in halls of government? The hypocrisy of these so-called leaders is disgusting.
Once again, the call for increased and tougher gun laws is heard from men and women of government who would not leave their homes without armed guards. The purchase of weapons by some is a problem. Men and women who have violent mental illnesses and those who have violent crimes in their past should not have access to fire arms of any kind. Further, no one needs automatic weapons, or the “bump stock” that turns a semi-automatic weapon into an automatic weapon.
It is common knowledge that criminals don’t go through legal channels to purchase their guns. Most home invasion robbers are seeking legally purchased guns. They don’t go down to the local gun store and have their backgrounds checked, like legal purchasers.
Guns are not the problem. If someone wants to create havoc, they can. Remember Timothy McVea? The problem, as the preachers from the small town in Texas said, is our distance from God.

Eve, First Matriarch is currently available for $0.99. Now would be a good time to check it out. Additionally, I am participating in two book promotions.
The first available for FREE, and you can find other great books about gods and goddesses (my Avenging Angel is one of these). Of course, Avenging Angel includes our God, Jehovah. Other books are mythological or science-fantasy. I know of at least one on that list that is a fun book to read—Redemption by Tora Moon.
These books are available until November 12th and can be found at http://goo.gl/pb8Rnk

Instafreebie Fall Gods Big Square

The second book promotion I am participating in is the Freedom to Read Promotion. All these books are written by women and are about women. Most genres are represented. All these are clean, meaning you won’t be surprised by language. Eve, First Matriarch is among these books. All are available for $0.99. These books are also available until November 12. You can find them at https://rachellechristensen.com/freedomtoreadbooksale/

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In Like a Lamb, Out Like a Lamb?

 

Do you remember the old saw: If March comes in like a lion, it goes out like a lamb. Or: If March comes in like a lamb, it will go out like a lion.

When I taught kindergarten, many years ago, we created lions and lambs on the first of March and talked about the old saying. We decided if the weather was acting like a lamb or a lion. Often, in the Rockies, that weather was snowy and miserable. The children, rightly, determining that the weather was lion-like. It was amazing how many times the saying was right.

At the beginning of the month, it was beautiful and warm here in southern Nevada. The weather was on its way toward 90, much too hot for this time of year. I looked at my husband and asked if he thought the old saw would follow for this year.

Here it is, the end of March and oh, how the lion roars!

The weather forecaster on our local channel warned of overturned semi-trailers, huge dust storms, and uprooted trees last night. We hoped he was wrong, but usually he isn’t.

Around noon, my husband returned to the living room from the end of our apartment facing the west, telling me, “It feels like we are back on Adak.” Adak, Alaska, is a place we lived twice during our sojourn in the U. S. Navy known as the “Birthplace of the Winds”, and well named.

This evening I went outside for something. A gale of cold wind about blew me over! He was right. I love clouds and sunsets, so of course, I had to stop to take a picture. I was nearly blown over!

My kindergartners would have loved it if they had predicted lion weather.

How is it for you? Lion or Lamb?

Windy Day

 

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Are You Enjoying Spring, Yet?

Happy March! 

February was a tough month for our family. My sweet husband spent more than three weeks suffering from upper respiratory infection—serious and deep bronchitis. Apparently, it was both bacterial and viral. Either way, his cough was strong enough to break or bruise a rib. It has not been fun for us.

Additionally, I became the go-to baby sitter for my son’s foster children while he struggled to set up daycare. (My poor husband had to suffer alone at home while I was gone.) Setting up daycare was not as easy as his instructors led him to believe. As of yesterday, the end of February, it was set up, and I can stay home every day—unless they get another newborn, too young to go to daycare.

I am looking forward to a wonderful spring. Our health is improving and the weather is warming up!

Here in southern Nevada, it’s spring! The temperature is warming up into the 70s, the skies are clear and beautiful, and the trees are budding and blossoming. We are loving it. I even opened the back door to let in cool air for a while today. It is lovely. The photos here are of trees blooming in my neighborhood. We are hoping the moisture received in the Rocky Mountains will flow down the Colorado, fill our reservoirs, and relieve our drought.

If you are living in the north or east, I feel your pain. I’ve seen pictures of the snow in your area, and glad that I don’t live there!

If this year is anything like those in the past, we may be facing some flooding, as a result of all the snow and rain. Every year, our country struggles with weather challenges—whether it is flooding or drought, tornadoes or hurricanes, rain, snow, or none of these at their normal times.

Many would have us believe the challenges we face each year, including the melting of ice in Antarctica, are caused by humans. I do not deny the changes in our weather patterns, but I do wonder how humanity can drastically affect it.

I recently saw a story describing a change many may not have heard. The elders of native Aleuts have watched the skies for centuries, needing to know the timing of their hunts, and other things important to their tribes. These Aleut elders state there has been a change in the skies—they have moved. Stars are not where they should be. The earth has shifted. Could a shifting like this be the cause of our weather changes?

Regardless of the cause, our weather patterns are changing. I suspect they have changed since the beginning of time. When writing Eve, First Matriarch, I discovered they faced a severe drought when the rains came early, destroying their crops, and did not return for nearly a year. In those days, weather changes could be deadly.

To learn what happened to them, check out Eve, First Matriarch here.

Share with me what your weather is like. Are you enjoying Spring, or waiting for it? I’d love to hear.

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Weather Wonders

We had an interesting month in January. It was colder than most in our neighborhood, and colder for many of my friends in other places in the west.

The air has been cold and clear here in Southern Nevada. Snow covers the tops of our mountains. Skiers and snowboarders love the 117” of snow. We in the west are enjoying a break from a series of storms. We had nice rain fall from three storms, one after the other in the past weeks. Our parched earth soaked in the mostly gentle rains.

As usual, a few people had to be rescued from the swiftly flowing waters downtown and on the east side of the valley. All in all—it was pleasant.

We love to hear that the snow pack in Colorado and the Rockies appears to be well over the usual amount expected. The Sierra’s have received more than normal. Eastern Oregon and Western Idaho received so much the roofs on buildings collapsed from the weight, and more is expected. California is already seeing floods and filled reservoirs. We in the west hope this weather pattern continues, with less destruction of property and relieving our current drought. Even with all the rain and snow pack, officials fear Lake Meade will continue to drop down the least few feet to trigger mandatory water conservation through the west.

How can that be possible?

Obviously, we use too much water in our homes, agriculture, and play. The west is a great place to live, but with our lack of water, too many people can cause big water problems. Worse, for the whole country, lack of water creates problems for agriculture. Many vegetables and fruits grow in the warm sunshine of California and Arizona. If mandatory conservation laws are put into place, I hope the farmers and fruit growers figure out how to grow more and waste less.

Government, industries, companies, homes, families, and individuals need to be aware of how they use and waste water. Is there a way you can be more water aware?

In Eve, First Matriarch, Eve and her family face a drought. They prayed for assistance from Jehovah, then went to work.

It did not rain for a long time. The family was forced to change their water usage. Crops dried without maturing, animals that didn’t leave died from thirst. Children were bathed less often. Only after great faith and waiting many months, did the rains return.
When it did:

Absalom lifted his head and asked, “What is that sound?”
I listened. A small plop sounded on the roof, too loud to be leaves. Another plop. I opened the door and Bilhah and Absalom ran outside.
“It is raining, mama! Rain!” Absalom danced in the gentle rain.”

Sometimes, our best inventions come from a great need. Perhaps new methods to recapture and waste less will be a result of the current water crisis. Or, maybe we will get more snow and rain.

Regardless, as the snow melts, and the storms march across the continent to the east, people will be endangered by floods, tornadoes, avalanches, rock and mud slides, and other storm caused dangers. Where ever you live, be watchful of the storms and their after effects. Be careful, and use water wisely!

What are you doing to protect your water resources? How are you surviving your winter? Are you inundated with snow, or is it dry where you live? I look forward to hearing of your winter weather.

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Gone, But Not Forgotten

It’s Fall, already!20151124_141035-1

This summer has been tough for me and this blog. Between physical therapy, surgeries, for both me and my husband, and unexpected travel, I haven’t been very consistent. Now the days are cooler and shorter, and quieter. My plan is to resume writing on a weekly basis.

Eve, First Matriarch is closer to publication, as are books 2 and 3 in the series, Ancient Matriarchs. I (hope) I am on the last edit before preparing for publication. It takes longer, almost, than the original rough draft.

I am working on a short story to give to followers of my newsletter. When it is ready, everyone who is a current reader will receive a copy, as will any who subscribe in the future.

I look forward to sharing with you. Those who receive my newsletter receive news of publication first. If you haven’t subscribed, go to the top right corner of this writing and share your email address with me. Then, look for the short story and regular Weekly Musings.

See you there!

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Transgender or Pervert?

1Recently, there has been a question of what to do for those of one gender who identify as the other gender, especially when it comes to toilet and dressing room facilities. There is a genuine concern for those who believe themselves to have the wrong gender body type. However, there is always a concern for those who have to come into contact with those who pretend to be the opposite gender to have access to women and girls.

Move beyond the need of those who genuinely need to have separate dressing and toilet facilities because they do self identify as the opposite gender as their body. Instead, consider the women and girls who must face these perverted predators.

When we allow men who seek victims for their perverted and scary actions to have free access to places where women and girls need to feel safe, we are putting them in danger. A recent article in thefederalist.com discussed the problem of women and girls who have been raped or abused. These girls and women have enough problems surviving a world that minimizes their recovery. I cannot imagine wanting to try on new clothes or use a public toilet ever again if it is open to these “transgender” individuals.

One woman who commented told of a man who waited for her to be undressed then entered the co-ed dressing room and peeped over the door. Every woman would be left feeling angry and unsafe in this situation.

Opening these rooms to both genders opens doors to predators who are searching for victims, whether they want to peek at an undressed female, fondle her, or rape her. Do you want this to happen to you? Do you want it to happen to your wife, daughter, or granddaughter? I do not!

I plan to have someone who will stand guard for me if I must use facilities open to either gender, or I will wait—try on the dress at home and return it if I must, take a chance on bladder infections rather than use those toilets. These alternatives are better than putting myself, or my daughters or granddaughters, at risk.

What would Eve think? Though we would think she would never have to face this perversion, I believe she would be as horrified as most of us are. Her daughters were precious to her. She would want them to be protected. She would want to do all she could to prevent the possibility of them being victimized by evil men. Can we be any different?

If one is truly transgender, offer them a separate room, for one. Do not mix them with those who were born as females or males.

What do you think? Is this a problem?

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