Thursday, December 27, 2012

Goal Planning

This is the time of year for goal planning.  I prefer to call it "goal planning" than "resolutions".  Resolutions never seem to work - but when I have to look at the list of "goals" for the year - they are a reminder of things I really felt relevant to accomplish - things I feel/felt led to do.

Since I became single almost 23 years ago - I have taken the last week of each year.  Reflected on my goals, checked off the ones accomplished and queried "why" or "was this was necessary" those that weren't finished up.  I pray, earnestly, for guidance for goal planning.  I believe that God has a path for me and I want to make sure that I am following that path.  As a reminder of the "path" I write down the goals.

One of the things I KNOW for certain that is probably number one on my list - is to get organized and finish projects.  I want to finish my den, get a barn built, finish Langham House - and I also have a few quilt tops in the UFO pile that I want to finish.

I also know for certain that I am need to be more "mission" minded.  I am not sure where God is leading me with this one - so I am going to play it by ear.

I also KNOW for certain that I am tired of hurting, grieving and crying for someone who doesn't want me in his life. (No, it isn't Jess!)  No one can say, "I love you, too" and not want you in their life.  For that I want healing.  And, I am praying for healing.  

I also KNOW for certain that I need a more financial security.  I am hoping getting the brochures mailed to other attorneys will assist in getting an income coming in.  I'm not asking to be rich - but I don't want to worry about bills and how they will be paid.

And, I am looking at going back to college.  Yea, I was a little shocked as well at that one.  Two fold - I want to learn sign language and increase my spanish speaking.  (possible court translating in the future)  I also want to finally be "degreed" instead of just "educated".  That "piece of paper" does make a difference.

I want to be more of a Proverbs 30-31 woman.  I want to prepare my house - I want my home to be God-fearing, loving and kind.

Yes, God has prepared a path for me - and for you - take time to Thank God for this past year - the trials, the good times, the bad times, the tough times - and open your heart - and LISTEN to what He wants you to do for 2013 - that is what I am going to do that - and I know neither of us will be disappointed.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The End of 2012

It's been a while since I wrote on this blog.. shame on me - right?  2012 has offered me lots of ups and downs.  Let me reflect..

I was able to publish two of my children's books - The Four Little Kittens and Annabelle's Vacation With Grandma Hayley.   The later, has one of my original quilt patterns in it.  From now on, all of my books will have an original quilt pattern of mine in them.  Timmy Goes to the Farm is another book that is at publisher's now.  I am hoping 2013 will allow me to publish more of my true crime books and at least 2 more children's books.  We shall see.  The true crime books are based on my case load over my career as a PI.  The first to come out will be The Saga of Joe Elizondo.   I am already working on The Trials of Chambers County.  

I lost a $3,000/mo income this year.  I have struggled to fill that void with other work.  

We were able to finally make the Hurricane Rita repairs to my old office.  We did an inventory and we are hoping in 2013 to get the "store" online.  

I was able to replace my trailer that was destroyed in the wreck a few years earlier.  That was a God-send!  We went to Pigeon Forge this year to a quilt show (thus the background to Annabelle's vacation).  We met some awesome ladies there and just had a great time!  And, got to use my new "red-wagon" (trailer).

I didn't get to see my grandson, yet another year.  He turns 11 years old today.  He looks so much like his daddy.  I snuck into a few of his football games this year to see him.  He is a doll.  A cut up - clown - just like his daddy.  I have asked the daughter-in-law to go to mediation so that I can see my family.  Two years ago I was told "we have no more room in our lives for anyone else."  Yep, that hurt to the core.  Neither my son, nor her, were raised to be cruel.  But, cruel it is to keep my from my grandchild. 

I licensed Larry Linscombe in the PI business the end of the year.  What a blessing - he is smart and does awesome things on the computer!  I am thinking 2013 is going to be a great year for us!

We had several workshops at The Pregnancy Center in Lake Jackson this year.  I LOVE teaching others to QUILT!  I LOVE it!  

About the time I would get started on working on The Langham House - something would happen and we would have to stop.

We grew our own garden and did a tremendous amount of canning.  Which was awesome at cutting our grocery bills!

We got more new chickens - the older ones went to a gumbo pot!  

I have 2 more notes due on my 2 vans and I am finished!  THANK GOD!  I am to the point I hate notes!

I was blasted by someone who I thought was a friend.  I really examined my life and what she said.  I came to the conclusion that I was a threat to her.  I knew her - and how she operates.  I know how she Po-mouths to get people to feel sorry for her.  And, she worked her magic to where several classmates gave $$ and got her a new hot-water heater and a few other things.  I came to the conclusion, also, that I was measured by her own yard-stick.  Her words were cutting and hateful and hurting - but they are words.  God knows my heart  -  not her.

I lost a sweet cousin this year to emphysema.  Donny & his brother Wayne were my two favorite male cousins.  I loved them like brothers of my own.  IRONY:  I was in Mexico when Donny's wife, Judy, died and I was there when he died.  Wayne and Donny were both 66 when they died.  No more pain, no more suffering.  For that I am grateful.  

We did Christmas for 19 little ones this year.  It was my 20th year to do something for others at Christmas - and our group grew this year.  This JOY of seeing those kiddos opening their stockings.  The "WOW this is what I ALWAYS wanted"  or "It's a REAL football! Not a smerf kind!"  "I needed the toothbrush.  I lost mine and haven't had one for a long time"  "I LOVE my TEA SET!"  and the one that really got me?  "SOCKS - I REALLY did need socks!"   The stockings were 3' tall - and full!  Tea sets, trucks, coloring books, colors, toothbrush, toothpaste, socks, gloves, hats, paddle/ball boards, puzzles, pencils, erasers, straws, football - they were SO excited!

I celebrated my 59th birthday this year.  I was grateful for 59 years - even the tough ones.

We are looking forward to 2013.  Lord willing, we will have the Langham House finished, be more out of debt, do more canning and food preparations, be able to give a little more to our fella man and become more of the person I know I am to be.

I've told you some of the good and the bad - why?  Because I want you to know that even through the trials and tribulations that we each has that God loves us.  He knew us when we were still in our mother's wombs, He prepared our path before we ever knew it - and just because we aren't able to DO what we want to do right now - God hasn't forgotten us!  He is walking the journey with us.  Sometimes we just need to sit still and listen.  My wish for you is a VERY HEALTHY, HAPPY & PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR!  

Monday, July 2, 2012

For some reason this evening, I feel royally drained - emotionally, mentally - at least.

A client was in court today for a Ferreta Hearing.  This is a hearing where a defendant asks the court to represent himself.  This is a death penalty case - capital murder.  The State of Texas is seeking the death penalty.  The client wants the death penalty.  As he says "None of my family wants me alive anyway."  

I sat in the courtroom today listening to this guy's history.  Dad died before he was born; Mom committed suicide when he was 2.  Because of the SSI checks he received an Aunt and Uncle took him in.  He was beat on a regular basis.  He went to live with his grandparents.  He loved them.  They were his life.  His "PawPaw" died when defendant was 14.  His "MawMaw" died when defendant was 15.  His world crashed.

He has an 8th grade education.  He is street wise and self taught in many ways - some for the good - many others, not for the good.

My heart hurt hearing his story.  He has spent over 1/2 of his life in and out of prisons or institutions.  

Sitting quietly in the gallery behind him, defendant turned to ask one of the guards who was the lady in street clothes.  The officer told him.  The defendant looked at me.  "Who are you?" he asked.

"I'm your private investigator." I said.

"Who is paying you?" he asked.

"I am court appointed just like your attorney is," I replied.

"I guess you hate me too?" he asked.

"No, I like you and I have sat back here praying for you during this hearing." I responded.

Big Bad Defendant melted.  The courtroom was silent.  No one said a word.  And, Big Bad Defendant never uttered another cuss word.

I look at clients like him and wonder with all the smarts that he has learned on his own, what he would have been like if someone would have just loved him?  What made him turn out to be a racist?  What made him hurt so badly that he wants to hurt others?

I think of the furniture and other things that have been discarded on the roads that I pick up and refurbish.  I think of my own life and the flaws I have.  So many times we discard people simply because they don't add up, because they aren't what we as a society think they should be.  "The Lost Ones" as I was told today.  

I'm glad that God doesn't give up on us.  I am glad that God doesn't discard us just because of our flaws.  And, perhaps one day, Big Bad Defendant will remember there was a gray haired lady sitting behind him that said she was praying for him.  And, I did - for well over 2 hours.  

No one is perfect.  We have all sinned and come short of the glory of God....who am I to discard another human?  I may not associate with certain ones, I may stay clear of others....but I am not discarding a life....and in the end....maybe Big Bad Defendant will accept Jesus as his Savior and ask for forgiveness....and maybe somewhere he will learn to forgive himself.  We all deserve that opportunity.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

I've thought about the times I've told my sons not to do something, because in the long run I knew it would hurt them or be harmful to them.  Of course, like most kids, they always know more than the parent and are going to do things their way.

So is the life of Christians.  Many times we decide "we have this" and take off on a path or journey that just isn't in God's plan for us.  In doing so, we end up hurting, stressed, and not liking life.

Thank God, we can talk to Him and He will help us get back on the right road!  I suppose had we spoke to God, asked for guidance in the first place, we'd have kept our own train on the right track.

We are so quick to give advice to others, and, many times, we don't even know which way we are heading - because we don't follow "Our Father's Plan".

Pray for guidance.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The LIttle Church

The folks who go to the little church on the backside of my property have always been very generous.  Recently our neighborhood association started meeting over in their sanctuary once a month.  Rev Thompson is old school, proper, funny, loving.

Me and Jess decided because of their generosity, that we would do something for them.  So, we now mow the yard.  Today I bought yellow lantana to go in a flower bed.  We have ordered a sign to replace the one that is tearing and frayed.

I asked a friend not too long ago about tithing.  I know the Bible says gives 10% of your earnings to the Church.  I don't belong to any one particular church.  We just haven't found the right church.

I believe I am doing this right.  I can only hope that when you give of yourself to a church that you are giving your tithes.  The plants are from me.  The new sign I ordered is from me.

I don't go to this church - but I have friends there.  I know it makes them happy to see the changes - the new things taking place - and that makes me happy.

I am not giving this to the church and their members specifically - but I plant for the Lord.  I plant Him some flowers at His house.

We don't always have the money to give- but we can all give of ourselves.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Our recently planted garden just seems to be taking off.  Each morning I take my cup of coffee and walk through the garden amazed at how overnight the plants have grown and at how the vegetables are sprouting and flowering.

Look at how thin this stalk is!  Yet, it bears fruit.

In our lives, sometimes we feel so inadequate about things that God wants us to do.  We fear we aren't good enough, strong enough, wise enough or whatever enough - yet, when we look at the birds in the air and how they fly with no problems or the ships with large cargos in the deep oceans floating - and a simple small stalk holding the weight of the fruit it bears.

God tells us "Fear not..."  over and over He says "Fear not...."  in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible.  Yet, we walk around in fear.

Perhaps we should take lessons from this plant - our lives may be small, but the fruit we bear - the seeds we plant in our lives and the lives of others - bring forth fruit.  Never under estimate yourself and your self-worth.  If God has you here, He has you here to bear fruit in the garden of life.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Building Planter Boxes

We are building more planter boxes today.  We use these planter boxes for planting vegetables.  In making these next three it was important to cut a pine tree down.  

Now, Jess is great at tearing down, cutting down, but angling things maybe not so.  The one pine, the smallest of them all, nearly toppled the other direction.  

For a few fleeting moments - I thought of the damages with Hurricane Rita and all the trees and fencing I had lost.  Jess raced as fast as his arthritic knees would carry him to get a board to prop it up and a rope to tie it off with.  I roped the tree and he put the back end of the rope to my little truck and pulled the rope taut.  We were able to get the jammed saw from between the bottom and the top of the tree.   And, eventually, the tree fell where we needed it to.

As he is out cutting the limbs off and cutting the tree up to be hauled to the street, I have sat in amazement.  

We could have both been hurt badly.  With quick thinking - working together -  we were successful.

We stand tall as a tree when things are going well for us.  We sway with the seasons as the tree sways to the wind.  We are the tree that topples from side to side when things or people hurt us.  Depending on our strength depends on how we survive the storms of life.  

I think that life is a lot like that tree.  Just as we were cutting that tree's trunk close to the bottom, we get our knees knocked out from under us from time to time.  The rope we used, can be compared to God reaching His arms out to keep us from toppling and holding us taut.  Then, when we fall, God is there to hold us in His comforting, loving arms.  

Our Father may allow us to fall, but that is only to make us look UP and build that faith.  Life isn't down in the dumps, wallering in our past, constantly brow beating ourselves.... it is a faithful walk with God that leads us Home.  

Like the tree, we sway in the wind, but like the rope - God is always there holding us taut - and when we work God's plan in our lives - we are successful.  

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Family Members

It's a sad day when families divide, especially when it is over lies, hate, discontent, jealousy - things that are trivial to when we get to where we are going - as in the "after life".

I have an Aunt who several years ago phoned to ask for forgiveness for something she had done.  As I told her, I forgave you long ago.  "I am asking for forgiveness, but I don't want to see you."

I've held that to be strange.  You ask for forgiveness then you still ex-communicate someone from your life who did nothing wrong in the first place.  Once again, I forgave.

This Aunt is dying.  She has cancer.  The chemotherapy is tough on her.  She isn't holding things down and now is getting a feeding tube.

I would love to go and hug her one last time while she is alive.  I would love to be able to "clean the slate" before she passes.  She was always a favorite Aunt to me, she still is - because I hold the memories of my childhood with her versus the ugly caused by someone other than she or I.

Instead, I pray - and I send cards to her.

Folks, life is just way too short for families to be divided.  The Bible states that the beginning of the end of time is when families divide.  I am not for certain that means God is coming again - but I do believe it means that when families divide - that is the end of that family.

I do have family members that I chose not to be around - if they came to my house - I wouldn't be rude nor bad to them - I just don't go see them nor do I go to places where they may be, because I do not chose to have their drugs, their lies, their schemes -around me.  I do not chose for a few to be my constant, nor infrequent, visitor - for my safety and the safety of my home.

We may not agree with family members - and that's okay - but to out and out cut them from your life if they were a part of it to begin with - well - that seems an awfully lonely path to have to follow and how will you explain that when you get to Heaven?

We are born into a family - but sometimes the friends become our family -so, in my eyes,  family is what we end up with in the end - blood or no blood.

Ya'll pass a good one!

Monday, April 16, 2012

I have published my second book! Yes indeed and I am so excited with it. The Four Little Kittens has now gone international! I've been able to read to children in classrooms, about to read to another school in Arkansas, and in June I am part of a reading program both in Beaumont and in San Augustine, Texas.

But the COOLEST thing - is teaching kids about "adjectives"! I recently had a class whom I had read to "write their own stories" after hearing about the kittens. To be an inspiration to a child and help expand their mind is one of the most awesome experiences I have had.

I can't wait to read to another group - and then - Timmy Goes To the Farm which is at the Editor's right now - should be out by summer! Come along for an adventure as I not only continue to pursue my career as a Private Investigator and Quilter, but also as a writer.
She Rides Again

Sometimes you want to believe that people will change, that things "just happen" and that everyone
learns from the mistake(s).

A while back I went to New Mexico to pick up a lady I had gone to school with. She had text me, we had
emailed, and we had chatted on the phone - mostly about her "depression and her abusive husband".
Having lived in an abusive relationship, studied domestic violence abuse in college and for my Private
Investigations job, and been certified as an expert in Domestic Violence - the "buzz words" she used
were all perfect.

We plotted and planned, I went and got her - and she didn't last a week. I think there's a blog posted
after she left about it all, so there's really no need to go into it all now.

Have you ever heard that "history repeats itself"? Well, sure enough in this situation - it has. She has
a blog now. I didn't know about it - but happened to accidentally stumble on it. I sat there reading -
the same story - all over again - in fact, here's what her blog said:

"Natural..that's what I try to do.
No, this isn't about going green. Not about using all organic and no deodorant. It's a way of life that I
like to be--being just me; how God made me and what He intended for me. The definition of "natural",
as Merriam-Webster defines as a noun: one having natural skills, talents, or abilities. Notice the word "
perfect" isn't in the definition.

This will be a different post and I hope that I don't lose any of you. I am about to have a major change
in my life and I would ask that you join me on my new journey. So, I'm jumping right in with it and asking
you for support, encouragement, positive comments that will aid any of us that have or is going through
what I am about to.

First a little background. I’ve been married for 31 years and have four grown children, six grandkiddo’s
with a seventh on its way! I do love crafting, being outside, gardening, photography, my critters,
my job at the craft store, sometimes cooking and once-in-a-great-while---cleaning the house. *smile*
If I could see my grandkiddos, that would be at the tip-top of my list, but they all live out-of-state.

I apologize deeply for not being consistent in posting. Some days are just too much, especially now.
My emotions are taking a flip-flop run and I’m praying and staying focused on what I need to do for
the next coming months.

Marriage is hard. I’ve made some lu-lu of mistakes. I’m not perfect. But I love from the ends of my
toenails and consider myself to be pretty darn loyal. I work hard. I like who I am. I like the things
I do. I like to learn new things and am constantly reading books, etc. that teaches on bettering oneself,
helping others, encouragement, positive attitude, and the like. But, it’s not what my husband wants.
After 31 years, he has filed for divorce. No kiddos at home anymore. No sitting out on the porch with
iced tea. No drives to the mountains. No more. Yep, we’ve had a bug-tussle of problems, arguments,
sadness and disappointments in each other. He is a good guy and maybe one day we will both understand
what went wrong.

I’m not asking for sympathy—well, maybe a little. But I am going to focus on reaching out. I’m finding
that divorce is maybe worse than losing a loved one—just my opinion. The reason is that you don’t lose
them to Heaven’s gates where you won’t see them again here. You lose them as warm flesh, their smell,
their being involved in your life. You’re not going to have that anymore. They are still here and you know
it—you just can’t be a part of it anymore.

So there it is--out in the open. I want to make this a journey that will be of help. I don’t want to face it
alone either. So, my craft store job is working on getting counseling for me and will pay for it! God is
so good on this. And what I learn, I would like to share and in hopes that if even one person is helped,
we’ve all done a good thing.

Because this may strike a heart-string chord with some, I ask that comments be gentle and positive. But,
I do ask for comments.

I am in the process of building my Stamping Business. I am mostly just a hobbyist, but with upcoming
financial difficulties, I need to build to a business. I’ve taken some webinars, bought books, have
another blog that will be started to be worked on and Stampin' Natural will be moved over when it is
done. I will be a hit and miss until after July as he will stay with me until then and then he moves out
of state. When he moves, I am preparing to hit my blogging hard. (My busy mind and hands will keep
me going.) I've been also studying tutorials to use for ideas in the paper crafting and with stamps.
Can't wait to get those together and show you new stuff! There will be some changes to this blog also
as my Stamping Coach recommended but my focus is not this blog but the new one. When ready, I
will give you the link to the new blog.

I appreciate all of you. Some of you know me personally but didn’t know about the upcoming divorce.
Maybe we will see each other and have some time to visit. Or if you see my husband, please say hello
to him too.

Follow along with me as we move toward a New Journey.
Much love and hugs to you all"

,And, then she signs her name

I was a little perturbed that she would try to scam someone else into believing that crock. So, I jotted
her a message:

"you are good is all I can say. This is the same line of crap you served me almost 2 years ago for me to
come to NM to get you and bring you back to Texas. What you didn't tell everyone - is - this is the - uhm -
HOW many times now that you've said this or ya'll have done this? And, you didn't mention that you
have family that isn't in your corner - uhm - lies? Drama? If you are going to post - you best post
honestly - because as far as I am concerned - you still owe me for the trip to go get you 18 months
ago - I still have the texts, emails and putting them side be side this - they are exactly the same lies.
I do hope you get counseling - you truly need it. And, after all the lies you told everyone about my
household - they've come to realize YOU are the liar! I can hardly wait to serve you papers when
you hit Texas in May."

Now that probably wasn't very nice. And, I will probably have to do penance for that. I did pray
about it - and, I believe, I did the right thing. Why should someone else have to go through the expense
like I did. Why should she haunt someone else or upset someone else's home? I didn't do it to be mean,
but to let her know - "You cannot continue to lie to the world and not be found."

I understand that she is having an "internet love affair" with someone we went to school with, thus
she is coming to her first class reunion - ever. That's after she has said "I hate those people, I never
wanted to be around those people, there's no one there that I like - blah blah blah" So, she will be
bringing her fake little self to the reunion, to meet up with her "internet lover".

Friends who are lawyers say that "class reunions are the number 1 reason for divorces". I hope those
who are lawyers among our group are there to pass out cards, I think there is at least one divorce on
the horizon.

I'm truly not trying to be ugly - but I also am truly tired of people like this abusing others - either
through lies, drama, spite or meanness. I see this everyday in many of my clients - they never learned
to be fair with the world or they never learned that the world doesn't owe them. We've all had some
sort of rot in our lives - some more than others - but it doesn't mean that the world owes us - nor
does it mean that you take advantage of the kindness of others.

I feel for the poor fella who is involved. And, for a long time, I disdained her current husband, perhaps
in all honesty, he needs an award for having put up with the drama, the hell and everything else that
went with her for 31 years.

I read Psalms 25 each day - and in the first couple of verses where it says "enemy" - I name my enemies -
and this lady's name has been on a sheet of paper for a long time. I am going to continue to pray for
my enemy - but God also gives us wisdom to warn a simpleton who doesn't realize he is about to be
trapped in a snare like a bird.

I wish she would seek help, or that her family or friends would have her committed to where she
doesn't hurt herself nor anyone else. She is "stranger - danger" and anyone in the path - will be a victim.

Pray for your enemies - but don't let them hurt others.