Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Another year gone by, consistency and optimism. Not necessarily in that order.

December 26, 2012, the day after Christmas and the last Wednesday of 2012. While perusing a few blog posts, I was reminded by Arlee Bird of ‘Tossing It Out’ about consistency. I had promised myself a few weeks ago that I would be more consistent and post once a week every Wednesday. But, here I am today not getting anything up until mid afternoon. Oh well, better late than never, I guess.

2012 was a rather hectic year. Can’t really say it was terrible, can’t really say it was good. It doesn’t do much good to complain anyway, of course, that usually doesn’t stop me.

My Christmas was pleasant, a very nice end to the year. Again, spending it with family and small children is always a delight. I look forward to 2013, and I’ll try to have an open mind about what it might bring. When you look around in the world it’s kind of hard to be optimistic, but at the same time, there is no use bringing about any more ‘gloom and doom’ than necessary.

I’ve had the feeling for the past few months that my time here on the island might be drawing to a close. Hard to put my finger on exactly why, it’s just a feeling. My experience is that once that feeling settles in, it’s a matter of months and I’m moving on. No specific plans and with the economy in general in the shape it’s in, it might be harder this time to pick up and head out. We’ll see. I do have to say, I must have been born under a wandering star, because I can’t even begin to count what number move this might be. Then again, there’s always the chance I’ll have another year or two in the Caribbean.

What about you? Big plans for 2013. We all seem to have survived the end of the Mayan Calendar, unless of course, this is all a dream. I wonder what will be next. Actually, I know, but that’s only because I have read the Book.

I do continue to be amazed by life and the people who occupy this planet with me, some days that’s a good thing and others not so much. I do wish each and every one of you a most Blessed and Prosperous New Year. I’ll be back next year, on Wednesday. I hope.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012



Last blog post before Christmas and I been thinking ‘bout what I want to talk about. There’s been a lot of talk about villains lately, so I thought maybe I should post something about a hero. I backed away from my ‘100 People To Meet Before You Die’, because the next person up, did something that really disappointed me and I lost my heart for it, but the other night when I couldn’t sleep and I lay in bed listening to the ocean break on the beach, I thought of a hero of mine who came forth at the Christmas Season. I would like to tell you about her.

I met Shirley Hunter when I moved to an out of the way place in Idaho, Swan Valley. Shirley was an interesting character who was in the midst of the fight of her life when we met. Her husband, the love of her life, was going through cancer treatment and she was devoting everything she had to his recovery. Sometimes, that type of thing is tougher on the loved ones than the sick individual.

Shirley has a very personal relationship with God and Jesus Christ and more than once she explained that she fought hard for that relationship. She is definitely not the kind of person who believes something because someone else says ‘trust me’. This woman knows for sure, for herself (my kind of person).

Shirley is a nurse. In the late summer/early fall of 2004 after much preparation Shirley was able to see a long term dream of hers fulfilled when she traveled to Africa with another mutual friend. In Africa she was training health care workers in infant CPR and other pre and post natal care. Shirley was thrilled with this opportunity and the chance to really make a difference in the lives of so many people. When she came home to the states, she did presentations for other health care workers hoping to inspire others. That, I’m sure she did. This alone would have given her Hero status in my book, but there’s more to the story.

December 26, 2004, as I’m sure most of you remember Indonesia was devastated by a horrific tsunami. The destruction was unbelievable. The death toll astronomical. A general cry for relief went out around the world. One of Shirley’s daughter-in-laws was affiliated with an organization sending some of the first relief workers, but when they were ready to go, it was found that most did not have the necessary clearance or proper inoculations to travel safely to this part of the world. The DIL contacted Shirley and sure enough because of her recent trip to Africa all of her paperwork was in order and she had the necessary shots and then some to safely gain her entry to the area.

After the fact I remember Shirley telling a group of us that she didn’t want to go. She was tired and she had some idea of what it might be like. The long flights, the waiting in airports, not to mention flying military transport most of the way. In the end she realized that all of her preparations for a dream come true (the trip to Africa) had also prepared and made her uniquely qualified to enter this particular nightmare. She was on a plane in the early hours of December 27th.

When she returned she told us how she and her DIL were in fact among the very first relief workers to be allowed into the country. There had been military struggles in Banda Aceh for a long time and as much as they needed the help, the government was very leery of outside intervention. For whatever reason they let these two women through and allowed them to bring tons of relief supplies that had already spent hours sitting at airports waiting to be distributed.

Shirley spent several weeks there, trying to help the living recover. The trauma to most wasn’t physical but physiological. The stink of death and decay hung in the air and facilities were negligible. Everything was quite literally washed away. This courageous woman did what she could to help people cope and see life to be worth living again. Did I forget to mention that at the time Shirley was seventy-two (72) years old? Think about that for a minute.

I suppose at some time in everyone’s life they have thought about being someone important or special, about really making a mark in the world, about making a big difference. I know I have. I have come to understand that we are all important and special. Each and every one of us has an almost constant opportunity to make a mark, a really big difference in the world, but often it’s with one or two people at a time.

If you come around here much, you know that I have a profound belieF in God and His Son, Jesus Christ. I truly believe that they qualify us and make us ready to step up and make a difference, just as they did for Shirley. Being a HERO is as easy as being a friend.

Shirley Hunter will remain one of my heroes for the rest of my life.

May each of you have the MERRIEST CHRISTMAS EVER!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

DejaVu Blogfest

D.L. Hammons is at it again. He's hosting the DejaVu Blogfest Today. To learn more about it go HERE

The basic idea is that you repost a blog bit that you posted sometime in the past year. Preferably, one that you feel didn't get the attention it deserved. Or one that was your favorite, or whatever.

I went through and basically looked at every blog post of mine from the last year, and I narrowed it down to FOUR. In light of the Alex J. Cavanaugh Blogfest that recently stormed the blogosphere, I find it interesting that my FOUR are each a Tribute post to someone else. I like writing about my friends.

Anyway..I just gotta cheat a little bit and if you want to see the Three that I did not choose go HERE or HERE or HERE . All three are tribute posts that I really liked.

My choice is another Tribute.

15 Minutes of Fame ~Tributes ~ Life ~ the Cover of Rolling Stone

This morning I’m fueled by Chocolate and Coke Zero. My favorite breakfast. Not really, generally I try to eat healthy, start the day off right, do things that are good for me. Blogging is the same way for me; I try to stay healthy, start the day off right and do things that are good for ME. I blabber on about a lot of things, but don’t really tell you much, just some silly stories. I like ‘flying under the radar’. I don’t mind drawing attention to myself with mindless silliness, but rarely do I give meaningful credit to someone else in my blog.

On Monday I was a mess remembering Michael Patrick Gordon, my godson. I said very little about him, but I did want to pay tribute to the life he didn’t get to live much of, in some small way. Your kind comments are greatly appreciated.

This made me think about paying tribute to people I know today who are real life heroes of the everyday variety. Make no mistake, they aren’t famous (in the way you normally think of fame) and maybe you have never heard of them, but for me they are heroes none the less. I have a list but, I’m starting at the top. At my number 1.

Today, I want to tell you about Stephen T. McCarthy (not his real name, but read the explanation of this pseudonym – it doesn’t get much more real than that.) Stephen is my friend. Some of you might wonder at the off the wall comments he occasionally makes in my comments box. Generally when they seem really off the wall, it’s because we’ve had some email discussion about something that I don’t have the courage or integrity to discuss publicly. I have made him crazy by commenting on his blog and then asking him not to publish my comments (he has that comment moderator enabled) he has always complied with my requests and never embarrassed me. He has come back to me in an email and ‘called me’ on my cowardice and encouraged me to say the things I believe in OUT LOUD. In other words he has helped and encouraged me to be a better person. He has definitely helped me to be a better writer.

Stephen is outspoken about the things he believes in and has or will probably step on more than a few of your toes. He is also courageous in his beliefs and will go toe to toe with anybody to defend his position, but he is not afraid to learn new things. I do have to admit that with the intensity this man delves into his subjects, there probably isn’t much you’re going to teach him. I know that’s particularly true for me.

If I could or would teach him anything, maybe it would be to be a little more kind to himself. To look back at his life (consider that all I see of his life is what he reveals through his blog posts, some older posts on Amazon and the emails that he writes) and see his many amazing accomplishments. I would say to Stephen, “I applaud your ‘intensity’ and willingness to study out a subject. I applaud your devotion to ideals, and your integrity in sticking to them even when they are not ‘popular’ in the world of today. I stand in awe of your devotion to your friends (read some of his older posts about his ‘buddies’) and sincerely hope that you count me as one.”

Stephen’s current blog post is about the years he spent as part of the cast of MASH. Yeah, that’s right, the popular TV show MASH. Stephen lets you ’back of the scenes’ to take a look at filming an iconic TV program through the eyes of a serious young actor (OK, he’s not always serious). It’s funny, informative and will give you a whole lot of OMG moments. Go take a look. I’ll give you the link at the end of this post. I, of course, don’t want you running off too soon. I’m not finished talking.

Stephen may never have been on the cover of Rolling Stone, unless of course that’s a blog post he’s saving for a later date. But, he has way more than fifteen minutes of fame to his credit already and I’m convinced he ain’t done yet.

BLOGGING – what is it good for? (Keep in mind I finished the chocolate, but I just opened another can of Coke Zero.) Some days I’m not sure. Some days I come here to spew my frustrations, hurts, excitement and just plain stuff all over the place. Most days I come here for you guys to put your arms around me and tell me it will be alright. My friend Stephen, he does that in more ways than you can imagine. That’s what being a ‘Good Guy’ is all about.

Now, believe it or not, I’m finally through talking. Go visit Stephen and learn about him and MASH. I promise you won’t be sorry. Here’s the link to his blog site: Stephen T. McCarthy Now that you've read that, let me warn you that since I originally posted this, Stephen shut this blog space down, but you can find him currently at Ferret Faced Fascists



Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Open Your Heart

I came home from a trip to the States late last Saturday night and thought I was simply exhausted, then the house fell on me. I've been slammed with some crummy flu that hit me late Monday or early Tuesday. My throat feels like I've swallowed razor blades, I have an exquisite headache that won't go away, a cough that would scare a big dog, and everything hurts. For about 36 hours I couldn't lift my head off the pillow. Today, I'm actually better, I can hold my head up for about a half an hour before I'm back down again.

I admit, I was feeling pretty sorry for myself when I got on the computer to answer the comments from Monday's Alex fest post. While trolling through the sites of my new followers, I ran across this. Thank you JJ.

Open Your Heart and Enjoy.

Monday, December 10, 2012


Today I’m participating in the ‘Cheers, Cavanaugh Blogfest’. This is a Blogfest celebrating Alex J. Cavanaugh. To visit Alex go here
To learn more about this Blogfest and read some of the other participant’s descriptions and feelings about Alex go here


Who cares about Alex’s actual physical appearance? He is one really nice man, a friend to all, and an encouraging word or two in your comment box. That’s one darn good looking guy right there.

“Pretty is as pretty does.’


Hal Holbrook – Why? Well I think of him doing his best Mark Twain and I think of Alex, who is a little like Samuel. A lot of information with a snappy come back.


See the last answer, a little like Mark Twain for the reasons given.

FLASH FICTION-PROMPTS - Cavanaugh – Ninja – IWSG – Cosbolt – Guitar

‘Fire up the Cavanaugh, Cosbolt. We gotta get out of here.”

‘Aye, aye, captain. Navigational coordinates?’

‘Let’s not be choosey boy, just get us as far away from here as you can and let’s do it as fast as we can. Those buggers from the IWSG have got no sense of humor.’

‘How do you feel about the planet Guitar?’

‘Ah, Cosbolt, you know how to hurt a guy. The planet Guitar really takes me back. Three lifetimes ago, I swore never to return to that forsaken dot in the universe. I suppose it’s my fate to run from the IWSG directly into the arms of the Guitar Ninja Betima. Yes, there’s a story there, me boy. But, I digress; Guitar it is.’

‘Aye, aye captain. I doubt the Interplanetary Weird Singing Goons will dare follow us to Guitar.’

‘You are so right me boy. The basic insecurities of the IWSG will keep them far from Ninja territory.  Too bad I’m not that smart.

 In all seriousness, Alex J. Cavanaugh is one of the nicest bloggers around. He has helped a lot of us through the IWSG and his encouraging words in the comment box. He manages to get back to everyone who leaves a comment for him and he visits most of our blogs regularly. I'm not sure how he does it, but I am grateful that he does.

Saturday, December 1, 2012


I have got to make this quick. I'm posting my 'Insecure Writers Support Group' post today, Saturday, December 1st. Seems strange that it's December ALREADY, just yesterday is was August. Anyway...I'm 'leaving on a jet plane' in a few hours ad didn't want to miss this months IWSG. I know blogger is supposed to be able to hold and post a 'bit' anytime you tell it, but you know me and technology (besides blogger hates me). So, instead of trusting the 'big B', I'll just post early. I'll only have my iPhone to read your posts, so I'll come around and comment when I get back.

Someone asked if I was going to the States to shop. Ha, ha, ha. As much as I love to give presents, I hate to shop. I'll give you a hint as to where and why I'm traveling to the States. Let's just pretend I just won the Super Bowl - now where would I be going next.

Anyway, Insecurity. Last month and this I'm not feeling too insecure. Not exactly sure why that is or what happened, but...

I've gotten myself back to blogging, at least once a week. I've gotten myself back to visiting my favorite sites on a regular basis. I'm reading anything and everything like a nut. I've found a CP who is wacky enough to want to read my stuff. SO, THEN YOU TELL ME, why can't I keep my butt in the chair and get my edits done, so I can send off the work to my new wacky CP.

I start out with the best intentions and just can't seem to get it done. I'm starting to wonder if this is some new form of 'separation anxiety', as in I can't stand the thought of sending this story into the hands of someone else. I DON'T KNOW! any and all suggestions will be considered.

Now, head on over to (on Wednesday, December 5th) to get to the 'Linky List', where you can check out the other Insecure Writers and see what they have to say.

Catch ya on the flip side (of this week that it)!

YIKES! While previewing this on the actual page, I just noticed that I have 251 followers. a couple of you new guys snuck in there on me. Thanks.