Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Hoping for a Better New Year by Konnie Enos

With this year ending I’ve seen many posts on Facebook exclaiming how grateful the person is that it’s almost over. I’m getting the impression that it’s been a horrible year for a lot of people.
I think I’ve been lucky since my year has been rather normal for me, but I can’t say the same for the rest of my family. Several family members have had their computers die for some reason yet to be explained. Then there is all the health issues cropping up. One time, and only once, I had a car dump me in the middle of the road, though that car dumped my husband a couple of times. We’ve also lost pets unexpectedly in the last year.
However, all things considered, I think we’ve faired this year fairly well.
Now my sister is another story.
I don’t think the start of her year was too horrible, but since about June she has literally had one thing after another. From her father-in-law dying to her car being totaled (not her fault), and she’s either been sick or in pain, unable to walk since June. Right now, on top of all that, she also has a concussion (from the accident). If anyone needs 2016 to be over with, it’s her.
Though at the moment 2017 isn’t looking up for her.
Being on a fixed income she was hoping the promised pay increase would help her budget, as we were. Yeah, thanks so much for the 0,3% raise. Seriously! Less the half a percent of a raise! After three years without one. Most people on SSI are getting maybe a dollar raise.
That’s right. One dollar. Then they also increased the cost of insurance premiums which will totally wipe out that raise, and then some.
So not an auspicious start for 2017.
I’m hoping that 2017 will bring better things and for my sister her health will improve as she gets her life back together.
For everyone else out there that has had a lousy year, I can only wish you a better one this next year.
I for one have had my ups and downs, but that is what life is all about and I’m muddling through.
I still have my family around me and this house to live in. And it’s still teeming with animals. We’re actually doing okay.
Now if we can just figure out this computer issue so everyone has one again and we can all get the work done we need to without juggling computers, well that would be good.
What’s that old Disney song, at least a line of it? ‘Think happy thoughts, any happy little thought’s’. Maybe if we all think happy thoughts this next year will be better.
So think positive.

Smile. Make the day a brighter day.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Season’s Greetings by Konnie Enos

Due to the season the debate has raged on all over social media about season’s greetings.
Are you politically correct and wish everyone “Happy Holidays”?
Or do you settle with polite and say whichever greeting you are most comfortable with? I’m not sure how many holidays are between Halloween and New Year’s Day, but I know it’s a lot more than just Thanksgiving and Christmas.
I honestly don’t understand why there is such a debate about it.
If you are a good Christian, and truly follow Christ’s example, then you would accept everyone, no matter their religion. If you are a polite, caring, decent, human being, you’d do the same thing. I’m also sure most, if not all, religions have teachings about being polite to others.
So during this holiday season when so many of us are celebrating one significant festivity or another, why can’t we all just spread good cheer? Why can’t we stop debating about the “proper greeting” and just be kind to one another?
In all honesty, as a Christian woman, I’d be ecstatic if someone greeted me with a hearty Happy Hanukah.
Judy Marcus, a Jewish freelance writer (her blog Opinionated Woman appears on Merry Christmas vs Happy Holidays) posted, on December 7 of this year, a similar opinion. Basically a friendly greeting is appreciated even if someone says Merry Christmas.
What difference does the greeting make as long as the giver is genuinely sincere in offering it? If no malice is meant, why take offence?
As Ms. Marcus asks in her post, what would Jesus do?
Did he ever once ridicule anyone?
I would think the Christ like thing to do would be to greet everyone with friendship.
Personally, if you tell me Happy Hanukah, I’ll wish you one back. Not because I celebrate it, but because I now know you do and I’d want your holidays to be joyous for you.
The same would go for anyone else.
In my church we have a saying. The truth hurts the guilty. So to me, people who are so easily offended by a simple greeting are the people who are most guilty of not being kind human beings. They are the one passing judgment, (Matthew 7:1-4) quickly pointing out the small ‘mote’ in another’s eye hoping they won’t notice the huge ‘beam’ in their own eye.
If you are going to be offended by a simple greeting, what are you doing wrong?
Christ commanded us to not take offence.
And that is the problem. Far too many people take offence. At every little thing. Even when no offence was intended.
If I were to see Ms. Marcus on the street I would have no way to know, just from looking at her, that she is Jewish, so I could not possibly know to wish her a Happy Hanukah until after she expresses that greeting to me.
So I have a perfect solution for everyone.
Instead of trying to come up with one phrase that pleases everyone, why don’t we just use the ones we already have and everyone just greet everyone else with the one they are most comfortable with. And if you’re comfortable doing so returning the greeting of someone that is different than your own.
So I’ll say to any Jews who might read this, Happy Hanukah.
If you celebrate Kwanzaa, Have a Joyous Kwanzaa.
Whatever your celebration this season, enjoy it.
Merry Christmas.

Smile. Make the day a brighter day.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Celebrations by Konnie Enos

It’s December.
Everywhere you go you see and hear all about the gifts that have to be bought for the Christmas season. (Or Hanukah, or Kwanza, or whatever giving celebration you have at this season.)
In all this hubbub people, lots of people, with December birthdays, are forgotten.
Everyone else gets presents for their birthday and Christmas.
People with December birthdays often get just one gift in December sometime.
Everyone else gets a birthday present wrapped in birthday themed paper.
People with December birthdays often get just Christmas wrapped gifts.
People such as Charlie Puth, Holly Marie Combs, Daryl Hannah, Sara Bareilles, Kirk Douglas, Rider Strong, Mayim Bialik, Dick Van Dyke, Taylor Swift, and list goes on and on. There are lots of people with December birthdays including Walt Disney and Patty Duke.
For anyone who is fortunate enough to have a birthday no way near a major holiday you can’t possibly understand the problem. I however have some idea how people born in December feel.
My mother went into labor at the fireworks display. Since the bicentennial fell on a Sunday, we celebrated, you guessed it, on our birthday. Since our birthday was so close to a major holiday our birthday parties generally had sparse attendance, if at all. Everyone had holiday plans.
Having a child actually born in the month of December, I’ve tried really hard to make sure he has a birthday AND Christmas.
So in celebration of the arrival of my first born son, seventeen years ago today happy birthday Tony. And happy birthday to everyone else with a December birthday whom I’ve known throughout the years. (This means you too William Parker.)

Smile. Make the day a brighter day.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Illness by Bonnie Le Hamilton

Okay, I really shouldn't be writing, or even on the computer because I still have a concussion from my accident, but Konnie is on antibiotics and not feeling to so well.

I hope everyone else is fairing better than we are at this time.

Happy Holidays.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Oh What is Sleep? By Konnie Enos

I did a silly thing at bedtime last week. I bought a book.
In the Writer’s Chat room we recently had the Crossover Alliance, a couple of their authors, come speak to us, and one of them had a new book come out that day.
I was intrigued.
Since I didn’t win a copy, I decided to buy, and I started reading.
I purchased and opened it (on my kindle) about ten  and, it was nearly seven in the morning  before I finished it. I never put it down.
I was entranced by the characters and wanted to find out what happened to them, how it all ended.
It’s been a long time since I’ve very literally read a book cover to cover all in one night without getting any sleep or other breaks in the process, this book was that good.
Of course if you don’t much care for the dystopia genre you may not find it as appealing. But this is was even more so because it wove strong elements of religion into it.
It was a well-crafted and well told story.  
If you like dystopia stories and can handle the less then gentle subject matter, which she handled skillfully, this is a wonderful story to delve into.
December’s Child by DA Williams. I’m told it’s her first published book. We should all encourage her to write more.
And since I’m recommending books, I might as well put in a good word for one I read some time ago and hope the author writes more. This one was a fantasy and I found it quite absorbing, though I’ll have to admit I didn’t get the opportunity to read it all in one sitting. I did read it as quickly as I could.
It was also an engaging story with captivating characters. I wanted to keep reading to find out what happened to them.
Fatal Heir was written by L.C. Ireland. It’s her first published book and I’m looking forward to reading more of her work.
I’m sure I’ll hear from her. I happen to know one of her aunts really well. Or more accurately the wife of one of her uncles, as in my sister, Bonnie.
Now I have plenty of things to do today since I spent so many hours hidden in a book.
Smile. Make the day a brighter day.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

My Bad Luck by Bonnie Le Hamilton

Okay, it is now November 23rd, Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and normally by this time, I’m real close to the 50k mark. I usually make it sometime on Thanksgiving day — not happening this year.

My present word count for the month is 23,126, which is where I stopped like on the 11th when I realized I had a mild concussion from the air bag hitting me in the face.

Yeah, yet another injury, and the concussion wasn’t all. Turns out, I also strained a tendon in my left knee during the accident. Meaning, I’m back to having to stay off one limb as much as possible. And I thought it was bad when my carpal tunnel started acting up at the first of the month!

I never saw this coming. And I mean that quite literally. One second the road was clear, and I had the green, the next I had a face full of air bag. When the air bag deflated, there was still no body in front of me. I wasn’t even sure the other driver had even stopped until the police pointed out her car to me. And now I have no car.

Anyway, I’ve spent the last couple of weeks unable to get on my reader or computer, or watch TV or even read at the same time that I’ve had to stay off my left knee as much as possible. Now I know what torture is like.

And here’s hoping the headaches are over!

Happy writing everyone! J

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Finding the Bright Side by Konnie Enos

On my wall by our front door we have a large calendar. One of those erasable reusable things that we can write a month’s worth of dates on and fill in with our families appointments.
My youngest daughter has an artistic side so she has taken to decorating it as she sets it up each month. This month her sister helped her, so rather than draw relevant pictures for the season, they wrote words.
I walked in one day to find the calendar covered with words around all the usual stuff about appointments. Words like wir danken schon, gracias, and merci. I’m not sure where they found all the words, but they are in several different languages.
It gave me a moment to pause, think.
Do we really focus on what we are thankful for in this season?
My sister has been going through some really tough times the last several months including her car getting totaled.
But with everything that is happening there are still things to be thankful for.
I even have things to be thankful for even when I can’t get everything done that I need to because my husband only sees what he needs to do and can’t seem to realize that my to do list is twice as long as his is.
This morning for example.
He was too tired to get up and take our boys to school even though he was asleep a good three or four hours before I could even stop running kids around, let alone get some dinner and crawl in bed. And I woke him up a good half hour after I got up. Yet he was too tired so I had to drive.
It didn’t matter that he’d had more sleep or that I had a full to do list that depended on me using the time it would take to take the boys to school to do other things, like get this post up on time, rather than late.
I can, however, be grateful that I can run on only five hours of sleep. Otherwise I’d never get it all done.
I can be grateful I have a working car and a roof over my head.
I can be grateful I have daughters who at least understand how hectic my life is because clearly the men in my life seem to think I have nothing to do most of the time.
I suppose I’ll never get my husband to understand.
I came home and started typing, I was late already and my husband said something to me about getting a much needed bath, since the tub was available. After all I was yelling at him this morning about needing one.
So I yelled at him again for not listening.
Yeah, I need a bath. I also need to get my post up, among other things. My list is a whole lot longer than that, which is why I didn’t want to drive the boys to school. I didn’t have the time.
And now I’m running even later.
My post is late and I still need breakfast and that bath. Along with the rest of that list I didn’t get to because my husband was too tired after sleeping for twice as many hours as I got last night.
But hey, at least I’m still breathing.

 Smile. Make the day a brighter day.