Fly Away


Unnoticed by those around her, Julie escaped quietly out the window and soared high above the trees to a place where time and space mean nothing, and everything that can be imagined becomes real.

“Julie!” The shrill voice of Mrs. Thompson startled Julie in her reverie and commanded that she return to occupancy of her body sitting in the Fourth Grade classroom.

She really didn’t mean to be inattentive, but it was all so dull and repetitious compared to the wonders that awaited her in that other realm. If only she could fly away and never return; but Julie knew that she would have to endure captivity in her physical form until it was at last her appointed time to be set free.

“I just don’t know what we are going to do with your daughter, Mrs. Brown, Julie is always daydreaming in class; it doesn’t seem like she hears anything I say, and yet somehow she always manages to know the answers.”

~*~*~*~*~

This has been a Six Sentence Story, written for Denise’s blog hop at GirlieOnTheEdge. The prompt word we needed to use this week was “escape.” Click on the link to read some other great stories, and maybe add one of your own!

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Proper Procedures


“I’m sorry Ma’am, but you can’t just come in here and demand that we remove your husband from your home; there is a process for filing complaints, and we have to follow the proper procedures.”

Exasperated and near tears, the disheveled woman stared at the officer in disbelief and shouted “You’re telling me that I can’t have him thrown out if I don’t want to live with him anymore?”

“There has to be just cause, Ma’am; he owns the house too, and he has the right to reside there unless he’s causing some kind of unlawful disturbance.”

“But he is causing a disturbance, Officer, he’s fussing and fuming and says that either our cats have to go or he goes… and I’m not getting rid of my cats!!!”

“How many cats do you have, Ma’am?”

“Only a dozen, thirteen would be unlucky you know; never-mind, I’ll take care of him myself!”

~*~*~*~*~

This has been a Six Sentence Story, written for Denise’s blog hop at GirlieOnTheEdge. The prompt word we needed to use this week was “process.” Click on the link to read some other great stories, and maybe add one of your own!

Thankful Thoughts – 6/28/19


(Click here to go to the TToT blog)

Here we are in the final days of June, that means the year is already half over! I wonder why time feels like it goes so fast when you are older. More than ever it makes me aware of how I spend my time, what is really valuable and important to me. I know without a doubt that maintaining a focus on gratitude is not just important, it’s critical to my faith and future.  So without further ado, here’s ten of the many reasons I am grateful this week…

I am thankful for:

1) The wonderful assistance of Akismet tech support. (Akismet is the program that monitors WordPress blogs for spam.) Early in the week I experienced a few days when I could not get my comments to post on anyone’s blog, and even when it said they posted, I could not see them on my end. After much frustration and searching,  it turned out to be a combined issue of Akismet filtering settings and the browser cache on both my iPhone and netbook. Once they determined what the problem was, it was an easy fix, and I am so happy to be up and running smoothly again!

2) That my sister is healing so well from her surgery and has such a positive attitude about life. She was able to attend a small party with friends this week, and finally being allowed to go out did her a world of good.

3) Having a bit more patience than I once did. My first impulse with the commenting issues this week was to give up and stop blogging once again. If you can’t comment it’s not much fun. Thankfully, perseverance took over, and I kept working on finding out the answers until the problem was resolved. A good lesson for many of the little frustrations in life… don’t give up so easily!

4) All the times that I’ve survived the bad choices I’ve made in life. Now that I am older I have forgiven myself for them and can chalk them up to learning experiences. I tend to learn things the hard way, and often have to repeat lessons until the light finally dawns on me! 🙂

5) The beautiful month of green yards and range land we got to experience here due to the unusual amount of rainfall we had this Spring. That has pretty much come to an end now, and high temperatures are quickly returning our world to the familiar dry brown, but it was lovely while it lasted, and I appreciated the temporary reprieve, as did all the animals trying to survive.

6) The opportunity to provide bowls of water and supplemental food to some of the critters that make their homes around us. While I know most of them would probably survive without this, when you watch those little ground squirrels happily drinking water at the bowls and munching on black oil sunflower seeds, you know it’s making their lives easier. It also provide free “reality tv” for my furkids who love to watch them from the cat trees in the windows. 🙂

7) The blessing of having a dear friend that just “gets me” without the need for long explanations or justifications of my point of view. It is so freeing to be able to share anything and everything with someone who doesn’t view you as totally weird (or least not any more weird than she is).

8) The wonderful convenience of having an automatic clothes washer and dryer. It is so easy to pop a load in and go about other things while it is running thru it’s cycle. I recall my mother spending all day every Monday in the basement washing laundry for our family (initially with an old ringer washing machine) and then hanging it on clotheslines to dry. She then spent all day Tuesday standing at the ironing board and ironing everything, including bedsheets and pillow cases. And yet I don’t ever recall her complaining about spending her days this way, even when she wasn’t feeling good. I realize now how us kids took those clean, neatly pressed clothes for granted. I know I wouldn’t be as patient if I had to spend my days that way.

9) The opportunity to share some positive words of encouragement with a young man who doing his best on his first day as a new cashier, with a surly supervisor that wasn’t really cut out for teaching (and probably wasn’t happy with that assignment). He was so nervous about making mistakes, but was actually very polite and friendly, and I was glad I could leave him smiling even for a little while.  I remember how stressful it is to learn new jobs.

10) A husband that takes an interest in the things I do, and encourages me to be myself. I had a wonderful large purse that I love because it has several outside pockets that make it easy to keep frequently used items like my car keys and cellphone sorted and accessible. After years of daily use it finally wore out, and I was happy to find that I could order another one online. The old one was gray, so this time I was going to choose black to have something different. Papa Bear looked at the options and noted that there was a pretty purple one.  He knows how much I love purple.  I nodded and  said “yes, but it probably won’t look great with anything I wear.”  “Who cares,” he said, knowing that it was going to make me happy regardless. I followed his advice and we both agree that it is lovely; bright colors are so much more fun than subdued ones! Never underestimate the joys of small things! 🙂

As always, I am so very thankful for the life I’ve been given, for all that I have learned and continue to learn, and for all the amazing people I have come to know and love! Blessings to each of you in the days ahead… Look for reasons to be thankful, and remember to be a blessing to someone else!

-JTS-

If you’ve never participated in the weekly Ten Things of Thankful blog hop, I encourage you to check it out. Read what others are feeling grateful for this week, and maybe add a post of your own (it doesn’t have to be ten things, any expression of gratitude is welcome)!

One Simple Thing


“I asked you to do one thing, just one simple thing, and you screwed it up,” Jamie’s mother scolded her, standing with her hands on her hips and glowering. “All you had to do was take the loaf of warm banana bread over to Mr. Brown across the street.  But no, missy, you couldn’t ring the doorbell and wait for him; you just set it on the porch and ran, and his dog found it before he did.”

Nine-year-old Jamie looked sadly at her feet, trembling and holding back tears.  She mumbled a feeble apology, but couldn’t explain to her angry mother why it was that she didn’t want to see Mr. Brown or be asked to come inside his house.  Mr. Brown had made it very clear that she was never to tell anyone.

~*~*~*~*~

This has been a Six Sentence Story, written for Denise’s blog hop at GirlieOnTheEdge. The prompt word we needed to use this week was “simple.” Click on the link to read some other great stories, and maybe add one of your own!

Thankful Thoughts – 6/22/19


(Click here to go to the TToT blog)

Happy Summer, now that it’s officially began and our West Texas weather decided to celebrate with triple-digit temperatures… a good reason to stay inside and do a little reading and writing! This week I worked harder at jotting down reasons to be thankful each day as they came to me, and before long I had more than enough to share. It’s funny how easy it becomes when you start looking for your blessings instead of grumbling your way through life. Thoughts are every bit as powerful as words, and I am slowly learning to choose them more wisely!

Some of the many ways I am blessed and thankful:

1) My sister’s cancer surgery went well, and she’s been released from the hospital to continue recovery at home.  Her pathology reports came back with no further evidence of cancer in her body, hallelujah! Her beloved senior dog Taffy was mighty glad to have her mama home again! 🙂

2) God giving me the strength and wisdom to stay out of personal conflicts that don’t involve me (most of the time), no matter how strong the urge is to add my two cents worth! I am not responsible for other people’s choices. (I have to keep reminding myself of that.)

3) Heart-warming communications with a couple of my beloved Rez kids (now grown-ups) who, much to my surprise, informed me that they still have the small stuffed animals I sent to them on their birthdays years ago. I am so thankful that we continue to be close after all these years, and I am able to watch them and pray for them as they navigate their adult lives. They are the grandchildren of my heart.

4) The amethyst pendant necklace Papa Bear bought for me when we went to a local farmers/vendors market last weekend. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love amethyst, it is not only my birthstone, it is the color my soul is drawn to.

5) That Papa Bear and I have very similar tastes and preferences in nearly everything (except politics 🙂 It makes it so easy to choose gifts for each other or items for the house, or even how we will spend our time together. Although our personalities are very different… he is social and outgoing and I am not, we both prefer a simple lifestyle and treasure our relationship. When I see couples that always seem to be unhappy with each other for one reason or another it makes me sad. Life is short, learn to respect each other and get along.

6) Finding a blank journal with a purple cover and a purple ink pen with purple ink that I had stashed away long ago. I am now able to bless the person who gave them to me and use them with pleasure instead of sadness over a friendship lost. Some people come into our lives for only a season, to teach us something important.

7) Positive interaction with a family member that has been absent in our lives for some time. It did all of our hearts good. Prayers being answered.

8) The Memories tab on Facebook that lets you look back at all the posts you’ve done on a specific day in years past. I’ve been sharing on Facebook for over ten years now, and it’s fun to go back and see what I was doing and what my thoughts were at the time. I love the vacation memories that pop up there too!

9) Books that speak to my heart and soul and lift me up to a higher level of understanding. I believe that books come into our lives and the right time much as people do, always a gift in some manner.

10) Returning to writing and the blogsphere, thanks to the TToT Anniversary Party. 🙂 It is easy to get out of the habit, but I always miss it when I am away. Now if someone could invent a streamlined process for commenting, I’d be delighted!

As always, I am so very thankful for the life I’ve been given, for all that I have learned along the way, and for all the amazing people I have come to know and love! Blessings to each of you in the days ahead… Look for reasons to be thankful in your life, and remember to be a blessing to someone else!

-JTS-

If you’ve never participated in the weekly Ten Things of Thankful blog hop, I encourage you to check it out. Read what others are feeling grateful for this week, and maybe add a post of your own (it doesn’t have to be ten things, any expression of gratitude is welcome!

Sweet Release


Seventy-five days of confinement didn’t seem that long in retrospect, but for her it had felt like an eternity of not knowing when, or if, release would come.

It hadn’t taken her long to learn how to play the game, spout the psychobabble required for freedom; the risks of rebellion were incredibly high. She’d seen what happened to those who dared to argue the course of their treatment plan, shock-therapy was still popular in those days.

Paste on a smile, say all is well, agree to every parental desire; nod in pretended understanding of the imported therapist whose command of English was barely enough for basic communication; and whatever you do, don’t be real, don’t tell them how you really think or feel. Bide your time.

Better at their game than they were, her strategy worked, and on the 75th day she won her freedom; at last the healing that would take a lifetime could begin.

~*~*~*~*~

This has been a Six Sentence Story, written for Denise’s blog hop at GirlieOnTheEdge. The prompt word we needed to use this week was “release.” Click on the link to read some other great stories, and maybe add one of your own!

Blessed Are the Fathers…

Blessed Are The Fathers Who Love

Blessed are the fathers… who bring a new life into the world because they love the mother and want to raise a family together;

Blessed are the fathers… who believe in commitment, who raise their children in the security of a home that withstands the tests and trials of life;

Blessed are the fathers… who have their priorities straight, and work hard to provide for their families, who place their children’s needs before their own;

Blessed are the fathers… who spend time with their children, who work with them and play with them, and are involved in their lives;

Blessed are the fathers… who teach their children to be giving and compassionate, and to be tolerant of others who are different from themselves;

Blessed are the fathers… who never raise a hand in anger against their child or their child’s mother, and who never use hurtful words that continue to hurt for a lifetime;

Blessed are the fathers… who abstain from abusing alcohol and drugs, and who don’t waste precious money on expensive vices like cigarettes, who shoulder their responsibilities with clear minds and healthy bodies;

Blessed are the fathers… who guide their children with patience and understanding, who discipline with firmness but also with tenderness and love;

Blessed are the fathers… who teach their children the value of laughter, and of tears, and that both are essential to healing;

Blessed are the fathers… who know that praise is as important as punishment, and that building a child’s self-esteem is one of the greatest gifts you can give them;

Blessed are the fathers… who teach their children to be active, to turn off the tv and computer and video games, to get in the fresh air and do something;

Blessed are the fathers… who encourage their children’s dreams, whatever they may be, and ensure they have the education they will need to fulfill them;

Blessed are the fathers… who remember that they also made mistakes growing up, who know that choosing wrong is how we learn to make wiser choices;

Blessed are the fathers… who teach their children the value of money and the difference between wants and needs;

Blessed are the fathers… who teach their children to conduct themselves with respect and integrity, and to treat others the way they would like to be treated;

Blessed are the fathers… who raise their children with spiritual understanding and truth, who teach them to pray, and to be seekers all of their lives;

Blessed are the fathers… who teach their children to persevere, to know that whatever happens in life, there is always tomorrow – we can always pick ourselves up, get back on the path and start again;

Blessed are the fathers… who show their children what it means to be a good person not only by their words, but also by their example;

Blessed are the fathers… who never miss an opportunity to say “I love you” and “I am proud of you” words their children will hold in their hearts forever;

Blessed are the fathers… whose children will treasure the memories they made together all the days of their lives.

– By Wendy Jo Harris ( Reposted from 6/16/2012)