Thursday, September 29, 2011

Faith and Friends

I know that whatever God sets before me He will lead me through it. I also know that sometimes I give him a good run for his money when I come close to the butterfly that is hiding the Devil. I never give up on God and He hasn't given up on me.

A friend brought her son by to pick up my dead laptop. He was going to see if he could get it running. I am done playing with it, it's way past time for a new one. As he was getting ready to leave he said to me, "Do you want me to come by and mow the lawn for you since you can't ride the mower right now?" What a generous offer. He has mowed for me several times this summer and has helped with things around the house. Not because he's looking for money, but because that is the kind of person his parents taught him to be.

My friends are amazing. They seem to know when I need to hear from them almost instinctively. They have never failed to rescue from whatever mishap I've gotten myself into this time. They make me a better person for having known them.

I have young friends who've grown from the children I had as students into amazing young men and women. They make me proud to have been a part of their lives at one time or another. Some of them don't see themselves as anything special, yet I'm not sure I would be strong enough to walk one day in their shoes. They've taught me much about life and living. I thank God each day that they have crossed my path and still keep in touch.

I have learned that my life will never be about the money I made, the house I lived in or how much I leave to my family. It will about the lives I've touched and those that touched me. I love you all.

TTFN

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Suicide

Not a topic I'd planned for my blog, but something happened that made me take it much more seriously.

Here are some facts about suicide. It is the third leading cause of death in 15-24 year olds according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. It is surpassed only by accidents and homicide. Nearly 60% of all suicides are with a gun. If you have a gun in your home, make sure it is unloaded and locked up. Ammunition should be stored somewhere separate from the gun.

Suicides differ between boys and girls. Girls think about and attempt suicide twice as often as boys. They usually do it by cutting or overdose. However boys die by suicide four times as often as girls. Usually because they use more lethal methods; guns, hanging or jumping from high places. (http://kidshealth.org/parent/emotions/behavior/suicide.html) for reference.

All that being said the number one cause of suicide is untreated depression. Yes, depression is a disease and it IS real. Both depression and suicide have symptoms, things you can watch for or be aware of. One of the number one triggers of depression is the death of a loved one, family or friend.

I live in a community that lost two young people in the space of four months. Being a small community, when a child dies everyone is impacted. Both of them died in senseless accidents. Both students a boy and a girl were popular, athletic, and good students. They were good kids. While we think our children are dealing with this loss, maybe they aren't. We need to be vigilant. Sometimes the younger children are more affected than we realize.

Look for these signs of potential suicide:
Talking about suicide, or killing oneself, even in a joking manner -
Statements about hopelessness, helplessness, or worthlessness
Preoccupation with death
Suddenly happier, calmer
Loss of interest in things one used to care about
Visiting or calling people one cares about
Making arrangements; setting one's affairs in order
Giving things away
(http://www.jaredstory.com/teen_epidemic.html) for reference.

I'm putting this out there because someone I know is in trouble. Look at your friends, family, children, others you see at school. Do they exhibit these signs? Be aware of the people around you. Your actions might save a life.

TTFN

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Buzz Begins

My publisher, Unforgettable Books, Inc, has been busy getting word out about my up-coming series. First, you can read that they have signed me as an author www.unforgettablebookins.com/ourtwocents carries that announcement.
Then they published a short bio: http://www.unforgettablebooksinc.com/rebeckavigus.php
Let me know what you think. We will start the buzz by reminding you of what I have already written and is still available and what is to come.

I will keep you posted on up-coming announcements, blog tours, and speaking engagements. I'm going to be a busy lady for a while.
TTFN

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Things are Progressing

Author press kit is written. Synopsis of the first book is done. Links to all my books, twitter, LinkedIn, and facebook have all been sent to my publisher. Things are progressing.

I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am. We haven't even begun the next phase of editing yet. There is still much to do.

I will be shopping for a new laptop in the next couple of weeks so that I can get my website up and running and get back to work on the second novel. I have much to do. I also have an idea for the third one, I'm just not sure all the legal side that it will entail. I may need a computer specialist to consult with. Right now it's all just thoughts.

First things first, get this book published and book two in the series finished.

I am slowly mending from my fall. I suspect it will be a good six weeks before I can say that I am totally healed. Tail bones weren't meant to take all your weight at once. The donut I was loaned did not hold up. I need to repair it so I can continue to use it.

I am enjoying the tasks set for me by the publisher. It makes me feel a part of the process. I will let you know when promotion begins. As I have a week-long promotion coming up in October. A speaking engagement the first part of November and who knows what all after that. I will be busy until I head to warmer climates in January.

Hope you have your projects lined up.
TTFN

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Think the Celebration will be small

Would be jumping up and down and shouting from the rooftops if my body would allow it. Alas, I am still recovering from the fall on Sunday and think it will be quite some time before I am doing any jumping.

I have been in contact with a small publishing company and been offered a contract. At this time, I am reading through said contract very carefully. Looking for all the fine print. I really feel this is where I need to start.

I am tired of self-publishing. I cannot open enough doors for myself that way. I want to be taken seriously as a writer. This is the first book of a three book series so I want this to be a working relationship that is beneficial for both the publisher and myself.

I have no problem working the marketing angle. Have car, GPS, will travel. I even fly if necessary. I am getting wider recognition and more is good.

So hopefully I'll be seeing you on the book shelves or as a ebook.

TTFN

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Nope, Still Don't Bounce

About four years ago, I went flying across my entry in the middle of the night. I didn't bounce and was very bruised.

I decided to test the theory again today...although not intentionally. I went to sit in my computer chair and it decided to roll. I landed on my tail bone. I still don't bounce. I can walk and all my limbs work, but I hurt all over. Guess I am not as young as I want to think.

Falling is always an eye opener. I was in my home both of the last two times I have fallen. Thus no embarassment or bruised ego to deal with. This time it appears there are few bruises. Or none that I can see at least. This was probably the hardest I have fallen. Getting up was not as bad as usual either.

Not sure there is a lesson in this. Not sure there is a moral in this. Just know I have to be much more careful in the future.

TTFN

Give me a day or two and I will be able to laugh about this.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Just Thoughts

Stopped in at the school today. I needed to drop off some things that can be used for Positive Behavior rewards. I find something totally wrong with that. Good behavior was expected when I was in school. I also wanted to talk to a couple of people. It was good to see friends, but I'm so glad I have retired. I also wanted to touch base with the new superintendent as I had subbed under him when I first started working.

After leaving school I went to see a parent and former student whose son is struggling to offer what help I could. His son is the age he was when I had him my first year up here. Look how time flies. I don't know if they felt any better, but I did my best. I had checked with the student's teachers before talking to the parents.

From there I went to see a former student, and beautiful young lady. I know she feels lost and helpless sometimes. It's that age where friends are in college or getting married and she is at loose ends. I love spending time with her. I don't know if I help her or she helps me, I just know we have good times together.

Lastly I went to visit a colleague. I knew she would be home from work and wanted to catch her before she headed to the football game. I miss talking to her on a daily basis. I miss seeing her kids. One is in college and one is now in high school. It seems so long ago that I taught them in class. It is fun watching them grow. We have forged a lifelong friendship in the time we worked together. I cherish that.

Still no word from the publisher on my book so I will be exploring an new avenue for that. I have people clammoring for the next book. They are excited that it will be a trilogy. I am frustrated by my PC and lack of a laptop. It's making me more crazy than usual.

Fall is in the air. I am not ready for fall and cooler temps. I am so a warm weather person. I am much happier when it is warmer. I missed being able to swim this summer as it is one of my favorite things to do. I didn't have that opportunity as much as I would have hoped. I am looking forward to winter in warmer weather where I will be able to swim.

All in all it has been a marvelous day. I am looking forward to the rest of the week-end and what the weeks ahead will bring. Going to curl up with a good book. Hope you do too.

TTFN

Monday, September 12, 2011

It's Monday!!!!

Hope your week is off to a great start. Mine most certainly is. It's Monday and I awoke with a feeling of good things to come. So, I've adjusted my attitude accordingly.

I am looking for an agent and a publisher. That means dragging out my copy of Jeff Herrmann's Guide to Literary Agents. Time I get down to business. No one will take me seriously if I don't. Looking for an agent who represents mystery writers.

I personnally think this series I'm working on is my best work yet. I stepped out of my comfort zone to write in first person. Definitely a new approach for me. I am also out of my comfort zone carrying my characters into a new book (experiences). They are proving to be up to the task. Was surprised where this one is taking me and what I am learning along the way. Yes, I believe you can learn from your characters.

I have come to believe my house will sell. That there is something different out there for me...new adventures. Life is waitng for me to get up and get moving.

I had the opportunity to attend the wedding of two of my former students over the week-end. I had them both when they were in elementary school. They are now 26. I was flattered to get the invitation. I have seen them over the years and they have grown into the wonderful young people I would have expected. I was doubly flattered to be included in some of their wedding photos. That meant a lot to me. The day was lovely, the bride was beautiful and the groom was handsome. Their happiness was contagious. I wish you well Brett Lee and Geri Lyn Fowler.

I am still looking for a way to give back. I know if I just let it happen it will come to me. I'm not going to dwell on it. Life is what you make it and I plan on making mine stretch to the fullest.

TTFN

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Feeling Adrift

I am not depressed or lonely. But I am feeling a bit disconnected. Partly because I have a stuffed nose.
Here's the situation: My book is still with the publisher and I am awaiting word as to whether or not they will publish it. It will not be eight weeks until Sept. 20th. I am part way through the second book in the series. I really do not want to have to self-publish again. It's frustrating to just wait.
My house is up for sale and with the economy what it is, I've only had one couple come to take a look at it. I am ready for it to be gone and move on.
I need something to do. Something that might bring me a little bit of money. I'm not hurting for money. My retirement takes care of the bills and allows me to put a little aside. I just need something to do.
I can go back to donating preemie layettes to Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, MI, but I cannot make enough to keep up with the need. I've made over a dozen layettes this year for family, friends, and former students. The hospital needs somewhere around 600/year.
My problem is I have two wonderful ideas for non-profits but don't that the money to get them started. I have taught for so long that I need to be away from that. No one in this area could hire a tutor if I offered the service. What I want to do now is give back.
I have been doing reviews for authors I've met through on-line writing groups. I cannot keep up with the demand. Most of the stuff is sent to me on-line and my eyes can only take so much before I have to walk away. I feel as though I am letting people down. I don't want to be over extended.
With fall coming I am already to leave for warm climates. The next three and a half months will be the longest of my life. No one knows what the future will be, least of all me. I am just going to drift for a couple of days and then try to figure it out.

TTFN

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Ponderings

I attended a funeral today. It made me do some serious thinking. This is the second funeral for a veteran since July.

The first veteran was my neighbor and he was a wonderful man. He often mowed my lawn when I was working. He served during the Korean War. I cannot say I know any other Korean War Vets. He did not talk about it and I did not ask him. He shared so many other things and I will miss him.

Today was another neighbor. She had served as a WAVE in WWII. I knew she'd been in the service. I knew she was a country school teacher. I also knew that her husband grew up in the house I now live in. I did not know that she found comfort in my security light coming on each night. I wonder how much I missed not knowing her better.

We lose soldiers every day and mourn the loss of young life. I wonder do we understand what lose every time a Veteran dies? The history, the service, the rich life lived. Many of what Tom Brokaw called 'The Greatest Generation' are gone. They lived through The Great Depression, they lived off the land, they took many traditions and skills with them when they died. My family lost the last of our 'Greatest Generation' in 2001. My parents are among the oldest in our family. They are depression babies. They were not wealthy. They worked hard for what they have. My dad still farms. He is what I call a gentleman farmer. He raises chickens and plant about a quarter of an acre. Mom freezes beans and makes her own spaghetti sauce. When I was a kid we didn't go back to school shopping. Mom made us a new outfit. It is from her I learned to sew. It is from my dad that I learned to embroider and crochet.

These are the things we take for granted until they are gone. Learn what you can from those around you. Age has great wisdom. RIP Bill Clemens and Hazel Butler.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Mice Saga Day 2

Mouse habitat has been located. I am not thrilled to say it is my front closet. Oh gee, that would be the one all my dresses hang in. Now to find the little pests.

Clothing was removed from hangers slowly and each item was placed in the appropriate pile for laundering. When that was done, the nest was not where I had expected it to be. My fear was that it was on the shelf above my head.

Anyone who knows me well, knows that the sight of a mouse is enough to make me turn green. This is giving me a headache and I'm feeling nausea coming on. So, I did what any brave soul would do and called for reinforcements.

I have a former student that has helped me over the summer with odd jobs. So I sent a text to see if he was available. Believe it or not he was. I went and picked him up and he tackled the closet as I kept the washer and dryer running. My second guess for where the nest was also wrong. But it was on the shelf above my head. The closet has been completely emptied and vacuumed. The mouse hole has been located and filled with spray foam. It has also been sprayed with Febreeze.

I must admit the Febreeze has not covered the smell. I am not surprised. It was horrible. Hopefully I am done with mice for this year, until they find another way in.

On that happy note, I am off to find some dinner. I suspect Big Boy is in order.

TTFN

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Saga of the Mouse or is it Mice?

I returned home from two nights away. There was a disgusting odor when I opened the back door. Foolish me thought it was the Clorox tab in the toilet. If only I could have been that lucky.

Two boxes of DeCon had been completely emptied. Seems my critter friends were stockpiling for the long winter. We all know what that does when eaten. Well it worked. Do you think I can find the little devil? The smell is worse in the living room/kitchen. I have looked everywhere, under sofa cushions, under sofas, behind the entertainment center and I've emptied every waste basket in the house. I've got windows open and fans on hoping to drive the smell out.

I have I mentioned that I hate mice? I have yet to find a purpose for them and a friend reminded me yesterday that hawks dine on them. Okay so then they should stay in the fields. I don't own a hawk.

This is me....animal lover...no. Don't wish them harm just not fond of them. Don't want any pets. The last thing I want is a mouse.

The search will continue and tomorrow I will be tearing my house completely apart. This when I have finally got it clean and clutter free for the most part.

TTFN

Wow! Just Say Wow!

My Coach Dawniel Winningham, has preached for months on going live to market our business. I cannot tell you how awesome going live reall...