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Sunday, May 2, 2021

Heart Shield


 For everyone returning to school, or work,
 after the pandemic:

 Listen to Your Heart

Sometimes our hearts have extra beats.

Rhythmic ones,

making us do things

we didn’t think we could do.

These beats encourage tenderness

to sprout into confidence,

with a whisper of boldness,

a murmur of sass.

 

A wilting flower,

now top of the class.

Instead of dregs,

the last in line waits for a fresh,

warm tray of refills.

A leader in a world of followers.

Blossom among weeds,

poised colorfully,

above spikey,

painful foxtails.

 

Those tapping extra beats,

thump loudly when facing the enemy.

Where evil lurks,

focus on the sound

emanating

from the heart.

Choose a course,

where distant drums approach;

the aegis,

the backup,

the cavalry

on the path,

to success.

 


Tuesday, April 13, 2021

St. Rae Helbignatni (In Reverse)

 Just for fun!

Oxymoron- (A phrase with contradictory words)

I’ve been told by a few people that the title of my latest novel is an Oxymoron.

In other words, The Happy War sounds about as believable as jumbo shrimp or an original copy. Certain phrases sneak into our vocabulary, like the walking dead, for example. In my novel, Linda, the main character, uses the phrase The Happy War as a way to refer to her plan. She has an idea to save the world from hate, and though it’s not really a full-fledged, regular, fighting type war, it’s a personal mission against all manner of evil. When she meets a guy called Eric, they seem to click on a mysterious romantic level, but he also shares her desire to ‘save the world’. They assemble a team of loyal friends to help them with their endeavor and that’s how their ‘war’ begins.

Anagrams- (rearranged letters for a new meaning)

There’s an anagram finder available at:

What Hay Prep?
Yup, another anagram of The Happy War
Anagram Creator

The best anagram I found for The Happy War is Warpath Hype

Palindromes- (A phrase or word that reads the same backward or forwards) If your name is Anna, Bob, Otto or Eve, you know what I mean. Just remember when you visit Amazon to look for The Happy War by Eve Gaal. 😊

A Semordnilap is Palindromes spelled backward. It’s sort of like a palindrome except now there’s a new meaning. For example, War is now raw. and stressed is desserts. No lemon is no melon and a famous semordnilap is Madam, I’m Adam.

The best I can say, is that our hearts- can love forwards, backwards and upside down!





Friday, April 2, 2021

Love With Everything You've Got!

 


Imagine that Jesus asked you to visit on Easter.

What would you bring?

How would you dress?

Would you call your friends to tag along?

Would you call the television news stations in your area?

Shout about it on rooftops?

Alert the newspapers?

Stand on a street corner and preach?

Share it on social media?

Borrow the intercom at the warehouse store?

Advertise it on the stadium jumbotron?

Shake from fear?

Begin to pray?

Ask for forgiveness?

Read the Bible?

Volunteer?

Stop at stop signs?

Write a will?

Blow it off with a joke?

Visit relatives?

Remind Him there’s a pandemic?

Tell Him you’re busy?

💓 

Seriously. Close your eyes and imagine it. He’s saying, ‘Please, we’d love to have you.’

Picture the Son of God asking you to join Him.

Visualize His face, His robe, His hands.

He asks for YOU every day!

It doesn’t mean you have to run to church.

Or learn special prayers.

If you want to be with Him,

He’ll feel it.

He knows you're not perfect.

If you’re near, He’ll know it.

Accept the invitation immediately.

Tonight.

Tell Him you can’t wait.

Be happy and eager.

And, while you’re getting ready,

spread love.

It's the best way to

prepare your intangible heart.

 

“Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37). 

Happy Easter!

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Staying Optimistic

 

March 2021 is such an interesting month. By this time, we should have an idea which way things are going. We’ve left the cliff behind, right? After a year like 2020, our ears are perked like Easter bunnies and our eyes focus on the horizon. It's almost St. Patrick's Day when folks hold up a glass and say, Slainte, which means health. Speaking of health, things are better, right?

The future of America depends on kids who can attend school! Teams are waiting for star players, while crickets hang out under the dugout. Libraries are opening but have several restrictions, churches take reservations, restaurants may, or may not, have indoor seating, and you might be able to try on clothes at your favorite department store, but don’t quote me. And, while you’re out and about, don’t get tired, because there are no benches or places to sit. I’m convinced double masking is for the young. I can’t do it.

How about the age limit for a vaccine? Should I skip it all together? Will anyone want to hug or shake hands anymore? Is kissing someone on the cheek forbidden? Dancing? Weddings? Dang, I'm confused.

It’s like that song by The Clash, ‘Should I stay or Should I Go?’ 

Thankfully, there’s one constant--the love in our hearts coming from God. One Alpha and Omega who is the same yesterday, today and forever. I think I’ll focus on that for now.

 Happy St. Patrick's Day to all my friends!

Though I had trouble breathing,
 the merchandise spoke to me. 


Saturday, February 27, 2021

You Never Walk Alone

 

As a writer with hobbies like reading, cooking and crocheting, getting exercise is imperative. The last few weeks we’ve had to go on slow, short walks, even though my legs prefer, and need, longer walks. The short walk is about a quarter mile and the long walk is a lovely two miles. While there are a few medium routes that are one mile long, I get overruled on those due to hilly terrain or traffic. Hubs has pain from knee surgery and an old ankle injury. Maybe I was a Labrador retriever in my last life, because I love to go for walks. Short, long or in between, I’m happy with any kind of walk!

Funny thing is, I have a sweet friend who would gladly walk with me and go on long, strenuous walks, but bless her heart, she likes to go fast! She’ll round the corner, shouting and turning back to me, “Hurry up,” she’ll say, “come on!”  But, I don't want to hurry. Being outside is a luxury during a pandemic. We've been cooped up like chickens and locked up like convicts! This is 2021—nothing is fast—why should I be fast?  I like to listen to the birds sing, I like to enjoy the fresh air, the flowers and the all-around scenery, perhaps take photos of a sprouting tree or the yellow underbelly of a finch. Sadly, I told her I’ll walk with my husband, who would rather do just about anything these days, and yet, out of the kindness of his heart, he still acquiesces to the short walk; this is the same guy who once walked 100 miles at one time in the Army!  

When I go alone, I opt for a brisk medium walk. Truth be told, I miss walking my dogs. Pinky is a senior dog and I can’t risk some lightning fast dog approaching her and scaring her to death. She’s been attacked before in La Quinta (Bull dog and Rottweiler-15 stitches), and then almost again when we lost Fiona to a big Belgian Malinois running off leash. Fiona had on a thick camouflaged harness, looking adorable, when out of the blue, tragedy struck.  I picked up Pinky and ran home screaming, “Jesus help me!” Yup, I left Fiona and my husband to die. Fortunately, Steve survived, but after fighting over Fiona, the dog had bit Steve’s throat while looking for his jugular!

Later, when animal control took a report, they told us they weren’t putting the bad dog down, only placing him on house arrest for one year! Just appalling. Sorry for the sad facts, but walking just isn’t the same without your furry friends at your side. And, I suppose as time goes on, I'll be  relegated to going it alone or mopping my floors instead. Housework sucks! 

The thing is, I shouldn’t mind walking alone. After all, I’m never alone, right? Remember that song from the musical “Carousel”, called, “You’ll Never Walk Alone?” Here’s a great rendition: 



Today, I noticed a few chalk drawings in front of the park where Fiona and Steve were attacked. A year and half later, my head still can’t shake those vivid, painful memories. How can something like this happen in our neighborhood? I fight back tears every time I walk by the scene of the bloody event and there, at my feet is a message.  A chalk drawing to remind me--He’s here--wherever I choose to step-- and wherever I intend to go.




Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Valentine Hope!

 

It’s gray outside, in fact, it looks and feels bleak. Our country is not only cold, as in rain and snow, but also battling a virus. For the last few months things have been horrible and depressing. My noise cancelling headphones broke in half—so now there’s nowhere to hide from the six o’clock news. Our friends are in and out of hospitals. Sadly, despite our constant prayers, a few didn’t make it. Another is stuck in hospice.

Even during the darkest days, we know things will get better. Of course, they will, but even smiling broadcasters don’t have a clue as to when. But there’s always hope, or at least there should be hope.

“Where there is no hope, it is incumbent on us to invent it.”
~ Albert Camus

At 7:48am this morning someone sent me flowers. The doorbell rang and the driver, who should have worn a mask, handed me a lovely bouquet of roses, lilies and daisies. After setting them on the counter, I immediately washed my hands. Still, it came as a delightful surprise.

Five minutes later, a romantic couple of large, mallard ducks flew into our backyard as a sort of harbinger of spring. Splashing and quacking, they shook their tail feathers and sat down on the flagstone. Every year a couple, maybe the same ones, return to lay eggs behind our mesquite tree. Once the ducklings hatch, they toddle off behind mama duck, to a local creek. Why would this year be any different?

An hour later, my Valentine went to get his first dose of the vaccine. Things are looking up. There might even be a bit of sunshine today!

 


May hope and love fill your heart this Valentine’s Day!

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Nervous Birds!

 

When I look at the birds, I feel sorry for them. Outside in the cold, they sit on barren trees, exposed to the elements, in what folks in California describe as cold weather. 

In ancient times, way before they had fast-talking meteorologists, there were natural ways to figure out upcoming changes in the weather. I don’t mean fast-talking as a slur, but here, during Golden State winters, we have a lot going on.  Periodically, I even worry the forecasters need to take a breath, lest they keel over on camera.

Arms gesticulating in front of a giant map, they inhale and explain how rain is swooping in from the north, while heat is coming in from the south. There’s a dangerous current blowing in from the east, snow in the mountains with light precipitation in the valleys, a heat wave in the desert, and hazardous rip currents at the beach, with an onshore flow that will bring coastal fog to low-lying communities.

Oh, my goodness, it all sounds so exciting, even my heart begins to race! (It doesn’t take much during this stay at home order and pandemic.)

As a viewer, we try deciphering the diagrams pertaining to our area, but somehow, the predictions rarely match reality.  Maybe we live in a micro-climate? While the doppler radar can foresee our future, we scratch our heads wondering where our home fits into the analytical scheme of things. Still, we’re a sucker for entertainment so we keep watching the weather report.

But outside, there’s something different going on. “Relax,” the birds outside my window seem to chirp. “You have a home— so stop complaining—stay inside. Sure, it’s cold—it’s winter—duh. In case you haven’t noticed, we’re busy. We need to build a nest as soon as possible. I need a twig. I need to call my friends. How am I supposed to raise a family? I need to sing to warn the others that bad weather is coming, and I need to find food to sustain me when it’s cold.”

Every night at 5pm, hundreds of crows fly overhead.

Okay, I see their point. Just like weatherpersons speaking faster in winter, they fly and flit with a greater urgency. Time is of the essence. Based on what I see, it’s going to rain tomorrow.