Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Even With The Hassles, I Love Technology

Photo by Mary Vee
Yesterday, between breaks at my writer's conference, I--

FaceTimed a call with my daughter who is across the ocean in a study abroad program and heard about her fabulous day.

Pshaw, that's nothing, you might say.

But, it was everything to me. 

I know, I know, technology can be the pits at times. Yesterday the app we needed to get the handouts for our class didn't work for a time. During another session, we were told a number to text for more information. A friend keyed two 9's instead of three and couldn't find the message. Details. Details. Later still, the organization's techy staff took twenty minutes to get the instructor's presentation to display on the board. Glitches. Patience. Stress.

BUT, look what we still have.

Yesterday, my other daughter, living across the country made a short video of her family and added it to the private collection on You Tube. When I have my next break, I'm going to watch it. I love seeing what they are doing with their home, what they have to say, what makes them smile. 

There is a new law for anyone dealing with European audiences in any way. The GDPR law which will start May 25th, is designed to protect Europeans from having their data gathered. It is designed to precent companies from gathering information unbeknownst to the reader/customer/etc. Well, folks, the law has good intentions, but, I don't believe it is a cure. 

Still, if you receive a notice from a vendor you regularly receive information saying you need to confirm your desire to remain on a mailing list, you really need to confirm, or the individual/company will be required to remove your name from the list.

The benefits? Your email list won't have a bunch of spam.

The disadvantage, perhaps you have opened the mail for coupons or other benefits at times. You won't receive those anymore.

It's a lot of hype that, in my view won't accomplish the intent, but eh, I don't make the rules.

Instead, I'm going to enjoy my technology that lets me talk to my son with hands free phone while he is on a long trucking haul...

...and I'm going to enjoy chatting with you.

THANK GOD HE doesn't need to have us respond to the GDPR law. He will ALWAYS be there for us. And we have the freedom to chat with HIM ANYTIME.


This post has been brought to you by the one word: ILoveTechnology


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Good Kind of Exhaustion

Believe it or not, there is a good kind of exhaustion, and you've probably felt it.

The exhaustion at the end of the day when your thoughts vaporize the second your head hits the pillow. Hah, perhaps your eyes drifted shut while enjoying the wind down activity before going to bed, and someone from your family said, "Do you want to go to bed?" You naturally said, "No." Even if you really wanted to sleep. True?

My family gave me the best week ever celebrating Mother's Day. My son took me for a six-hour, intense hike after church on Sunday. My daughter took me on an adventure climb down a rugged cliff on Monday. No ropes required, but, yes we slid down mucky waterfall saturated earth.
Grand Haven
Photo by Mary Vee
My husband took me to one of the lighthouses on the Great Lakes. Of course, we walked the beach and to the end of the pier. 


Ending the three day adventures, my family watched my favorite movie with me. My eyes drifted toward sleep in the middle of the story. Hubby asked if I wanted to sleep. I naturally said, "No." Because my family couldn't have given me a better week, and some things should not end prematurely.

Spring/Summer sun drifts later into evening hours, wooing us outside. I wish it would do that all year long. Since this is the season for later sunlight, perhaps you've been preparing your flower or vegetable gardens, grooming the landscape around your home or the flower box in your apartment after supper. Opened the windows and breathed in the fresh air.

Life is too good--too short to sit in front of a media device when the outdoors beckons. Right?

In my wildest dreams, at this moment, I would transport to 

Sioux Charlie, Rocky Mountains
Photo by Mary Vee




Sioux Charlie hiking trail in the Rockies where hiking boots are essential to preserve the ankles.












or the trail leading back to Petra in Jordan where the sizzling heat causes hikers to consume liquid from at least three water bottles before reaching the historical city shown in the movie Indiana Jones.






or, and I haven't done this yet, hike the whole Appalachian trail from the upper east coast down to Georgia.

At the end of day. This kind of exhaustion is a good exhaustion. I collapse in my bed, close my eyes and am teleported back to my favorite places in my dreams. My mind may add a few surreal or unlikely details, but meh, it's all good.


Rise and shine. This is a day to enjoy.

Okay, caveat, so nasty issues poke their head in our plans. Seriously, our septic field just died. As in yesterday. The indoor calamity started a season of calling companies, driving to county offices, filling out applications, arranging inspectors, and yada yada, which hasn't ended and has blurted in to our sunny day. We will survive this mental exercise. The bank account will bounce back. On the tail end of this chapter, there will be time for more fun. 

So, what fun project/activity do you have today?


This post has been brought to you by the one word: GetOutsideAndHaveFun




Consider checking out my new release. 
Here is the link: Daring To Live by Mary Vee

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Celebrating Mothers' Day How Will You Spend the Day?






This is a great week to prepare for a fabulous mother's day.

Mothers' Day is This Sunday.



















According to lessons we learned about the birds and the bees, we all have a mother. Only Eve didn't have the privilege of dealing with voicing her opinion to her mother during teen years.












However, Eve was able to experience the blessings of being a mother. As the first woman to give birth, she had no one to help her through the experience, although it seems logical God served as the birthing coach.











So for all you moms.







All you future moms.







All you moms who have adopted.





All mom-in-laws.

From young to old, Happy Mother's Day.














So, gang, what will we do to honor Mom?





My favorite: the awesome, hand-crafted treasures from little tikes.









This post has been brought to you by the one word: CelebrateMother'sDay


Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Right Neighborly





Two young men came to the house yesterday. No, they weren't selling anything. They wanted to know if they could fish from the dock.








Rewind to the last three summers. 

The dock that came with the house had missing boards. Some of the boards didn't hold weight. Until we could afford to repair it, we chose not to use it. One day we found a neighbor sitting halfway down the dock with his feet in the water. He played his music and invited friends. 

Um ... no.

First, and most importantly, the dock was dangerous. 
Second, it was private property and had a sign indicating such.
Third...well, it just wasn't nice since he didn't ask.

Apparently the previous owners of our home let mostly anyone who pulled in the driveway have access to the yard and lake. 

At least fifty cars pulled in those summers, assuming they could park in the drive as before then head across the yard to the lake.

We set a policy. We would say no to all, not to be cruel, but to keep these individual from walking the dock and possibly getting hurt and to enable our free access to our driveway.

The dock has since been completely replaced. The lawn has been groomed. The driveway redone. And we have enjoyed our peaceful home in the woods. 

Fast forward to the young men on the porch with fishing poles and the kindest manners and the biggest hopes asking to fish off the dock.

I thought.
Hubby thought.
And in truth, we want to watch them catch some fish.


So, we said, yes, with the condition that they not spread the word.



"We won't tell. We promise."

For the next two hours, these boys casted and brought in big and little fish. The little fish, they wisely threw back. When they were ready to leave they stopped at the door, offered to shake our hands and said, thank you.

Wow. 


It's so easy to close ourselves off from those who have mistreated us. But when we do...we miss out on meeting those who can bring us joy.



This post has been brought to you by the one word: Neighborly

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

You Have Worth and Have Something to Smile About


There comes a time when each of us have been able to stand up on a box and shine. You may think you are not one, but, if you give me a moment to help you, I think you will agree that you too have had such a time. Maybe more than once, I hope so.

A time to shine, to beam from the depths of your heart.

It doesn't have to be epic to encourage us. To warm our heart.

I think of a small child who comes to an adult with an object or picture. Their eyes are wide and waiting to see the response. A smile fills their face. Their skin may add color. They are so proud of what they've done and are hopeful...so very hopeful to receive recognition. Encouragement. Support. Pleasure. This is an epic moment.

I think of a teen who has received the recognition they have longed for. Perhaps the unexpected good grade, being elected for school office, their name remembered by someone they didn't expect would notice them. Something from their family. A neighbor. Affirmation. Encouragement. Someone who noticed them and said something nice or acknowledge effort. 

I had a troubled teen life and the accompanying feelings of rejection. A director of a camp spoke at our church. He was funny. I really wanted to go to this teen camp. My dad refused to pay, so I took on jobs and earned the money. I was the only one from my church who went. When I came back and told the other teens what I saw, what we did, the fun we had, others from the teen group listened. The next year nearly all the teens from my church went to the camp and had fun. They probably didn't know how good that made me feel, but it did.

Adults have unusual events that can stir us to feel this sense of accomplishment, worth. It can be a vibrant garden. Something we fixed that actually worked. Friends that come for a visit and have a wonderful time.

Standing on this box and shining doesn't have to happen one time. Nor does it have to be huge, like an Olympic gold medal in the minds of others. But as we reflect on our life, it is to us.


So today is a 



Let it shine 


moment. 

Your life is important and you truly have great worth.


Let's focus on the good and enjoy this day



I get to start.





Last week my novel, Daring to Live, was released on Amazon in paperback and Kindle. This is a patriotic suspense novel. There are already two comments posted and the book just released! 

From Jenni:
Another amazing novel by May Vee.

Others are reading in their spare time.
 
Here is a bit about the story:


Patriotism On American Soil 

Little did Staff Sergeant Ethan Hartman know that being sent stateside would result in his next search and rescue mission. 

Liz Westcott fights for a place to sleep after being evicted. She settles for a local train station, the only available roof. There are those who live under that roof, thieves and liars, who look for people like Liz, welcome them into their family, then prevent their escape. Liz's only hope until she can escape, is Daring to Live another minute. 

Suspense that will keep you reading long into the night.

                      Click here: Daring to Live Paperback                Click here: Daring to Live - Kindle eBook


I look forward to hearing what you think about the story. Please let me know!



This post has been brought to you by the one-word: LetYourLifeShine

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

We'd Like To Order Spring, Please


Photo by Mary Vee
The wintery Springtime photos are popping up in news and social medial like popcorn. They don't look anything like my photo from last year to the left! 

From all over the United States, Winter has its hold creating an irritant.

Yes we're kinda tired of the white lawns.

But, did you know snow has unique chemicals not found in rain? These chemicals seep into the soil and produce vibrant crops. Without the snow, farmers must enhance the soil with specialized fertilizers containing these same chemicals. 

I prefer the natural found in snow. Don't you?

Let's check back at the end of this growing season and see what the earth has produced.


Often times irritants sneak into our day. 

Here's a crazy one. This morning, I opened the fridge to get out cream for my coffee. My daughter came into the room and had an important story to share. I listened while grabbing the "creamer", poured said creamer into coffee while keeping eye contact with my daughter, put the lid back on then opened the fridge and realized I had the orange juice in my hand. Good grief. 

I am not one to waste. I am also one willing to try something new. I pulled out the creamer and thought, what would orange flavored coffee taste like? Could I endure it for this one cup? I'd only poured a few drops of the orange juice. Let's just say, the flavor surprised me. Not totally nasty. Not delicious. But tolerable.

Not all irritants are that easy to work with. Some impose upon precious prescheduled time. Some impose upon our health. 

I think of Hudson Taylor, the famous missionary to China long ago. Thousands came to hear him speak about God. He traveled all over China, spoke in his homeland, England, he organized a mission in China, raised funds, and so much more. One day, he injured his back and was unable to leave his bed for nearly a year. This was difficult to endure at first until he realized what he now had the time to do. He dedicated hours to prayer and writing books that are still evangelizing a world, encouraging missionaries, and uplifting the souls. 

When an irritant comes your way, not if, because one always seem to find us, endure. Endure until you can see, somewhere in the moment, there was a good. 


This post has been brought to you by the one word: SomethingGood

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Stories in Print- Animal Prints in Woods Tell Stories


Photo by Mary Vee
I heard a great interview with a nature expert on the radio this morning. The topic, of course, piqued my interest, especially since he was showing the interviewer signs of coming Spring.

With the snow still floating through the air in my neck of the woods, in April no less, I wanted to hear about these signs as an encouragement that yes, Spring really and truly would come.

When you live in a northern state, constant gray skies from November through April can get pretty dull. It's difficult to believe new blossoms are on their way. Animals are waking from hibernation. And the circle of life is not broken.

This radio interview, conducted in a northeast state, let listeners hear the crunch of boots while guide and interviewer traversed through nature. The guide stopped. "See here," he said. "This is a bear paw print. Almond shaped for the toes. A small indentation for the heal. This bear is on all fours. It is a cub. Probably woke before Mama and is out looking for food."

The interviewer told us the guide leaned down to imitate all fours to show positioning. The guide said, "These tracks are like a diary. In all my years, I haven't seen a bear on my hikes, and I'm glad. I wouldn't want to disturb them from their activity. I have, though traced their journey. From these tracks, I can read their journal. What interests they had. What came their way. What created a fear or caused an active response."

Interviewer and guide walked farther then stopped. "See here. These are porcupine tracks. next to them is a gray fox. Predator and prey. These prints are missed by most hikers."

I realized even when I hike I see the big picture all around me but miss these stories in print.

While the short interview ended a moment later, several points rang true. 

Animal tracks tell a story. 
Good details are often missed by the larger things around us.

Today's challenge for you, try to see the little things in life. 
The small packages.
The smile before the giggle.
The flap of a bird's wing.
The single snowflake.
The word on the piece of paper.
The bud.
The drop.
The background.

There is SO MUCH in our world that we haven't seen...and it's right in front of our eyes.


This post has been brought to you by the one word: TinyTreasures


My newest book is slated for a May 1 release. The story is suspense. Likened to a Tom Clancy story.

At one point, the hero, Staff Sergeant Ethan Hartman says to Liz, a woman who lost her job, four months later was evicted, then was trapped in her on sense of never being able to climb out of her situation:

"You can't leap into an invisible hot vat of unworthiness. It will boil all of your potential away. there is so much you can do. Daring to live will help you get up in the morning. I'm only starting to learn that. Helping you escape is my first step toward climbing out of that vat. Trust me." Ethan Hartman


Daring to Live will first be available in paperback on Amazon and other bookseller. Here is the cover: 




Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Finished a Huge Goal Today. One You Enjoy

Finishing a book takes a whole heap of work. I love using the word heap in settings like this. I heard it used by a Jamaican once and thought it sounded perfect.

Any way, I am bound to get today's post out to you before midnight, since it is still Tuesday. 

There's a great sense of fulfillment to meeting a huge goal when time is restricted. Mine was to format my manuscript for publication. No it's not finished, but the piece I assigned for today is. Even if it took the entire day minus making dinner and the other daily required duties, I know this, though, I can go to bed happy today's to-do list is finished. 

This was not a tedious chore. Well, maybe it was a bit when the computer didn't do what I wanted. There is a lot of give and take, downright compromising when dealing with computers. In the end I won.

After more than a year invested, the book is due to be released May 1 in paperback. It will be available in Kindle format as part of a boxed Patriotic novel set later in May.

This is the finished cover. What do you think?


Look intriguing?

Zoom in on the back cover and read the blurb. Intriguing, right?

This is a story of two individuals under fire. As a result they both feel a hefty dose of worthlessness. Even though their issues are different, one answer promises to help.

I hope you're excited now about the release.

Let me know what you think in the comment section below.


Again, please forgive the short post. I should be back on track next week. 



Saturday, March 31, 2018

The Week That Changed Eternity - part 5

We are in Israel this week. Walking the streets Jesus walked years ago.

Today is quiet. It is the day after the crucifixion.

Except those who still weep. 

Many are shocked.

The earth became so very dark we could feel it yesterday. The earth shook. The veil in the temple ripped in two.

Then He died.

Joseph received permission to take the body and bury it in his tomb. 

All of that happened yesterday.

The disciples didn't know what to do. They stood dazed. 




This week, I am sending you daily posts to break up this deep discussion into portions because it deserves our attention. ALL PHOTOS and videos in this post are by Mary Vee.

Last year, about this time, I went to Israel with hubby and recorded the stations of the cross. It is a moving journey. One that slips events found in the Bible from words to reality.

Walk with me. You don't have to pack a bag or save for a long airplane trip. You can go with me. Right now. Stations 1-12 are in the posts below.



Station 13: The anointing stone where Jesus' body was first laid.  







Station 14 The Tomb. There are two places remembered as the place of the tomb. One is in the Holy Sepulcher, the other is the Garden Tomb. I have no idea which it is, but think to myself does it matter? To go to both places, which we did, gave me an opportunity to focus on what Jesus did for me. 

Inside the Holy Sepulcher we stood in a very long line to enter the place in the photo. Guards strictly enforce a no photography rule.  Ten people were allowed in the inner room at a time. We were given about two minutes before asked to leave to let the next group in. It was a busy, crowded place.  













At the Garden Tomb beautiful gardens lined the narrow walkways. There are about five covered gathering places for groups to sit, talk, share communion, sing. I enjoyed this place much more.














And so on this day after the crucifixion we sit in silence and ponder.



With the conclusion of these Fourteen stations, 
I will give you a chance to think on these things and respond. Scroll down to see the previous posts with the first twelve stations.





This post has been brought to you by the one word: WhatJesusDidForUs

Friday, March 30, 2018

The Week That Changed Eternity - pat 4

We are in Israel this week. Walking the streets Jesus walked years ago.

We call today Good Friday to remember what was done for us.

This week, I am sending you daily posts to break up this deep discussion into portions because it deserves our attention. ALL PHOTOS and videos in this post are by Mary Vee.

Last year, about this time, I went to Israel with hubby and recorded the stations of the cross. It is a moving journey. One that slips events found in the Bible from words to reality.

Walk with me. You don't have to pack a bag or save for a long airplane trip. You can go with me. Right now. Stations 1-9 are in the posts below.

Station 10: Pain and suffering was not enough for those who wanted to torment and rid their nation of Jesus. The soldiers added humiliation. 

Not that the walk through city streets lined with masses screaming at Him wasn't humiliation, utter rejection alone. They stripped Him of his clothes before nailing Him to the cross. 


 







Station 11 Here, Jesus is nailed to the cross. Long metal nails pierce his skin penetrating through his hands and sinking into the wood. The cross is lifted. His body jarred. Jerked into place. The strain of His body mass pulled down.

Jesus, our Savior, could have stopped them. But He didn't.

This was the only way to fully pay the punishment required for the sins of the people He created and loved. 

To visit this site, we had to bow to enter a narrow, dark, staircase to the upper level.


  



Station 12 Jesus the Christ died. "It is finished." Forgive us, God, for we did not know what we did.

At this place, we knelt and crawled under to touch the rock said to be from the hill Golgotha.








There will be posts Saturday and Sunday as well. We found out there is also a station 13 and 14.  So much to share with you on this trip!! 



With the conclusion of these twelve stations, 
I will give you a chance to think on these things and respond. Scroll down to see the previous posts with the first six stations.





This post has been brought to you by the one word: WhatJesusDidForUs