Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Flag Day This Week-Do you Really Want To Live In Another Country? AND CELEBRATING MY BIRTHDAY!!

This Thursday is Flag Day in the United States.





Photo by Mary Vee
Tennessee Overlook near Johnson City

No matter the good, the bad, and the ugly, living in the United States isn't so bad. I'm sure I think this because I grew up here, which makes it home. 

Many of you have visited another country or two, maybe more. You saw the great sights, ate the food, and made great memories. Me too. And for a moment I might have thought I'd like to move to that country. 

I'd probably have to learn another language. The culture would be completely different. I'd have to work around my savings, give up having the transportation I'm used too. Find a job. A place to live. Probably wouldn't be able to see my family as often. I don't know. Maybe it wouldn't be such a great idea.

After a while, I'd find issues with similar governmental decisions, etc. in the new country. I'd hear and read the complaints from those living there and eventually come to the conclusion every place has problems. So, I may as well stay home.




Would you really want to live in another country?

We say these things usually in frustration, but I'm not so sure we mean them. 

For now, let's choose to honor this country we call home and plan to raise our flag this Thursday.



AND






My birthday is this week!!




I love to share with my readers on my birthday. This year, I will give away one eBook copy of my 2018 Patriotic book, Daring to Live, A Patriotic Suspense Novel to one commenter. 

Simply leave a comment and your email address for me to notify you. Only comments with email addresses are eligible as entries for this give-away. All are welcome to enter. The winner will be randomly chosen from all entries.

BONUS ENTRY; If a friend also mentions you in their comment, you will get a bonus entry. All are welcome to enter.

BONUS ENTRY for anyone signing up for a Never Give Up Story adventure with Mary Vee:

Come. Take an adventure with us by subscribing to a free Never Give Up Story to be delivered to your email! Each time a Never Give Up Story arrives in your mailbox, you will have an opportunity to virtually travel to an amazing place in the world with Mary Vee, suspense author. Ride a pirate ship, climb cliffs, whitewater raft, soar to the top of the Eiffel Tower, this and much more. Dare to explore from the comfort of your home. Join us. The passage is free!  Here is the link: Click Here to Virtually Travel Around the World With Mary Vee. It's FREE!

ALSO:

I am also listing Daring To Live, A Patriotic Suspense Novel on sale for $0.99 in celebration of Flag Day and my birthday for this week. CLICK HERE to get your copy



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


Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Rural Life 101. So Much to Learn When Foiling Murphy's Law


Timing is everything.



I've been a city dweller and have learned to live by the clock. 

If I didn't, I'd miss the bus, train, subway, carpool, or get stuck in horrendous traffic especially during construction season. Oh yeah, this girl can survive in the city.

Now that I am a rural dweller I see this life also runs on a clock. Like planting season. Why, rural folk even put calling the septic company to drain the tank on the calendar! And that's not all! 

I've learned when the earliest time to safely walk on lake's ice, the best fishing spots, how to shop bulk because the nearest grocery store is far away, when to pick then can various fruits and vegetables, how to work a generator because the power goes out a lot of times, how to work a tractor mower and heavy duty snowblower, and much more. I can even make a dutch oven full of the best hearty stew you've ever tasted. This girl has her rural on. 

In both city and country the workings can get mucked up without a notice. This is the time I'd prefer living in an apartment because I can call maintenance. 

Unfortunately, the maintenance guy is us in our rural home.

These last two weeks I've learned how to identify and resolve a septic field that has collapsed.

I didn't remember signing up for this class.

Had I been asked ahead of time, I would have said the idea stank. 


But here I am. 



Two trips to the county office. County inspectors visits. The bad news in writing. Contacting a plumber. Hearing the news. Calling the county back. Getting a revised permit. Calling the septic service, then listen for the mighty trucks rolling.

I must admit, I thought the ten huge construction vehicles rumbling up the street were exciting until they crawled across our one-year-old asphalt driveway. 

Still, I felt like a little kid watching all the trucks and workers.









I was excited to see how easily the yard could be transformed into twenty ten-foot mounds. How easily the earth collapsed under a worker. He only fell six feet.













I filmed each step. Interviewed the workers. I could write a book about the subject.

But I won't.

Because I really don't like non fiction.









The tale is nearly over. Only half of the ten foot mounds are left in the backyard. The workers have gone home. They'll finish the job tomorrow morning.


And we have written on our calendar to check the system every three years like other rural folk do. BTW we didn't cause the problem. The poor system had become old. It lasted 30 years which is unusual.




The good news is we won't have problems when our 6 month grandson comes to visit next month. And trust me. Those little critters can test a septic system.


All in all. Murphy's Law didn't win (if anything can go wrong, it will). And Pollyanna can say we played the glad game. (Disney movie)



This post has been brought to you by the one word: FoilMurphy'sLaw


Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The Party Where No Two People Physically Met In The Same Room


 Photo Credit
I went to a really fun party last night. Gifts, fifteen people, celebration style.

At this party no two people were physically in the same room.

Had I said this, oh, ten years ago, you might have labeled me crazy.

I'll add another interesting component: no two people were in the same state, AND at least one was in another country.

Ah, yes, I've given you clues.

I looked at the title of my last posts and laughed. Seems I've been on a technology binge. This is definitely not a techy blog. We gather to talk about what is happening and give our views. Yet, here we are again talking about a tech related topic. A topic that presented the only means to solve a problem:

Fifteen close friends, initially drawn together because we are writers.

Living across the United States and Australia.

The youngest will soon be married.

Few can go to her wedding.

The answer?

An online party. We set the date and sent our packages to the youngest member. She jokingly sent photos of the growing mailbox tower as the date grew nearer.

The party-time was set for 7pm central. 

Fifteen is too many for most group video calls and too few for others that charge. Ten is the limit for Skype and I think FaceTime. Google Hang-outs is ten also. We've used Skype in the past and learned we could only use this program free one time as a group, and we rarely got together as a whole group more than a few times a year. FaceTime had sound issues. Possibly because our group was spread out over the globe?? Not sure. Last night we tried Google Hang-outs.  

The youngest initiated the call to insure everyone could at least connect with her. When the tenth person signed on, the youngest used a second device to contact the others then faced the second device to capture the gifts and the screen of the other ten. Last, she set the volumes high to let all fifteen hear and respond.

We chattered as though siting in the same room. Drank beverages. Ate party food. Laughed. Oooed over each gift. Shared stories. The youngest smiled. Towards the end she panned her room showing the array of unwrapped gifts. 

We talked into the night. Like any other party. Getting up to refill drinks or get more food before returning to the screen.

Ten years ago, we wouldn't have had this party. Sure we could have sent the gifts and asked her to open them on one night, but it would have been nothing like what we had last night. Fifteen good friends celebrating the upcoming marriage of the youngest even though no two lived close enough to meet together.

That was cool.

Kinda like this blog, where people from around the world can gather to discuss topics. 

Hopefully this has given you an idea for how to meet with your own friends who can't go to the same location. A means to celebrate or lament with others when they cannot physically meet with you. A way to keep friends and family together.


Click here to tweet this post: How friends can have a Party When No Two People Can Physically Meet In The Same Location. #NeverGiveUpStories


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


My new book, Daring to Live is on sale for one more day! $0.99 Pick up a copy. Read this story that dares to live when life is difficult.





CLICK HERE for more information

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