Friday, May 25, 2012

Finding the Beauty

     The GBE2 prompt for week #53 is to  take a line from a book and write a new story starting with that line.  For my book I chose Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery, which will always be my favorite story of all time.   Other than the first sentence, this story will be purely a figment of my imagination.

     Anne's beauty-loving eyes lingered on it all, taking everything greedily in; she had looked on so many unlovely places in her life, poor child; but this was as lovely as anything she had ever dreamed.  Leaning on her elbows with her nose against the window pane of the second story bedroom she looked longingly at the fully in-bloom cherry tree, so full you could barely see the branches.  She wondered if it smelled as beautiful as it looked.  Over to the left she saw a flower bed with its sunshine yellow daylillies, deep purple irises and blushing pink peonies standing regally in the daylight.  She had never seen such green grass before and tried to imagine what it would feel like under her bare feet.  Suddenly, looking beyond the yard into the meadow, her breath caught in her throat.  Could it really be or was this just another figment of her vivid imagination?    But no, this was real.  It was just as she had pictured in her mind.  Running through the meadow was a babbling brook...a brook where she could wade, or just sit on the edge with her feet splashing in the water.  Had she finally died and gone to heaven; could this paradise really be hers; or would reality set in and disappoint her once again?

     Anne had known more than her fair share of disappointment in her young years.  At only 7, she had dealt with more tragedy than most adults could handle.  When Anne was 4 years old, she and her parents were in a horrible car accident that had changed the course of her life forever.  Both parents were killed instantly.  Anne's fragile little body was left broken and mangled with life barely hanging by a prayer.   She was hospitalized for nearly a year with multiple surgeries to repair broken limbs and her mangled face.  The once beautiful, vibrant little girl was now unrecognizable.  Even at her young age the hideous scars made her cry when she looked in the mirror.    Over the 2 years since her initial release from the hospital she had been back for 3 more surgeries to continue the reconstruction of her face.    Anne was once again a beautiful little girl to anyone who saw her, although, when she looked in the mirror all she could see were the ugly scars that haunted her.

     As difficult as it was to deal with her health problems, that wasn't the biggest change in Anne's life.  She no longer had a stable home where she was surrounded by people who loved her.  After the death of her parents, she had no living relatives to take over her care.  She became a ward of the state and was passed around from foster home to foster home.  At first many of them mistreated her, laughing at her because of her deformed face.  Each time she returned to the hospital she would be sent to a new home upon being released.  They never got any better.  She never had a room of her own but had to share with other foster children, many of whom were bullies and abusive.  With each move she withdrew further into herself.  She began dreaming of beautiful things and soon her only means of survival was her imagination.  Instead of crying herself to sleep she would imagine a beautiful home in the country with people who would love her and a life full of friends.  She always imagined a babbling brook where she could play on hot days and a big yard where she could fly a kite and run with her new puppy.  

     Now, here she was.  Looking out a window at the very scene she had imagined so many times.  Then slowly turning around she took a good look at the beautiful bedroom where she had just slept.  It was everything a girl her age could dream of.  White furniture with a soft, thick, comforter on the bed, with pink and purple flowers and pillow shams that match.   And the carpet!  Even in her wildest imagination  she had never felt anything so soft. 

     A tear slipped down Anne's cheek as she suddenly snapped to attention.   All the disappointments of the last 3 years came flooding back and she knew she couldn't get too attached.  After all, how could a nice couple like the Ginghams want to adopt an ugly little girl like her?  Little did she know, she was exactly the beautiful little girl they had always dreamed of.


 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Time Spent: My Guilty Pleasure

     This week's topic for GBE2 Week # 52 is Guilty Pleasure.  Seems easy enough, right?   It's something we all indulge in, and I'm no exception, but for some reason I've had a hard time writing this one. 

     When thinking of my guilty pleasures, the first thing that comes to mind is the usual culprits...chocolate, doughnuts and ice cream.   These would definitely be my go-to foods for guilty pleasure.  I am a self proclaimed chocoholic; fresh doughnuts are out of this world; and who doesn't love ice cream!    These are an easy call, but if I am being honest, not my most intense guilty pleasure.

     So what, might you ask, could give more pleasure than Hershey's pure milk chocolate or rocky road ice cream?    It's simple...my computer.

     Okay, I can hear you clearly saying, "Is she crazy?"  No, I am not crazy, I am being honest.  I spend more time on my computer than any person who doesn't get paid for it should.  My husband claims I am addicted to it and he may be right.  I spend way too much time on it and love every minute of it.  It's my way of keeping up with new friends and checking in with old ones.  It's my link to things in this world I will never see.  It's an outlet for a lifelong dream to write and a place to connect with other writers.  Unfortunately, as I accomplish all this, these little voices appear in my head telling me about all the things I should be doing instead.  These little voices are very annoying and no matter what I do they won't go away.  They are determined to make me feel guilty.  Therefore, I would have to say my computer is my greatest, worst (depends on how you look at it) guilty pleasure. 

Until next time...that's my view.
Kat

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

WooHoo! Another Award! And another!

     I am always so excited when someone presents me with a blogging award.  It is such an honor and shows that someone really does appreciate what I write.   I would like to express my most heartfelt appreciation to November Rain ~k~ at Bloggit Write for bestowing on me the Kreativ Blogger award.

   

     She is such a creative person and if you aren't already a follower you really should check out her blog.   As with any of these awards, we are supposed to tell you some details about ourselves that you don't already know.  Since my blog is personal, my life is pretty much an open book so with apologies to those before me I am going to skip that part.

     The part I am going to do happily is pass this lovely award on to other deserving bloggers.  These are my recipients for The Kreativ Blogger Award.

Stephanie at  Clay Baboons

Dawn at  Alphabet Salad 

Brenda at   Fact vs Truth 

Kelly at  Diminishing Gene Pool 

The Frizzy Hooker at   Frizzy 

     There are many more deserving bloggers out there so be sure to check out some new sites whenever you get the chance.  Again, thank you, thank you to November Rain.

     Before I was even able to get my thank-yous posted for the first award, I was blessed with another from  Paps at Thoughts of PAPS.  She has graciously awarded me the Versatile Blogger Award.


     She is a beautiful person and has a wonderful blog you really should check out if you are not already a follower.  Now I would like to pass this award on to a few other deserving blogs.  Please check out:

Darlene at Darlene ~Bloggity Blogger~

Mom of the Perpetually Grounded

Sandra at  A Writer Weaves a Tale...


four under 4 (plus two)

Marianne at We Band of Mothers

     Much love to November Rain and Paps, and to all my fellow bloggers out there who are all deserving.



Until next time...that's my view.
Kat

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Me I Try to Hide - Living with Arthritis

     This is me.  Nothing earth shattering or unusual.  Nothing that if you walked up to me you would  immediately think there were any serious health problems.  And that is the way I like to keep it.  I don't like to  talk a lot about my problems because everyone has their own.  I don't want to be a complainer or a whiner.  That is not the reason for this post.  I am writing this post because May is National Arthritis Awareness Month and maybe it's time to help people understand that just because they can't see something doesn't mean it's not there.  I want people to know that those who live with arthritis and other forms of chronic pain can hide a lot behind their smile.

     Arthritis Awareness Month is not necessary for arthritis sufferers.  We are aware every single day.  We know the pain, stiffness, swelling, lack of mobility, and crippling effects of this silent disease.  Awareness month is about educating the general public; friends and family members who don't understand how debilitating arthritis can be.  Many think that unless you have the type that deforms your body and is immediately visible it can't be that bad.  They couldn't be more wrong.  There are over 100 types of arthritis and many of them can be extremely painful and even deadly without causing deformity.    Once, during a really painful spell, I was told that everyone would have arthritis if they lived long enough.  In other words, that person thought I was making a big deal out of nothing.  Since then I've been very hesitant to mention my arthritis in front of anyone.  

     I am not a novice when it comes to living with chronic pain.  My life has been lived in spite of chronic pain from degenerative disc disease for over 30 years.  In that 30 years I have had 5 spine surgeries and developed at least 5 other types of arthritis besides the DDD.   That is not what I want to focus on here.  My purpose here, as I mentioned before, is education.  

     Like others who suffer from chronic pain, I have good days and bad days.  You only see me on good days.  Bad days when I can barely get out of bed because the pain is so severe, I never go out of the house.  I am not alone.  There are many like me out there who live day to day with chronic pain, trying to live as normal a life as we can.  We must learn our limitations and accept them; not always an easy task.  The one thing that is not an option is giving up.

     Depression is one of the biggest pitfalls of living with chronic pain.  Every morning when you wake up you must make a conscious decision to be happy.  Even on good days the pain can be excruciating but manageable.   When you live with pain as long as I have you learn to hide it very well.  You can fool almost anyone except those closest to you.  Sometimes you learn to hide it so well that even you begin to forget your limitations and try to do more than you should.  Big mistake.  When you over-do it you end up spending the next day in bed.

     May is Arthritis Awareness month.  If you know someone who suffers from arthritis pain, don't assume it is just your normal everyday arthritis like many get from aging.  It may be much more serious and that person may be suffering in ways you know nothing about.  Show a little understanding.

     If you would like more information on arthritis please check out the Arthritis Foundation at arthritis.org or contact your local chapter.    Many thanks to the magazine Today's Woman for doing feature articles on women who live with arthritis.  I was honored to be included in this informative series.  If you would like to read those articles you can find them at:

http://issuu.com/todayswoman.com/docs/todayswomannovember2011/38
http://issuu.com/todayswoman.com/docs/todayswomanmay2012/50
You can also see some of these strong women in the following video, also by Today's Woman
Until next time...that's my view.
Kat

Friday, May 11, 2012

My Attempt at a Parody

GBE2 Week #51 prompt - Parody

     I wasn't sure I was going to attempt this week's prompt.  I've never written a parody before and wasn't sure it was something I wanted to tackle.  Because of some computer problems last week I had missed that week's prompt and I didn't want to miss another; besides which, I don't like to be outdone.  So this is my feeble attempt.  I've enjoyed reading all the song parodies and other types that my fellow GBE cohorts have written but I decided to go a different route.  My parody is a nursery rhyme so as you read the following, please think in your head the rhythm of Mary Had a Little Lamb, by Sarah Josepha Hale.


Mary had a rockin' band,
     Its name was White Hot Snow.
But everywhere they tried to play
     The answer was a no.

They set up at the school by chance.
     That was against the rule.
It made the children sing and dance,
     To hear a band at school.

And so the teacher bawled them out.
     Yet still their song was heard.
The principal came quick, no doubt.
     But never spoke a word.

What makes the kids love music so?
     Was teacher's urgent cry.
Cause music soothes the soul, you know.
     The principal did reply.

Until next time...that's my view.
Kat

 


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Reflections of the 2012 A - Z Challenge

      Yesterday we were supposed to reflect on our experience with the 2012 A to Z Challenge.  How do you describe something that was exasperating yet exhilarating; frustrating yet fun;  time intensive but worth every minute.

     First, I would sincerely like to thank everyone involved in planning and overseeing the challenge.  This took a lot of time, effort and dedication and I appreciate your hard work. 

     This was my first effort at the A to Z Challenge, or any other challenge that requires you to blog every day.    I didn't decide until the night before it started so I had no time to get a head start on writing posts.   I was glad for the suggestion that we choose a theme.  I chose A to Z Memories as my theme and was so glad I did for several reasons.  Having a theme just made it easier to write one post after another; I didn't have to waste time trying to find a topic.  I sat down the first day and made a list from  A to Z, then proceeded to think of memories that would make an interesting post.  I would strongly suggest this for any new challenge participants next year.  It can save a lot of time and stress later.  I was also glad I chose that particular theme because it was so much fun taking those trips down memory lane.

     I would love to have gotten around and read every participants blog, but unfortunately, that just wasn't possible.  Life does get in the way and time restraints just don't allow for reading as many as I would have liked.   Not as many new readers got around to my blog as I had hoped either, but that's okay.  The ones that did are really nice and have some great blogs of their own.  I found several new blogs that I enjoy reading and made some new friends.

     One thing I learned from this challenge is that I am definitely not an every day blogger, at least not on a regular basis.  It was a challenge but one that I met head on.   I am proud to say I posted every letter, and posted them all on time.     Would I do it again?    No...maybe....probably...ask me again next year.   For now, I am glad for the experience and proud of the feeling of accomplishment finishing it has given me.







Until next time...that's my view.
Kat

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Gone MIA?

     Since the A - Z Challenge ended on Monday, I feel like I have been MIA (missing in action).    I guess you could look at it that way since the last two days I have not been on my computer much.  Truth is, though, I was just living life.  You know that time spent away from the computer doing anything but being tied to your computer.  I have to admit, after the challenge it was kinda nice to have a breather. 

     Don't get me wrong.  I loved doing the challenge.  It was, well....challenging!  But it taught me one thing for certain.  I am not an every day blogger.  For those of you who are...you have my utmost admiration.  As for me, I will stick to my (hopefully) about three times a week and not feel guilty about not posting more.

     If blogging was a job and I was getting paid to do it, I could happily crank out one every day.  My husband thinks it should be as much time as I spend on the computer!  But unfortunately, for me it is only a time for me to "pretend" to be a writer.  A time when I can write anything I want and someone will actually read it.  I love that!   My heart's desire has always been to make money writing about the things I love.  For now I must be content to have my quality "me time", doing what I love to do.

     If given the option I could spend every day doing nothing but blogging.  I love it that much.  Somehow, life always seems to get in the way.  You know, those mundane chores like cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, laundry...those are the things that always seem to be staring me in the face, quietly taunting me and making me feel guilty.     Such are the demons that interrupt my fun. Oh well!  I guess that's life!  

     So, until I hit the lottery or someone decides to start paying me to write, I won't be posting every day.  After all, it is crucial to my well-being that I leave myself time to read all those other wonderful bloggers that I've met in the blogousphere!    You have become like family that I miss if I don't get to keep up with on a regular basis. 

Until next time...that's my view.

Kat