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Weekly Pet Challenge: Timmy

This is my guinea pig, Timmy.



He is very friendly. He loves to eat greenbeans, carrots, apples, blueberries, strawberries, hay and watermellon. Whenever he hears plastic rattling he gets excited and squeaks and runs around in his cage. He associates that sound with his favorite foods. He loves to be rubbed behind the ears and down the middle of his back. When we take him out and hold him he is very good. He doesn’t bite and he waits to pee ’till we put him back in his cage. We have had him for one year and 2 months.


Daily Prompt: Imagine

The next time you’re in a public place — a coffeehouse, a park, a store — observe the people around you. Pick a person, a couple, or a group, and imagine what their lives might be like.

The man hanging out in the shadow of the pay telephone next to the Circle K store.
It is 107F and he has on a long sleeved flannel shirt, blue jeans and tennis shoes.

He is wearing long sleeves to keep the sun off his skin. 3 years ago he had skin cancer on his arm and he doesn’t want anymore. He is a roofer by trade but he hurt his back and can’t work right now. So he is hanging around the Circle K wishing to buy a cold drink, but doesn’t have the money. He wants to ask for money from people going by but is too embarrassed. He wishes he had cigarettes too. Tonight he will go back to the apartment he shares with 2 other guys and hope someone has dinner. They work at Labor Ready and get paid daily, when there is work. Some days they don’t get work and then it’s just tough luck. He doesn’t have a car right now because he sold it to pay his rent. He has no idea what to do to make his life better. He can’t get unemployment because he can’t work. He can’t get disability because his injury isn’t permanent or expected to last a year. He should get better eventually, but doesn’t know when. He’s hungry. “Hmmmm” he thinks to himself, “there is a lady in a wheelchair and a little girl. Her purse is dangling off of the arm of the chair, I could grab it, I bet no one would catch me, nobody else is around…” He thinks on it, then, “No, I’d better not start doing that, where would it end?”

I used to be a rock. I was a divorced Mom of 3 kids, had a townhouse, a van, a full time job. I felt very independent and self sufficient. I even did my own home repairs, had my own collection of tools. My income, however, just barely paid the mortgage and other bills. I was proud of making it on my own.

Then I received a shock to my system. I got a passed due bill in the mail from the County. I owed over a thousand dollars in property tax. Somehow it had gotten overlooked in my planning. I was used to it being paid as part of the mortgage payment. When I had refinanced my townhouse to get the ex-husband’s name off of it I wasn’t allowed to include the property tax. Then I forgot completely about it. Now I was stuck with a bill too large to pay. I didn’t know what to do. I also lost my job and got a new one that didn’t pay as well as the old one. Now I had trouble making ends meet. I was frantic.

I prayed about my financial woes constantly. I wished I had a husband to help me. Finally I decided to go to the elders of my church. What a blessing they were. I told them everything financial, showed my bank account, my paychecks etc. I told them I had no idea what to do and I would be greatly appreciative if they would figure it out for me and I would abide by their decision. After much discussion and thought over weeks the verdict was in. Sell the townhouse and pay off everything I owed. They helped me get my townhouse ready to sell. They even made a couple payments for me to keep me afloat. Then I sold it and payed off the bills.

I don’t know what I would have done without the elder’s input and help! Since then, I have had to accept more help because I got very sick and have become handicapped. I am on disability and my 2 kids still at home are very helpful. Total strangers hold doors open for me. When I say “thank you” people smile. That makes me feel good. It is a small thing, but I can make people smile!

Photo by Michelle Weber.

Aster and her mom, Maria, were out walking their dog. They came to the outside mall and Aster wanted a ride on the merry-go-round. Her mom put the dog leash under her foot to pick Aster up and set her on the Pinocchio when another dog went by and their dog lunged after it and pulled the leash and away he went. Her mother yelled, “Stay there!” and went chasing after the dog. Aster watched as they disappeared around the corner. After a few minutes a lady came over to Aster and asked her where her mom was. Aster told her she was chasing their dog and would be right back. The lady stayed with Aster and told her a story about Jesus and his friends and some children. She explained how Jesus loves children. Then Aster’s mom came back with their dog and the lady introduced herself and invited them to her church on Sunday morning. Her name was Mrs. Marshal. She gave Aster’s mom a paper that showed where the church was and the phone number. “If you need any help, just call the number.” she said. “On Sunday morning we have crafts and games and stories for the children. We have a bible class and a church service for the grown-ups, too.” “Thank you” said Aster’s mom and they said good bye to the nice lady. On the walk home Aster told her mom she wanted to go to the church on Sunday. “I want to play the games.” she said. So when Sunday came Aster and her mom went to the church. Aster had a great time with the other kids. Aster’s mom enjoyed meeting the other ladies in the bible class and the pastor told an interesting sermon. After church one of Maria’s new friends exchanged phone numbers with her. On the way home Aster told her mom some of the fun things she had done. “The teacher said that Jesus loves all the children and their moms and daddies too.” she said. That Wednesday Maria was paying the electric bill, the rent and the phone bill and saw that once again she wasn’t going to have enough to buy groceries for the whole month. She thought about what Aster said on Sunday about Jesus loving them. Maybe they will help us Maria thought and found the paper with the church phone number. When she called the number the church secretary answered. When Maria explained her grocery problem the secretary told her about a food pantry their church had. It was open every Monday from 9am to 7pm. “Thank you”, said Maria. After she hung up the phone, she started humming a song she had heard in church. “How good it feels to be loved by God and his people.” she thought to herself with a smile.


Relaxing and Meditation

A website with some useful how-to for relaxing by relaxing your muscles, self-guided relaxation.

An article about eastern relaxation techniques and how they are not safe for Christians.

Three articles about biblical meditation.

Not really meant for relaxation, but I feel relaxed after spending time on this. I think that’s because I have been focused on God and His wisdom and His love for us. Sometimes I can’t sleep and if I use the time reading the Bible and meditating on it, then I feel a bit draggy the next day but also uplifted. I am trying to spend more time in biblical meditation because I like the way I feel during and after it. I still don’t do it every day, but I would like to. I am praying for help to do that.

Christian Music Collection

When I am feeling hurt, having a PTSD attack, flashbacks, overwhelmed with life circumstances and then there is the opposite situation when I am feeling very happy, looking at a beautiful sky or other wonder of creation–that’s when I remember to turn to God in praise.

The following links are to Christian music on YouTube that moves me to praise God. (I can’t believe how much music is on YouTube! I am surprised that copywritten material is allowed.) These songs are some of my most favorite. I have to sing when I hear them!

You Raise Me Up

Because He Lives

Michael W Smith

Above All


Open the Eyes of My Heart

Awesome God

Casting Crowns

Voice of Truth

Who Am I

Does Anybody Hear Her

Praise You In This Storm

Life Song

East to West

Mercy Me

I Can Only Imagine

Chris Tomlin

Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)

Our God

Sing, Sing, Sing

I Will Rise

Our God is Greater

How Can I Keep From Singing

Jeremy Camp

There Will Be A Day

Beautiful One

You Never Let Go

Mighty to Save

Matt Redman

Bless the Lord, Oh My Soul

You Never Let Go

Energizing Relaxation

I found Rod Stewart, again, today on–

This is relaxing in a different way. The excitement of the songs takes my mind off other things and makes me smile, bounce with the music and laugh. I love the sound of his band–the mandolin, acoustic guitars, fiddle, piano, drums… what a great combination. It leaves me energized. Not good for nighttime before bed, but I think a pick-me-up out of the blues during the day!

Why Relaxing is Important

I found this website and loved reading it–

I decided to make a category about how and why I spend time relaxing. I will include music, pictures, videos, books, etc. that help me to relax and relaxation techniques how-to. I believe relaxing is important to my health and working in this category will help me to make relaxing more of a conscious effort! I hope you also find this helpful and fun.

I just discovered Percy Faith, an orchestra leader from a while ago. I first found one of his songs on–

Then I looked him up–

Then I found a whole bunch from him on youtube. I think music without words is the most calming. I can float away on the music.

I love being able to watch the musicians in these videos:

Here are some more without the live video:

There are more!

Weekly Challenge–Fit to write

I used to work as a nurse. I love being a nurse! You get to help people all the time. You get to problem solve. You get to teach and explain things to patients and their families. What an ego booster! I felt so good spiritually and prided myself on being a compassionate, smart, caring, had-it-all-together nurse. Then stuff happened.

First I started wearing pull-up diapers to work because my period was becoming a mess, literally. I would gush and no pad could keep up with me when it came out. I didn’t think it was a real problem, just an inconvenience. I kept on plugging away at work. I even got to join a special group in the hospital that was learning a new computer system so that we could teach it to everyone else in the hospital. What a privilege! But sometimes I would show up at work and some one would say “Gee, you look kind of pale.” I would just shrug it off. Then I started noticing that I would be driving and suddenly not know where I was. Like I had been asleep and lost time. It was very disorientating. At work one time I was alone in a computer room and suddenly didn’t know where I was or what I was doing. Fortunately, I reoriented myself quickly and got back to work. But then, people started accusing me of “sleeping” at work. I would be sitting in a computer class and assisting the teaching and suddenly I would discover a co-worker glaring at me. I got fired from my wonderful job because of “sleeping”. My doctor sent me to a neurologist and I had multiple tests and then an MRI of my brain. We discovered lesions, a whole bunch of them, 4-8cm in size! I then had a bunch more tests and another neurologist said I had Multiple Sclerosis.

By then I had had a hysterectomy for a messed up uterus. It wouldn’t quit bleeding no matter what my gynecologist tried. I had a heart attack from blood loss. At one point I had less than half my blood cells! I received 4 blood transfusions over a 1 month period.

For about a month I felt much better, stronger, full of energy, great! Then, suddenly I had trouble walking and my balance was off and I would forget words I wanted to say. I knew what the word meant, but not the word itself. One time I asked my son to get the laundry out of the oven! I had trouble controlling my right hand. I couldn’t dial a telephone, I would miss the numbers and miss-dial.

I couldn’t work at all. I was already a single mother, so mine was the only income. We became homeless. I had been living in an apartment and I owned a van. I piled our favorite things into my van and moved out of our apartment. For 2 months befor I had to leave the apartment I begged different people at our church to let me and my son sleep in their house at night, but no body would let us. Then finally an old neighbor friend said yes! What a jewel! She and her husband had a small townhouse and a 10 year old daughter and a 20 something son living at home already. Their house was very full of stuff. My son and I took turns sleeping on the couch and the floor in a sleeping bag. Every night we had to clear a space on the couch and the floor. My friends even fed us dinner sometimes. We stayed with them for 4 months!

On top of all that, my ex-husband refused to let my son move with me and our other kids to AZ to be with my other family. So my oldest son and my daughter moved to AZ and stayed with Grandma and Grandpa for 11 months waiting for me and my other son to be able to move too. Finally we had our time in court. The judge said “Of course he can move to AZ with his mom! He already lives with her all the time anyway!” So we finally got to move! Now we are all back together again.

We lived with my parents until I got on Social Security Disability. Now we have our own apartment. But I don’t have a car and I take the bus with my electric wheel chair to go grocery shopping once a week. I live right next to my church. That is a blessing to find an affordable apartment so close to it!

I got through all of this crazy, stressful, confusing time with lots of prayer and listening to a christian radio station, crying and singing praise songs.

I deal with stress all the time. I’m a single mom of 3, I am handicapped with: pain (fibromyalgia); difficulty walking and memory problems (brain lesions); extreme tiredness (chronic fatigue) and can’t work so I’m on Social Security, I also have depression and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)…

My stress relievers are: being outside in the quiet with just the sounds of the wild creatures; watching a beautiful sky; playing acoustical guitar or cello; reading things online; proofreading books for–; and last but not least–praising God (that is a real healer of the mind and spirit!).

Part of health is being able to reach out to others with help, support, prayers …. Health is not always about medical or mental health but about spiritual health as well. So now I feel healthy when I am caring for my children, praying for other people, being a good listener for others, volunteering to proofread books …

I appreciate this weekly challenge idea. Thank you for reading. I hope I haven’t been to gross discussing certain things! It felt good to get all this off my chest.

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