Ten Months without Wheat in My Diet – Steve Treated me to Lunch at Jason’s Deli – The Server Presented a Gluten-free Menu the Moment I said the Word GLUTEN…

I’ve been Gluten-free for ten months. I had a sandwich today for the first time in that ten-month period. It was delicious! I ordered roast beef with red pepper hummus and Swiss cheese. I enjoyed a tall glass of Black Currant Tea on ice.

Gluten-free bread crumbles easily, but it was bread! I cannot compare the bread yesterday with any other gluten-free bread, because it’s the first I’ve had. I can say truthfully that it was good. Since many people have warned me that gluten-free bread is disappointing, I have to believe that I had two slices of the best.

I am learning where I can find a decent gluten-free menu. There are many restaurants that offer none at all. This will probably change over time, because more and more people are giving up wheat. Jason’s Deli produced a gluten-free menu quickly, and it was more extensive than most. We will dine at Jason’s Deli again.

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GMO – Acronym for Genetically Modified – What about Wheat – Is it GMO – Celiac Disease Has Increased – Many Experience Improved Health with Wheat Gluten Removed from Their Diets – Research Surprised Me – I Did Not Expect to Read that There is NO GMO Wheat in our Food Supply – So It Has Been Reported –

wMy research may surprise you. It surprised me! I have read several sources that claim GMO wheat does not exist in our food supply. I’m not arguing in this post that it does. But I pose the question:

Why are so many people having problems eating wheat? Why is wheat so high on the glycemic scale so that it causes a sugar high and an insulin rush?

(I don’t claim to know the answer to this question, but I must ask.)

According to About.com, there is an increase in Celiac Disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity, but it’s not caused by GMO wheat. The question was this: Is genetically modified wheat causing increases in gluten issues? The answer given, in part, was this:

No, genetically modified wheat is not to blame for the hikes in celiac and gluten sensitivity … for the simple reason that GMO wheat simply isn’t being grown commercially (yet).

Bloomberg BusinessWeek article by Justin Bachman titled, Genetically Modified Wheat Isn’t Supposed to Exist. So What Is It Doing in Oregon? Article says:

Genetically modified wheat hasn’t been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and unlike corn and soy and other so-called GMO foods, there isn’t supposed to be any genetically modified wheat in the U.S. food supply at all.

Quoting Huffingtonpost.com May 30, 2013, headline: Japan Cancels GMO Wheat Order After Concerns Over U.S. Grain Developed By Monsanto:

The USDA said there was no sign that genetically engineered wheat had entered the commercial market, but grain traders warned the discovery could hurt export prospects for U.S. wheat.

According to website Radiantly Healthy, an article titled The Trouble with Wheat #2 – The Glycemic Index and the Insulin Cop says:

[W]hite bread has a glycemic index of about 72-75 which means it gets into your blood at about 72% of the speed of pure glucose.

I quote William Davis, MD, from Chapter 2 of his Wheat Belly book:

Wheat strains have been hybridized, crossbred, and introgressed* to make the wheat plant resistant to environmental conditions, such as drought, or pathogens, such as fungi. But most of all, genetic changes have been induced to increase yield per acre.

Dr. Davis continues:

Changes in genetic code have altered the amber waves of grain of yesteryear into the eighteen-inch-tall high-production “dwarf” wheat of today.

I tried to get a photo of GMO wheat, but my antivirus program zapped it. Yikes!

Is Dr. Davis right?

After reading the book, I was convinced he was right, so I quit eating wheat. My health has turned around dramatically. I’m glad I did it. I’m not the only one who has experienced improvement in health. Steve and I have friends that have eliminated wheat and had better health.

Dr. Davis reports many instances of improved health experienced by his patents. I cannot verify those accounts, but my personal experience has made a profound impression on me. I won’t be eating wheat.


I don’t know.

I don’t believe scientists wanted to make wheat dangerous for us. I think they had good intentions. I hope they will try their best to make wheat a healthy grain for humans.


I don’t know.

*Miriamwebster.com – Introgression – definition – the entry or introduction of a gene from one gene complex into another (as by hybridization)

BOOK: Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health, by William Davis, MD.

GMO Answers – What is a GMO -

Bloomberg BusinessWeek – Companies and Industries, article by Justin Bachman, May 30, 2013

Radiantly Healthy – The Trouble with Wheat #2 – The Glycemic Index and the Insulin Cop

About.com – Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity -

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Standing at the Threshold – Resisting the Force Pulling Me Back -

ThresholdStanding at the threshold -
Knowing I’ll never return -
Hesitating – Wishing
To know if I really want
To go -

Standing at the threshold -
Thinking I should
Turn around and run
The other way – but
I won’t -

I won’t because I have to
Find out – or else
I will regret
Forever my moment
Of doubt -

If only I could
Go both ways -
Try the unknown path -
If it disappoints me -
Go home -

But home won’t
Be there for me -
I must decide
Before the time
Runs out -

Standing at the threshold -
Resisting the force
Pulling me back -
Taking one step
Forward -

I feel the Wind at my back -
Pushing me onward -
Excitement lifts me up -
I’m floating – I’m flying -
I’m free~~~

By Carol Ann Hoel © July 24, 2014

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The Writer’s Muse – Some Writers Talk about their Muse – Not All Writers Have a Muse – Research Revealed Scarcity of Factual Information on The Muse Issue – This is a Disclosure of What I Found -

Question Mark GreenAccording to Wikipedia.com, Muses originated in Greek Mythology. Nine daughters of god and goddess Zeus and Mnemosyne named Calliope, Clio, Euterpe, Erato, Melpomene, Polyhymnia, Terpsichore, Thalia, and Urania, were said to be the goddesses of the inspiration of literature, science, and the arts.

As far as I can tell, most writers that talk about their muse are not referring to any of the nine goddesses of Greek Mythology. However, some writers speak of a spirit or guide outside themselves that inspires them to write well and with ease. Some assign their muse a name and say that their muse has a personality and a presence. Some say that they write so furiously under the influence of their muse that they don’t know what they have written until they have read it afterward.

Writers with muses vary in their concept of the muse’s origin. One writer from my research spoke of her muse as possibly being a part of her own imagination inspiring her writing. If you wish to see her comment to a blog post about muses, click on the link at the bottom of this post and read the comments. This same blog contains a video of an author in which she speaks on the subject. She spends a lot of time getting to the subject, but she is a good speaker and what she said was interesting. It didn’t solve the mystery of the muse for me.

Researching this subject has made me curious. I wonder how many writers have muses compared with those that do not. I was unsuccessful in finding the right search term that would expose this information. Apparently, writers without muses don’t talk about it, or perhaps I didn’t find the right key word to search for their conversations.

I am not expressing an opinion about muses. I have nothing to offer but my research. I don’t have a muse. If I had a muse, I could say on any day that I couldn’t think of a thing to write that my muse didn’t show up. At least I’d have someone to blame for my wordless days.

I invite writers with or without a muse to contribute to conversation about this post. Tell me more if you please.

Cally Jackson Writes – March 24, 2011, The writer’s muse – fiction or fact
Wikipedia.com – Muse

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Why Do I Love You – LORD – Why -

Contemplating – I see why I love You -
While Your Power and Glory enchant me -
Your Wisdom teaches me -
Your Patience carries me -
But goodness – Yes – Your
Goodness captures me -
You love me -
How could you -
But You do -
You love me -

Crucifix on a WallContemplating – I see how much You love me -
How You published Your love on the cross -
Bore my shame – removed my blame -
Making me one with You -
Tucking me safely away
From all harm -
Such Blessed union -
Such charm -
No alarm
Startles me -
Snuggling here
You -

Golden HeartsWhy do I love You – LORD – it’s plain -
For me You were slain – Yet You live -
You give me the desires of my heart -
You lead me by the hand -
You never let me go -
You heal me -
You heal my
Family and
Friends – How
Could I
You -

By Carol Ann Hoel © July 23, 2014

Psalm 103:1-5 – The Bible (NIV) – Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

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Creative Urge in the Kitchen Produces Potato Chip-Peach-Walnut Meatloaf – Dealing with Gluten Allergy – Finding Alternative Ingredients – What’s Your Guess – Failure or Success -

Potato chip 2

Success. It tasted like meatloaf. Very moist and delicious.

The walnuts remained visible during baking. They tasted nutty and had a soft texture from resting on the top of the meatloaf while baking. The peach added moisture and did not noticeably affect the flavor. The potato chips crushed with a meat cleaver instead of bread crumbs worked well, also.

Potato chipI am not likely to make meatloaf the same way twice. I have always used ground beef, but that, too, could change. I could use ground lamb or a combination of beef and pork. I will probably always put chopped onion in it. Eggs add moisture and help cause the loaf to congeal. For this reason I always use them. I don’t know a good substitution for eggs.

Ingredients used as filler to make the texture of the meatloaf different than hamburger alone are available in most kitchens. Among the options could be breadcrumbs (wheat gluten), rice, oatmeal, or crushed crackers (wheat gluten). I used crushed potato chips this time.

Potato chip 3There are other moisture-imparting ingredients that are interchangeable, like milk, ketchup, tomato sauce, or today’s pureed peach. I often use tomato sauce, but today I substituted half a peach. We happily snacked on the other half.

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Arizona Monsoon Sky Reappears – Not a Trace of Blue – We Still Need Rain for our Desert – Will We Get Rain or Dust – Or Neither – Steve and I Are Hoping for Rain -

Monsoon Sky

Monsoon skies have returned! Yesterday the sky was clear and blue. The sun was shining brightly. Today the clouds are clustered close together allowing not even a hint of blue to show through.

Everywhere else I have lived, clouds in the sky were a normal everyday occurrence. Solid blue skies day after day just didn’t happen in Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee, or Florida. Arizona presents amazing weather configurations all its own. None of those other places shot the mercury to 120 degrees as happened in our backyard recently.

Good Morning from ArizonaIf you drive through this valley, you will see eye-dazzling landscape spanning as far as the eye can see (that would be until a mountain rises on the horizon). Artfully planted desert flora blesses the eyes that behold it. Arizona is a lovely place to gaze at day after day. This doesn’t happen by accident. I see the watering systems spraying at full blast everywhere we drive.

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Are You Feeling Alone in the World – Small – Powerless –

Bird aloneWe are never alone, even when we feel that way. God is with us. He always knows where we are and how we feel.

Jesus is our Savior. Saving us is what He did at Calvary, and loving us is what He does all the time. Expect good things to happen to you. The best is yet to come.

Trouble is temporary. Time does not stand still. Loneliness and sorrow will not stay.

Psalm 23 reminds us that our God cares for us:

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.

He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Psalms 23 NIV
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Why Do Readers Choose to Read Several Books by the Same Author – I Researched this Issue – What Did I Find – We Do This because We Like the Author – BUT We Don’t Know the Author – Do We – What Do We Discover about an Author by Reading the Author’s Writing – The Author’s VOICE –

MP900403049I personally have read many novels. When I want another novel to read, I’ll often look specifically for books written by authors I already know I like. If I cannot find a book written by one of those familiar authors, I may decide to read a novel by an author I don’t know.

I’m not the only reader that does this. Many readers do it, according to this dialog from goodreads.com. Wouldn’t liking an author imply that we must know something about the author? There may be a biographical blurb about the author on the book jacket, but that’s not what causes us to like the author.

We like the author because we enjoy reading books he or she has written. What is it we like about a particular author? My research revealed that readers may like an author’s voice. According to an article on About.com, Fiction Writing, written by Ginny Wiehardt, voice is the quality of the author’s unique writing style. The author’s voice may reflect attitudes, personality and character of the author.

Voice is often referred to as style. What do you think? Does an author’s voice, or style, influence you to choose books by that particular writer over others?

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Arizona Monsoon Skies Make Me Stare in Wonder – Many Months – Uninterrupted – Clear Blue Skies Contrasting with These – Ever-changing – Fluffy Monsoon Clouds – From Dark and Threatening to Bright and White – Entertain me -

Monsoon Clouds

For all the months that nonstop blue skies have covered us like a smooth, commercially-constructed, azure blanket, these monsoon skies hold my interest like a heavenly movie with constantly changing scenes. If I walk out the door right now to take another photo, the sky will not look anything like this picture. Everything will have changed in the few minutes I’ve been lingering at my computer writing this.

Monsoon in Arizona started on June 15 and will end September 30. Three and one-half months of probable stormy weather here in the land where bad weather rarely happens at other times, is nothing less than mysterious to me. I stroll outside in the morning to look up and see the cloud formations. Today the skies are white with happily dancing clouds.


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The Goodness of God – How Great Is Thy Goodness to Them that Trust In You – You Will Hide them in the Secret of Your Presence from the Pride of Man -


Psalm 31: 19-20 – The Bible (KJV) - Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men! Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.

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Steve Wanted Sausage – I Wanted Soup – Hurrah for Sausage Soup – Made from Italian Sausages – Lots of Veggies – Cream Tops it Off at the End –

Sausage Soup 1
Italian Sausage and Vegetable Soup:


Chopped Onion
Chopped Celery
Chopped Carrot
Chopped Mushrooms
Chopped Potato
Chopped Cabbage
Chopped Red Bell Pepper
Chicken Stock or Broth

Sausage Soup 5Spices – Optional – a little of each -
dried basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, and pepper -

3 Sliced Sausages
One sprig of Kale broken in pieces
1/4 – 1/2 cup of Cream -

Saute the chopped onions until translucent, add chopped celery, carrot, mushrooms, potato, cabbage, and red bell pepper. Stir together for 3 or 4 minutes. (Photo above.)

Sausage Soup 2Sausage Soup 4Brown the sausage and cut into slices. Add to pot of vegetables.

Add enough chicken stock or broth to cover. Add the spices (optional). Cook until the vegetables are tender.

Break up a sprig of kale (not using the stem). Hold it until the vegetables are tender. Add it and cook 4 or 5 minutes longer until the kale has wilted.

Sausage Soup 3Add as much cream as you please. I added about half a cup. Stir it in. The hot soup will warm up the cream. Serve and enjoy!

Any ingredient you don’t have or don’t like may be substituted or eliminated. Improvise!

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Only YOU – LORD – Only YOU Are Faithful and True – Only You Are Almighty and Able – You Excite Me – LORD -

Palm Trees

There is no one faithful like You – Lord -
No one but You keeps every promise given -
No one but You can make a promise and keep it -
Only You – Jesus -
LORD of Lords -
King of Kings -
Almighty God -
Only YOU -

Mark 11:23-24 says that I can have what I say if I believe it.

John 15:7 says if I abide in you and your words abide in me, You will do whatever I ask.

When I say what I want believing, abiding in You and Your word abiding in me, I know I will have what I desire. I believe that whatever might hinder my desire from being fulfilled You will deal with. In time You will keep all your promises, even for the least of your children. You are faithful. Every drop of faith I have is a gift from You, so I will rest, knowing that You are ABLE!

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How Did We Miss the Damage Caused by the Monsoon Rainstorm Wind – I Opened the Blinds to Enjoy My Backyard View and Found it Distorted – High Winds Had Toppled A Very Large Limb of our Emerald Palo Verde Tree –

Monsoon Wind Damage 1

The beautiful Oleander display I watched from my kitchen window is replaced with this sad predicament.

Monsoon Wind Damage 2

I hope we can get it taken care of soon. More monsoon weather may be coming.

In the middle and slightly to the right is the fractured limb. Too bad. Yet, we are grateful that nothing really serious happened.

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Ravioli – Gluten-free – YES – After Seeing My Expensive Gluten-free Flour Land on the Floor – After Washing Flour from Between my Toes – We Finally Had Ravioli with Hamburger/ Parmesan Filler – Delicious – But No Confirmed Gluten-free Recipe Yet – Here Is What Happened -

Ravioli 2I wanted ravioli. My gluten-free noodle recipe may also be used to make ravioli. But before starting, I needed to reduce the recipe to half. I wanted to make only enough ravioli for two.

Ravioli 1I began the process of creating the dough. I added the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Immediately, I knew something was not right. The dough was too wet. I found my mistake. I forgot to reduce the milk to one-half.

(If you have a crisis, I’m not the one you should look for to solve it. I get excited and make things get worse.)

Alarmed, I recklessly tossed more flour into the bowl. Flour flew past bowl and landed on the floor and on my feet. I was wearing flip-flops, so flour got between my toes.

I kept going. I added another egg. I kneaded the dough and rolled it out. I prayed. I always pray. God is good. He heard me, because the ravioli was good. It should have been a total failure. We enjoyed it. I’ll serve ravioli again soon, because I want to develop a gluten-free recipe for it.

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Path – A Track Specially Constructed for a Particular Use – The Path in This Photo – loosely speaking – Is That Kind of Path – Such Paths Are Frequently Seen n AZ Landscaping – When I Think of Path – I Think of a Chosen Way of Life – I Think of Robert Frost’s Poem – The Road Not Taken -

Definition found at  Miriam Webster .com.
:  a trodden way
:  a track specially constructed for a particular use
a :  course, route

b :  a way of life, conduct, or thought …

I appreciate this poem by Robert Frost Posted at the website: Poetry Foundation

The Road Not Taken

By Robert Frost (this link leads to a post on Poetry Foundation about Robert Frost.)

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

This poem influenced me while I was young. I wanted to choose my way carefully.

What poem, author, novel or writing influenced you and in what way?
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Arizona Receives Monsoon Rains – This Time the Rains Fell on Our Turf – I Heard a Loud Rumble and Opened the Door to See What Was Happening – When I Saw – I Thought of Elijah Calling Down Rain at Mount Carmel – Showers of Blessing for Us -

Monsoon 1

1 Kings 18:41-44 – The Bible (KJV) -  And Elijah said to Ahab, “Go, eat and drink, for there is the sound of a heavy rain.”

So Ahab went off to eat and drink, but Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel, bent down to the ground and put his face between his knees. 

“Go and look toward the sea,” he told his servant. And he went up and looked.

“There is nothing there,” he said.

Seven times Elijah said, “Go back.”

The seventh time the servant reported, “A cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea.”

So Elijah said, “Go and tell Ahab, ‘Hitch up your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.’”

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Chicken and Dumplings for Two – Comfort Food – Made with Gluten-free All-purpose Flour – Expanding My Gluten-free Recipe Box –

Chicken Dumplings 4

I made these dumplings with Jules Gluten-free All-purpose Flour, which may be purchased at julesglutenfree.com. (It costs a small fortune, but it’s great flour.)

The original recipe for chicken and dumplings came from allrecipes.com and called for wheat flour. I reduced the recipe ingredient amounts to make only enough for two, and I substituted gluten-free flour for wheat flour. I made this recipe twice. Although the the dumplings were good the first time, they were not as light and fluffy as I had hoped. I decreased the flour and increased the milk on the second attempt, and my chicken and dumplings for two was a success!

Chicken Dumplings 1I started by baking a chicken with 2 cups of water in the bottom of the pan. I salted and peppered the chicken, sprinkled powdered garlic on it, and placed it in a 350 degree oven. I baked it for an hour and five minutes.

Chicken Dumplings 2Chicken Dumplings 3While the chicken was baking, I caramelized onions in a frying pan. At the same time I covered chopped celery, carrots, and potatoes cut in bite-size pieces with chicken broth and brought them to a boil. I simmered them until they were tender. When the onions were browned, I added them to the pot of simmering vegetables. I sprinkled some thyme and rosemary into the pot as well.

Chicken Dumplings 5When the chicken was done, I took it out of the oven and removed the chicken from the baking dish. I poured the drippings from the baking dish into the pot of simmering vegetables.

Ingredients for Dumplings:

1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup milk
1 egg
1 cup gluten-free flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt

Crack the egg in a mixing bowl and stir it. Stir in the sour cream and the milk. Set it aside.

In a second bowl mix the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Add the flour mixture to the bowl with the egg, sour cream, and milk.

Mix only as much as necessary to combine the dry ingredients with the wet.

Chicken Dumplings 4Spoon the dumplings into the boiling vegetable pot and cover it with a lid. Boil gently for ten or fifteen minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

I found the toothpick test difficult to determine. I tasted one of the dumplings and decided they were done after fifteen minutes.



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Extending Engineered Hickory Hardwood Flooring throughout Hallways and Kitchen – Replacing Tiles and Older Engineered Oak Hardwood Flooring – Accomplishing the Open Concept in our Home – My Husband Is Like the Energizer Bunny – He Keeps on Going and Going –

Steve Pounding

I sit here at my computer everyday struggling not to gain weight while my husband spends many hours each day stooping, standing, bending, pulling, pounding, and scraping to replace old flooring. He doesn’t gain weight or need to lose it.

Steve ScrapingI’m not complaining. I’m contrasting his hard work to my sissy work. I’m working hard, too, but, well, you know. His work is more physically strenuous than mine. My work is mentally strenuous. Steve’s work makes him sweat. I know that, but my brain is panting! Panting, I tell you!

I’m grateful for my husband. He does not mind my sitting at the computer writing blog posts while he works hard.

Steve is the handiest of handymen. He can do almost anything. He keeps our home in good shape. He is updating the house to the the modern open-concept in home design that creates sight lines from one room to another. Supporting the open-concept, he is extending the engineered hickory hardwood flooring to the hallways and kitchen.

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Being Who Am I – Am I Who I Was Meant to Be – The Answer to the Question Is …

Photo taken June 5, 2013

Photo taken June 5, 2013

I’ve written a book, but that is not who I am, yet it is part of who I am, because my personal background and experiences are undetectably imbedded into the words of its pages.

I can articulate who I am this way: Jesus is my Savior; Steve is my husband; priorities one and two. After those two identities come additional titles that carry a wealth of information. I am mother, grandmother, great grandmother (yes, for real), writer, and author, in that order. Author is the last in line. I’m not saying that the novel isn’t important to me, because it is.

My love for writing began early. I received honors in high school for short stories and poetry. While a young mother, I wrote humorous puppet skits for the children of my church. Writing was never far from my mind, but it wasn’t who I was. I was a wife, mother, and an employee working to make ends meet. I was still a writer, but other responsibilities spent most of my energy for many years.

I created this blog after being told that a writer must have one. As a writer with a novel nearly finished at that time, I understood that the blog should be about writing or books or something that was relative to my hope of getting a novel published. Buddy for David was published by a traditional publisher on January 1, 2014, and I consider this as a miracle. Then and now, as much as I try to produce the perfect writing/author blog, it remains a blog that reflects the whole of who I am.

Am I who I was meant to be? I don’t know the answer to that question. I live one day after another trusting God. I rest in the hope that He fills my ocean, steers my vessel, and puts the wind in my sails. I hope truly that the book I labored much on will be read by many.

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