Thursday, November 29, 2012


The NaNo (National Novel Writing Month) is over for me.  I am so thankful.  I hit the 50,000 words on Saturday, but I wanted to cushion it by about 1500 which I did slowly the last couple of days.  I uploaded my work today and won.  My project still needs to be completed.  I have about three more chapters to write and a couple more to finish up.  Oh, and then the dreaded editing begins.  After 50,000 words, I am a bit burnt out.  The funny thing is though; I can’t imagine doing anything but writing.  Of course, a thousand words are much easier to face in a day as opposed to two to three thousand.  So, running around town today, I kept thinking of what to write for my next blog post. 

This past month I read the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.  I came upon the book in a roundabout way.  Last month I had an editor tell me my writing was choppy.  My dear friend cheered me forward not only suggesting I read this book but also lending me her copy.  She wanted me to read Ann’s style because of the choppiness to see I can also publish even if I am a little broken up.  Well, her style is definitely choppy.  However, the reason behind the style is her poetic use of words.  I felt like it was one huge poem beautifully written from the heart.  I loved the book.

The premise of her story is creating a stronger faith life after living through the struggles faced in life.  Her mission was to write down her gifts received from God one by one until she listed 1000.  That is a huge number.  Now, every night I say my prayer of thanks to God.  I rattle off everything until I either fall asleep or start daydreaming.  But, Ann poetically captured the beauty in all the gifts she is given.  I was captivated by her use of words.  I would like to say I have started to do this, but alas, I still simply list my gifts.

I thought of the book this morning as I woke to achy shoulders and other body parts.  The shoulders were the worst.  I sat down at my desk to work a little on my suffering project.  Today’s assignment was to write about thankfulness.  I talked about how I could wallow in my pain today, but instead would be thankful. 

I am thankful for the opportunity to rest.  I am thankful for an activity today that will get me out of the house.  I am thankful to be able to hang out with my daughter and her friends.  I am thankful for my cat who will keep me company as I rest.  I am thankful for a new entertaining book I get to read.  I am thankful to be able to write and edit to sweep out the cobwebs from my mind as it wants to retreat into the pain.  I helped my son with homework for his advanced government class.  I am thankful he is taking the class and I am thankful for being able to help.

My simple list helped me smile and conquer my morning.  By this afternoon, I lay in bed exhausted.  My cat joined me.  I kept growling at her because she continued getting between me and my book.  I realized that I was supposed to be thankful for her company.  I gave her the attention she wanted for about five minutes.  She finally curled up at my feet and fell asleep.  I was thankful.

                Blessings to you all.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Aunt LaVerne

                Last night my dad called to tell me the news that my great aunt Laverne passed away.  This morning my thoughts are with her.  Her kind smile that lit up a room, her marvelous hosting skills, and the pounds and pounds of lefse she provided for all the family gathers make me smile.  When I pulled out my lefse from the freezer this morning, she filled my vision.

                My clearest memory of her is when I was a teenager.  Aunt Erma and Uncle Paul were in town visiting from California.  I stood on the opposite side of the tall counter that surrounded Aunt LaVerne’s kitchen.  Others were around and we were all talking.  Aunt Erma started looking at my profile.  Aunt LaVerne joined her in the scrutiny.  The two aunts discussed my nose.  Back and forth they went until they agreed that I had the Hedahl nose just like my grandfather’s.  Well, I have always been a grandpa’s girl and this just clinched it.  These two aunts were the best great aunts in the world.  I grinned a little bigger and stood a little taller the rest of the visit.

                The last time I saw Aunt LaVerne was bitter sweet.  When her health began to decline, she went to live with her daughter in Virginia.  I was fortunate to be able to take a weekend off of military training while in D.C. about four years ago and drove down to stay with them.  Aunt LaVerne didn’t remember me.  But that didn’t matter.  I loved being in her presence.  Her calm peaceful company draped over us as Bevin, William, and I chatted for hours on end.

                Dear Lord, please bless my beautiful aunt.  And give her a big hug from me.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Busy Times

                Busy, busy, busy.  That has been my life this month.  My poor blog has been pushed to the side because of everything that has been going on.  But, I don’t want to stop the blogging, so I thought I would take you on a little tour of what is going on in my life.
                First, this is the month of the NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month.  This event takes place every November.  Crazy people from all over the world join a website and write a 50,000 word novel.  Two years ago I succeeded in the endeavor.  I took last year off and regretted it, so I am back at the process again this year.  I am not writing a novel per say, but I am writing a number of stories that will go into a book about suffering and persevering.  So far I have 19,150 words.  Of course, writing this post I keep thinking of the words I need to write today.  Uff da! 
                Another project for the month is a football memory book for the seniors.  I compile all the football articles in our local newspaper as a scrapbook for the boys.  Really it doesn’t take a ton of time, but it is a distraction from all other things.  All I have left is one more look at the formatting and then sending it on to the printer.  Yay, almost done!
                Finally, this month our Catholic community puts on two retreat weekends, one for the men and one for the women.  I help with the women’s in a couple of areas and I am helping sponsor a friend for the men’s weekend.  The wonderful part of this is the extra times I get to spend in prayer with so many amazing people.  I also take time out for extra Masses.  I love that.
                Of course, I still have all my duties as mom and attempting those of “domestic engineer” or the old fashioned housewife.  Both my son and daughter have their birthdays.  I am still trying to be a helpful leader for girl scouts.  So, blogging is going to be slow this month.  I am very thankful though for all the busy areas of my life.
                Blessings to you all.