Discomfort Zone Warning (originally written on August 31, 2016)

Editorial Notes:

Today is December 18, 2016. The post below was written just about 5 weeks before I left for Europe, which was totally amazing and unforgettable. Life has been busy and I will try to catch you all up on it in the next few days/weeks/hopefully not months.    Susie.



I’ve just realized I leave for Europe in 35 days.

I just stopped breathing for a minute.

Over the last few months Plexus Slim and P.T.  has helped me lose almost 16 pounds.

I’ve been going to physical therapy for four weeks to strengthen my bad arthritic hip, which is now working much better since the tune-up has started. My therapist has added exercises each time I go. It takes me about an hour to do them. We’re working on strengthening my earlobes now.

My travel wardrobe is something I’ve been focused on. Our group of twelve from Journey Church Arts Collective will be welcomed by artists at a Paris Gallery on the first night we’re there.  I’ve done enough work on this old body, that skinny jeans are now in my wardrobe. I am far from being skinny, but these are very slimming and got two thumbs up from the discernible daughter. Finally. It only took me 40 years to pass a fashion test.

I’ve collected numerous Pins, from Pinterest,  that will help me pack light as well as dress comfortably, but not in PJ’s, on an overnight flight to Paris. Ha. There it is again. Paris. {{{sigh}}} And have I told you I was going to Lausanne Switzerland and Florence, too? {{{sigh}}} Overwhelmed in a good way.

We’re looking at small laptops so I can write and post while away. After using a computer to get my thoughts down, using a pen and paper is like getting out the horse and buggy to go into town.

The excitement among my fellow travelers is growing. People are still raising funds to help offset the trip. If you’d like to help someone financially I’m going to post a link at the end of this blog. Prices for the trip have risen, people have had circumstances happen and are in need of help for this Arts Mission Trip. Life is short. Opportunities are sometimes few. Generosity is alive and well. Personally, I’ve been humbled beyond words and to tears by the generosity of family and friends.

Spread the love if you can to an artist with the mission to learn, explore, disciple, befriend and eat pastries. Well, you all know I’m all about the truth.

Thanks for reading me!



I’ve Been Committed



I woke up around 5:30 this morning thinking about the commitment I made two days ago. Bossman was with me, so he’s a witness. We talked about this commitment yesterday and in celebration of my commitment, he committed by making a tee time for himself for 9am today .

So, I’m laying, or lying in bed, thinking about what I’ve sworn to do. Seriously? Again? Good gravy, Marie!  All the decisions that go with signing on that damn dotted line have just hit me between the eyes. My intentions were sincere and I was even excited when I signed and handed over my credit card.

I joined a gym. Planet Fitness. Like I need another planet. I have a hard enough time balancing the two I’m trying to function on now. Earth and the one people think I’m originally from. Probably Mars, or maybe Neptune. Mars is pretty and I can see it at night, I think I’d like to be… . Squirrel!

The clock next to the bed is glowing at me. I’m wide awake. Last night, I told Bossman I was going to get to the gym three days a week and Friday was going to be my first day. Today is Friday. My problem is making decisions. Now I have to decide what to wear and what time to go.

Clothing: Definitely not the skin tight workout bottoms I see women wearing at Kroger. (I’m envious knowing they made decisions and have already been to the gym) Not the baggy pair of knit black pants I wear around the house with the stains on them. Not the knit knee-length pants I only wear in the house that are semi-loose, lightweight and need to be worn with a long, sturdy tee shirt to cover the tummy area because that’s where they aren’t loose. I settle on a pair of knit crop pants that miraculously aren’t skin tight. I’ll top them off with a t-shirt of some sort with a neck that won’t choke me when I’m gasping for air on the elliptical machine.

Shoes: I have sturdy sneakers that pinch my toes a little bit, and I have neon nylon Nikes. So, the Nikes have it for today.

Time: It’s 6:30am. People will be hitting the gym before work. I’m avoiding the gym when it’s at its busiest.  There is absolutely no reason for me to be there during rush hour with women having to shower and get ready for work. The fewer naked women I see at the gym, the better. I’m modest, self-conscious and have a problem dialoging in my head about details. I’m detailed oriented and I don’t need any naked information scurrying around me that might end up in a blog or story. Well, maybe… . No! No rush hour gym time!

Now, another decision. Shower before the gym or after? I’m exhausted just thinking about going. I won’t shower or maybe I will shower. I feel better after a shower. So maybe I will. Yes! I’m going to shower!!!

Gosh. I’m ready for a nap and I’m not even out of bed yet.


A note from Susie:

I’m glad I wrote about this decision making issue I have as I laid in bed this morning. The whole reason I joined the gym in the first place is to increase my stamina for walking. You may have heard that I’m going on a trip to Europe (still can’t believe this) in October. Paris, Lausanne and Florence. Journey Church Arts Collective is taking about 15 of us over to share the love of Christ, our artistic gifts and our hope for a better and kinder world. My personal plan is to represent my faith and my country, and the expectation I have that Americans will pull our country together and become united–to where we are blind in judgment when we see the color of people’s skin and  we’ll be wise in choosing a new leader; and to travel to Paris, take Parisian’s hands in mine and tell them “I’m sincerely sorry for your enormous loss.”

I am not afraid to travel but I will be observant. God has made it clear that I’m supposed to be on this trip. There is a reason. I’m not sure what it is, but I’m praying that I will make Him, and all my supporters, smile at  my efforts while I’m abroad.

As always ~ Thanks for reading me.



Hope is like peace. It is not a gift from God.
It is a gift only we can give one another.

Elie Wiesel

The Chicken Story


As I stand on the street corner a chicken struts by.
Now, understand, I live in the city
with traffic, like buses and cars, kids with bikes,
and houses sittin’ on top of each other.
“Hey, Chicken!” I says. “Where the hell did you come from?”
That chicken stopped dead;
turned its ugly chicken head and stared me down.
I stared right back. I aint backin’ down from no damn ugly chicken.
Then it started comin’ at me.
“Whoa!” I yelled. “Whoa there Chicken! I take it back. I ain’t lookin’ for no fight!”
I remembered seein’ chickens fight’n on the TV.
Some big-shot football player got into hot water for holdin’ chicken fightin’ contests in his mansion.
Them chickens can take a lickin’.
I started backin’ away from this thing, but he just kept comin’ at me.
“Hey Chicken, I ain’t lookin’ for no trouble. Just wanted to make sure you weren’t lost or somethin’.”
That chicken stopped and looked me over. Creeped Me Out!
Lucky for him my bus pulled up. Just in time so’s I didn’t have to do somthin’ I’d be sorry for.
That’s one damn lucky duck! Er…Chicken.

(this was written at a woman’s writers lunch meeting at a prompt. we were given five minutes to write. the first sentence was the prompt. it has been mildly edited)


Today I’ve been inspired to write.

What has inspired me, you ask?

Writers. Writers have inspired me.

What type of writers, you ask?

Not famous writers. Not Harper Lee, C.S. Lewis or Zora Neal Hurston.

Just regular writers who write. Like:

My friend Kathy who just blogged about writing on her business site that deals with writers.

“What is craft? The techniques writers use to capture a reader’s attention in the telling of a story are referred to as the writer’s craft. Essential components of craft are establishing a clear voice, choosing precise words, incorporating a useful organization, developing effective sentences, and creating vivid characters and a compelling plot that illuminate your underlying theme.”


And: My cousin Laura, a blogger, scientist and fiction writer preparing for her first novel to be published next month as she writes her second novel.

Carl Sagan and Richard Feynman were my first two heroes. Somehow I lived almost half a century with blinders on and the brilliant Isaac Asimov escaped my notice until very recently. I have embarked on reading his books and have accepted the fact that I might not live long enough to read them all. He was that prolific.

“I write for the same reason I breathe – because if I didn’t, I would die.” Isaac Asimov

He believed that a writer is simply unable to stop letting the ideas come out. I’m stuck in that spot, captive to my own imagination. If you’re a writer, you must write.

“Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers.” Isaac Asimov”


In the last two days, these two writers wrote about the craft of writing. I needed to read their words.

I often get stuck in the day-to-day life of laundry, dishes, meals, dirty floors, ADD, work, mindless games on Facebook (which I’ve quit numerous times, making me successful in writing) and the constant chore of trying to find places to stick the extra stuff in our house. I move it from one place to another. Shitz. It’s nothing but shitz. Time to purge the FB games and the shitz from our house and focus on writing.

I’m going to get back into the novel I worked on for three years.

It has rested long enough and now it’s time to punch it down and kneed it a while. Work it. I’m going to work it out and see what it becomes.

You can read the brilliant and complete blogs of Kathy and Laura at the pretty blue lettered site addresses within the text. But, you already knew that didn’t you?

Thanks for reading me and wish me luck on getting unstuck.


Thanks for Listening








When you need to be distracted from life, what do you do?

I prayed.

I played casino games on FaceBook.

I watched hockey while eating a gigantic bowl of ice cream.

I made a double batch of chocolate chip cookie dough and froze a mess of little cookie balls.

I baked a loaf of coconut, chocolate chip, banana bread with more rum in it than was called for.

I made Bush’s Baked Beans and put Jack Daniel’s whiskey in them.

I prayed some more.

I posted on FaceBook and had so many nice responses I cried tears that ran down my real face.

I decided to write this.

I decided to listen to my iTunes while I wrote.

I rejected Bob Dylan’s, Make You Feel My Love as the first song, because it made my tears appear again.

I called a friend and she wasn’t home. I won’t call her cell. This is not a cell phone conversation I need to have with her.

I just discovered that a new neighbor moved in. Maybe I’ll bake some of those frozen cookie balls. Oh, and another neighbor had a family loss and then a health issue. Maybe I’ll bake off more of those cookie balls and deliver them. I’m going to serve at church tomorrow with the babies. Maybe I’ll bake more cookies for the people serving.

Maybe I’ll make more cookie dough.

Thanks for listening.

Gotta go.

I have lives to touch.


Moonshine Memory

Moon Light 768x1280-816

The computer light has drowned out the moonshine.

I’ve chased it throughout this dark new house, window to window

without  bumping into sharp table corners

or stepping on Clyde the cat.

A soft grin was my companion as I gazed out of skylights

tucked into the cathedral ceiling.

Full moonlight poured into rectangular stepping stones

on the biscuit colored carpet.

I’d used every window on this floor. Ah – the hidden upstairs where the last skylight waits.

Lifting my robe I climb the ruddy wooden staircase and reach the  secret skylight without a fumble.

Easier than in the daylight – it’s there.

Shining down on my computer desk. Soft full moonshine pouring its beauty into my home and

here onto my all too often forgotten means of writing. My computer.

I thank the moonshine. I am grateful for its pouring into my heart, hands and literally

into my words. I don’t need to wonder anymore why I’ve always been in awe of

moonshine’s  effect on me. I believe it has led me to where I belong.

Here.  As I drown out its glow and write about the same.





Keeping Ahead

Catching Up by Leunig,This just about sums up how I’m feeling right now. If I could catch up with my head, I’d be grateful. My head is full of the stuff of my life. Jam-packed with multitasking projects, concern for my friends and family and too many dates and times. The last two include numbers; numbers of which I am allergic to. I hate numbers, but that will have to be another blog.

I’ve committed to chairing two events with my Red Cross Chapter that I want to be successful. Successful isn’t easy. Wrangling people isn’t easy. Multitasking – not too easy for me. Lots of lists, times, dates, numbers and expectations. The weight I’ve put on my head is holding me down instead of lifting me up which is what I need. A helium balloon with a pretty ribbon wrapped around my head would help. Off with the weight – but not off with my head.

My Nana/Nanny position was put to the test yesterday when my fifteen month old Lil’ Doo, was stung by a red wasp as I was trying to keep Blind Dog from going down the steps of the deck. Oh, the weight on my head from that won’t be lifted for another day or fifty. All 6 dogs were on the large deck and Lil’ Doo was splashing in the kiddy/dog pool when I heard him howl. I grabbed him, saw the demon red wasp and ran into the kitchen. New dog followed me in. My brand new smartphone and I hadn’t really made phone calls, so figuring out how to call Doo’s mom took an extra 30 seconds which felt like three hours. While making the call, New Dog, who loves to walk on his very long hind legs, got my lunch from the kitchen table, devoured it and then tried to chew up the plastic container where it had once been secure. The poor sobbing baby boy took the mom prescribed ibuprofen easily and I made an ice pack from a dishcloth and held it on his poor little swelling, red fingers as we read his favorite Truck book. I felt as though I should have had my head in a guillotine because that sweet baby was so hurt. As time went by, the swelling and redness eased up and he didn’t have any other ill effects from that damn wasp. I’ve allowed my head to remain with me.

On Thursday I sat in a local hospital with friends while one of our gang had complicated lung cancer surgery.  I was there six or seven hours while others were there double that. My friend got through it. We all got through it together. We laughed. We almost cried. We talked. Some of us prayed. We remembered and we planned our futures together. My head stayed where it belonged. I believed that he’d be okay because we four friends all had good heads on our shoulders that instinctively brought us together. We kept bolstering each other up with talk, laughter and silent prayers.

Bossman, my mate, left for a 12 day Father & Son trip out to Oregon on that same crazy day of the surgery followed by the day with the dogs, the wasp and the baby. I am grateful he and our son are having this special time together and that I have a new smartphone that keeps me in touch with the adventure. My head has figured out voice texting, picture capturing and keeping the battery charged. I’m not putting down my net, yet, though. My head is here but part of my heart is in Oregon.



Cartoon by Leunig