Archive for the ‘Friends’ Category



Posted: April 25, 2015 in Friends, Quotes
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A friend

Posted: April 9, 2015 in Friends, Quotes
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“A true friend knows your weaknesses but shows you your strengths; feels your fears but fortifies your faith; sees your anxieties but frees your spirit; recognizes your disabilities but emphasizes your possibilities.”                                                                                                                                                       ~William Arthur Ward

Last week, two young men came into the tea shop.  They were probably in college, although they didn’t look very old.  They ordered their drinks, one tea and one hot chocolate, then sat near the window.  I don’t recall how long they were there, but as far as I could tell, they spent most of the time hunched over their phones, not interacting with each other at all.

This is a phenomenon I’ve noticed time and time again: this sitting together, not paying attention to the other human or humans but focusing intently on the “others” caught inside that bit of technology.  Coffee shops have become all too often places where people go to be alone together.  It’s something I understand for people who are on their own and simply want to be around other people while they work or read.  I understand if people meet to work together.  And trust me, I understand the urge to check my email, see what’s been posted on Facebook, or check to see who’s liked my blog for the day.  Before smartphones, it was easy to talk and laugh with someone else without distractions.  There was no internet, no siren song luring you to abandon the puny human before you and take off into the outer reaches of the world.

But I implore you.  Don’t be the person who ignores a friend for the internet.  When you spend time with a person in person, spend time with him or her, not simply sitting in the same vicinity.  Look at him, talk to her, let your friend know that you value him by taking some time to care enough to put aside technology to listen. Leave the phone in your purse or pocket; put it face down on the table, off to the side.  Maybe she’ll do the same and you’ll both feel cherished.

I’m challenging you this spring to take the time to really be with people and to step away from the phone! It will be worth it, I promise.

When we got the good news that friends would be in town Friday night for dinner, Bill suggested we have raclette. Raclette is both a cheese and a meal featuring that cheese, a meal perfect for using the time with friends for eating and having fun, rather than cooking and cleaning up.  That’s a winner in my book!

In Switzerland, where both the cheese and the meal originated, the edge of the round of cheese is heated and the melted cheese scraped onto the diner’s plate. In fact, raclette comes from the French word racler, meaning “to scrape.”  Also on the table will be boiled new potatoes, cornichons (small pickled gherkins), and pickled onions.  Eat a bit of each together = heaven! (more…)

There’s more to giving a compliment than you might think. Consider this “compliment” given by a girl with whom I went to high school. Pretend I’d just gotten a haircut. Her response upon viewing the result would be along the lines of, “You look SO much better.”   Perhaps it was just my high school lack of confidence, but that never really seemed to bode well for the way she thought I used to look or was she simply saying that the way I looked before was so terrible that anything, even this unflattering look, was preferable? Not my idea of a compliment.

One word that should never appear in a compliment is “but” or what we like to call “a but monkey.” An example of this might be, “You look great, honey, but don’t you think that dress is a little short/long/loose/tight/young?” Stop after “honey” and you’re good. Tack on a but monkey and the ice isn’t only thin, it’s giving way as you speak, plunging you into waters that can cause death in seconds. (more…)


Posted: March 29, 2014 in Friends, Musings, Quotes
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Friends.  You are infinitely precious to me.  Here are some wonderful quotes that had just the right fit for how I would describe friends and friendship.

“Friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another: “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself…”
~C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

A friend is someone who knows you and loves you just the same.
~Elbert Hubbard

“Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.”
~Mark Twain

“It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.”
~Friedrich Nietzsche

“There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.”
~Linda Grayson

“If I had a flower for every time I thought of you…I could walk through my garden forever.”
~Alfred Tennyson

“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.”
~Jane Austen, “Northanger Abbey”

“It’s the friends you can call up at 4 a.m. that matter.”
~Marlene Dietrich

“I think if I’ve learned anything about friendship, it’s to hang in, stay connected, fight for them, and let them fight for you. Don’t walk away, don’t be distracted, don’t be too busy or tired, don’t take them for granted. Friends are part of the glue that holds life and faith together. Powerful stuff.”
~Jon Katz

“What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies.”

“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art…. It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.”
~C.S. Lewis, “The Four Loves”

“We’ll be Friends Forever, won’t we, Pooh?’ asked Piglet.
Even longer,’ Pooh answered.”
~A.A. Milne, “Winnie-the-Pooh”

So, to my friends!  Cheers!


It’s Wednesday, which means I’m usually posting a story for Friday Fictioneers, that wild, crazy, and talented group of writers of 100-word fiction.  But as tomorrow is Thanksgiving and, possible super-storm allowing, we’ll be traveling to Philadelphia, I’m instead posting a much-requested story about meeting some fellow Friday Fictioneers and going to my first writing conference.  I won’t be taking time to read and comment on stories, although I’m thankful for the group, because I want to spend the time with part of our family.   I pray that all of you readers who celebrate Thanksgiving tomorrow have a blessed day and that those who don’t would take a few minutes to think about the many things for which you can be thankful (and also have a wonderful day!)


Recently, I packed the car with snacks (left Bill with the van, as it has over 182,000 miles on it and we’re babying it), threw my bags in the back, made sure I had my technology bag and tea and headed for Kansas City. I was off to meet someone I’d met online who’d become a friend and to attend my first writers conference in Branson, Missouri.  To gild the lily, I was also going to get to meet a number of fellow fiction writers from our weekly Friday Fictioneers group.  Life was good.

I love to drive but my trip started out in rather bizarre fashion.  I’d borrowed my husband’s GPS rather than go with MapQuest directions, but I knew where MapQuest would have sent me.  Garmin sent me 90 degrees in the opposite direction!  Yes, I did have to go south at some point, but not until Des Moines.  The way I was headed, I could go around the world and never get to Des Moines.  I actually pulled over and reset the Garmin, just to be sure.  Since she insisted, I decided to live on the edge, bravely going where I had no idea what I was going to see.  The most unique part of the trip was going on a four-lane highway where the exits were really streets that came directly into the highway at ninety degree angles.

After my eight hour drive, Rochelle’s husband Jan’s offer of a beer was welcome and meeting Rochelle was great.  Unfortunately for all around us, we were a bit like twins separated at birth.  Not sure which of us was the evil twin, Skippy, but it didn’t matter.  About noon on Saturday, we piled into a car with Kent (fellow Fictioneer) and a friend.  We laughed, joked and sang our way to Branson and after dinner, headed over to the OWL (Ozark Writers League) banquet.  This is where the fun really started…and this is where Kent’s video was made.  Besides meeting and greeting (and being photographed or photographing), we got a tour of the hotel where the banquet was being held.  The room we saw was lovely, but so small that there was barely room to fall out of bed on either side without hitting a wall.

Saturday was workshop day.  A keynote speech by author and whip-wielder, K.D. McRite, “Don’t Give Me No Stinkin’ Excuses”, blew all our reasons not to write out of the water.  The workshop was located on the campus of College of the Ozarks,,  aka Hard Work U, because students have to work on campus (besides class work), so we went to lunch at their excellent restaurant but, due to the number of people trying to eat, we missed the first half hour of our chosen afternoon breakout session.

Fun over, we headed back to Kansas City.  Rochelle and I had decided we’d watch “Red” but unfortunately, for some reason, the technology had decided we wouldn’t.  All our blandishments and button-poking failed to get the DVD to play and we finally had to admit defeat.

Sunday morning, we were just chatting away, when I got a text from a friend in Cleveland, warning me of bad weather.  About ten minutes later, I got a call from Bill, suggesting I stay until the next day.  Now I will generally drive through any sort of weather, but when I looked at the Weather Channel and saw, between me and my destination, multiple lines of green, with centers of red indicating either tornadoes or possible tornadoes, even I decided to wait until later.  Fortunately, all the terrible weather had moved out of Illinois by the time I got there and I drove home under a clear sky and full moon.  Can’t wait until February for the next OWL meeting.  🙂

The not-so-usual suspects (L-R: Rochelle, Kent, me, Madison)

The not-so-usual suspects
(L-R: Rochelle, Kent, me, Madison)

Almost all the Fictioneers who were in attendance

Almost all the Fictioneers who were in attendance

L-R:  Beth, Rochelle, Madison, me, Karen, Russ, Jan, Kent

Kent used his amazing technical skills to put together this short video of our Friday night adventure.  (And, no, I didn’t have anything to do with being the first person up!) Thanks, Kent.  Hope you enjoy it.

The words “thankful” and “gratitude”  have popped up in my life quite often over the last weeks.  Not long ago, I mentioned that in one of my online groups, every Thursday is Thankful Thursday, a day when we lists things or people for which we are thankful.  On her blog, another friend is encouraging her readers to list one thing each day for which they’re grateful.  Finally, a few days ago, an online friend posted this saying:

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.

Are you seeing a trend here? (more…)

After we sold our house and moved in at the beginning of September, someone on Facebook mentioned that she would bringing over a pie if she were nearby. I joshed that no one had brought anything over, an all-too-usual scenario in this day and age. I did receive a few virtual pies, the main advantage of which was their lack of calories!

But two days ago, I received a surprise gift. The fact that I was getting something wasn’t a surprise, as I’d been told something was coming via the overnight mail, but what the gift would be was unknown, although I did know it was something to eat. I was told that once the box arrived, I would need some information about the contents. More intrigue!! (more…)