Showing posts from 2018

Chapter 9 - You May Have Been Evicted Because.....

Sometimes I post our available homes on Facebook groups, like, "Homes for Rent/Sale in Whatever County". Sometimes.

I would probably do it more often except that nearly every time I post, some random former tenant will start tearing up the thread, accusing the company of having evicted them for absolutely no reason.

For no reason. At. All.

Because that's what landlords do. They find tenants who are paying their rent on time and keeping the property in good condition and they evict them, just for fun. Because empty homes generate lots of income for them.

There was a highly offended couple who had to vacate their premises just two days. I walked through the home this morning. I wish their new landlords lots of luck. Click the link below to come on a video of today's tour with me. If you dare....

Take a Walk on the Parkside with me!

These are the Kids in My Life

Another Sabbath has come and is almost gone - will be gone by the time I finish writing this. My heart is heavy this evening, thinking about the kids in my life.

I never had any children of my own, and actually know very little about children. They just weren't on my radar. I don't have any regrets over not having any of my own, because some people are just not cut out to be parents. I'm one of them. Here's the problem - not everyone recognizes this in themselves. People who are not cut out to be parents are out there in the world, breeding like rabbits, and the kids they're bringing into the world don't stand a chance. And these are the adults of tomorrow. We already see an entitled generation coming of age; 30 year old "men" whose parents have to legally evict them to get them out of their basements. We like to bash the 30 year old for this, but really... who made them that way?

I'd like to introduce you to some of the children who break my hea…

What are You Praying For?

I've prayed for a lot of things in my lifetime. I've prayed for the winning lottery numbers - you can see how that turned out; I live in a trailer and drive a fifteen year old car (when I'm not driving my twenty year old truck). I've prayed for patience when I've been at my wits end - and I've been given the opportunity to practice patience.

God answers every prayer.

Sometimes the answer is, "No."

Sometimes the answer is, "Wait."

We don't always get the answer we had in mind when we said our prayer.

There are times when we have to listen very closely for an answer at all.

And then there are the times when our prayers are answered so immediately and so powerfully that there's no mistaking what's going on. There was a time about four years back when we were getting all jammed up, courtesy of a good deed gone horribly wrong. The thing I needed most desperately to save our situation was for someone to be revealed for who and what th…

The Great Comforter

John 14:26King James Version (KJV)26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. This is one of my favorite verses. I imagine the three and a half years of Jesus' earthly ministry and how confused the apostles must have been during that time.  The apostles were Jews. They'd grown up in Jewish homes, reading the Torah and hearing the stories of the great prophets. They weren't scholars, but even fishermen knew their Torah. They were looking forward to the coming of a great Messiah who would restore Israel. The first Messianic prophecy in the Bible is in Genesis 3:15 where God warns Satan that the Messiah was going to "crush his head". There are prophecies throughout the old testament about the savior who was coming and he was going to be a KING. So, what did the Jews of the time think of when they thought of a King? David, p…

Humbled by a Child

I was humbled by an eight year old today.

I got up this morning, did a little more study for the lesson I was going to teach at church today and folded the bulletins I printed last night. I got dressed and ready, and we met up with our friend who lives a few doors down - she and her eight year old daughter have been coming to church with us for the last three or four weeks.

Her daughter said to us, "I changed my mind today. I woke up and I was tired so I wasn't going to go to church, but then God told me to go to church." That blew me away. But then she asked us, "If you could choose, would you rather be a helper to God or would you rather be a regular person? I'd rather be a helper to God."

This kid has been to church like three times in her life and this is what she comes up with. I knew that everything I was prepared to teach in church was going to pale in comparison to the lesson I got from the kid.

Matthew 21:16 - "Do you hear what these children …

Writers - Living in an Alternate Reality

Are you a writer? Is your daily reality a little... different?

The other day my husband said to me that he noticed a home in our community looked abandoned. He takes our dog for a walk all around the park early every morning and he hadn't lately seen any cars there or activity. I started to take notice of the same thing after he mentioned it. The tenants aren't behind on their lot rent or anything, a payment was made online on the first of the month. But cars. No one coming or going. No lights on at night. Just the porch light, which is on all day and all night. So...where are they? Are they on vacation? For almost a month? They don't have the kind of funds necessary for something like that. Are they in there? Have they all been murdered in their sleep? And if they're not in there, where did they go? Did they have to leave town, sneaking out in the middle of the night? Is there a body in there?

Do you plot out the deaths of your friends and co-workers or co…

An Inconvenient Truth

Our pastor was talking during Sabbath School about the "casual Christian", and the thought just keeps popping back into my head. Casual Christian. I'm not sure that I've ever been a casual anything in my life. If I'm doing something, I'm doing it. Sometimes that's to my own detriment, of course, because I pick the wrong things to do sometimes.

My husband and I started on this journey together shortly after we got together, about nine years ago. To be perfectly frank, neither of us was leading anything close to a Christian lifestyle at that point. I'd been in and out of different churches for about ten years, looking for one that felt right - looking for one that I thought was telling me what the truth was. Marty was what we call a Recovering Catholic; he'd been raised Catholic and the church had scarred him and turned him completely off religion. However, once he got his teeth into it again he was and is like a pit bull with a bone.

The more we im…

The Master Counterfeiter

We've all heard the expression, "Know your enemy".

The Enemy is Satan. How well do we, as Christians know him, really?
For every good and perfect thing that God gives us, Satan is right there to offer us a counterfeit, at a bargain basement price. Let's take a look at some of the most popular counterfeits he's handing out;
God gives us the gift of speaking in tongues. He shows us in the Book of Acts what that's really all about; the apostles were able to speak in languages they'd previously not had any knowledge of in order to spread the gospel to people who didn't speak their language. Sounds pretty simple, doesn't it? It was a gift from the Holy Spirit and it was given for a purpose. Hand in hand goes the gift of Interpretation of Tongues. Paul points out in his letters to the church in Corinth that if you're speaking in tongues and don't have anyone there to interpret - don't do it, because you're only edifying yourself, not the …

Words to Live By

For any of you who have been keeping up with my blog - you know what I face during my day.

I go into battle with roaches and spitefully filled commodes. And that's on the good days.

There are other slices of my life, though. One of the slices that's been getting bigger lately is the spiritual slice of life. My husband and I are Seventh Day Adventist Christians. We each tried out a lot of different churches before deciding to join this one. My husband was raised Catholic, and when he was young he swore off religion entirely because of it. When we first got together he told me, "You wouldn't catch me dead in a church."

He's now a deacon, and does the "Children's Story" portion of our weekly service.

Our spiritual walk together is the most important part of our life. In the last few weeks I've been blessed beyond measure, to be able to witness to people I care deeply about; to be able to share the truths that give me peace in my life. The deep…

Chapter 8 - It Ain't Winnie the Pooh!

The next time you rent a home, I'd just like you to do something. It'll take just a few minutes, I promise. Walk into the empty home. Take out your camera or phone and take some pictures of the empty home.

Smell the empty home. Does it smell clean and fresh? Take off your shoes and walk barefoot on the carpets. Do the carpets feel fluffy and clean under your bare toes?

Look in the bathroom - go ahead, really, look in the bathroom. Look in the shower - are the walls clean? There's no people-goo on the walls right? Now...lift the seat of the commode.... Is the commode empty? I mean, aside from the water, is it empty?

Check out the walls in the home - are they freshly painted? Are the window sills clean? How about the fridge - when you open the door, what does it smell like?

There's a lot of behind the scenes action that has gone on to bring you that nice, fresh home. Trust me. The former tenants did not just walk out the door and leave it that way. I don't care if i…

Chapter 7 - Masks and Gloves are for Losers!

Some days I get to work from home. Those are the best days of all. I can get comfy on my couch with my computer and my phone. The phone is used for texting and emails only. I despise talking on the phone.

Some days I'm in a neat, clean office. Well, okay, it's really not all that neat but it's sanitary. Okay, to be perfectly honest, I'm not really all that thrilled with the main bathroom, but it's just old. It gets cleaned frequently. But old bathrooms just have the slightest air of funk. Even the ones that get cleaned frequently. And there's some dust in the main part of the office. And a little clutter. But I don't feel like I have to burn my clothes when I come home or anything.

So, like I said, some days I'm in a "neat, clean office". Other days I'm...not. Some days my work outfit includes bug spray that I just go ahead and spray on myself in anticipation of what I'm going to be walking into. Just because it's easier to spray …

The One Decision You Can't Live to Regret

We make decisions all the time that we regret.

The one decision no one gets a chance to regret is suicide.

It seems like every day now we hear about someone taking their own life. It's reached epidemic proportions now among kids.

Just last week two celebrities decided it was time to end their lives. These were people who seemed to have everything going for them; wealth, success, to the rest of the world it appeared that they were living their dreams and had everything anyone could ever want. So what was it they found so lacking in their lives that they deemed those lives not worth living any longer?

Have you ever thought about just ending it all? I'm not sure that even at my darkest moment I've ever really considered not facing another day, bleak as they sometimes seemed. I've had really bad times. I've made some really bad decisions. I've had those days when things crashed down on me so hard I could hardly breathe. You know that feeling - when one of those ba…

Chapter 6 - Evictions, Nuts, Cops and Prayers

Today was one of those full days.  Do you know the kind of day I mean?  It's not that anything today consumed very many hours, but the hours were full.  Kind of like eating a small meal, packed with fiber and protein. 

It was a fiber and protein kind of day!
We had a lockout scheduled in one of our Gastonia parks - erm, communities at 10:00 this morning.  
Here's how we get to a lockout; The tenant doesn't pay their monthly bill. The non-payment exceeds the time allotted by their contract.  So, we go to court and file for an eviction.  About ten days later there's a court date.  If they still haven't paid, we're granted the eviction and the property reverts back to the company.  The tenant has approximately ten days in which to vacate.  If they fail to vacate by the date given by the court, we go back to the courthouse and file for a writ of possession, a lockout. All this takes like another ten days. Then, on the lockout date one of our maintenance guys shows…

Hacksaw Ridge

Have you seen the movie? It came out in 2016. Marty and I went to see it in the theater as soon as it came out. We went with another couple we're friends with from church. Although none of us are really big fans of war movies we were all pretty excited to see this one.


Desmond Doss, the main character and hero of this movie was a Seventh Day Adventist. And so are we. It was because of his tremendous, unshakable faith that he was able to do what he did. He not only believed, he stood up for his beliefs.

He firmly believed that the Commandment, "Thou shalt not kill," was not a conditional kind of thing. That it wasn't a command from God that a secular leader here on earth had the authority to overturn. He believed that so much that when he volunteered for the armed services he did so as a conscientious objector and refused to carry a weapon. He signed up as a combat paramedic.

He believed in living out the fourth Commandment as well, "Remember the Sabbath Da…


My favorite time of the week is here.

The work week is over. Marty and I generally work six days a week. He works full time, I work full time but my hours are spread throughout the week as needed. Either way, by Friday we're exhausted. It gets a little harder every day to think straight or perform to the very best of our abilities. Being tired does that! Even aside from work, we're two very busy people and by Friday evening we're about worn out.

Did you know that at one time days were measured from sundown to sundown instead of midnight to midnight? According to that first manner of time telling, on Friday evening we to say goodbye to the sixth day of the week and enter into the seventh day as the sun prepares to go down. The Sabbath. And we're ready to rest.

On Fridays, even as we're winding down, we're done with our paying work week. I went out and did my banking and grocery shopping earlier in the day. We were ready to welcome in the Sabbath. We don't do…

Altered States of Carolina

Back in March of 2010 I woke up after a morning dream and quickly jotted these words down before they faded completely from my mind. This was written more than three years before we even thought to move south... to North Carolina.

"Driving west instead of east
two known strangers in the car
familiar as essences overlap
sharing one body with two souls

Reaching one destination
united with one who does not exist
and parted from one another
with a promised reunion in one
then two, then five days.

Traveling again in exhaustion
heading south instead of north
in a spring that overlaps an
autumn living in the mind.

One person not herself, divided
and conquered with one known
stranger in the car
seeking deliverance in the
altered states of Carolina."

It's All About the Characters

What's the most important thing to you about a book? For me, it's the characters. If the characters are interesting, and believable, I can forgive a lot of flaws with the plot. But if the characters don't grab me then the best plot in the world isn't going to hold my attention through a book.

But maybe that's just me.

I was a huge Stephen King fan when I was growing up. I cried when Larry and Glenn died in The Stand. I mean cried. I felt like I'd lost two of my best friends. There have been times when I've dreaded the end of books because I wouldn't be able to visit with certain characters anymore.

When I first started writing it was just on a whim. The internet was a very new thing back then - yeah, I know, I'm feeling old now, too. I had just gotten my first PC; an AT&T 6300. Wait, I king of lie, that was my first PC but it wasn't my first computer. My first computer was a Radio Shack TRS80. I had that when I was in high school and I took …