Saturday, December 31, 2011


Last post for the year---I've done a LOT of thinking--what to write----I am being directed like Lot's wife--"Don't Look Back"--

So--Instead of rehashing what you all already know--I am going to look forward and give you my list of "I Hope To's" for 2012. I don't call them resolutions----resolutions can be broken and then you are defeated. "Hope To's"---well if you slip up and sometimes fail--start over--try again.

Here they are in quite random order:

1. Turn toward God---moment by moment--seek Him---don't sit around waiting for Him to hit me over the head (perhaps He has already done that a time or two)---Look for Him--tune in to Him---Embrace Him--Let Him be Him---and show me how He wants me to be.

2. Find balance in my life--church, family, work, play, fun, exercise---strive to come up with a better balance--ALL work and no play makes Lora a VERY dull girl.

3. Laugh---smile----have fun---don't dwell on the what if's, why's, if only's--accept what is---go from there and find joy.

4. Plan a project for others--at least once a quarter---keep my eyes and ears open and find time to do for others--even when working.

5. Enjoy and be with all my wonderful friends--make time---take time---no excuses.

6. Listen--to those around me and that God places in my path---be perceptive of what is being said and pro-active about what I can do.

7. Dig in the dirt---paint a wall---continue to make this my home.

8. Listen for how God is directing me about my work. Do the best I can for those that I work for-be a friend and mentor to those that I work with--use the wisdom and knowledge gained from all these years--for the betterment of those that I am surrounded by.

9. Be a better Mother and Lulu to the most important people in my life. Listen-play-help-be there for them. Remind them of how proud I am of them and who they are---Give them my blessing.

10. Live in Peace---with Who God Is--Who I Am--and Where I Find Myself--accept-embrace-make the most of each moment He gives me. Know the plans He has for me---and know His great undeserved love for me. Know that He indeed has His eye upon me each second and is never surprised.

I am grateful for all that have read---
all that have supported openly--
all that care--

God Bless You All Mightly in 2012-HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Friday, December 30, 2011



LONG oval table

7 Great Looking Men

Lunch & Talk---






I spoke---they listened--

You Jealous Yet!

Thursday, December 29, 2011


I am enjoying feasting at the ecumenical smorgasbord! I have always teased my SIL about participating in worship at several different churches--at the same time. I have come to decide she may be onto something after all!

I have been working with the Episcopal vestry in a business engagement. I have found that I quite enjoy my "High Church" friends. I've always loved the liturgy and rituals of high church--knowing this has been used in worship for generations.

I am also working with the newest church in town which is a a strange duck in itself since it is the combination of two churches. WAIT! GASP---two churches are joining together--not splitting---WHO IN THE WORLD EVER HEARD OF THAT! The worship is more contemporary---get this---THEY DON'T PASS THE PLATE! You are expected to give willingly and as instructed in the Scripture. There is some hand clapping, some hand raising, and in general a little joyous worship. Pretty contemporary

Last week I attended Christmas Eve services with #1 daughter and family & #2 son--- charismatic---and quite wonderful. Free---worship as you feel--you may be sitting by a pauper---in thread bare clothes---or a granola doctor---quite the eclectic mix. I LOVE IT!

SO---I love the entire smorgasbord----could dine at a different table every night---enjoy and love it all--somehow I think God must love it all too!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


I have a business lunch Friday. One of the 3 jobs I am working on currently has called a meeting of the "Financial Committee" Friday. Little Old Me and about 10 men----HUMMM---All Financial Types---NOW ---I know you are all SO jealous knowing that we will be talking over budgets, financial statements, projections----and how to suspend it all in the cloud


Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Who am I now? How do I monogram my towels and sheets? I know I will always be a James---my birth name---but who am I now. Does the fact that I was married for all those years and my children all have that name mean that I am still my married name? Somehow I feel like I am in limbo land---not quite knowing just who I am. My professional license, my driver's license---the title to my new home--all those important papers have that name on it. It would be a huge task-that I do not currently have the energy for to change all of that---but somehow it does not feel right anymore.

Who am I now? Not a widow---in society's sight--even though the Bible gives the status of widow to me. Not a wife anymore--when one leaves the marriage--the other has been abandoned--there is no other way to look at it. So since we are both alive and well---no one is widowed.

I could go on and on--you get the drift--how do you treat your friends and acquaintances in my place? Who are we?

Monday, December 26, 2011


Christmas is over---I survived-My children and grandchildren made the survival possible. We were all together at various times during Christmas week---some longer than others---but all together. We stayed busy-we cooked-we ate-we played-we walked-we talked-we were together.

Christmas will never be the same as it was--but there are many others that are experiencing the same struggle of finding a new normal. Is life ever normal? Well for many many years-I thought it was pretty normal.

On a cold-rainy Christmas day this year---I stopped and was thankful for being warm and dry---many are not. I had all my children and grandchildren-together--many are not able to be together. I had a great time cooking with Gabe and eating with all the family-many are hungry. I tried to put it all in perspective. I have family that I love and that loves me--many are alone.

It was not what it had been---but it was good. I somehow managed to raise 3 wonderful children and gain 2 more my marriage---LUCK?- God's Grace-plain and simple! I am thankful for them and our time together. So one last time--Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2011


Dear Anyone in The WWW--who might or might not know me--

It comes the time of the year for my annual update following all of your Christmas letters telling me how well you all are doing-including your successes, riches, children succeeding, trips to points of incredible interest, trophies won, awards gained and diplomas eared. REALLY your life sounds quite blissful--almost Eden like!

This year has found me going back to work. It seems that I began work with paper and pen 40 years ago and now found myself "on the cloud". I cannot seem to find the cloud--much less figure out how in the world you get there! WHO owns the cloud---which part of the sky does it reside in!--does anyone else have access to my personal cloud?---is it all vapor? can you touch it? WHO IN THE WORLD CAME UP WITH THIS IDEA?

My travels have consisted of 2 trips to Erie,PA where I toured the back of a moving truck --and then flew to Fort Worth with a 6 month old and a 24 month old, and my 336 month old. It was REALLY fun and those sitting around us were delighted by the shrieks and cries as we flew the friendly skies, especially by the 336 month old.

I have been in training for a new career in packing, shipping and receiving. After moving 3 households in a period of nine months. I have become quite proficient in it. The secret is to throw most of the junk away. If you have not seen it or used it in a year you do not need it. What EVER possessed me to buy all of this crap anyway!

My short career in retailing---a garage sale---proved to be WAY to much bang for too little of a buck---after weeks of getting ready--and then standing out in the August record heat to have someone bargin with me over hundreds of dollars of stuff that I marked at $5 and they want to know what I will take for it---REALLY??? I suggest call your local charity and see if they will come pick the junk up---it might even be worth a donation to just get it off your hands. Remember one man's junk is another's treasure---somewhere out there is SOMEONE loving my crocheted toliet paper holder.

After a spring and summer chasing armadillos and shooting holes in the side of the house---I moved into a town neighborhood. I just knew my trials were over---then the smart city deer appeared---they have taken things to a new high by spitting out the plants they don't like. I have replanted my pansies a dozen times so far. Someone told me you cannot shoot a gun in the city limits----I am shopping for a compound bow in the near future.

After all these FUN times this year---I am sitting here with my mature daughter and son-in-law in their red union suits with the forever lazy quick exit snaps and # 2 son, Gabe who is sweating after a fun evening of being Santa's helper. The other 2 grands and #1 & favorite DIL left yesterday after all being together here in Fort Worth-including Lulu's cooking, a trip to the
Children's Museum- and a walk to the park just down the street to play and feed the ducks. The little cousins LOVE the big cousins---what a delight!

We went to church together tonight ---babies in tow---Carols, Scripture, & Candle-light---communion--a reminder of how God has truly blessed me. Home now in front of the fire---with the tree glowing and the presents under the tree----all waiting for Santa to stop by for his snack and milk sitting by the fire.

Merry Christmas to All &
To All A Goodnight-

Sunday, December 18, 2011


I am in TX moving #1 daughter into her new house. #1 daughter is in Erie visiting with her sweet friends that she had to leave behind when moving back to the South. WHY--I have been asked a million times when I have told this story--Why would you do that?

Because she has blessed me with 2 of the 4 sweetest grands a "LuLu" could ever want. Because she has talked with me, laughed with me and cried with me. Because she is a Servant of the King. Because she is one of the best mothers I have ever known. Because I love her and her sweet brothers more than I could EVER say--and would walk through fire or take a bullet for any of them-their spouses or children.

AND because I need someone to take care of me in my old age---

Was getting a little too serious there---besides ANOTHER chapter in my Camille book---she is QUITE the girl!

Saturday, December 17, 2011


I tend to be a deep thinker-believe it or not. SO today on my birthday---I am thinking about why was I born?

The answer is really quite simple--

To glorify God and give Him good pleasure...

It is not about us---

It never was and never will be

the ONLY peace will come from serving Him by serving others

I think about the times in my life that I have been the happiest--most joyful---most content--at peace--

It ALWAYS revolved around Service---dying to self----putting others first---I have never been happy, joyful, content or peaceful when seeking what makes ME happy--

SO as I reflect and as I pray my birthday prayer---my desire is to put God first---look to Him--listen to Him and be open to what he places before me and in my path---and then have the courage and energy to tackle that task-

There is no other reason to be here---but to give Him great pleasure & bless His Holy Name.

Friday, December 16, 2011


This will be my first birthday alone---probably ever---there has always been someone around-all my life. What does God do---he puts 2 in my path that are suffering.

One OLD friend--who sobbed on the phone while talking with me yesterday---it broke my heart--SO I am preparing Lora's famous chili for supper tomorrow night and she and a few other close friends are coming to be together. We are CALLED to be here for one another!

Another--a BRAND new friend---HAVE to spend some time with her tomorrow--if she will let me---we need to talk--God is directing me...

AND THEN---there's the sweet little family we found out about at the 11th hour---they need Christmas gifts---trying to see all this is done before leaving--

SO---1st birthday alone--proves to be VERY busy--thinking of others--Thank You, God!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


I am NOT believing the point I have gotten to in life----it now takes me more than my usual 10 minutes 15 tops to get dressed. I HAVE determined what the problem is-----I've been duped by the media! I watched TOO many commercials and think that I can look like I am 10 years my junior---WHAT an IDIOT!

I have these serums that I put on my face to tighten up that maybe not quite as tight skin on my face. I have this stuff to rub on my head--to thicken up those thinning locks----I have the whitening toothpaste-used with the electronic toothbrush--to protect against gum disease and make my smile glaringly bright--I have the drops you put on your eyelids--to replenish the eyelashes that gave up the ghost--and then there is the complete body lotion to tighten and firm aging skin


BUT----one thing is for sure-----YOU CAN'T FOOL MOTHER NATURE!!! She's a relentless mistress----bound and determined to have her way! SO I GIVE! Take me away Calgon---OLD is OLD----WELL I may not can do anything about the age I look-----BUT I CAN do something about the age I feel--and basically I still feel young and I am definitely ready to rumble--SO THERE MOTHER NATURE----TAKE THAT

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


One of the things I miss a GREAT deal is having someone to share my day with. Friday after work--I picked up Helen and Debbie for our quick trip to Monroe. The first 30 minutes--my day POURED out of me---I am not usually that big of a talker---I had just forgotten how it helps to rehash---think through---process what your day has been like.

So perhaps I will put an ad in the local paper--

Employment Opportunity--

A set of ears to listen---without comment--except on rare occasion--to the ups/downs---ins/outs--wonderful/sad/puzzling/irritating/surprising/happy moments in my day. The sometimes hilarious---(droopy drawers)---sometimes serious--releasing or reprimanding an employee--sometimes joyous---a word from God--sometimes impossible---can't make another step -moments of a day. Requirements-accept and like me for who I am. An occasional day off--but sometimes 7 days a week. Compensation---loyalty and service beyond your imagination AND I will listen to your day also!

Monday, December 12, 2011


you can watch Hallmark movies to you could actually write one yourself. You know---everyone is sad---Christmas is just not going to be right OR we are not going to have Christmas AT ALL--OR their is a grump who is spoiling all the Christmas fun

IN charges---the good fairy---the sharp elf---the knight in shining armor---and SAVES Christmas---and MAGICALLY EVERYTHING is decorated from the top of the trees to the garbage cans and EVERYONE is singing Carols in the street with perfect harmony and pitch and the Knight marries the Princess---


I am a TOTAL SAP and still believe in Fairy Tale Endings----

I MUST be delusional or some other Psycho Babel Term!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

P U S H !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

35 YEARS ago today, I pushed ONE BIG BABY into the world--without the benefit of drugs. I was into the "Holistic Approach" to childbirth----Natural Childbirth was all the rage. He had the usual BIG James head---and was quite the little chubster on top of that 9+ pounds. If I remember right, I think I weighed 10 pounds more than when I got pregnant and here he came almost the entire 10 pounds himself.

I wanted to slap everyone in the delivery room before he finally made his arrival known to us all. He began crying immediately and didn't stop for at least a couple of hours. I don't blame him---we both needed those drugs!

He is one of my biggest fans and continually supportive---I was Blessed beyond measure that day. His heart is large as the state of Texas where he lives and is always soft when it comes to family.

SO WISH I was with him today to give him a huge birthday hug---love him more than I could ever explain---


A HAPPY BIRTHDAY---GABE---will have to do for today and then the hug will follow soon.
LOVE YOU, Sweet Boy!

Saturday, December 10, 2011


I have always loved Christmas---the lights, the decorations, the tree, the stockings,----I love to just go over the top! I have my house decorated from one end to the other inside. I am disappointed with what I have gotten done on the outside, but hopefully next year I will do better.

I love the special programs, the concerts, the recitals, the parades, the parties,--riding around looking at the lights---being with friends and especially being with family. It really all revolves around family and friends. How much would we enjoy all the sights and sounds of the season without our families?

The special reminder of the wonderful gift that was given to us LONG ago is certainly the most important thing about the season. We can actually love and relish that part of the season---alone---for we are never really alone--He is faithfully always with us.

Is Christmas for families--perhaps----but the birth of Christ---that was for all of us.

Friday, December 9, 2011


I have had the privilege to be asked to shop for an 11 year old girl whose mother is addicted to drugs and her Auntie is raising her. It breaks my heart to even think about how she must feel--but I have the wonderful honor to shop for Christmas for her.

I went flying to Monroe tonight with Debbie and Helen in tow to shop after a LONG week. I must admit--I REALLY DID NOT WANT TO GO TO MONROE---but after getting in the store and starting to shop for her---it was all joy---What fun---to once again play Santa Claus and for someone that has so little.

THIS is what it is all about!!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Going back to work has been quite the adventure! I put myself "Out there as a "Consultant". NOW not just ANYONE can be a consultant! You need to have YEARS of experience===you know---have gone down the road of "The Good, The Bad & The Ugly". Wisdom comes from trampling that road----intuitive awareness---it does not come from the Yellow Brick Road---but more like the school of hard knocks. You have made mistakes--but you learned from them--you are willing to share that knowledge and experience.

I currently have 3 different jobs going on at once. The really interesting thing---I have a ROLLING file cabinet----MY CAR. It works quite well--MOST of the time. The front seat has the ECR files---the back right seat of the car has TB files---the back left seat has DH---I have it down to a fine science---PULL UP to the business---open the appropriate door---pull out the files---IN YOU GO with the laptop filled backpack in tow.

ONLY trouble is---SHORT STOPS---things go flying---WHAT A MESS!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

WHAT IF------

In Small Group---we are studying the book "Hearing God"' tonight we talked about what if you heard God speak in an aloud---audible voice---what would He say---What would His voice sound like? I have often thought I heard from God---but I must admit---I have not heard His audible voice---

Would it be booming-

Would it be the soft whisper of the evening breeze--

Would it sound like a man--

Would it have an authoritative resonance--

Would it be the gentle whisper of a lover in your ear--

What would God's voice sound like?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


We all have "Whys" in our life.

I had a co-worker that I noticed was unusually quiet and subdued today---when I asked her was she alright--she replied, "No". I then followed through with "Work or personal?" It seems her husband died unexpectedly today-2 years ago.

I have another sweet friend that lost her precious granddaughter this week. SO tiny---and yet perfectly formed---here but for a short time---and now gone.

My sister in law has had a re-occurrence of her breast cancer --five years after her original diagnosis and now she has had to change chemo twice searching for an answer.

My friend's brother in law died suddenly and unexpectedly recently at 57.

My father died when I was 14.

After sharing 38 Christmases ---with a husband---this year he will not be with me---

The Whys of Life

Sunday, December 4, 2011


I've been thinking about where I am and where MANY others are during this holiday season and what you might do to help. Yesterday I had 2 sets of dear friends just show up---one with a hot toddy for my cold and a nice visit and the other with good conversation and a listening ear that told me I could just be who I am at this time and understanding of my broken heart and tears. This led me down the road of what has helped and what has not---I KNOW all have good intentions---but here--from my personal point of view is what I have found-- HOLIDAYS especially are EXTREMELY difficult--

What you have known for years---the traditions---the expectations---all of it---has to change---NOW I KNOW that a new normal will come with time---but for now--I am grieving what is lost.

To those that say "I am strong" and "You will be fine"---NO right now--I am not strong---and I am doing all I can to just put one foot in front of the other. I understand that you want me to be strong and you want me to move on ---but for today---I am a mess emotionally---still crying daily---still grieving. Your expectation of me "Being Strong" makes me feel like a failure --AGAIN----I know you do not intend that and are trying to help by reminding me that I am strong---but perhaps you are reflecting your expectations of me and not accepting me for where I am and helping me to return to "strong" at the speed that I can manage.

If you think "I am better off"---perhaps I am---but for now I am mourning the wonderful past and all those years of oneness with another. I would just like to magically turn back the book to 3 1/2 years ago. My desire is to have someone by my side that has shared a lifetime of memories with me to remember them, speak of them and cherish each moment of our life as a family. The day may come when I think--yes, I am better off---but for today---my heart is aching for what was.

"Count your blessings"---yes I am blessed--FAR more than most are and I fully realize that---I acknowledge that God has showered blessings upon me-including sustaining me in the dessert---but read Psalms---David was certainly blessed--including the blessing of being the fore bearer of The King----but yet he grieved, he called out to God, he asked for righteousness to prevail---all very human responses to betrayal.

So what can you do---for a friend who is grieving during the holiday season? What will help---a kind word, a pat on the back, a surprise visit, an invitation to dinner--accepting where they are--and not trying to make it better---just being a friend.

Many MANY have done very well at doing just this for me---praying and telling me---being my friend and I am thankful for that. I guess the bottom line is just accept those around you during this time of the year for where they are and if God gives you a nudge or an open door to help--grab the opportunity. Yes-it will get better---yes I will stop crying all the time---but it will never be the same and finding the new normal is very hard. Just bear with me and I will always thank you.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


So sorry to all that responded---but no birthday party/Christmas Open House this year---perhaps next---Promised I would not talk anymore about it--