Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Can A Man's Friends Tell You Something About the Man?

Then there is John Holdren, Obama’s science adviser. Holdren has advocated forced abortions as a population control method. He opined that government has the prerogative and social duty to enforce a two-baby limit. In that context, he said that “neither the Declaration of Independence nor the Constitution mentions a right to reproduce.”

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

It's Christmas Day.
Last night we drove to the State Auto Nativity display, because I've been doing that for over 20 years. I love that display for some reason. We were there after 11:00 pm and they placed baby Jesu in the manger. Angels. Shepherds. Magi. A young married couple traveling while massively pregnant. That is something young people do. Crazy stuff. Like travel in the nine month of pregnancy.
I love Joseph. He's my kind of man.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

How Do You Want to Be Remembered?

I've been thinking about his a lot. Do you know anyone who says, "I remember my Grandma with such loving thoughts. She was such a negative, mean person." I do have folks tell me they remember their grandma or grandpa who was negative and bitter, but it isn't with the adjective "loving." Or, "fondly."
We hear folks say, "I rememer so and so... loved that guy... he always had a great attitude even in tough times."
I've been thinking about it, because I do think melancholy people get a bad rap in some ways. My dad was a melancholy and he had to work, work, work at his positive attitude. That is his legacy to me. I'm a thinker, a daydreamer, a wisher, the grass is always greener, type person. My dad taught me that the Girl Scouts are right! On my honor, I will try, to do be... CHEERFUL.
The power of Cheer. There is sincere and amazing power in Cheerfulness. Is this the attitude of Christ that we are admonished to carry?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Creepy Real Estate

It was a Saturday afternoon and I met Mr. Smith at a house listed at $475,000.00 The auditor had it's value at $1.3 million. It had sold three years prior for $1.6 million.

The house is pretty. Maybe you could say gorgeous. I suppose it's a nice house. I walked through it with the 18 foot high ceilings (or were they 22 ft hight?) and the pillars and all the creamy white carpet and tiling and mouldings, and granite, and marble, and opulent lighting,,, fireplaces in the master bedroom. That sort of thing. I roamed around and around the house while Mr. Smith carefully inspected every corner and line.

Yuck. I decided. It's lonely here. A big wind of lonliness swept over me while I was in the house. I roamed from huge room to huge room listening to my high heels echoing. Two different groups of buyers showed up while we were there. I made them wait outside the door. I locked the door. I wouldn't let them in. I let Mr. Smith have the massiveness to himself so he could feel the place. I did open the door to the other agents and asked them what time their appointment was--they both were early, so I said sorry, you guys have to wait, we're here on our time. Lock.

Mr. Smith had many questions. Why was it sold for $1.6 million and now it's $475,000? Why is the auditor's value $1.3 million? These types of questions. I told him something is fishy to me, and I'd research and get back to him. Once home I pulled up all the data and (spooky voice) it was obviously a fraud house. I called the Listing Agent. yep, it's a fraud house and the bank owns it now. I went from one piece of evidence to the next and followed the fraud trail. After reading several articles about the fraud case and even reading part of the trial agruments online I felt yucky. Yuck. Why would people do this. ??? Why are they so wicked???

When I was walking aroudn the gorgeous house I said to the Lord, "Better is one day in your house than a 1,000 elsewhere." And I meant it. That was before I knew the circumstances involving the house. The lonliness of sin permeated every room, even though it was all dressed up and fancy.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving Gone, Hello Santa

Here is a picture of Becca, Samuel, and Samuel has his "arm around" John Barnes and Rachael. I don't know why G-ma Stevens has a framed photo of John Barnes, Becca, and Rachael, but none of Kevin?????

Thanksgiving weekend closes this evening. The Steelers play Baltimore tonight and then Thanksgiving is over. It's such a great idea to have a holiday that brings together the people you grew up with and love, one time a year to gather together to say "Thanks" to God. Like the first white settler community in the Americas, we gather together to wipe our brow and say, "shwew," we survived!

I didn't see my sister or brother this Thanksgiving, and that was the first time in a few years. Jeff is in Paraguay with Jeffy and Justin. Sara went home to Iowa to be with her folks. Lucky for us Kaylin came home and Denise, Mom, Becca, Samuel, Olin, and I had a huge meal together. Olin was the only man and that felt weird to me. We still held hands around the kitchen and I prayed the Blessing. I made green been casserole and brought the rolls. I spent a couple hours the night before making the dough and getting it ready to rise as I was determined to make something complicated for the holiday. It was to sit in the fridge overnight and rise double its size. Thanksgiving morning I awakened and opened the fridge to find the dough the same size it was the night before. "Why didn't my dough rise?" I exclaimed. Olin pulled the empty yeast pack from the trash and read the expiration date: "best if used by June, 2004." So, I guess the yeast had died sometime within the past six years!

A quick run to Kroger was made and a roll purchase was made.

Becca arrived at Grandma's and of course it was fabulous to see Becca again and her chatty happy self and Samuel was happy to see her too. Kaylin and Becca and Samuel decorated Grandma's little Christmas Tree. After we pigged out Olin moved about 10 chairs and a bunch of heavy, heavy stuff to the basement to get Grandma's house ready for her first showing, which was set for Saturday morning. Samuel, Becca and I watched a chick flick Thursday night, all bundled up in blankets-we chuckled and made funny comments, and coveted their house in Alaska!

Friday late morning the four of us drove up to Elyria for another Thanksgiving meal. I took green bean casserole and sweet potatoe casserole. We had Grandmas wonderful mashed potatoes and gravy. And, oh, forgot to add there was snow, snow, snow all over the place on Friday. Thank GOD! It got me in a cheery mood. After we ate and cleaned up the dishes and visited an hour, we drove to a nearby winery. I bought a case of wine to give out to clients for gifts this Holiday season. Becca, Olin, and I got six testers and we tasted six types of wine while Samuel watched us. The winery is in an old, old barn, with a stone fireplace and liked the atmosophere with snow falling outside and a fire blazing. I was a little buzzed when I made my case purchase, and now with a logical mind I'm disappointed I bought the Niagra and Catawba, because NO ONE likes those types of wines. I had this stupid idea that I was giving local grown fruit wines to my clients, and thought it was a quaint idea. Yeah, it was quaint, like dumb. I honestly don't know anyone who likes these wines. I should have settled on the imported grape wines, which taste better.

Saturday was a work day for me. Grandma took Becca out to breakfast and I met my first set of buyers at her house. I walked in and "wa-la" her house looked amazing. She had cleaned and cleaned and tucked everything out of sight so all you saw was the cool,, clean lines of the house showing off the fireplace in the center and all the windows around.

I showed about four HIlliard homes and then headed to Muirfield to show million dollar homes.

Upon my arrival home, I kicked up my feet and had some coffee, and then went downtown with Becca, Samuel and Olin and had some dinner in the evening. Everyone, including Samuel crashed around 11 pm.

Sunday everyone slept in and no one went to church. I actually had a severe nervous breakdown over church issues and stayed in the car and sobbed for a couple hours. I miss my church, but it's not my church anymore, so I just need to accept it, grieve, and move on. Imiss my dad, too, who I could always talk to about Jesus and, well, it wasn't fun realizing I don't have a Pastor or a dad. boo hoo. I'm crying again. I have to settle on Rod Parsley being my Pastor and he doesn't even know who I am.

I grabbed a tree at the Boy Scout lot, bought a bunch of food at Giant Eagle, and Olin put the tree up while I grilled steaks and prepared some more food. Becca introduced us to Michelob Ultra and the fresh beer tasted yummy with char-grilled steaks, potatoe pergolis, and steamed green beans.
Becca single-handedly decorated our tree while Samuel and Olin and I bemoaned the Browns game. They are idiots. Brady Quinn can't throw. The Browns suck. Period.

Then it was time for Becca to go and I was sad again. . . There is always the Steelers who make me happy because they are such a good team and so well organized. They inspire me to be better organized and more motivated. Take Care. Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Cat Stevens is Going to Get His **** Kicked

If you're offended by cuss words read no further. Yes, believers and followers of Jesus SHOULDNT cuss. But, they do. I do occassionally. This post is not about cussing. It's about Cat StevensA big fluff ball of white and cream and orange tipped ears. A fat frowny face and super blue eyes. He is going to get his A** kicked any second by me!

I have a brown leather couch, manufactured by Lane. It's a pull-out bed too. I sold a Western Billy Cook Maker Show Saddle and bought this couch. The original $1,000 that I used to buy the saddle came as a gift to me from my Grandma O'Hara Reed after she passed away. I sold the saddle for what I paid for it, and bought this here couch. So, it's not just a nice couch, it has sentimental value.

I trained Cat Stevens to keep his little claws away from the couch and never, ever come near it. How I trained him was by terrorizing him whenever he came near it. I think he caught on to me that won't hurt a hair on his body, cuz more and more I'd come home and there is the furr ball sound asleep ON MY COUCH!

Ok, Cat Stevens! You've had it! You A** is Gra**! This time I mean it!

Saturday, November 7, 2009


I went to Movie Tavern last night at 10:00 pm to see "Couples Retreat." Olin came too. Movie Tavern is the best place to see movies I think. I love having a wait-server! We had a couple of Irish brews and I laughed out loud. Olin wasn't impressed. Got home late for us forty-somethings.

Ok this is a big deal: Monday will be the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall!
20 years? 20 years! Yes it seems like yesterday. I am losing track of time more and more. I'm a little afraid I'll have alzheimer's disease since it runs in my mom's family. :( I feel like I'm losing hours and days of my life, or ... as the Bible says, I'm just like the grass and flowers: flourishing today, burned up and gone tomorrow. :(

I'm worried about Samuel going to Guatamala. Was I being stupid and foolish to allow my 15 year old son to go to a third world country with a group of college-aged people? Am a being foolish? We are seeking counsel from some friends who were missionaries in Guatamala and such and praying about it. It would be different if he was 18.

Today is Olin's Birthday. He's 49. I didn't bake a cake or cook dinner or do anything. That time thing where time is getting away from me happened

Here's what's happened in real estate in the past day: I am in contract on $435,000 house to close in December. I am in contract on $153,000 to close in a couple weeks. I received a verbal approval on a short sale and we should close on $167,000 house in December. The seller of a $87,000 house can't get clear title so we aren't going to be closing soon, yet. Need to pray about that one. I had two closings on Wednesday: one for $106,900 and one for $183,500. I got a new buyer who is also a seller on Friday, too. We go house hunting on Wednesday. For non-Realtors here's the thing about being in contract. It isn't easy. Being in contract just means I have HOOPS and JUMPS and DANGER to get through-I don't think people could understand unless they have done this job----So just cuz I'm in contract with a closing date doesn't mean I will get it closed. Or we might get it closed but will it be done smoothly--As smoothly as possible as these times demand.

Seems like there is more in real estate but I can't remember.... alzheimer's?

Buckeyes are on tv. ok. go Bucks.

I was asked to be Secretary of the Hilliard Area Realty Association and I said yes. In a way it was stupid of me to say yes. In a way I'm a little honored I was asked.

I wish I had a pony!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

How Naomi Met Howard

Story told by Grandma Domingus (G.G. to my kids):

How she met and married Howard:

Grandma said she had moved to Dothan Alabama with her mom and step-dad. Grandpa was 13 years old and saw grandma roller skating in the street (she is 3 years older than he). He went home and told his mother "I saw the girl I'm going to marry. She is sooooo purrrrrty!" (southern accent) Grandma didn't pay any attention to him. She was interesed in Howard's brother instead, Pete. Pete was a good looking man.

Howard was relentless and for years went over to grandma's house and tried to get her attention. He would come over and visit her mom or aunt because Grandma would not come downstairs to give any attention. She just was not interested in him. Once he came to the house with a car and asked her if she wanted to go for a drive. No, she said. But, her aunt said, "sure, you can take me for a ride," and off they went.

Then he asked her to his school dance when he was in 9th grade (although she thought he was older). At the dance she saw that he was VERY popular and ALL the girls wanted to dance with him. And she thought, "well, I believe I want to dance with him then."

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Funeral For a Semi-Stranger

My Aunt Pattie, a Presbyterian USA minister, drove up from Roanoke to officiate a funeral for my Grandma's first cousin. That would make Marion my second cousin once removed? Or third cousin? I met Marion Brown maybe twice. However, my Dad spoke of her from time to time and he was proud she was Professor and had a PhD. He would speak of this as if it was a W E I R D thing for a woman to do, really S T R A N G E !

I went to the funeral with my mom. Listening to the stories about her I wish I had known her. Listening to a "reminder" of the times when Marion pursued her PhD in the Seminary world I realized why my dad had marvelled and been bewildered at Marion's accomplishment and career pursuits. In the 1950's women didn't pursue PhD's. Let alone seminary. They spoke of the times of civil rights movement and that Marion would rallied behind the rights of women as well. It was a real life history lesson for me.

Marion had a special ability to look one in the face and "know" what was going on with them, and she'd call them out on it. She could "see" secret things of the heart, lovingly draw it out, and then give assurance of God's Love and point to them to that Love brings clarity and truth. As I listened to several people share about Marion's "ability" I thought, aha, she was "seer." (maybe it runs in the family)

I really wish I could have known her.

After the funeral (which was Methodist and entirely planned out ahead by Marion) we went to the cemetary, then back to Schmidt's Sausage Haus in German Village. While eating at Schmidt's I wondered, "why haven't I brought my kids here? I love this place!"

I know I haven't yet documented the stories of my grandpa. I will get to it soon.

After two half days of work I have to get to the Office and turn in a bunch of files.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Basement Torture

Samuel got inspired. To clean. The Basement. That's like a man who pondered the existence of Hell and wondered to himself, "I will go there to see if it is real."
So we stepped down the steps and entered The Basement with it's age-old dirt, rodent scum, cat liter & centuries old hairballs. Disease and mold and brown recluse spiders.

I have taken two loads to the trash dumpster at the garage we rent. Plus, several boxes in the trash. What exactly is down there? Why haven't I swept or dusted or cleaned the basement since 2000? The last time I tried I ended up filthy sick on the couch for a whole month. Both Samuel and I suffering from lung and nasal irriatation.

Becca's schoolwork from Pre-School through high school in multiple boxes. Baby clothes of Rachael's that are 24 years old? Old checks and finance papers from 2000. And boxes and boxes and boxes of 20 years of a particular family member' stuff- who doesn't want to be identified on the internet. Yes, there is a Hell and it's lurking under the floor of my kitchen.

Oh, and meanwhile, I don't mind my hair so much.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Busy Two Weekends

I have had a great past two weekends and week. My sister invited me along with her to Orlando on a conference she attended.

We met in Orlando on Saturday morning and promptly took a rental car 2 hours away to Springhill, Florida to see our Grandma. She turns 96 in two months. Grandma lives in an assisted living facility that is very elegant and stately. Grandma looked fabulous. She is confined to a wheelchair most of the day. We had a fabulous catch-up visit and lots of storytelling. We dined in the dining room and took a tour of the new building.

She told us what a wonderful guy our grandpa was, and details of which I'm saving for my next post. From there we drove to our Aunt Betty and Uncle Karl's home about an hour north. Karl mixed up some margaritas and we had fun telling stories and talking about the impending economic doom and the lousy real estate market.

Karen I woke up at 5:00 when their smoke alarm started bleeping every few seconds form a bad battery. The smoke alarm was way up high on the 17 foot high ceiling in the hallway. Finally the sun came up and Karl and Betty emerged with a ladder to replace the battery. After bagels, fruit and coffee, Betty took us to see wild manatees. We parked on a bridge over a river that runs out to the ocean and we waited about 30 minutes in the breezey chilled air. No manatees. Of course I loved the setting: palm trees, boats, a bay and a river. I spotted a huge alligator sunning himself on the river bank, and luckily he was a good 100 fee away.

Lunch was at a water-side restaraunt outside in the sun. Soon after lunch Karen and I drove on to Orlando to check into our hotel. My GPS broke right when we needed it, so the trip was spent doing many U-turns until we found our destination. We stopped at Karen's friend's house to visit with them and meet their grandbaby, a little boy named Isaac. The Hoback's are a wonderful family and I just love their daughter Brittany. She showed me her photos of sailing throughout Malyasia, New Zealland and Australian islands and the remote island she lived on for a year.

The next day was Animal Kingdom and Epcot! Animal Kingdom rocked and we saw two shows that were fantastic. Brittany had said the shows were like Broadway plays, and she wasn't exagerating. There was phenominal singing, dancing, elaborate staging and costuming. I actually rode on Everest roller coaster and it was a terrifying blast! At Epcot we rode on a virtual ride that makes you feel like you are in a glider. I had a major panic attack before boarding the ride, and then realized I could just close my eyes. To which Karen responded, "Then you'll miss the ride!" Since the whole ride is based visuals I did miss a lot of it. Ha Ha. I was absolutely sick with terror.

Tuesday Karen went to her meetings and I worked Real estate for about 5 hours from the room and thenBecca arrived from UNF! That was great. The three of us went to the hot tub and got drinks at the poolside bar. Fun listening to Becca tell her stories! After ahile we changed our clothes and went to Downtown Disney! We shopped and walked around, rode a little ferry boat, and ate dinner at House of Blues. I love Downtown Disney!

Wednesday was spent working for about 6 hours on real estate, and then we flew home! I arrived home around midnight.

Thursday morning I hit the pavement running with Real Estate starting at 7am and not finishing up until 10 pm. Not having any time to do laundry, grocery, clean up (that kind of stuff) I picked kevin and Rachael up at the airport at 9:30 am. Kevin slept while Rachael left immediately with Liz for the wedding preparations.

Saturday was again a day of, you guesssed it, real estate and I showed over 5 Muirfield Village homes. The couple settled on a first choice house and then I took off for home to get ready for the wedding. Right before we left the house, Olin and I held hands and prayed for Jen and her entire family and for Tony and all his family to enjoy themselves and have wonderful memories to come. Very pretty wedding ceremony and the party house was so pretty too. Fun! I didn't do my cowgirl dance, I just didn't find the right song to ride that horse. But I still had a great time eating and dancing.

Olin and I cooked up a breakfast casserole in the morning and my mom came over to see Kevin and Rachael for a few hours.

Good tap dance is like a good kung foo movie== I'm watching "So You Think You Can Dance!" now.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Decorating a Coffee Table

I have been trying to decorate a coffee table for 1 1/2 hours this morning. When I have business to attend to. When I have out of town guests to feed. When I need to exercise. Why am I trying to decorate a coffee table?I had Olin take an old coffee table out of a spare bedroom and asked him to take it to the basement to hide. I hadn't had the courage to donate this table or put it out by the street for someone to grab. It's a Pennsylvania House Queen Anne style coffee table. Since it's solid cherry and not the fake stuff, I had a hard time parting with it. But it's ugly.When I came in the front door last night after showing houses, surprise! There was the coffee table in the living room in front of the contempary, Italian, chocolate brown settee. They don't really go together. Yet somehow it kinda looked OK. The coffee table had been hidden in the spare bedroom for about four years. Emerging in the living room made me think. Distracted me from business. Distracted me from the 2 mile walk I need to get in this morning and the 10 mintue Total Gym workout. Distracted me from the grocery list. Right now my coffe table looks like a total dork with a book about Ohio lying on it's side, and a ceramic cardinal bird and cermaic Loraine, OH lighthouse sitting on top of it. (Get the theme?)


Tuesday morning. I can't face this day. I can't even get up to go look in the mirror. This hasn't happened to me since I was eight years old when my mom made me get a "pixie" hair cut and I was devestated. I felt abused. I felt traumatized. I felt helpless and ugly. Here I sit with these same feelings washing over me. Why has this happened to me?

I haven't had my hair cut since March, 2009 the day of Rachael's wedding. I loved that hair cut. Last night, I stopped in a "First Choice Haircutters." and asked for a trim. A TRIM people. A TRIM is where the stylist "trims" you hairs! Tiny little cuts, taking off the dead ends!

When finished, the gay, pentacostal stylist (yes, that's right, he is openly gay AND pentacostal-boy did we have interesting conversations) had given me a mullett! All around me head! from the front to the back! The bottom "layer" is long and then it's shagged all around. It's awful. My fifteen year old started laughing out loud at me! Samuel will look at me and start laughing, saying I look like "Joe Dirt"!

Oh, why me? Why me? Why me? How can I go out in the world and be a top-selling agent in the city looking like Joe Dirt?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Matthew 13:37

To understand this scripture better, I just broke it down like this:

The Sower= Jesus, he sows Good Seed

Field= the world

Good Seed = Children of the KINGDOM (who is that)

Tares= Children of the Evil One (who are they)

Enemy= Satan he sows the tares (yeah, I had an experience with him a time or two)

The Harvest = The End of the World

Reapers = Angels: they will pull the tares, the children of Satan, and throw them in a fire to be burned up. They will gather the children of the Kingdom and carry to them to heaven.

I have been thinking about good seed. Samuel planted 8 pumpkin seeds. All 8 seeds germinated and 8 vines grew. One vine grew like crazy. All vines produced flowers. The bees came. However, only one pumpkin appeared. Only one. I would say 7 of the seeds were not good. One of the seeds was barely good. From the mediocre seed came one pumpkin and inside that pumpkin is a bunch of seeds.

If I'm being "sown" by the Son of Man, where is He is sowing me and am I good seed? Will I produce a harvest of 100 fold, 60 fold, or 30 fold? Will I produce a harvest at all? Or will it be a scrawny vine with a bunch of flowers that never produce fruit?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Post Trauma

I have had a little post trauma symptoms today and didn't realize that's what I was having until just now. I think Samuel had some, too yesterday. We were in the car yesterday and the sky was so incrediblu blue and he noticed that a jumbo jet was flying very low over the city skyline. "isn't that plane really low?" He asked a little leery sounding. I looked. It was. "It's headed in the direction of the airport," I said. I did think it was low and wondered.

Today I noticed three planes flying very low over the city. I was on High Street just north of campus. The first jumbo jet was incredibly low and the sky was a brilliant blue. Then the plan leaned hard to the right then hard to left, so that I knew people in the plane had to be freaking out, it sort of tottered after the two hard leans. Whatthe? Why would it do that I wondered. I put on my radio and scanned for local news. All I got was static. Then a few minutes later another Fed Ex plane was flying so low with the landing gear down. Rickenbacher airport is in the other direction I thought.

Now sitting here I realized it's September and the sky is so blue. Samuel and I are just imagining these planes are so low as we were having post trauma symptoms from 9/11.

That really sucks.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


The air is cool and the A/C is off. Princesses pretty golden coat has come in after she lost all her summer hair. She looked like a scruffy polar bear for several weeks, but now she looks like a happy Corgi again. The cool air makes her run around the house and look zippy and young.

Samuel is back to catching a bus at a ridiculous early hour.

Becca's back to classes at UNF.

Rachael is, as I type, on the road in the rented moving truck with Kevin, and the car in tow behind them. The long journey from Florida to New Jersey has begun! Mother's prayers going out to God for angels on the road and I'm asking for several angels, not just the two that belong to Kevin and Rachael! Thanks, God!

The other changes I'm facing is the rapidly changing rules and regulations in Real Estate! I need scramble. If I had real estate blog I wouldn't sell any real esatate because I'd be writing non stop about all these crazy changes and practices!

Monday, August 31, 2009

You Can't Move A Will

The Sabbath Day for Christians was yesterday. I had to work in the morning. Did not like the fact that I did not get to have a Sabbath rest. That's not the point of this post today. So, I'll continue. Where to go to church is still an issue with this little family of three. I long for the fellowship of CCC-N that we once had years ago. I long to have my son involved in a church. He likes the traditional Presbyterian church because it starts at 11:00 am (I love that too-perfect timing) and he likes that there is no one his age, just old folks. The old folks ignore him because he's a teenage a boy and they probably don't like teenage boys, or are dealing too much with the issues of old age to care about a teenage boy in their midst. Samuel likes this anonymitity. "Don't talk to me. Don't look at me." That's the vibes he sends out at church. Yet he participates in the liturgy.

Since I worked in the morning, Olin went to CCCN and loved it and said Duane was on fire for the first time in 5 or so years. Linda S's sister was there signing copies of her book about being completely healed of the worst type of terminal cancer. She is always a joy in the Lord.

So, we missed it--and Samuel had refused, just refused to step foot in that church. In the morning Samuel said he wanted to go to Rod Parsley's church at night. The evening service is small, only about 600 people or so if that. This is where you see the "church" part of WHC and their nuts and bolts worked out. It is a quieter, sweeter service. I tried to beg Samuel to go to the Hilliard Church so I didn't have to drive to CW. He insisted it was to WHC at night.

After I worked I went to a wedding shower (which I completely enjoyed--as I loved seeing Jen's smile opening gifts and hearing the stories her family and friends shared about her. Liz did an excellent job, and Tony's aunt's house is lovely.) I pray that Jen's wedding be a day of peace and joy and bliss for her and Tony.

I digress, there's a lesson I learned last night and I gotta share it:

So, off Samuel and I went to WHC. So away we go to Canal Winchester. We get there. The music is off the hook. Honestly, unbelievable music. Tiffany sang a song called "God is Able" and it was better than anything Aretha Franklin could ever do. She would win American Idol absolutely. But the whole thing was anointed. I had actual bumps from the top of my head down to my feet and Samuel seemed amazed at least what I could glance from my periferal vision.

God is Able to Do just what He said He would do. Don't Give up on God because he won't give up on you. He is able. Say it again. He is able. Say it again. He is able.

If you sing that long enough you will catch the truth in it: God is Able. Don't Give up on God.

But that is not my lesson I learned. Rod Parsley's mom got up and she gave "testimonies" from her life of bona fide miracles of healing in her body and her children's. She got off track and really she started telling her life story from the poverty and sticks of Kentucky to her journey to Columbus, to her journey toward Christ. (It was most fascinating. Even Samuel commented on how fascinating her story was from this aged, old lady with a hillbilly accent telling her crazy stories that you know were true.) Well, one of the stories she told was her daughter was doing drugs and drinking and ran off to Indiana to marry a man that Mrs. Parsley didn't want her daughter to marry. Mrs. Parsley fasted, prayed, fasted, prayed, she went out into a corn field and ripped her clothes and lay on the dirt among the stalks and cried out to God to stop her daughter from marrying that man. Well, her daughter married him anyway, and called her brother Rod and told him she got married. At that Mrs. Parsley became immediatly bitter toward God and said, "God, you don't answer prayer. You aren't faithful. I send my tithe into the church, but I won't set foot in a church again." She said this in such a way, I knew God speaking to me directly. She said God is so patient He understands our hurts and needs. However, this bitterness almost killed her, she said, and she turned to God again and He showed her that her prayers were wrong. She was praying wrong concering her daughter's life. She said that God showed her that the will of a person will not be moved by God. He will not touch someone's will and make them do something. He loves us and he gave us free will to choose. He will move around the person, and interfere in circumstances, and influence the person, but will not make them do anything.

That's the lesson I needed to hear. I'll explain later why.

Got to go to work. Bye.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Gate is Small & the Road is Narrow

I haven't written in a long time. Real estate dealings leave me emotionally drained, and physically spent almost every day. I've been working 70-100 hours a week. It aint' been easy. This summer I have been working on the same few deals over and over. They have so many problems. Every day I have more problems to fix. If it was easy, I wouldnd't have a job. If there weren't problems, there would be no need for a problem-solver such as my self.

I will spare you the details of the these deals.

The most draining issue with my business is I'm carrying the burdens of nine or ten people, actually more. These are my clients. If one doesn't sell soon, and if I can't work out the short-sale with the bank, my client will be stuck with a bank foreclosure, and having to make payments for years and years on a house she doesn't own anymore. If I can't get the price for a house that someone needs, they can't move their kids out of the horrible neighborhood they desperately want out of. If I can't work out the negotiations on a sale, the buyer will be stuck trying to find money under a rock to buy their dream home.

Carrying these burdens is a priviledge for which I do not complain. People call me when they have a baby and need more room in the house. People call me when they are getting married and starting out a new life together. People call me when their loved one dies, and the house needs sold to settle the family estate. People call me when they are getting divorced, when their spouse cheated on them and left, when they have lost their job and a paycheck. These are the roads I travel with my clients and for which I am grateful. These are the roads I travel, the work I do, the work I love. I truly love SERVING. It brings me pleasure.

However, there is a reason that Jesus Christ spoke about money and finances more than any other topic. There is a reason He said, "You cannot serve God and money." The thought of losing a penny, a dollar, a hundred dollars, a thousand dollars, makes people behave oddly. The thought that there is a possibility that someone can get a few more thousand dollars, or "one up" the other party causes people to act very strange. Clamor. That is what I have had to work with for over 3 months. Clamor. Clamor. and then, more Clamor. It began to take it's toll on my patience. As an outside observer, and yet still participating in the transaction, I see a side of people that is ugly. Greed. Pride. People will tell me it's called "principal." "I am not going to be nice to him now just out of principal," I hear that a lot. I call it self-centeredness.

On the phone this morning I spoke to our company's showing service. The showing service is a call center in Kansas where agents of all brokerages call to set up appointments to show our listings (houses). A lady I have never met, and whose name I didn't bother to remember, gave me a wonderful gift this morning. Laughter. I was stressed. I told her if I abuse her, please forgive me as I am being abused by my clients. She said the employees of the call center get that a lot. Then she said, If we all lived like nomads in the middle east, there wouldn't be any of this commotion going on in real estate. People arguing over who gets the firewood, or what day they get to move in. For some reason, I could picture people on ponies, packing up their tents and moving on. No you wouldn't care who gets the drapes, or the pot rack if you had to move every week and your entire house had fit on a pony! I got a big laugh out of that.

I told her thank you and said, "You know, even Christians that I'm helping start to lose their souls over a lousy quarter-sized hole in some drywall, or over $400 for a home warranty." I explained the behavior I see of people feeling entitled to whatever they want, and being angry if they are told no. They blame me, their agent, for not getting it for them. I told her I get this even from followers of Christ.

Then this nameless woman-voice gave me the zinger gift: "Mrs. Stevens, you HAVE to remember that the gate is small and the way is N A R R O W that leads to life and FEW find it! The way is wide that leads to destruction."

Wow. That helped. I must NOT judge those people who out of fear or pride or greed, reach out and start grabbing for everything they want, and everything they fear they will lose! That road is wide! That is the easy way! It is the narrow road that leads to life! Perhpas for this reason I was called to real estate, as I often try to put a transaction into perspective for people. In the scheme of 30 years, how much $400 hurt you? In the scheme of moving on with your life, what harm does a little drywall damage do you?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Real Estate

Many people think Realtors don't do much. Stick a sign outside and drive people around. Right now I've been pretty bitter about how much my career has taken from me. Vacation time. Famil time. So that's all I'm saying right now. I don't want to be negative.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

I Want You to Want Me

In my last post I told you about the song from the 80's Flashdance that God was using to talk to my spirit. This morning as I was slowly waking up in my bed, clutching my magnet pillow, I realised I was singing this "I want you to want me, I need you to need me, I'd love you to love, I'm beggin you to beg me" by Cheap Trick. Wow, I thought. God is speaking to my spirit right now and he's using the inspired lyrics by Cheap Trick!

I sang the song some more as I got up and it really dawned on me. God is telling me He wants me to WANT Him! He Needs me to NEED Him!

The rest of the song came to me off and on all day:

Didnt i, didnt i, didnt I see you cryin? Oh, didnt i, didnt i, didnt I see you cryin? Feelin all alone without a friend
, you know you feel like dyin.Oh, didnt i, didnt i, didnt I see you cryin?

There He goes again, telling me He sees me when I cry, feeling all alone! He is beggin me to beg HIM for what I need, for what I want, for HIS LOVE in my life!

Too bad my son-in-law isn't here to burn me a cd of Cheap Trick and the inspired words from the Lord.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Here's Believing! I Can Have It All!

Today would have been Olin's father's 95 birthday. That is incredible. He was born June 25, 1914.

Rachael and Kevin, Becca and John came to visit for several days. The 5 nights are somewhat of a blur. Real estate was demanding my attention on Wednesday the day they arrived. Pulled into my driveway in the evening after showing houses and they were out picking up movies with Samuel for the evening and Becca was visiting with Olin in the kitchen. I must say that was a a good feeling to "feel" them home again.

The three movie errand people got back with the Untouchables. I couldn't watch that for long. I love Kevin Costner, but Wyatt Earp story set to the 1930's style wasn't something I could handle. Too much death. And for what? A little beer? I went in the dining room and finished up some real estate business on the computer. It was still nice, feeling them in the next room watching Kevin Costner kill people.

Here's why I like Kevin. Friday morning I realized I had been hearing the song "Oh, what feeling" in my head over and over. The song is from a 1980's movie called Flashdance! I recognized God was telling me something through that song. I spoke outloud, I keep hearing this song in my head and think there's a message in that song for me! Kevin just nonchalantly said "really? what song?" I asked if he could find it his computer? Not only did Kevin find the song, he burned me a cd of the song so I could play it in my car on my way to North Market. He didn't once let on that he thinks I'm an odd woman who believes a song would have a "message" from God in it for me.

Sure enough, I popped the cd into the car stereo and here is the message: "Oh, what a feeling. Here's believing!" Basically, if you BELIEVE you will have a great feeling. Is that fantastic feeling called "Hope?" What a great feeling it is, too. Part two of the message is: "I can Have it All" Yes, indeed. I can have it all. But what is required is FAITH. I need to BELIEVE. Without Faith it will be impossible to receive.

2008 my lesson from God was to "have faith and believe" and I kept wondering if I have any power to believe. How can you force yourself to believe something. Doesn't it just "come" to you. Faith is a gift from God. So, if it's a gift, how can I stop limiting my belief and really have hope? Yet, there is a command in the Bible: Abideth in these three: Faith, Hope, Love. But, the greatest of these is Love. So, if I'm commanded to live in Faith, I must have some personal power over it?

I don't have this message completely diciphered. But I know God is still trying to get me to open up my mind and Believe All Things.

What a Feeling! Here's Believing! I can have it all!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Trip to Magnetic Springs

Went out to the country today to Magnetic Springs, Ohio. I went with my friend, Ann, to feed her draft horse crossbreed. So, quiet, so nice. How much I miss a barn. The smell of dirt and manure. The sound my boots make walking across the hard ground, kicking the occassional rock.

Ann's house is so perfectly Ann. It's like a museum to me. So much to look at on the walls and shelves and mantels. Old photos, pieces of nature she's collected, interesting knick knacks. When I ask, "what's this? where's this from?" there is a story for every item. I looked around her plants, the strawberries, the flowering vines. And we took a tour of the rabbit house, where bunnies are lined up in cages. I could linger there for hours, looking, wondering, asking the story behind things, and learning interesting nature facts.

It got hot by noon, so I came home. But I didn't get home until 2:30 and I'm not sure what took me so long? Idid stop to take a read the historical marker sign about Magnetic Springs. When I got into Hilliard, I stopped at the library to borrow some videos.

One reason I'm self-employed I can fart around like this when I make myself.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

New Day Sunshine

I stayed up until 3 am watching a Kevin Costner movie about a golf game. It was a great movie. Kevin Costner really gets into his projects full speed and it pays off with great entertainment. Now I have to skedaddle to a property inspection all tired and groggy and wanting to sleep until noon. I have had 3 1/2 hours of sleep!
The sun is shining this morning it' makes me cheerful. We don't get that much sun here in Ohio.

I will finish up painting the 1/2 bath today. I don't like it at all. I painted it a color I thought was a cheery blue, like pottery barn blue, that i was going to accent with chocolate brown towels and art work. However, in the tiny space the color is T E A L. It's a 1993 TEAL. It is yucky. It is a muddy feeling in that small room. One of my new friends that I made selling houses suggested I leave one wall in there teal and use a faint fawn color or light/whiter color for the other three walls, or paint 1/2 the wall a cream or taupe color. I don't know. I is tawd o paintin.

when my mom comes home, I'm gonna have her help put up some wall paper in there.

Onward and Upward! God is inside me His works to perform. Lead me on, Lord!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Life with a 15 Year Old Boy (or Darned if I Do, Darned if I Don't)

Here is how a typical conversation with my 15 year old son goes. He yells at me, "Wash these clothes in the hallway! I'm sick of them in the hallway." I pick up all the clothes (all his) take them to the basement and run two loads of laundry. I ran two loads of his laundry yesterday, folded them and handed them to him yesterday. Since I am not permitted to put them in dresser drawers or enter his room, the clean clothes sit in two neat piles on the living room chair.
An hour later this morning I pick up his belt that has been on the hallway floor for two months. I ask nonchalantly, "Do you still want this belt?" He yells at me, "O M F G, don't touch my belt. Why do you always do that.?!" I say calmly, "it's been on the floor of the hallway for a month and I just wanted to know if you still want it." He answers, "Yes. Leave it alone. Why do you have go around picking up my stuff!" Or something like that, he continues his tirade and verbal abuse. Then stomps out of the house and is gone for 20 minutes somewhere. Returns to continue the tirade about me picking up his belt?!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Today's To Do List

Blogging is harder than I thought it would be. My writing does not come easy anymore. Too many words! I need to start a separate blog about Real Estate and link it to my real estate website. I could become very fancy with all this!

Today I have a to do list and something I would like to do list:

Have to do:
1.) Go to office & fill out and turn in an "In Contract" folder (loud applause with shouts of praise)
2.) Meet my sales manager about a new e-lead generating system opportunity
3.) Call 5/3 bank about a Short Sale I'm working on.
4.) Reduce price on the short sale house.
5.) Go to Sherwin Williams paint store for primer & paint for bath
6.) Finish sanding bathroom wall behind toilet, prime it, paint it.

Want to do:
1.) Go to Library & get Real You Incorporated by Kaira Rouda
2.) Work out on my Total Gym
3.) Walk 2 miles
4.) Drive to Nashville to see my neice perform in her dance recital. :( i'm missing it

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Last Worship

Yesterday, my sister was in town with two of her daughters and husband. We went to the church we grew up in with my mom. I hadn't focused on the significance of this worship service until I stepped into the brick building. It was the last worship service in their "old" sanctuary, and next Sunday will be their first worship service in their new sanctuary.

The walls were the same cool, federal blue of my youth, with enormous crown mouldings and window trimmings all painted white. White pews with natural cherry trim sat in two neat rows down the length of the narrow hall. The same red carpet lined the middle aisle floor leading up to and blanketing the three steps & stage where the altar sits, flanked by the white choir boxes.

I sat in the pew between my husband & son, with my sister's family all in row beside. Behind the altar is a huge picture window that frames a stately, old oak tree just outside. This is the same picture window & oak tree I would look out at when only six years old, trying not to bust out laughing during serious parts of a service. Like when the ancient little , old lady sang her serious soprano parts, and it sounded like scratchy cackling. She would remind me a hysterical cat caught in a trap. That was really hard to hold it all in.

My parents were founding elders of the Hilliard Presbyterian Church. How had I forgotten that last year on Memorial Day my sister, mom, and I took my dad's ashes to the church yard and scattered them about where the new sanctuary was to be built? The church hadn't broken ground yet that day. The following Sunday a year ago, My mom got her photo taken with her foot on a shovel digging into the earth. There were five widows all lined up, all "charter" members from the 50's, with their shovels, having a historical photo taken. That was last year.

Yesterday, looking out that picture window at the blue of sky, past the faint blue walls, I had a hard time holding it all in. Tears started flowing, a painful knot grabbed my throat, as I thought about my dad. The doxology was sung with purpose, the prayer of confession was spoken with conviction, the old hyms sung heartily, scripture lesson listened to intently. Remembering Dad. Wishing he were here. He would be happy to see every pew was filled full. Every single seat. I know because I looked around. This little church needs a new sanctuary. Visitors won't become regular worshippers there if they feel all squished together with strangers.

My dad stuck it out for over 40 years in that congregation, through all the quarrelling, all the bickering, and stayed there when I felt the place was a dry, sun-scorched land. I asked him once, "why do you go to church there?" I was incredulous he would stay in such a dead little place, or at least it was dead to my tastes. He smiled and softly say, "You know, God told me that I am voice of one crying in the wilderness."

At least he did get to know and work with this present pastor before he passed away. This pastor is a kind, and spirit-filled man who is up to the task to lead a group of Presbyterians.

After the Benedicction was sung, my family walked around the new sanctuary. The ceilings higher. It's painted blue, though. The trimwork white. Instead of red carpet there's laminate fake wood in a walnut color. No organ. Just a grand piano. Lots of big windows look out on the ancient oaks and ash trees. Then I remembered... we were walking on Dad's ashes! I pointed to some trees and told my son what Grandma and his Aunt and I did last year. I told him how I got a little carried away and went around to many of the trees that I loved so much to spread his ashes. He asked if we had asked permission to do that. I said, "I don't think so. So, don't talk too loud."

Then I noticed that my tears had dried up, the pang in my soul had let go. Some joy came to my step as I walked about the room.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Naming This Blog

The Blog is born. Like any parent of a brand new baby, I have no idea what I'm doing with this blog! I've read all the "How To's" of blogging, and read what not to do, talked to bloggers. Just like my parenting style, I'll be "winging it" "on the fly" "by the seat of my seat of my pants" and "spinning my wheels" with this blog. First order of business is naming this blog.

Names I thought of:

1. Seriously Though (already taken) My plan is to write about my life (of course) & that includes dreams and dream interpretations, my spiritual journey, the weird experiences I see all day, and I won't be able to stop myself from writing about economics and real estate So, Seriously Though is perfect. (already taken.) :(

2. thus, Earnestly Still. Which means the same thing, only I get a pun on the word "still." You don't always have to get completely still to hear that "still small voice" from God. It certainly helps though, and I think deep inside, your spirit becomes "still" when it "hears" that special inspiration. Maybe it should be name, "Still, Earnestly"

3.Cannongate (available.) It's where I'm living and it implies that the gate to my spirit is protected with a "Cannon," which sounds powerful.

4. Copeland (already taken) Copeland is a street I enjoyed living on in a town I really enjoyed living in. Also, there is the whole pun of "Cope Land," Always copin with sumthin! Copeland Road is available though

5. Crowned Fire Brand (available) This name is the literal meaning of my given name. First name is gaelic and means "Fire Brand." Married name is also gaelic and means "crowned one" implying Queen or Princess. It sounds way too much like a dark computer fantasy world game name to me! Though it does go with my dream interpretation plans.

For now, my baby blog shall be calleds Earnestly Still. When I gave birth to my second daughter she had several names for the first two weeks before we settled on her name now. So, bloggy baby may have to wait awhile until his true name comes forth.