Thursday, October 10, 2013

Seeking Balance


                      I have spoken before about the many seasons of being a writer. This is true I suppose of any creative person.  There are times spent creating, then times spent polishing, then times spent pushing whatever work you have made and bringing it to as many others in the world as possible.  This can be difficult because the world can fall in love with a book, a song, or a work that you have created, just about the time that you personally are sick to death of it, and don't wish to discuss it anymore.  I understand the musical performers of my youth just a little better now.  Perhaps they didn't intend to seem short tempered or annoyed by seemingly stupid questions asked of them by non-creatives.  Still, the healthiest perspective to have is that when the world loves something you have done, then you should be as gracious as possible. Without the world asking about it, and at least some people liking it, you would not be able to continue the process of creation and bringing it to market at least as a public and a paying endeavor.

             I am still catching up on the many tasks on the farm I neglected while writing two books last year. I am still doing radio interviews in order to peddle my books, and stay relevant.  I am also thinking about the next two books, and I should begin the process of outlining soon. I am also enjoying the animals, the farm, and the Autumn.   I hope you are enjoying this season also.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Joys and Cautions on the Internet

The screen and keyboard can be a window to the world.

         This week my favorite singer in the entire world accepted my invitation to join me on Linkedin.   When I think about it, the internet has brought me a great many amusements and joys over the years.  I got an excellent job over the internet in the nineties.  I have made some wonderful friends over time on the internet, the kind who would drop everything for me.  When my youngest son died suddenly, my friends worldwide staged funerals and remembrance ceremonies for him, which coincided with the one we had for him there, on all ends of the Earth.  It was really helpful to know that while I was grieving the sudden loss of my son, that there was a remembrance ceremony with flowers and pictures taking place on an Australian beach, all because of connections and friendships made over the internet.  To help understand what had happened to my son, I was able to talk to an esteemed cardiologist in Barcelona, named Dr. Brugada. He assured me that Daniel had not died from the syndrome named for him, and that we needed to continue to look for answers.   Eventually,  medical articles we first read about on the internet in tandem with numerous consultations with pathologists yielded us the best answer on what had most likely happened to our son.  
       Much later, we saw the son we eventually adopted as a teen, at first on the internet.   We added dogs and horses to the farm courtesy of the internet.  Both of my books were brought to publication much faster than they would have been, because outlines, plans, chapter samples etc. occurred with the use of the internet.
             There is great power and great benefits to this new medium, but we must be careful.  Our privacy and potential for robbery, identity theft, and other crimes also exists there.  We must be careful not to write anything that we wouldn't wish to have published in a book, because once the material is out there, one may not be able to rebox it.  Young people especially need to carefully consider pictures they place on the internet.  A partying teen at college may not seem like the kind of employee a certain employer might want, even if you really are perfect for the position.
             Enjoy the internet, and be mindful.  Best wishes to everyone.

Monday, August 19, 2013

One Wet August


   This is the busiest week of the year for me.  Two of my sons have birthdays this week, as do I.  It's usually quite hot here this time of year and in addition to the birthday activities, caring for animals is usually harder.  Then there is the mad dash to have sufficient money for tuition to colleges or even to borrow it, and the concerns for textbooks which go up as quickly as the egregious American national debt !  This year we have about eight inches more rainfall than is normal for us, and this means that a lot of our outdoor activities have been impacted by so much water.   We usually try to squeeze in a vacation, although this year it will be economically unfeasable.   Still it is a great time of year.  In August we sit on the precipice of new projects.  Most of us who started school in September of each year adapted to the rhythm of stretching our souls each Autumn, and then coasting, just a bit, through the Summer. I am afraid I have been set to that template also.  I will continue promoting the books that are out there, continuing on ongoing projects, and outlining for a lengthy book which is coming off in the distance. Enjoy your Summer.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Avoiding Technology Dementia

There is a place for technology. But there is also a place for conventional books, conventional planning and thought, and for pencil and paper.

     I don't mind technology.  As a nurse I wrangled intra-aortic balloon pumps, external pacemakers,  Harvard pumps, and insulin pumps of different types.  I not only performed peritoneal dialysis, but I taught other nurses how to do it, and helped to write the policy manual on it, in the hospital I worked in at the time. The wide variety of blood glucose monitors available to the public has made the control of Type I diabetes mellitus, and Type II actually possible, and it has done so far more cheaply than most thought possible.   I actually like technology when there is something positive to be gained from it.   I like the alarm system in our farm house, both the one that was hard wired in when the house was built, and the wireless one we added later which has some amazing features, and cost much less than the original, both in terms of installation, and for monitoring.  I like technology when it benefits my family and I.    This actually isn't what's going on now for many people.   Smart phones, smart apps, kindles, mini tablets, etc. have all gone whole hog.   I might be one of the only people I know who actually keeps 35 phone numbers in my head.  Why should I leave everything to a Smart phone ?  If the phone malfunctions, data is lost, then no one will be able to phone anyone.  Mothers won't be able to call the landline at their kid's schools.  Adults won't be able to call their elderly parents. People won't be able to make a call to their doctors.  What is more insidious is that at least some of the people in their twenties today can't plan a project or make a "to do" list without an electronic device.  There are a few studies which indicate that excessive use of electronic devices does "soften the brain".  Not having to recall at least some data means that this function in our brain is lost, at least temporarily, just as a muscle we don't use, tends to atrophy or weaken.
              I have technology as it benefits me.  I have no intention of becoming a slave to it. I won't pay for the best and the brightest new gadget.  I will pay attention because if something which benefits me emerges, then I might have a use for it.  However, I will not pay to "keep up with the electronic Joneses" and I will not pay my way to technology dementia making electronics inventors and software developers wealthy, or shall I say, wealthier men.

Friday, July 26, 2013

A Culture in Decline

This is an actual house in Detroit, Michigan.  ( Picture:

    Let me preface this by saying that I am not that old.  I may have kids in their twenties, but that's because I started having them just after college in MY twenties.  The math makes me the age a lot of people are when having their first kids in the US.   A great deal has changed in the United States since that time.  In 1981, when I graduated from college, there was a recession.  The interest rates for housing was 18% and we were very lucky to get an owner financed property as a first home for 14 1/2 %.   However, most people worked. If they did take some type of assistance, they did so reticently and under the pretext that as soon as things in the country improved, or they moved, or got out from under some type of crushing bill, that they would leave the rolls of whatever type of assistance they were temporarily receiving. There was an acknowledgement that assistance of some kind came from people, albeit indirectly.  One by one, the young family I met while in the hospital after my daughter was born, left the welfare rolls, became gainfully employed, and moved to stability, not only as a stable family themselves, but helping others as a recollection of how valuable it was to have needed assistance in a pivotal part of life.  Our neighbors up the street who collected welfare briefly when their first child was born found a way to stop collecting it, and eventually even gave up WIC.   It was heartening to see those who were sidelined from the recession in 1981 develop solid footing and join the rest of the world, planning, saving, raising a family and dreaming dreams.
            Somewhere along the road this changed.   Many Americans of all ages developed the idea that a welfare state smorgasbord existed in the US and they signed on for welfare, or aid to dependent children, WIC, Medicaid, Disability, free cellphone, free or reduced cost state prescription programs, and three church run foodbanks.   None of these programs are bad in themselves, but somewhere along the road people stopped thinking that they were a stop gap measure until the family once again found their way. They did not realize that while they stopped progressing and stalled in the welfare system, that others who might need it as a stop gap couldn't get it.  Our area food banks are empty most of the time, regardless of how many cans of canned goods the rest of us gather at Sam's Club to drop off to them.    This is not an issue of race.  White, Asian, Middle Eastern, African American, and Hispanic peoples all use welfare, some of them as a stop gap, and some consider it their new American dream     Somehow, in the last twenty years we stopped being a gracious nation appreciative for the help we might receive in emergencies, and became a gimme nation.
           It is not my intention to make anyone who must use one of these programs feel badly.  They exist because you paid your taxes to create such programs, but it is my intent to make those who think they are scamming the system feel badly.   Collecting such percs while others who do need them can't get them, is wicked.   Collect only what you need until you can take care of yourself.  To do anything else signals a culture in decline, and a nation spiralling toward its own death.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

An Interview

In the internet age, one can catch the interview live, or later on, as most shows are archived on the internet, as was this one.


  It isn't enough to write books.  In order to get people to read them and to give them as gifts to friends and family members, it's important to do some interviews on radio, podcasts, or even television when you can get it. This is simply part of your commitment to get your book before as many people as possible, ideally because things you are relating or saying will help them.
                 John Wesley Smith is an excellent interviewer and is a bit like visiting an old friend, and this is why I actually enjoy being interviewed by him.  This however, is not always the case elsewhere, especially when the interviewer doesn't know much about the topics discussed in my books or hasn't really read them.

      I had promised to let you know when the radio program segment I taped with John Wesley Smith hit the air, and then, I promptly forgot.

        I have just taped a second interview with John, but this is the first one, taped in May and which aired for the first time on May 30, 2013.

Link to first interview is below:

Rational Preparedness Author, Jane-Alexandra Krehbiel, interviewed by John Wesley Smith on Destiny Survival.


  I will be doing another interview with John Wesley Smith regarding the books on August 1, 2013 at the same place.    We will be discussing basic strategies for evacuating rural properties and small farms in the face of an emergency. We will also discuss grief as it applies to major disasters, and some other subjects which relate to my books.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Falling Behind....


These are happy grazing horses.

    I have fallen behind in the last couple of weeks in many things I really want to do.  One of them is continuing to blog. Another is catching up on my bills !   I have not had the time to write the checks, put the stamps on the envelopes and get to a post office ! Some of them are late.  I now have four horses and they take a lot of time, especially in ninety degree heat.   I cope by getting up at 0530 and doing the lion's share of their care early before they are truly awake enough to fight me on it, and before the extreme Virginia heat makes me wish to forget it entirely.   This week we have also moved half the alpacas to another area of the farm and as soon as the four member fencing is complete, we will move the remaining alpacas adjacent to the horses.  This should make feeding and watering easier for us.
      I am just beginning to outline two more books, both of which will take some significant research before they make it someday to print.
      Yesterday, I spent two hours chasing one of the new horses who slipped out of one of the stalls.  Note to self:  Try not to buy anything that runs faster than you do.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Finding a Life of Serenity and Peace

There is a serenity and a peace to farming which mixes well with writing.


   I think I have the answer to why a lot of writers are also farmers of one thing or another. (This includes being vintners) Farming can be something which can be done in solitude, and since a huge amount of farming is done between four am and nine am, leaving a lot of time later in the day for writing.  In addition, doing mindless hard work of some kind is very helpful in terms of organizing writing.  There is also a rhythm and a structure to gardening or farming which is helpful in terms of providing a framework to a writer who sometimes does not benefit from such large blocks of unstructured time,which could be used for nothing more than procrastination.
                I used to wonder why people continued farming when it was such hard work and when some years it yielded so little money.  I understand now. Small scale farming allows time for writing and other pursuits later in the day.  It opens your family to an entire group of farming culture, which is indeed a culture of its own.  There is peace and tranquility in the satisfaction of working with God to produce a sustainable product. It's not that God needs us to do this, it's that we share in the stewardship of growing or breeding something, and in this small way, we become part of the tapestry of producing a natural product.

                All this said, I am an abyssmal farmer.  I lose more money farming than anything else.  However, I have a routine, some wonderful farming friends, and I gain many things from the endeavor itself.   We grow a variety of trees including royal paulonia.  We grow pears, including the Asian variety.  We grow apples.  We grow blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, kiwi and grapes. Cherry trees, peaches and plums should be coming in the next couple of years.  The trees were long since planted but we have needed them to be well established before culling the early fruits, as the trees were not yet ready to sustain the weight of maturing fruits.  We keep chickens and ducks for eggs.  I have a lovely herb garden with mint of all kinds, chives, and a broad range of items.  We raise alpacas, miniature horses and dogs.  We also have two cats.  When the kids were smaller we used to breed rabbits.  In the past we have grown vegetables as well.   This year I have a variety of lettuces and swiss chard.   Most of the food we grow here is for family use. Occasionally we give eggs to a friend, or they provide a ton of squash to us.  I might never make money from my farming adventures, but we do eat inadvertently organically from our intent to be as self sufficient as possible, simply because it is a considered and less expensive way to live.
               Who knows ?    Eventually I might find an animal or a product for which I am financially successful.  Eventually perhaps being really good to the animals will pay off.

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Many Seasons of Becoming a Writer


In order to be a successful writer, eventually one must take the driveway, and leave the farm, at least for awhile. One can't adapt too effectively to solitude.

   You might think that writing books is an activity best done in solitude, but that is not quite true.  It certainly helps to have periods of time where people aren't phoning, interrupting, or talking to you while your hands dance quickly over the computer keys, but then this would be only a snapshot of the many seasons of any writer.  Writers must first live a life, and perhaps even another career in order to observe and to understand sufficiently something about the life of which they choose to write.  This is one season.  Then, outlining and researching things you might say, to me, is another long season. Then, there is the season of actually writing the project, which I find fairly satisfying as I can check off each chapter done.  When complete, there are revisions and reviews, and editing.  No writer likes editing, but it is a necessary evil, and once in awhile, they do detect something for change that you didn't catch, rather than earmark something for change that you fully intended. I also find the pictures and artwork trying. They are so very important, and of course, others may not share my vision for the project.  When your book is released, then comes the season with which I apparently, have a little difficulty.  I want to go on vacation and not hear a word about the book, because for me, it's complete.   This is when a new season surely begins.  In this season, the writer must convert to a charming and charismatic conversationalist and be willing and able to do some travel, some radio programs, some book signings, and some television, if you are lucky enough to get it.  Of course, in order to realize your investment in time and blood, sweat, and tears, and in order to generate both a market for your book, successive projects and royalty checks which make the whole process possible, you must adapt and shine in this season as well.    And so, I flounder in this expression of a shining new self who is the absolute opposite of the woman who chose last year to lock herself up and create two books within months, while hoping the housework would do itself !
            I am still doing radio programs promoting the books.  The most recent was


Sometimes, such appearances generate articles and commentaries afterwards.  Here is one of these:

A Nurse Talks about Rational Preparedness which appears in Before It's News


  Tune in, if you would like to hear my attempts at being interesting and charismatic, oh and please, buy one or both of my books !   The people who have are glad they did !    Perhaps this adaptation of sorts is something which prevents others from becoming writers.


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Why do I Write ?


     I believe I write to convey valuable information on things I have learned to others. To me, it just makes sense to pass the things I have learned, or information about the things which have befallen me to others, a bit like placing fluorescent road signs around a pothole in the road which damaged my car's axle.  There is a phenomenon which is occurring of which you should be aware.  In this era, with computers, accessible television on phones,  phones which can access the weather, and buy food for delivery all at once, rather than average people becoming more informed concerning the happenings in the world, they have become less informed. The sad irony of this is that these wonderful gifts of access which have come with the internet have caused many people to think and create less, actually read less, obsess about internet games, or simply twitter like fools in grade school to one another.
              This has very negative fallout for our nation, and possible for the entire world.  A number of television programs in the US have interviewed workers, and found than many of them don't know the name of the Vice President.  They don't know who the Speaker of the House is. They have no idea how our US governmental systems work, and they don't care.
             I am not a political person, and I never have been, but two cases recently have occurred in which a systematic attempt at intimidation have occurred.  Ordinary people need to develop some outrage at these cases.  Our rights to criticize and complain about specific actions in local or federal government are at risk.

             One such case is the matter of Brandon Raub :

These are my prior posts from one of my other blogs on this matter:



         The other important case is the matter of Eileen Hart :

These are my posts which concern the Hart case:


       Both cases have in common that here in the United States on both a Federal level and on a local level that egregious abuses of power have occurred at that ordinary good citizens who were each speaking their minds, as used to to guaranteed under the US Constitution, each suffered difficult and traumatic events at the hand of government.   The government exists to protect and to serve the people. They must not live in fear of government.

      We have very little time in which to reverse such happenings in the United States before we become not only a Nanny State, but a Police State, as well.    Please read these posts with the evolving story of both of these cases.

      America, as it once existed, is worth saving.






Thursday, May 16, 2013

Making Use of Opportunities to Promote Books


   Today I am being interviewed by a radio program related to one or both of the books I have written. It's about another half an hour until the hour long interview, which is taped in advance and will air another time.  You would think that since I did my own radio show for a time, that I would be an old hand, but I am not.  I am nervous.  This is interesting because when I was a teen, I was absolutely fearless in terms of speaking in public, debating team types of things, or singing in public if this were necessary.  This is not who I am today.  As I have aged and raised five children, I find I am much more content to allow them time in the limelight, or allow them to have recognition for something they are doing.  I am content for them or for my husband to get recognition, and I am less comfortable with recognition for myself.
            This is not a good thing, because in order to promote a book or books, one must be willing to do whatever promotions are possible, whether it is television, radio, travel, book signings, etc.    I have been slow to accept such opportunities or to properly exploit them.  I have spent my days blogging and worming horses rather than promoting my books.   This will need to change.  Wish me luck !
          I'll let you know when this one airs.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Spirituality of Physical Possessions

Items themselves are not bad, and loving beauty isn't bad, but we need to keep material things in this life in perspective.

  I belong to a mother's bereavement group, which I must say, has been immeasurably helpful to me as a mother of a child who passed to Heaven, too soon, in my view.

          In June of 2012 we were having a conversation on materialism, and I left this particular post.
When the conversation surfaced again, my friend Shirley said she had kept my post because it said things she felt, and she posted it on our group once again.

           In case in strikes a chord with you too, I am reposting it here as well.

<< I consider myself a Christian, and it is a daily and hourly complete passion for me, not simply something which fuels dressing up on a Sunday and making penance as some do, in a week where they don't give God a second thought otherwise. (My, that sounds bitter, and I don't mean it to. I just think that many people who call themselves Christians, worship themselves and turn up at church on Sundays, in order to look good.) As a teen I met a family who was Cherokee, and the father of the family was Chief Jim Thundercloud, who in the 1970s was the chief of the NC remaining band of the Cherokee. I was particularly interested, because although I have Scottish and English blood, on my father's side, we have one solitary Native American ancestor, a woman, who was said to be Cherokee, and one woman who was said to have been Chinese. The Cherokee family I knew was very spiritual, and actually more "Christian" than most of the people I knew. They were exceedingly  spiritual and treated me as a daughter simply because this is how we all should treat one another, as a family of man. With them, I learned a few things which actually helped my faith with regard to Christianity. They not only believed that each living creature was a permanent being, even beyond passing from our bodies. They also believed that the animals were also permanent cosmic creatures also, after passing. One thing I got from them which helps me, is that they also believed that all things, even inanimate objects are holy, and in a sense have a spirit. I struggled with this for a time, but I now see what they mean. Each object here on Earth, whether constructed by man or made exclusively by God, exists because God provided the raw materials or even the talent to us to create such a thing. So, even articles and items are humble examples of God around us, and are here for a purpose also. For this reason, items are important, and should be recycled when we no longer require them. Furniture we do not need should be given to someone in need. Something broken should be recycled in some manner, whenever possible. This Native American view has helped me be generous, love the things I have, give them to others when the day comes when it is right, and gather only what will be rationally used, because every item is a gift from God. This was more helpful than the modern Christian perspective of "Don't get stuck on stuff, because God doesn't like us to be material." or the confusing message of  "If God approves of you, then he will send stuff. He wants you to be materially successful" which was the message I got from church.   I just wanted to give credit to those people who shared enough of their beliefs to me, that when I needed to expand my perspective beyond "suburban limited American churches", that some of the perspectives were already there.
                 Jane             >>

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Burst That is Spring

The azaleas are in bloom both here and at our daughter's new home.

The Spring this year has been slow in coming.  The crocuses and daffodils would bloom and a heavy snow would fall upon them.  As much snow as we have seen is rare in the American South, and it seems that the weather is gradually changing.  Finally, when the snows stopped, all the trees and bushes burst into bloom over just a couple of days, as if they had jumped into high gear.  All at once on a farm it's time to do many things. Animals need Spring care, vegetables need planting, and my daylight moments seem to be taken up.  I am cautiously thinking and planning a third book.  It will require some research, some thinking and some extensive outlining before I start. The Spring is a biological motivator, and perhaps I can translate this into some writing.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Introducing, "Treadwell" by Dana Joy Wyzard


 One of the fantastic things about being a new author, is that one has a limited ability to encourage others and help them to get a worthy project published too.  A friend of mine is a wonderful author and has had a manuscript ready for quite some time. With the encouragement of a friend, and from myself, she finally took the steps necessary to have her first work published.
    Treadwell is the first work of Dana Joy Wyzard.  The cover states, "Sheltered in the foothills of Southern Indiana, a reclusive woman is pushed to her limits by the savage invasion of ruthless drug dealers."
     It is well written, captures the reader in the beginning of the read. and is well worth your purchase of it.

     It can be purchased at at:


Perfect bound softcover:

      Dana Joy Wyzard has exceptional skills of observation, unfolds a story well, and has an exceptional sense of humor. I cannot recommend this book enough.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Some Days Aren't Meant for Achieving Anything


  This week, the weather here has been quite cold for the season, and then warm the next day. Then, a very distant neighbor who is moving away decided to burn a bunch of plastic toys which generated a thick pungent black smoke that oddly blew this way.  I think my lungs were irritated and then I got exposed to a virus, or perhaps I have a new allergy to the buds on the trees.  I have had what seems like a chest cold ever since.  I never report even distant neighbors for things, but I have asked them not to burn plastics and tires before.  The result is a chest cold which is going to sink everything I had to do today.  Between using a nebulizer with medication, every four hours, cough drops, hot lemon and hot tea, I barely have time for anything else.   I did do one thing today.  I wanted a tasty lunch which would be easy to eat.  I reconstituted four portions of Augason Farm's freeze dried chili as directed.  Then I added a can of Campbell's tomato soup. (You can add the water with the can or leave it out. I've done it both ways.)  Then I cooked a large hamburger on the grill, crumbled it and placed it in the chili soup mix.  Sometimes a chili soup quickly made is a great comfort.  Have a great weekend. I think some low achievement days should be built into everyones  calendar.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

My Choice to Raise Children

(Photo: )

   Years ago, in the early nineteen-eighties, I was in high school and in college with a group of dear friends. Of my friends in high school, many of them planned to go to colleges scattered around the US.  The friends I made in college also had very clearly defined dreams.  They planned to become physicians, psychologists, nurses, and college professors.  Of all of them, I was the only one for which having children was an important goal.  Maybe our middle and high schools did such a good job telling us that a woman could have a very fulfilling career that everyone focused on that.  Maybe all the talk of the Russians having nukes aimed at us, and our having the same aimed at them, made them think again about having children. Maybe, to people our age, motherhood and all that accompanied it just looked tedious.  Of both groups of women, I was the only one who really wanted my own family.  Following graduation, from college, and my licensure as a registered nurse,  I married, bought a small home and had our first two children.  Shortly after, one of my friends from high school also had two children.  But, after that they  had no more. My group of high school friends, and my brainy group from college may have married, but no one else had children.  I went on in my thirties to have a third and a fourth beloved child.  Perhaps my friends found that their careers were not easily compatible with the demands of parenthood. Perhaps I was fortunate in that I found the profession of Nursing to be more compatible with raising young children.
               From the time that I was a small child I had always wanted my very own children. The objective was not to control, but to guide them as they grew and to have pride in their achievements with the full understanding that they are not copies of me.  Children come through us, not from us, and at an early age, this was clear to me.  I have not been disappointed. Each one of my four biological children have been my life's greatest joys, and each of them have been quite different.  Our fifth child who came to us through adoption has also been a great joy. It is a different experience, especially since he came to us as a teen, but no less magical and certainly no less important.
              One of my closest friends felt so strongly about her choice not to have children that she wrote a wonderful book about it, entitled Cheerfully Childless: The Humor Book for those Who Hesitate to Procreate.   I love the book, and I think it's hysterical  You might wish to pick up a copy. It's a brief and enjoyable read.   In the many years since all of us made our decisions much in the world has changed. My friends went on to successful careers of one type or another. A few divorced and remarried, but did not change their minds about having children, either biologically or through adoption.  I have probably not enjoyed as successful a career as they, as a consequence of having and raised five children, but this was my choice and for me, the correct one.  My friends without children are happy for me, and I am happy for them. When we get together, they too relate that they believe they made the best decision for themselves.
             Many times, even today, we still hear the outdated idea that women are not fulfilled unless they have children. This may have been true of me, but it certainly wasn't true of my friends. They also learned that in terms of teaching or guiding the young as a professor, that there are many ways to parent in the world. I learned that it is not truly possible to have it all, but then I have had and enjoyed what I wanted most.
             Perhaps rather than women with children judging those who decided parenthood was not for them, or rather than women with very successful careers judging those who chose to set their careers aside for a time, in order to parent healthy children, we should support those decisions.  Wasn't the original intent of feminism simply to encourage and support women in whatever choice in this regard, they chose to make ?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

An Injustice in New Jersey

         One of the reasons I like to write is that I dislike injustice.  All of us in this life will endure some injustices simply in the course of our times on Earth.  However, I do not suffer bullies well, and I tend to side with the person being bullied.
        Please see my post from another one of my blogs:

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Cancel Everything ! Power is Out.

This was the beginning of the storm.  Now we have twelve inches, and it's still snowing.

      It is unusual for there to be a Winter storm and blizzard so late in the season here.  The picture above was taken this morning, just before the power went out. We are expected to have snow until midnight tonight. We are running on short term generator power because we are low on diesel fuel.  My husband went out to get more diesel this morning, but we have an abundance of oaks, cedars and pines which have fallen over on the mountain trail and are preventing anyone from passing.   There is no telling when the power will come on again.  Stay safe everyone, wherever you are.

UPDATE:  My electricity has been off for four days. My internet has been down for one. Our landline telephone has been down for a day also.  I am reporting this with the aid of my daughter.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

On Predatory Television Production

Having supplies at home for unexpected storms and emergencies is simply good common sense.

  As most of you know, one of my books is called Rational Preparedness: A Primer to Preparedness, and therefore I have some interaction with those who believe in reasonable efforts to be prepared for both forseeable and less likely emergencies.   Over the last few years with the advent and fad of "Reality" Television, a number of television producers have contacted both individuals I know who are interested in preparedness and survivalism and groups where I am either a member or a moderator.  As a rule, television producers are not interested in getting the reasonable view of preparedness. They have no interest in those who are reasonable in their efforts and who are putting away some supplies for winter just as their grandparents did.  All of the producers with whom I have had contact were interested in what I call the lunatic fringe, which exists in any group, from soccer moms, to horsewomen.  Producers would like to hold people up as extreme or thought disordered, for entertainment purposes. The producers always start that they would like to "educate the public concerning preparedness", but from experience, this is never what they do. They are only interested in the exploitation of the few frightened individuals who might have diverted too much, in terms of their assets to preparedness supplies.This does absolutely the opposite of educating the public concerning preparedness issues.  This week, we turned the umpteenth television producer away from one of the groups where I moderate.  If she wishes to learn about preparedness, she can read my book.  Actually, it's good advice for anyone.

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

While Clutching a Hot Lemon


   This weekend, there is a Disaster Preparedness gathering for families in our state. Since one of my books is entitled Rational Preparedness: A Primer to Preparedness, I was supposed to attend and answer questions on different aspects of family preparedness.  I was looking forward to it.  I don't have a lot of books to autograph and sell, but it might prompt people to get on, where they can buy the book most cheaply anyway, and it will help people.  In addition, any networking at all is a positive thing from a standpoint of selling books, or being a part of other promotional activities in the future.
              Unfortunately, despite the flu shot I got this year, I am down with a terrible flu.   It's the same one that felled our son at college, who brought it home at about the same time my husband did.  Everyone had it, and I was bragging at how the flu shot had apparently protected me from it, when the first signs of a scratchy throat began.  The doctor says there is nothing she can do, and that it falls squarely "under the viral umbrella". They say that influenza gathers strength from each person it afflicts, and from my standpoint, this seems to be true.  So, rather than talking non-stop this weekend about first aid kits, sheltering-in-place versus family evacuation, document evacuation bags, special needs evacuations etc. I will be home drinking hot lemon.  Best regards to all of you who are home doing the same.

I skip the salt, it doesn't need it.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Some Writers, Perhaps

Can anyone get me a dishtowel like this ?    (Picture: )

  I know some writers who have several projects under way at any one time. They are always in process with one book or another. One is being written, one is being completed, one is headed to the bookstore shelves, and one from last year is generating a royalty check which is being sent electronically to their account.  I am definitely not there yet.  I have two books on the shelves, and each week, I search both on the internet and found that the international distributor has them in more and more places around the world.  This week I heard that at least one of them is in Poland. I have not yet heard whether one or both are in Russia.   I have ideas for a number of other books.  The next one will require quite a bit of outlining and some research. It is not likely to be a rapidly created project or one which is marketed quickly.  Meanwhile, I flounder just a little in the process of promoting books.
            Please let me know if you found one of my books in a nation far away.  I am absolutely thrilled that you are reading it. It was, after all, written for you.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Fodder for Depression

This is our daughter's pond. There has been so much rain, interspersed with snow, at both of our houses that her pond looks muddy. Can't imagine the blue heron returning to it at this point.
 (Photo: Krehb Fotographie,    Copyright 2013  All Rights Reserved)
    I realize now that I don't like Winter very much, and that February might be my least favorite month.  It's cold, even in Virginia, and this makes it tough to take care of the animals on the farm, and it's tough on those of us who do.  My husband has been doing most of it because I have been bothered by a lot of asthma this year. My poor husband is recovering from a cold or mild flu, but still has to keep going in energizer bunny fashion.  We received the electricity bill the other day, and the shock which came in it almost caused an atrial arrhythmia.
            I am still pushing the books as is the publisher, but the process is decidedly less exciting than it was initially.  The news is full of things both shameful and ominous.  Someone in government thought it advisable to stop providing breakfast to our deployed troops, and then said that this was natural in view of a drawdown.  The fact is that some are coming home, and others are being deployed for long assignments, and that the newly deployed will not have breakfast either. It says something about a formerly great nation when they decide to cut breakfast for the deployed military.   These days, it looks as if the mission is to gut the US military itself. There is no shortage of stories of injustice, oppression, and tyranny around the world, and here in the US.
            The fact is, that while we are here, we must continue moving forward. We must continue writing, speaking and awaiting Spring. In this life, good things and good people exist and live right next door to bad people and bad things, and this is true many times.  I think I saw a crocus trying to push up through the frozen mud yesterday.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Focus of Writing

This isn't my office, but mine isn't any neater, and sometimes, it's worse.

   A friend of mine is in the process of turning a successful internet serial of hers into a book.  She is frustrated because the initial writing is interesting and exciting, but the process of turning it into a book, is not.  I tried to be encouraging, and to tell her that it is satisfying to finally see your work in the form of a book and to see it or know it's for sale in many places across the globe. However, I would be lying if I said it were exciting work.  Writing can be lonely.  It is a solitary endeavor which requires some episodic isolation, the right mindset, and in my case seems to require the deterioration of the interior of my house !  When I begin writing for a particular project, even though I might not have a publisher generated deadline, I have a flexible deadline for the project myself.  This sometimes causes me to develop a singular focus on such a project, and I begin to put off almost everything at home, except perhaps for paying bills and animal care.  I am still catching up in home reorganization etc. following the release of my first two books late last year.   I encouraged my friend.  Take a day off, I implored.  Write the same time each day and then put it aside, I told her.  I think she will find her way.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Petty Annoyance

I love my diesel sedan, and next time, I just might pull the beard out of someone who hurts it and then denies it. LOL

  I am known for being even tempered. Most of my friends and people who do business with me in one way or another usually think I am pretty reasonable.  This is fortunate because one of the ways teens and young adults feel comfortable telling you just about anything, is if you accept most everything you are told and speak reasonably about it with them.
                 Today, one of my adult sons and I made a trip in the car to our nearest small city, which is a couple of hours away.  I ran a quick errand, and my son wanted to make a quick trip to one of the large hardware franchises on the suburban outskirts of the city.   We were lucky.  It wasn't too crowded and I parked fairly close to the building.  My son ran in to buy a couple of things, and I decided to stay in the car rather than wander around the large store and perhaps buy some things on sale that I probably did not urgently need.  I sat there looking through the mail when I noticed an older gentleman, a store employee, rolling a flatbed cart out to a customers car with a big box which said "Horno de Miccroonda" on it.  I knew from my last purchase of one, that this was a microwave oven.   The man rolled the cart over to the car next to me where the owner of the minivan opened her sliding side door.  At that point, the man lifted the microwave to place it into the woman's van, and hit my car with it.   I immediately popped out of the car to check out the damage.  I love this car. It's a diesel sedan and I take very good care of it.  I asked the gentleman,  "Sir, where did you hit the car with the box ?" as I looked for damage.   I think if he had apologized and exclaimed that it was heavy and he tapped the car accidentally, I would have been alright, but he didn't.  He lied.   "I didn't hit the car" he said as if butter wouldn't melt in his mouth.   That made me angry.  "Sir, I was actually in the car, and the knock was hard enough to knock the mail out of my hand" I said.    The purchaser, knew this man, and she said,  "He didn't hit the car", in a smiling manner as if a young  child telling a lie".    "Madam," I said.  "I was not speaking with you.  I am speaking to the gentleman who hit my car with your microwave".   I looked carefully at the finish, and luckily I could not see damage.
             I was still incensed, not because it had happened.  People make mistakes. and I do also, but I own mine.  When I make an error, I apologize and I do what is necessary to set it right.  This man lied to me.
With that I went inside.   I told customer service what had happened.  They were very apologetic, and thanked me for coming in.  I told them that what I really wanted was a reminder to people who help load merchandise to watch out for the cars parked in the lot, or to ask people to drive up to be loaded. They knocked 10% off our purchase when my son arrived.
              I could not see damage to the car in the blustery rain and overcast day.  I hope when it clears up, that I don't find any. I remember having a minor accident years ago with a new car, where wood flew off a truck hitting my new car.  I did not find the damage until several days later.
             I don't mind mistakes, but like most people, I don't like liars.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Waiting for Your Blog to Ignite

Eventually, like a fireplace, your blog will ignite.
   People embark on creating a blog for many reasons.  For some, it's the documentation of a personal journey, and for a time they don't expose it to being read by others, let alone strangers.  They quietly document their moments, and occasionally their pictures, in a manner so as to more clearly recall this part of their lives in the future.  Some, even have it made into a blog book, sometimes for themselves, or sometimes shared with family.  Others create a blog to hone writing talent, or perhaps to discipline themselves to write a little bit daily. With practice, this does become easier.   Others blog to impart knowledge to others, and a blog can do this well. A lifetime spent cooking, gardening, raising children or animals brought insights, and we are here in part, to share these insights while we are on Earth.
              I have three blogs.  One was borne of my need to journal about the unexpected loss of my youngest son when he was twelve and a half, which occurred during the early Christmas season four years ago.  There was much to say, and still often is. Although the blog eventually became the preface to a book on the subject which is available worldwide, the blog sat almost unread by anyone else but me for a long time. This is fine.  There are many reasons to blog.    The second blog I did grew out of a radio program I did briefly in which I spoke about family disaster preparedness.  I provided so much information during the program that listeners wanted a place on the internet they could go for web addresses, pictures of products and items I had discussed, and as a synopsis of each show.   What started as a notice board quickly grew to information with pictures, and an editorial board for me on occasion.  With a radio program and podcast fueling it, it caught on fairly quickly.  My last blog is this one.  It has existed for weeks, and has yet to ignite and then to catch fire.  I don't worry too much about subscribers.  A lot of people bookmark blogs and visit them regularly, but decline to join      a.) because they don't wish to be contacted as being a regular reader, and     b.) because if they wish to unsubscribe later, that this can prove difficult.  I have subscribed myself to blogs in the past and then wanted to leave and been stuck there.
              Most people start writing a blog and expect it to ignite and have a following immediately, while most do not.  It is perfectly okay to be writing a blog for a period of time, in relative privacy, before strangers discover it. Don't be afraid to write in silence, collect your thoughts, and desensitize yourself, in a sense to the process of rapid thought, and then relatively rapid writing in response.  Blog writing is a skill, a lot like article writing, letter writing, and even a bit like outlining while writing a book. Allow yourself to make executive decisions about your blog in those early weeks.  Decide what your scope will be. Decide how much about your family and friends you will share.  Realize that more people will ultimately read what you think are private thoughts than you wanted.  The important thing is to get started.  This blog has yet to ignite, but it will. It will eventually be discovered, and then people will return every one to three days to see what I am thinking, or what has happened, or even engage in some shadenfreude.   Schadenfreude for those of you not familiar is the very human, but not so nice tendency of human beings to derive pleasure from hearing about the woes or temporary misfortunes of others.  Most of us have someone in media who is having hard luck or difficulties at the moment, and we read, not only for the information, but because it tells us that even the wealthy or the famous have difficulties in this life, and it helps to make our own lot in life seem more manageable. People like to see that even for those for which things appear to be going well, have challenges in life, and make mistakes.  Of course, this started as a German word, but has become incorporated into the English language now.  Certainly, this is why some people log on to follow the lives of Lindsay Lohan, or Kim Kardashian. It probably also motivates at least some royal watchers. It is probably the only real explanation for the foray into reality television !

             I will keep posting here, and eventually the blog will ignite.  I may have regular subscribers and I may not, but I encourage you, to write your own also.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Providing Privacy in My Books for Family

The trick is to write a compelling and true book without offending your children with either the fact or your own perspective about them.
   The first book I wrote was actually turned in to the publisher in advance of the second. The second was sent to them just shortly after because I had been working on both projects simaltaneously.  The first one took the lion's share of time in editing, and formatting, and therefore actually came to market about thirty days after the second one.   The first book, "What I Learned from Daniel" is a deeply personal account of my take on our youngest son Daniel, his passing, and our family's survival afterward.  It is difficult writing a true story in which so much of your life, your thinking and your family are shared with the world.  I shared what I believed I was comfortable sharing. I believe Daniel would have been comfortable with the level of sharing I did in the book.  I spoke of my husband and his grief, very carefully, though accurately.  However, sharing our story in a manner which pleases our other children, and the son we adopted afterward is a different matter.
         There is an ad on television where a sixty plus year old physician boosts his testosterone using a particular supplement he is advertising, and then he says something which translates to, "I am more virile than my sons who are in their twenties !"  I always have to wonder whether his sons are speaking to him, as attacking their manhood doesn't seem like an action which inspires recommendations for "Father of the Year".  I didn't want to do that type of thing in my book.  I wanted to tell the story, but not leave my kids feeling as if they were standing naked in my book.  I did this by asking each of them what they were comfortable with my doing.  One of them placed no restrictions on me, because she felt that this was a tribute to Daniel.  Two asked for their names to be changed slightly in the text of the book, so that the story could be true, but that their "frenemies" might not read it all quite so easily.  Yes, frenemy was a new word for me also, although we all have them. I call them distant acquaintances.  The largest challenge was how to manage information on the son we adopted a year after Daniel's passing.  We kept it honest, and with his identifying information limited.
        This is actually a really important task in writing about family. We are painting a portrait of them which could exist in the world for an extended period.  Depending upon how successful a piece is, in the long term, things remembered about them could well be things mentioned in a book written by me.Ir might be alright to share my darkest moments, but it's important to be sensitive in sharing theirs.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Working Toward Being a Best Selling Author

This device, a nebulizer, has been a new friend. It aerosolizes medication which gets into my lungs and helps me leave the wheezing and the asthma behind.
  Thus far in 2013, I haven't made any particular inroads to being a best selling author.  I am aware that both books are available worldwide, and that the traffic on the two blogs which relate directly to each of the books, is up.  I am aware that in some places the books are selling modestly. I am also aware that I need to do some active promotion of each of them, and that publisher and publicist or not, some of the effort in this regard, needs to come from the author herself.
        I have been working on this, but have had a lot of asthma after Christmas and at New Years.  This has not only taken up some of my time for book promotion, but also for things like taking the Christmas tree down, cleaning up at home, and readying for a new year.  Asthma certainly saps energy as well.
        I need to start planning and researching the next project soon.  I think just now, I would rather rest !

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Tentative 2013

I'm going to "buy in" to the idea that the new year could be a good one.

 Many years ago, when our young family moved to the country, there was an educated but very elderly man who lived on one of the older farms here.  In one of our conversations, he told me that he knew my future and could tell me what it was.  I asked him what it was, and he told me that in my life, I would experience good things, and bad things.  He has long since moved to a town, but I here he is still doing well and in his late nineties.   I often think of what he said, and I am afraid he is correct.  I have been very blessed to you have had some good luck and some good experiences in life, and I have also experienced some sad and very unlucky experiences.  Apparently, this is part of life and of our time on Earth.
     So, I remind you, as we embark on a new year, 2013, that it may be filled with some bad things. Much  higher taxes, greater controls of the citizenry, restrictions of our rights, increased food and milk prices may all be in the offing.  However, a new year means that good things can happen also.  There will be new opportunities, new challenges, and chances to discover new gifts, and maybe even new places. Rather than being negative, let's try to see the newborn year as an opportunity.  Happy New Year to you all.