Don’t Make Me Come Up There – Flash Fiction

Photo by Ryan Hutton on Unsplash

“Don’t make me come up there,” he bellows at the sky. His face is murderous, the scowl etching deep lines into his forehead. The frown isn’t visible on his mouth as his thick beard covers from nose down.

“Darling, who in the world are you yelling at?” comes the soft, and slightly worried question from the woman leaning out of the sliding glass door. The light behind her casts her in an elegant silhouette and the burly man glances back at her, his scowl softening slightly.

“The damn twins are arguing again,” he mutters, jerking a thumb upwards towards the scintillating star-studded black sky framed by tall conifers.

The dainty woman arches a fine brow and glances upward. She doesn’t hear a thing; the forest is so dense and thick she can’t even hear the lake that is just a couple minute’s walk from the glamorous mountain home.

“I don’t hear anything,” she finally says, holding out her palm for him to take. He reaches out and his hand engulfs her, but he allows her to tug him back to the warmly lit interior. He gives one more ferocious glare back at the “silent” sky, then follows her back inside, sliding shut the door and pulling the blinds closed.

“Now where were we before you decided you needed to go out and yell at the sky?” she teases as she hands him back his half-drunk glass of wine and picking hers up as well.  She sinks into the sofa and tugs him towards her.

“When Cass and Pol start arguing, no one can hear a thing,” he mutters, settling down next to her.

She just shakes her head, not having a clue who he is talking about.

But how is she to know she is sitting next to a god?

Timing Is Everything

Photo by Andrik Langfield on Unsplash

I love the song from Country Strong, “Timing is Everything.” I believe wholeheartedly in the statement, living my life always amazed by the timing, the tick-tocking cadence of the world spinning. How things line up a certain way and lead to the next thing in life. Hostess Extrodinaire has “everything happens for a reason” tattooed onto her arm. And I fully believe in that as well. But, that doesn’t make me  not still question it at times.

Coffeeman’s last day was an unexpected slip away moment that for all included, lead to a very personal moment of tears, from all parties. It was not planned, it was jarring, and it was heartbreaking. When I got home later, I couldn’t stop crying. For him, for my sadness for him, the suddenness of all of it; the unexpected. The weird irony of it all was that months ago I had had a dream where actions and emotions were exactly what had happened. Not the situation, but this overwhelming heart stopping pain and crying. This feeling of helplessness. At the time of the dream, I was mentally off all day and when my mother asked me what was wrong, I couldn’t stop crying. I knew it was a portent of things to come. I can’t explain why I knew this, but I’ll apply it all back to my belief in God and how certain things in my life have been inferred by Him, either in dreams or a gut feeling, if you will. I believe that is Him talking to me directly. So at the time, I just tucked the dream into the back of my mind for a later date. Then there I was again two nights ago, sobbing for my friend, feeling like I was right back in the dream. Too weird is a statement I’ll say, but maybe it was a warning months ago.

Why did this have to happen this way, right at this moment? Why this specific experience for all of us? I will say that it gives me insight into certain people’s actions immediately following the slip out the door and gone moment. I now have an opinion of certain people that might not have been there had an event like this not happened. Some good opinions, some negative.

Coffeman has affected all of us in ways we never would have imagined. I’m in his life for a reason, he’s in mine, and somewhere it will all make sense. Brother, friend, boss, colleague, he’s impacted us in ways no one else has. Nor do I think we are ever going to find someone who has the same connection with us that he does. Jersey Boy has insanely big, impossible shoes to fill, and I don’t think he will be able to. Friends are impossible to replace. While someone new might move in and you may like them, they will still never be the person that left.

The timing of all of this is still on the fringe of my mind. I don’t get it. I don’t know why it all had to happen this way. Just about all of us is still reeling from Coffeeman being gone anyhow, but for some of us close to the man, I think it’s going to take a long while to move on. I hate that statement, moving on.  And I really don’t have any plans to move on, so to speak. I have great plans to stay in contact on a regular basis with Coffeeman. I respect the man. He knows several things, because he’s seen several things. (we are farmers…… sing the jingle)

Somewhere down the line I hope all of this makes sense. I mean, it’s not like I don’t understand Coffeeman not being here, the changes, bla bla bla (my new favorite statement) the fact that in this business, change is bound to happen. For whatever reason, this one moment, him being here, might be for something to happen down the road. Mrs. B said to me today, (Monday), that maybe Coffeeman was in your life just to remove Lucifer from the picture. She might be right. But I think it’s more than that.

So, as the old chapter closes, and a  newer one opens, all I can do is wait. I can honestly say I 100% do not like the new changes, but be that as it may, sometimes one thing you struggle with becomes the thing you need to overcome to get to the next part. Currently Jose Gonzalez’s “Stay Alive” is playing and I think it applies to everything as well. Especially the tick tocking rhythm.

There’s a rhythm in rush these days
Where the lights don’t move and the colors don’t fade
Leaves you empty with nothing but dreams
In a world gone shallow
In a world gone lean

But there is a truth and it’s on our side
Dawn is coming open your eyes
Look into the sun as a new days rise

Songwriters: RYAN ADAMS, TEDDY SHAPIRO
© BMG Rights Management, Universal Music Publishing Group, FOX MUSIC, INC., A SIDE MUSIC LLC D/B/A MODERN WORKS MUSIC PUBLISHING
For non-commercial use only.
Data From: LyricFind

I’m going to finish this semi rambling post with an online round of applause, as I was never able to get our group of people at work together for said applause for Chef Coffeeman as he slowly backed out of the doorway, shaking his head at our antics, and our craziness that led to his weird eyeball crazy look. I’m sure missing him like mad won’t happen for a week or so, but I’m sure it will soon. I’m dreading the day. Sigh

Kate

Jesus Calling Adult Coloring Book – A Review

Jesus Calling Adult Coloring Book: Creative Coloring & Hand Lettering By Sarah Young

I was quite excited to try out this book as adult coloring has become the ‘it thing’. Also, I was given Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling devotional, so I knew the author and was excited to see how she took parts of her work and added them to a coloring book.  The book is large, being 10″ x 10″, with pages that are perforated and can be torn out.  Each page contains very detailed drawings of God’s creation, and or a phrase or statement from Jesus Calling.  There is a basic introduction and guide on how to use the book at the front and a practice page at the end of the book to work on lettering. The drawings are elegant and intricate enough to hold meticulous colorers, as well as having plenty of pages with larger spaces to color. Some pages have the sayings outlined for filling in, while others are shaded to practice lettering.

The book is quite elegant with metallic coloring on the cover. The feel alone of the book is lovely.  The introduction and practice pages left me a little confused as to how I am specifically supposed to do lettering, and I haven’t taken the time to look online.  The pages take colored pencil well, though I would say that just plain Crayola colored pencils are actually easier to use than my Prismacolor pencils. The Prismacolor pencils tend to ‘grab’ the page and create a drag that make it harder to color. Crayola is slicker and dryer; less oily.

My attempts at the lettering stopped the minute my fountain pen ink bled through the page. I have a light hand with fountain pen ink, so I figured it would work like a marker. Personally, I would be afraid to try markers or watercolor paints for fear it would bleed through.

While every page is perforated so that it can be torn out, a spread seems to coincide with each other, so if you tore it out, then you lose the aesthetic of the saying with the image. Maybe I’m too picky about this. Maybe most people wouldn’t want to frame these and they use them more for meditation, but I have a bit of an OCD thing where I like things to match up. Also, due to the page size, I’m not sure you could ever frame it. Though I could see a charming display tacked up to the wall. Very country-esque.

All in all, I would probably give this book a 3 out of 5 stars. The biggest complaint being the bleedthrough, which a lot of adult coloring books seem to have.  As well as losing pages due to the dual sided quotes on pages.

Kate

Loveology – Book Review

Loveology – God. Love. Marriage. Sex. And the Never-Ending Story of Male and Female By John Mark Comer

Let me start off by saying, any book that has a grey cover with bright pink writing, and the words, love, sex, marriage, and God, is going to catch my attention.  Not to mention pink font inside, bright pink bubbles and just an all around really girly pretty book.  The cover alone makes me want to ‘swoon’ a bit it’s so nice.

Loveology is the theology of love by the pastor of Portland’s A Jesus Church -Bridgetown.  It’s relatively basic biblical theology on the relationships we have with our partner/lover/spouse written in a very comfortable easy, and almost watered down manner.  With background on the original Greek translations, in John Mark Comer’s style (if you ever listen to any of his sermons, you will understand what I mean). Five chapters on Love, Marriage, Sex, Romance, and Male and Female, including a Q and A section, the book is a fast read geared towards young marrieds, singles and dating couples.

Okay, now the gushing will ensue.  I LOVED/LOVE this book.  When I got it after waiting almost three weeks, I just could not put it down because it was so pretty. I mean, this guy, really knew how to appeal to women. This book is just marvelous to hold and run your hand over. It is a really nice size to slip in a bag and you just want to keep reading it.  John Mark Comer is brilliant in getting a more conservative Christian theology across. Without sounding preachy, he really gets you laughing at some of the funnier aspects of love. That being said, you are a Christian and you don’t already know this, then this book won’t help.  It’s a fun thing to read if you already know the theology, but you should already know it if you are reading this. But that’s my own take.

I enjoyed the book immensely, but that being said, I don’t always agree with the ‘watered-down’ take on the bible.  I find John Mark Comer has a great sense of humor and makes you want to read more, but it’s almost incredibly basic.  Maybe it’s because I was raised in a Conservative Baptist church, but this is much more moderate in style.  But on a scale of one to five, I’d give this a five star rating.

This book was provided to me through Harper Collins  for my honest review.

Signing off

~Kate

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Review – Notes From The Tilt-A-Whirl

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Notes From The Tilt-A-Whirl Wide-Eyed Wonder in God’s Spoken World
By N. D. Wilson, is not a fast book to read.  And honestly, I’m not even sure how to describe this book other than I love it.  The author takes a  broken down, humourous approach to what makes up this world, this world that is a spinning ball at the carnival and we are all along for the ride.  That is, if we are believing that we are all along for the ride.  I mean, we are  “on a near perfect sphere hurtling through space at around 67,000 miles per hour.  Mach 86 to pilots.  Of course, this sphere of mine is also spinning while it hurtles, so tack on an extra 1,000 miles per hour at the fat parts.”

Isn’t that great?  Isn’t it an amazing place we live on?  Where everthing is an adventure and an amazing example of a God who was so creative to give us all of this even if “God never seems capable of moderation or of understanding the basic concepts behind supply and demand.”  No, seriously, there is a section on that as well.  (Have you ever tried to count snowflakes?)

This book is not one to take in large doses over a short period of time.  Read a part of a chapter, then wait a few days.  If you can’t read just part, only read one.  Read it in seasons, for the book is seasonal, starting off in winter.  Take it in small doses where you think. I mean really think.  Part philosophy, part humor, this book gets down to the nitty gritty of life.  N.D. Wilson even calculates your odds of just being here.  By the way, be thankful you are.  There are 8 million sperm out there that could have been you but didn’t make it.  No, really, that is an example that made me bust up laughing.

I highly recommend this book if you want something that makes you think and ponder God’s greatness, without the usual ‘Christian’ dogma or preaching.  It’s fun.  It’s not light though.  Because you really do think.

Signing off

~Kate

Book Review – Unexpected Love by Julie Coleman

Unexpected Love God’s Heart Revealed in Jesus’ Conversations with Women By Julie Coleman takes a look at Jesus’ interactions with women in the Bible.  Breaking down what He said to these women and what it really means.  Each of the nine chapters starts out with actual scripture of the story, taken mostly from the New American Standard Bible, then goes on to the author giving a more fictionalized version of scripture.  Next comes the breakdown of what Jesus has said and a discussion of what everything means.  Each chapter concludes with a section titled “Food for Thought”, giving questions to ask one’s self and verses that correlate.  Then another section called ‘Journaling’ which gives you a chance to ponder and record your own thoughts on the prompt included.

From the title and description I really expected Unexpected Love to be a great book introducing me to some of the areas in the Bible I haven’t read, but relate to God’s interaction with women.  While it does do that, I was severely disappointed and bored out of my mind reading this book.  So disappointed, in fact, that I only read two chapters.

I found the version of the story the author told was too speculative, feeling like it was more fiction than dealing in facts.  I would have much preferred bits of information about the time period interspersed  with the retelling of scripture instead of trying to make it into fiction.  While the facts are included with the breakdown of everything that is explained, it’s clunky to read it that way.  Also, the breakdown of every sentence and what each think means felt tedious.  I felt like the author was trying too hard.  While I’m sure there are women out there who find comfort in this book, I found it very tedious.  I think I’ll stick to just reading the Bible.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html>

Signing off

~Kate

 

 

The Wedding Dress : A Review

A dress with a history; four women with a connection.  The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck intertwines the lives of four women  living in the south and the one dress that seems to have magic all on its own.  Charlotte, a woman who runs a successful bridal shop has been jilted; Emily, a young woman with dreams and ideas in 1912 becomes engaged to one while hoping for another; Hillary, a war bride of the late 60’s; and Mary Grace is a woman without options for a pretty wedding  in 1939, when a miracle happens.  The dress is special, made for a special bride, and the way it passes down through time, never yellowing or aging, creates a story that is magical and heartwarming. The story of these four women intertwine to create a sweet story.

 
While the premise of this book had me anxious to read it, I found myself getting annoyed at the way some of the women thought throughout the story.  Especially Charlotte, the main heroine, and Emily.  I am not someone who enjoys characters that come across as helpless and naive to a fault.  I don’t want a character that feels it’s too much work to have a bit of a mystery, and doesn’t want to solve it.  While I may have these faults sometimes, I don’t want to read about it.  I started out the story wishing Charlotte would meet her true match, and I felt that how she worked through her engagement, being jilted, then ending up with her wedding, a disappointment.  I didn’t realize when I requested the book that it was a Christian based story.  Usually I turn away from such stories due to how Christ is represented.  There was some amazing aspects of God and Jesus, but like most Christian books I’ve read, I was left wanting.  I would recommend this to my Christian friends, but I myself would only give it 3 stars out of 5.  That’s fairly high, but it was sweet.  Just not my usual favorite style.

Signing off

~Kate

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

A Call For Christmas

English: Santa Claus with a little girl Espera...

Image via Wikipedia

Right now there is this wonderful thing going on with the United States Postal Service.  Operation Santa Claus is a charity that answers letters to ‘Santa’ from children who are in need.  The post office sorts the wants from the needs, blocks out personal information then volunteers can purchase what is needed by the child.  The items are brought back to the post office where mail carriers works to make sure the packages get to the proper homes.

This is wonderful.  This country is filled with people who are struggling.  Parents that are out of work, children that need clothes, shoes, a place to sleep at night.  Many things.  This country is so full of people in need. 

I wish I was able to help with as many of these cases as possible, but it’s not possible.  However, the thing that I was thinking this morning, as I was  watching the report on Fox News is that, where is Franklin Graham and his organization, Samaritans Purse?  Or Billy Graham Evangelistic Association?  Where is Joel Osteen and his ministry? 

These are ministries that in one fell swoop could be helping out in situations like this?  Where are all the other churches and associations, charities and such in situations like this?

Franklin Graham was all about helping North Korea and wanting people to donate to his cause with them.  What about our people here in the US?  We have one of the greatest nations, heck, I think we are, but why are we working so hard for all those other countries while we let our people starve?  Why are these ministries focused on other countries?

Personally, I am disgusted by what I know of certain ministries.  Why are missionaries required to go to the missionary barrel to get old cast of clothing?  Why are members of churches not out purchasing something new?  These missionaries are doing God’s work.  Why should they have to have cast offs?  It’s wrong.

Why are we not helping more of the homeless in this country?  It disgusts me.

I think Operation Santa Claus is wonderful.  Click the name to find out more information.  I encourage people to do what they can.  My family, and our family business donated so much of our naturally grown produce this year to one of the churches that provides community lunches to those in need.  Do what you can. 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Signing off

~Kate

Look to the Stars

Galaxy Andromeda

Image via Wikipedia

I’m an amateur astronomy buff.  I have this thing about going out and staring up at the night sky and it can mesmerize me.  Right now is the best time to be seeing some of the most wonderful things out there.

I have a statement that I like to tell myself and it’s something like this.  My favorite constellation is Orion. My favorite thing to look at is the Pleiades, my favorite place to look is right into the heart of Sagittarius where the Galactic center is, and my favorite galaxy is Andromeda…..  For me, looking at the stars is like taking a small step into the wonder that is God.  Try sitting outside some night and staring at those incredible, amazing stars and try to fathom the greatness that is God. 

It is impossible to not feel humbled in such a situation.  The heart of the galaxy, the Milky Way is my idea of heaven.  So bright, so perfect.  It’s like this warm, fuzzy place.  Can I explain it?  Not even close. 

And has anyone ever looked at the Andromeda galaxy?  Can there be anything more perfect than a super bright galaxy floating on a diamond scattered black velvetness?  I can stare at it for ages and still feel my heart pound in breathless wonderment.

I don’t get to be out stargazing that often.  Mostly due to me liking to be in bed at night, but those times I do get out, I am amazed.  Two years ago I went out into my back yard for about three hours at night.  I was up till almost three in the morning. I was on a hunt for things I could see with my binoculars.  It was one of those warm nights where everything feels amazing.  And the sky was the most amazing I had ever seen it.  I cannot begin to expound on how clear, how perfect, how wonderful it all was.

Do I sound like I’m raving?  IT’s because I am.  God’s creation is a wonder to me, and every time I look at the night sky, I see it.

When Iconsider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,  The moon and the stars, which You have ordained; What is man that You take thought of him,
And the son of man that You care for him?

Psalm 8:3-4

Signing off

~Kate