Thursday, January 31, 2008

Pain, Ice, and Noise

The first Friday of every month you can find me blogging at Ohio Romance Authors "My Space Blog". If you get a chance, please stop by and leave a comment. I'd love to hear from you there.

Ohio Romance Authors

I'm hurting...the Gazelle is truly a total body workout. Every muscle in my body is "feeling the pain" today. Whenever I get up, it takes effort to moooooove. Love the machine. Really do. Only problem we are having is a very high pitched squeal, which is extremely annoying. I love my hubby, but every piece of exercise equipment he puts together winds up with a "noise" of some kind. **grin** This weekend we are going to take it apart and grease up the crossbar cause that's where the noise seems to be coming from.

Ah, Friday. I may have to call in sick tomorrow because the forecast is for 1/4 inch of ice by tomorrow morning. Snow I can I hate!

Hope you all have a safe and warm Friday!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Thin and Swift as a Gazelle

That's what I'm envisioning. It's the inner vision I'm focusing on for this coming year. I WILL exercise and get healthier! My hubby needs to exercise to strengthen his heart, but he can't do strenuous exercise.

In today's newspaper we saw a flyer advertising a Gazelle Edge for a reduced price of $89.99 and today he was able to get a senior discount so we paid a total of only $81.00 including tax!! It doesn't get any better than that.

If you don't know what a Gazelle is, it's an exercise machine where you "glide" through the air, your feet on pedals that you manually move back and forth, like you are on skis. There are arm bars that move as well. So, hubby can work out and watch TV and not over exert himself. Me? I will use it in the morning and continue to use my elliptical machine in the evening.

Diet, exercise...hey, we're on a goal to get healthy!

Wish us well.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Marketing Schemes...

geared at women are making me want to scream.

First, our young girls were targeted. Models had to look like walking skeletons to be considered "hot." And young girls bought into the image--thinner is better. We fostered a generation of bulemic and anorexic young women.

A few years passed and the young mothers who were a little overweight had a tarnished self-image, buying into the marketing schemes to lose weight. Who gained from this? Only the companies marketing all the "miracle" products, but not the women who purchased them.

Now marketing has taken this to a whole new level. Oh, how horrible to see a woman with a **gasp**--wrinkle!! Now we have doctors and clinics who will inject botox and other chemicals under the skin to eliminate wrinkles. It's a whole new marketing scheme geared at the very same women first targeted about their weight. Now they are a little older but not wiser if they buy into the new marketing schemes.

I wish there were a way to show the world the truth--that true beauty is inside. It is your actions, the way you reach out to others--or not--that makes your spirit shine through. No amount of wrinkle remover, plumped up breasts, or miracle weight loss product is going to change who each of us is beneath the skin.

It has taken me a long time to realize that. Yes, there was a time when I bought into the "thinner is better" marketing schemes. I have purchased more than my share of skin products, but I'm not buying into any more of their schemes.

How about you?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Author Interview with Staci Stallings

♪♪♪♪♪♪♪♪♪♪♪♪…The band ends their rendition of “Let it Snow”, in honor of the snow currently falling in Columbus, Ohio, the home of the The Blog Studio.

Carol Ann walks onstage between the burgundy curtains. “Hey, everyone! How you doing?”


“Thank you all for coming by on this cold January morning. I’ve been looking forward to this interview. I want to make sure we have plenty of time to talk with my special guest this morning, so please put your hands together and let’s give her a warm Blog Studio welcome. Staci Stallings!!


CAROL ANN: Staci, welcome to the Blog Studio. I’m so glad you could join us this morning.

STACI: Thanks, Carol Ann. I’m delighted to be here.

CAROL ANN: Tell the audience a little about yourself and your writing.

STACI: I am a stay-at-home mom with a husband, three kids, and a writing addiction. Writing for me is like breathing. It gives me a way to tap into life and learn about it in a ways that are often surprising and wonderful. Even those moments of frustration and angst because of writer’s block or trying to find that just-right word show me how God works in our lives and how very much He loves us. I think too often we are so wrapped up in the outcome (publishing or selling or finishing the book) that we forget to enjoy and learn from the process. That’s what I try to do—learn from the process, and to me, it’s made all the difference.

The book I just released in September ’07 is one that is near and dear to my heart because it talks about going for YOUR dreams regardless of what the outside world says about it. That was and is a lesson I need to hear and hear again. “Dreams by Starlight” features Jaylon Quinn and Camille Wright as the hero and heroine. Jaylon is the school’s “star.” He’s been the lead in all the plays, and all the girls are ga-ga for him. Camille is… umm… not. She’s the girl who melts into the woodwork and likes to be there because nobody sees her. In fact, she works pretty hard to stay in the woodwork. Her main focus is getting into Princeton’s aerospace program, and her grades are good enough to get her there. However, her counselor is worried that all she’s taken are academic classes. So he talks her into going out for drama to “round out” her record.

When she gets to drama, her plan is very simple. Take drama for one semester and then get into a “real class.” However, things don’t turn out quite like she thought they would… especially when she meets Jaylon, or more to the point when Jaylon meets her. These two who are from vastly different worlds learn to accept and appreciate the other in ways that the whole world would do well to really “get.” And in the process, they inspire each other to become who they were always meant to be.

(You can read the first three chapters for free at: )


CAROL ANN: Sounds wonderful, Staci. And I’ll be heading there after the interview to read those chapters. Is this your first book, and are you working on anything new right now?

STACI: Buckle up because this is going to be a confusing answer. “Dreams by Starlight” is my seventh published book, fifth published novel, and the tenth novel that I wrote. How’s that for confusing? If you ask why I get them so out of order, my only defense is that I put out what God wants me to when He asks me to. I’ve written 21 novels and 2 non-fiction inspirational/devotionals, so my backlist gets a little confusing and tangled with my to-put-out list and my written list. Suffice it to say, this is not my first published book, and it won’t be my last.

Right now I’m working on one that I have 250 pages and no title for (you’ve got to love how the Holy Spirit works some times!). This story is about a girl running from an abusive relationship who runs smack into the arms of a guy who turns out to be just the friend she’s been looking for. However, the demons of her past are trailing her, and she’s balancing on the wire between loving this new guy and protecting him from who she believes she really is. It’s very intense. Although I don’t really consider myself a suspense writer, most of my books, which I term Contemporary Christian or Inspirational Romance, have real tension. I don’t consider myself a comedian either, and there are laugh-out-loud parts. I am a Christian, but some of my books are VERY Christian and some are more inspirational or motivational. In short, I write the story God gives me to write rather than trying to make them all fit into neat and tidy little boxes. (I hate boxes!)

That’s one of the things I have learned about writing—to make it real. If you’ve lived ten days you know that not every day is heart-poundingly frightening OR roll on the floor laughing. There is a balance. I try to find that balance in the stories God gives me to write.

I should also mention that the sequel to “Dreams by Starlight,” (“Reunion”) will be out in 2008. And it is REALLY good…

CAROL ANN: I hate boxes, too. What do you consider the most challenging part of being a writer?

STACI: Letting go of “It has to be done right now!” I have a bad habit of thinking I know more than God does. He’s convinced me over the course of the last 12 years that I don’t, but sometimes that’s still a struggle. I have three kids (12, 8, 5) and many other commitments. What I would love to do is to just sit down and write every minute of every day. I don’t get to, and that’s frustrating in a lot of ways. I’ve had to learn to let go and let God take over ordering my days because when I was doing it, I made a giant mess of everything. I still don’t get to write as much as I’d like, but somehow the books are still getting written, and amazingly I still have a life outside of writing! God is truly good!

CAROL ANN: Amen! If you were speaking to the world on live television, what is one thing you would say about yourself that isn't related to your writing.

STACI: Hallelujah! I’m finally learning to like myself and to appreciate the gifts that God gave me. For a long, LONG time I hid them or compartmentalized them or just outright denied them, and I was miserable. In the last couple months I have begun to accept what I’ve been given and to allow God to show those gifts to the world through a variety of avenues. There was a time that doing that scared me to death. I was so afraid of being judged and rejected that I thought it was easier and safer to keep my gifts and talents to myself. Now I’m realizing how much fun it is to just be ME and not to have to apologize for that! I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone! What this world could be if we all encouraged each other to be who God made you to be without apology. The pieces are all here, the problem is we’re all too busy worrying about what everyone else thinks about our gifts that we forget to just relax and just be who God made us to be!

CAROL ANN: Good for you, Staci! If we were to tour your house, where would we find your "office." What does it look like?

STACI: You had to ask this question, didn’t you? * Sigh * Well, I have an actual office although when we designed and built this house, had I known I would be spending so much time in here, I would’ve put much more thought and space in it. What does my office look like? Hmm… For a moment picture Mount Everest, not made of rock and snow but of school papers, books, Bibles, a computer, boxes of books, CD’s, a Chips Ahoy package, DVD’s, letters, speakers, bottles, glasses, and actual office supplies. That pretty much describes my desk and my floor. I’m happy to say that right now at this moment, I have an actual trail to my desk. Most of the time, I’m stepping over toys and chairs and boxes to get to my desk. Yeah. I’m glad you didn’t ask me about how best to organize a writing desk. That might not have been pretty.

CAROL ANN: Your office sounds very similar to mine. Who is the one person you can always depend on to make you smile?

STACI: One? Who has only one person to make them smile? Goodness! I’d be sunk! I have several, but I’ll keep the list as short as possible: My kids (especially Andrew who’s 5), my husband, my sister, my parents, and my best friends (yes, that one has an “s” on it). One of my best friends, Dennis Bates, is a Christian author, and he would have to be at the top of my list right now. We’ve only talked over a conference call once, but we email sheets and sheets every day. He really can yank me up out of yuck quicker than just about anybody. I think a lot of that is because we’re both writers, and we get things that other people tend to think makes us somewhat suspect. We’re weird. We know it, and we wouldn’t have it any other way!

CAROL ANN: Staci, thanks for sharing so much with the Blog Studio audience. Before you leave, tell everyone how they can learn more about you and your books?

STACI: Oh, see now this one’s EASY!

First, you can go to my website: You can read to your little heart’s content for HOURS there.

Second, you can go to : to read the first three chapters of any of my published books FREE! (I’d like to say this is an exclusive offer, but it’s not… so please help me tell the world!)

Finally, you can go directly to the publisher: for my newer releases including the two non-fictions.

CAROL ANN: Where can your books be purchased?

STACI: Technically you can purchase them from any bookstore; however, you will have to special order them (which is fine by me but can be a bit of a pain for you). They are also available on the big online bookstores—Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders.

But the easiest way to get them is to go to: or to my website for my two older books. These will come right to your door, and you can’t beat that!

CAROL ANN: It’s been so much fun, Staci. Do you have anything else you’d like to share before the show ends?

STACI: Anything else I like is an invitation for real trouble! Let’s see… Here’s what I most want everyone to know… Life doesn’t have to be a struggle. Yes, there will always be tough times, but the deeper you get to know God, the more you will understand that He is not out to get you but that He loves you more than you can ever know or imagine and He’s here right now in this moment to help you and to pull you up. The more you accept and appreciate those things, the more wonderful life will get inside you and around you. This promise (like the one about reading the free chapters) is not exclusive. It’s available to everyone, and it’s FREE! God wants your life to be all He imagined it to be. Seek that. Be who you are, and don’t apologize for it. That is His message today, through me, to you.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

When Cats Talk Back

We have a cat named Templeton...yep, after the rat in "Charlotte's Web." He is so entertaining, but at times very annoying.

Tonight he tried my patience until I wanted to toss him in the dryer...which my hubby did one day...but that's another story.

Anyway, I was trying to make dinner. Templeton loves, of all things, butter. I had added a tsp of butter to the green beans in preparation for nuking. Mr. Smart Cat decided to jump on the counter while my back was turned to put the butter away. I turned in time to see him sneaking up on the mound of butter on the beans. I yelled at him to get down, pointed to the floor and he obeyed but had to have the last word on his way down. (Templeton has a controlled low quick set of mews when he's talking back).

I went about finishing dinner and set the table. I headed to the bathroom to get the Fish Oil that hubby and I take with our dinner. When I returned Templeton was sitting on one of the chairs with his nose inching toward the beef and gravy (still covered). I yelled again and told him he was NOT invited to dinner. It took shoving the chair to the table--really close--before he jumped down all the while talking back to me.

I've been battling a cold since before Christmas and since Sunday have had very little voice left. Yelling at Templeton was painful, to say the least.

I placed the pills on the dinner plates and retrieved the biscuits from the oven. Turned and found Templeton's paw reaching for the pill on my plate.

Immediately I went into battle formation. He stared at me, talked back, and finally jumped from the chair.

The microwave dinged. I retrieved the beans, turned to put them on the table...and found Templeton's paw once again trying to steal the capsule. Knowing I had my hands full, he ignored my threat and finally managed to knock the pill to the floor.

Hubby came running as I leashed a string of threats and chased after the pill. Saved the pill. Cat in doorway laying down and staring at me.

I grabbed the spray water bottle and threatened to soak him if he even came into the kitchen again.

While we were eating, I felt a tap, tap, tap on my shoulder. I turned and came nose to nose with Templeton. I swear he had a big smile on his face. He was sitting on the wooden trash container behind me. **sigh**

Well, he does have these beautiful green eyes...

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

I've Been Tagged...

My friend and fellow author, Adelle Laudan, tagged me for a game of tell-us-stuff-we-didn't-know...

The rules are:
List seven things about yourself

Link to the person who tagged you (see above)

Then I get to go out and tag seven other victims. Um, no, I meant friends. Yeah, that's what I meant.

Here we go:
1. During 2007, I read the entire Bible.
2. My blood type is O negative, so the Red Cross really loves me!
3. Whenever I see a new baby, I cry.
4. There was I time when I loved baking all our bread from scratch.
5. Meeting new people makes me nervous. I'm very shy.
6. When I turned 43, I graduated cum laude from college with a Business Degree.
7. The bathtub used to be my "study room" to avoid interruption from my kids!

Now for my seven, friends:

Emma Sanders
Marty Kindall
Marly Mathews
Lee Morrison
Sky Purington
Christine Columbus
Julie Strickland

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Author Interview with Gail Gaymer Martin

The Blog Studio camera pans over the band as they play their rendition of “Love is a Many Splendored Thing.” The audience is anxiously awaiting the curtain rise so they can welcome the Blog Studio hostess. The music concludes, the curtain opens, and Carol Ann Erhardt walks center stage wearing black boots, a black skirt, and a gold lame sweater.

The audience give a rousing welcome back standing ovation.
“Good morning, Blog Studio Audience! I’ve enjoyed my three month vacation over the holidays. We had a love-filled Thanksgiving and Christmas. Taking time to spend with family is a cherished gift.

Hey, how about that band! Aren’t they great?”


“Let me tell you one good thing—the writer’s strike isn’t going to affect our production schedule.”


“Today, I’m honored to present a multi-published Christian author and renowned speaker, Gail Gaymer Martin. Here is the cover of her newest release, WRITING THE CHRISTIAN ROMANCE.”


“Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome…GAIL GAYMER MARTIN!!!!”


CAROL ANN: Gail, I’m so pleased that you could take time out of your busy schedule to stop by the Blog Studio. I’ve been anxiously awaiting this interview.

GAIL: Thank you, Carol Ann. I’m honored to be here. What a great audience!


CAROL ANN: Tell us about you and about your new release.

GAIL: I started writing fiction in 1997 and sold my first novel in 1998. Since then I’ve sold 40 novels and have over one million books in print. Before fiction, I began writing for publication in 1994. My first worship resource book, Kneel Before the Babe, was contracted in 1995, and since then I’ve sold 23 worship resource books, many hundreds of articles for national Christian magazines as well as devotionals and some poetry. God blessed most everything I’ve written with sales. My first novel sale was to Barbour Publishing and the next was Steeple Hill. I continue to write for both publishers, but I’m looking for a home for some of my longer books.

I actually have two new releases. Family In His Heart is a Steeple Hill Love Inspired January release that received 4-1/2 stars from Romantic Times. The book is the last of the Michigan Islands novels. This one is set on Drummond and the Les Cheneaux Islands in Michigan’s upper peninsula.

The second book is Writing the Christian Romance, and though this book focuses on Christian romance and how it differs from secular romance novels, it covers many of the basic elements of good writing. It is eleven chapters that covers: understanding the romance genre, creating characters, developing the hero and heroine whether Christian or non-Christian, understanding a variety of POV and how to use them effectively, creating real emotion and using the senses to enhance emotions and characterization, understanding the differences between sexuality and sensuality in Christian romance, techniques to present spirituality in Christian romance, dialogue, introspection, plotting and pacing a romance and finally preparing a book proposal. This chapter also covers writers’ organizations and conferences that focus on Christian romance, and how to find an agent. Each chapter ends with a set of exercises to help the writer practice what was learned.

The book can be ordered on Amazon. Here’s the link: Click HereMy prayer is that this book will be a help to non-published and published authors as they hone their craft to write the best book they can for their readers and for the Lord.

CAROL ANN: A book that shouldn't be overlooked. Sounds like there is something for everyone. I ordered my copy already. I can't wait to receive it. As a writer, I'm sure you have many deadlines to meet. How do deadlines affect you?

GAIL: Writing for multiple publishers makes deadlines complicated. I try to leave a span of six months between my category romance books which allows me time to work on other projects, and I try to balance all of that between travel and my music involvement which is extensive. I play handbells and handchimes for my church as well as sing with the choir and do small ensemble and solo singing there. I also sing with a well-known Christian group in the Detroit area, and we perform three or four series of concerts throughout the year. I’m also a speaker and workshop presenter so it’s a tenuous balance that only God can orchestrate. So far it’s always worked out but I will admit that things get very tense. I thank the Lord for my husband who seems to handle my crazy life and supports me in every way which means doing most of the cooking, grocery shopping and laundry.

CAROL ANN: Having a supportive husband is critical to success. You are a very busy woman! So with all this going on, how do you balance your writing life with your personal life?

GAIL: Professional writers must learn that it is natural to give up things to be a writer. My social life probably suffers the most. I miss many important things due to conference schedules and speaking engagements. I’ve missed family weddings and birthdays, family reunions and picnics. I don’t see friends as often and I’m more selective as to what I volunteer to do for any groups to which I belong. I don’t serve as an officer or on my church council which is something I did for years before writing. I also had to give up reading as much as I would like. I love books and have been an avid reader, but when on book deadlines back to back, something has to give.

CAROL ANN: So true. What do you do for inspiration?

GAIL: Worship is an inspiration to me. Hymn lyrics, stained glass windows, points in the sermon often inspire story ideas as do lyrics to popular songs (not all of them, naturally ). Travel is another source of inspiration for me. New places often trigger story ideas. News stories and feature articles in newspapers will inspire a story idea or plot line. It’s amazing how so many things touch me with ideas. My personal life and closeness to the Lord which is also an inspiration comes from travel, time for contemplation and the relationship with my husband who is a true gift from God.

CAROL ANN: That's wonderful. On a personal note, do you collect anything that you can share with us?

GAIL: I collect antique dresser trays that held the ladies hairpins. I often find matching hair reticules (covered dishes that hold strands of hair pulled out by a brush) and even powder boxes that match the pattern. I have a lovely collection. The hair, by the way, was saved so that it could be used to weave designs into pictures and put in frames. Very interesting. I’ve seen this at museums and historic homes.

I used to collect things with bunnies on them – but they began to multiply so quickly that I was overrun with bunny items (sort of like really bunnies) so I stopped collecting, but I still have a few favorites, especially the real ones that play in my yard.

CAROL ANN: How funny! I know how collection pieces can multiply quickly. Your antique dresser tray collection sounds interesting. I didn't realize that hair was used in weaving. I'll have to keep my eyes open for that the next time I visit the museum. As a writer and full time executive assistant, I sometimes find it hard to relax at night. What is your favorite thing to do to wind down after a long day?

GAIL: If I have time and quiet, I love to read, but I’m often tired of concentrating and using my eyes. So you can often find me sitting by the TV half-watching a program and playing computer solitaire or searching for free solo music with accompaniment. I’ve found some great songs that way.

CAROL ANN: Awesome. I'm not musically inclined, unfortunately, but music does help me relax. Let me ask you one last question. If you had the opportunity to appear on national television, what is the one thing you would share with the world?

GAIL: I would help them understand Christian fiction, and why it is so important to me to write in that genre. I believe it is an honor that the Lord has allowed me to be a witness to him through sharing a spiritual message in my books written to entertain. I believe Christian fiction is a solid balance between a entertainment and a faith takeaway for readers.

CAROL ANN: The Christian fiction market is growing. I encourage any author to purchase your newest book. The cover is beautiful, and I'd be drawn to the book on the shelf just by the cover. Gail, where can readers find more information about you and your books?

GAIL: My website offers a first chapter excerpt on all my books as well occasional reviews. I also have a personal blog which talks about my life, my writing and my faith. If you google my name — Gail Gaymer Martin — you’ll be overwhelmed by so many places, you can find information about me on other people’s blogs, websites and more.

CAROL ANN: Would you share the web links, or email with my blog readers?

GAIL: My website is and besides book covers and excerpts, people will find pages called For Writers with many articles, workshop logs, and Frequently Asked Questions about writing and getting published. If you enjoy cooking, I have a section called Gail's Kitchen. My blog site which focuses on my life, career and faith is I also am part of the Christian Author Network and write a marketing blog each Monday, and I have a website and blog on ShoutLife at

CAROL ANN: Gail, thank you so much for sharing with my Blog Studio audience. It’s been a pleasure having you with us.

GAIL: Thanks so much, Carol Ann, for inviting me to this interview. I wish you and all your blog readers a blessed 2008.




Monday, January 07, 2008

Whoops, I Feel Bad...

about what happened tonight. The long-awaited BCS game is on and my husband's OSU team is playing. Anticipation has been high all day for this event. After coming home, I sat at my computer and skimmed through emails. I sent a couple and on the third, I got an error. Decided to see if my server was down, and couldn't connect to the internet. Uh-oh. We have bundled service. Picked up the telephone. Nada.

Looked at the modem lights. Ugh. Tried disconnecting and reconnecting. Nada.

Woke up hubby and told him the problem. Now, the last time something like this happened was right at the middle of another big championship game. Our cable company said that we had an outage. But the next day we were still without service. They sent out a tech...only to find a neighbor had stolen our cable service!

So, we went out to check at the box. The cable company has never secured the cover, so anyone can mess with the cables. Sure enough one of the cables was disconnected. We couldn't tell which was ours, so I went inside, used my cell and called the cable company.

"There is an outage in your area." Hmmm. Supposedly a tech was working on the problem. Can you understand why I was a bit skeptical?

I started to make dinner and suddenly I heard the television come on. I yelled downstairs to hubby who said, "I went out and connected that loose cable and decided to try the television and now it works." Sure enough internet services and telephone were restored. So much for the supposed "outage."

Angry and determined to call another cable company tomorrow, I called customer service again. Got a different operator, who was much nicer than the first. I told her I wanted to lodge a complaint. Explained the problem and how we'd solved it. She was very understanding, and entered a special service order to have a technician come out tomorrow to investigate the vandalism. Feeling a bit better, but still not trusting her comment that "It must have been a coincidence that the service was restored at about the same time we reconnected the cable."

Hubby and I talked and he decided to go out and remove the cable to see what happened.

Um, everything still worked. Coincidence? Yep. And boy, do I feel bad. LOL! But at least we'll get a technician out tomorrow and hopefully he'll secure that box so no one can get inside it again.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Fly Away...A Grandmother's Pride...and Sorrow

My daughter called today to tell me that my grandson was sworn into the Air Force today. He's only seventeen and will graduate the end of May. Two weeks later, he'll begin basic training. What happened to the little boy who used to amuse me with his grown up words and sense of humor?

Is this the same boy who made black belt in Tae Kwon Do?

I remember seeing a child breaking boards with his head and concrete blocks with his hands. Now he's a man. A man old enough to fight for his country.

Andrew and Julie (Andrew's mother)

So today, my grandmother's heart is proud of the strong man, but sorrowed at losing the little boy.

Fly, Eagle, Fly!

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Working...but Sick

Most workplaces have a policy where an employee must work the day before and the day after a holiday in order to be paid. My company is no exception. However, we can schedule vacation days and still get paid for the holiday.

BUT, if you are sick, you must work or you won’t be paid. So, today I had to go to work with a stomach virus and perhaps gave the virus to other co-workers I came in contact with. If not for the Alka Seltzer every four hours, I couldn’t have made it through the day.

We also cannot use sick days to care for a sick child or spouse. So when my hubby goes in for his heart scope, I have to take a vacation day. And if he has to have surgery, then I have to use my vacation days to be with him in the hospital.

I’m a firm believer in companies not offering sick days. They should offer vacation and sick as personal days and allow an employee to use them as needed. It’s a mental thing. Using a personal day instead of a vacation day makes no difference in the scheme of things, but it feels better to take a personal day than a vacation day. Now, that sick day after the holiday…that’s another story.

It snowed last night and with wind chill the temperature is in the single digits here in Central Ohio today. So far 2008 isn’t making me smile!

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Kindness Matters

Our Pastor gave a sermon last Sunday that inspired me to blog on the topic of kindness. When I was new to the internet and websites (a few years ago), I established a personal website and joined a group that tasked members to perform one random act of kindness (on the internet) each day. Imagine receiving a message in your guestbook or on your blog that simply made you smile. I had many angels give me messages that brought a smile to my heart, and I hope I did the same by the messages I left for others.

Today, our media seems intent on broadcasting “doom and gloom” events, rather than focusing on positive acts. It’s easy to become depressed over the state of the world. It’s easy to get caught up in griping and complaining. It’s easy to blame others for our own misery. And the cycle continues, infesting all those around us like a virus infiltrating our minds. Are you part of the problem? Do you see these attributes as part of your personality?

If you answered no, then you are a much better christian than I. If you answered yes, then you have the power to change your outlook. All it takes is performing an act of kindness. Kindness matters.

When was the last time you made a decision to add a bit of kindness to someone’s life? I’d like to task everyone who reads my blog to make a conscious effort to perform just one random act of kindness each and every day, whether in person or on the internet.

Make 2008 your year to make a difference in your life and in the lives of others! I’m signing up. How about you?

Happy New Year!! May God bless you and yours. Thanks for stopping by.