Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Life in the New Year

Gah! The holidays and work have really kept me away. I never intended to be absent from this blog for long periods of time, but it just keeps happening. I don't dare make a new year's resolution to post more because that will certainly only guarantee my prolonged absences as everyone knows resolutions never work.

So, what's a girl to do? Okay, while I mull that over I'll just give you a quick update...

So far, the book is doing really well! I've received many emails from readers who have read the book. Almost everyone has said it is a quick, easy read and they enjoyed reading about my love story, or rather "a story of love" as one reader put it.

I am really excited about the positive feedback I have received so far. I am anxious to see how well the book will do on Amazon, once it is released on January 12.

Meanwhile, all is well here. I was so blessed to have my whole family home for the holidays. We almost had a white Christmas, too, as it flurried and flaked most of the day, but very little accumulated. I am greatly looking forward to the first good snow when it will be time to go exploring with Maddie and our new dog, too.

Work is keeping me busy. I have the SOSEN newsletter to work on this week and another magazine I need to finish up by mid January.

Hubby's job is going well, more or less. He still hates it and wishes he could do something else, but he is just thankful to have a job, given his label. Things are starting to look up there, though, and he may be taking another position soon. We're all keeping our fingers crossed. He's put in 5+ good years there and it's about time they recognized him for his hard work.

Earlier this month, he was sent a letter from the ACIC that he was to report to the county sheriff's department to be re-photographed. He was photographed about a year ago, but I guess they're worried that he has changed his appearance so significantly that it warranted the new photos. He joked that maybe he should borrow what we now call my "Lynn Gilmore Wig", and I laughed at the imagery. Yeah, I'd like to see him in that wig!

So, he went down there sans wig and endured that degrading experience only to return home to find another letter from the ACIC with his VOR form in it. (Verification of Residency). Of course, they could not send these two letters together in the same envelope, so just a couple days later when he was off from work, he reported right back to the sheriff's department to fill out and hand over the VOR. They were, like, "weren't you just here?"

We consider ourselves lucky that he only has to do the VOR thing twice a year. It is just ridiculous that they didn't have enough of their ducks in a row to have him go down there and take care of both matters together at once. Oh well, not that it's all that surprising. Although the state has had my hubby on the state registry for more than a year, the county has yet to get their act together enough to get him on the local site. Not that I'm complaining, I'm certainly not, but I've been watching closely. I feel the time is coming soon, though. Since October, the number of registrants on the local registry went from 21 to 30 poor unfortunate souls. Not that I suspect that we have nine new criminals in our midst, no I fully suspect they've been here all along, but just now were added to the list. That's okay with me, I guess, since now I have nine new people to add to my newsletter mailing list! Thank you, County Sheriff's office, for making it SO easy for me to find new members of this horrible club!

My newsletter mailing list has grown, yay! Not that I mail out a whole bunch, I really don't, but I concentrate on the people in my area and I've added new names and addresses of people who have requested to receive the newsletter over the last year since I took on the job. Speaking of, if you would like to be added to the mailing list, please email me your name and address to lynn.gilmore13 [at] yahoo.com. I look forward to hearing from you!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Buttoning Up!

OK, folks, here's the button --------------->

Now you can order your copy of my book right here, right now, easy peasy! I will autograph your copy for you (as "Lynn"), if you like! Just click on the "Add Special Instructions to the Seller" link and post your request there.

Remember that 10% of your payment will be donated to http://www.sosen.org/! :)

And.... THANK YOU!!!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Wow Moment!

Oh My! They're here! They're here!

Pardon my girl-from-Poltergeist impression, but I can't help it. I'm excited!

See for yourself:
Two big boxes arrived today filled with copies of my book. Although this is my 2nd book published, this in many ways feels like a first. This one feels important. Now there is work to be done. I want to send these out to book reviewers and celebrities/politicians who want to help change the laws...

First and foremost, to close friends and family. They deserve it for sticking by us through thick and thin and for all their support. This book never would have been written if it weren't for them.

Eternal thanks to all of you!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Time to Buy a Blond Wig

Well, the book, Consensual Consequences: A True Story of Life with a Registered Sex Offender, is in print! :)


Here is a link: http://www.rdrpublishers.com/catalog/item/3014102/8346635.htm

The book is not yet available on Amazon as far as I know... but, 10% of all sales will be donated to www.sosen.org.

I have not yet received my first order of books, but I am anticipating their arrival. Any minute now... (tapping fingernails on desk...)

I have realized that I am unable to set up a way to market the books myself via my Paypal account since any payments made to me will show the buyer my real name and address. For someone who has gone to the trouble to write a book igcognito, that wouldn't work very well now, would it?

So, for now, I suppose I will have to disperse my load of books to just my friends and family, plus if I get any appearances on radio or even TV (hey, a girl can dream, can't she???) then I can take them with me to distribute in person. As long as I find a suitable blond wig, hat and sunglasses to wear, right?

Not that my identity is all that important. I'm afraid that if anyone were to go to the trouble to find out who I really am, they would be sorely disappointed. I am not a celebrity by any standard and will quite likely be happy the rest of my life if I never become one. My story in the book is true, every word of it. I did not elaborate one iota from any and all events that actually happened. I am no James Fray, believe me. (If you don't know who that is, Google him).

I also don't consider my story one that is all that remarkable, either. It is probably very typical in the life of any family across this country that lives with such a horrible label as "Registered Sex Offender". No one dies in the book and there are no Shawshank Redemption type stories in it either. Truthfully, I consider ourselves very lucky in many regards. We live in an area that (so far) has not proved to be problematic for my hubby and his status, plus he at least has a steady job, which is a miracle in itself. I know of many other such registered sex offenders who are not so lucky and who have suffered tragic deaths at the hands of vigilantes seeking revenge against someone who is basically just a harmless person.

Having said all that, I am hoping the book will shed light onto what it is like to have to live life in America as a registered sex offender or having one in your family. If you think the laws only affect the offenders and no one else, then think again. The atrocities put forth on our family is nothing short of incredibly unjust - especially for our eight year old daughter.

She was the very motivation behind this book. America needs to wake up...

Help spread the word, my friends!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Halloween and the Boogyman

If this isn't "punishment", then what is?


This is an article proposing barring sex offenders from celebrating and participating in Halloween.

I know that there are similar laws out there in other places, such as in Missouri:


I really don't understand this line of thinking. Are we Americans that naiive in thinking that if all sex offenders don't decorate their houses for Halloween and don't hand out candy we can let our children go trick-or-treating unescorted, perfectly safe?

When I was a child, my brother and I would go trick-or-treating with or without friends, but never with adult supervision. It's amazing we survived because we really didn't live in that great a neighborhood.

When I grew up and began having children of my own, I realized the potential dangers out there - not just creepy sickos but speeding motorists and kids getting lost or disoriented or scared or bullied by older kids out to cause havoc. I have always accompanied my children while trick-or-treating and when my two older girls got old enough to ask if they could go without me, I informed them that they were then too old to go trick-or-treating.

I believe it is the parent's responsibility to protect their children. I cannot imagine - and don't recall - ever seeing a young child trick-or-treating unescorted.

So, considering that, where is the danger if a child unknowingly visits the home of a sex offender while trick-or-treating? What is the offender going to do? Grab your kid and jerk them into the house with you standing right there? I hardly think so.

And suppose the offender has a family. A spouse and children who are excited about celebrating Halloween. What are they supposed to do? Not participate just because their family member is forbidden to celebrate? What if the children bring home handmade Halloween decorations that they made in school? Is it really fair to tell them they cannot put the decorations up on their house? Can you imagine the sad and heartbroken looks on their faces?

One woman posted on the first link above that people shouldn't marry sex offenders in the first place. I responded that sometimes they're already married when these laws go into effect and asked her if she thought they should get divorced and asked her if she thought that children of sex offenders should never have been born?

She at least acknowledged that it was a problem on both sides of the fence. I admit, I don't relish the thought of my child visiting the home of a sex offender on Halloween night, but I also can say with confidence that even if she did, nothing would happen because I would be with her. She is far less safe in other scenarios.

One person left a comment that I hadn't even considered. What if a non-offender person is away from home or just doesn't want to celebrate Halloween? Then, every person who passes by that home would then conclude that a sex offender must live there.

When we examine this proposal, what then do we really see? There is no need to protect children that are otherwise already protected by accompanying parents. All this law would do is PUNISH sex offenders AND their families. There have been absolutely NO reported incidences happening of a sex offender harming a trick-or-treating child on Halloween night. Where is the basis for this law?

Our U.S. Constitution says that we cannot continue to punish offenders once their time has been served and their debt to society has been paid. Now we are continuing to punish offenders - so far JUST sex offenders - and we are punishing people for crimes they may or may not commit in the future, which again is unconstitutional.

Just another nail in the coffin as American's rights are being stripped away.

Fortunately, for me and my family a law such as this would make no difference where we live. We are so rural that no one ever comes trick-or-treating at our home anyway. When I take Maddie trick-or-treating, I have to drive her to the nearest "neighborhood" which is about five miles down the road.

Even so, I'm against this proposal based on the principle alone. Hands down, the best way to protect the public is for them to be responsible enough to protect themselves AND their own children. No law could ever measure up to that kind of success.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Cherries Jubilee!

Well, folks, my book has just been sent to the printer. It is time to celebrate! :) Too bad I don't have any champagne or anything else to celebrate with. Hubby is currently asleep in his recliner, taking a power nap after digging a ditch for a french drain out front all morning. I can't even celebrate with him...

Funny, though, when my publisher called me today to tell me we are officially launching the book and that we should celebrate, I told her I didn't have any champagne, she told me she was going to eat some cherries. I have cherries, too, I told her, and so I just celebrated by eating a whole bowlful of them!

Anyway, as soon as I know when the book will be available, I'll be letting you know. Meanwhile, pass the cherries, please!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Drum Roll, Please!

OK, now that I sorta let the cat out of the bag, I might as well get it all out there on the table...

My book is titled Consensual Consequences: A True Story of Life with a "Registered Sex Offender". This book is about how I met my husband, our love story and our life together with his name listed on the sex offender registry.

This is the reason I am not using my real name and also the reason I've changed most of the names of the people and names of places in the book.
Our life is pretty ordinary outside of this one element, but unfortunately this one element has affected not only my husband's life, but my life and the lives of our children.

While my husband is guilty of his 1996 offense, I don't believe that he should be punished for his crime until his death. He is remorseful and paid his debt to society and yet the punishments keep on coming and he is not the only one in this family affected. Lawmakers want the public to believe that sex offender laws are not punitive (they are) and they want the public to believe that the laws help protect children (they don't).

My book is going to be 256 pages and is in the final stages now. I expect the manuscript and the cover to be sent to the printers any day now. It has been a long road writing this book, which I started composing more than a year ago. It has been an incredible journey, but one I would have gladly not needed to take. I have learned a lot and am much more informed now than I was before I met my husband; before, when I believed media's portrayal that every registered sex offender was a pedophile, pervert or predator.
Oh, the lies they tell!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Book Review: A Motion for Innocence

I finished reading A Motion for Innocence by Shaun Webb last night and I have to say this was a very compelling book. Shaun is a very good story teller and his book sheds light on living in the inside of a jail cell. At times, I felt as though I was reading Shawshank Redemption or The Green Mile, it is that good. Shaun is very descriptive of the life he has suffered since being wrongfully accused of a sex crime, his trial, jail sentence and life afterward living with the label of "registered sex offender".

If you can get past the minor grammatical and spelling errors, I'm sure you would love this book every bit as much as I did. I highly recommend it, and if you are interested you can visit this website at http://www.authorhouse.com/Bookstore/ItemDetail.aspx?bookid=71847 to order it or you can find it on Amazon. You have your choice of hardback, paperback or a downloadable PDF file. The downloadable version is an inexpensive $5.99.

I guess I should include a disclaimer to the effect that I do not know Shaun or work with/for him in any capacity, and I would not benefit in any way if you were to purchase and read his book. No, but you would. It's a great read.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"A Clue! A Clue!"

Well, hello again!

I have just sent off my typeset manuscript to the publisher for their final review and last minute edits. It is getting closer now!

I have just downloaded and have begun reading a new book called A Motion for Innocence by Shaun Webb. I am already starting to get into the book even though I have to overlook the many gramatical errors. (I really wish the guy had gotten the book properly edited) but it looks pretty good so far.

Another book I have in mind to read is called Failure to Protect by Eric S. Janus. I've got it on order at my local library and they'll call me when it comes in.

I might as well mention a third book I read a while ago of a similar topic called Once Fallen by Derek Logue. This book is very well written and very well researched and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in learning about our exceptionally flawed legal system.

If you figure out what these three books have in common then you'll have a pretty good idea what my book is about. There ya have it: A clue! :)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Patience is a Virtue.... right?

Well, hello there to those of you out there who may or may not be paying attention here...

So the summer pretty much came and went. It has been a flurry of activity around here since my last post, and now we're just ten days from the first day of school again. Ugh!

Maddie indeed did learn how to swim and has enjoyed proving it to anyone who is willing to watch. Watching her learn to swim has been pure and simple joy. Seeing her beaming face pop up out of the water with her wide happy smile and matching smiling sparkling blue eyes is something every parent wants to see as their child accomplishes something big; something like learning to ride a bike, climb a tree, or learning to swim. It just so damn awesome...

As time allows, I have been busy with work ~ working as professional graphic designer and also selling my own artwork at a variety of art and craft shows. I have another show coming up soon, over Labor Day weekend. No rest for the weary! I plan on taking lil' Maddie with me to the show, she is at that wonderful age--the age when she is much more independant but not yet a moody rebellous teen--the great age of childhood that I plan to relish every single moment.

Meanwhile, life seems to be moving forward and yet in some areas seem to be stagnating. We are wanting to move but haven't figured out a way to manifest that goal. My hubby's job situation has been very stressful and he would like a change, but for reasons I'm not ready to disclose just yet, it is virtually impossible to make such a change at this time.

I know I keep hinting at some big mystery, and I'm sorry, but I have my reasons. The day will come, and fairly soon, when the proverbial cat will be let out of the bag. I am waiting until the moment when I make the announcement about when my book is going to print and when it will be published. We have tentatively set a date for publishing, and the printer needs to have the book in hand a good four months in advance, and that deadline is looming fast.

In fact, it is my goal to have the book wrapped up and off to the printer before the end of the month, so please stay tuned!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Where the Buffalo Roams...

It is officially summer here. I don't care what day they say it's official... all I know is that A) school is out and B) it's hot. That's all I need to qualify this time of year as officially summer.

Yesterday, I took my daughter ~ who celebrated her 8th birthday last month ~ to the lake for a swim. Fortunately for us, we live very close to the lake. It's a mere 5 minute drive by car and it is usually a rather unpopulated lake during the week. We never go on the weekends which is when every other Tom, Dick and Harry goes ~ hooting and hollarin' and raising cane with their cases of beer. Uh, no thanks.

So, Maddie and I enjoyed our quiet visit to the lake, although the water was already a bit warmer than I would like. Maddie loves the water, and so do I. Growing up in Florida, I spent as much of every summer I could in the water ~ mostly in the local rivers and springs, but sometimes we'd get to go to the beach. Occasionally, just a run through the sprinkler would have to suffice, or we'd go wading in a nearby ditch or canal. We were kids, what did we know? We knew it was HOT and that was all that mattered.

I miss the beaches of Florida, I really do. Admittedly, there isn't much I miss about Florida other than my family, but the beaches are definitely the top of that very short list. The only other thing I miss about Florida are the many springs and campgrounds we visited every year on vacation. My all-time favorite is Juniper Springs, but I spent a lot of time at Lithia Springs. I actually had two monumental experiences at Lithia: One being I lost my virginity there and the other one being that was where we sprinkled my step-dad's ashes after he passed away.

I love the water, and feel very comfortable on it or in it. I want to share that with Maddie. Although we do visit the lake or go up to the Buffalo River as often as we can every summer, it is never nearly enough. Even though Maddie is now 8 years old, she still does not know how to swim.

Next Monday, though, she begins her two week course of swimming lessons. I'm hoping that will help get her started on the right path. Ironically, next Monday is also my step-father's birthday and if he were alive today, would be turning 74. Happy Birthday, Dad...

Tomorrow, my hubby and I are planning to take Maddie up to the Buffalo River for the day. It is supposed to be sunny and hot. A perfect recipe for a perfectly refreshing dip in some very cold water. I'm really looking forward to it. It's our first visit up there this season, and we plan to return many more times before summer ends.

We have a lot of busy things planned this summer, so we'll just have to see how many times we make it up there. We will not be camping on the Buffalo for our vacation this year ~ the first year ever since my hubby and I met. We always go, but this year, we're going on a road trip to Pennsylvania to visit family instead. That'll be really different for us...

Maybe once we return, though, we might be able to swing a short vacation up at the Buffalo anyway. We're keeping our fingers crossed. A summer without camping on the Buffalo would be a sad thing indeed. I almost feel as though it is necessary to our survival. The Buffalo is such a magical place and it calls our name. You just haven't lived until you've spent some time on the Buffalo River.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Row of Ducks

Just taking a moment to catch my breath. I am leaving town in the morning for an arts and crafts show and I will not return until Sunday night. I am all packed and ready, but I am tired! It is good to have all my ducks in a row and I am hopeful that I will have a good show and make many sales. I am praying for good weather also. People don't like to attend arts and crafts shows in poor weather...

My sweetie and our daughter are already asleep. He has to work and she has school in the morning. I am seriously considering turning in also. Tomorrow is another day!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Well, hello to those of you "out there"...

I have a wee bit of news. I am very excited to report that I have changed publishers for my book. In talking with the publishers at IFWG, we mutually agreed that I would probably not be satisfied with their services due to the fact that they could not print or market the book in the way that I wanted.

I have a new publisher now, and they are very excited to be working on my book. I have worked with this publisher before and have a good working relationship with them, and I trust them implicitly with "my baby".

This is my 2nd book that I'll be publishing, but due to the fact that I am using an alias for this new book, I will not disclose the title of my first book that was published in 2009. It is not all that important to note, anyway, since my first book was in a completely different genre.

The genre of this new book? I don't even really know what category to put it in. It is non-fiction, and it is a very personal story about me and my family, dealing with a very troubling situation in today's world. I will be talking more about the book, and giving you more than these tiniest of details, but for now.... I just enjoy keeping the mystery going... :)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Decisions, decisions....

While we have been awaiting the proof of the first issue of True Voice Magazine, I have been finishing up the design of my own book. But.... I have run into a few snags. It seems the publisher and I are not really able to see eye to eye regarding the terms of the contract and he has suggested that I try looking elsewhere before agreeing to sign with him. Perhaps he is right.

This publishing company is fairly new and fairly small and I feel that my book is important enough to warrant a more experienced publisher. Having said that, though, I really don't want to go elsewhere because the level of enthusiasm over my book from this publisher has been exceptionally wonderful. I am truly torn as to what I should do and feel like I am genuinely between a rock and a hard place.

I've come so far with the book, it doesn't seem right to rush through the final process now. I belong to a few writers forums and everywhere I posted a thread regarding my unique situation, I have been advised to seek out a better publisher.

I have thought about this all day... It is truly a dilemma and I want to do what is right. I guess I'll go ahead and query other publishers and/or literary agents to see if there is any interest. The topic of my book is highly controversial and I fully expect to receive both positive and negative reactions to it. It is a hot button issue that is surely going to ruffle some feathers.

I may chose to self-publish. Having done that once before, I am familiar with the process and am quite comfortable with the idea. Where I really need help is in the marketing area, but there are all kinds of tools and informative sites out there to help with that, also.

We will see what the good Lord has in store for me, and for my family. We have seen all sorts of adversity so far, so really, what's a little more...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Announcing True Voice Magazine

On the verge of something big...

Well, it feels like that, anyway. It might seem like small potatos to you, but we are just about to publish our first issue of True Voice Magazine. This has been a project that a small select group of people have been working on for months. My responsibilities on this project has been to design and lay out the magazine and we are at 67 pages, which isn't too bad for a first issue.

If you are interested in learning more about the magazine, visit http://truevoiceonline.com to check it out. This is a magazine focused on civil and human rights for all, a topic that is close to my heart. Through the years, I've watched as lawmakers continue to pass ridiculous laws that negatively affect thousands of people and their families. I feel it is important that we don't let the legislators and media brainwash us Americans into thinking that everything they do is in our best interest, which in fact, our rights are being taken away one by one, in very small increments, so small that most of us aren't even aware of it happening.

I would anticipate the first issue of True Voice Magazine to be published on May 16, so stay tuned and I will let you know.

Meanwhile, my book is making some good progress. It is in the process of being edited by my first editor, then it will go on a second editor before being finalized and ready for print.

Otherwise, life on the mountain is pretty normal here, except to say we had some pretty bad storms this morning, storms that went on to create much havoc and damage with tornados in parts of Mississippi. I am so sorry for all those people who have lost their homes today...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Another Wii-son to Love Wii

Like my title? Yeah, I came up with that myself.

A few days ago, I received an email from Netflix that members with a Wii game system can now use their system to watch Netflix movies instantly on their TV. I clicked on the button to send me a disc for the Wii and it arrived yesterday.

So far, we have used it to watch two movies. I love my Wii, but now I love it even more! No more hassle hooking up the laptop to the TV to watch Netflix instant movies on it.

Netflix is top notch. I gotta say, they are superb in customer service and continue to strive on their service every day. I am always amazed that I can mail a movie back at 4:00 in the afternoon one day and by 6 a.m. the next day, Netflix receives it in Little Rock and sends me an email telling me they are sending another one out the same day. Considering how rural we are, this is an amazing feat!

I'm still playing the new SuperMario Bros on the Wii and it'll take me many more months, I suspect, before I can beat the game -- and that is with all the cheats I can find on YouTube and spending all my star coins watching the hint movies, and letting Luigi play the game for me. I would never describe myself as a "gamer" and it is quite obvious when you watch me, that I am NOT. I die a million times and wind up going through a course over and over and over again. I am NOT like these guys I see on YouTube who capture their first play-throughs on video and put it up online. Now, THOSE guys are players, and I have to wonder -- don't these guys have jobs? Lives?

Life? What's that? Who needs a life when you have 99 lives on SuperMario Bros...

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Busy Bee

Time has gotten away from me. I don't even know where it went. Perhaps I have been abducted by aliens. Ya never know...

So I'm still working on the magazine, and it is truly a labor of love. Either that or the nightmare project from hell. I've had some bumps in the road with the publisher. He is a great guy, but GAH, he is so sensitive to my constructive criticism regarding his own layouts. He is not a professional graphic designer, and maybe no one will notice that unless they are professional graphic designers, so to me his layouts lack the professional finesse that I would expect. I am trying not to be so critical. He really is quite creative, so I've learned to just STFU.

There are many of us working to pull this thing off, and truthfully I will be relieved when it goes to print and I will be surprised if there is a second issue. All of us who are working on it are not that experienced with producing a magazine, but this project means a lot to all of us, so we are all putting our hearts and souls into it. I am doing my part by trying to make it look as good as professional as possible.

Initially we had a publication date of April 15, which I knew from the git go that was a bit overzealous. Now, we're looking at May 15 and I'd say that is much more possible. It is really coming along now... I can actually see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Meanwhile, my own book is on the back burner. Oh, have I mentioned that? I wrote a book, yes. I will provide the details of the book at a later date. I am anxious to get it printed, but there is still some editing that needs to be done yet... All in good time I suppose.

Other than that, life on the mountain is still pretty nice and quiet. The daffodils have been blooming for a few weeks, my red bud tree is in bloom now, and next up will be the irises and dogwoods. I have several irises planted in my front yard, side yard and back yard. Ya think I like irises??? Next to orchids, they are my favorite flower.

And, we really should be getting our garden started...

Alrighty then. Until next time!

Friday, February 19, 2010

We Love to Wii

After that last snow, we had another, only this one brought with it about 11" of the fluffy white stuff. Remnants of that snow are still visible in places up here on the mountain, some two weeks later.

Now the temps are warming up a bit, and I wouldn't be surprised if we start to see tiny yellow daffodils poking up their curious heads any moment now...

I have been immersed in work these days, though. I haven't had much time to get out and enjoy nature like I would love to do. I have had some new projects come across my desk, not the least of which is creating a brand new magazine from scratch and learning how to design websites using Dreamweaver. Both have consumed a tremendous amount of my time.

When I'm not doing those things, my 7 year old has been insisting I Wii with her, playing the Super Mario game. Last weekend I bought a second remote to play with, and boy, we have been unstoppable ever since. I'm sure my poor dear hubby misses getting to watch all of his favorite TV shows when we keep interrupting him to play Wii.

He's such a gem about it, though, and even enjoys watching the two of us bumbling through the obstacle course on screen, often dying repeatedly. Thank goodness for those game-saving bubbles!

We inherited a flat screen TV from my sister in law, so today we used part of our tax refund to purchase a new entertainment center to set it on. When our 7 year old got home and saw the big TV hooked up, the first thing out of her mouth was, as I'm sure you've guessed,

"Can we play Wii?!?!?!"

You know we did.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Magical Day

Three days ago it iced and then it snowed. And not just a little, but quite a bit for the Ozarks. The last time I saw this much snow here on these mountains in the Ozarks, it was during our move into our new home here, almost seven years ago. The heavens dumped an impressive eight inches of the magical fluffy white stuff here and my seven year old and I have been thoroughly enjoying it.

Yesterday she and I ventured out and explored. I grabbed my camera and snapped off a grand total of 85 pictures. We ventured slightly beyond the backyard, back behind the garden and towards the edge of the bluff. We walked along the bluff for a short distance and observed white patches of snow blanketing the fields of the distant valley.

We turned around and stopped and visited my sister-in-law who lives next door. As we were talking, I noticed tiny footprints in the fresh thin layer of snow on her covered porch.

I was so struck by the imagery, I marveled at the precise detail left behind by the small visitor.

From there, we wandered out to the road and then over to our Secret Pond and then beyond there stepped out into a field of tall glass grass, bent over in a permanent wave. My seven year old enjoyed bulldozing her small body through the waves of grass, breaking the ice which sounded exactly like champagne glasses breaking. I could tell that she enjoyed the activity very much; that it was very satisfying to her.

From there, we meandered back through the woods, and stopped to visit the Secret Creek, which runs off from the Secret Pond. There were many small waterfalls gurgling and churning as the water made it's way down towards the hollow.

We eventually made our way back to the house, but we agreed we couldn't wait to go out again today.

Today, we went for a really long walk. We tromped through the woods until we made it out to the road on the other side, and went down the road for a bit. We went about half a mile or so, down a hill, past another creek and back up the other side and we came upon a trail that led into the woods. I had been on this trail before, twice, a long time ago while walking with one of my other daughters on our many walks together years ago. The trail led straight back into the woods. Eventually we came to a small clump of young trees all bent over with ice and snow, which created a sort of small canopy. We climbed under it and I couldn't help but to feel a sense of wonder at the quiet intimacy of the natural setting created by the snow and trees. I looked around and observed the smooth virgin snow all around us. Nothing had disturbed it since it fell three days ago. All of life was temporarily suspended, as if someone has pushed the Pause button on nature. Sounds were muffled also. I felt for just one moment, that we were off in some far distant land way up north where no man had ever been. It was a fantasy, really, I know, but the feeling of awe and admiration for nature was very real. I felt truly connected to the earth and sat there mesmerized by the beauty all around me, until my seven year old roused me from my thoughts and asked that we go on.

We continued on until we came upon a clearing where visitors sometimes go to camp. There, the area had been just as undisturbed as the areas in the forest had been. We spent a few moments there before leaving to return in the direction we had come. I watched as my seven year old skipped ahead of me, obviously enjoying our outing as much as I was.

When we returned home, I inflated one of our innertubes from our summer float along the Buffalo River and pulled my daughter on it back and forth along the driveway. It is truly ironic, but we have no sledding hills. Although we live on a mountain amongst many hundreds more mountains, our moutains are all pretty level on top, and where there are slopes, the slopes are too steep, too rocky and way to dangerous. We make do with what we have.

Eventually, we had to go back into the house so I could make dinner.

The rest of the day I kept thinking about that moment exploring in the woods. I feel as though God gave me a special gift today; one that I should remember and cherish for the rest of my life. It might seem simple to you, but to me, a day with snow is a magical day and I truly feel blessed and genuinely feel like when I came upon that stance of young trees bent over the snow, I found a really special place.

We all need to have a special place now and again. I am happy to say that I have many of them here. I love life in the Ozarks... Life on the mountain.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Wanna quit smoking? Just kill yourself!

Have you noticed the rash of drug commercials on TV lately? My hubby and I are often astounded as to the number of side effects each drug may have, and we are left scratching our head as to why anyone would choose to take such drugs if the side effects are worse than what they're taking the drug for.

Take Chantix for example. This is a new drug on the scene to help people quit smoking. Sounds great, doesn't it? A drug that can actually help smokers quit? A dream come true! My hubby is a smoker and would love nothing more than to quit, but he admits his desire for smoking still overpowers his desire for quitting, so he still smokes.

Chantix lists a whole bunch of negative side effects, and some of them are really eye-popping. Changes in behavior, hostility, agitation, depression, anxiety, panic, aggression, anger, mania, abnormal sensations, hallucinations, paranoia, confusion and suicidal thoughts or actions.

Suicidal thoughts??? For real? Good grief! Sure, you'll probably kill yourself, but you'll at least stop smoking! Yeah, that's really something we all want to strive for! As a non-smoker, I think I would rather take up smoking than to risk my life taking this drug.

Nah, give us a drug that has positive side effects. Right? How about a drug that makes you happy, easy to get along with, relaxed, mood-boosting, blissful, cheerful, contented, delighted, ecstatic, joyful, elated, grateful, jolly, jubilant, thrilled and satisfied with life? Doesn't that sound like a better drug to take?

Actually, there is one that will do most of those things, but, sadly, it is illegal. And this is another head-scratcher for me. Why do they make drugs like Chantix legal and drugs like marijuana illegal? I don't get it. Wouldn't the government prefer the people to be happy and satisfied with life than disenchanted and suicidal?

I don't smoke pot. I have in the past, but I haven't for many, many years. But, I think I probably would enjoy a good toke once in a while if it were legal to do so. Like a lot of people, I'm just playing the waiting game. A friend of mine once told me that they were able to quit smoking cigarettes simply by smoking pot.

Now, if you want a drug to help quit smoking, there ya go!


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Curiosity of Dreams

Do you dream in color? Do you remember your dreams? Are they prophetic? Do you dream about people you've loved that have passed on? Do you have themed dreams; dreams in which you have the same recurring theme over and over again?

I have been giving the topic of dreams a lot of thought the last few days. I always dream in color, and most of the time I remember my dreams - some better than others. Occasionally I have a prophetic dream and I also occasionally dream about loved ones who have passed away.

But, most of all, I have recurring dreams. Over and over again. I have three general themes that have recurred many times throughout my life.

1) I've had a LOT of tornado dreams, but I haven't had one lately. I have always held a fascination with tornadoes and even saw one once, a tiny one, swirling around up in the sky before it dissipated into nothing. I've never experienced a tornado - and hope I never do - but the dreams about them are quite real and vivid. I read that dreams about tornadoes suggest that "I am experiencing extreme emotional outbursts and tempter tantrums" or if I see several tornadoes (which I often do) represent "people around me who are prone to violent outbursts and shifting mood swings or could symbolize a volatile situation or relationship." Well, that's a bunch of hooey. No one close to me behaves even remotely close to this manner, including myself. I think I dream about tornadoes because I like tornadoes. I do tend to dream about them more in the spring, when it is more likely to have them around in real life.

2) I dream about just moving into a brand new house. Not just any house, but a really spectacular and extraordinary work of architecture and I am always amazed as I walk around and look around the rooms that this is my new home. The houses are always different, sometimes modern, sometimes contemporary, sometimes Victorian, but the general theme is always the same. Incredible colors and impeccable interior design and amazing ceiling heights and sweeping staircases. Definitely homes out of a fantasy land. I am always sad when I wake up and realize I am still in my humble abode. I can't really find an appropriate translation to this dream, so I leave it as is, and consider it just my desire for bigger and better things - which we all have.

3) Now this one is weird, and this is the theme I dream about the most. I am always needing to find a public restroom and either the restroom is not private enough, or the stalls aren't private enough, and sometimes the toilets are really out of place in unusual places and sometimes they are quite nasty or dirty. Not all the time though. Sometimes I have to go so badly I don't care and use a nasty toilet anyway (which I would never do in real life). This theme recurs at least three or four times a week. I understand that bathroom dreams are quite common though, and I found this translation to be especially interesting:

"To dream that you are in a public restroom with no stalls signifies your frustration with not getting enough privacy. It may also indicate that you are having difficulties letting go of old emotions. You are afraid that if you reveal these feelings, that others around you will judge and criticize you."

This definitely relates to me. And, this very thing was part of the motivation behind starting this blog. I do feel as though I will be judged and criticized and I definitely have issues of privacy. My husband does too, maybe even more so. We are both private people, but we are thrust into a situation currently that prevents us from being as private as we'd like. I'm really not ready to go into that just yet, but in due time, I'm sure. This blog is my way of opening myself up and getting myself out there - not with people I know (yet), but with people who just happened to be "passing by" on this virtual blog block (if that even happens, I'm not sure...)

All I know is my husband does not have these bathroom dreams, but I do. I ALWAYS wake up with an intense need to pee. So, I don't know if this theme is so much the privacy issue as it is my bladder telling me to WAKE UP so I can GO!!!! NOW!!!

Honestly, I am amazed I have never wet the bed.

Being 46 years old is interesting. I must get up at least twice a night to go. Thank God my bathroom is less than ten steps away. I shudder to think how cave women used to have to deal with it. Doesn't sound like my idea of fun.

So, now that it's late, I'm off to bed. Wonder what I will dream about tonight?


Monday, January 18, 2010

Home Again...

Ah, it's good to be home. We had a nice weekend in Little Rock and I have been home for most of the day. I had to catch up on all the email I'd missed, and generally just chill out. It's been a quiet day, but I have much work ahead of me, especially since I had no one to "fill in for me" while I was gone. I have several projects in the works, some very exciting things on the horizon!

My sweetie clearly missed me, and our daughter. He is SUCH a family man. He somberly talked about eating leftovers while we gone, while we dined at our favorite restaurants. He doesn't like having the house all to himself, well, him and the cats. We don't usually let the cats sleep with us, but when I'm gone they sleep on the bed with my hubby. He lived for such a long time as a bachelor that he had "gotten his fill" of that and loves having his family around. It is so obvious and so clear to me that he values his family - us - very, very much. I feel so blessed!

Tonight I have a conference call, and if it weren't for that, I'd just go to bed. I hate to miss an episode of Heroes though, but I can just watch it online tomorrow. The previews looked very interesting. Sylar kissing Claire? WTH????

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Skipping Town

Oops, skipped a couple days... and I'm gonna keep this one short. I have muffins baking in the oven and my 7 year old and I are getting ready to leave for the weekend. We are going to visit her sisters in Little Rock. We're looking forward to it. It'll be nice to get away for a little while. Maybe we'll take in a movie, or go out to eat.

The weather has warmed up and the pond across the road is starting to thaw out. The local newspaper featured a photo of ice skaters playing hockey on another local pond and I was struck by the image. I thought ponds freezing over enough to ice skate on only happened up north. We sure have had some really cold weather! I don't even think you can buy ice skates locally around here. I would probably have to buy them on line. Sure is tempting... I've done a lot of roller/ice skating in my life, but my 7 year old has never been on skates. I wonder if there is a rink in Little Rock? I will have to find out...


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Pain in the Neck

It was a pretty uneventful day here. My 7 year old was actually awakened by the cat before it was time to get up for school, so this morning went flawlessly compared with yesterday. Way to go, cat!

It was sunny all day and no calves performed any Bambi impressions on the pond, which is a good thing as it appears to be a wee bit thinner now with the warmer weather.

I spent a good portion of the day on the phone between my health insurance carrier and the people with the Arkansas Breast Care program. I spent so much time on hold my neck started hurting and now I feel like I need to go to the doctor for the pain in my neck caused by my insurance company. It's a vicious cycle.

I was attempting to find out if I can still qualify for the breast care program even though I have insurance and after all that time on the phone, I got absolutely nowhere. I wound up being kicked into someone's voice mail and wound up just leaving a message. No one has returned my call yet.

I understand that the breast care program has suffered budget cuts, I get that. I just learned about a new organization called the 7 Ribbons Project that will be assisting with the Arkansas Breast Care program as well as many other fine and worthwhile causes. Yay!

The 7 Ribbons Project is currently accepting donations to help the people of Haiti recover from a devastating earthquake that just happened. My heart goes out to those people. The 7 Ribbons Project is a new organization but they are doing great work already.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Bambi Impression

Today was a typical Tuesday for the most part. My 7 year old decided to give me a major stink fit this morning getting up and ready for school. She is SOOO not a morning person. Sigh! We had words. I took away her computer priveledges for this evening. After dinner my hubby and I sat her down for a talk. We worked out a few things, so now we'll see how it goes tomorrow morning.

Other than that, it was a quiet day. The phone rang only once, shortly before noon, and it was my daily call from my mother, who lives in Florida. She checks in with me every day. Sometimes I have things going on and have to cut the call short, but most days we enjoy our midday chats and I dread the day when I won't have them anymore...

Our weather is finally warming up, so the snow is about 95% melted but the pond across the street is slow to thaw out. The farmer has been back with a shovel to break up the ice again, but it just refreezes overnight. This afternoon I watched in horror as a young calf made a very good Bambi impression, slipping and sliding all over the ice. I was so afraid he'd break through the ice and drown. He was way out in the middle of the pond! I was prepared to bolt for the pond if I had to, but he managed to slip and slide back over to the edge, where he did break through, but it was shallow enough that he just got out. Whew! That was a close one. I have no idea how I would have saved him if I had to, but I was sure ready to try. I'm just amazed that the pond was that frozen. I've never seen it that solid before.

Too bad we don't have any ice skates!


Monday, January 11, 2010

I'm Just a Mystery Woman

Well, it's the third day and I see I still have no followers. I am doing an experiment. I am purposely NOT telling anyone I know about this blog to see how long it takes for strangers to start following me. I am not advertising my blog in any way, and have no plans to. For now, this blog is by me and to me. I could write about anything. I could even write about very private things and still wonder if anyone will take notice. Will anyone raise an eyebrow or two?

I don't think I'm brave enough to post anything juicy just yet. Might not ever be. After all, there's a reason we call some of the things we do "skeletons in the closet," right? It just wouldn't sound right if we said "skeletons in the living room" or "skeletons out on the front lawn." Would you, the reader, (when and if you ever show up) want your skeletons out where everyone could see them?

Probably not!

I do have some skeletons, who doesn't? Nothing too terrible, I assure you, nothing really out of the ordinary for a modern American wife and mother would have, really. But there is one significant thing, and I'll get into that later. I'll tell you this though, Lynn Gilmore is not my real name. I am using an alias.

You might be wondering why I would use an alias. Well, I'm not quite ready to tell you that yet. It's just kinda fun. Don't we all sometimes wonder what it would be like to be someone else? So, for now, let's just keep they mystery going, shall we? You don't need to know my real name, do you? Do I know yours? Nope, you are as much a stranger to me as I am to you...

Doesn't this sound kinda fun?


Sunday, January 10, 2010

If Only Life had a Green Exclamation Point Box Once in a While

Well, I see no one noticed my first blog post, so I'll post a second. I wonder how many posts it will take before anyone takes notice. Will I win a prize? Some star coins maybe???

I just spent the last hour playing Super Mario on Wii, so I'm still hearing the Mario music in my head and I still have star coins in my eyes. Boy, is that game hard! Being a 46 year old mom, I'm not your typical "gamer" - actually, I'm not a gamer at all, really, so I guess it must be harder for me than it is for some... This game looks like something I will never be able to beat, not without Luigi's help anyway. Thank God for those green exclamation point boxes!

I guess I should tell you a little bit more about me. I spend most days at the computer. I visit forums, I skim through the news, check emails and oh yeah, I try to actually work. It is easy to forget to do that, especially since I work at home and don't have some pontificating boss to stand over me and shake their holier-than-finger at me. When I work, I earn money, or at least try to, and when I don't work, I don't earn money. It is my choice. Thankfully, I've managed to keep paying my bills and I have a wonderful husband that supports this family.

I work as both a graphic designer and an artist, and try to spend a good portion of each day doing both. The graphic design work pays better but admittedly the artwork is much more creative and satisfying. Between the two, I manage to pay the bills and have enough money to keep buying supplies for the business. I very rarely have to buy anything for the graphic design work, thank God!

Like I said before, I am married. I have a wonderful loving husband who is devoted to me and the kids in a way I rarely see men are. We married each other late in life, I was 38 and he was 39. He had never been married before, but I had just gone through a divorce after 16 years of marriage. My first husband distanced himself from the kids and me in favor of a love affair with Jesus (and an online girlfriend that I didn’t find out about until later) and as a result I lived a very lonely existence. You might think I should have followed him into his faith, but being raised Jewish, I was just not comfortable with that. The more my ex tried to shove Christianity down my throat the more I rebelled against it. I grew to hate Christianity simply because he was so hell-bent on converting me.

Needless to say, it was a very unhealthy lifestyle for me, and for the greater portion of that marriage I literally felt like I was the living dead; like I was a zombie.

I met my current husband just three days after my first husband and I split. I think I would have enjoyed a life as a single mom, but I like to think God had other plans. I really do believe that everything that happened in my life up until that moment had directly pointed me into the arms of my current husband. When I think of how many choices I had; how many turns I had to make in order to get here, it could have just as easily gone a different direction. No telling where I'd be today!

So, now we've been married for over eight years, and will have known each other exactly nine years the day after tomorrow. As important as our wedding anniversary is, the anniversary of when we met is even more important to me in many ways. Without that meeting, there would be no wedding anniversary to celebrate every year.

Together we have a seven year old daughter. She was a "surprise" as you can imagine. Although she was not planned, we are so very blessed to have her in our lives. She is highly intelligent and does exceptionally well in school. She is strong willed and she loves to entertain us with her sense of humor and fun loving approach at life. She has endured a few challenges and continues to remain every bit as optimistic about her future as I could ever hope she would be.

She enjoys playing games on the computer and we spend many hours each day side by side; her on the old Dell desktop from 2001 and me on my 2008 laptop. Sometimes we'll watch YouTube videos together, or play games together.

We live in the country, as you can imagine, with "Life on the Mountain" as the title for this blog. We live in a remote area of the Ozark National Forest, roughly some 1800 feet above sea level. Granted, it's not Mount Everest, but it's high enough that on a clear day you can see the distant valleys, mountains, lakes and rivers. It is quite a view.

It is very quiet here, but occasionally we'll hear the sound of a gun going off as hunters are known to hunt in the area. When I used to live in the city, I never could quite get used to hearing the sound of gunshots, but those gunshots were going off for different reasons, and that to me, was scarier than what I hear now.

We have a pond across the dirt road where we can watch the cows come in and drink. In the summer, they'll get into the pond all the way up to their necks to cool off. Even in the winter, they'll get in up to their knees. They are curious creatures. Every time I walk across the road to get the mail, there they are. They stop whatever it is that they're doing just to watch me. If they're a little close to the fence, they'll back off, but most of the time, they stand still like statues and don't resume their mundane activities until I return to the house. Every year there is a new crop of calves and it astonishes me that some are born so early in the winter that I think they can't possibly survive, but somehow they do... Just yesterday, the farmer was out with a shovel trying to break up the ice on the pond so the cows could get a drink. It has been unusually cold, with temps below freezing and into the single digits - and even the minus single digits - for well over a week now.

We have the usual assorted wildlife. We get plenty of birds and squirrels, competing for food at my bird feeder, but we also get rabbits, possums and deer and we even get a bear once in a while. They come up to the garden and try to figure out a way to get through the fence to get into it. So far, they haven't been aggressive at all.

We also have another pond, buried into the woods just north of the house that we like to call our "Secret Pond" because few people know that it's there. The Secret Pond has a Secret Creek that runs off from it in wet weather. The creek meanders towards the edge of the bluff and down into the hollow. It's really pretty back in there.

We love Arkansas, there is so much to explore and see. We visit the Buffalo River as often as we can; it is just a short drive to get there. There are many beautiful sights; waterfalls and caves and we've seen a good many elk. We’ve gone on many hikes and some are so treacherous we’ve had to turn back. We’ve tried twice so far to see Hemmed-In Hollow but have had to turn back each time.

Yep, life on the mountain is good, but it would be good to get a free green exclamation point box once in a while…


Saturday, January 9, 2010

My First Blog...

Is there anybody out there?

I've never blogged before. I guess you can say I'm "late to the party," the blog party. Everyone is out there blogging away, wearing their party hats and drinking their punch, and finally, finally, I show up and everyone yells "surprise!" Or maybe no one will even notice I'm here. It doesn't matter. It's my party and I'll blog if I want to...

Since I'm new to the whole blogging scene, I admit, I must have spent, what, about 30 minutes just trying to come up with a title for the blog. Gee wiz, I thought, this is going to take some thought. I didn't know it had to have a title. It's kinda hard to title something that I don't even know what I'll be writing about yet... I didn't know what else to do, but I live on a mountain, so there ya go.

Actually, this is just a means to keep my typing skills fresh. I'll figure it all out as I go.

Off to a good start? Well, I hope so... Looks like someone has already donned a lampshade for a party hat. Oh yeah, this will be fun alright.