In which I contemplate how amazed I shouldn’t be

I keep telling people how amazed I am at my quick recovery from the evil back injury I suffered recently.

Monday 25th June, 10am. The last Monday of term. The doctor who was treating me said he thought I’d be immobile for two weeks, and he’d be able to get me back to ‘normal’ (mostly pain-free) mobility by the end of 5-6 weeks.

Shock doesn’t even remotely describe how I felt. But then again, I was also in childbirth-like agony at the time, and my brain cells weren’t firing anywhere near their usual capacity.

I left the doctor’s office and called my boss, relayed the news, emailed my colleagues. Put the diagnosis out on Facebook. Then I received message after message after message, from friends and family near and far, who offered their support – and their prayers.

I was touched. (And in agony. And tears – many, many tears.) But determined to do everything I could to aid the healing process. The doctor had said ‘ice’? I’d be the ice queen! He’d said ‘horizontal’? I wouldn’t move a muscle!

(Admittedly, the phrase ‘off work for the rest of the week’ did *not* mean that – ask my Mum, who watched me plough through marking paper after paper, responding to email after email, proofing and writing report after report, all in a horizontal position either facedown or face up, ten minute interval changes, non-stop, from 5am until 9pm-ish!)

And wouldn’t you know it, but by Friday 2pm I was back at school. On crutches, but vertical. Yes, you’re probably thinking, ‘stupid!’ but I’d missed the kids terribly and wanted to see them before they left on two-and-a-half-weeks holiday, pray with them and for them, and testify to them just how amazingly their prayers for me had worked. That I was vertical, and walking on crutches, and was amazed at my recovery – but SHOULDN’T HAVE BEEN!

Because I’d been holding fast to James 5:16. Especially the second part:

“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

Because I knew what the doctor didn’t – that the God who had made me, and who had let me go through this experience for His own good reasons, was able to heal me as well, for His own good reasons.

And He was doing exactly that! I should not have been able to be mobile – and yet, I was. And now, two weeks later, I should be starting to achieve pain-free mobility – and yet, I have it! Sure, sometimes it’s uncomfortable, but I’m just happy to be upright and without crutches 🙂

And in conversations with many, many, many others since then, I’ve been telling them how amazing my recovery has been – and then realising, over and over and over again, how amazed I should NOT be by this.

Wow, our God is an incredible God, isn’t He?

I hope you too, dear Reader, are having an AMAZING day today 🙂

And see you next week!

– KRidwyn

Sipping from the saucer #18

I work at a Christian school. The pastor of the church which established our school has a saying: “The LORD has blessed me so much, my cup is overflowing (taken from Psalm 23) and I’m sipping from the saucer.”

I like the visual, so I’m using it here, in this month-long blogging challenge focusing on the blessings God has poured out on me.

Today, blessing #18.

It’s a busy time of term (of semester, actually) at work – I’ve noticed I’m pulling more hours just to get things done, and the amount of time I’m spending staring at my laptop screen is just sad.

I’ve also noticed I’m wearing my glasses more and more. I can complete work faster if I’m wearing them, so they’re on my eyes while I’m at my desk, more often than not.

And I’m starting to realise just how much I’m relying on them. Not that that’s a bad thing; it’s probably just an ‘inevitable’ thing, instead. But no, it’s just that today I was thinking: I’m glad I have them. I’m glad I have the opportunity to put something on my eyes to assist me in doing the things I need (or want!) to do. So many? Don’t. I wouldn’t want to hazard a guess at exactly how many people there are in this world, who need assistance just to be able to see, but who can’t get that assistance for a variety of reasons.

So that’s what I want to thank my God for today. For the sense of sight. And even though it may not be what it once was, for the blessing I have of owning a pair of glasses which assist me to still read, and write, and… well, everything.

They’re pretty cool 🙂

Here’s wishing you a blessing-full day as well, dear Reader!

– KRidwyn

T is for ‘tepefy’

‘Tepefy’ is a verb, which means ‘to make or become tepid or lukewarm’.

And it’s a transitive verb, which means it can’t exist by itself but needs a noun to complete the action, just like ‘kick’ (the ball), ‘paint’ (the portrait) or ‘clean’ (the kitchen – ha!). So you’d ‘tepefy’ the bathwater on a frozen winter’s morning.

And its related noun is ‘tepefaction’. Which makes sense, when you think about it.

We need this word in more regular use in everyday life, don’t we.

Yes? Because the word ‘warm’, which seems to have replaced it, both as the transitive verb and as its related noun, seems too simple. Too quick, too easy.

Yes?

Any takers? Anyone out there agree with me? Yes? Anyone? Going… going…

gone.

Ergo, the disappearance of so many words…

Here’s to your day, dear Reader.

— KRidwyn

Q is for ‘quiet’

Which is what this blog’s been since… um… well, since the ‘P’ post, well over a week ago. But it feels like a month, indicative of just how crazy-busy my life has been since the last post.

To be truthful, that last post kinda scared me a little too. “P is for Power” means that I also have the choice to *not* post – to be lazy, to procrastinate, to pretend life is just too busy.

Well, right here, right now, it’s May 1st. I missed completing the final 10 posts of the #AtoZchallenge in April. My blog was dead quiet. Silent. As in, as the grave. Goodbye, dear April, I’ll never see you again. #AtoZchallenge, I failed you. I did not manage to post 26 posts during April.

April in my time zone, that is.

New challenge: finish them before May 1st worldwide!

Ready… set…

GO!

[And have a great day, dear Reader!]

— KRidwyn

When your kid is smarter than you

4066496185_9624123677_mSo it’s happened. My Miss11 beats me in chess. Regularly. So much so, that she doesn’t ask me for games anymore. Miss8 and Mr7 still do, but Miss11? Not so much.

I asked her if it was because I was too easy to beat. She hesitated before answering with, “Umm… noo….” – you know, the long drawn out variety of no which means ‘yes, but I don’t want to hurt your feelings.’

It’s sad, but I guess ’twas inevitable. You see, when it comes to chess, I have developed this theory: an older brain is less flexible, and therefore a younger brain will beat an older brain in chess any day of the week.

That’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it.

Plus, it makes sense, I think. Why else is it easier for young children to pick up languages etc? Because their brain is still maturing, working out which neurons should fire together, and all that jazz. But oldies like me, our brain paths are set in their ways. They like centre openings. They like castling around the middle of the game. They like set patterns of checkmates to follow. And when an opponent comes along who runs things differently, who shakes things up, it’s really rather frustrating.

So that’s my gripe for this week. She’s now better at me in something. And she’s knows she is, AND she knows I know.

Really, I’m okay with that.

It was bound to happen sometime. *sigh*

I just hoped it would have been much, much later!

Have a fantastic week, dear reader!

— KRidwyn

CC image courtesy John Morgan on Flickr

30 must-read books – #27

And from spies and courtroom dramas… to dystopian YA? Sure… why not?

I love Veronica Roth’s take on our future. Her writing style, too. And it’s impossible to divorce Theo James’ looks from the character of Four now… but really, who would want to?#bj28 #bj28aI should also mention here that I quite liked Suzanne Collin’s Hunger Games trilogy. Far more than Dashner’s Maze Runner take on it all – but then again, I really really REALLY don’t like zombies. (Here are my thoughts on Garth Nix’s Old Kingdom trilogy, which is the only zombie treatment to date that I’ve found bearable.)

But Divergent / Insurgent / Allegiant? Fantastic work. *Spoiler alert* Of course Tris had to die. And although her death took me by surprise; it was obvious in hindsight.

And that made purchasing and devouring ‘Four‘ all the sweeter.

And with *that* thought; I’m gone 🙂

See you tomorrow, dear reader!

— KRidwyn

 

30 must-read books – #7

Today’s my birthday. I’m 42. And I’m finishing these first seven ‘literary’ books with these two I discovered in the Garden City public library, three decades ago. I fell head over heels in love with the writing; with the story; with the characters. To me, the exquisite expression of the ideas in these novels, was perfection!

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Then they were returned, and life got busy. But the stories remained with me.

Fast forward a couple of decades. An older-me wants to read the stories again. But the passage of time has rendered me ignorant of the titles and author. And typing ‘dragon story’ into a google search would be fruitless. I give up.

Fast forward again, to mid-2015. Even-older-me has finished writing JUSTINE BROWNING #1 and is preparing to query agents, and reading similar novels to perhaps use as comparison titles. A PLAGUE OF UNICORNS by Jane Yolen strikes me as exquisite writing – so much so that when I see a copy of her novel A SENDING OF DRAGONS for sale, I purchase it to enjoy more of her writing.

I only make it through two and half pages before recognition hits.

This is Book Three in the series I read and fell in love with as a child! I hadn’t read it at the time, as it wasn’t published back then, but I’d found what I was seeking – the author, and the titles of the first two books!

And you know the best part of this story? My Miss11 has just bought me these two books as her birthday present to me. I’m so blessed!

Have a fantastic day, dear reader!

— KRidwyn

 

 

Writing Flash Fiction

Task: Write a story.

Limitations: Use 100 words (or fewer). Include the words: may, play, whee, brie, and quick. Submit within 48 hours.

My take on the task:

Daddy, quick – watch me slide! Whee!
Sally, four. All giggles, sloppy ice-cream kisses.

Daddy, please may I have Jaimee over to play?
My daughter, nine. Nudges and whispered secrets.

Daddy, I love you. Father’s Day, thirteen. No more under-the-table cubby-houses…

My own car? Thank you, Daddy! Squeals; hugs of gratitude.

An aisle; a walk; a bride on my arm. Tears, threatening, choked back. My heart too big for my chest.

These memories should be treasured forever.

But they’re ones I’ll never have.

The tiny limp body in my arms? My Sally?
Stillborn.

I curse the day brie was created.

 

Response by Flash Fiction contest judge and Queen of the Known Universe: Shortlisted!!! WOOT!!!!!

 

Happy writing, everyone 🙂

Attempt: a daily blogging challenge!

I mentioned a few weeks back that I missed blogging with my online friends during #blog12daysxmas because I’d lost access to my blog.

Well, I’m still feeling a lack of blogging mojo, so I’ve decided to join in a daily blogging challenge. It’s one that’s been running for quite a few years now, with hundreds of participants worldwide: the April A to Z challenge.

The blogging happens each day of April except Sundays, and on each letter of the alphabet, starting at A and finishing on Z.

People write on whatever topic they like: some of the categories of blogs include animals; culinary; craft; gaming; memoir; photography; politics; science; and sports, to name but a few.

There’s also a theme, to be released by the organisers in the near future. I’m not sure what I’ll be writing on yet.

Whatever I end up with, I’m thinking it’ll be thematic. They’ll also be shortish posts, I’m thinking around the 150 word mark each. (edit post publishing: this post you’re reading is 140 words).

So that’s *my* April blogging sorted.

What do you think? If you’re a blogger, want to join me?

— KRidwyn

The importance of access

Dear readers,

My long-suffering blog subscribers will have been surprised I’m sure, to have received an email informing them I’d written a new post here on Hmmm… That’s because the last email notification was seven months – count them! SEVEN!!! – ago.

Yes, some of that was because I was just too busy with offline interruptions to write. But not so, the past few months. No, indeed. The problem was far worse. I’m reminded of the line by that incredibly annoying character Richard Thornburg, on the plane in Die Hard 2: “the truth, ladies and gentlemen, is far more terrifying…”

13334048894_001d3e53d1_mI lost access.

It’s a long and convoluted story involving countless emails, more-than-countless phone calls, hours spent checking the availability to re-purchase domain names, meetings with several IT guys in all shapes and sizes, and many more white hairs choosing to appear on my head – which, of course, I’ve decided to resolutely ignore. I shan’t bore you with any more details.

Suffice it to say… I’m back!!! And praise God! I missed blogging more than I realised that I would. I especially missed it during the Christmas / New Year season, as it was my blogging anniversary (blogiversary?!) and the first time since I started Hmmm… that I missed blogging with @FiFYI in the #blog12daysxmas challenge.

Mea culpa. I’ll know next time.

It’s only when something is broken that we realise how much we’ve taken it for granted. Sad, but true. So my plan is to learn from this experience. ‘Regular maintenance of the things I’d rather not bother with’ is my new policy. And I’ve even future-scheduled this ‘maintenance’ time and set appropriate reminders on my phone, so if I get busy with offline distractions, or if I forget or get lazy, then it’ll remind me. And I can’t get angry with my beautiful phone that Hubby gave me for Christmas, which still feels so new, can I? No 🙂 So yes, back ups are always a help, aren’t they!

Make sure, dear readers, that you maintain access to your stuff. Keep usernames and passwords and back up copies. Let loved ones know your secret stash spot for said usernames and passwords. And do it now.

So anyway, that’s my story. And I must admit, I’m pretty proud of myself that I’ll – hopefully – learn from the experience.

What about you? Have you ever lost access to something – that you only discovered was important once it was broken?

CC image courtesy Yuri Samoilov on Flickr