Mom at 70 yrs old

She was so lovable
Despite her handicap she was quite capable
Everyone reported her as likable
But at the end the cancer was unbeatable.
With all doctors reporting the probable
Outcome would be she would not be able to live,
We gathered at her bedside and did our best to be amiable
But our joyful tones were debatable
We knew it was certainly no fable
Our mother would succumb; her courage was admirable.
She was not comfortable in that bed that was adjustable
Pain meds to the max were made allowable.
Her faith was vowed; everlasting life was attainable.
She did not complain; her fortitude was incredible.
I did my best to be companionable
But the tension at times was so damnable.
It was hard to imagine letting her go—it was so undesirable.
But the magnitude of her decline attested to the diagnosable
Dimming of her spirit and strength—her body’s end was undeniable.
And when her last labored breaths sounded so formidable
I knew those last days with my mom would be unforgettable.

Bliz from Liz

Posted: November 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

Bliz from Liz

First, let me explain.  I have lived for about two years now…two as human’s measure years.  As cat’s measure them, I don’t know…maybe you could say this is my fourth life.  I was born, had a mama, siblings, yea, the regular home life but then I ran away.  Technically, I can’t remember if I intentionally ran away or if I got lost, but it makes me sound tougher and more street wise to say “I ran away.”  But life on the street wasn’t all that great.  I found shelter where I could but when it rains, a little bush in a dark alley isn’t such a comfy home.  That’s where I was when the nice lady found me who took me to the shelter.  That was life number three.  I was there just a few days, and let me tell you…there were some crazy cats there.  One cat—she looked something like me—same black color and yellow eyes, but that was where the similarity ended.  She was a maniac.  Every time the humans opened her cage to feed her or to tend to the necessary pan she escaped.  She was clever, that one, but crazy.

But I digress.

What I really wanted to tell you about is my fourth life—the one I’m living now.  I’ve got a great home, warm, cozy with lots of places to run, jump, nap, and look outside at the miserable cold and wet.  I’ve got it good, so I decided to share my tales with the world.

I know, the new modern thing is the blog, but frankly that word reminds me of a creature that I fear and hate—the dog.  Never met one I could trust, never heard of one that was lovable, see no reason for their existence.  Consequently, I refuse to let my human ghost writer call my letters to the world a blog.  I’m calling it a bliz.

My name is Lizzy, Liz for short.  I appreciate the arts, including a good poem now and then, so Bliz is the title for this cool cat’s “blog” (but that’s the last time I’ll be using that word that rhymes with dog).

My beauty is not only in my luscious black velvet fur, my spectacular citrine eyes, or my perfectly pointed ears…no I have an inner beauty as well.  My human calls it my personality, but technically, it is a catality.  Oh I know, the little red jagged lines show up on the computer and make one think that’s not a true word approved by someone named Webster, but it’s my belief that Webster never had a cat.

I am loveable.  I am adventurous.  I love a good toy, a fine dish of crunchy food, but especially, I love my delicious food from the can.  I’ve taught my human my likes and dislikes.  She rarely challenges my palate…no she usually just gives me what I want: chicken and salmon in gravy OR turkey and cheese in gravy.  The gravy is the important thing.  I detest liver.  I detest straight fish of any kind.  I tolerate a little beef occasionally, but why bother—just give me what I want.

Things I hate are dogs…I already told you that.  Also, luggage is bad.  Big, little, long and skinny, soft or hard…if it has a zipper and closes up, it’s bad.  It always means my human—one of the other of them—is going away.  Piles of boxes of stuff that they stack by the back door isn’t good either.  Sometimes…like today…my human had boxes full of books, folded tables, and who-knows-what-else piled in boxes and open bags, all by the back door.

I watched her as she loaded them into the big thing she calls the Jeep.  I knew it meant she was leaving and yep, sure enough she was gone all day long.  She thought it was sufficient to feed me, leave on the baseboard heater by the window with the blinds pulled up, but considering the other human with the bearded face has been gone for lots of days—I’ve lost track, must be at least ten days now—what was she thinking?

She’s home now, but it was barely daylight this morning when she left and it was already dark when she got home.  She has no idea how traumatized I get when she leaves me home alone.  Will I ever have another meal?  Will my necessary pan ever be cleaned out again?  Will I ever have the pleasure being petted again by human hands?  It’s a nightmare—every time—it’s a nightmare!  I worry that I’ll be left alone under a bush again in the rain to fend for myself.  Awful, just awful.

To punish her, I made her suffer without me tonight.  She had to watch TV alone.  Oh yea, sure I gave in for about ten minutes—I’m only a cat, I couldn’t resist the temptation all together, but I kept the loving to a minimum.  She’s got to be taught a lesson.  She can’t just take off in that Jeep loaded down with boxes and not expect me to worry.  I have to express my opinion when I see her, if I see her.  It is my God given cat responsibility.

Okay, I’ve got that off my velvety black chest.  I think it’s time for a nap.  I might give in and sleep with her.  I know she misses the bearded one and if I can bring her some comfort, that is what earns me the good food.  I saw her unpack a dozen new cans tonight when she came home, so maybe it’s not all bad when she leaves.  At least she keeps bringing home the birds…have I mentioned she won’t let me chase them outside.

That will be a story for another Bliz from Liz.
Meow. (written by Marilyn White…the non-bearded human in Lizzy’s life)
Lizzy looking down

The Blue Nun with Irish WolfhoundAlmost done now…I have spent several months writing “The Blue Nun”, my latest novel. This one is women’s fiction, set in modern times on the north shore of Washington State, over 88,000 words, and suitable for book club reading and review. I am including fourteen questions to ponder at the end of the book, hoping to grab the attention of book clubs. I pitched the book to several agents and editors when I was at the PNWA Conference in late July, and received several requests to send the book to them when I was ready.

The story revolves around Phoebe, a woman who aspired to become a nun, and Dilly, a man who wanted to be a best-selling author. When their lives collided, they fell in love, married, but tragically parted shortly after their wedding. She returned to her initial vocation to become a nun–and successfully had a career as the matron for the home for unwed mothers until her son dies in a horrific auto accident, an accident that she felt responsible for. After the son’s death, she returns to the lighthouse where she last saw Dilly alive, hoping the solitude will help her work through her grief and sorrow. What she finds instead is a man who looks exactly like Dilly–his unknown twin brother. This brother helps to counsel and support her through her grief, but he has his own issues with alcoholism and hanging on to the memory of his wife who died of cancer five years previous.
Out of the blue, Dilly returns to the lighthouse–not a resurrection but simply the return of a deserting husband who has been sailing around the world for nearly two decades seeking the next greatest story. She must try to ascertain her future; will she settle for the staid, conventional, but alcoholic brother? Or will she step out and take a chance on Dilly once again? Her one silly little secret is that she desires to be swept off her feet like Cinderella and adored by a real-life Prince Charming. Is it possible that Dilly is that man? Or his brother? Or should she instead don her blue nun’s habit and live a celibate life in the haunted tower house that she hopes to purchase, a home she can call her own even though it’s history with pirates and a double murder could make it unsuitable as a choice for a woman alone. The one ray of hope–the glue that keeps the dream alive–is shouldered by Duff, a stray Irish Wolfhound who has worked his way into the hearts of both Phoebe and Dilly. With Duff’s influence, they will come to realize that togetherness, love, family–those are the important things in life. A happy ending is in site for this retired nun and her vagabond writer–and also for the enormous gray dog named Duff.
(I had been calling this book “Stray” but have decided that “The Blue Nun” is more suitable. I am also considering the title “Cinderella Nun.” Tell me what you think.)
VikingsDaughter

Sunflowers for the Wedding

My daughter is getting married!!!

So many things to prepare and to think about.

Decision one…well, of course, that was all about the potential groom. Sorry to say I haven’t met him yet. But I will in less than 2 months!!

Decision two…she knew for sure that she wanted the colors to be purple and sunflower yellow, and the flowers would be sunflowers with purple accent flowers! I feel so honored that she has asked me to create her bouquets, corsages, etc!!! I’ve had a fun time shopping for the silk flowers and have bought all of them at a huge discount…having stumbled upon a wonderful 60 to 70% off sale! But the consistency of “sunflowers” is somewhat lacking, so I decided to spruce them up so that they all look more realistic.

Today, I started trying out my technique. I’m using watered down acrylic paints and making the centers darker and the petals near to the center more of an orange tint. I took a photo to show the difference, and I like the way the new and improved sunflowers look. And so does the bride!!! That’s what’s important.

Over the next few months, I’ll be blogging about the flower creations…and most likely other wedding stuff too. Stay tuned!

Image  —  Posted: June 17, 2014 in Uncategorized
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Memories of Him

I wanted another chance
It should be good for the children
He laid down the law
Shattered trust
Heartbreaking pain
Arguments, battles
Paint on a smile
It’s not that bad
Distance
Solitary choices
Weeping silently
Disregard for feelings
Disturbing realities
Desires
Cold remoteness
Loss of faith
Tedium and dread
Remorse
Fear of staying
Fear of going
Overlook the disenchantment
Never promised happiness
It could be worse
It should be better
Alas the unforgivable
Consult an attorney
More tears
No more fears
Close the door
It is done.
——————-
That part of my life is over now, but for over 13 years I was in a bad (second) marriage. I try not to think about those traumatic years, but while at my poetry reading group last night, it dawned on me that not all poetry is fun and uplifting. A lot of times it is a way to express recollection of painful times; lessons learned and all that. Today, I’m quite happily married–yes, to my third husband–but marrying him was one of the best things I ever did so don’t turn up your nose at me with disregard because you think I’m some sort of professional marrier…I suppose I am somewhat of an idealist and I knew that if I waited long enough, my soul mate would come.

Image  —  Posted: June 14, 2014 in Uncategorized
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The Face of a Discouraged Author

This blog is hard to write.
I don’t know quite how to begin.
I feel like I’ve been duped.
Or maybe I’ve been stupid or gullible.
I wanted to feel good about being a writer…a published writer.
What’s the difference between being a writer and an author? Is it the actual status of seeing your words in print, or your name after “by” on the title page?
Maybe it is really one in the same.
What I do know is that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
I also know that it is possible to fool me more than once. In fact, I’ve had four books published by my current publisher, but I’ve lost all confidence in them.
They were applauded as being a publishing house based on Christian values. This of course caught my attention since what I write is Christian fiction.
The actual publication process was handled well and professionally, although the editing process let several misspelled words fall through the cracks, but that’s minor compared to the rest of my misgivings with them. The covers are beautiful, the advise I received on cutting out the fluff was helpful, and even the television advertisements are amazing…but the marketing people fail to notify me if they ever air (please let me know if you’ve ever seen one of my commercials).
The man at the helm “Mr. R” had been in the news recently, touted as–at the very least–unprofessional and even though he supposedly prays—or claims to pray—his Christian values have come under scrutiny. He fired 25 of the employees at the publishing house—I only know what I read. Whether or not he truly had just cause or not for firing them seems questionable. But there are bullying accusations as well as descriptions of his an arrogant leader who only has the job because of his last name. All that aside, the integrity of the company seems to be failing and there is rumor that they are leaving Oklahoma—going to the Philippines.
My greatest complaint is with their marketing. I was promised that a publicist would be working alongside me to help me sell books. I was strongly encouraged to purchase books with the idea that I’d be going to book fairs, book signings, author events…etc—and I would need to have my own books to sell so I’ve purchased over 300 of each of my 4 books. They have failed to help—I wouldn’t say they have done absolutely nothing, but their efforts have not helped me to sell any more books than I can pick up with one hand.
I must say that I do have many loyal friends and family members who have purchased and read my books, and I GREATLY APPRECIATE THEM. My book signings in Kansas have been amazing successes for the most part and I’ve sold quite a few books there. All of the work setting up those events was on my shoulders—the “publicist” did not help at all. Without the support of my family and friends…both emotional and financial…I would feel like I’ve been a total failure as a writer. My strongest supporter has been my husband, Tim. He keeps backing me up and encouraging me. I thank God for him.
I also feel like God has been behind me. All along I’ve said (and believed) that I never wanted to get rich selling books; I write stories with a Christian message that I hope will bring strength and hope to my readers. If something I’ve written helps affirm the faith of even one of my readers and ensures he or she will go to heaven, then I have been a success! But without getting my books out to a broader audience, just how effective can I be? I’ve given away several books to charity events and I’ve got my eyes and ears open for options, but I’m getting discouraged.
It is down-heartening to feel duped and lied to. On one hand I feel like I should initiate a class-action-lawsuit—I want to get even. But I’m not a fighter; I would probably join up with a suit should it be filed, but I’m truly hesitant to put forth a lot of energy kicking off such a battle. I want to write! I want to write! I don’t want to fight!
I’ve finished my latest manuscript and I’ve been getting together bits and pieces of an idea for my next book now. I don’t know if I’ll ever get “Stray” published or not. I suppose I could always go the self-publishing route, but I have to admit—I want the confirmation from a legitimate publisher or agent prior to publication. I want someone who is an expert in Christian fiction to tell me that it is a worthy book. I love the story; I hope and pray that I will be able to share it with the world someday. But for now, I’m in a holding pattern.
I’m exploring my options; looking into joining more writers groups, possibly the Christian Authors Guild. I think I need to meet other writers, publishers, and agents…probably go to a conference or two and spread my wings.
I’ve always prided myself on being a positive-minded person; I try not to dwell in the negativity of this world. There is so much beauty and amazement in God’s creation—that is where I want to live, not in the dark, crass, nauseating realities that you read about in the news or see on television. I hesitate to see any entertainment value in some of the darkness that is shown these days on the big screen—or even the smaller screen of TV. I had been given hope from my publisher that my Goldstone Inn series was worthy of movie publication, but that was yet another dream that has been quashed because of their poor follow-through with promises.
Yet in my heart, I still feel like I’m a writer. Whether or not I ever get to hold another book in my hands with my name in the by-line is not really what is important. Perhaps in 50 years or so my epitaph will recognize me as a good person who happened to get a few books published too.

Image  —  Posted: June 10, 2014 in Uncategorized
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American Parade

Flag bearers pass by and respectfully, the old veteran stands;
Sousa marches played by high-school bands.
He considers the political quandary—
Do the officials care if the battlefields were snowy or sandy?

He smiles remembering a particular furlough–
His buddies had pockets full of dough.
He was weak from a malingering cough
And saved his pay, sitting in the sun was enough.

His life now is plagued with memories of the bomb,
Square edges are slanted like a rhomb.
Jagged scalp scars obvious now he has no hair to over comb;
He’s developed his dignity with tedious aplomb.

Look closely to see the track of a tear,
A brave comrade wheels by bringing up the rear.
No matter he’s one-legged, his uniform he proudly wears;
A lost limb is the penance he bears.

Many more never made it through–
Their lives ended in a desert, on a beach, or by a muddy slough.
As Americans we know that we ought
To honor our freedom; it’s by death it was bought.

At the end is a float bearing the likes of one white dove,
An olive branch clutched that symbolizes love.
He says a silent prayer that his fellow vets will recover
And turns to his son, “Let’s go home; it is over.”

Copyright © 2014 Marilyn White

Image  —  Posted: May 26, 2014 in Uncategorized
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Son of a Nun--A Look Inside

She took a deep breath, and said, “Adam I was pregnant. I did not know it when I left, but apparently those birth control pills had finally stopped working. By that time Marqueza and my mother and father had joined us at Marco’s home. Marqueza gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. She had dark hair just like her mother, and dark blue eyes. She was named Alexandra, named for our father Alejandro. Over the years she has grown up to be a lovely young woman, and we all call her Sandy.

“Marqueza never named the father, and I have often wondered if she even knew who he was since she was such a wild young woman. She confessed to me one night that she had seduced you on our prom night, and she said that you could be the father of her child. I didn’t want to believe her, but I do believe the part about the seduction. I knew something had happened that night.

“When I discovered my pregnancy I was ashamed, and frightened. I did not want to be known by the community as the other wild sister. I knew that my baby had been conceived in love. I decided that I needed to distance myself from my earthly family, and I joined the family of God. I came here to St. Luke’s Church, and asked for guidance from the priest. He found a home for me at the Carmel Mission, and I received aid from the nuns, and later, novice training. I gave birth to our son, and the sisters arranged for my brother Marco and his wife Jillian to adopt him. They named him Duane, honoring Jillian’s father.

“Adam, I am a nun, and have been very content living my life for my Holy Father. On special occasions I visit my earthly family and I have watched Duane and Alexandra grow up. My mother and father live near my brother in nearby Wilson Springs. Marco and Jillian adopted Alexandra after my sister died in childbirth in 1963. She was not married, and had not changed from her wildcat ways. The children, Alexandra and Duane grew up together, and have always been very close. They of course all knew that Sandy was adopted and that she had the Santiago family blood, but the Sisters of the Mission had not shared with my family who the mother of little Duane was. He was never identified as my baby, and since he is blonde haired, and blue eyed, it has always been assumed that he was an Anglo child.

“When Sandy and Duane were young, I think it was about when he was eight, Sandy started calling him Dune. They thought it was a very clever thing to have the names of Sandy and Dune since they both loved the beach, and were forever swimming or playing in the tide pools. The name has stuck and now everyone knows him as Dune Santiago.

“Marco and Jillian were never able to have children of their own, so they spoiled these two children, and were always so happy that they were close. Now, they are both twenty-two years old.
“But, now I have to tell you why I have asked you to come here. Sandy and Dune have disappeared, and the only clue they left behind was a note to Marco saying that they want to be together, and to do so they must move away from here. By looking at them they do not look like brother and sister, and they want to be married, but to stay here that would not be possible.
——————————————————————-
I am the author of Son of a Nun, and I thought it was about time that I tell the world more about the book.

First of all, let me assure you that it is purely fiction. I’ve never been a nun, never even really knew a nun very closely, and while I do have a son, he is nothing like the son of this nun.

You can find Son of a Nun at Amazon or http://marilynwhite.tateauthor.com

Image  —  Posted: May 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

My Son

Always a mother, sometimes a wife—
Fondly recalling the chaos that once filled my life.
Day-glow green and focused on gloom
Metaphorically acenter his empty bedroom.

As an infant he never wanted to sleep,
Riding in the car he watched for every cow and sheep.
Plagued with leg cramps he was often fussy
And not content with quiet-time; he was always busy.

In kindergarten his teacher called me in for a meeting;
What now? Was he whining or cheating?
Turns out he had joined up with the bad-boy-gang;
To find different five-year-old friends was her pleading harangue.

Little league baseball was only a frustration–
A coach who practiced nepotism was an early sporting education.
Silly singsong riddles and jokes became his escape,
His favorite being something about a ridiculous grape.

I lost him when to his father he wanted to cling;
Those were trying times with many tears in my eyes to sting.
A few years later a wondrous rejoicing came–
He returned home, the end to that waiting game.

Soon his schooling years came to an end
And to the far reaches of the earth he did ascend.
Relationships and employment hurdles he did face
Alas, all part of running this human rat race.

Jumping off cliffs and leading kids to Jesus through art lessons;
Whoops of laughter warm my heart from this adult son.
Particulates of business training now pepper our conversations.
I’m proud of this young ‘un—my contribution to the next generation.

Image  —  Posted: May 9, 2014 in Uncategorized
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Strength of a Woman

All of us suffer toil and pain,
It is what shapes us and helps us to gain
Character and the staying power called fortitude.

When young we turned away from boys who were rude,
Cheering for the talented ones on ball teams
And allowing our hearts to ponder the man of our dreams.

Women’s lib became the popular school of thought.
And we strengthened our resolve to be more than a beauty spot
On the arm of a controlling man.

Schooling and striving, our motto became ‘Yes we can’;
There’s nothing I can’t achieve
If only in myself I believe.

Hardships come to some of us each day.
The way to survive is on our knees to pray–
God leads us forward and comforts us in times of need.

As the years go by I vow indeed
To learn from and lean on one another
Following the well-worn path of my fore-sisters and fore-mothers.

~~~~~
Copyright Marilyn White 05/08/14

Image  —  Posted: May 8, 2014 in Uncategorized
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