Blog post, 01/19/15 Re-springing My Step Through Worship and My Faith

Re-springing Your Step:  Tell us about the last experience you had that left you feeling fresh, energized, and rejuvenated. What was it that had such a positive effect on you?

I was raised in a home with parents who were members of two different denominations of the Christian faith. My mom was a born&raised Roman Catholic; my dad was a Lutheran Minister’s son, of what is now the ELCA. Back in his day, before the church consolidated,  it was one of the Lutheran branches known as the Norwegian/Scandinavian Lutheran Church of America. Because my parents moved a good bit as my dad rose in the insurance industry, he actually was a member of the Missouri Synod of the Lutheran Church, a more conservative branch of the church. So, growing up, I  attended mass and Sunday Catechism classes offered for those unfortunate children who could not attend Catholic schools full time, and on holidays, I joyfully attended the Lutheran church with my dad. That allowed me to attend Midnight Mass to sing in the choir, and then arrive at a fresh Christmas morning service to celebrate the birth of Jesus  with a church who had not been up yawning through mass all night. I felt that I had the best of all worlds. In college, I attended a Presbyterian College in Memphis, Tennessee and changed to Presbyterian at some point in my faith journey. Now, since my move to Chattanooga, I have resumed my Catholic faith, acknowledged the irrevocable imprint of the Catholic language in my heart, and now attend the same Catholic church where my husband went to middle school in the ’70’s. Alas, he was welcomed by my Presbyterian church in Memphis and joined the church the spring we both graduated from law school in Memphis and he went on to be heavily involved in the administration of our church as was I because of our legal backgrounds. He has now rekindled his ties with the Catholic church and even knows a few individuals from his    past years at that Church.

My moment of  Re-Springing occurred at a Wednesday night service recently . Because of the convoluted schedule we follow due to my husband’s work assignments, we use Wednesday as our substitute Sunday and attend the mid-week mass at the church on Wednesday nights. At a recent mass, I became extremely jubilant at being with my fellow worshipers,  as though the event were a holiday and not an ordinary day. Glad to finally and honestly acknowledge my faith tradition as my own without excluding    any other religious experiences I have had in the past 55 years within the Christian church, I feel as though I have come “home” again, finally.  Wholeness is a hard to come by  feeling and not one to be taken lightly. I feel grounded having achieved that although it does not preclude me from worshiping in other Christian settings just as fervently. I am thankful for this aha experience!

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Pens and Pencils: Are They Still A Part Of My Writing Life?

I am still a heavy and devoted use of pens,  pencils, and writing items. I continue to have drawers full of the same in my “office,” a corner of our master bedroom hosted by our 5 cats. (In reality, the room is only 10 x 12; in my mind it is a large open-concept space like one found on HGTV.) I order imprinted pens featuring my TOO MANY CATS business name by the box-full to hand out to unsuspecting souls. In its most recent reincarnation, the Jennifer Jenson pen can double as a stylus for use with Android and iPhone devices. That way, I can transition smoothly from my Android to the written, penned word without a glitch, which I do at the drop of a hat .

I am honestly not sure what I would do i f all of my technology went away. I  would certainly feel crippled. I have gone from a writer who could only journal with pen and ink to a writer whose preferred medium is an online journal because it is always with me in an unobtrusive sort of   way. Anyone watching me would just think that I am making a phone call and don’t dial too well; in that same space of time, I have created a blog entry or at least a shopping list.

Prior to my total conversion to online writing, I used to carry small notebooks in the waist  pouch I wear in the wheelchair. It is a handy  place to carry stuff and I always have some project that I can  whip out    anywhere, at a moment’s  notice. The result of that transitional phase of small notebooks is that in addition to hundreds of barely-working pens in my drawers, I have a multitude of half-used notepads to keep the pens company. Once in awhile, I drag one of the little pads out to carry around. I usually end up storing it back in one of the drawers for later use.

So, why  do I  persist in ordering pens to write with when the majority of their use is devoted to being a stylus? It is because I just LIKE pens.  I like to have new ones. I like to see my name on the pens. And, I like to give them away so that I can order more….I’d better hope that my TOO MANY CATS inspire me to write great content to   pay for all of our    pens!

“TOO MANY CATS Content Solutions” About Page

TOO MANY CATS Content Solutions” is the name of my small business, a content-writing business, and also the name of my blog, in which I examine the balance between managing a 5-cat family in my office by day and my master bedroom by night while being heavily involved in full-time content writing for various employers from online businesses and at the same  time managing my MS, which“T has been a  part of my life since I was in law school, in 1984; being heavily active in participating in our extended family living arrangement, living with my husband/college sweetheart of 34 years, his older sister who is 70, her eldest son who is 50, her shiatsu who is 3, our 5 grown cats who are 15, 13, 10. 9, and 8 years old; and the ways in which all of this ferments and coalesces on a daily basis, ideally without too much heart burn or bloodshed. Some days, my balance is successful and I am working with happy, well-adjusted  pets and humans. Other days, I want to crawl under the bedclothes alone and hide. Since my 9-year old cat is a grumpy old man who has taken up residence under the covers, I am not really welcome there and that would not be a good thing long term for remaining active as a way to keep the MS  disability at bay….

In this blog, I sample ways of reinventing my life and my writing business to  maximize their potential and my sanity.  Various anecdotes from my crazy life are interspersed with other tid-bits of writing to keep the blog lively.

One of the more difficult balancing acts I must achieve daily is how to keep the 5 cats engaged in their life in the room to avoid having one or more escape into the rest of the house where they are not allowed because of serious allergies on the part of my sister-in-law. The cats disagree; they line up inside the room when they suspect that the door will open like Olympic runners at the starting line of a competition.  The minute they hear activity  outside the door,  they are off and running.  Because I am in a wheelchair, they can easily run under the chair and out the door before I even have time to yell “no” in a futile attempt to stop them. Luckily, only 3 are frequent fliers. 1 of the  others wanders up to the door and try to escape occasionally, and the 13-year old won’t leave the room unless she is being carried.

ABOUT ME:I

I am a 55-year old writer and blogger. I am a retired real estate attorney. I practiced real estate law for 17 years. Real estate is still a favorite topic of mine. I write in that genre frequently. I also write good legal blogs and mortgage financing blogs. Writing is my passion. I write full-time, at either my desk top computer or on my Android device, where I have all of my word processing and research files handy for wherever I am!

Manipulating the Shadows I See in My World

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Shadowed” and for Blogging 101, Saturday, January 10, 2015.

I choose to manipulate the various shadows I perceive in my life to be able to view the life I want. By shadows, I am referring to those times when life doesn’t look quite right, or when my usually cheerful mood  is occluded by something else in my world. For example, if I have plans and then my MS acts up and I have to modify the plans, that would be something I would classify as a shadow. I would then manipulate variables in my day to make my plans come to fruition despite the apparent setback so that life can   proceed according to the original design. That is a scenario that I would categorize as a shadow or minor setback requiring a creative response within my world to make everything turn out as originally intended. That is a situation   which I would classify as a win-win because after 30 years of this MS crap, I have yet to find any situation so bad that a little creative tweaking would not turn it around. I am indeed lucky!

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