Frog Blog, Grace, Hope, Love, New Starts, Prayers, Troubled Waters, Uncategorized, Writing


white ceramic teacup with saucer near two books above gray floral textile
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Wes Sims, author of Taste of Change, introduced me to poetry and encouraged me to try it. I’m an amateur in this writing style, but Wes invited me to a poetry critique group this Monday.

If anyone in the Oak Ridge area would like to join us, Wes’s poetry group will be at Panera on Illinois Ave. at 1:00 Monday (February 17th).

I posted my first poetry dabbling on The Frog Blog (January 17th at and venture out to share this Haiku.

Same Language. Different Language. 

One speaks parables.

One speaks science. Both listen.


Leaping to swim in new waters of the lily pad on the FROG Blog,





Frog Blog, Grace, Hope, Lighthearted Humor, New Starts, Prayers, Troubled Waters, Uncategorized, Writing


I consider Zaccheus a biblical giant. In the book of Luke, he described Zaccheus as short. Luke’s description compared Zaccheus’s height to the crowd’s stature. Zaccheus’s can-do attitude wasn’t stunted when he climbed a tree to watch Jesus passing through town.

Zaccheus was a short tax collector who didn’t allow crowd comparisons to stand in front of his determination to see Jesus. He used his tall-enough-to-reach-the-ground legs to run to a higher vantage point.

Zaccheus’s height may have differed from a towering crowd yet they shared a desire to connect with Jesus. Zaccheus united resourcefulness with anticipation and created a birds’ eye view from a timberline seat. When Jesus passed under Zaccheus’s makeshift skybox, He invited him to leave his aerial vantage point so they could share dinner that evening.

woman wearing grey long sleeved top photography
Photo by Artem Beliaikin on

Jobs are generated to honor the beauty of varying heights. Inventions and discoveries accommodate people’s statures. For example, I wonder how the ladder or automotive industry would change if people were the same height. Measures have been taken to accommodate workers to complete whatever job they were crafted to do.

Zaccheus scaled a tree. The Little Engine climbed a mountain railway. I stretch on a lily pad of life to learn spiritual lessons. We can stretch. Internally or externally, we can ascend. With God, I know I can, I know I can.

Scaling back and doing what I can from the FROG blog,


…there was a man named Zaccheus…And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. So he ran ahead and climbed into a sycamore tree to see Him (Luke 19:2-4).

Frog Blog, Grace, Hope, Lighthearted Humor, Love, New Starts, Troubled Waters, Uncategorized, Writing

Remotely controlled by weather channel?

The following excerpt comes from the Tadpole edition of the 5 book FROG Blog series (Tadpole’s release date is for spring 2021, after “Unthawed from a Frozen Lily Pad” is finished). The Tadpole stories include essays of 300 words or less, a shorter version of the original FROG Blog. 

dwarf gnome on snow

*(Subject’s name changed to avoid possible turbulent winds)

I used to be annoyed when a friend recapped the latest weather conditions. “Cousin Cloudia” states that the first thing she does each day is to check the forecast. I want to glibly respond, “the first thing I check is my pulse and then rush to the bathroom, no matter what the weather reports.”

She defends her routine “whether” I want to hear about the chance of rain or thunderstorms. I grew increasingly irritated that she allowed weather to determine her outlook or control her agenda.

Cousin Cloudia chooses to adapt her activities (or lack thereof), to a meteorologist’s prediction. I view predictions as predicaments, potentially driving me into a storm shelter. I believe in taking necessary precautions (like looking out the window or grabbing a jacket before heading out the door), but not to the point that weather stifles me from fully exploring a day.

When it’s not always sunny in Philadelphia, Cousin Cloudia isolates herself. I choose to insulate, or hydrate, as temperatures require. I adapted an adventurous spirit after years of allowing remote control mind patterns to landlock me. Yes, sometimes I’m uncomfortable because of weather conditions, but I want to face clouds and embrace the sun. Instead of watching the forecast, I want to experience current conditions in real time.

If trees, leaves, and animals can adapt to change, so can I. I’ll hibernate when I need to but won’t retreat to a climate-controlled cave unless I absolutely must. From the famous words spoken by my favorite theologian Yogi the Bear, I want to be “smarter than the average bear”!

Packing my pick-a-nick basket to go outside to learn about today’s shifting winds,

Frog Blog, Grace, Hope, Love, Prayers, Troubled Waters, Uncategorized, Writing

Status: Extinct?

I started dabbling in poetry a few weeks ago. In Leo Buscaglia’s book Love, published in 1972, Buscaglia wrote that without close ties with humans, an infant can regress, developmentally lose consciousness, fall into idiocy and die. Well-loved hearts live well.

A child may have a perfect physical environment, superb diet, and hospital-type hygiene but these contributions do not seem to be enough for his physical and mental development. Buscaglia referenced studies conducted by Drs. Fritz Ridel, David Wineman, and Karl Menninger who found that physical need for togetherness and love becomes the major drive of an individual’s life. Lack of love is the major cause of severe neuroses and psychoses in adulthood.

Inspired by Love, I share my fledgling stages of a newly discovered interest. (Ironically, I needed technology and a screen to post my amateur poem).

close up of heart shape

Status: Extinct?

Could our culture self-destruct at this high-speed internet pace?
Plugged in to overloaded devices
Electrocuted by short circuits of attention
We stopped using dial up to hear a voice, a laugh, a cry.
Body language sends busy signals
Disconnected from personal contact.
Wireless connection
Hands-free, hug-free.
Unlimited access to air waves, limited access to hand waves
Let your fingers do the walking, texting someone in the next room.
Social media actions, anti-social consequences?
Well-loved hearts live well.
Will we be screened in and die from loneliness?

Frog Blog, Grace, Hope, Lighthearted Humor, Love, New Starts, Prayers, Troubled Waters, Uncategorized, Writing


When my husband and I sold our house four years ago and chose to rent, we sorted our possessions. We are minimalists, so the sifting process was…well, minimal. (We would have a much “different” experience if we were packing Tig’s race shop though)!

We moved to a nine-building complex and met a few neighbors. Like our possessions, Tig and I are social minimalists. We are friendly without engaging in most party invitations. Shortly after moving in, I met a retired neighbor who is also a published author. Despite my introverted nature, she and I connected.

Bettye Jean and I exchanged our books and short conversations until she moved to assisted living. At first, I visited her often in her new home and gradually our communication decreased. Bettye Jean and I are what our granddaughter calls “short-term friends.” Short-term friends are people she meets once at a park or a birthday party.

apartment architecture balcony building
Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on

I have been surprised that renting has taught me about healthy detachment. Each month, I watch heavily loaded moving vehicles being laboriously unpacked. The movers look exhausted and many ask why they keep so much stuff.

We’ve had quiet and considerate neighbors. We’ve also had rude neighbors. I’ve learned that unlike Tig and I, many occupants at this complex aren’t long-term residents. This four-year observation has taught me to appreciate the easier-to-love people, and become less irritated with the “minimally polite” tenants.

I frequently reflect on my temporary deployment on earth and ponder heaven’s victory. Renting supports my longstanding value to focus on eternal rewards. I appreciate that with less filling, unburdened joy is more full filling.

Flowing with a free spirit toward Larger Oceans,

…and the wise heart will know the proper time and procedure (Ecclesiastes 8:5).

Frog Blog, Grace, Hope, Lighthearted Humor, Love, New Starts, Prayers, Troubled Waters, Uncategorized, Writing

Everything, but not everything at once

This FROG Blog comes from a writing contest I entered last year. The contest invited people to use the prompt, “In 200 words or less, put your New Year’s Resolution in writing.” I’ve used it to remind myself to respect processing times (especially when I try to leap ahead on the lily pad of life).

FROG paddling with 2020 vision for a new year, Christina

Eccl. 3: 1-8, An Author’s Living Translation
There’s a time for everything, but not everything all at once.

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:

A time for “In the Beginning,”
A time for “The End;”

A time to query,
A time to publish;

A time to let a story die,
A time to resurrect a plot;

A time for drafting,
A time for editing;

A time to celebrate an assignment,
A time to face a rejection letter;

A time to read tragedy,
A time to read comedy;

A time to buy books,
A time to sell books;

A time for writer’s flow,
A time for writer’s block;

A time for researching,
A time for writing;

A time for fiction,
A time for non-fiction;

A time to read others’ writing,
A time to have others read my writing;

A time to interview,
A time to be interviewed;

A time for novels,
A time for magazines;

A time for writer’s conferences,
A time for writer’s retreats.

There’s a time for everything, but not everything all at once.

Frog Blog, Grace, Hope, Lighthearted Humor, Love, New Starts, Troubled Waters, Uncategorized

Shopping ideas for a minimalist

I practice material minimalism. “Less is more and even less is even more” appeals to me (I try not to practice this minimalistic approach when it applies to patience, kindness, generosity…).

Christmas and birthdays can invite a challenge because people ask, “If you don’t like extra material possessions, what am I supposed to get you?” Consumables and outings!

Below, I’ve listed my favorite gifts. At the end, I encourage readers to offer their creative non-material present ideas!

anniversary birthday blur bokeh
Photo by Tim Mossholder on

My favorite things

Citrus or bakery scented candles (no lavender, rose, or perfume smells)
Dark chocolate (especially when blended with fruit or nuts)
Target and Wal-Mart gift cards (the only places I shop to replace shoes and essential clothing)
Blue, Purple, or Green Bic Roller Pens (no gel or felt tip jobbies)
Postage stamps (I really like this year’s FROG ones)!
Note cards and thank you cards (blank inside)
Retreat center stays
Grocery store gift cards (love to cook and bake! I have recipes to last for eternity)
Music concert tickets
Cabin vacations
Theatre tickets
Figure skating shows
Fellow dream chaser to experience 1 of my 100+ lifetime dreams with me (so far, I’ve gotten to achieve 64 out of 107 from my Dream List)
Donation to humane society, dog rescues
Dunkin Donut coffee
Turtlenecks in every color (the kind that go all the way up the neck)
Double sized bed flannel sheet sets (I can never be too warm)

Readers! Your turn! What are your creative ideas to give someone who defines themselves as a “non-materially interested minimalist”? 

Leaping into the holiday lily pad of life from the FROG Blog,