Posted in Writing

Self-Hosted Perils and What Not

My word, but it seems like I have been gone from All Out War for years! I think about it all the time and I’ve meant to come back and post so many different things, but I’ve just been insanely busy!

I know, I know, it’s easy to say we’re busy, but I think I’m honestly telling the truth 🙂 We are up first thing in the morning, getting one off to work, another started on the music he’s working on for the day, and then into homeschooling. Over the course of the day, we’re like a well played pinball machine, bouncing around from homeschool, to freelance writing, to walking the dog, to feeding the other pets, to dishes, laundry, cooking, cleaning and half a million other little things that can steal our time before the man of the house arrives home.

Before you know it, I’m feeling like a rung out dishrag and ready to throw in the towel for the day!

Freelancing has been come and go the past couple of months, but it’s starting to pick back up again. Which is why I thought I should go ahead and post here while I have the chance. Never mind that it’s well after midnight and I have to be back up soon, I just had to check in!

For those who might be interested, my new website is called Scribbles & Sustenance. It’s still somewhat under maintenance, as I am currently working with a great graphic artist on artwork and decals for the site. But by all means, if you’d like to see it for yourself, just go here. You can even subscribe, if you’d like. I am just now getting my email newsletter campaign up and running, so no more than one email a week 🙂 And no spamming allowed!

It’s been really exciting, getting to work with all the tech people and learning new things, but it’s all a bit over my head really. Well, I suppose I should say it’s REALLY over my head. I don’t know the first thing about coding and frankly, I don’t care to start learning it! On that note, however, I am so thankful for the guys at TMD! They are around the clock angels, and I’m so glad they’re there. Lord knows I’ve worked them to death, lol.

Well, I just wanted to pop in with an update. I’m still out here in cyber space and haven’t fell off the edge just yet! For those who pray, keep me in your prayers, that my new site would take off like I want it to eventually.

And as always, I appreciate each and every one of you so much more than I’ll ever have words to say.

Be blessed! Have a great day!

Posted in Musings

Busy, Missing You and Wondering…

I realize I haven’t been posting for awhile. I didn’t realize things were going to get so busy and hectic. Between writing for clients, homeschooling and taking care of “life as usual” around the house, I’ve hardly had time to do much more than breathe and sleep!

I’m not sure how many of my readers are aware of the fact that I recently went self-hosted and have transferred all the old content here at All Out War over to my new home on the web, Scribbles & Sustenance, but that’s what I did towards the end of February. I’m not exactly sure what I was expecting, but somewhere along the line, I felt…I don’t know…maybe “cheated” is a good word??

Or, rather, maybe I just wasn’t ready for the wide world of self-hosted platforms.

I’m not saying I’m wanting to give up on that. Quite the opposite. I want to make more of a go of it now than I ever did, I’m just not sure how to go about it. I hear so many people talking about “finding your niche” or telling me I need to “narrow things down a bit”, when really, I could just open it up even more than I have it now and still be happy, as far as myself goes.

Maybe I don’t want to hedge myself in? Maybe I like being the jack-of-all-trades that I am. Of course, that may not net me a successful “business” or whatever, but writing is all I really want to do anyway. I always thought I would be writing fiction, but here I am, busy as can be ghostwriting nonfiction articles almost as fast as I can type them out!

I guess the one thing I miss most of all is the views and comments from all of you! I really miss that! I only have a precious handful of subscribers over there, and to be honest, that fact alone doesn’t give me very much in the way of motivation to write. I think to myself, “Well, who’s going to see it anyway??” and so lots of stuff I want to write, doesn’t ever get written.

Maybe I should just write them anyway? “Write it, and they will come,” lol.

I guess 🙂

I would like to get some feedback, if any of you would feel so inclined as to visit and check out the layout and maybe even subscribe while you’re there 🙂 Really though, just some feedback on the look would be awesome.

Anyways, I guess I’ll trudge on and see what happens. I am getting lots of views, so maybe I’ll post something worth commenting on at some point.

Thanks all!

Posted in Musings

I Don’t Like February

It’s not often that I bear my heart. It’s not exactly “who I am” as a person. I’m quiet, I will never be accused of oversharing, though I do tell stories from time to time  🙂  but when things hurt, I put them in my emotional basement and leave them there.

I’m an introvert. I always have been, though there have been times I’ve hidden it better than others. I’m not really comfortable around new people if there’s a chance I’ll have to do very much talking and I’ll avoid large groups every chance I get. It’s not that I don’t want anything to do with people in general, it’s just that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix” kind of mentality.

But then there are those handful of precious few people who have dragged me from my shell, accepting nothing less than my being a part of their life. And I’m so thankful for the precious few of them. And they are all sisters to me, always have been always will be. I don’t even have the room to talk about each and every one, but THEY know who they are. They always have.

One of them, I met almost 15 years ago, a wonderful Christian woman from my own home state of Kentucky, back in the hills. We met online on a Christian women’s group, laughed that we had the same accent and God bonded us as sisters from that point on. As we got to know one another better, we found more and more things that we had in common and we wound up starting a Christian ministry online for women who had been through abuse. She taught me pray out loud and has stood with me when no one else would. I love her.

Another, a lady a bit younger than myself, I also met about 15 years ago. She was younger than me, was a single mom, and we met at a church where my husband and I were worship leaders at the time. I can’t even remember what pulled us together so strongly, other than God, but she was like a ray of sunshine in my life and still is to this day. She taught me many things, not the least of which being that we are mothers, we are daughters of God, and we are stronger than we feel most of the time. We’ve been together through thick and thin and time nor distance has ever separated us very long, even though she’s a globe-trotter. I love her.

Another lady, and another a little younger than I, I met at a grocery store I worked at, as she did too. It was a hard time in my life and I had determined not to get to close to anyone else, because as I had come to find out, that never ended well. She wouldn’t have it though. Her smile and her elusive, addictive love of life simply made me feel that she was someone who could be trusted, someone I could be friends with.

She was a hugger. I was not. I had to be for her though  🙂  And that was okay. Days turned into weeks turned into months and I was a hugger too, pretty much just for her, but a hugger I had become  🙂  We spent a lot of time together. She would come to my house and we would go places together and when she wasn’t around, I missed her like crazy.

She loved to sing, but it scared her something awful. I would get up to sing with her and she would hold on to my hand and stare right into my eyes while she sang, ever so softly. She was a great singer. She should have belted ’em out, but she didn’t. That wasn’t who she was. Oh, she would belt them out if it were just us and we were sitting in the living room or in her truck, but even though she was as outgoing as she was, singing in front of people still scared her. I thought it was adorable. And I relished all those times. More than she knew, I think.

She taught me that smiles don’t hurt, tears don’t last forever, and it’s okay to call people “puddin”. And I loved her. I still love her. I will always love her.


Early in the second month of 2015, when everything was already cold anyway, her life was brought to a tragic and senseless end by a mentally unstable boyfriend. How do I know he was mentally unstable? Because he pointed a gun at her chest while she stood on his porch, and he ruthlessly shot her through the heart and ended one of the most beautiful lives that God had ever graced this earth with. A short while later, he shot and killed himself. Doesn’t that sound mentally unstable?

She was to turn 31 that November. She had two precious babies that were left behind, along with more people that loved and cherished her than I could possibly ever count. I know there are a lot of people that were much closer to her than I was: a mother, her children, her sisters and other family and friends… but she was a huge part of my life, my world that I let so few people into in the first place. I guess that’s what makes it so hard.

Some days I can think about her and laugh, remembering all the good times, the deep conversations and all the smiles, hugs and laughs that we shared. I think about the way I use to come into the store on my off days, when she was working, and I would slip her snacks as I went through her line. I think about her kids calling me down if I “talked mean” 🙂

Other days, I think about too many things I shouldn’t, and all the questions I will never have an answer to, and the pain seems almost too heavy. Sometimes, it’s almost like the grieving process starts all over, as I wonder why. So many times, the slightest thing will happen, and for a split second, the thought will flit across my mind, “Hey, she would LOVE that!” or “Wow, she HAS to hear this song, she’ll love it!” … and then I remember…

I miss her every day and I know I always will. She will be a part of my heart forever and she will most certainly NEVER be forgotten.

I love and miss you SO MUCH, JuLee…so much!


Posted in Musings

How I Came To Be All Out War

When I started this blog, it was during a time of severe turmoil in my life when I really didn’t think I could hold on much longer. If there WAS anything else that could go wrong, I knew that it probably would, but what I DIDN’T know was whether or not I could come through it with my sanity…

Or my life.

I intended to be completely anonymous and pour out my heart and soul, troubles and woes, the whole nine yards. Someone had given me the idea that since I was a writer, and had been pretty much all my life, that it would be a type of therapy for me. And so All Out War was born.

I’ve said it before, that I am a very private person. I do not put things “out there” for anyone to see, think about, process, hold over my head or try to use against me. Well, that’s what I tell myself. In reality, it may just be that I have trust issues. If there’s one thing that Daddy taught us growing up, it was “Never trust anyone. No one. Do that, and you won’t be hurt nearly as much”.

There’s a whole story in and of itself there, as my Daddy went through a lot of things in his life, the half of which I’ll never really know, I’m sure, as he and Mom were older when my little sister and I are born. He lost his own father when he was only thirteen years old and had to help move the body. There was much death in his life, most of it he witnessed far too close and far too painfully.

But Daddy is the strongest man I’ve ever known.

It may also be that I’m such a private person because I’m that type that not only carries my own hurt, but the hurt of others as well. While I may not cry as much as most people do, my heart breaks all the same. Many times I’ve sat, stony faced, in situations where my guts had been reduced to ashes and rubble. As I’ve aged, I’ve learned to deal with some things a little better, and some things a little worse.

And that’s where All Out War was born. That place that said, “GET OUT!” to everything I’ve ever harbored that has ever killed me inside a little. All the things that I’ve ever tucked away in that “hurts too much to talk about” folder waaaaaaaay back in the back of my mind.

On the upside, though, I’ve already gotten out a lot more than I thought I would, in my own way. Even in vagueness there is a kind of solace that can bring a great deal of relief. And I’ve experienced it a time or two.

So. The is how I came to be All Out War. Where it goes from here, I’m not sure, but hopefully to a place of “normality” for a change. A place where I can move on and maybe even help others who have been where I have been. Isn’t that one of the things that God would have us to do with our valley’s and trials? To learn, thank Him for His grace in having seen us through it, and use it to help others? Surely those things we’ve gone through aren’t just for us, are they?

And maybe, THAT, is what it’s all about…being able to use the hurt, the trials, the heartaches, the “been there, done that” stories to keep someone else from having to wallow as long as we have? Maybe.

We’ll see…

Posted in Musings

why being a mom is enough. – Finding Joy

I randomly came across this today. And it really struck a chord. How could it not? I have worn a great many hats in my 40+ years of life, but NONE that I cherish and thank God for as I do being a Mom. It is the very blood that runs through my veins and I wouldn’t change them for the world. Everything that I do, I do with them in my mind, heart, spirit and heart.

They don’t see you stand in the bathroom and gather your resolve every morning. They don’t see those of you who mother alone without much support. They don’t see the trips to the car back and forth and back and forth. They don’t see you counting to ten a dozen times before noon. They don’t see you look at the bank account and sigh and try to figure out how to make three meals with what’s left in your pantry. They don’t see you walking into the principals office, doctor’s office, friend’s house and defending your child.

Source: why being a mom is enough. – Finding Joy

Posted in Musings

Mustering Courage

Trying to muster up the courage to share something from your past is, in my opinion, one of the hardest things in the world to do. That’s one reason I have so much respect and admiration for those that can do it. Especially the ones who have been through even more than I have.

In my own situation, I often wonder, “Why give place to the devil? Why bring up the accomplishments HE has had in my life?” which often stops me cold in my tracks.

I am a firm believer in moving on. Further away from what I’ve been through, further away from the tears, the lonely nights, the suicidal thoughts, the need for anything to take me away at no concern whatsoever for the end result. I don’t want to go back there. I just don’t.

I have recently been praying and I wonder sometimes if the small things that seem to be confirmation are actually, really confirmation or not. Which prompts more prayer and so the circle continues.

Well, it’s been two years coming. It was the reason I started this blog, in a way. I just never realized that the further away from the past I got, the less I even wanted to think about it, let alone go back and relive it and stir it all up again. Aren’t the sleepless night enough? The nightmares? The regret?


Posted in Musings

Happy Birthday!

Twenty-one years ago today, my life was changed forever. I didn’t know it then, but I had gained a title that would come to mean more to me than any other title that I would ever hold. It meant a lot of things, but most of all, it meant that I now had a “forever job” and that would be fine with me.

Twenty-one years ago, I became a Mom.

There were ups and there were downs. I cried, I laughed, I worried, I lost a lot of sleep, but I was happier than I had ever known was possible. He has been my reason for going on more times than once and has gone from my “baby boy” to my “adult son” that I can also call a friend.

So, Happy Birthday Nathan. I love you with all my heart and I pray God’s blessings on your day, your life and all that you endeavor to do.


Nathan and I
Posted in 365 Days of Writing Prompts

The Excitement Never Ends

Back to the prompts for today! This looks like a fun one, so we’ll see how it turns out. At my age, life has settled in to the point that there’s not much that makes me truly giddy, in the I-feel-like-a-kid-again way, and thinking about this prompt now, I realize that I quite miss it! I wonder what happened…?

The prompt is: Tell us about the last thing you got excited about — butterflies-in-the-stomach, giggling, can’t-wait excited.

The last thing that got me truly excited was our recent trip to historic Bardstown, Ky. We had planned it for weeks as a getaway for the entire day, just to sight-see and have fun, while at the same time, involving a great deal of places that would bring life to Abby’s recent lessons in US government and history. We were all excited, to be exact, and planned it down to the last jot and tittle.

I remember a few days prior to that Saturday, I had started making mention of it several times each day. I think the family got tired of it 🙂 but they never let on if they did. It had been years since we were there last, so I guess some of the excitement stemmed from knowing what was there and all the things there were to do and see. We visited historic buildings,

Wickland, Home of Three Governors


St. Joseph’s Church, the first and oldest Catholic Church in the state, supposedly.
Back courtyard of the old jail, where the “bars” were made into the building, of the same stone.
A one-room school house used in the early 1800’s.

a pioneer graveyard,

as well as old country stores and we took as many back roads as we could.

The trip was, indeed, wonderful. The only thing that would have made it better would have been to utilize the campground and stay a day or two, but that wasn’t feasible this time. As the day drew to a close, we wound up taking “the long way around” and went through a few more back roads with a little more history. We wound up going through the town where Jimmy was born and he was able to point out many landmarks and tell stories of yesteryear as he remembered them.

Yes, that was something that really made me so excited that it took a day or two for the excitement to wear off. It went from “I can’t wait until we go!” to “That was such an awesome trip”.

What does it take to make YOU giddy?

Posted in Musings

Where Has The Time Gone?

I can’t believe I’ve let this much time get away from me! And so quickly after deciding to write on the prompts every single day. That gets a big fat “BOO” from me. But, in my defense, I have been incredibly busy.

First of all, there is homeschooling, which is going well. With this online curriculum, keeping up with everything is easy, but there’s still a lot of work to be done. Papers to be graded that aren’t done online, essays to read and grade, math review and supplementation, entering information in my grade book… it all adds up and takes a great deal of time, but it’s oh so worth it.

There’s also the freelance writing that I do, and thank God my client list has grown a bit these past couple of weeks. Not by much, but enough to keep me writing on a regular basis. I try to write a bit in the mornings, before school, and I usually write until about 11 pm, after which I fall into bed like a sack of potatoes 🙂  !!  But again, it’s worth it. Having clients that have regular work for me to do, are incredibly easy to work with and communicate with and have reasonable deadlines are a God-send, which is an understatement in this business. I’ve actually had to turn down several interviews and a job proposal this week because my calendar is full throughout the remainder of the next two weeks!

These two things alone take up most of my time during the day, and I don’t really factor in all the other things that I do like housework, cooking, laundry, gardening and dealing with the dog 🙂 although the latter can sometimes be more than I bargained for! She’s a pickle and though she’s very independent, when she wants attention, she finds a way to get it! I find out something new about the Husky breed almost every day 🙂

So, just in case anyone was wondering, I’ve not dropped off the edge of the world, I’m simply learning how to juggle everything that I have going on. My Mom always use to tell us, don’t get too many irons in the fire. Well, sometimes it’s unavoidable, but I know what she meant.  I’ll manage 🙂

And of course, as always, thank you so much for having a read. Be blessed today, my friends!

Posted in Musings

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

Tomorrow is a very special day. It marks 62 years since my wonderful parents said their marriage vows in a little mountain church house  in Eastern Kentucky. And I just want to stop and take a few moments to let them know how much I love and cherish them and how much their lives, so full of strength, courage, and tenacity, has encouraged me throughout my life.

Mom and Daddy, I love you all so much! Thank you for always being there for me, even and especially when I didn’t deserve it, and for pushing me and encouraging me to do everything I loved so much. I may not be the success story that a lot of children are to their parents, but in every breath I take, it is the two of you who are never more than a breath away from my heart.

I can only pray that someday, my own children will look at us the same way, and know that even when times were at their hardest, that we loved and cared for them and would make any and all sacrifices necessary. Same as you all did for us.

I hope you take the day to celebrate the two of you, and have a wonderful and BLESSED day.

I love you!