Wednesday, May 31, 2006


By Marion Kelley Bullock

Yes, this is writing related. I promise. I have known for some time that I'm vertically challenged. The other morning, I had to face the sad fact that I'm also cooking challenged. I don't mean because I can't reach anything in my kitchen. I mean that my mind is so fogged up with my characters plotting behind my back, before I even get a chance to sit down at the keyboard, that I can't think straight.

I wanted to try this new recipe for Orange-Cinnamon French Toast. I melted the butter and added honey and cinnamon. Then I added two eggs and whipped them. I spread the mix in a square Pyrex and placed four slices of toast in it. They looked dry, so I turned them over.

As I placed the dish in the oven to bake, I noticed the one-half cup of orange juice still sitting on the counter. It should have been added to the mix, so it would actually be Orange-Cinnamon. Uh-oh. Another glance at the recipe and I realized I was supposed to dip the bread in the egg and orange juice and place in the prepared pan. When I told my dh of my lapse, he said, "Now we won't know whether we like that recipe or not." He kindly ate the toast, slathered with maple syrup.

This is where the procrastinating comes in. The word is defined as postponing what one should be doing. As I write these words, I’m aware that an incomplete novel lies in a file on my computer, waiting patiently while I delay needlessly. So I sit up straighter, raise my chin, and determine to stop dilly-dallying. I’ve got to get to work. Now.

“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might...” Ecclesiastes 9:10.

Friday, May 05, 2006


By Marion Kelley Bullock

“You have acid reflux,” the doctor said.

Okay, I can live with that. I’m adaptable. I can swallow the little Nexium tablets. I can be careful to eat the right foods (when I find out what they are) and leave off those that might cause problems. I don’t live to eat, after all. I eat to live.

“You need to raise the head of your bed up 4 to 6 inches,” he continued. “Preferably 6.”

Sounds extreme, but hey, it’s an adventure. We can do this!

My husband sawed 2 X 4s to the appropriate length and stacked them one atop the other, 6 inches tall.

The bed looked comic, as if it had taken on a life of its own, like it was in charge of the situation. But we were determined not to let it buffalo us.

Bedtime came and we settled down, me on my side and John on his.

“Feels odd,” he said. “But I guess we can get used to it.”

“Sure. It’s not so bad.”

He had sawed the boards but we couldn’t to save our lives saw any logs. We were too busy holding onto the headboard. Each time I turned loose, I slid down a couple more inches.

Still, I felt sure it was only a matter of time before we got the hang of it. After all, the cat seemed to be staying in the same place in the bed’s center. No slipping for her. A closer look, though, revealed her claws fastened firmly in the sheet. I felt a momentary flash of envy of this small creature that could perch in a tree or on a steep incline.

By that time, I’d slipped down 6 more inches. I’m just 5 feet tall, but John is 6 feet. It wouldn’t take him long to hit the foot of the bed at this rate. I figured that even if we did go to sleep, we’d end up crumpled on the floor at the foot of the bed by morning. And how was that supposed to help my reflux?

“I’m sliding off the bed,” I said finally.

“Me, too,” he admitted.

It didn’t take us long after that to move into the guest room. We’d wait until tomorrow to lower the bed.

The next day, John took out one of the 2 X 4s and we settled on 4 inches. It still feels odd. But it’s manageable.

What if we hadn’t even tried to raise the head of our bed as high as the doctor suggested? We’d never know if it would work or not.

It’s the same way with all our struggles. We must reach for the highest in our efforts if we hope to achieve all that God has for us in life.