Thursday, December 30, 2004

A Writing Space

It's difficult for me to write unless there is no clutter around me and no interruptions. That is an almost impossible wish in a family of six, especially with the children being so young!

So I whined about that today. Actually, I whined about it all week.

Tim finally pursed his lips at me, which he does when he gets annoyed at me, so it annoys me that he purses me. Then I'm annoyed at him being annoyed. Not good.

I decided to use my gift of ingenuity (once, when Tim wasn't pursing his lips at me, he said he appreciated my ingenuity - it was when I was dressing the baby in odds and ends because it was the first cold snap of the year and we were caught without warm clothes. She looked cute - and warm - in her plaids and stripes!). Instead of whining about not having a writing space, I would do something about it!

After walking around the house and finding fault with nearly every space, I decided upon the desk in my bedroom. By clearing it and untangling the power cords, I was able to create a surprisingly large space for writing. To make the space more cozy, since coziness attracts better words, I found an old bookcase in the garage, dusted it off, and put it within arm's reach of my desk. On the bookcase I placed a basket for papers and a basket for electronic gadgets like the digital camera and cute little USB driver that I had to have last month. On the desk is a piece of pottery for pencils. Across from me, on the wall, is a bulletin board with letters and pictures from the children ("I love you, Mom, my speuale [special] grl!" says one from 6yo Britty). Above the bulletin board is a wire basket shelf to hold Pothos plants (those pretty green vines seen in doctor's offices).

My point? Whining is too slow! I didn't get my cozy writing space by whining.

Ingenuity, on the other hand, is effective and it is cheap. Without spending a penny I was able to make a space to write.

Tomorrow I will have to think of a new excuse not to write.

Lori Seaborg
Alabama's Gulf Coast

Monday, December 27, 2004

Lacking Self Discipline

I think writers are considered right-brainers -- right? Which means we are a highly creative lot, which means we all struggle with self-discipline? I'm hoping for some company here, anyway. I've recognized recently that I lack discipline in a very BIG way.

Perhaps admitting my problem is the first step toward fixing it, like admitting one is an alcoholic is the first step to healing. If so, then I announce:


Okay, that said, I am now resolving to do something about it. I really, really want to write and I feel like that is what God is UNquestionably asking me to do for Him. I procrastinate out of fear (oh, another admission! Is that step 2?).

A couple of days ago, I mentioned that I think I lack self-discipline to my dad(I KNOW I do, but it sounds less harsh on myself to say, "I think"). He said, "You're going to have to get over that to be a writer." Then he went on to remind me of my brilliantly talented grandfather who journaled and wrote poetry, but never sat down and committed himself to sharing his writing talent with others.

I don't want to tell Jesus, "Oh, I wish I had written something for you, I know you wanted me to, but -you know - I was so busy."

I want to place a finished manuscript at His feet.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Feeling a Little Yucky

Thought I'd let my blog know that I'm alive, but just a little down and out with an almost-cold. I feel achey and well, yucky, but nothing is all the way wrong with me yet. So today I lazed around and didn't get much accomplished, giving my body just this one day to shape up. Tomorrow I'm not allowed to feel bad.

When I feel bad I have the hardest time resting. I see the messes the kids are making while I'm laying around and it eats me up to not take care of them (the messes and the kids). I have so many projects to do - every day - that I just don't have time for feeling ill. Still, I am so glad it is me that is sick and not anyone else in the family. I'm the best patient! :)

Since I don't have much for you to read today, hop on over here to Shannon Woodward's site, to read her list of Writer's Resolutions. A great list!

Lori Seaborg
in bed, with an achey head (the only poetry you'll get from me!)
on the Gulf Coast

Thursday, December 16, 2004

One Thought at a Time

We have been in a hard time, but it was a very, very hard from August 26th to November 3rd when we just seemed to be "in the fire" on a daily basis. Our trials during that time included losing our sole income when my dh lost his job senselessly and unexpectedly and Hurricane Ivan hitting our area hard.

During that time, and even now when I get scared because we lost our insurance policies with the job and when I worry about future money, I remember something that I read a long time ago: We can only have one thought at a time.

That seems impossible for us multi-tasking moms, but it is true. You can only think ONE thought at a time. That means I can either dwell on our hard times, or thank God for what I can find that is good.

It has helped me to remember that. Sometimes I find my thoughts going back to what I want to tell my dh's former bosses who fired him, negative #%@!% thoughts. Then I remind myself that I can only think one thought at a time, so I DECIDE to think something positive. Before long, I feel more upbeat and happy.

Lori Seaborg
Alabama's Gulf Coast

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Lori Seaborg 2004
Lori Seaborg 2004

Alyssa Belle, Pixie

Alyssa Belle, the Pixie
Lori Seaborg 2005

Writing: Choosing an Audience

I wonder if other writers wonder, or wondered when starting out, what their slant would be. By this, I mean, how do you choose your audience? I want to write to mothers, yes. But which mothers? Mothers who are very conservative and KJV only? Mothers who are relaxed, Gen-Xers? Mothers who work outside the home and stanchly defend that? Mothers who stay at home with their children? Homeschooling moms? The questions go on.

It really does make a difference to answer those questions so that I will know how to write! If I'm choosing the more conservative group, I'd not say things that I might to a more Gen-X group.

You might say that I should only be myself. Well, that in and of itself is often a contradiction! I like the old-fashioned hymns, but I also like '80's music, Josh Groban, and country music. I think "sucks" is a terrible word to say, but I don't think "damn" should be a swear word because it just means something is damned, like as in "cursed." (Still, I don't say it because it is not socially acceptable). I like to cook from scratch and even want to learn to grind my own wheat for flour, but I also like to have convenience foods on hand for the days when I don't want to cook.

I'd like your thoughts on all this, especially if you could speak from your experience as a writer or a speaker.

I already know the answer: As with all questioning, the thing to do is to pray and ask God to reveal which audience He has in mind. Or perhaps I should just write from my heart and trust Him to get it into the right hands.

I'll let you know what I come up with when I come up with it!

Sunday, December 12, 2004

My Day Today

My day today ~~~

Simmering....Apples, orange pieces, cloves, a dash of nutmeg, and cinnamon sticks in a tiny crockpot

Baking/Cooking......Homemade pizza, quick cinnamon rolls (non-yeast), peanut brittle, English toffee, and the crust for pecan bars

Reading..."And the Shofar Blew" by Francine Rivers

Playing....At a Sunday School brunch after church, where Santa made a visit to the children

Enjoying....A long nap with all the children and Tim after our brunch

Watching..."The Santa Clause" with the whole family on blankets in front of the fire this evening bed!

Lori Seaborg
Fairhope, Alabama

Saturday, December 11, 2004


I can't put my finger on it, but I've just been sad lately. I think I've been thinking too much. When I think too much, I get mad at Home Depot for firing my husband 3 and a half months ago. It was because someone lied about him and she faxed her lies to the "higher-uppers", people who didn't know Tim and didn't look at his unmarred work record, people who were too busy that day to bother with one employee or to bother making sure the statements were accurate, so they placed an X on the termination box. And that was that, hands smacked together, there you go, another of the day's tasks done.

Tim, without their knowledge, got a copy of that fax (the one with the lies) so he wrote up a statement to set the record straight, along with people to contact to verify the facts. For 10 weeks (!), 10 WEEKS, as in 2-1/2 months, Tim was told every few days that he would "have an answer by the end of the week." A few days later, they needed a few more days, and so on. He was also told that if his statements were found to be true, he would be re-employed, of course.

All of the statements were found to be true, but a company such as Home Depot cannot "afford" to admit that they are wrong, so they did not allow him to come back to work again. They couldn't find anything to pin on Tim. I am not being subjective when I say that he was an exemplary manager for them. They literally could not find any wrong, so they decided to keep him fired on the basis of "leaving 2 hours early one day." He was a salaried manager, without set hours, so it is not possible to leave early. Later, we found out that Home Depot has callied the other stores that Tim has worked at and asking for statements against him.

Imagine, getting a promotion in November 2003 with a 26% salary increase plus bonuses, great life and health insurance coverage, great stock plan and IRA, and 3-1/2 years into the company, climbing up the ladder to make it to management. Imagine moving your family to a new state and new home in February 47 miles to be where the company wants to transfer you, but they will not pay for the move because it is not 50 miles. Imagine this: you are the single income of a family of six! Four children, ages 9, 7, 4, and 1. You must take your job seriously with that at stake so you work any hours they ask and never take a sick day or a personal day.

Then, without warning one day, after a 5-day birthday vacation, you come back to work on a Thursday in August. You work most of the day as the sole manager running the store. After lunch, you are called into the back office and handed a termination letter. You will only receive one more paycheck, and it will not be a full one as you have not finished out the work week. They will take insurance premiums out of your last check, but are cancelling the insurance policies tomorrow (you will find this out 2 weeks later). You will not receive the bonus that you have worked 8 months toward.

Just imagine all that! I still cannot get the fist out of my stomach. Even 3-1/2 months later, I still feel it.

Tim was devastated, of course, but he moves on more easily than I do. He has enjoyed spending more time with his family and has found some contract-type work because of Hurricane Ivan coming through the area (a difficult thing to live through without an income!).

Me? I try so hard to give it to God. But I keep mulling over it, and I keep getting headaches. It has been such a painful thing. It bothers me that the people who hurt us the most in this are just happily working at their jobs without a thought in our direction.

Anyways, you can pray for me in this. I want to shake this sadness away. I have a pretty house, even if it is far away from our hometown and home church, and I have a houseful of children who are all such blessings. And I have Tim, who has always been my rock. It has been so nice to be with him more.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Photo: Stone, 4yo

Lori Seaborg 2005

Goals for Today

Goals for Today:

1. Pay bills - DONE*

2. Have a Christmas tea for Mom when she comes to visit today (from 50 miles away), a simple thing, just tea and Christmas cookies, a cheese ball and Ritz.

3. Mop the floors which I've been avoiding.

4. Place order at LeeValley for Christmas gifts.

5. Place book order at Overstock and/or Amazon (I've decided I'm going to be the book aunt from now on).

6. Make cookie dough to freeze or to bake:

- Cut-out cookies
- Chocolate ones
- Those powdery balls (Russian or Mexican somethings)

7. Wrap gifts to put under empty tree.

8. For homeschool, have the children do math as they string cinnamon sticks or bay leaves onto wires and have them write in their journals. A light day for school, as is all of the month of December.

9. Download the printer onto this new computer, another task I've avoided.

10. Write for 2 hours minimum this evening.

And change diapers, dress the baby, turn the 4-year-old's clothes right-side-out, feed the chickens, eat, stand in the sun at least once, etc. etc.. It's 8:15am, I'd better get busy!

Lori Seaborg
Fairhope, Alabama

*I like to write things on my to-do list even if I have already done them. It gives me a sense of accomplishment to then cross them out.


Thursday, December 09, 2004

What I've Wanted More Than Anything

Brittany, 7, asks tonight, "Mama, what have you always wanted more than anything?" She pauses for a moment, then inserts the answer she would choose: "A horse?" I don't answer her verbally. I just point at her.

"Me?" she asks, and yes, I can truly say that she is what I've always wanted more than anything, from the time I used to play with baby dolls until the time I married her Daddy.

I always wanted a firstborn son, and got that, I always wanted a little girl, and got that. Then, we wanted another boy and another girl, and we got those, too. We'd better stop wanting - we've got a houseful!

More than anything else, above riches and more land and goals met and even friends, I have wanted a family. A family in which I was loved by loveable people. I came from a family like that, so it was important to me to find it.

What a humbling thing to know that God has granted me what I have always wanted, more than anything.

Photo of Tim & Lori

Tim and Lori in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico 11-30-2004
Lori Seaborg 2004

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

What is Your Gift?

On another blog, the writer asked us what our gift from God is and how we knew God was the One giving it to us? Here's my response:

My gift is writing. I've known I wanted to write since before I could even write legibly. Even so, I took several detours before allowing myself to do the one thing I really wanted to do. Shouldn't a life's purpose be more tough and less fun to do? I thought so.

It took years, but I finally figured out that God gives us natural talents and natural desires which should lead us toward knowing our purpose. I fought being a writer, thinking I should do something else like nursing, even though I really despise body fluids and being indoors without windows.

I'm still at the beginning stages of using my gift. I am still at the stage where I wonder what I am supposed to write (non-fiction, I think), who I am supposed to help (other mothers of young children, I think), and how I am supposed to go about getting the message out (whatever message that may be). I also wonder how to find the time to write in a day that is full of a husband, four children, a home, and homeschooling.

So, although God has shown me my gift, He has not yet shown my the way. After a week of frustration, it suddenly occured to me today that I don't have to worry about who to write to, what to write, or where to send it -- if God wants me to do this, He will open the way and provide the words.

I just wish He would yell instead of whisper.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Keeping the Home -- or NOT!

Yesterday, I received a comment on this blog to my Keeping the Home post. I thought I'd share it with you and also share my response to it. (The original post has been edited slightly for swearing and crude language)

Posted by Cathy to Keeping the Home at 12/5/2004 06:44:17 PM

"Yes, I am ready to [keep the home] right now. I am done ignoring THE LORD and I am going to get off my a** and stop mastur****** and downloading rap music till 4 o'clock in the morning and going to college and all that sinful sh**. I am gonna find myself a good christian white man and make babies with him and keep his home. What was I thinking my whole life? A career? Independance? Bah. How misled I was! Thank you for showing me the light of THE LORD."

Posted by Lori Seaborg to Keeping the Home at 12/5/2004 07:01:00 PM

Having read my post again this evening, I can see why you might look at it negatively. I was obviously passionate about the subject (keeping the home), but could just as easily write on two other subjects of which I am passionate: independence and college degrees! You don't have to lose your independence or become meek and mild to a "good Christian white man" (or a man of any color, obviously) in order to be in tune with God.

My favorite thing about God is that we have a free will. NOBODY should tell you that God wants you to get married, be a stay-at-home mom, cook 3 square meals a day, homeschool, and say "Yes, Sir," to your husband. God has not written down rules regarding any of that! Instead, He just wants you to love Him. In whatever way that you would do that.

If you listen intently to Him, you might feel that He would lead you in a certain direction. I, for example, feel strongly that this semester He would have me homeschool (I take it one semester at a time) and that He would have me be a stay-at-home mom while our children are so young. Just because God has given me this desire and leading does NOT mean that I should push it onto you.

You may feel that He would have something entirely different for you. And if you don't at all want to do what He wants, He has also given you that option with the free will that He gave you.

Thank you for reading my post and for your response! I always welcome the opposite viewpoint. It helps me realize how my words come out sometimes.

Lori Seaborg
Fairhope, Alabama

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Back from Mexico

We are back from Mexico -- we returned late on Friday night and now it is Sunday -- and even though we were gone only a week, and even though we were in a touristy area, I am still having a hard time adjusting to being in America.

After our plane landed, I drove to Arby's for a sandwich and surprised myself by saying "Gracias" to the very pale-skinned manager who handed me my food. He was a character, a flamboyant sort, so didn't even seem to notice my error.

The weather also takes some adjusting. Here in South Alabama it is a rainy day, the type that floods our river and makes the chickens feathers wet. I haven't seen the sunshine since landing in America and I miss it!

It is not just the language that has taken some adjusting. It is also the abundance. Driving over the Florida - Alabama border at 10pm the night we returned, I could not believe the amount of wealth that this country has. Every home had electricity shining from it, every person was sheltered away from the cool December air. Almost every home had at least one vehicle in front of it. I've always known we are rich, but I was re-reminded of it after this trip. Even our poor have so much.

I love to be home and I love to be in America, but there is something missing here. Something is just too easy. It would be easy and comfortable to live my American life in the abundance I have been given without wasting a thought on those people in other countries who have so little. Instead, I want to know what God would have me do to ease the burden of others.

What would God have you do with the "leg up" that you have been given as an American? Would He like you to go to those countries as a missionary? Or should you send financial support to those who do go? Or should you spend time in prayer for the missionaries and for the natives?

It is something that we should consider this holiday season.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Photo of Mexican Vendor

Read Dec. 2, 2004 post "A Mexican Vendor"
Lori Seaborg 2004

A Mexican Vendor

Today, as Tim and I walked along a stone pathway along the edge of the Pacific, we were searching for beauty in nature. We found it, in the deep colors of the Pacific and in the tiny crabs on the rocks. But we found beauty more vividly in the sweet spirit of the young woman selling jewelry on the path. She was the only vendor present. We were at first slightly annoyed to have seen her in such a secluded spot, for the vendors in this city of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico are aggressive and have a way of ruining a romantic moment.

But this girl, sitting nine months pregnant behind her black cloth full of carefully –laid jewelry, was not our normal vendor. I had to stop. I just had to. I heard myself say, “Tim, look, she is pregnant and alone. We have to support her.”

Her jewelry was of an inexpensive metal, and was crudely handmade. It was of a coiled metal design. I pointed at one necklace with a smooth round green stone attached at the bottom of a series of coiled wire. “180 pesos,” she said. Hmm, about $18, a bit high for a metal that will turn my skin green, but I looked up at Tim with my big blue eyes, knowing the power of persuasion that I have over him.

“We must help her,” I said, “her baby is due on December 15th." She could not speak English, but had gotten that much across to me in Spanish. Only 13 days away.

Tim says I always get what I want, but that is only true when I really, really want something and he can tell it. He bought me the necklace, of course, and I proudly wore it before I left the young woman. She handed me a free pair of earrings and Tim snapped a photo of the two of us together.

Later as I sat by the river next to the hotel, I thought about our little vendor. I think what drew me to her was her spirit. It was calm, not restless. She did not shout at us as the other vendors did, or say things like, “Want to see my junk?” or “I make you a deal today. Almost free.” We heard those words from the other vendors. Our girl just sat there and smiled sweetly at us as we walked by her the first time, uttering not a word. When we passed her again later, her spirit connected to mine – I am a mother, too, and I know what it feels like to be 9 months pregnant . I know what it is like to sell something that you have made with your own hands. How hard salesmanship is for us meek ones.

As a fellow mother, a craftswoman, an artist, a forced-saleswoman, I could not turn away from our Mexican friend without supporting her work. May she always be so sweet, may her baby be healthy, may her smile never waver, may her work be rewarding, may God bless her.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Scenic Photo of Mismaloya, Mexico

Our hotel the background is the cobblestone street, and on the other side of that is the bench and the river where I wrote each day.
Lori Seaborg 2004

I AM a Writer

This village of Mismaloya is so inspiring to me. As I write this, I can hear a cock crowing (he never stops!) and the river flowing over the rocks. The Mexicans walk by occasionally on the cobblestone street in front of me, or on the cobblestone pathway upon which my bench sits. They are a friendly lot, saying, “Hola,” each time they pass. Smiles are on their faces every time.

When I pause for words, looking up from my typing, I see flowers in abundance. Bougainvilleas are enormous here, and full of blooms. Hibiscus are as tall as buildings filled with colorful flowers. The trees’ brances are unique to me. They go up, then crooked, then back down to almost touch the river. Sometimes fruit or nuts fall from the trees, nearly missing me. Overhead are birds, always present. Less than ½ mile away is the Pacific Ocean, so cold, with its pounding waves and blue and green and grey waters.

I want this time in Puerto Vallarta to make me become a writer – I say, I “wanted” it to do so, for tomorrow is our last day here. I guess a location, no matter how exotic cannot make a writer. It is clear that that can only be accomplished by just sitting one’s buns down in a chair and writing! Daily. Daily, daily.

I just spend so much time wondering what I’m supposed to write about. What am I so high and mighty knowledgeable about? I feel as though I am not an authority on any subject at all, especially, particularly motherhood, which is what I think the Lord wants me to write about. If He wants m e to write to mothers, and if Tim believes that I can do it, then why not just take the plunge and do it? What could possibly go wrong? The type of “no” one gets in this publishing business is a written “no”. That is so much more easy to swallow than a face-to-face “no”, or a phone-call “no”. That is all I have to lose!

On the other hand, if I do not write, I will lose Tim’s trust in my self-discipline, God’s calling, and much more personally.

In this setting, on a wooden carved bench with my feet on a cobblestone path in Mismaloya village, with the river gurgling behind me as it passes over stones, beside the monstrous iguanas hiding in the rocks on the river edge, with the bougainvillea blooming in front of me, separating me from the vehicles carrying tourists to the mountains ---- in this place, this idyllic place, I say out loud, “I am a writer.” From now on , “I AM A WRITER.”

I WILL write every day. NOTHING will get in my way. NO INTERRUPTION will be placed in importance above this calling. I can take my writing with me wherever I am needed, whether it is in a hospital room or on a playground. I will take it, I will use my time wisely, and I WILL be self-disciplined.

* I will stop reading about writing – I have learned enough to start.
* I will stop scheduling writing time – instead, I will just write.
* I will stop giving excuses to myself because I am a busy mother – God knows that, yet He called me to write anyway.
* I will stop wondering what to write – instead, I will sit down and write, even if in sentence fragments; even if I write only, “I don’t know what to write.”
* I will stop wondering why I am such an authority. I will instead agree with God that I should be writing and leave the expert editing to Him.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving under the Full Moon

I've always wanted to garden under the full moonlight.

I've never gardening under the full moonlight because I think the neighbors might hear the scritch-scratch of my shovel and imagine I was burying a dead person. If someone ever came up missing in our county, I bet they'd mention the strange noises coming from my yard in the middle of the night.

Since gardening was out, I asked dh (Tim) if he would go on a walk to the river with me. I expected a "What?!" but he surprised me with a "K."

It was just after midnight on Thanksgiving Day and the trees were swaying with the strong breezes coming in from the West. The river is flowing loudly tonight. Normally it is silent, but tonight it has flooded over the banks by just a couple of feet. It makes a gurgling sound as the water pushes its way through the fallen cedars and pines that Hurricane Ivan left in the middle of the river.

Tim and I walked, hand in hand .... well, then hand pulling hand because he was going too fast in his sneakers for my bare feet...then hand letting go of hand...Anyways, we walked in the moonlight together, watching the river flow past us so swiftly, hearing animals in the woods, feeling wet sand between my toes.

I was reminded of the Creator, the One who has given us all reason for Thanksgiving. When we walked back up the yard, we visited the chickens. Princess, the rooster who we thought was a hen, did his side-of-the-head stare at us. I poked my finger through the chicken wire to touch a sleeping hens feathers.

Under the moon, with the stars above and the white clouds flowing swiftly across them, with the breeze blowing cool air and with the river gurgling and the hens shifting their weight on the roost, I thought of our Creator.

"The Heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth His handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speach and night unto night uttereth knowledge. There is no speech nor language where His voice is not heard."

We can hear Him and see Him in creation. If you are ever wondering where God is, get outside and be in the midst of his creation. THAT is the Great Cathedral. You will find Him there.

For God's creation of nature, and for His creation of mankind...I am thankful this Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 22, 2004


I need to clean the house and organize things and pack for our end-of-this-week trip to Mexico, but there is nothing like a deadline looming to make me procrastinate. Why IS that? Suddenly, I feel that I have to do insane things like make a huge dinner - only 3 days before our huge Thanksgiving dinner - and invite 3 moms (including me) and 11 kids (including mine) over to play tomorrow. The hen and her two chicks suddenly need to be with the other chickens instead of separate as they have been for two weeks, and I absolutely must reorganize the garage today. Why do I feel the need to procrastinate on what's necessary? Am I half INSANE?!?

I am writing this to inspire me to get up and get working on my chores. Or should I write? Both chores and writing must be top priorities. I will always have this struggle unless I make a writing schedule and a chore schedule and work in the boundaries of them, not allowing one to muddle the other. Also, there needs to be a God-time schedule, and a homeschooling schedule, and a sleeping schedule. Ah! The problem is -- I don't like schedules! I like to be free with each day, with nothing scheduled and time to use freely.

When I do make a schedule finally, something breaks it up until I give it up. My writing time schedule this evening (it's now evening as I write this paragraph) has been broken into fragments by Alyssa Belle, our 1-1/2 year old, who decided she absolutely could not bear to sleep alone in her crib as she has done for countless nights before this one. After a couple of hours of crying, she is now asleep next to my right arm, looking like the sweetest baby on Earth who would never cause her parents even a bit of worry.

Is it the devil who causes the distractions when we are doing something that we know to be from God? Or is it simply the rhythms of daily life? I wonder what you think about that. Post your comments.

Saturday, November 20, 2004


I've been disapointed (I never can remember if it is disSapointed or disapPointed, so I'm making both letters stand alone today) - as I was saying, I am diSaPointed with how little I have blogged here. It's because I was viewing this as a place to put up articles. Instead, I think this blog should be a place to feel more free with my writing. Writers call it "freewriting," which is sitting down and just writing without editing, and without thinking hard about it. You write whatever comes to mind. In that case, I will write more often; likely, daily. It's not as if anyone knows about this site anyway. I don't think a soul reads it!

If there is anyone out there, you might like to know that I have moved my articles to a Yahoo! group: . That's where I'll post full articles; this is where I'll post random thoughts. If you like my random thoughts, then you'll surely like the articles which are more polished. Then again, there is something appealing about a scruffy mutt over a groomed poodle. :) You get to have it both ways, a choice of ways, or no way at all.

Now that I just said I'm going to write more often, I need to sign off. I have to make a dessert for a Sunday School "fellowship" that Tim and I are attending tomorrow night. It's not nearly as stuffy as it sounds -- rather, it is a potluck (that sounds unappealing, too) -- a get-together with acquaintances who have in common their love for God and the hope of becoming friends.

I've signed up for dessert and bread. Naturally, I like to make things difficult on myself, so I am going to bake homemade herb bread and bring 3 different types of candy. It's not a show-off thing, but rather it is a oh-goody-I-get-to-bake-something-fun thing.

I'll chat later!
Lori Seaborg
Fairhope, Alabama

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Saving Money around the House

A side benefit to being frugal with money (ie. broke) occured
recently when the children wanted to decorate cupcakes. We'd run out
of sprinkles but my!, they were amazed that I could make colored
sugar. They kept hollering, "Look! Mama MADE this sugar! Look, it's
colored!" I've learned a few other things about being frugal in the
house in this hard time:

* Buying generic brands in everything is frustrating to me, but it
has also introduced me to a few alternate products. The store-brand
Saltines in one store, for example, taste like the Premium brand.

* Laundry gets just as clean on a longer cycle with half the
detergent called for on the box.

* Breakfast is cheaper by far without cold cereal. Cereal uses too
much expensive milk! I've been making muffins, pancakes, cinnamon
rolls, etc.

* The children don't NEED prepared snack foods like Cheez-Its and
Rold Gold pretzels. They will keep content as long as they have
SOMEthing when they are hungry.

* Free, fresh eggs from our chickens are awfully useful

* Margarine, even though I'm NOT happy to have it instead of butter,
at least spreads more easily.

* The chickens can live - and thrive - on only table scraps (thanks
to the baby, we have plenty!) and free ranging (that's a term for
letting them loose).

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Keeping the Home

I thought I'd take a moment this evening to explain why I am
passionate about the subject of "keeping the home." Here is a
journal entry of mine from April 29, 2004:

"Last night God seemed to have impressed Titus 2 on my heart, the
passage about teaching the younger women to 'love their husbands,'
and to 'be keepers of their homes.' Keepers of their homes. How
BEAUTIFUL that is!

Keep...keep the family together, keep it straight, keep it organized,
keep it clean, keep it happy, keep it healthy. It gets my mind a-

To be a keeper of a home seems so natural to me that my heart skips a beat at just the thought of it. I'm going to pray diligently for Tim (dh). With him leading our home, and me keeping our home, our lives will be balanced, God will be honored, and our children will be blessed."

Since that journal entry several months ago, I have felt increasingly
that I am not only to be a keeper of my own home, but I am to train
my daughters to be future keepers of their homes. Not only that, I
have felt a burden to help other women discover this urge from God.
As I mentioned above, this is a natural urge to me, and I think it is
a natural urge to you, too. As women, we are created to fulfill our
role as the keeper of the home. We dream of it from a young age.

A keeper of the home is every woman, whether you are single, a single parent, a stay-at-home mom, a working mom ... you are the keeper of the home. You are the HEART of the home. God created you to be this. If you are not fulfilling this role, you are no doubt yearning for it.

Do you want to start now? It is easy. Just follow your heart. It already knows what to do.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Hurricane Ivan

We survived Hurricane Ivan! It was a scary, intense thing. We only NOW, 3 weeks later, got Internet and phone lines back up. The hurricane came EXACTLY at us, and we found ourselves in the eye of the storm. Before the eye the noise was deafening outside. Even 4 days later, I can't stop dreaming about that sound at night. While we were in the eye of the storm for 2 hours, everyone else was getting hammered by it and not getting the break that we received. Because of that, Baldwin County (not including the beaches ) looks damaged but well compared to Escambia County, Florida (where Pensacola is).

Pensacola is the biggest mess I've ever seen. There were trees fallen on every street, even three days after the disaster, which is when we finally were allowed to enter the county. The roads to Escambia County were closed to us coming in for three days, so we only managed to get into there Saturday to check on our renters' house and Mom & Dad's house. We had to drive around trees on all but the major roads. We only saw 2 gas stations open, and the lines to those were literally a mile long in each direction. To see Pensacola photos, go to : . Our house in Pensacola has roof damage and two huge pine trees down - one on the power cords. It's such a low house that it fared much better than taller homes.

As it was, we stayed home at our house in Fairhope, Alabama. We didn't have anywhere to go to evacuate, but in the middle of the worst, I questioned our judgement! The kids slept in the hallway, except Alyssa Belle who was in the master bathroom in her playpen. They only awoke during the eye of the storm. The quiet was what woke them. It had been windy for over 15 hours at that point -- Ivan was so large that we started out with a tropical depression then tropical storm that lasted hours ( we experienced the storm for 30 hours total from end to end). When the eye came, it was so still that not a single leaf was blowing. Tim walked outside and looked around at the damage we had - fallen power lines, fallen trees around the house. We had heard "booms" on the roof, which were just fallen branches that hadn't caused any damage. They sounded worse than they were.

We are very impressed with our strong house that never seemed to even shudder and with the geography of the place. Even during the highest winds (around 130mph sustained, gusts were higher), Tim & I could open the doors and watch or even stand on the front porch for a bit (not for long! We could hear branches flying past). We felt wind, but no more than a stormy summer day. In Pensacola, during Hurricane Opal in 1995, we couldn't open our door without difficulty and Opal wasn't as strong of a storm as this one. But here, we live in a valley so the winds were mostly above us, flying past. The winds would catch our taller trees and sway them. Tim & I lay down quilts and pillows and watched out the door of our laundry room for a couple of hours. The sky glowed white during the storm, so we could see the tree outlines. There are three pines in our backyard that are next to each other in a straight line. Tim mentioned that they were tall enough to fall on the house. I told him that "those trees will NOT fall, I just know it, because I call them the Father, Son and Holy Ghost" (sure enough, we have other pines down, but not those three!).

We made the chickens a nice little hurricane shelter in their pen, but the doggone chickens lived out the storm on a roost that we had left exposed to the wind and rain (!). We kept looking at them during the storm with our high-powered flashlight, and they were always on that roost, looking wetter than they've ever been, and huddled together. The winds never seemed strong where they were, though, which is in a sheltered spot under trees.

We fell asleep during the eye of the storm, around 2am, and never woke up to hear the other side come through. Around 6:30am, I woke up to tropical storm force winds and a flooded back yard. The river was up over half of our yard (it crested 10 feet away from the bottom of our hill that the house is built on. the neighbor's basement flooded by several inches). And my stupid chickens were still on their roost, but now for a good reason as the river had flooded their pen up to 4 feet. I waded out there and saved my birds, of course. Brenden helped, and Tim and the neighbor, Chris, thought it was funny and took photos and video of us. They thought it was especially hilarious when one freaked-out hen flew over my head in the pen as I was holding another hen upside down. She then flew into the pen's walls, then fell into the river where I found out a chicken can float. Eventually, after much screaming (and telling her she's going into the pot if she ever flies at my head again), I caught her and saved her life, too. Later the river flooded up past the roost, around 7 feet high.

Today, the power is on and the river is down, I have phone and internet only because Tim spliced the phone line and hooked it up himself. We feel nearly normal after a morning spent doing laundry and cleaning out the fridge and freezer (a huge mess!!!). In the past few days, we've gotten food, water and ice from FEMA and food, baby items, and cleaning items from the Church of Christ. Both helped so much. One neighbor brought a grill and a bunch of meat that his store was giving employees to grill out (chicken breasts, hot dogs, hamburger patties), another neighbor offered use of his generator for an hour or two each evening so we could try to keep our freezer cold (didn't make much difference after all). Now we are able to help that neighbor back since his power didnt' come back on (a tree fell on his personal line), so we ran an extension cord to his house. It's been a time of people helping people.

We were miserable without air conditioning, and I missed the washing machine, but otherwise we had fun with the power off. We made a lot of bonfires (to Stone's, the pyromaniac, delight) and swam in the heat of the day in our flooded back yard. Yesterday we climbed around on the fallen trees in the back yard. We can now cross the river on several different logs. A tornado came through there, taking down over 20 trees in just our area of the riverbank, including several of our big cedars. It is not a bad thing entirely, as one fallen cedar created a cove for us, and the river dumped literally tons of pure white sand onto our riverbank, creating a very nice beach. The neighbors will help us clear the river, but for now we have bridges that are fun to sit on and dangle your feet in the water. The smell of the neighborhood is awesome, from the fallen pines and cedar.

I'll send photos when I can get them uploaded. We're going to go over to Pensacola as much as we can to volunteer somewhere over there. It was a sad sight to see the whole city so messed up. We feel very guilty having our power back so quickly when so many are without even a home. ( 6 power trucks came into our little street to help us; our kids were sitting on the porch bench watching them, so the power guys gave the kids Cokes and Snickers. The guys were from Tennessee).

Take care!

Lori for the whole family!

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Photo for HomeSchool Blogger Profile

Lori Seaborg 2005

Friday, October 01, 2004

June 2, 2005 Photo

Lori Seaborg
Lori Seaborg 2005

Lori Seaborg

Profile Photo
Lori Seaborg 2005

Monday, September 13, 2004

Preparing for an Emergency

Hurricane Ivan is barrelling down on us on the Gulf Coast. We expect him to start showing us what he's made of Wednesday. Tomorrow, Tuesday, everything is shutting down as people evacuate. We think we are staying put. With no income coming in right now, it is expensive to leave and we have lived here long enough to know that a hurricane can turn at any moment. We'll wait and see how dangerous it looks, then head to a local shelter if need be.

You, too, should have an emergency plan and at least a list of what to buy for an emergency. Here, we get warnings about our storms, so we don't have to keep the hurricane items on hand at all times. If you live where tornadoes and earthquakes are, you'd want to keep these items around:

oil for lanterns
canned food
boxed food like crackers
grill or other cooking device
water to drink
water in your tubs
important papers ready to go

Now, I'll tell you some things I am doing on a limited income, since some of you also may not be able to just go out and buy all of those things:

1. Look at what you already have, for example:

a. I don't have enough candles, but I do have candlemaking supplies. Since I will have power for the next two days at least, I will make candles rather than purchasing them.

b. We're making do with our under-cabinet kitchen radio rather than buying another one. We will just unscrew it from the cabinets to carry it throughout the house with us.

c. I'm baking bread and making cookies. We don't have the extra money to buy convenience items already made. I will store the baked items in containers like Tupperware. I will make some healthier items like whole wheat bread and blueberry muffins.

d. Rather than purchasing water, we are going to fill pitchers and water containers with the drinking water that we can get out of the faucet now.

e. We don't have a tarp, but we have a roll of plastic that we bought for Hurricane Opal years ago. We'll use that, if need be.

2. Natural disasters create a mess! Don't start out with a mess, or it will be much worse for you. Start now to clean the house:

a. Mopping and vacuuming.
b. Do all laundry.
c. All important paper items need to be stored in waterproof containers. We are using some Rubbermaid totes that we have already.
d. Pick up loose items that will hurt your feet when you walk around in the dark when the power is out.
e. Put books and other papers in waterproof containers or at least get them off the floor if your storm is a watery one.
f. Do the dishes.
g. Make the beds.
h. Straighten up anything you can. With the power out, you need everything to be already in its place so you can find it when needed.

3. Be prepared. If you have the luxury, as we do, of knowing a storm is coming, you can start getting ready days ahead. Here is my list:

a. Charge the chargeable flashlights.
b. Charge the cellphones.
c. Charge the digital camera and clear it for ample storage after taking photos of the house (pre-storm) for insurance purposes. Email those pictures to someone in another state for safekeeping, or create a photo CD and keep it with the important papers.
d. Bake items now for eating when the power is out.
e. Have insurance and emergency information in a place where you can find it easily.
f. Pack a bag in case you have to get out fast. Put in a change of clothing for everyone, snacks, water bottles, and a special blanket or animal for the kids.
g. Pack another bag with important papers and medications along with your purse/wallet and car keys and cell phones. You will grab this bag if you have to evacuate.
h. Email or call someone to let them know of your plans.
i. If your emergency is a water one, dig any needed ditches for water run-off, clear gutters, have tarp ready.
j. Have a plan for the outside animals. Our chickens are going to the garage (yuck!) if they are in danger from the high wind speeds. Bring in the cat and dog in plenty of time.
k. Fill Ziploc bags now with water and place in the freezer. They will ice, keeping the freezer colder longer if the power goes out.
l. Fill prescriptions and place medicine in the bag mentioned above (g).
m. Fill the gas tanks of the cars (gas stations can't pump without power).
n. Get some extra cash out of an ATM (ATMs don't work without power).
o. Gather any loose items from the yard (we have lawn chairs and a deck box and planters)and place them in the garage or in the house.
p. Cover windows, if you are preparing for a windy storm, with plywood. If you can't do that, as we cannot this year (plywood is too expensive for us now, and all stores are out of it anyways), then create a plan for what you'll do if the windows shatter. For example, as soon as the power goes out, we are moving the television to a safe room without windows. We will move the living room furniture into safer rooms, also.
q. Create a "Storm Central." We will create a space in either our master bathroom, which is large, or in the hallway. We will bring in blankets, pillows, snacks, water, emergency lighting like flashlights and candles, games to play, my crocheting needle and yarn, the radio, paper and pen, and the children will each bring a small bag filled with favorite toys.

If I think of more things to add to this list, I will. I hope all of you stay safe. If you read this before Hurricane Ivan comes to the Florida/Alabama border where we live (around September 15, 2004), please say a prayer of safety for us. I rather love a good storm as it reminds me of the power of God. But I don't like a deadly storm, nor do I like the mess it causes.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Homekeeping Site to Visit

On first impression this evening, I really like Laine's Letters, a website. I've only read her introduction and a couple of the letters, but wow!, God has given her a gift for writing from the heart. See what you think.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Hope When Life is Hard

We are now going through a hard time with a job loss, but my heart is still overflowing with these blessings I have been given. Daily, I think back to when times were especially hard. I don't think back for negative reasons, but because I don't want to forget. I don't ever want to be poor again, but I also don't want to forget what it's like.

Our future is uncertain while we face a future with unemployment, but I still see many blessings surrounding me. I could weep for happiness as I hear the birds chirp, my chickens cluck, and the wind in the pine trees. We were so broke at one point, living on little, and literally "robbing Peter to pay Paul." The stress was all-consuming. When we first moved here, our six-year-old said, "We don't get into trouble much at this house."

It's true. They don't. The extra space helps immensely, but so does my stress level.

It is often the poor who seem the most messy, the most impatient, and the most angry. They are not wanting to be like that. The stress of being poor is just so great that they cannot see past their problems. It is the lack of hope that keeps them there.

I don't want to go back to joining the poor, but I do want to help ease their burdens. I want to help them see that there is hope. I have hope because of God and His promises. He says for us to not worry about what we will eat or what we will wear. Look at the sparrow, He says, how it does not stock up on food yet it is daily fed. Look at the lilies, He says, even King Solomon in all his finest was never dressed as one of these. (Matthew)

Monday, September 06, 2004

Getting Kids to Help Clean

I can remember telling my mother in frustration, "You only had us kids so you could have servants!" Many years later, I sure am happy that I have some of those servants of my own! The servants are my children, of course. I don't really treat them like servants, but I do make them do plenty of chores around the house.

The main goal is to establish habits in the children, since the MAIN goal is to raise them to be, among other things, responsible adults. Routines help achieve that goal. If you train your child to brush her teeth before bed each evening, and if she hears you remind her to do that each evening of her first ten years of life, chances are that she will grow into an adult who habitually brushes her teeth before bed.

With that in mind, train the children to do chores around the house which will become habits to them. I like to call this list of chores a "routine". My children have a Morning Routine and an Evening Routine. Now that they know the rules, I only have to say, "Do your routine," and they are off to work.

The Morning Routine consists of getting these items done, in any order:

Eat breakfast.
Brush teeth.
Make bed.
Get dressed.
Pick up 2 floor areas (hallway, boys' room, girls' room, library, kitchen, or living room)
Clear your items off the breakfast table.

The Evening Routine consists of:

Get into pajamas.
Clear your items off the supper table.
Brush teeth.
Pick up 2 floor areas.

In the beginning, the routines had to be written down and posted on the refrigerator. The children now know them by heart. They are very quick at getting them done now. And because they are clearing all of the floors for me, I only have to pick up the surface areas, like the countertops and couches. Sometimes I'll sneak an item off the surface and place it on the floor, but don't let the kids know if you try that little trick!

I have noticed that routines have reduced the grumbles to none. Since a routine becomes a habit, the kids don't grumble about it at all. Rather, they probably don't know that life could be different.

You now know my little secret to house cleaning - my servants.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

How to Have Friends

Stone told Brittany tonight that Katie and Alyssa like her more than they like him. Brittany is the one who repeated that to me. She seemed a bit shaken with it, like she wasn't sure she should have people liking her more than they do someone else.

Brittany is liked by everyone she meets. The reason is that Brittany is friendly. Proverbs 18:24 states: "A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother."

Today, Brittany walked out of Sunday School with two vanilla cookies in her hand. Her big brother saw her cookies and immediately mentioned that it's not fair, there weren't any cookies given in his Sunday School class. Within a second, Brittany said, "Here, Brenden. I have two. You can have one."

We walked downstairs to pick up the baby and then Stone, the four-year-old. Brittany pushed us aside so she could be the first to see Stone as he came out of his class. "Here, Stone. I have a cookie for you," she said, as she handed over her only remaining cookie.

Incidences like that, which happen frequently, are why Brittany has as many friends as there are kids to meet. She "shows herself friendly."

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Drag Queen Chicken

July 13, 2002 journal entry, copied here to introduce you to our chickens so that I can write about their antics:

Princess crowed. For the first time, she crowed. Then seven more times. We were wondering why her comb and wattle were so big. We wondered why she developed more quickly than the other 9 chickens. We wondered why her tail feathers were so long.

She could not be a he! We discussed the possibility now and then, but always with a dismissal. She is a Golden Sex Link. She was a yellow chick, and in the Golden Sex Links, the yellow chicks are girls and the black ones are boys.

Princess apparently was a drag queen chickie, dressed in yellow to save her skin from becoming Puppy Chow. It worked, her life was spared at the hatchery. It worked again, her cute yellow drag queen attire, when I let each of the four children pick out a chickie "that Mama won't stew." Yes, even if it quits laying eggs, and even if it becomes old.

And if she is a he? Yes, even then, although I never thought it could happen. Golden Sex Links are for sure girls when they are yellow, and those chicks were bright yellow. We thought Princess was more healthy, more mature. We thought Brittany, who chose that chick, just babied her and gave her extra food.

We thought wrong. Princess just crowed again.

There is hope - God blesses

Written July 5, 2004 (copied from my journal):

Whenever I'm out here at the riverside, I just want to cry because I've been given so much of what I've dreamed of having. That the neighbor's blue broken-down car across the street from the edge of our house is my major annoyance shows how blessed I am by this location. I hear wild turkeys or pheasants or whatever they are in the woods now. I feel a cool breeze off the river, even though it is 3:30pm and the rest of the Deep South is sweltering.

I want to let others know to not give up hope for their dreams.

God blesses.

Sometimes He seems slow. He seemed slow when we prayed for a van for two-and-a-half years. He seemed slow when I prayed to live in the country for 8-1/2 years before it happened. I want to tell others, but when I try I feel as though I am only giving them despair.
"Why can't I get a break like they?" they might say.

No! It's not that we got a break, but that God finally said, "Yes!"

God does bless, but in His timing.

The following is written September 4, 2004:

It is good for me to read the above this evening. My husband lost his job 9 days ago, on August 26th, just 5 days after his 34th birthday. The past week has been a painful one for us, facing the unknown. We have bills, we have four babies to feed, and we have a house that we prayed 11-1/2 years for, but that we've only gotten to enjoy for 7 months. Will God allow it to be taken from us down the road? What would he have Tim do for a new occupation?

In the first few days following the termination, I tried to trust God but could not. I kept saying, "I trust you," but I'd catch myself worrying again within minutes. Finally, it dawned on me to say, "I choose to trust you." Now, when I start to worry, I just say that again: "I CHOOSE to trust you."

However it happens, I know God will bless us again.

"Naked I came into this world, and naked I shall return. The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord." (Job said this in Job 1:21)


This is the first post of my blog. This blog is a way for me to get thoughts out of my head and onto paper. I write on paper, usually in my journal, every night before I sleep. But I don't write the articles that I need to write. I just don't get them done. I'm hoping this blog will help me get those articles written. If you see an article in a magazine in the future and it seems vaguely familiar, well, who knows? Maybe I blogged it first! :)

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Photo of Me

Lori Seaborg
Lori Seaborg 2005

Lori Seaborg
Lori Seaborg 2005