Shining the light of God's word into our confused world.

Category: Uncategorized (Page 2 of 36)

Hello Followers…

I’ve noticed that this blog has picked up some followers. For their sakes, I thought I should post a quick update to let everyone know that this blog account is only for WordPress experimentation and figuring out the platform. My actual blog, with actual content, is still at You can, however, add it to your reading list via this feed URL:

Really, though, there’s nothing to see here.

Everything is fine. Also, here’s how to keep in touch.

I’ve got all of the malware rooted out of my websites, for now. My web host, iPage, was moderately helpful, as in they did the bare minimum necessary to help me (after first trying to scare me into purchasing a $200 emergency clean-up service), which is not exactly doing anything to inspire loyalty or make me want to recommend them. So I’m still considering my options as far as switching hosting providers or staying put until my current contract runs out.

At any rate, in the event that this (or something like it) happens again, this seems like a good time to highlight all of the best ways you can be kept in the loop if I need to relocate my blog in a hurry.

  1. My mailing list – This is always the best, most reliable way to make sure you don’t miss out on anything. You don’t have to worry about getting bombarded with spam — I only send out an update when I have major news or announcements relating to my books. Had this blog been suspended like iPage initially threatened, I would have sent out an update letting my subscribers know what’s up and where to find me. And hey, you get a free e-book just for signing up! Win!
  2. Facebook – I no longer maintain a fan page, but I regularly post public updates on my personal profile pertaining to my writing and publishing endeavors, as well as links to new blog posts and what not. Because I also post a lot of personal stuff on there meant for friends and family, I only accept friend requests from people of whom I have some idea how they know me, but if you follow me and subscribe to my public posts, you’ll see everything that would otherwise go on my fan page if I still had one.
  3. Livejournal – All of the posts from this blog get mirrored on my Livejournal. If this blog ever goes down, that’s a reliable place to check what’s going on and find where I’ve gone.
  4. Twitter – I also usually post updates about what’s going on here on my Twitter feed. If you simply follow me there, with the fast and sometimes overwhelming nature of the site, you might miss the relevant tweets, but you can always go right to my profile to see my latest tweets.

And the best part is, unlike the RSS feeds, all of these methods are independent of this website’s functionality. So if you already subscribe to this blog, it’s worth signing up to one of these other methods of staying in touch.

Stay of Execution

Well, the good news is that my web host agreed to give me more time to get everything fixed before they take my websites down. The bad news is that I don’t really know how to fix it. I deleted all of mine and Matt’s inactive blogs, save for A Sensible Wife, because that’s still getting hits from Pinterest and is redirecting traffic here, so I’m not too keen on taking it down. Bauhaus Online Creative is still up, too, although I’m not quite sure why I’m bothering to save that one since I can’t really do web dev anymore (I no longer have the necessary equipment and I’m WAY out of practice) and I haven’t updated that site’s blog in more than a year. As for my freelance writing portfolio site, the hackers managed to destroy that one.

At any rate, the one I started with was Bauhaus Online Creative, mainly because it’s the smallest. I backed up the database, uninstalled and reinstalled WordPress, then imported the content to the new database, and uploaded the custom CSS file. But none of the content or customizations are showing up, and I have no idea why. I’ve entered a support ticket on it, and if they can help me figure out where I went wrong and get me on the right track, then I’ll have a process for saving all three sites worked out.

If they can’t (or won’t) help, then I’m seriously considering just scrapping the other two websites altogether and moving this blog to I’d probably have to do a free account there for now, and plan on upgrading when my writing is able to pay the premium fee, which kind of breaks my heart, considering I just got this site the way I wanted it. But, this would force me to focus on the one site and not let myself get spread too thin as I have been in the past. But really, the only reason I’d really need a self-hosted WordPress site is to run an e-commerce site, and I don’t really need Paypal buttons for my freelance services. As for selling books directly, I’d already ruled that out thanks to my state’s pain-in-the-butt sales tax rules.

I may move to even if my host does help me get things worked out. I’m getting really tired of having cheap web hosting crap out on me like this, and I can’t afford to pay for more secure or reliable hosting.

Welp, I keep praying for God to order my steps and supersede my plans with His, so maybe this is all His way of guiding my platform in a better direction. And goodness knows MY way of doing things has never gone all that swimmingly, so maybe it’s time to try something new. For now we’ll just have to wait and see, I guess.

Do you have experience with Are you happy with it? Does it do everything you need it to do? Oh, and does anyone know if it’s possible to mirror posts to Livejournal without doing it manually? I’d appreciate your feedback!


So apparently my websites all got hacked and infected with malware. I basically have to nuke everything from orbit. I’m not sure what this means for the future of this blog — it may have to go away for a little while. If it does, in the meantime I’ll keep updating at until I figure something else out.

Right now I’m going through and backing up everything I want to salvage, but then I’m going to have to go through every file to locate and delete the malicious code. My web host has been spectacularly unhelpful so far (unless I pay them $200), so I may also have to find a new host for everything.

Just when I was starting to build some momentum here, too. C’est la vie, I guess.

Looking Back

All in all, 2014 was an okay year for the Bauhaushold. It wasn’t stellar, and it had its fair share of challenges and trials — among which were a health scare and the wreck and subsequent insurance rigmarole (which, I’m happy to report, is resolved as of today) — but it was definitely a big improvement over 2013. The important thing is, we’re better off now than we were this time last year, and as we head into the new year I’m filled with genuine optimism for the future.

Highlights were kind of few and far between, although they weren’t nonexistent. I managed to publish a couple of books, and while they haven’t performed magnificently, they’ve helped my other books to get noticed. Our prayers surrounding said health scare were positively answered and that turned out to not be too serious, which is always worth celebrating.

If you don’t mind my turning spiritual for the space of a paragraph (and you can skip to the next one if you do), I think the biggest highlight of the year is how much we’ve both grown in our faith and in our ability to apply it. Although I still have a long way to go, God has done amazing things both for me and in me during this past year. I’ve become much more patient and able to be content and at peace regardless of my circumstances, and much less prone to self pity and the negative thought patterns that lead me to depression. When I do catch myself going down that road, I’ve learned how to pray and praise my way out of it. I also started keeping a journal of prayers, promises found in scripture, and reasons I have to be thankful, writing down all the ways that I’ve seen God move in my life, which has helped tremendously to alter my mindset and make me a more hopeful person. I haven’t been keeping up with it the last couple of months, but that’s definitely something I want to get back to doing regularly in the new year.

And then there was the new diet. Even though it got derailed during the holidays, restricting my gluten and dairy intake during the week made a world of difference in my energy levels and my ability to think clearly. I think that was mostly down to the gluten, and I’m now more convinced than ever that my hypothyroid is caused by Hashimoto’s disease (which is common in women with PCOS and has been linked with gluten intolerance). Hopefully I can get tested for that in the coming year to be 100% certain. Cutting back on dairy helped a lot with my digestion issues (and that’s all I’ll say about that). I didn’t realize how much it also made a difference to my PCOS symptoms until the holidays came and I started downing eggnog and cheese with abandon.

As for how we plan to wrap up the year, we’re still debating, but I’m hoping it will involve Chinese takeout and a cozy night in with the DVD player.

What about you guys? Has 2014 been good to you? Any special plans for New Year’s Eve?

Still Alive

I have made myself miserable. I’m not saying this to whine, but as an impassioned plea to my future self to please do a better job next year of refraining from gluten and dairy-based treats. All of the cheese and butter and eggnog and cream and gravy and such that I’ve been eating lately is wreaking havoc on both my digestion and my PCOS, and all the bread, rolls, biscuits, cookies, stuffing, and other gluten-laced deliciousness has caused my energy levels to flat line. Now we just need to be sure we’re rid of all the Christmas leftovers by New Year’s Day so we can both get back on track and start feeling healthy again.

Between the self-induced misery of holiday eating habits, seasonal affective disorder brought about by the fact that the sun has only been seen here about three times in the last two weeks, and ongoing frustration with the insurance company regarding our totaled truck, I haven’t been feeling very sociable lately. My freelance work slowed way down by the end of last week, so I’ve been taking the opportunity to enjoy a vacation from any type of computer work (besides, I had a ridiculous amount of knitting and crochet I had to get done before the big day) and recharge my mental batteries — hence my absence from the blog and scant appearances on social media.

Despite all of that, though, we had a lovely Christmas. We stayed home and stayed in our PJs and just hung out with our four-legged “kids,” enjoying and celebrating our own little family while marathoning a Christmas movie roster that included Scrooge, A Christmas Story, Die Hard and Lethal Weapon. Yes, those are too Christmas movies.

The bulk of all that frantic knitting and crochet was for the furbabies. Pete got a new sweater and a knitted plush bone squeak-toy in his stocking, and the cats got a new bed and a door hanger bouncy cat toy in theirs. Matilda the box turtle got left alone to sleep, which is, I’m sure, what she preferred.

In addition to books, warm comfy pants and a nice bottle of Scotch (a present to himself), Matt also got a replica of the scarf Jeremy Brett wears in the old Granada Sherlock Holmes series, which is the other thing I was frantically trying to finish on time. I failed, but mainly because I ran out of yarn. I need to add at least two more balls of yarn before the length is right. Still, Matt said it’s his favorite present. *beams and twirls*

As for me, so far I’ve gotten books and chocolate, which is enough to make me happy. Besides finally getting the most recent Dresden Files novel and the illustrated trade paperback version of The Dark Tower: Book VII, Santa/Matt also got me a copy of The Little House Cook Book, which is my favorite so far (sometime soon I will have to talk to you about my new Little House obsession). I hope it will teach me a few old-timey skills that I can incorporate into my zombie plan. I’ll also be getting the new Laura Ingalls Wilder autobiography, Pioneer Girl, once Amazon gets it in stock, and I’m kind of chomping at the bit to read it.

In other news, we’re still waiting for State Farm to settle up and pay us for the truck, going on over two weeks now since we reached a settlement agreement. First we were supposed to be able to pick up the check the Friday after settling, and then for some mysterious reason that got pushed to Wednesday of the following week, and then the State Farm office where we’re supposed to pick it up and sign over the truck still hadn’t received it and nobody had an explanation as to why and we haven’t heard anything from them since. On the bright side, at least the insurance adjuster finally stopped giving us deadlines to return the rental car that Matt kept having to call and extend, and just told us to keep it until we get the check and can finish making our Aveo road worthy. Whenever that will be. I’ve given up on expecting it to happen this year.

And now if you’ll excuse me, there’s a magic cookie bar calling my name in the kitchen. Hey, I can’t very well expect the husband to polish off all those leftovers by himself. That wouldn’t be fair to him, now would it?

How was your Christmas this year?

Not enough of me to go around.

I have been falling down on the blog, and I’m not sure yet when I’ll be able to get back into a regular posting routine. We’re still dealing with fallout from our accident, and it’s ridiculous how much of our time that keeps eating up. We’re behind on just about everything, including Christmas; we just got the decorations put up this weekend, and we haven’t even started our shopping yet. I’m just hoping we can get around to that before all the stores are too picked over to find what we want. Add to that some issues with our plumbing, and I just don’t have time for regular blogging–or noveling, for that matter, which quite the source of bother.

So anyway, the insurance company decided to total the truck. We went to the repair shop this morning to be sure we got all of our personal items out of it, and that was a surprisingly emotional time as we said goodbye. We had a lot of good memories tied up in that little truck. So now we’ve got a week left to get our Aveo operational before we have to give back the rental car we’ve been driving. Since it hasn’t been running, we haven’t been insuring it, so we’ll have to get insurance and a new tag put on it, too.

I tell you what, this is sure turning out to be a lot of hassle for what was a relatively minor wreck that wasn’t even our fault. On the bright side, at least now we can afford to get the Aveo fixed.

And of course the other thing keeping me busy is that I’ve got steady freelance editing and e-book formatting work coming in, so that’s another thing to be thankful for.

In other news, I haven’t been doing very well at sticking to my gluten-free diet, and as such my energy levels have severely tanked. I guess I can take that as confirmation that avoiding gluten really is good for my thyroid and the extra energy I had wasn’t just a placebo effect. Now if I can just stop being tempted by all this holiday food… oh look, cookies!

Have a Happy Yam Sham!


It has been a busy, busy couple of weeks. And not even thanks to NaNoWriMo, which I pretty much gave up all hope of winning midway through last week. There have been a lot of errands to run, and freelance gigs to get done, and stuff needing done around the house. Hopefully, next week we’ll get back to sanity and a normal blogging schedule.

In the meantime, I wanted to pop in and say, Happy Thanksgiving! I have much to be thankful for this year. Well, I do every year, truth be told; but compared to where we were at this point in time last year, this year has been much more gracious to us. This year we’ve witnessed God’s provision in several areas, not the least of which has been health and finances. It hasn’t been a year without challenges, but it’s also included a lot of awesome, for which I am incredibly grateful.

Here’s wishing a lovely “ritual sacrifice with pie” day to you and yours.

Fire bad. Tree pretty.

zNaNoWriMo Participant 2014This week did not go as planned. Matt and I ran all over town  running errands and stocking up on winter supplies. Wednesday was supposed to involve a quick morning run to Sprouts to stock up on produce and bulk dry goods, after which I was going to catch up on writing and freelance work. But just before we left, the insurance adjuster FINALLY returned our call (did I mention here that we were involved in an accident last week?).

We spent probably 45 minutes on the phone with him, asking and answering questions about our claim, and then he approved us for a rental car, so we had to go pick that up, which ate up another hour or so. By the time we finally made it to Sprouts it was noon already. Tuesday and Thursday were even more hectic. The upshot of which is, I haven’t added a single word to my NaNoWriMo word count since Monday.

This introverted homebody is completely worn out. But at least we’re ready if the winter weather that’s expected to hit this weekend turns into a big deal. Today was all about getting caught up on my freelancing so I don’t have to work through the weekend, so it hasn’t exactly been restful. My new plan is to spend Saturday vegging out and recharging my brain, and then Sunday, while Matt is distracted with football, I will make a valiant effort to catch up on my word count before deciding whether to throw in the towel on trying to win ‘WriMo this year. Unless ice knocks out our power, in which case my chances are pretty much screwed. But at least we’ll be well fed and we won’t freeze to death.

Here’s hoping next week is much calmer.

In which I discuss my dog’s health.…ish) update to talk about my dog. Yesterday was dominated by our trip to the vet. For one thing, the trip itself was anything but quick. I love our vet, but she’s all the way out in Bixby (a neighboring town, about a 25-minute drive from where we live). We’d made our appointment for 11 AM, and took pains to arrive a bit early, only to find the place shut and locked. Unfortunately, our phones only work with a wifi connection, so we could neither check to see if they’d left a message about rescheduling nor call someone to find out what in the what was going on.

But since we’d driven so far to get there, we weren’t about to just turn around and go back home, so we waited. About 20 minutes later, the vet’s SUV rolled up and the entire staff piled out like scrubs-wearing clowns, apologizing and explaining that they didn’t know anyone was coming and thought they had time to go get everyone’s flu shots.

We were tempted to get angry and be like, “…isn’t that why we make appointments?” But we opted to see it as an exercise in patience. And it’s a good thing we didn’t pitch a fit, because it turned out that the assistant did indeed call and leave us a message, which for some reason never showed up on our end, telling us that she was moving us to Wednesday because one of Pete’s meds wouldn’t be in stock until then.

Anyhoo. For those not in the know, Pete, our 6-year-old Chihuahua, started having seizures about three years ago. This year, they’ve gotten frequent enough for us to decide to medicate him. Trouble is, he also has elevated liver enzymes and a low thyroid, which the vet believes may be causing the seizures. Either way, since anti-seizure meds are hard on the liver anyway, we have to treat the liver and get it down to normal before we can start him on those.

“You guys go on and see the vet without me. I’m good right here.”

So in addition to a daily thyroid pill, he also recently did an antibiotic regimen for his liver, and we’ve had him on Denamarin (a combination of Sam-E and the active ingredient in milk thistle) for a couple of months now. He’s also taking Val-syrup, a B-vitamin complex with liver fractions.

The vet gave him a check-up and drew his blood (which turned into a somewhat traumatic ordeal for Pete when she had trouble finding a vein), and then we had to wait around some more for the test results. Which is actually kind of fun, because the inside of this place is basically a free-range domestic animal zoo, with dogs and cats everywhere, a baby (and somewhat bitey) Flemish giant rabbit, and even a pot-bellied pig to keep us entertained.

Finally, the results: no improvement. In fact, his liver levels were slightly higher than before, and his thyroid was about the same.

So she renewed his meds and wrote us a prescription for Royal Canin hepatic formula dog food and told us to switch him to that. Problem is, we have strong reservations about putting him on that stuff. Royal Canin/Hill’s Science Diet foods are kind of notoriously not nearly as good for dogs as they claim to be.

After we finally got back home, I spent the rest of the day being kind of obsessive about research. I didn’t find anything that made me feel better about feeding him that Royal Canin stuff. So now we’re considering switching him to a home-cooked diet, but we still need to do more research and figure out if that’s really something we can both afford and make time to do. In the mean time, we’ve switched him over to Blue Buffalo, which is much better quality than that Rachael Ray stuff we’ve been feeding him. The variety we picked out has liver-friendly ingredients. We’ll also start giving him only filtered water, and keep up our efforts to get him slimmed down (he’s lost a full pound since the beginning of the summer. He still has one more to go). We may just keep giving him this food until his next liver check, and then if there’s no improvement, we’ll switch to homemade.

Dear readers, do any of you have experience with this? Have you had to battle seizures and/or liver problems with your pets? Do any of you feed your dogs a homemade diet? I’d love to get your input in the comments.

PS – if you haven’t yet entered to win free copies of both my short story collection Midnight Snacks and the horror anthology Dead Ends, there’s still time to enter!

And in case you missed it from our last trip to the vet, here’s exactly what Pete thinks about keeping his appointments:

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