"If we were to wake up some morning and find that everyone was the same race, creed and color, we would find some other causes for prejudice by noon."                                                                 
                                                                                                                                          George Aiken
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Growing up in the 1950’s and ‘60’s made me suspicious of people who were different than me. In those days Father Knows BestOzzie and Harriet and Leave it to Beaver were the hit television shows. Our opinions, like our TV sets, were black and white. There were many things we did not discuss. One of them was homosexuality. I first heard that word after graduating from high school. My childhood was quite sheltered by today's standards. 


 
 
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It’s still hard to believe, but my wonderful father, Harry Lloyd, passed from this life on Friday, January 18, 2013. The family celebrated his 90th birthday and Stepmom Dorothy’s 80th at our house last summer. The picture above was taken that day. 

Dan and I spent several days with Dad over the Christmas holidays while Dorothy was in the hospital with the flu. Dad also contracted the flu, but wasn’t hospitalized. This was the most time I’d spent one-on-one with him since I was a little girl. His sense of humor was intact even in the midst of coughing spells. The whole family was relieved when he began to recover. 

I spoke to Dad on the phone a few hours before he died. He said he felt great. He was putting on his shoes and getting his cane to go for a walk. We said goodbye as always, “Take care of yourself. I love you.” 
        “I love you too.” 

Dorothy called when she got home from the store. She was fixing soup for lunch. My brother Bob called two hours later to say Dad was gone. He took a nap after lunch and never woke up. The rescue squad couldn’t revive him. 

 
 
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It is freezing, bitter cold.  What could be better on a frigid evening than the sensual pleasures of . . .  baking bread?

While some folks relax with a manicure, I find delight with hands submerged in a gooey batch of bread dough.  Baking can be therapeutic, especially on a cold winter day. Organized people keep recipes in computer files. I dig through an accordion file amassed over the past 40 years. A favorite recipe (see Shredded Wheat Bread below)  is handwritten on yellowed paper that is splattered with food stains.

My baking ritual begins by lining up all the ingredients on the countertop. This assures that nothing will be left out and provides a feeling of accomplishment as each item is used. Reaching up to the cupboard over the stove, I’m beaned by a measuring cup. More baking paraphernalia clatters to the floor while digging bread pans out of a lower cupboard. I am a collector: tube pans, springform pans, lamb and heart shaped pans.  They’re rarely used, but feel like part of the family.  Almost ready...tie up my hair and slip on an apron to avoid the white line of shame: a streak of flour where my protruding belly meets the kitchen counter.



 
 
Joy to the world!

Hear the angels.

Reach up.

Embrace the descending dove.

      See the Light . . .

Guide, Source, Refuge
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SHINING

beneath, around, above.

Feel rays of Grace

warming, transforming,

transcending . . .

unending

Life

begins with

Love.



by B. Jane Lloyd   1986


 
 
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         It's 4 days before Christmas. Haven't baked, decorated, or shopped much this year due to publishing ebooks, launching this website, and working at a full-time job with meetings galore. My writing career will evolve in proportion to my courage. It feels sort of like walking a tightrope without a net...no guarantees. 

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     I'm working on several different books at the same time.  Samples will be posted on the Works in Progress page for your review. Your constructive criticism is appreciated.

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I hope you enjoy navigating this website whether looking for a fellow seeker of truth, a writer, editor, friend, or maybe you just happened here by accident.  (There are no accidents.)

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Your honest feedback will help me become a better writer.  May you find comfort, joy, and inspiration as you surf these pages. If you do, please share them!

 
 
Ryan Roth is creative in many mediums and forms:  carver, painter, sculptor, graphic artist, jewelry maker, guitarist, drummer, singer, band leader. He grew up in Wauseon, and after high school headed to Kendall College of Art and Design in Michigan.

Ryan honed his carving talent while working for Chad Hartson at Ice Creations in Napoleon. He created huge sculptures from ice blocks using chainsaws and ice picks --- work that required intense concentration. One false move and the ice broke, and it was back to square one. While in creative mode, he might carve for 12 hours straight in freezing weather without a coat, and never notice the cold.


 

From Marine to Mom

01/02/2012

 
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Kellie Sharpe enlisted in the Marines when she was 17. This required a signed permission slip from her parents. That permission was not given lightly. Her mom objected, “What if there’s a war?”  Kellie laughed, “There won’t be a war.” Kellie’s parents wanted her to go to college, but reluctantly signed the paper knowing their daughter’s stubborn streak.

Kellie was stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina in 2000. Her military occupational specialty was Field Radio Operator. She traveled to Germany, France, Austria, Spain and Kuwait. Life was good. She planned a career in the Marine Corps with retirement at age 38.

In 2003, Kellie drove from Kuwait to Iraq where she was deployed at the start of the Iraq War. She was the first female Marine to serve there. Kellie and her fellow Marines began setting up military bases.

There was little opportunity for communication with family and friends --- no phones or electronics. Food consisted of MRE’s (ready to eat boxed meals). Baby wipes were used in lieu of running water. Kellie went 37 days without a shower.