Dear Sir:


I feel I must respond to your recent press conference, which is why I am sending this open letter today.

Please understand, the “routine” that you have been going through these last few years is…

1. Not about you.

2. Directly related to the mental health crisis currently underway in this country.

3. Due to the fact that American citizens can move freely from one place to another in this land, unlike the limited freedoms experienced by other nations.


No, we do not think our decisions should hinge on assuaging your frustrations.

No, we do not want to be more limited in our movements or our freedoms.

No, we do not need the media to decide how free we ought to be.

Yes, we do want more services for suffering and mentally ill individuals.

In addition to these, I think there should be more dollars spent on the “See Something, Say Something” campaigns that already exist. It’s time we started thinking once again about the needs of others, instead of wallowing in self-importance!

Please understand, these incidents are not due to a gun problem; but rather, an absence-of-God problem.

Also, an unemployment problem.

A wandering aimlessly, problem.

And a processing without morals, problem.

This problem with mass violence is a growing problem, one that will not go away because of new gun legislation.

Less guns will not make people saner. Pressure cooker bombs can easily substitute for automatic weapons, I think we’ve seen that is true.

What I’d like to know is when we might expect America to quit giving our tax dollars to foreign interests and start using some of that money for more mental health services?

Respectfully, L

ThreeGoals-AlternativeIt’s Thursday again, and time to update the blog regarding progress made on my teeny, tiny habit-building efforts this week.

Here’s goes.

My goals this week were to complete a 7N7 challenge (seven minutes of exercise in the morning, for seven days); to have devotions with my hubs 3 x and pray with him after each reading; to ask my mate each night what is concerning him.

How’d I do?

No. 1 GREAT!!!  This morning exercise thing is really beginning to feel like a habit to me. I will keep doing this, and praise God that my slacks feel looser every day.  Yay!

No. 2 Good!  I did not reach my goal to have devotions with my hubs three times this week, but I did do it two times.  Each time was a good experience.  Each time I read from a lil book I have called, Courage to Change.  We prayed for challenges coming up for us in the next week and for friends that are under the gun with family harassing them.  It felt good to be on the same page with my hubby and in prayer together.  I will definitely be setting this goal for myself again this week.

No. 3 Poor.  I did not ask Bobbo about what concerned him this week, specifically. Although he offered concerns during our devotional and prayer time.  We talked about challenges we are facing as a couple/family, and about friends.  I guess you could say I met this goal by meeting goal No. 2, but since I didn’t do this each day of the week, I will rank this goal as undone.

My general impressions about my goal setting and accomplishments this week:

I’m feeling really good about the exercise I’m getting each week as I’m challenging myself to these teeny, tiny, totally winnable goals and habit-building sessions.  I’m feeling good about portion sizing, too. I’m feeling good about veggie eating. I’m feeling good about goal setting in general.

What I have been thinking about my goals this week, and my attempts to change my lifestyle by building new habits:

It occurs to me that if someone wants to change their lifestyle, it might not be all that easy to do. Lifestyles are developed through the application of basic processing skills, right?

Where the brain goes, the body follows!

In thinking about what it takes to change (simple steps, but not necessarily easy ones), I am realizing that changing how I think is difficult. Is it doable?  Who knows.

Changing how I process ideas, attitudes, challenges; how hard is that?  The fact that everything in life  is constantly changing, slipping away like sand on the beach, adds another dynamic of hard to my goal setting challenge.  I’m beginning to see that real change, true change, dynamic change doesn’t happen overnight.  It takes time, and practice, and determination; and faith, and practice, and goals and God!

I will get this, it just might take some time!

My three teeny, tiny, doable, and habit-building goals for this week are:

1. I will do an 8N7 challenge this week. Kicking my early morning exercise session up to 8 minutes, seven days a week.

2. I will have devotions with my hubs 3 times this week.

3. I will ask my husband through the week what is concerning him, and I will pray with him about those concerns.

I think these goals are doable, but that last one might be a challenge, due to time restrictions (at least Sunday through Wednesday of this week). I’m headed out to Lake George, Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, and parts north this weekend with mom and sis.  We all have plans in place for eating light while we are away, so that will help, and we may be doing devotions together while we are away.

I’m thinking of starting a 30N30 bible reading challenge with my sis, beginning tomorrow.

While on vacation, I will be focusing on connecting with family, taking some great pics, laughing a lot, and living life large, as best I can.  I’m praying we don’t get drenched the whole time we are gone, or run into flash flooding situations.  I’m also trusting God for a great vacation get-away with my ladies.

Trusting Me to stay the course and eat clean, talk to God, and exercise every day this week.

If you have some thoughts about lifestyle change, please chime in with a comment.  I’m eager to hear your thoughts, especially if you have read a book that aided you in your own efforts to change things up in your life.

What goals do you have for yourself this week? Why is goal setting something you like, or don’t like to do?


ThreeGoals-AlternativeIt’s Thursday and you know what that means–Time to report on progress made with my three goals.

[drum roll, please]

My Three Teeny, Tiny Goals for last week were these:  A 7N7 Challenge to exercise for seven minutes for seven mornings in a row….A commitment to acknowledge three people this week on social media or my blog…and I wanted to eek out time to write at least three devotionals.

How’d I do?

I did the 7N7 challenge every day and I am soooo seeing this turning into a habit.  Yay!

I acknowledged at least three people on social media or my blog this week.  Yay, again!

My third challenge was to write at least three devotionals this week.  I did not meet that goal.  Can you believe that. Me, the one who loves to write, did not get three devotionals done.  Ugh!  What was I doing instead?  Procrastinating about getting a rental car reserved before I go on vacation and trying to find a new hair salon.  Yes, those two projects did take time.

The good news is that I wrote two devotionals this week and I blogged every day.  I’ll take it!

Reflections on these goals and my progress with them:

Honestly, I didn’t feel like acknowledging people on social media was as great a goal as I though it would be when I put it in my list this week. I also didn’t feel it was habit-forming enough to continue doing it.  I felt like when I acknowledged one person, I ignored another.  My point in setting this goal was to help, not harm, so I have decided that while I probably will acknowledge people in the future for their help from time to time, or for just being awesome, I won’t include that activity as one of my weekly goals.

This experiment is about building habits that will serve me in the future. I have to keep that in mind when setting my goals.

My three teeny, tiny goals for this week:

  1.  Another 7N7 Challenge, seven minutes of exercise for seven days, completed first thing in the morning.

2.  I will have devotions with my hubs at least three times this week, and pray with him after the reading is done.

3.  I will ask my husband each night what is concerning him, and after asking I will listen, without comment, and then use what I hear as a means of praying for him and his concerns. 

I have felt God calling me to start having devotions with my hubs and to start praying with him. We have rarely done this in our married life.  We usually do our own thing, but this week I will try to make sure I show up and be present for a joint prayer effort.  I am feeling a need to support him more in prayer and I figure reading a passage from the Bible before we pray is a good addition to that discipline.

Plus, we have many mutual friends and I think praying together for them could be a very encouraging things for both of us.

Please pray for me as I do these things, or attempt to do them.  I have another blog I use to address my health and wellness issues and I have another three goals I list over there, other than these three, which are spiritually motivated.  That means I have SIX goals I am working on at any given time–well, actually five goals–I have the 7N7 Challenge on both lists.

How did you do with your goals this past week?  Could you feel God working in and through you to achieve them? 

Turning 7

Rob & Jessup Hoose

Rob & Jessup Hoose

Look at that cutie face. No, the lil guy, not his papa.  That’s newborn baby Jessup, meeting the world for the first time.  Only hours before he was tucked in his comfy previous residence in the womb.  His daddy was pretty proud of him that day, and we were instantly in love!  His momma presented us with one of the greatest gift that day.  Our lives have never been the same!

Thank you, Megan Hoose!

Today, Mr. RJHH turns seven.  How can it be?  SEVEN!!!  It seems like we have known him a life time, and at the same time, not nearly long enough.

Jessup with Gramma Trout

Jessup with Gramma Trout

This boy is the gift I had been waiting for since I was fifteen. I always wanted, above anything else, to be a gramma.Family Photo

Family Photo

We’ve all changed since that lil package of joy came into our lives.  Some of us are smaller, some bigger, all older, and all filled with wonder as we’ve watched that lil babe develop into an infant, a toddler, a pre-schooler, a kindergarten-er and now a first grade Lego assembling, art producing, giggle factor of heavenly blessings.

Jessup's First Christmas

Jessup’s First Christmas

How cute is he?  No, not the bald one on the left; the bald one in the center.  When my hair was red, there you were, J.  I love you!

Some of the best of the best of J’s life are shown below.  Well, those pics I have of moments passed, anyway:

Third Generation Elvis Lover

Third Generation Elvis Lover

A Barden Photography family photo:

family photo in our front yard

A reader then, and a reader now. He actually reads his own books, by himself.

My uncle draws this stuff

My uncle draws this stuff

An early favorite with the wheelbarrow crowd.

Pennsylvania Rickshaw

Adorable in orange.

Gibber Jabberer

Gibber Jabberer

A face painted cutie.

000baby fox jessup

Having fun at the lake…


Fun at the pond…

000boys in thot

Fun with his uncle…


Fun with a crooked hat and a loose tooth.


SEVEN!!!  It’s hard to believe.

We love you Dear Heart, today, tomorrow, and forever!

Happy Birthday, J!!


Be Careful Lil Eyes What You See


I spy with my lil eye…

We play this game in the car with *A* all the time.  Just hearing him say those words is enough to melt your heart.  He’s a lil dutchy still, but way better at his pronunciations than most of the four-year-olds I know.

He’s such a cutie pie.  Love that boy!

The game of I spy reminds me of a song I learned to sing eons ago in VBS. It went like this:

Be careful lil eyes what you see,

Be careful lil eyes what you see,

For the Father up above is looking down with love,

So be careful lil eyes what you see.

Subsequent stanzas remind lil folks to be careful what you say, what you hear, what you watch, where you go, and what you do.  It’s a cute lil song about keeping watch over your soul and being self-controlled.  I imagine you could also say it’s about not conforming to the traditions of this world, but being transformed by the amazing saving power of God’s grace.  I was reminded of its lessons last week when I was listening to a book on tape in the car on the way to work.

The story was a murder mystery.  The killer was a mind manipulator.  She hypnotized people and then forced them to commit suicide in an attempt to cover up her sister’s murder, committed by her own hand. The scene that I was listening to that morning was graphic.  I kinda felt like it was going to be too much for me to bear, but instead of turning it off or fast forwarding through that scene, I listened as my stomach churned.

After being exposed to that audio rendition of a twisted attempts at suicide by a psycho killer I was damaged.  I thought about the grizzly scene all day.


I could not shake the image that had been painted on the walls of my mind, no matter how I tried.

I tried!

I really TRIED, but the damage was done. The image was there and I could not easily erase it.

At lunch time I drove through the McDs fast food lane and got me a premium chicken wrap, grilled, no sauces, thank you.  As I ate my lunch, all I could think of was how the psycho killed had tried to eliminate her victim.


I will probably never, ever be able to eat a premium chicken wrap again.  The audio book ruined them for me, forever.

Thankfully, and by God’s grace, I have been able to get that image of the murder scene out of my head, but the question to be begged here is: “Why wasn’t I more careful about putting it in my head in the first place?”  Ahhhh!

It’s a good question!

A great question!!!

Some people like to be scared witless by horror films or slasher movies. I do not.  I know God would not have me watching such things on a regular basis, certainly not for its entertainment value (if any exists at all, which I doubt), but I thought a book on tape would be harmless.  It wasn’t.

What I’m left with is living with the results of my book listening habit this time around, and every time I listen when I ought to turn the volume down in life. 

Next time I will more quickly remember the lil ditty I learned all those years ago, and maybe sing a bar or two.

Be careful Lori Girl what you do, be careful Lori Girl what you do, for the Father up above is looking down with love, so be careful Lori Girl what you do!

When have you watched or listened to something that disturbed your inner peace?  What steps have you taken to limit your TV time, or be more selective with your programming choices?

Red Ink and Saying I’m Sorry


Somewhere along the path of life God granted me the ability to quickly apologize when I’ve made a mistake.  I’ve found it a good quality to possess.  This ability to quickly say “I’m sorry, that was my bad,” has served me well over the years, and especially so whenever I have been asked to work as part of a creative team.  The only time I find myself hesitant about offering quick apologies is when I know that person who has witnessed my mistake to be  a mindless I-told-ya-so drone, or when I perceive them to be that “kind” that stores up tidbits from my embarrassing life stumbles and uses them as ammunition at a later time, when there is an audience to witness their bloody assault on my person.

Don’t you just hate that kinda weasel?  They are the worst!

Still, there are times when Mistake will put a dagger in your weasel-y enemy’s hand and quickly draw a target on your back.  In those times, I have learned to smile and keep my lip zipped.

In those times I have done what David did, confessing to God: “Against you, you only, have I sinned…so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge”  Psalm 51:4.

God’s judgements are dripping with grace. They might be fierce and sometimes fast, but they are for my good and meant to correct my course, not merely condemn.

Condemning weasels are the absolute worst!!!

I’m not in the business of supplying ammunition to the enemy forces around me.  Condemning weasels are agents of discord and puppets for the dark king.  I don’t play their games, and I don’t reload their rifles for them.

But back to the point I was making…

This ability I have to apologize quickly is not of my own making.  I believe Papa God helped me to develop the skill when I worked as an advertising director for a chain of retail stores in upstate NY.  I loved the work, which was all about multi-tasking and advertising, but I soon learned that no matter how clean my ad copy, and no matter how focused or on-point my mock-ups, when asked to share them at our weekly marketing meetings they always came back to me dressed in red.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the color red. 

In fact, I think red is my favorite color, but when red is the color of the pen that marks your mistakes, all you want to see is black, white, blue, or green.

After a time and what seemed like an ocean of red ink seen drifting across my ad copy, I developed a tough outer skin concerning the collaborative process.  I also realized that all that red ink wasn’t about me not doing a decent job of my job. Far from it. It was “about” ownership.  If my business manager was able to add a red mark to my mock-up, he owned the whole of what I’d done.

What a revelation this was for a young ad copy executive.

This morning I was reminded yet again what a gift it is to be able to quickly apologize for my mistakes.

No longer do I have to go on a fretting binge.

Neither do I worrying about my lack of talent.

I don’t consume myself with feeling like I let others down.

I don’t have to obsess about my mistakes, or think they define me.

I don’t have to be angry with others who maybe didn’t share all the information they had, or who couldn’t step up and admit their mistakes as easily as I.

There was a time when making a mistake ruined my whole day, maybe my whole week. No more!  It’s liberating!  It’s refreshing!

It’s exciting to live this life of swept-clean-streets and moving-on miracles.

Today, I love the color red more than I ever have and I embrace it’s every hue.  It may not show up on sheets of black and white on my desk top any more, but life is full of red-ink moments for us all, isn’t it?

Learning to roll with the punches in this life is essential, and learning to quickly say you’re sorry, to everyone but the condemning weasels in life, is a gift.  So glad for the lessons I’ve learned on this third rock from the sun.

So glad for God’s grace in the red-ink phases of life!

When have you been covered in red ink?  Do you find it hard to apologize?


ThreeGoals-AlternativeOh, what a week it has been. Busy, busy.  Which translates to me being late in posting my goals, again.  Ugh.  I NEED more writing time!

First the update, then this week’s goals.

I did just okay on my goals this week.  Hey, this is me, being real.

These were my goals for last week:

  1.  Another 6N6 challenge (see above).  Same conditions as last week.

2.  More acknowledgements of people who have helped me, with some acknowledgements of people who have inspired me thrown in for good measure.

3.  I will also set a goal this week that is related to my field of ministry–teaching and writing.  This week I will begin my Easter series of studies on why Jesus drew such fierce fire from his opposition.  This series will be a compilation of studies focused on discovering why the Messiah was a target for the spiritually blind.

I did okay with the 6N6 Challenge, eating oatmeal almost every day last week, and doing my 6 minutes of exercise each morning before doing anything else.  I did eat off goal twice, once being a treat I gave myself after Part One of my Root Canal. I stopped at Dunkin Donuts and had a big ole coffee with cream and splenda and three pumpkin spice and chocolate munchkins.  They were yummy.

I did better at goal no. 2: acknowledging people on FB and my other blog.

The beginning work on my Easter series–yeah, that did not go so well.  I did not make much headway on this one, and since it is not about building habit, I will not be using it as a goal again. I will just keep sluggin’ ’til I get ‘er done. Hopefully, before Valentine’s Day.

My Three Teeny, Tiny Goals for this week are:

1. A 7N7 Challenge to exercise for seven minutes for seven mornings in a row. Day 1 was today, and I did more than seven minutes, so that is off to a good start.

2. I will acknowledge three people this week on social media or my blogs, because I think we don’t give those encouragements we could give nearly often enough. An attaboy costs nothing, so why don’t we give them more? I’m gonna do it this week. Be forewarned, your name might be included in my list. ;)

3. I will eek out time to write at least three devotionals this week that address issues close to my heart.

I think these goals are teeny, tiny enough to be doable. At least I hope so. If you think of me during the week, check in here and ask me how it’s going. I always love to hear from my readers.  Give me an attaboy this week, won’t you, and leave a comment.

Thanks for reading my post today and for coming along with me on this goal-setting, habit-building project I’m undertaking.  It means a lot to have your support!

What habit are you hoping to build with your goal setting at this time?  What in life needs to change, so that your goals can be met?

Syrian Refugees


I don’t know what to do about the Syrian refugees.

I hear many are men (ages 15-35), and that give some people pause, but I see pictures of families with children, too.

I hear 1 in 50 could be ISIS members.

I hear few have been relocated to Saudi Arabia, even though SA has space for them.

I hear Germany has taken tons of Syrians in, partly in response to their own near zero population growth. Or so I hear.

I hear the refugees are rapidly spreading out across Europe and 10,000 will come to America, un-vetted.  Many more will filter into Canada.  Even if they were vetted before they came to America, I don’t trust the current administration to do a thorough job of the vetting process.

I hear this crisis could be a cloaked attack–a jihad-ish relocation of troops in disguise.  This crisis, if it is man-made, planned, hatched by ISIS, would be a great way to get sleeper agents to every corner of the globe quickly.  A way of mobilizing jihadist troops by playing to pacifist sympathies, but is it that, or something else?

So. Much. Gossip.  So much speculation, but still something must be done.

Some say the exodus of humanity out of Syria is merely about ship wrecked humanity looking for a safe port in a storm.

What is gossip and war mongering, and what is truth? 

Personally, I feel sorry for Syrians who are not terrorists and who want only to find some place where they can be safe and protected, and have the smallest promise of a sane and happy life. If terrorists were taking over land and homes and businesses in my town, state, or country, I would want to put as much space as I could between them and my family.  I would want out!

But is something bigger going on here? Is there a plan afoot to weaken America; to destabilize this country further, and to make us so concerned with the survival of this nation that we forget to defend the suffering…the weak?

“These are dark times for Dewey Crowe.”  –Justified

Dark times for us all. 

The way I see it, we, the Church, must decide what to do in the coming days…this coming crisis of need, for surely we will be called upon to do “something”.

Where do we go from here?  

Will allowing Syrians to come to America put us in more danger?

Will we be able to keep them out?

Should we keep them out?  What if America had kept us out?  

I keep thinking about what Jesus told his disciples, By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”  (John 13:35)  Don’t we have the duty as the church to love those in need: the poor, the orphaned, the destitute?  First of all, shouldn’t we decided what the most loving thing is to do?  I’m asking…

What is the loving thing to do when terrorism strikes?  How do we love refugees who come out from among “them” and into our world?