Sunday, October 28, 2018

National Chocolate Day: Shoes Are Like Chocolate

Just had to say a few words about chocolate today, since I'm such a chocolate fan. One nice thing about being older is not worrying about the pimples (and cramping) chocolate caused me in my younger days. 😐

  Quote Typographic Background about shoes             (

Thought it was funny someone had compared chocolate with shoes. Well, maybe, I'm thinking.....if I had a larger closet. I could certainly find more to buy if I had the room.

If I did, I want the closet actor Kurt Russell built in the 1987 movie, 'Overboard' for actress Goldie Hawn. Did she not play the perfect 'rich bitch'??? Just loved those two together and the fact they had married in real life. I hope they are still together. Don't tell me if they aren't. It's one Hollywood fairy tale I'd like to believe 😃.

How about these shoes?

Fashion quotes om nooit te vergeten

Fashion quotes om nooit te vergeten
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A woman can be sexy, charming, witty or shy with her shoes. - Christian Louboutin

I still have my feet on the ground, I just wear better shoes. - Oprah Winfrey

Be well dressed, behave like a gentleman, and keep your shoes shined. - Joseph Abboud

More shoes at my Pinterest link.

 landscape grass sky field agriculture season trees shoes clouds publicdomain relaxation sneakers converse shoelaces drygrass rural area grass family

So enjoy some chocolate today
....and maybe,
a new pair of shoes!

Sharon M. Himsl, Writer / Author
Published: Evernight Teen 
The Shells of Mersing


Wednesday, October 24, 2018

A Few Notes... Plus, Africa Mercy - Off to a Great Start and House of Cards: One Nurse's Journey

Sometimes life gets a bit lop-sided, hectic, and out of the ordinary. I've found myself lost in unexpected family activities, but in a good way. I'm helping my mother adjust to her retirement home and simply put, getting old. Hey, I'm not so young myself either. 

Apparently, the extra time needed to do this well was more than my pea-brain could handle. I simply had to neglect this blog for awhile, in order to keep my writing flowing elsewhere. I found myself writing a weekly garden column over the summer, typing my mother's memoir, and squeezing out time for my novel whenever I could, so nothing really lost "writing-wise." Happy about that, and it's good to be busy - as they say.

Finally, organization is starting to prevail, and I see that I really can handle more than I thought possible. Thus, I'm starting to blog again and it feels pretty darn good. I won't stress if no one visits for awhile (I've neglected you!), but I do hope to chat with some of you eventually. I've neglected updates to my friend's amazing Africa experience too on the Africa
 Mercy, a hospital ship that sails up and down the African coast with a team of doctors and nurses. I missed her return to Africa in August and share her August and September emails below. (More to come later and then I'll be more up to date). 

Before I say adieu, CONGRATULATIONS 
to ELIZABETH VARADAN!! She has a new 
children's book out and I just love the cover. 
Be sure to check it out!

Have missed you all! 


2018-08-20, "Off to a Great Start"

After the customary 36-hour journey without sleep, I arrived in Conakry, Guinea last night to return to Mercy Ships for another seven months of being the scheduling nurse for the eye team. I must say, it was harder to leave home this time because my sister and I just got moved and settled into her house in Philadelphia, and I was getting really, really comfortable there. I was so focused on the move and settling in, it was hard to generate my usual enthusiasm for coming back to Mercy Ships.

No problem. About the time I got on the plane, my thoughts flew ahead of me, and the flame rekindled. Walking up the gangway was a thrill, a sense of being home (my second home). So many people have stopped to welcome me back—I feel loved in this community (in my other one, too!).

It’s a good thing I got a good night’s sleep last night. I, and many others, put in a thirteen-hour workday today. We held a mass screening event, screening for all the different surgeries that we do during the field service. Over six thousand people were screened, and about a quarter of those came to the eye team to be screened for cataract surgery. Of those, we scheduled over 300 adults and 15 children to come back for a full eye examination and possible surgery.

It’s hard to put into words the joy, the thrill, of being part of such an event. It tears at your heart to see so many people with medical problems, so desperate to snatch this opportunity for surgery that they nearly rioted outside the gates. We actually had to delay starting for a couple of hours while the police and our security forces worked to calm and organize the crowd. We didn’t dare open the gates; people would have gotten trampled. Eventually, we staged an end run—we opened a gate at the end of the line, where people were quieter. “The first will be last…” Anyway, it all worked out, and we were able to see everyone who came to be seen. You can hardly blame them for their frenzy—their options for health care are so limited, so a chance for a surgical slot with Mercy Ships is priceless. And being part of that priceless gift is the thrill of a lifetime for me. Oh, yeah. That’s why I’m addicted to this ministry!

If you are unenthusiastic about being on this newsletter list for yet another round of Mercy Ships stories, just let me know. It’ll probably be much like previous years, and I won’t be offended if you’ve heard enough already. But if you’re game, lets go for another ride together.

Blessings, Marilyn

2018-09-28, "House of cards"

As you remember, the advance container with the tents for the dock went on an extended world cruise, only arriving here in mid-September. Until then, we held our eye clinic in the room on the ship where we normally care for patients on the day of surgery. Meanwhile, the new tent, the one newly purchased for the eye clinic, had arrived and was used for the screening team. When the other three tents arrived, we were put in one of those and the screening team kept the new tent. It was a sensible arrangement.

Life in the tent has been fine, very convenient. If a day crew doesn’t show up for the Day of Surgery room, we can send one of the clinic people as a substitute. If we need something unusual, we can go get it. If I get tired, I can rest in my bunk for half an hour at lunchtime. If, as happened today, one of our post-op patients has a seizure in the clinic, we can fetch a doctor, do labs, get medications from pharmacy, and generally deal with the problem.

A few nights ago, we had quite the rainstorm. The new tent, already defective and leaking, collapsed completely. Since it was 2:00 am, no one was in the tent, so no one was injured. Not only that, none of the equipment inside was damaged. The tent has been declared unsafe, however, so the screening team had to move out. Everyone who had been working in four tents now had to crowd into three.

Now they have decided that that arrangement isn’t working so well, so they have decided to relocate the eye clinic to somewhere north of here an0d give our tent space to the other teams. In about a week, we will have to move again and set up the clinic for the third time. Then we’ll have to call a bunch of patients to tell them of the new location—hopefully we’ll be able to reach them and they will be able to find us. The clinic site is a substantial drive away from the ship, so we won’t be back for lunch, and the days are likely to be long and the commute tedious. If patients have post-op complications, I suppose someone will have to drive them to the ship, leaving us short-handed in the clinic. If we need something we don’t have handy…too bad. It is not an ideal situation, that’s for sure, and I, for one, am not happy about it.

Last year, when they were tentatively planning to locate the clinic far away from the ship, I decided that I would not come under those circumstances. When they bought a tent for us to be on the dock, I was elated. But now, I’m here, and now they are going to do just that, move us far away from the ship. I suppose I’ll adapt, but for today, I am grumpy about it. It does feel like the poor eye team lives in a house of cards, never secure in our accommodations, always the first to be kicked to the curb. Harumph.


Sharon M. Himsl, Writer / Author
Published: Evernight Teen 
The Shells of Mersing


Monday, October 22, 2018

The Classics - Opening Lines: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

Boo!! A Halloween classic....

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"In the bosom of one of those spacious coves which indent the eastern shore of the Hudson, at that broad expansion of the river denominated by the ancient Dutch navigators the Tappan Zee, and where they always prudently shortened sail and implored the protection of St. Nicholas when they crossed, there lies a small market town or rural port, which by some is called Greensburgh, but which is more generally and properly known by the name of Tarry Town."          (published 1820)

A delightful retelling of the story in film with
Jeff Goldblum.1st broadcasted October 31, 1980.

Sharon M. Himsl

Writer/Author. Blogging since 2011. 
Published with Evernight Teen: 
~~The Shells of Mersing

Sunday, October 14, 2018

So What's Everyone Doing?

Well, I'm reading and probably should be writing but I found a good book and I can't stop reading.

This is Roald Dahl on steroids for adults. Honestly, I had no idea the book existed. And did you know he's Norwegian? that I should have known. I'm half Norwegian after all.

But seriously, the guy really knows how to write. I discovered 'Going Solo' in a Roald Dahl children's collection I had purchased to divide up among my grandchildren.

I'm embarrassed to admit I have never read the children's books he's most known for. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG, James and the Giant Peach, to name some.

But if you like memoirs with a sense of humor that focus on the WWII period, flying airplanes, and living in Africa, Going Solo is for you!

Well, I have been typing too.... Not my own work, but my mother's memoir. I love the little miner sitting on the keyboard. He's 'panning for gold' and that's exactly what writing about a life history feels like. Mother is 93 so you can imagine there's quite a bit of life to glean from there.

But I'm back to thinking about writing for myself too, and will use this miner for inspiration. Just 500 words a day someone on Instagram posted today. Now that feels doable. My current novel is around 22k, so I have a ways to go if I'm going to reach 60k.

How about you. What have you been up to?

Sharon M. Himsl

Writer/Author. Blogging since 2011. 
Published with Evernight Teen: 
~~The Shells of Mersing

About Me

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You could call me an eternal optimist, but I'm really just a dreamer. l believe in dream fulfillment, because 'sometimes' dreams come true. This is a blog about my journey as a writer and things that inspire and motivate me.