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Archive for December, 2015

Dec 24 2015

Holly Jolly Christmas

Posted by Mugs @ 9:50 am in Church,Family,Music,Nature,school,Sightseeing Print This Post Print This Post

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas from the Manry Clan.

Dec 23 2015

Doubting Winter

Posted by Mugs @ 8:54 pm in Nature Print This Post Print This Post

The quince and I are doubting winter. I looked out the window through the pouring rain and saw glowing pink on the quince’s prickly stems. My quince bloomed today – the earliest I have ever seen it bloom. My first winter in Virginia eight years ago was really mild with only a little dusting of snow, and the quince bloomed in January. Winters since have brought snow, ice, and long periods of cold weather. It is forecast to be 70 degrees Fahrenheit on Christmas Day.

I’m dreaming of a green (brown) Christmas just like the ones I used to know… in Hawaii (Australia.) I just might sit out in the garden on a blanket wearing shorts and a t-shirt, have a picnic, and sing Christmas Carols.

I suspect, Mister Heat Miser and Mister Snow Miser made a deal again.

Dec 18 2015

Friends, Family, and Countrymen – Lend Us Your Prayers

Posted by Mugs @ 10:22 am in Church,Family,school,Work Print This Post Print This Post

Our friend and classmate, Diana Holland will become the West Point Com on January 5th 2016. Lord willing, Dale and I, Kristin and Mark Gagnon, the one and only Debby Dines, and many other classmates and friends will be in attendance. Pray we can make it safely to West Point because obviously, hell will be frozen over.

If you cannot attend, please send a card of congratulations to: Brigadier General Diana Holland Commandant West Point, NY 10996.

Most importantly, please pray for Diana, her husband Jim, Diana’s dad Ralph, and all of their extended family. Pray God grants them wisdom and strength each day. Pray for God’s favor and help in this duty assignment that He has provided for them. Pray their positive influence will continue to encourage those around them. Pray God will guide them in their task to make West Point and the Army a better place.

Praise the Lord! He has done great things!


Dec 14 2015

nanowrimo – where did Mugs go?

Posted by Mugs @ 9:00 am in Family,Work Print This Post Print This Post

Hello again, friends. Sorry to leave you for over a month. How did it start, you may ask? Dale is to blame, of course.

My husband believes that email is the most effective means of communication, and will communicate to me via email even if I’m sitting in the next room. I do not believe email is the most effective means of communication and will sometimes go days without checking my email which often forces my husband to ask, “Did you get my email?”


Dale sent me an email on November second that challenged me to do nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month). I read the email on November third. I signed up and this is what I wrote on nanowrimo for my author bio:

“I dearly love to laugh. My father, mother and siblings make me laugh. My boyfriend made me laugh, so he eventually became my husband who makes me laugh. We have four children who make us laugh. Most of my friends laugh with me and sometimes at me. If I am with someone who does not understand jokes, I don’t know what to do. It’s very awkward. I love books that make me laugh. In spite of all this, I was determined to be a serious writer. I attempted to write serious things, including serious poetry. This was a serious mistake. When I wrote funny things, people laughed. My husband challenged me to do this 50,000 words in one month madness. I thought, ‘There is no way. I spend all my time fretting about proper word use. I’m lucky if I can write two hundred words a day.’ Then I said, ‘What if I write a 50,000 word story of utter nonsense, not trying to say anything poignant, just writing about absurd situations that make me laugh?’ That’s what I am going to attempt to do here. It will most likely be utter rubbish when I’m done, but Lord willing, it will be 50,000 words of utter rubbish.”

To accomplish fifty thousand words, a writer needs to write 1667 words every day for thirty days. I started on day three, so I had put myself in a 3,334 word hole that I would not overcome until the end. There were several days during the process when I wore my pajamas all day and other than eating some food, I sat at the computer from 0700 to 2300. On those days, I wrote over 5000 words – yes, I am a really, really, really, slow writer.

Dale – aka Tech Support – bought me a Surface so I could write on the go. The Starbucks on the corner of Cowan Blvd and Jeff Davis Highway in Fredericksburg, VA is a great place to write, They have big block tables to spread your stuff out on. Many, many people did things I normally do so I had time to write. My family members filled in a lot of gaps, wore dirty clothes most of the month, ate cereal, sandwiches, and takeout for days. Dale and Abby covered my ‘seating people’ job at Zeke’s play. All hail to Rachel Gawinski and Abby Squared for making Thanksgiving dinner! I only made the fruit salad, because Rachel forced me.

Much to my amazement, on the night of November 30th, Dale uploaded my words and I was declared a nanowrimo winner. (Everyone who writes 50,000 words wins.) After I held up my certificate, my brain shut down and my fingers took a typing break. Dale gave me a birthday week full of cards and gifts, and I attempted to wash a pile of laundry taller than Barry Gawinski.

January through March, I hope to finish the chapters missing in the middle and get the novel in a somewhat readable format. If it some day gets published…Praise the Lord! But, if nanowrimo’s only results were: seeing 50,000 words I had written; meeting Dale’s challenge; and making Dines laugh – it was worth it.