SUE VINCENT’S DAILY ECHO – GUEST AUTHOR: MARILYN ARMSTRONG – VISIONS

Guest author: Marilyn Armstrong – Visions

72-Sunset-2-070316_21

Over the years, I envied Christians. They always seem so very sure about all the things I doubt.

On August 30th, 2004, sometime between midnight and dawn, I had a vision in that peculiar space between sleeping and waking. I was very near death. The skin all across my abdomen had turned septic. Antibiotics were not working. Even the emergency debridement from the plastic surgery swat team had not fixed it. I knew I was dying. I could feel myself slipping away. I expected death to be more dramatic and certainly more frightening. I was less afraid than sad. I felt I had not done whatever it was I was supposed to do this time around the wheel.

Then came the vision. Unlike a dream, it has stayed clear as crystal. Never has it become faded or confused.

I was a little bird, a sparrow. I was broken and lying, unable to move or fly, on the wet cobblestones of some street in some eastern European city that was in the midst of war. In the background, I could hear the muttering of automatic weapons. As I lay there, I heard a great Voice. I heard it, but not with my ears, and the Voice filled my head.

“Enough” said the Voice.

The guns went quiet. I knew that the people who’d been fighting had ceased to exist, that they had been unmade. I waited in dread. I knew that I had done something bad, although precisely what I had done was unclear. All I could do was wait until the Voice came again.

“As for you, little bird, “ said the Voice, and I thought “There goes the other wing. There goes this fragile bird’s body.”

And then the Voice said, “Little bird, you can fly away.”

I flew away. When morning came, I was fine. The fever broke. My abdomen was clear of infection. A day later I went home. I was going to live.

Nor was this my first “extra throw” of the dice. When I was 19 and had spinal surgery, the spinal cord became infected . I was delirious. The delirium went on for 10 days and nights and I was in a lot of pain. Then, I had a chat with a Voice, who said: “You are in a terrible pain. You don’t have to keep fighting. You can let go or you can choose to stay. If you stay, the pain will continue. It will be a slow, difficult recovery.”

Obviously, I chose to stay. The next day didn’t bring relief from pain, but it brought me out of delirium and into consciousness.

So, that was twice. What does it mean? I don’t know. Something, for sure, but exactly what? Our old Pastor asked me if I was going to ask God for a photo ID. Maybe. That seems to be a problem for me. I want to know who is doing what.

I also would like to know WHY. More to the point, why me?


marilyn birthday 68About the Author

Marilyn Armstrong is a writer, blogger and photographer. She started writing as soon as she could form letters and has never heard a single good reason why she should stop. Marilyn and her husband Garry, as well their son, daughter-in-law, granddaughter and various intrepid canines, live in a setting of rare natural beauty and gigantic rocks in rural Massachusetts.

Marilyn blogs at Serendipity where she offers “memories via anecdotes, observations, occasional fiction, and photographs.”

 


Find and follow Marilyn

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The Twelve Foot Teepee

Fighting the of demons of an abusive childhood and having given up on traditional paths to personal salvation, Maggie decides to find her own path … by building a teepee in her back yard. It’s a peculiar route, but her goal is simple: offload the cargo of her past and move into a future, sans luggage. Armed with a draw knife and a sense of humor, she peels poles and paints canvas until winter passes and she is free.

 


If you have had a strange experience or encounter that you would like to share, please get in touch with me at findme@scvincent.com (or my usual email if you already have it) and we can discuss a guest post.

I am not looking for sensationalism or fictional tales… but in light of the response to some recent posts, I think it would be both useful and reassuring to others to realize none of us are alone in these strange encounters and experiences and perhaps we can open discussion on what they may be or may mean.

If you would like to share your story but prefer to remain anonymous, we can discuss that too. If you would like to share your beliefs and opinions on the nature of these experiences, I would be happy to talk about a guest post. Through sharing with respect we may learn to understand our world and each other a little better.

Original article at: Guest author: Marilyn Armstrong – Visions

THE DIALOGUE: JUST PICK ONE!

HER: “We always watch the stuff you want to watch. How come we never watch my movies?

HIM: “That’s not fair. I try to find things I think you’ll like.The other night I recorded ‘The Wind and the Lion.’”

HER: “You like that one. You always have.”

HIM: “That’s besides the point.”

HER: “No it isn’t. There a pile of DVDs I’ve bought during the past year. Most of them, I bought for you and most of them have at least been opened. None of mine have even had the cellophane removed. We never watch anything you don’t like.”

HIM: “Well, let’s make tonight different. {pause} You’re still sulking. I can tell by your face.”

HER: “You don’t mean it. As soon as one of those movies goes on, you’re going to start to make faces, or fall asleep. Instantly. You only do that to prove how boring my taste is.”

monty python British comedy movies

HIM: “I promise, I’ll watch. If I really hate it, I’ll tell you.”

HER: {Long Pause} “Okay, but you better mean it. Or …”

HIM: “Just pick a movie.”

HER: {Unwrapping} “It’s ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail.’ I don’t want to hear how you ‘don’t get’ British humor.”

HIM: “Do they have closed captions? Comedy is hard when you don’t get the words.”

HER: “Lemme see. Well, they have Full Script, English, French, Spanish, German, and Hard of Hearing.”

HIM: “Let’s try ‘Hard of Hearing.’ ”

HER: “It’s probably a goof.”

HIM: “I’m curious.”

HER: “Okay.”

Movie comes on. Someone is shouting loudly over the film. Cute.

HIM: “Okay. English, please.”

A year later, we did the exact same maneuver, only this time, the movie was “Going Postal,” one of the mini series they made in England from Terry Pratchett’s novels. For anyone interested, there are three of them, but I’ve only seen two –“Going Postal” and “Hogfather.” Garry actually seemed to like “Hogfather”! Could this be a trend?

There is one more movie — “The Colour of Magic,” but now, there are a pile of movies Garry needs to watch. Maybe we’ll get there. At this rate (one to two per year)? Who knows?

Some things never change.

SOMETHING WENT BUMP IN THE NIGHT

From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-legged beasties
And things that go bump in the night
Good Lord, deliver us!
– Traditional Scottish Prayer

Never met a ghoul and I have various issues with long-legged beasties, but I can speak from personal experience about “Things That Go Bump in the Night.” Long ago in a house far away, we had our ghosts. Friendly ghosts or at least, friendly to us.

Ghosts have been part of human mythology as long as tales have been told around campfires. Maybe before campfires. I don’t think if any religion excludes the possibility of ghosts. There seems to be a general agreement that ghosts and wraiths are spirits of the dead who linger on Earth after they have slipped that mortal coil. Some are malevolent, others benevolent or merely curious. Ghosts vary by mythology, religion and era. Even today, there are rumors and stories.

I cannot claim to have seen a ghost, but I lived in a house where everyone could hear our ghosts. It was 1965 when for $20,300, we were able to buy a tidy little brick house built in 1932. On the first floor were two bedrooms and a bathroom. There was a big bedroom on the partially finished second floor. The house was small but solid, walking distance from the college where my husband worked and I was finishing my degree.

The ambiance of the house from the moment we walked into it was overtly friendly. It welcomed everyone and made them feel at home. The little house had been built by a couple who had lived, raised children, and then died in it. They were not murdered or anything sordid. They merely grew old and passed on in the home they loved.

We loved it too. My son wouldn’t come onto the scene for 4 more years, but it was a good house to raise babies. I could feel it.

The house was a bit neglected. Not falling down but in need of paint and some modernization of its infrastructure. It still had its original heating system, converted from a coal burner to an oil furnace. Not very efficient and the radiators were huge, old and iron. Oil was cheap; we didn’t worry about it. We’d get to it eventually.

 

Initially we lived on the first floor since the bathroom was there. The upstairs had been an attic, but half had been turned into a big bedroom. We wanted to move up there. It was much bigger and had wonderful light, but we wanted to fix it up first. Before anything else, we wanted to paint. The entire house was painted pale salmon pink. It wasn’t ugly, but it wasn’t any color we’d have chosen. Worse, it was high gloss paint, like one would use in a kitchen or bath.

We painted the downstairs first. Every night, we heard our ghosts walking. You could hear the sound of heavy, loud footsteps upstairs, sharp, like the soles of hard leather shoes or boots. Everyone on the lower floor heard it. The walking started around eight in the evening, continued for a few minutes. Then the footsteps would pause and restart randomly until around midnight. The footsteps always stopped by midnight and never began before eight at night.

We called them “The Old Man” and “The Old Woman.” They wore different shoes. Her shoes had a sharp sound, like high heels on a hardwood floor. His were clunkier, like maybe work boots. Both of them had died in the house, so they were prime candidates for ghosthood, especially since no one else ever in the house we moved in.

At first, we also heard them on the steps, but after we painted the stairway, the footsteps retreated and we only heard them in the attic and bedroom. After we began painting the bedroom, we continued to hear them for a while in the attic and then, one day, they were gone, never to return.

Were they watching to see if we properly cared for and loved their home? I thought so. Were we all hallucinating? It was the 1960s, so anything is possible, but I think it was the couple who had lived there before us, watching to make sure we did right by the house. We did indeed. I guess they felt it was okay to depart.

Life is full of strangeness. Panicked might be too strong a word, but it was definitely weird. Meanwhile, if anyone has bumped into a long-legged beastie, please tell me about it. I’m dying to know.

MEET THE EXORCIST: FELIX CASTOR – MIKE CAREY

When I first wrote about these books, Mike Carey was not famous in the book world, though he was very well-known as a screen writer and graphic novelist. Since then, he’s had a couple of big best sellers. And he has promised he will come back and finish this series with at least one more volume. I can hardly wait!

I discovered Mike Carey because I reviewed a Jim Butcher book and someone suggested I’d like the Felix Castor series by Mike Carey. I’d never heard of Mike Carey, but I was out of new authors to read at the time and I was ready to try anything that sounded good. I got what I hoped for plus a whole lot more.

Mike Carey is not merely a good writer. He is what I would term hyper-literate. He uses words like a rapier. His prose is beautifully crafted, often lyrical, yet never treacly or sappy. He is crisp.

He actually uses words I have to look up because I don’t recognize them. It has been decades since I learned a new word. Sometimes I don’t know the word because it’s British slang with which I’m just not familiar, but sometimes, it’s a word I’ve never seen before.

He does not repeat himself. He never uses the same descriptive passage more than once, nor does he — as many popular authors do — copy and paste sections from one book to another to (I presume) save writing time. Mike Carey doesn’t use short cuts.

The result is a style that is richly descriptive, a delicious combination of gritty street slang banging head-on into literary English. Guttersnipe meets Jane Austen in the streets of Liverpool. It gives the narrative a rare and rich texture.

What’s it all about? Felix (Fix) Castor is an exorcist. He sees the dead and the undead. They see him. He is no wizard who magics his problems away with the wave of a hand or wand. He can send the dead away when they linger and cast out demons who possess humans.

Where do the dead go after he sends them away?  He’s not sure, an issue that looms successively larger as the series progresses. His weapon is music in the form of a tin whistle, a thin armament in the face of some of the perils he faces. He has a few allies — human, formerly human plus one demon (in recovery).

The series consists of five books, each building on the previous one to form what is essentially a single story in five parts. Best to read the series in order. All the books are now available on paperback, for Kindle and as an Audible download.

In order, the books are:

  1. The Devil You Know
  2. Vicious Circle 
  3. Dead Men’s Boots
  4. Thicker Than Water
  5. The Naming of Beasts.

None of the books are exactly a lightweight romp through a sunny meadow, but the first three books are much lighter in tone  … and funnier — Carey has a sharp, ironic sense of humor– than the final two, which are pretty intense.

Mike Carey Photographed by Charlie Hopkinson © 2005

It’s a unique series, unlike any other I’ve read. I wish there had been more of them, though I suspect the author is done with this series. Fix Castor works hard for short money, is rarely appreciated by the people he helps, has more than enough of his personal demons, not to mention some very real, otherworldly demons who are seriously out to get him.

There are so many surprises in this series. The characters constantly surprised me by growing and changing, developing in unexpected ways and not doing the obvious. Characters make unique choices and don’t take the obvious or easy way out.

Mike Carey can be very funny. His subtle and elegant humor contains no belly laughs, but irony pervades his prose. None of the books are traditionally funny nor are the situations humorous or light-hearted, but the author’s writing style is wonderfully cynical. The stories, pun intended, are dead serious. Darkness notwithstanding, you can count on Mike Carey’s plays on words and twists of phrase to keep the dread from becoming too heavy to handle.

The plots are gripping and creepy. Any or all of the books would make great horror movies. I’m surprised no one has grabbed them yet. Maybe they will. Sooner or later, someone is bound to notice, right?

The books are available on Amazon and from other booksellers, and as audiobooks from Audible.com.


LUCIFER BEGINS A NEW SEASON TONIGHT ON FOX TV

I would like to mention for those of us who follow Mike Carey’s amazing tales of Lucifer in his graphic novels, that story has been made into a television show. It initially got lousy reviews. Those of us who watched it, loved it.

Apparently the reviewers did what they so frequently do: they either didn’t watch the show at all, or based their reviews on what they thought we were supposed to like. After the show was on for a while and it was one of the top shows of the season, they changed their opinions. Duh.

Lucifer as a graphic novel character comes from a group of writers. I like Carey’s interpretation because I love the way Carey writes. His graphic novels are far more novel-like I expected. Amazing graphics, too.

These are not merely comic books in fancy covers. These are a different kind of entertainment. The books are worth reading and the television show, when it is on (it has short seasons, so grab it when its running), starts tonight on Fox — Monday night at 9 (EDT). If you get American television, you will like it.

READY FOR THE APOCALYPSE?

I used to be worried but I wore out. Now, I’m waiting for the post-apocalyptic world I have been reading about for years.

I have been worried about everything. The environment. Health care. Social security. War, guns, and bombs, and any number of other catastrophes. Yet, here I am, in a world I thought impossible.

This piece of real estate that might solve all our problems.

WELCOME TO THE LAST SAFE PLACE ON EARTH!


The above-ground home is 2,000 square feet. But if you use the keypad entry to the basement, you’ll find 2,300 more square feet that was a former launch control center and has been converted with dining and entertainment space and two bedroom suites – complete with marble bathrooms. It has 10-foot tall ceilings, simulated daylight — and what we all need in our post-apocalyptic home — an open floor plan.

Another view of the house.

Aerial shot of the property.

Views from the property.

Your own personal runway.

Great media room!

Basement entrance. Good solid construction.

Inside the basement house. it’s a whole new world!

Comfy bathroom.

Stairway to the silo.

Tunnel to the silo. This could use a little work. Maybe some paneling?

Inside the missile silo is a 9-story structure, currently empty. Consider it would be perfect for underground condos. Bring your friends on board and recycle that air!

It used to be selling for a mere $1.7 million. If it hasn’t sold by now, maybe we could make a deal?

WE’RE ALL BRUCE BANNER – TOM CURLEY

Usually when I write one of these blogs I try to be funny.

pineterest.com

OK, maybe just humorous.

sonnyradio.com

Fine. Mildly amusing.

thedodo.com

Problem is, I can’t be funny right now because I’m angry. Really pissed off. And I’m not alone. Pretty much the whole country is really pissed off right now — but for different reasons. The media “narrative” or “explanation” or “excuse” for how SCROTUS got elected was that middle class white folks were pissed off. They wanted to give a big F-You to Washington.

orrazz.com

orrazz.com

And they succeeded beyond their wildest expectations. But here’s the thing. They are only about 20 to 25 percent of the population.

The day after the election, a really odd thing happened. The remaining 75 percent of the population woke up REALLY PISSED! And not the grumpy old man “Hey you kids get off my lawn!” kind of pissed.

chicagotribune.com

chicagotribune.com

It included not only the people who didn’t vote for Trumpy McTrumpface. But everybody else.

Us. The other 75 percent. For us, this is a different level of pissed off. It’s “Incredible Hulk”  level pissed off.

youtube.com

youtube.com

For those of you not in the Nerdverse like me, The Hulk is Bruce Banner. A nice, quiet, nerdy kind of guy. A scientist. He gets caught in a Gamma bomb blast (think Hydrogen bomb on steroids) and turns into The Incredible Hulk.

tvtropes.org

tvtropes.org

Whenever somebody pisses him off, and for some reason people are always pissing him off,  he turns green and grows to be about 15-feet tall. And starts throwing tanks and other large military objects at the people shooting at him. Usually the Army. The whole  Army. Or at least a few platoons.

moddb.com

moddb.com

When you think about it, we’re all a lot like the Hulk. We were, for the most part, going about our daily lives. Minding our own business. Many of us quiet and nerdy. Many of us are scientists, or at least we believe that science exists.  Then a huge Gamma bomb went off. Around midnight November 9th 2016. After which, we got really, seriously, pissed off.

freemalaysiatoday.com

freemalaysiatoday.com

Lately, you hear lots of people saying variations on the same theme:


“This is exhausting!”

“How much more of this can we take?”

“I can’t keep up. Something new and worse happens every day.”

“I can’t believe it’s not butter!”

beforeitsnews.com

beforeitsnews.com


Pundits warn that we will get used to the endless barrage of crap coming out of the White House swamp. That we can’t maintain this level of anger. That we’re getting worn out.

blogs.mpnews.com

blogs.mpnews.com “This is getting old”

Well, here’s the thing. The reason the Hulk always wins is because his real power is not his strength. It’s his anger. The madder he gets, the stronger he gets.


There is no upward limit on his strength because there’s
no upward limit on his rage.
theunrealtimes.com

theunrealtimes.com “You did not just gut the EPA”


And that’s the thing that the people shooting at the Hulk never understand. If you just stop shooting at him, he calms down. He turns back into Bruce Banner.

tomanyposts.wordpress.com

tomanyposts.wordpress.com

SCROTUS could do the same thing– more or less. You know,he could stop shooting all sorts of crap at us.

observer.com

observer.com

He won’t, though. It’s going to go on for a while. Years. Will we get tired?  Will we stop being pissed off? Will we give up and go home?

Nope. Because we may have drubbed him on the health bill, but while we were dealing with that, he’s destroying the water, the air, and every living creature on our continent. There are a lot of things on the block.

Stay mad!

Why?


BECAUSE THE MADDER WE GET, THE STRONGER WE GET. 
WE ARE ALL BRUCE BANNER NOW. 
weknowmemes.com

weknowmemes.com


AND NOW, YOU CAN GET YOUR OWN SHIRT!


It’s on Custom Ink. The complexities of ordering the shirts then sending them out to each person are a bit much. But you can order directly from Custom Ink … so here’s the CustomInk link for the Bruce Banner tee.

These are pretty cool tees and if you think it sort of fits how you feel about the world and the way things are going? This is the tee that will tell your tale.

The profits from these shirts are not going to charity. To be precise, they are not going to us either. All profits go directly to CustomInk who print and deliver the shirts. You can use this design as a money raiser. If you would like to use it and change the back of the tee logo to something personal, I give you my permission to do so. If you do, please let me know what you are doing. We can do your own little feature here.

Just wanted everyone to recognize that this is not raising money for anyone other than the producing company. It was too complicated for we simple souls.

WE’RE ALL BRUCE BANNER NOW – BY TOM CURLEY

Usually when I write one of these blogs I try to be funny.

pineterest.com

pineterest.com

OK, maybe just humorous.

sonnyradio.com

sonnyradio.com

Fine. Mildly amusing.

thedodo.com

thedodo.com

Problem is, I can’t be funny right now because I’m angry. Really pissed off. And I’m not alone. Pretty much the whole country is really pissed off right now — but for different reasons. The media “narrative” or “explanation” or “excuse” for how SCROTUS got elected was that middle class white folks were pissed off. They wanted to give a big F-You to Washington.

orrazz.com

orrazz.com

And they succeeded beyond their wildest expectations. But here’s the thing. They are only about 20 to 25 percent of the population.

The day after the election, a really odd thing happened. The remaining 75 percent of the population woke up REALLY PISSED! And not the grumpy old man “Hey you kids get off my lawn!” kind of pissed.

chicagotribune.com

chicagotribune.com

It included not only the people who didn’t vote for Trumpy McTrumpface. But everybody else.

Us. The other 75 percent. For us, this is a different level of pissed off. It’s “Incredible Hulk”  level pissed off.

youtube.com

youtube.com

For those of you not in the Nerdverse like me, The Hulk is Bruce Banner. A nice, quiet, nerdy kind of guy. A scientist. He gets caught in a Gamma bomb blast (think Hydrogen bomb on steroids) and turns into The Incredible Hulk.

tvtropes.org

tvtropes.org

Whenever somebody pisses him off, and for some reason people are always pissing him off,  he turns green and grows to be about 15-feet tall. And starts throwing tanks and other large military objects at the people shooting at him. Usually the Army. The whole  Army. Or at least a few platoons.

moddb.com

moddb.com

When you think about it, we’re all a lot like the Hulk. We were, for the most part, going about our daily lives. Minding our own business. Many of us quiet and nerdy. Many of us are scientists, or at least we believe that science exists.  Then a huge Gamma bomb went off. Around midnight November 9th 2016. After which, we got really, seriously, pissed off.

freemalaysiatoday.com

freemalaysiatoday.com

Lately, you hear lots of people saying variations on the same theme:


“This is exhausting!”

“How much more of this can we take?”

“I can’t keep up. Something new and worse happens every day.”

“I can’t believe it’s not butter!”

beforeitsnews.com

beforeitsnews.com


Pundits warn that we will get used to the endless barrage of crap coming out of the White House swamp. That we can’t maintain this level of anger. That we’re getting worn out.

blogs.mpnews.com

blogs.mpnews.com “This is getting old”

Well, here’s the thing. The reason the Hulk always wins is because his real power is not his strength. It’s his anger. The madder he gets, the stronger he gets.


There is no upward limit on his strength because there’s
no upward limit on his rage.
theunrealtimes.com

theunrealtimes.com “You did not just gut the EPA”


And that’s the thing that the people shooting at the Hulk never understand. If you just stop shooting at him, he calms down. He turns back into Bruce Banner.

tomanyposts.wordpress.com

tomanyposts.wordpress.com

Scrotus could do the same thing– more or less. You know, stop shooting all sorts of crap at us.

observer.com

observer.com

He won’t, though. It’s going to go on for a while, maybe years. Will we get tired?  Will we stop being pissed off? Will we give up and go home?

Nope.


The madder we get, the stronger we get.
We are all Bruce Banner now.
weknowmemes.com

weknowmemes.com