About Steeny Lou

I corrected the grammar of doctors from 2004 until my health forced me to stop in 2013. As long as my brain and my hands continue to cooperate, though, I will write. Occasionally, some of that writing shows up in this blog. My current project is turning hand-written journals and time-worn memories from my Alaskan wilderness years into books. There are too many adventures and details from most of the 1990s to fit into one volume, and the process is slow when my three youngest kids are at home (we don't do school - some call us "unschoolers"; I call us life learners - aren't we all learning for our entire lives?) and my four older kids require my attention sporadically from their adult lives. Also, I edit. That is, proofreading and copyediting of the written word. If you need help in that regard, please contact me. I like to help the writing of others look good, and this does not always necessarily involve payment. Motherhood is a joy but it's also a job. More about me: Owned by God Who bought me at great price through His Son's perfect sacrifice, I write about the bumps and valleys of life from my perspective. I look forward to connecting with others in respectful communication on this blog.

For Those With Unsaved Loved Ones Still Alive

The father of one of my dearest friends has a bleak report from his doctor. My friend is saved, but her dad, to my knowledge, is not.

I’ve always referred to my friend’s dad as “Skip”, since I first met him in the early 1980s, as he reminded me of a TV show host named Skip Stephenson. I can’t remember anything about the show, but the name has stuck for my friend’s dad all these years.

How scary for my friend, for her sister, for their mother, and for Skip himself, knowing his medical condition is not likely to improve and death is imminent.

Of course, death is imminent for everyone. Any of us could take our last breath before finishing reading this page, for any number of unexpected reasons.

The important thing is that we be prepared for what lies beyond our final earthly breath, whenever that may be.

If the Bible is true, and I believe it is because all that has been written about Jesus even many hundreds of years before He came to earth in the form of a man came to pass with accuracy impossible to force, then what is written in it on how to obtain eternal life in a new body, in a perfect place, free from pain and decay, is the way I choose to follow.

And that way is simply through faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ as restitiutionary payment in full for my own state of separation from God. No ritual. Nothing to do. Nothing to buy. Everything good to gain.

The linked article below says it better than I can. May the reader find hope through checking it out, may Skip be saved and his entire family, and may somehow there be peace in this troubling time for them and for all who struggle through in these imperfect bodies.

For The Unsaved: About Christ

Surprise Me!

Maybe the joy I get from secular music such as this will be exponentially increased in the new heavenly songs in our mouths as we all praise Jesus together, free from our earthly desires that are the norm here.  In heaven, what would we need to desire, for all will be full and perfect! I look forward to finding out what God has prepared for us who love Him.

In the 1980s, during my teen years, while I was getting ready for school, I’d usually play vinyl records on the turntable. I didn’t want to be the only one picking the music, though, and so sometimes I’d ask my sister to choose one.

She’d say, “I don’t know what to put on. What do you want to hear?”

Huh? What’s the joy in that? If I told her what I wanted to hear, that’d be the same as me picking the record myself.

I told her, “Surprise me!”

I liked all of the music in my and her record collection. Even if what my sister chose wasn’t one of my top favourites, I enjoyed it because my beloved sister was the one who set it up.

I was just thinking about that memory and comparing it to how it will be in heaven. Of course, my analogy is shallow and doesn’t fully grasp the enormity of what heaven is. The similarity lies in that I don’t know what to expect, but I know it will be good and I will enjoy it because the One who set it up is my Beloved.

I have a few ideas as to what heaven will entail, made familiar to me by the words of Scripture, but God does say that it will be beyond what I can envision. My imagination is pretty wild, and so I have faith heaven will be absolutely out of this world – literally – largely because sin and its destructive consequences will be gone forever.

So much is in God’s Word, but this one little piece is jumping out at me right now, in Ephesians 3:20…

“…Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us…”

I looked up more info on the Greek word for “think”, and here’s what I found:

Info on the word “think” in Strong’s Concordance

It’s something to ponder, eh? (See what I did there? But really!)

Anyway, all this to say that I look forward to the surprise that God has in store, the details of which I cannot comprehend yet. I trust that it will be good, for all that I know of Him, from reading the Scriptures, has proven good.

Maranatha!

Open Pages


Oh, the array of documents that sit with open doors across the top of my laptop screen! It’s like a messy kitchen waiting to be organized so the main meal’s cooking can take place.

These tabs have piled up over the past few weeks, and I long to address them all to the point that I can willingly close a bunch of them.

Here are the members of the queue before me:

1. The Wix home page of a friend’s website for his editing business.

2. My own Wix attempt in draft mode, inspired by my friend’s site.

3. An article on how to name one’s editing and proofreading business.

4. An article on how to start an editing and proofreading business.

5. A video on how to do alternating cast-on for double rib (knitting). Because I have a knitting pattern for making a winter headband, but I’m daunted by a cast-on process I’ve never tried.

6. An article on how to write a great memoir. Its first point is on how to write a premise in one sentence.

7. An article on how to structure a premise for stronger stories.

8. An article on how to build a compelling narrative arc for your memoir.

9. An article on vignettes, scenes, and dialogues.

10. An article on what everyone ought to do to create vivid characters.

11. “Alaska Book”. This is one of dozens of Google Docs I have that are part of the memoir on which I am working. I hope Google Docs never crashes.

12. “Excavator in the Pond”, a Google Doc. This is one of the stories in my memoir.

13. “Boots in the Mudroom”, another Google Doc, and another story in the memoir.

14. “Milk in the Snow”, still another Google Doc for the memoir. I name them simply. This is for my own quick reference. They might end up with new titles, they might be amalgamated into other chapters, and they might even be axed in the end.

There. That helped me purge a bit from my mind, just seeing it all written out.

I’d like to read all the articles and close their windows so I can feel like the groceries and the dishes are put away and I can start cooking up a new mess in my actual writing.

Can anyone relate to having multiple documents open on their computer, and the relief that comes from closing several of them?

For The Overwhelmed

To the overwhelmed:

I understand.

There’s so much we all must bear, and sometimes it is more than seems reasonable. I’ve been there all too often and will likely return.

As for me, my comfort is in knowing that this world is not my home, I’m just a-passing through.

Yes, I’m talking about being headed for heaven through the One who saved me.

I hope you know what I mean – salvation through faith in Christ alone, that He was, and is, and is to come again. If you don’t know, fire me a note and I’ll do my best to answer your questions.

May you know this Peace that is beyond understanding.

Maranatha!

Reading and Writing

A “Taste of Home”. The man in the mural is Danny Lytton. He once came to my old farm to help round up a couple Belgian horses I was boarding for horse loggers. The Belgians didn’t want to leave. Danny was so good with horses, he managed to coax them to the trailer.

I’m sitting in my fave little local cafe (there are only two – one we call “The Dry Place” because the food is too dry for our liking and the coffee always tastes burnt, and this one my family and I call “Taste”, short for “Taste Of Home”, because we kept forgetting its real name years ago, which first was “One Another, A Coffee House”; then it was “Bicycle Tree”; and now it’s “Rise & Grind Coffee Shop”, but one of my sons calls it “the kaif”, phonetically pronouncing cafe that way because he plays with words like his mom does).

Ah, it sounds like Jim Croce (whom my son might call Jim Croas phonetically) singing over the speakers right now, something about a Georgia girl he hopes will take him back. Now Gordon Lightfoot is singing about how it would be if his love could read his mind.

While I sip a soy cafe au lait, I have been reading a book, the latest one I’ve bought. It’s a slow process because so many things I read in it remind me of points from my own Alaskan past, so I go make notes in my manuscript documents. That, and I make penciled notes in the book itself.

Here is a page from the abovementioned book, which is called “Alaska in the Wake of the North Star”. Having looked at the publisher’s website (Hancock House), I feel I should contact them about my book, as it seems to fit with a lot of what they have published.

I would love to know if anyone reading this also makes notes in the books they read. 🙂

Regretting This Challenge

Having challenged myself to blog every day for at least a month straight, I admit that some days I regret that idea. Like right now. It’s been a long and full day – not a bad one, but with much packed into its hours – with no time to write, my head hurts, and all I want to do is go to sleep.

So, there’s a short entry for anyone who’s reading. Maybe something more interesting will be said another day.

PS: (Aghast look on my face as I realize, the next morning, that this post didn’t publish last night when I thought I hit the publish button. So, now my challenge has been broken. I won’t get the congratulatory notice from WordPress for 20-some days in a row of posting. That makes me feel all my efforts have been for naught.

Also, something weird happened in the way my page looks while I type. I think it is the dreaded “Block Editor”, which I so abhor, showing up on my phone. I avoid it on my computer. I am not ready for change in that regard.

This might be my last post for awhile, unless I can figure out how to get the old editing interface back. I tried in settings but it wouldn’t take.

I feel sad. Little things can do that, for better or for worse.)

Sin and Forgiveness

The following was written by a friend and brother in Christ, Paul Kocourek. I felt moved to share it.

Some people like to quote the following against homosexuals:

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.”
(1 Cor 6:9-10)

But they fail to include the very next verse:

“Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” (1 Cor 6:11)

There is salvation and forgiveness for homosexuals (and all others self-identified as LGBTQ+), just as there is salvation and forgiveness for:

fornicators

idolaters

adulterers

effeminate

thieves

covetous

drunkards

revilers

swindlers

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and YOU WILL BE SAVED, you and your household.” (Acts 16:31)

Our sins — all of them – deserved the death penalty. God so loved us that He sent Jesus to die the death penalty we each deserved.

It doesn’t matter if we are not a LGBTQ+ person, and committed only one sin, and the rest of the time we are practically a saint. Why? Because to break one of God’s commandments is to be guilty of breaking ALL of them.

For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. (James 2:10)

One “little white lie”, one moment of lust or greed or pride, is as guilty and deserving of death as murder. So, when Jesus Christ went to the cross to suffer, bleed and die, He paid for ALL our sins, dying the death we deserved. The combined weight of ALL our sins was laid on Jesus at the cross, and so He died for ALL of them!

Three days later, Jesus arose victoriously from the grave, proving the death penalty was satisfied and the payment accepted. Now God can totally PARDON us — forgiveness is available to every one of us, free and clear, ours simply for the asking, accessed by faith in Jesus, trusting and believing that He:

1) died for our sins

2) was buried

3) rose again the third day

Friend, if you haven’t yet accessed that pardon, yours free and clear, simply for the asking, won’t you pray now and choose to believe in Jesus, as per the three points above?

God promises that when you do, you will be totally forgiven, right then and there! It doesn’t matter who you are, what you have done, or how terrible and grievous or how many are your sins. Trust in Jesus and you will be totally cleansed from them all!

Easy Winter Candy Recipe

Peppermint Bark cooling outside on firewood

How to make 2-ingredient unhealthy yummy stuff:

1. Using a hammer, crush a bunch of candy canes in a bag.

2. Melt desired amount of white chocolate in microwave (zap for 40 seconds, stir, then zap for 40 more seconds).

3. Stir in crushed candy canes.

4. Spread mixture on parchment paper-lined cookie sheet.

5. Place in fridge for ten minutes – or outside if you live somewhere that’s nice and cold right now.

6. Break yummy stuff into pieces and share with your loved ones.

A.K.A. peppermint bark.

(This post was written on Saturday and is scheduled to be published on Sunday, as I am not likely to get a moment to blog while on the road for the day.)

All These Kids

One of few photos I have of my old house in Alaska

I never used to like kids. They annoyed me. For several months when I was 14 to 15 and super-selfish, my parents took care of a baby for a friend of theirs who had to be away in a hospital for cancer treatment. I mostly hid in my room with music cranked on the stereo I’d bought with my own earnings, to get away from the noise.

When any kids less than a few years younger than me tried to talk to me, I’d ignore them and walk quickly away. I know, how rude, eh?

Then, when I was 23, I met some amazing children who changed my outlook. They were so down-to-earth and enjoyable. One of them, a boy who was seven, always asked me to take him for rides on a Honda 4-wheeler, on the southeast Alaskan homestead of the folks on whose land we were living. We’d ride along in silence, find a beautiful spot to park, and wander around and talk and laugh. Sometimes we’d fish for spawned-out pink salmon off the edge of a wooden bridge over a creek.

My little friend and his older brother adored their baby sister. Their mother, an OB-GYN nurse with chestnut hair that reached past her waist, with whom I loved sitting and talking while gathering information for my own eventual motherhood, was soon to have another baby sister for them.

Within the year, I got married (albeit to a man who wasn’t lifetime material — see the long story here) and had my first child. We had moved into our own place, in a little house (24′ x 32′) we built for ourselves at the back of a gravel pit. We didn’t own the government land on which the house was situated, but we were there via a permit to be the caretakers of the business. As part of the permission, the house had to be moveable, and so it was built on skids (big logs laid on the ground) to later tow away.

Our nearest neighbours were 3.5 miles down old logging roads with nothing but forest between us. The other neighbours, on whose land we had been living prior to this, were 5 miles away and across a river that had no bridge. We had no phone but a VHF marine radio, we heated the house with wood, we pumped water uphill from a well with a Honda pump, and our electricity was from a 7-kilowatt Lister diesel generator we’d run for about six hours a day – just long enough to keep the fridge items cold and the freezer items frozen.

It was lonely out there, especially when the man of the house had gone out on the tugboat to deliver gravel or to do commercial fishing for the same boss. My motto soon became, “I have no friends, and so I will just have to make my own.”

My second baby was born within 17 months of my first. Then a couple years later my third was born. These children were a lot of work, yes, but they were and continue to be my dearest friends. Four more children later, and I’m a mother of seven now.

Not only are there my own children, though, but some of their friends have also become my friends. Some refer to me as “Mom 2”. I am honoured.

Here we are in December. Holiday time allows for more of my kids to be home. The oldest four are out working in other areas, but they come home when they get extra days off, sometimes with their respective partners whom I also love. With more people in the house, it is warm and pleasant, but oh so busy! The younger kids stop their usual activities when their beloved older siblings come home, so excited are they.

There is less time for blogging with all the family around, but I am going to keep trying to squeeze in a word or two or seven hundred when able. Like right now (word count: 695!), when most are sleeping-in on a Saturday morning and one has gone across the road to play with a friend.

Maranatha!