Rhonda's A 'Muse'-ing Rambles

Life and Times of a Busy Woman

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Getting to know Rhonda

Things in my life that keep me busy include:

Story Circle Network – learning how to write and become published. In November, 2007, I was pleased to attend a book launch party for SCN’s new book, “Kitchen Table Stories” of which I am proud to have my own story included. Check out the link to SCN for how to preview or order this book.  I am an active member of Internet writing e-circle #3 and a Star Reviewer for the book review site. In 2008 I started the year out right by being invited to be a presenter of a writing workshop at the Stories of the Heart IV conference. This workshop was so much fun and did much better than the one I tried to present at TWU at the “What Wildness” conference last June. Sadly, nobody signed up for the Cave Writing workshop. I hope it was the distance and cost that proved such a deterrant and not a reflection on me! I dabble in fiction and fantasy, but my one constant is a life long habit of journaling and memoir.  

Middle East Memoirs – The first draft of my memoirs about growing up in the Middle East (Saudi Arabia) was printed in Nov. 2007 and sent out for editorial comment. I am pressed to finish this soon as my father is the main reason I am writing this – I want him to be able to read and enjoy some of the memories he is steadily losing with his declining health.

Shooting sports – What I am currently doing with my teaching skills, including Texas Parks & Wildlife, NRA and Boy Scouts of America. In addition to teaching hundreds of young scouts and other youth to shoot a variety of gun and bow types, I also present several classes of Hunter Education each year for TPWD. This past year, I have been priviledged to teach the “How to set up and run a gun range/safe shooting program” for TPWD’s Urban Outreach program as well as being a career speaker for local schools. In the summer of 2008, I was priviledged to instruct Basic Pistol in New Mexico at the NRA Whittington Center during the Women’s Wilderness Escape. My goal of becoming an NRA Training Counselor is something I apply my life to as I seek out opportunities to instruct responsible adults in how to become a certified Instructor or run a safe shooting program. I’ve discovered I am an Outdoor woman and relish sharing my skills and stories as I hunt, fish, camp, canoe, ride horses and generally explore the world around me.

Tax Talk – I’m a tax preparer by trade. I’ve been preparing taxes and representing people before the IRS and other government agencies for over 30 years. Occassionaly, I will include a few ‘generic’ tax tips in my blog. With this sue happy world, I have to be careful what I say.

Dad & Family – Currently, my father lives nearly 800 miles away and has been having health issues in his life. Dealing with Heart attacks, surgeries and Senile Dementia has been a tormented learning process for me and it’s reaching the proportions where it’s causing a lot of tension and anger within the family. Also called name calling and finger pointing. Several times each year for the past few years I have needed to travel long distances and spend many hours by phone to solve problems that are cropping up with Dad. Incidentally, Dad doesn’t think he has a problem and is not ready to give up his home, driving or any control of his life – even when he doesn’t remember who we are sometimes or gets lost. By mid-2008, Dad now struggles with his disease as he moves between nursing facilities and hospitals. His home has been sold and the downward spiral as he falls into the pit of Dementia becomes a pronouced pain in our hearts.

Homelife – Raising a teen son has it’s moments! Add a huge variety of pets, school, scouting, football, band, outside activities, a husband, a home based business, volunteer work – stir up frequently – and get a taste of a very busy life.

My gardens: Lately I’ve taken to writing about the fruits of our labors as my husband, son and I work in our various gardens. I frequently test new herbs and often am found concocting recipes from the fresh offerings we get from the vegetable gardens, herb gardens and orchard. Cooking, canning, freezing and just making creations of the produce are an enjoyable process.

9 Responses to “Getting to know Rhonda”

  1. JEFF SMITH said

    rhonda
    i arrived in jeddah, slightly older than you 23 july 1969 aged 16.
    my father worked for CAT zahid tractor kilo 5 mecca rd and we lived in a open compound nearby.
    all the friends we made we american from raytheon,sdi,lockheed
    i live back in wales with my quarter horses not far from the other rhonda,
    the rhondda valley famous for its coal and singing
    jeff

    • Range Officer Rhonda said

      Thanks for commenting, Jeff! Hope we keep in touch and you get a chance to follow my series of Middle Eastern Stories. For some reason, your name rings a bell – so I must have met you somewhere. If you are on Facebook as well, look for a page soon to be launched for Jeddah families. We all want to hear from you!

  2. Rhonda, I appreciate getting to see this more personal side of you. I had a similar situation with my mother years back. It is heartbreaking. Period. And the family stuff that comes up with siblings can be impossible. And still we came through it, growing in unexpected ways. My heart and prayers go out to you and your family. I look forward to reading your stories of the middle east. I’ve had brief visits, very brief, to the middle east while en route to India. I have always been drawn to other cultures (all of my grandparents came here from Italy, so I grew up straddling cultures to some extent.) I don’t know when you posted your info, is your book in print yet? Title?
    all the best,
    Mary

    • Range Officer Rhonda said

      No, Mary – the book isn’t in print. I self-published [through a local service] a few editor copies & sent them out for opinion, then determined, from authors, agents & public comment that A: the topic wasn’t timely nor have wide enough scope of interest, and B: it has, ‘highly readable stories but needs a more linear flow like one solid story’ and C: enjoyable by those who have been there, but maybe not to anybody else. Since then I have lost confidence in the ‘book’ as a saleable commodity, so will only complete it as a collection of short stories at my leisure and print copies up for a couple hundred families/friends and leave it at that. In other words, the people/authors who have read parts enjoyed it but editors/agents won’t touch it.

  3. Cheers for the fantastic page – I had fun reading it! I always love reading your blog. 🙂

  4. Good post mate!! Keep ’em flowing!

  5. I am amazed with it. It is a good thing for my research. i have a blog about Dementia, please come visit my site when u have time ^_^

  6. Rhonda,

    It was a pleasure to meet you and I look forward to learning from you. Thanks again.

  7. Rhonda, Just stopped by and wanted to say how much I like the way your un- “about me” page is set up. You tell us what’s important in your life and what is happening in those areas. Nice job.
    Peace,
    Patti

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