Welcome to my humble blog, flutterings.  Here you will see postings of my original poetry, along with a few of my other projects.

As an extension of the poetry category, I have added “lovisms,” which are simply memes that express my view of what genuine love is.

The posts I call Crush on Words resulted from my passion for words and meanings. I’ve chosen words I find interesting, beautiful, unusual, or simply hilarious to post, along with their definitions.

I have also posted a few quotes that I find inspirational and some short, random articles – insight into what makes me tick.

My most recent addition is in the category “My Books,” offering samplings, reviews and links for my published work.

At the top of the gray bar to the left side of your screen, you will see a link to the menu, which looks a little like this:


Clicking  the menu link in that gray bar on the left side of your screen will help you navigate the site more easily.

If you are on Pinterest, you can follow me here.  I will do my best to follow back. Pinterest only shows the two most recent followers in my notifications, so I sometimes miss them. If I don’t follow back, message me here on flutterings with your Pinterest address, and I will be sure to follow you.

Please visit my Facebook page and give it a like here. It would make my day!

Thank you for visiting! I try to post often, so please come again and let me know what you think of the site by leaving a comment! God Bless!



Faith is something that has been on my mind a lot lately – that fully trusting, no doubting, standing- up-under-pressure kind of faith. Not that my faith is any less now than it ever has been, but I wonder if years of complacency have kept it from being all it should be? My faith has been sorely tested over the past few years, bringing some difficult questions to the surface of my thoughts. Do I really believe that God will do what he says he will do? Do I fully trust in all his promises? Jesus said, “Whatever you ask in my name, it will be done.” Do I pray in full confidence, believing that promise?

Sometimes it’s hard to trust in the light when you’re sitting in the darkness. The testing can be excruciatingly painful. Throughout this trial, my heart has been stretched in so many directions and my faith muscles worked so hard that sometimes I almost feel numb. Yet I know that this spiritual workout is intended to yield incredible results. God has said so. He needs to finish what he has begun in me. Fully trusting in him means letting go (entirely) of my doubts and fears and free-falling into his plans, knowing that he is always good.

And so I endure.

And so I persevere.

And so I ask God to help me believe much farther, much wider, much higher, and much deeper than I have ever believed before.

Believing in his love.

Believing in his goodness.

Believing in his power.

Believing in all his promises.

Believing in his possible midst my impossible.

Belief that brings peace.

Belief that brings joy.

Belief that brings hope.

Belief that walks me through the deep.

Belief that lifts me to the heights.

Belief that moves mountains.

After he cursed the fig tree, Jesus told his disciples, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” (Matthew 21:21, 22) “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” (John 14:12, 13)

Surely these words are more powerful than any doubt we can muster. Imagine if we all fully believed in an all-powerful God and prayed together, in faithful agreement, as Christ intended, what amazing things would happen in this world.

Please, stretch your faith and BELIEVE with me, my friends.

Let’s throw some mountains into the sea!

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish,will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:7-11)

My Books, thoughtseeds

Old Mac – Blue Streak (first chapter)

Old Mac Waverly’s top priority is solving problems for his neighbors. This often makes life interesting for the inhabitants of his hometown of Sunflower. In Blue Streak, our brilliant inventor extraordinaire is diverted from his “blue goo” experiments and becomes involved with solving a dilemma for Sunflower’s librarian, Miss Alice Penderson. With the help of the Sprague girls, Sarah and Lucy, Old Mac begins to realize what is causing Miss Penderson’s predicament. Will he be able to find a solution before Miss Penderson has a breakdown?

Old Mac – Blue Streak is the sequel to my first book, Old Mac – Now You See Him, Now You Don’t. I hope you enjoy this complimentary first chapter. Blue Streak is available here on Kindle or in paperback. Comments appreciated.

(Oh, by the way, if you missed Now You See Him, Now You Don’t, you can read the first chapter here.)

Old Mac - Blue Streak | Toni Umbarger | YA novel

Chapter 1: Blueward and Upward

Old Mac Waverly hurried down the stairs to his workshop as soon as he arrived home. He hoped his experiment hadn’t simmered unattended for too long. He knew it would take a long time for the formula to reach the right consistency and the height of its performance, but he wasn’t sure how much time it would take.

Old Mac had never inhabited any one idea for long. Once again, he was true to form, true blue in fact. During his week of invisibility, while the deputy sheriff of Sunflower, Steve Lewis, and his son Ben, had been searching for clues and trying to find him, this new project had taken root in Old Mac’s mind. He put away his invisibility formula in a secret place, ready to begin an all-new adventure.

Although eccentric, Old Mac was sharp as a tack. In fact, those closest to him and even those who barely knew him declared him brilliant. Everyone agreed that his intelligence was an absent-minded-professor kind of genius, but genius nonetheless.

Whenever presented with a problem, however incidentally, Old Mac would put every ounce of effort into solving it. Many citizens of Sunflower have had to confess that they intentionally brought their problems to Old Mac hoping for solutions, despite the potential for peril. Determined in his quest for answers, he never failed to come up with problem-solving inventions or formulas – regardless of practicality.

Old Mac’s creative process was exhilarating. Each time the gears of his mind began to turn, and his brain was about to give birth to a new idea, his physical transformation provided evidence that his genius was at work. Everyone who knew him was familiar with the signs and cringed with fear to witness them.

First, deep furrows would appear on his forehead as he unwittingly closed out the rest of the world in his efforts to concentrate. Then, his eyes would gradually glaze over as he sank deeper and deeper into thought. These changes in his appearance were in sharp contrast to the wide smile that remained on his face during this process. Through it all, his facial contortions seemed an odd combination of grin and grimace.

This creativity-induced change was first evident in Old Mac’s facial expressions, but it did not stop there. The effect of his genius at work was all-consuming and engaged every part of his being. Even the ring of gray hair around his balding head seemed to stand on end in anticipation. As his face drew up in reflective deliberation, his fingers, toes, hands, and feet would begin to twitch ever so slightly. That twitching would spread steadily throughout his body as it increased in intensity. Then, whether he was standing or sitting, his feet would move rapidly in an odd sort of tap dance. Often, Old Mac chattered incoherently or giggled childishly with excitement. The entire metamorphosis made him appear to be experiencing some sort of seizure.

During his routine contemplative sequence, Old Mac outwardly appeared to be in agony. On the contrary, though, he was never more ecstatic than when he was so deeply immersed in thought. Solving the insurmountable problems of the universe had become his favorite pastime, or rather his only pastime. He constantly pondered ideas and abstract thoughts that no one else would ever consider. Only one slight problem existed in conjunction with Old Mac’s favorite hobby. Such contemplation always led him to investigation . . . which led him to experiment . . . which led him to invention . . . which often led him straight into trouble.

This new idea began to grow as a tiny sprout of ingenuity. It then budded into exciting possibility. Finally, it fully bloomed into Old Mac’s unique version of reality. Reality for Sunflower, however, was about to take on a wild blue meaning.

Somewhere, o-o-o-ver the rainbo-o-ow,” Old Mac crooned as he slowly stirred the contents of the large saucepot. “Ah, this is looking exciteresting,” he whispered to himself. Old Mac often combined words (exciting + interesting = exciteresting) in order to provide more accurate descriptions.

“Think I’ll call this one Blue Goo,” he said and nodded in agreement with himself. “Yep, Blue Goo is the perfect name.” He performed a quick little tap dance, ending with a click of his heels in the air, and then resumed his stirring. “A few more hours and I think we’ll be there,” he giggled. “Then, let it ripen up for a day or two, and the Blue Goo experiments and testing can finally begin.” He paused, frowning, and then grumbled, “Oh, the dreaded waiting.”

Too excited to sleep, Old Mac busily researched, drew up plans, and hovered over his simmering pot. He looked forward with great anticipation to the wonderful experiments he would perform in a few days. He must carefully plan his experiments on paper, then purchase and gather supplies.

“So much to do, and too much time to have to wait to do it,” Old Mac muttered, shaking his head. “These next few days of ripening are going to be long and fierceanizingly torturous.”

In an effort to make the time pass more quickly, Old Mac utterly wore himself out preparing for his experiments. He spent half the night researching, figuring, running upstairs to sit in his conservatory (his favorite thinking place), and hurrying back down again whenever inspiration struck. Stumped by some glitch in his figures, he would climb the stairs to his conservatory, sit in his brown leather recliner on the revolving platform among the myriad plants and flowers, spin, and think. The fragrance of the flowers and the gentle, almost musical notes of the trickling fountain, which took up all of one corner of the room, were so soothing and peaceful that he finally fell asleep in the spinning recliner.

Old Mac had some wonderful dreams during his exhaustion-induced sleep. He dreamed of creating a blue raspberry bubble gum that would not only turn a child’s tongue blue but also her hair and her nails as well. No hair dye or nail polish would be necessary. What fun that would be!

Then he had the paint dream. He dreamed of dipping his paintbrush into a beautiful blue paint, painting one swipe down the wall, and watching in wonder as it spread to cover the entire room. Old Mac was excitedly giggling and moving his feet in a little jig in his sleep as he dreamed.

His reverie continued with a small bead of his Blue Goo added to a washer full of laundry. At the end of the wash cycle, every item of clothing in the washer came out the same gorgeous color of blue, and all dirty spots and stains had vanished. Besides that, everything dried completely wrinkle-and-static-free.

Old Mac blissfully and innocently slept and dreamed. His slumber was peaceful because he was unaware of one crucial event which had occurred during his absence and involved this latest experiment.

When he first set the pot of Blue Goo to slowly simmer, Old Mac had opened the window above the hot plate, barely a crack, for ventilation. Then, while he was performing his reappearing act at the children’s church program, the pot’s contents had reached the peak of its potential. Moments before he returned to check on his project, two tiny bubbles had escaped the surface, floated majestically upward, and slipped through the small opening in the window.

While Old Mac was busily poring over his books and wearing down numerous pencils with his figures, the two seemingly innocent blue bubbles were floating up, up, and away from Old Mac’s house.

As the bubbles were minuscule, this great escape was unobserved by Old Mac or by any other human eye. Nevertheless, even had someone spied them, the most observant among us would not have suspected that two tiny blue bubbles held any consequence whatsoever. Who would have believed that such insignificance held the power to eventually wreak havoc for one Sunflower citizen in particular?

The weather had been unseasonably hot and dry for spring. It had not rained enough to fill a teacup for several weeks. Unhindered by the weight of humidity, the pair of carefree glistening blue bubbles rose higher and higher. They continued their airborne journey floating leisurely down the street, as though casually searching for a perfect new home.

For several minutes it was “up in the air” as to whether they would even settle in the same place. Onward the happy-go-lucky bubbles glided, side by side in silence. Then a sudden warm gust of wind swirled them around and separated them, dropping the first not too far from Old Mac’s house. The second continued to sail away, resisting the downward pull that had caught its brother.

While the blue bubble twins were swirling through the air above their house, Cleve Sprague’s two daughters were whispering in their darkened bedroom.

“Lucy, you asleep yet?” Sarah whispered.

“A’most,” muttered Lucy.

Sarah, a grown-up, no-nonsense, nearly-eleven-year-old, sat up in her bed and leaned over toward Lucy. “Don’t you think that Old Mac has to be the smartest person in the whole world?” she asked.

“I dunno, I guess so,” replied a groggy Lucy, in the midst of a yawn. “All I know is he’s my most favoritist grownup besides Mommy and Daddy . . . and Grandmas and Grandpas.”

Sarah lay back on her bed and sighed. “How could he have made himself invisible? No one could do that. I guess no one but Old Mac, anyway. I think he must be able to do anything! We should spend more time with him. Who knows how smart we might get just being around him. I wonder if he would turn us invisible for one day? That would be amazing!”

The possibility of being invisible caught five-year-old Lucy’s attention. She was wide-awake now. “Do you think he would for real, Sarah?” She was sitting up in bed at that point. “We could run away from home and not really run away. We could get up in the middle of the night and eat whatever snacks we wanted and play games. We could go to the woods every day to see the birds and aminals, and no one would see us.”

Lucy’s excitement about becoming invisible didn’t last long. Being more like her highly-strung, worry-prone, guilt-complexed father, she suddenly became troubled.

“But then, Mommy and Daddy would be so-o-o worried!” she said, shaking her head. “Maybe it’s not such a good idea. I don’t want to make Mommy cry. I don’t think we should get imbisible. You know how Daddy worries,” she said. “Wait! Let’s make our dolls imbisible! That would be fun! We could take them anywhere and no one would know.”

Just then, their bedroom door opened a crack, and both girls dived under their covers and feigned sleep. Their father stood at the doorway smiling in at them.

“I could have sworn that I heard voices in here,” he said, “It must have been ghosts. Invisible ghosts!”

At that, the girls couldn’t help giggling. It did not get any quieter when Cleve swooped in like a ghost and began tickling them.


Second Update to Our Statin Drug Story


Second Update to Our Statin Drug Story | Toni Umbarger | Thoughtseeds | #medical #health #prescription drugs #recovery

Our personal frustrations are immense. As we struggle daily to improve my husband’s health, we have yet to find a doctor who will admit that his problems are statin related.


Each time I prepare a cover photo for one of these articles, I am saddened to think that as the photo was taken, the damage from statin drugs was already taking place in my husband’s body. If only we had known. 

If you haven’t read my original post, “A Statin Drug Induced Nightmare”, please read it here first. You will find a link to my first update at the end of that article. The following is the second update to our story. I apologize again for the length of my article, but I didn’t want to leave out anything I’ve learned.

Information about the damage done by statin drugs is broadening. (Statins are prescribed to lower cholesterol.) Each time I research, I find more cases and more reports from experts. Some of the links I have added to this update are dated as far back as 2011 or before, but many are as recent as last year (2016). Nearly everything out there about statin drugs is negative. Even the medical sites that try to put a positive spin on statins end up saying something negative about them. Frustrations are innumerable among those trying to battle this. One frustration that stands out is the lack of understanding in the medical community.

Our personal frustrations are immense. As we struggle daily to improve my husband’s health, we have yet to find a doctor who will admit that his problems are statin related. This is a common theme among statin damage cases. The closest we have come is a doctor of chiropractic (who has been helpful in improving my husband’s health), a physician’s assistant (who gave a simple nod when I asked if he thought this could have been caused by the statins), and a psychologist (who simply didn’t disagree, so I took that as agreement). At one point, I believed our GP was in agreement, but during our last visit, he stated flat out that the statins didn’t cause the problems. He obviously has not done any research to educate himself about the condition. It is much too easy to cling to the standard beliefs which doctors are taught by the pharmaceutical companies.  The neurologist we recently saw made the same statement. According to him, my husband has been off the statins long enough that he shouldn’t be having any further ill effects from them.

These doctors, who are so intelligent, can sometimes appear so stupid uneducated when they simplify things that are not simple. It seems that doctors know very little about how the drugs they prescribe actually work. In fact, I am learning that no one really knows how most of the physiologically altering drugs actually work, including the people who develop them. To me, that is incredibly frightening! It adds new meaning to the phrase “just say no to drugs”. Prescription drugs kill far more people than recreational drugs! (Not that I’m advocating the latter.)

I am inclined more and more toward natural medicine. By natural, I mean clean, healthy diet along with herbal and vitamin supplements. Medical science has made great strides in saving lives, but they have become much too reliant on prescribing drugs to treat symptoms rather than getting to the bottom of why the symptoms exist. On top of that, you have the multitudes of people who feel great, experience no symptoms, and yet, their doctors prescribe drugs as “precautionary measures”. Such was the case with my husband. His cholesterol tested high, but he felt great. Voltaire made the statement, “The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.” In this case, my husband and I are not amused.

Our bodies were designed with the ability to heal themselves. We truly are “fearfully and wonderfully made”. However, we are poisoning ourselves with pesticides and herbicides, junk food, artificial sweeteners and colors, food additives and preservatives, prescription drugs, painkillers: a plethora of things that are making it more difficult, if not impossible, for our bodies to heal themselves. I also believe that these things are partly, if not wholly, responsible for much of the heart disease, cancer and other illnesses that have become so prevalent in our society.

 A couple of the links below explain that if a person’s cholesterol is high, it could be a signal of some damage that the body is trying to heal. In that case, the worst thing to do is to try to lower cholesterol levels artificially. Do you realize that cholesterol is vital in every cell in our bodies? It is used in all processes and functions. At least a quarter of our cholesterol is used in our brains.

There is a strong disconnect between the claims that statins prevent heart attacks and the actual statistics. A UCLA School of Medicine study in 2009 showed that 75% of people who have a heart attack have normal to low cholesterol levels (see Diet Heart News link below). Of course, the experts came to the crazy “logical” decision that the threshold must be set too high.

There is a great deal of evidence that shows that statins dramatically increase the risk for heart failure, which is different from cardiovascular disease. Statin claims about preventing cardiovascular disease are very careful to make the distinction not to include heart failure. Think about it: the most common side effect of statins is muscle damage, and your heart is a muscle. Common sense tells me that statins would not be good for a person’s heart. Besides that, many clinical trials done by drug companies are never published. Can we trust the pharmaceutical industry to be unbiased in their choice of trials to be published?

Now that I have ranted about the statin and medical industries (please excuse me), I can update you on my husband’s progress. As I said in my first post, the process of healing is occurring in baby steps. My husband is now in his third statin-free year. Although he has made progress, he has a long way to go.

First of all, due to my husband’s memory and cognitive problems, we have given up crop farming. We sold one piece of land and our crop equipment and leased the remaining land. My husband continues to raise cattle with help from family members. Like so many others affected by statins and other prescription drugs, our lives have been forever altered.

My husband’s physical health is much improved. He can work outside now until 7 or 8:00 in the evening and not be totally exhausted. Just a few months ago, he would come in at 5 or 6:00 and be completely wiped out. He doesn’t require as much sleep as he did a few months ago. His muscular strength is still not what it used to be (he is disappointed that he can only do a few pushups on a good day), but his muscles don’t appear to be deteriorating any longer.

It is a tragedy that so many statin damage cases develop ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) which is not only debilitating but also terminal. Others are left with Parkinsonism, diabetes, neuropathy, kidney failure, rhabdomyolysis, myopathy, heart failure, or liver damage. All those suffering from such are in my prayers each day. My husband’s diagnosis: early onset Alzheimer’s. The word “dementia” has been tossed around by doctors he’s seen.

Our hopes were that my husband would be able to give up the testosterone supplement by now, but that hasn’t happened yet. It is the only prescription he uses, other than the Finasteride that goes with it. If his next blood workup shows his testosterone levels in the normal range, we will try lowering the dosage again, if not eliminating it entirely. Needless to say, I am not a fan of prescription drugs. Our doctor suggested a prescription for Alzheimer’s. My response was a question: What are the side effects? He grinned and answered with a long spiel of side effects that he knew were going to cause me to say no, which I did.

My husband’s cognitive ability has improved somewhat. He uses a much broader vocabulary than he was capable of a year ago. I don’t see him struggling to understand what I’m talking about as often as I did before. He is able to plan his work and activities a little better now.

His memory, however, is still a problem. He forgets from one moment to the next where something was put or what was said. He does sometimes remember now that he has already asked a question, but can’t remember the answer. He almost never drops off in mid-sentence like he did before.

Some cases I’ve read about took as long as five years or more for cognitive healing and memory restoration. Some weren’t completely back to normal even after a longer period. We remain hopeful and trust in whatever God is doing through this. 

My husband began to see a chiropractor due to some lower back pain.  The chiropractor soon had him standing up straighter than he had in years. After his first visit, he appeared to be a couple of inches taller. The chiropractor suggested he take undenatured whey protein to aid in restoring his muscles. He also suggested a good electrolyte drink. Both of these have been helpful. I add raw eggs to his protein shake. Raw egg yolks are evidently good for your brain.

I neglected to mention before that my husband takes niacin every day. From what I understand, niacin is crucial in warding off cardiovascular disease. It is also beneficial to the nervous system. We have added PQQ (20 mg twice a day for brain health) to my husband’s supplements and increased his CoQ10 (in the form of ubiquinol which is more readily absorbed) to 500 mg during the course of a day. He is also now taking vitamin K2 as well as L-Glutamine (1000 mg three times a day for muscle health). His vitamin C intake is close to 12000 mg during the course of a day. We are increasing his fish oil supplement to at least 1200 mg three times daily. He continues to do the low-dose Benadryl therapy, but he no longer suffers a terrible setback if he misses a dose, as he did just months ago. He also continues to take a long list of other supplements throughout each day. 

Much of my research has shown the importance of a high-fat diet in improving brain function. We have incorporated coconut oil and more olive oil into our diets, as well as avocados, whole milk and cream, butter (yes, butter) and other fatty foods. I am no longer concerned about cholesterol levels. Research proves that we need cholesterol for the function of every cell in our bodies, especially the heart, liver, and brain. We are both healthier and have not gained any weight from the extra fat!

Once again, I want to add my disclaimer. I do not encourage anyone to give up a prescription drug on my advice alone. I am not a medical professional. I do, however, encourage you to do the research, read the articles and watch the videos linked below, and make an informed decision for the sake of your health. These links are fantastic sources of information. My intent is to help others recognize the adverse effects of statin drugs and the potential dangers. If damage has been done, my intent is to help with the healing process. Be sure to speak with your physician about your decision and about what you have learned. However, don’t expect that he will agree with you.

Please share these articles with others, on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, email, etc. You never know how much you might be helping someone who doesn’t understand what is happening to their health because of a prescription drug. God bless you all. Stay healthy! (part 1 of another personal story) (part 2) (part 3) (part 4)   (good informative video) (explains that cholesterol is not to blame) (a brain surgeon’s take on statins) (excellent explanation of clogged arteries – sulfate deficiency) (explains about statin kidney damage and heart failure) (three experts on statins) (study showing statins lessen brain function)