Don't let the difficulties of the present moments overshadow the reality of God's promises. God's promises still stand. And God's promises are stronger than our failures.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Andrew Jacob made his grand appearance at 7:48 New Year's Eve morning weighing in at 7 pounds, 13 ounces. He's not a very tall guy yet but 19 3/4" is just about the perfect height for that weight don't you think? Though you can't see it here since he's all bundled up he has a head full of almost black hair and he already needs a manicure.

His oldest sister, Addison, knew right away that she liked him and gave him his first sisterly kiss before he could protest. Laney, on the other hand, thought she should check him out real good before she made up her mind.

It didn't take long though for both of the girls to decide he was perfect for our family and that he should come home with us. Which he will do later in the week.

Yesterday morning when they first work up MeeMaw (the other grandmother) said, "Addison aren't you excited? This is the day before Andrew will be more day and he will be here!" Addison's reply, "I guess so MeeMaw, but you never know - there could be more. First I was born. Then two days later they told me Laney was coming. And now here's Andrew. You just never know about my Mom and Dad - there could be more any day now!"
Laney decided that since Addison had held Andrew all by herself it should be her turn....all by herself. She loves having her picture taken and even more loves being able to see the picture immediately after it's taken by looking at the camera. As soon as all the pictures were taken she gave Andrew back to MeeMaw and came to look at herself in my camera. That's when she discovered that "all by myself" wasn't exactly what was happening since MeeMaw had her hand under Andrew. She was quite indignant and scolded MeeMaw saying, "Get your hand out from under there right now MeeMaw!"
Andrew is a Capricorn baby - and if you believe in that sort of thing he promises to be a "handfull", mischevious to the core, loyal and loving.
Father I thank you for your great love for us - that you would give us the incredible gift of babies and children is almost more than I can comprehend. Give us your grace and your wisdom to raise them in such a way that they will love you as much as you love them. Amen.

Monday, December 29, 2008


I don't often tell you what to do. And I never tell you that you have to go read someone else's post. That would be taking the attention off me which, well never is exactly the word I would use here for how often I want that to happen.

But you really have to go read Janera's post about sisters because she says it all and she says it just right.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Child's To-Do List For Christmas Eve

Just in case you can't decipher this list:
1. Make Cookies
2. Play Outside
3. Get Dressed
4. Go to Sleep

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Do You See What I See?

Do you see that baby over there on the right? That's Andrew Jacob and his birthday is December 31, 2008. Right now he's resting in the safest place there is on this earth - in his Mommy's womb. He doesn't know that in 8 days (as I write this) his world is going to be literally turned inside out, upside down. He doesn't know that he is going to be rudely plucked from the home he's known for the whole of his life and dropped down into a life he knows nothing about. A life with a Mom who is going to continue to hold him and protect him and take care of every need. A life with a Dad who's going to throw him up on his shoulder and carry him around like a football and never, ever drop him. A life with two big sisters who are going to dote on every sound and move and yawn he makes and who will, in time, be screaming at him to leave them alone one minute and scooping him up and squeezing him tight to their hearts the next. A life with grandparents who will think he's the best thing since sliced bread and who will take millions of pictures and tell hundreds of stories all about him.

And just think, God loves us more than that. More than Andrew's Mommy loves him and more than Andrew's Daddy loves him and more than Andrew's sisters love him and more than Andrew's grandparents love him....all added together.

And two days from now as I write this Jesus will have His birthday celebrated all around the world. Once upon a time He was a baby in His mother's womb and His life was turned upside down, inside out. And once upon a time His mother held Him and protected Him and took care of His every need. And once upon a time His daddy threw Him up on His shoulder and carried Him around and never, ever dropped Him. And once upon a time He had brothers and sisters and grandparents who teased Him and laughed with Him and loved Him and told hundreds of stories about Him.

And just think, He willingly allowed His life to be turned inside out, upside down....again. Because He loves us more than our Mommys and Daddys and brother and sisters and grandparents...all added together. Wow.

May God bless you throughout this Christmas season and beyond. May He give you the strength and grace and wisdom you need to serve Him and love Him just like He loves you. Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

It's Stitching Time!

Hancock's was having a sale today so I went to check it out. Christmas fabric was marked 70% (or maybe 75%, can't remember now) off so I bought enough to make 8 pillowcases. I had already made three so that made an even dozen. Yes I know that doesn't add up! One of these is a pillowcase that was made for my now 32 year old son when he was five years old and is destined for his son who will be born New Year's Eve. Six are for some of my grandchildren and six are for the children of a friend. I also got enough Christmas fleece to make three throws and three panels for aprons, all of which will be gifts. One throw is done (all I do is do an overlock stitch on the outside edges) and two are cut and ready to work on tomorrow or Monday. And I got all of that for $45! (The "antique" pillowcase is on the bottom right in the second picture.

Yesterday I used two Moda charm packs to make these doll quilts and pillows for my three youngest granddaughters. Are they not the cutest things?
Just a few more days to stitch before we celebrate Jesus' birthday but that's enough time to get those other two throws done, the three aprons made, a wallhanging quilted, and mabe the six placemats I want to make on the sewing machine. Are you doing last minute stitching?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Greetings

This Christmas card is the one I sent out this year - and I just love it! I know you can't see it but inside this snug little cabin is a woman with a quilt hoop in her lap. It's just so me! There are candles in the windows and a heart wreath on the door and bunny rabbits peeking inside. It sits beside a creek and in the background is a sleigh, undoubtedly the husband off to town while the wife stays home in the warmth. That would be me - staying home where it's warm. :)

Inside it says "May your heart and home be filled with the light of Christ in this beautiful season of love. Merry Christmas! And it includes this verse, "Lord, may your faithful love rest on us. We put our hope in you. " Psalm 33.22 And that's my wish for each of you - that the light of Christ will live in your heart throughout this season and beyond.

I didn't do as much decorating this year as in the past but I thought you might like to see what I've done that I especially enjoy. This is the china cabinet that belonged to my husband's grandmother. The Merry Christmas blocks were given to me by a friend many years ago and the dishes were a gift from my children. The glasses were my mother's. The things that mean the most to me are the ones that have memories of people associated with them. They are the ones I want to be surrounded by and have close to me.

This Dickens Christmas Village was given to me by my children as well. It sits on the mantle in my sunroom and stays lit from the time it goes up until I take it down - and this year it might just stay up all winter!

I hate the dark. That means it's important to me to always have light around me - sometimes it's just the light of Jesus' love but the flicker of a candle symbolizes that for me.

On the left I have a manger scene with a beautiful angel wallhanging watching over it. We've had it for several years and since we moved into this house it always watches over us from that spot. The Santa is one I made last year. I bought the kit on one of our Colorado trips at a small quilt shop on the Kansas border. We were stopping at Winnfield for the bluegrass festival that year, meeting my sister and friends. I have wonderful memories of that time. The stockings, of course, are for my seven grandchildren. It's time to add an eighth!

And this last one is our tree. The angel on top is a little bedraggled but she's guarded our tree since my children were small so she will always be there as long as I'm here! Our tree isn't a masterpiece of design - but every ornament on there is one that means something to me. There are ornaments my children made when they were small and ornaments my grandchildren have given me. There are ornaments we've bought when we traveled or that I've made. There are ornaments that were gifts from dear friends or loved ones, some now singing with the angels. The Christmas tree skirt my mother made for me. The bear was a gift from my husband just a few years ago - just because.
You know Christmas is such a time of joy and it should be. What a great gift we got in that baby. But it's also a time when my heart yearns for Heaven. When we sing carols I can almost see the doors of Heaven opening.............

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I'm Addicted

Milah at From My Back Porch had a post recently that listed 5 things she's addicted to. It made me wonder what I would consider myself "addicted" to. This is what I came up with:

1. Tazo Chai Tea Latte - you already knew that would be here. :) And oh happy days - I've found the Tazo Chai Tea concentrate at Kroger for $4.99 (10% off on "senior citizen day") and they even have decaf although why in the world would I need decaf since I'm not running and running and running and running. :)

2. Couponing - I confess I'm hooked. But girls it's just amazing how much money I'm saving and how many things I've been able to buy ahead. Just this week I got 2 tubes of children's Oral B toothpaste, 2 bottles of Coffee Mate Creamer, 2 small boxes of Turtles (chocolate and pecans, yum!) Candy and 2 cans of Progresso Soup for $2.09 - and that included taxes! My husband says Walgreens is going to bar me from coming in!

3. Organizing - I love to put things in little piles. I can sort red from green, tall from short, big from little and do it for hours. I love organizing closets and shelves. That doesn't mean my closets and shelves are organized because half the fun is organizing, messing it up, and reorganizing it in a different way. I think that might mean I'm obsessive/compulsive. Whatever. I could so come to your house and redo your kitchen cabinets!

4. Redwork Embroidery - I just love doing it. I can't use it all. I don't even want to use it all. I just want to do it. I mostly don't even want to make a finished product like a pillow or a quilt. I just want to do the embroidery. I wonder if anyone would hire me to do the handwork for them, say at about $150 an hour? Cause that would really work for me. Maybe more, maybe they could pay me more. Truly I'm worth it.

5. Lists. Yep, lists. I love 'em. I make a to-do list every day and it's ok if I don't get it all done. I just add it to the next day's list! I make a WalMart list, a Walgreens list, a Kroger list, a list of errands in the order I need to do them to use the least gas, a list of books I want to read, and a new list for children and what I'm praying for or about each one. I often make a list of things for my husband to do but he doesn't care for lists as much as me.

Do you have addictions?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Never, Never, Never

Yesterday I got a haircut. I get a haircut every 4 weeks like clockwork. I don't have a lot of hair but it grows fast and for some reason within a couple of weeks I look shaggy. And it grows way down on my neck - way below where it ought to. So my beautician shaves my neckline when she cuts my hair and it just feels wonderful, for a couple of weeks. Then it needs shaving again but I can't reach it without extreme danger of cutting myself. So yesterday when I was complaining about it growing so fast she suggested we wax it. Wax it? I let her wax my eyebrows and that's not so bad. And, she asures me, it will stay "clean" a lot longer. So I agreed.

Never, never, never let anybody talk you into waxing your neck hair.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Must Haves

I think all of us romanticize the "pioneer days" when men and women traveled across the country in covered wagons, worked side by side to make a new life, spent all of their time together as a family. But could we do it?

Walk into your kitchen, or just picture it in your mind if walking isn't on your agenda today, and take a good look around. One by one, what things would you be willing to live without? And what would you absolutely have to have if you lived in the middle of nowhere with no one but your husband and kids?

My list...I could give up:

1. Parquet floors

2. Cabinets with doors

3. One of my 2 sets of dishes

4. Most of my bowls and serving dishes

5. The food processor and blender and toaster and coffee maker and electric knife and mixer

6. Overhead lights

7. Decorator items

8. Most cookbooks

9. Lots of pans

10. Lots of spices

11. Dishwasher


1. Stove - gas...or at least not wood!

2. Refrigerator

3. Running water

4. Hot Water!

5. Shelves and pegs for dishes and other stuff

6. Not a dirt floor

7. One cookbook

8. One set of dishes

9. Salt, Pepper

10. Enough lanterns to make good light

11. Iron skillet and 2 or 3 pots

What's the point? First of all, count your blessings. Even my "must have" list is more than most people in the world have. Second, I really could do with a lot less than I have. I live an abundent cup is overflowing. (oops, better add some kitchen towels to that must have list if I'm going to mop up my overflowing cup!) And third, if I could do with a lot less, why don't I? Why don't you?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Giveaway For You To Check Out

RoseMary at Life in a Cordwood Cabin is having a giveaway. Ya'll, I just love her and you will too. Go see her apron and cookie cutters and recipe book.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

What Was I Thinking?

Last week I was gone all week on a mission trip....yes I wrote 5 posts about that! For some reason before I left I scheduled several appointments for this week. What was I thinking?

We got home Friday night about 9:00 - tired to the bone.

Saturday I packed away the fall decorations, unpacked my suitcases, and did about 8 loads of laundry. And of course did the usual other stuff...cooked dinner, washed dishes, etc. I started about 8:00 in the morning and finally sat down about 8:00 that night.

Sunday after church and Sunday School I did my WalMart shopping, decorated the Christmas tree, and washed 2 more loads of laundry - all the Christmas towels, throws, etc. On Sundays I check out the Walgreens ad and gather coupons since they usually have some really good sale items. Another long day!

Monday morning I had a mammogram (been doing this every year for 12 years now and for the first time ever it really, really, really hurt!) (but the results were good!), went to the bank, post office, Walgreens and library; got my allergy shot, put gas in the car, checked out a serger at the sewing machine store and then got out all the rest of the Christmas decorations. After supper and dishes I made my list for Target and Kroger and gathered those coupons. At 9:30 I quit and went to bed.

Today I drove to Little Rock (one hour one way) to the dentist, went to Barnes & Noble, Sam's, Target and the local quilt shop....gone from home for 8 hours. I've put away the groceries, cooked supper & cleaned up the kitchen. Too tired to go to Krogers!

I still have to get a haircut and see the allergy doctor this week. I haven't changed the beds or cleaned my bathroom or addressed my Christmas cards or finished my Bible study.

Now that I've put you to sleep with my listing/complaining/whining tell me this. Are your weeks like this? I don't have any children at home...just my husband and me. Friends who are still working ask me what in the world I find to do since I've retired and I'm at a loss to explain. I'm organized, truly I am. But I never seem to have days when I can sit and watch soap operas all day, not that I would watch them if I could but my mother-in-law used to so I'm thinking I should have that kind of time too! Those of you who still have children at home, well I know you have no spare time. But what about the rest of you? I'm looking for reassurance here ya'll.....

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Mission Trip - Day Five


"You Are Standing On Holy Ground"

I've read it in the Bible, I've sung it in hymns, I've even felt it on occasion. But exactly what does it mean? While I was at UMCOR Sager Brown I felt it often and I thought about it a lot. Holy ground, I've decided, doesn't mean a grand sanctuary, although it could mean that. It doesn't mean a sweet little chapel, although it could mean that too. Holy ground can be anywhere God's people come together to worship Him and/or to serve His children. UMCOR Sager Brown is only one of those places.

I said in an earlier post that when I walked across that campus I felt God walking beside me. But it wasn't just that. God was a constant presence from the Blessing of the Hands when we first met together, to the stations where workers were emptying a box of health kits and getting them sorted and counted and ready for shipment, to the sewing room where school bags and Christmas stockings and drapes were sewn, to the maintenance area where men went to check out tools before going out into the neighbors of the community to repair roofs and steps and windows and to paint the homes of those in need, to the offices where plans were being set in place for new groups arriving in the coming weeks and for a new depot to be built in Utah in the coming months, to the Vesper service on Thursday night put together and done by volunteers, to the cafeteria where we all gathered in a circle and held hands before each meal to thank God for His bounty. Every place where people were serving...the warehouse, the dormitory, the kitchen, the chapel, the offices, the maintenance shop...every place there was Holy Ground.

When I got home I thought it would be a separation of sorts from that Holy Ground until I realized that's not true at all. This house is Holy Ground for Jerry and I. Out of this house comes prayer and study and gifts of both money and time for God's work. Out of this house comes prayer for our children and grandchildren, our friends who have health issues and who encounter sad things in their lives, our church and church leaders, our nation and world. Out of this house comes study...both formal and informal. Out of this house come gifts to our church and to other charities we help support. Out of this house comes time given to community organizations and church ministries. Now don't mistake me. This is not out-of-the-ordinary stuff....this is the same stuff you're doing at your house. But that means your house is also Holy Ground. It puts a whole new perspective on home when you think about it that way.

No matter where I am, that's Holy Ground. No matter where you are, that's Holy Ground. It's what we do; it's what we say; it's who we love and worship that make it Holy Ground.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Mission Trip - Day Four

Day four of the mission trip was another day of sewing - and you know I had a wonderful time. This first picture is in the new sewing room built 2 years ago by volunteers. Ellen (one of the long-term volunteers) is shown here where I've been working this week. Long-term volunteers stay 2 or 3 months and serve in a variety of ways. Ellen has been here November and December and has been in charge of the sewing room. How cool is that! Her husband, Ted, is working out in the warehouse unpacking boxes as they are received from the many churches that send their donations here. That navy fabric you see here is what we made the drapes for the stage out of. Well I say made, really it's almost made. Today as I was halfway through serging the bottom so we could hem them the serger quit. We have three sergers in this room and all three quit on us this week! I don't have a serger at home but those of you who do will surely understand when I say the bottom looper thread won't stay threaded and no matter what words I uttered under my breath I couldn't get it rethreaded. And neither could Ellen. Since the hangers for the drapes aren't in we couldn't hang them anyway but I wish we could have finished the hemming.

This sewing room is just wonderful. It has wonderful lighting, rows of sewing machines (all donated Berninas) and sergers (all donated Janomes), two cutting tables, lots of shelves, ironing boards and irons, even a washer and dryer. Ted built a stand with a bar where bolts are placed and can be easily rolled onto the cutting table for cutting. Bolts of fabric (also donated) are used to make school bags, receiving blankets, baby shirts and jackets, and today we even made Christmas stockings to be given to some children here in this area when they hadn out commodities. That's another service offered by this facility.

I'm sure you've notice that I've mentioned "donated" over and over. Everything here is donated by churches and individuals from all over America. And I mean everything from the needles for the sewing machines to the toothpaste that goes in the health kits. Most of the labor is volunteer and care is taken to be kind to our world - they recycle extensively.

UMCOR Sager Brown in Baldwin, Louisiana is making a difference in our world. Last week a large shipment went out to Zimbabwe. Last month a large shipment went to Texas. Doesn't it just make you smile when you think of all the prayers said over the things shipped? When you pick up the newspaper tomorrow and you read all the bad things that are happening in the world, think about this might not make the front page but it's way more important than what those headlines are telling you.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Mission Trip - Day Three

I know you all are waiting for a food report so you can rest your worries – it’s still good. Today for breakfast, sweet potato pancakes! They even had blackstrap molasses if you cared to try it. Some of you won’t know what that is but when I was a kid that and Karo were the only kinds of syrup I knew existed. This is sugar cane country and they are harvesting right now. That’s where the molasses comes from. This first picture is the cafeteria where we have our meals. (I have no idea why this paragraph is blue and underlined!)

Lunch was equally as good – turkey and gravy, creamed potatoes and green peas, yeast rolls, (they always have a salad bar) and blueberry cheesecake. Now you know how good for you blueberries are so I thought if I turned that down my health would surely decline.

Ellen, one of the long term volunteers, and I are making drapes for the stage in the old school gymnasium. The stage opening is 20’ wide and about 100” in height. We have gotten the two panels sewn together and drapery “header” sewn on the top and are beginning to pin the pleats. We aren’t using the three pronged pleaters but the small single pins instead so we will sew the pleats down and they will be hung on wooden circles that have hooks in the bottom. All of this goes on a great long pipe across the ceiling of the opening. The fabric is navy blue, very thick and really, really heavy with all that width and height. I feel like I’m wrestling with it just to get it still enough to sew on! Tomorrow I'll try to post some pictures of the sewing room - those of you who are stitchers will love it!

This next picture is one end of the warehouse where the kits and supplies are stored.

Those of us working in the warehouse sit at stations like this to make the kits. Others are counting, boxing, and labeling boxes so that they are ready to ship at a moment's notice.

Across from our dorm out in the bayou are shrimp boats and the crop in the field across from the bayou is sugar cane. If you’ve never been in the deep south it is just like you picture it when you read Gone With The Wind except I haven’t seen any Spanish Moss here. Yesterday we had a frost but today it’s warm and windy. December 3rd and it’s in the 70s…I know you folks in Michigan and Indiana are jealous! There’s a beautiful gazebo that goes out over the bayou but they warn you not to “wade” in the water – a picture of a 7 foot ‘gator hangs in the lounge to remind you of this.

There are some nice areas under the trees where you can go for meditation and prayer.
There’s a feeling here that I wish I could capture for you. I can’t describe it well but perhaps this will help you to understand… know that as you walk to work each day God is walking beside you.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Mission Trip - Day Two

Remember yesterday I said I could possibly gain 10 pounds on this mission trip - let's change that figure to 15! Ya'll they have got to quit cooking this good food every meal. For lunch today we had a shrimp boil - and if you've never sampled a Louisiana shrimp boil you don't know what you're missing. They boil shrimp, cajun sausage, corn on the cob and potatoes all together in the same water with the same spices. Yum. And tonight it was homemade pizza with homemade pecan pie for dessert. I go in with the intention of only eating a salad and there's temptation, calling my name. Thank goodness for all the walking I'm doing!

This mission campus was originally built as an orphanage/school for African American boys right after the civil war. It has, of course, been added to and improved on and changed to fit the needs of the times. The "depot" is a football field sized warehouse where disaster kits are assembled, packed and shipped to all the world. Their motto is "When the world rocks, UMCOR rolls." They put together school kits for children (school bags with notebook paper, pencils, etc.), sewing kits for women who want to learn to sew (bags with needles, pins, threads, etc.), health kits (toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, bandaids, etc.) and flood buckets (5 gallon buckets with cleaning products inside like trash bags, handiwipes, cleaners, sponges, etc.). Last week they did a big shipment to Afghanistan. It doesn't matter where in the world help is needed, UPCOR provides.

The campus was empty for 14 years until Hurricane Andrew hit when it was opened and used as a central point for distributing goods. Everything that goes through this station is a result of donations either of money or goods and with the exception of just a very few paid employees the work is done by volunteers. We not only pack kits, box them up, make the school bags we also do the kitchen clean up after meals. We don't do our own cooking, and that's a good thing cause everyone would lose weight if I was cooking! There's a verse in 1 Thessalonians that says something like "we work for our living so we won't be a burden on others." Paul was saying this to the churches he visited and it appears that this policy is being followed here - what a great thing.

I hope by tomorrow I have some pictures I can post for you. Even though we had a frost today the roses and perwinkles are still blooming right along with the mums. The dorm is right on the banks of the Bayou Teche - if you're a fan of James Lee Burks books about a detective named Dave Robicheaux you'll be familiar with that bayou. Dave's hometown, New Iberia, is a few miles up the road. And I understand the author's old home is here but I've not seen it yet. We do have the afternoon off tomorrow to do some sight seeing so I'll let you know what I've gotten to do.

Blessings, Marlene

Monday, December 1, 2008

Mission Trip - Day One

1. This has to be the coolest mission trip ever - they're letting me sew! God knows how much I love to sew. :)

2. This is a very small group - small enough that Jerry and I get to share a room. I can sleep in a room with other Christian women but it's so much nicer to have my regular roommate. :)

3. They are feeding us three very good meals a day. Very good. I might just gain 10 pounds this week. :(

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Did You Know?

Did you know?

1. It's only 32 days until Andrew Jacob will be born and I haven't started his quilt?

2. Monday will be December 1st and I haven't bought any presents?

3. I have UFOs listed on my sidebar that absolutely, positively have to be done and I haven't finished one since October 8th?

4. It's two days after Thanksgiving and I haven't even gotten my Christmas decorations out of the garage - I haven't been this late getting decorated since the day I got married 45 years ago!

5. I missed my weekly Bible study class the last two weeks and will miss it again this week and am now officially 4 weeks behind in my reading?

6. I haven't vacuumed or mopped since everyone was here Wednesday for Thanksgiving - can you imagine the crumbs beckoning every mouse within a country mile?

7. I'm leaving tomorrow on a mission trip and none of the above is going to get done before I leave?

8. As much as I want to be a Proverbs 31 woman, I'm not there yet and not likely to get there this week!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Night

The feasting is over.
The visitors have gone.
The house is quiet
And I'm all alone.

There are dishes to wash
And the laundry awaits;
The floors need sweeping
And my library books are late.

There are crumbs on the couch
And leftovers to freeze.
But my throat's all scratchy
And I think I'm gonna' sneeze.

There are ads in the paper
That I need to search through,
There are bathrooms to clean,
So darn much to do!

The pumpkins are still scattered
All around my house.
So are the scarecrows
And the witches' house.

But my body is tired
and my bones are in pain.
And my beautiful bed
It's calling my name.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Father I thank you for all of my yesterdays.
For my parents who nurtured and loved me, I thank you.
For my brothers and sister who are embedded in my heart and who share all of my childhood memories, I thank you.
For my husband who has loved and protected me for 45 years and who is still doing that today, I thank you.
For my children who are truly the greatest gifts you could have ever given me, I thank you.
For my grandchildren who make me laugh and who have my heart in their small (and not so small) hands, I thank you.
For all the experiences of my childhood and growing up years, both good and bad, I thank you. I know that each one was used by you to form my character and to deepen my love for you.

Father I thank you for all of today.
For the home that you have so graciously given us the means to have, I thank you.
For the church where we are free to worship you, I thank you.
For the friends you have sent our way and who support us in our love for you, I thank you.
For the food that you have provided, I thank you.
For the opportunity to serve you and to share your love with others, I thank you.
For whatever comes in this day, I thank you. I know that you will use my today to glorify you and to bless me.

Father I thank you for all of our tomorrows.
For whatever the future brings, I thank you.
For the good times of the future, I thank you.
For the bad times of the future, I thank you.
For your constant presence in those good and bad times, I thank you.
For the knowledge that at some point in the future we will be joining you in Heaven, I thank you. I know that I will someday be dancing in your presence and singing your praises. Oh what a day of rejoicing that will be!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Energizer Bunny

Shop, shop, shop.

Bake, bake, bake.

Cook, cook, cook.

Stir, stir, stir.

Sweep, sweep, sweep.

Mop, mop, mop.

The Energizer Bunny is tired.

(Photo by Flickr)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Computers vs. Best Buy

A week or so ago I told you that the keys on my laptop were sticking. That wasn't really true I was told by my daughter. They were "lagging" or something else technical. Whatever, as my teenage grandchildren would say. I hadn't poured a Diet Dr. Pepper on the keys so they weren't "sticking." Some of the letters just didn't show up on the screen when I typed them. But that was only on G-mail when I was trying to answer an e-mail. Never on Word when I was typing a document. Strange, huh?

Thursday afternoon I took my computer to Best Buy where I bought it. I walked right up to the counter to speak to one of the members of the Geek Squad. Nice kids. Not all of them actually look like Geeks, though some do. The one I talked to that time didn't. He said, "no problem...I think I know what's wrong." And he worked on it for about 30 minutes. While I stood there. I didn't have to leave it! I was ecstatic. While he was working I told him that it also kept popping up a message that my D Drive (Recovery Drive) was full, but I didn't think it was. I don't know exactly what he did about the keys but he did something. Then he deleted a folder in my D Drive that I had put there but that I shouldn't have and said I was fixed. Yippee!

I went home, turned on the computer and started answering e-mail. Keys sticking. D Drive full. So I loaded up and drove back to Best Buy. This time the kid looked like a geek. He loaded all the "updates." Ok.....we'll see. I drive home and start the computer again. Keys sticking. D Drive full. Grrrrrrrrr.

Friday I'm busy and don't have time to take it back again. Saturday I turn it on to read e-mail and get a pop up that says my Adobe Flashbox has a problem, would I please uninstall it and reinstall? Sure, I can do that. I don't even know what Adobe Flashbox is but I can uninstall and reinstall. So I do. And guess what. My keys don't stick any more. But that darn D Drive is still full.

Anybody know how to get this thing to quit telling me I'm low on disk space on the D Drive?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

There's God!

We've spent a couple of days at our son's home taking care of his daughters while his sweet wife was out of town. He could have done it himself because he's a good daddy but this is football season and he's a coach. Small children don't do well on the football field with huge boys running and tackling and small girls wanting to run in the middle of them.

As I watched him enter the house yesterday, nearly six feet of him, I remembered the time when he was half that height. When he was five we lived in Small Town Arkansas and attended a church that had wonderful cathedral-like steps leading up to the beautiful doors of the church. Our pastor was an older gentleman with beautiful, thick, white hair and who always wore black robes when in the sanctuary. He was a stately looking southern gentleman.

One day my husband and I were driving down the street in front of the church and saw the pastor standing at the top of the steps in his black robe talking with another church member. They had just had a funeral and though the family and friends were gone the pastor was still there. Our son spotted him there and yelled excitedly, "Momma, Momma, look! There's God standing on the steps!"

Made perfect sense to me.

Friday, November 21, 2008

No! Yep!

Yesterday we picked up our 7 year old granddaughter from school. Every question we asked was answered with an enthusiastic "Yep!" Which was followed by either Grandpa or Grandma saying, "Yes, ma'am." Dutifully agreeing she would say "yes, ma'am." Not as much enthusiasm, but compliant. She got a little better about saying it when we mused about what Santa wanted to hear - yep or yes ma'am.

This child is the one who takes forever to wake up in the mornings and who buries her head in Grandma's side under the blanket trying to ignore the fact that school is waiting. This is the one who says they had Thanksgiving Dinner at school but when asked if she ate the cranberry sauce says, "Is that what that stuff was? Nope!" And who proudly announced that they had pumpkin pie. But when asked if she ate it said, "Nope!" But who ate 3 bowls of Grandma's chicken and noodles. Now that's the way to a Grandma's heart. :)

Then we picked up our 2 1/2 year old granddaughter from daycare. Every question we asked was answered with a loud, "NO!" You want your coat on? "NO!" You want to go home? "NO!" You want to... "NO!" All of a sudden Yep wasn't so bad!

What exactly is it that kicks in around 2 1/2 that makes us love the word NO? Do you think it's genetic? Do we have a gene that programs NO into our vocabulary? Or do they teach it at daycare? Couldn't be that because they do it even when they don't go to daycare. Is it subliminally implanted in their Barney movies, or Elmo, or Disney? Or maybe it's a drug secretly put into, probably not.

Of course, this is the same child who runs and takes a flying leap into Grandpa's lap to snuggle as soon as she gets up in the morning. It's easy to forgive a little NO! And that's certainly the way to a Grandpa's heart. :)

Thursday, November 20, 2008


I think my Christmas Cactus is slightly confused. And very unsure of itself. Two blooms? Maybe I'll bloom; maybe I won't.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Finally, Validation!

Have I ever told you that I'm very cold natured? Or that my husband is very hot natured? Oh, it's a problem. And as we get older it gets worse. I keep telling people he's freezing me to death. Slowly but surely. To death. No one believed me though. Until this weekend. My sister was here when the weather turned cold. Brrrr. When she left she told my husband two things. First of all she said I don't have to change the sheets on the bed where she slept because her skin never touched them. She was so bundled up in her flannel pajamas, jacket and socks that her skin never touched the sheets. :) Second, she would not be back to visit again until it was summer.
It seems that I'm not the only one who thinks 60° is too low to have the temperature at night. And on the weekends. Don't ask me why the weekends cause I don't know but the thermostat is programmed for 60° on Saturday and Sunday. (I turn it up when he isn't looking.) During the week it's 68°. Where do you keep your thermostat in the winter?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Horror Story

I’m a creature of habit. I’ve confessed that before but I’ve come to find a certain comfort in my habitualness. Today was the seventh week of a Bible study I led at church (Stepping Up by Beth Moore, a study of the Psalms of Ascent). We begin at 12:30 but I try to get to the church about 12:00 to get everything set up. For seven weeks I’ve left home about 10:00 to run my errands and today was no different. I got my allergy shots, one in each arm (yesterday I had a flu shot and pneumonia shot, one in each arm). Yuck! I went to the post office where I stood in line for about 15 minutes. Let me just interject here to say, girls your government is hard at work saving us money. The temperature in the post office was approximately 55. No kidding. Everyone in line was shivering. I picked up some lunch and ate in the car.

At 11:10 I entered Walgreens. I had called in three prescriptions early this morning and since I do Express Pay I knew I could pick them up and be out in a hurry. But first I wanted to do a little shopping. I’m a coupon shopper so I carefully went up and down the aisles searching out my bargains. I was about half way through my list and close to the back of the store where the pharmacy is so I stopped to get that part done. Clerk #1 was working the drive thru window. Clerk #2 was in the back counting pills. Pharmacist #1 came over to wait on me. She whispered to me that one of my prescriptions wasn’t ready – they were out and wouldn’t have it until later in the day. I guess she was whispering because it was a (whisper) feminine product. I was ok with that…I’m agreeable…no problem. Wait! Clerk #2 heard her (good ears, huh?) and said my feminine product had been delivered and was in the “back” but she did…not…have…time…to get it. Pharmacist #1 snapped at the clerk that she would just get it herself. I’m sure she was thinking she was a pretty high priced supply clerk – I was thinking that! So I wait while she cuts the box, types a label, gathers everything up and returns to me. Computer #1 was down, computer #2 was down, ah ha! Computer #3 is working so she entered my items (total $45) and handed me the ticket to sign. I “Express Pay” with my debit card and as I started to sign I automatically noted the total…..$395.49. Excuse me, I think there’s a problem. Pharmacist looks like a deer caught in the headlights. By this time all computers are down because someone, somewhere, is uploading a software program. On the Walgreens computers. In the middle of the day. She calls the manager.

The manager arrives. He’s about 12 years old. No kidding. It’s 11:55. No kidding. He has to go to his office to “find the transaction” so he can credit it. His office is at the front of the store by the photo lab. Ok I say but I’m really in a hurry now. I’ve been waiting 25 minutes so far. He returns with whatever paperwork he needs. A credit can only be given at computer #3. Which is now down. I have to go. If you could just trust me to… he says. I say, “Honey, I don’t even trust my husband with $400! As you can well imagine by this time there is an audience who thinks this is hilarious.

Now one thing I haven’t mentioned is that I’m wearing my Stephens Ministry sweatshirt. This means I…cannot…be…ugly. I really want to be ugly. Finally, at 12:05 I give up and say, “Aaron,” because we’re on a first name basis now, “I’m gonna’ have to go. But at 3:00 I’m gonna’ be back at the drive thru window to get my credit and my prescriptions.

I know you think this story is over. Nope. At 3:00 I pull up to the drive thru. She says my stuff is locked in the safe in the office at the front of the store by the photo lab. And she can’t go get it. I have to go in. It’s been 3 days since I took anything for my arthritis so to say I don’t really want to walk any more than I have to is understating it. But I drive to the front, go in to the photo lab. Where I am told that my stuff has been taken to the pharmacy. At the back of the store. Yep. The back. Finally, transactions done I ask for a copy of the credit ticket. Because she didn’t offer me one. But she only has one copy she says. She can make me a copy but the copy machine is…….you guessed it, at the front of the store, by the photo lab.
I couldn’t make this up.

Monday, November 17, 2008


Th kys n my comptr are stikin - yu eer hav tha prblem? It mkes fr intresing coverstions.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Sock Fanatic

Three years ago during our first camping trip to Colorado in June it got cold. I didn't realize just how cold it still was up on the mountain! I went to the outdoor shop and bought 2 pairs of wool socks. SmartWool Socks. And fell in love. The next year when I went back I bought more. I bought two pair to wear with shoes and two soft fuzzy pairs to wear around the house. The soft fuzzy ones have worn completely through! This summer/fall we didn't make our annual trip because of the price of gas so I was moaning and groaning loudly that I wasn't going to get any socks. This weekend when my sister was here we ran into the outdoor shop here in Hot Springs. She is my partner in crime and every time I bought socks in Colorado she did too. Or vice versa depending which one of us is telling this story. If you have a sister you probably know exactly what I mean. If she gets one, I want one. If I get one, she wants one. No matter what it is. And usually we just go ahead and buy two of whatever and give one to the other because if we don't somebody is gonna' be mad. :) I digress, sort of. Saturday we found "our" socks! Right here in Hot Springs! We didn't have to drive all the way to Colorado to get them and we were happy campers. And better than that, they were on sale! Half price! We both have small feet and apparently small isn't a real popular size in wool socks because that's the only size that was on sale. We bought all they had - 10 pair apiece. I know, I know. But half price - remember the half price part. We figured that at that price we could put some back and have wool socks for years.
If you think about it socks are very important to our lives. When you're cold and you put on a pair of socks, don't you just warm up likity split? Did I spell that right? Did I even say that right? You know what I mean! And if you're feeling a little down can't you put on a pair of silly socks and cheer right up? If you're socks get wet aren't you just miserable? If you're hands get cold and you don't have mittens you can just put socks on your hands and be fine. You'd look silly but your hands would be warm. You can put an old pair of socks on your hands, spray them with Pledge, and dust your furniture. That works great if you haven't tried it. I'm sure if you think about it you could think of lots of uses for socks. Right?
So here are the questions of the day. Are you a sock fanatic? What kind can't you live without? And what can you do with socks besides wear them on your feet? Got any great tips for sock use?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Finished by Friday - Starting on Christmas

A couple of weeks ago I won a giveaway from Crazy for Primitive Quilts and Gardens. (Ok Blogger is definitely not cooperating with me today since I can't get it to highlight anything but "crazy"). I made it this week - my first Christmas finish. Is this not the cutest crow you ever saw?

This Carpenter's Wheel/Star, I can never remember the name, you have seen before. But it is now quilted, bound, and gone to it's new home. This pattern is super simple and I think I'll be making more of these for gifts. I made it in a Debbie Maddy workshop.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Happy Dance!

First of all I'm doing a happy dance today sister is coming! Today she will be here. She's coming because she is my best friend, she loves my view (see picture to the right!), we're going to see both of our brothers tomorrow, and because she finally has a few days off which makes the 400 mile trip, one way, possible. We have a lot of fun together in a way that only sisters understand. We know the good, the bad, and the ugly about each other and don't mind pointing it out. :) We will eat and talk and laugh and maybe even cry. But it will all be good.
A second happy dance is in order for these wonderful letters I won from Liz at A Giveaway A Day. She let me custom order them so I chose the word Faith in black but sort of primitive looking. Aren't they perfect? When my husband gets home and can climb the ladder for me they will go above the doorway into the sunroom. They're a little crooked in the picture but they will be properly lined up when they're hung.
I'm not sure what my happy dance looks like, and I won't be making a video of it, but it could possibly resemble something like the chicken dance. Now wouldn't you love to see that!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Veteran's Day

My dad served in the United States Army in World War II. H left at home a wife and son and traveled to Europe to fight for the country he loved. He came home with lots of medals and even more memories. This picture was taken in August, 2003 - the last time he ever visited my home. He caught that catfish out of "my" lake and was tickled to death with it.

Daddy didn't talk a lot about the war and he wouldn't watch war movies. He said they got it all wrong. He marched across Italy and Austria and Germany; I have a picture of him walking down a street in Paris. He was in a unit which freed prisoners in one of the death camps in Austria and he never forgot. His pride in this country was fierce and his loyalty to the flag was deeply ingrained. He went into the army when he was 21 and when he was 85 he still came to immediate attention when he colors came by and his salute was as sharp as that of a young man. Because of what he was willing to do, and because of what others were willing to do, I am free today. I am free to worship God in whatever way pleases me. I can own a gun and make a speech on any street in any city about anything I choose. I can disagree with what the president does and I can say so. But with the freedoms he fought to preserve for me comes great responsibility. He taught me about those too. Help your neighbor...and don't brag about it. Work your family....respect others....value what's right. He was a big talker but when it came to the rules for living he didn't talk a lot - he just set the example.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Living Off The Land

My husband has two hobbies. He deer hunts in the fall and fishes in the spring. Oh, maybe he has three hobbies. Does napping in the recliner count?

This fall he has already killed two deer. One was a doe, killed with a muzzle loader and the other a 7 point buck, killed with a regular gun. Now before all you animal lovers bombard me - I DO NOT HUNT. I could not. I will not. I shall not. But.....this is not just a sport for him. This is meat in the freezer. I don't see it until it is sliced, diced, wrapped and frozen and is ready to put in the freezer, much like the beef, pork and chicken that I buy for the same purpose. When he fishes I don't see those either until they are dressed and soaked and ready to freeze.

When my father was a little boy he and his family lived off what they drew from the land, the things that God provided. They always had a garden and canned what they grew. They picked berries in the woods and gathered nuts from the trees by the side of the road. They hunted things that you and I would shudder at today but when you're hungry.... I remember him telling me they had eaten squirrel and rabbit (both of which I have eaten and liked), raccoon, possum, blackbirds and once, when times were really bad, they even killed robins. He had to leave school in the 6th grade to go to work to help his family and that meant doing some things that weren't so pleasant.

In America today we've gotten far away from the skills that our forefathers relied on to survive. When you're an urban dweller you don't have the opportunity to learn those things but in the more rural areas (and rural states) we still hunt and fish and can. We rely on those things to supplement our income. And in hard times those skills serve us well.

So many people are without jobs right now - the unemployment rate is mentioned on the news every day. Many more layoffs have been predicted for the coming months. We certainly are in a recession, and could be headed for a depression. How would we react if that happened? Would we be as courageous as our grandparents were during the depression? Would we learn to survive without? Would we join together to help each other or would we fall apart in despair?

Friday, November 7, 2008

A Different Finished by Friday

On Fridays I normally post about what I've accomplished during the week. I'm going to skip that this week to tell you about someone really, really special. This might be a little long but trust me, it's important. And it will bless you.

Stephanie Vest - a devoted mother, wife, sister, daughter and friend - has recently been challenged with the fight of her life. After struggling for months with a lingering, undiagnosed illness, it was determined that Stephanie needed further expertise and testing at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

Stephanie and her husband Eric both embraced this opportunity and took the trip (in August 2008) hoping to uncover the culprit. It was during that first visit that Stephanie received the unexpected news that she has a rare form of Lymphoma that attacks the skin. To be specific, it is called Gamma Delta Lymphoma. (Note: There have to date been only about 50 cases of this rare form of lymphoma diagnosed in the world!)

This is an unfair and unforeseen blow to her family, especially since they just added a new addition to their home in late June 2008: a sweet baby girl named Gracelyn Isabelle Vest. So in the midst of the chaos of caring for a newborn baby, the family is also dealing with this shocking illness. Gracelyn was only nine weeks old when they completely learned of the severity of Steph's condition.

In addition to their baby girl, Eric and Stephanie have two boys: Zachary (7 years old) and Cole (almost 4 years old). Please bless their 3 children with comfort, health, peace and joy despite this trying time.

With the exception of the parentheses in the third paragraph above I took this information directly from Stephanie's website. This information was on the first post dated September 30. Since that time the cancer has spread to Stephanie's liver and without God's intervention she will not be able to overcome this latest development. In the meantime God has used her to bring at least two people to Christ as she continues to lift her hands in praise. If you can, please take the time to scroll back through the posts on her website, in particular Nov. 2. It will make your heart sing.

As you can imagine this family has many needs, not the least of which is prayer. Friends have rallied around them and are holding many fundraisers in an effort to help through this time when her husband has had to be off work, their children have been cared for by others, and their basic living needs have needed to be met. One of the fundraisers is being coordinated by my niece and her husband. This pink "Expect a Miracle" bracelet is being mailed to anyone who sends $5 to this effort. 100% of the money will be given to Stephanie and her family. I bought 10 myself and gave them away to friends and family with my prayer for a miracle in their lives as well as in Stephanie's. If you would like to have one (or a hundred!) please send $5 for each to (make checks out to Stephanie Vest):

Natalie Chodniewicz

603 Davis Street Unit 1003

Austin, TX 78701

The bracelets will be mailed back to you as quickly as they receive your information.
And please, pray for and Expect Miracles for Stephanie!
And if your heart has been touched by this story and you would like to link back to this post - that would be great! blessings, marlene

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I'm so Lucky!

In the last several weeks I've won four, yes four blog giveaways! I have no idea how that happened since I've gone for 62 years winning almost nothing! Two of them I haven't yet received but two I have and I want to show you those today.

This first picture is the cute, cute, cute purse made by Cindy at Imagine-Dream-Create. First of all, is that not the cutest fabric you've ever seen? Since I can't wear high heels any more (on my feet) I'm now wearing them on my arm. :) It is a great size and has lots and lots of pockets inside. Thank you Cindy. By the way, Cindy is from Canada so this came from a long way away and that's exciting all by itself!

And I won this quilt! Aubird Woman (otherwise known as Sheila) picked the most wonderful, bright, cheerful fabrics to make this rag quilt. The back is a beautiful green flannel. It's perfect for these cool fall evenings and just great for snuggling under while I watch tv or read. And this, my friends, came all the way from Australia! Oh how I'd love to visit there. This was washed and dried in the Aussie sun though so I got to bask in the scent of an Australian day. How cool is that! Thank you Sheila!
I've been blogging now for just over 6 months and I can say with complete authority that bloggers are the most generous, loving and compassionate group I've ever been around. I am blessed by your sweet spirits and by your crazy, chaotic lives that make me laugh when you share them!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Conversation is a Two Way Deal

It's 10:30 p.m. and it's quiet in my house - a time of peace and stillness that I relish. It's like the whole house, me included, takes a deep breath, lets it out, and rests. This is the time when God and I often talk... ..well, mostly I talk and He listens because I tend to forget that conversation is a two way deal.

I wish I could do my talking and listening in the early morning like my sister does. She's so disciplined and I'm so...not. She gets up at 5:15, showers and gets her coffee and goes to her "nest" in the sunroom to do her Bible study and prayer time before work. I wake up and hit the floor "doing" instead of listening. Busy, busy and in constant movement - that's me. Even if I'm sitting I'm doing, sewing, organizing, clipping coupons, studying, reading. I struggle to just be still. To just listen. Oh I talk to Him all day long but the listening, not so much. I talk to Him when I'm sewing and when I'm cooking (yes I do cook....once in a while), and when I'm driving, and when I'm sweeping. But I can envision God sitting up there saying, "Marlene, would you just slow down a bit and let's have a good visit!" I think He likes it when I focus on Him instead of trying to multi-task.

Anyway, I was thinking all of that tonight as I sat here in the quiet and then it dawned on me...God doesn't sleep. I remembered reading that in Psalms so I looked it up - Psalms 121:3-4 "He will not let you stumble and fall; the one who watches over you will not sleep. Indeed, he who watches over Israel never tires and never sleeps." He probably doesn't care what time I talk to Him! Yippee!

Uh Oh. Psalms 127:2 on the very next page of my Bible says, "It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones." I think this just might be a reminder to me that conversation with Him should come first and work should come second.

Do you have a particular time that you do your study and prayer and conversation? Do you have a special place?

Sadly Seeking

I knew it would happen eventually and I've been watching for it but I'm still unhappy to report that one of my posts got a nasty spam comment. I am sadly seeking information - how do you remove just one comment from a post without removing all comments? For now I have elected to hide all comments on that particular post but I don't want to do that. I just want to remove the ugly one. Anyone know how to do that?

Meanwhile I will pray for the person who has to earn their living in such a job and ask that you pray for him/her as well. I will be asking for a new job, one that will not only earn him/her a living wage but will also feed the soul as well.

It's Monday, the beginning of a brand new week. It's fall, it's cool, and ya'll...the leaves here where I live are so beautiful it takes my breath away! We're going to take a little drive this morning and I know it will be beautiful. I can hardly wait!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sunday Star

Halloween can be a scary time for very young children, as scary as it is exciting at the same time. My two youngest grandchildren danced with joy as they donned their costumes Friday afternoon. The almost-3 year old was a pirate and the 7 year old was one of the characters from High School Musical. With dresses and hats and wigs and baskets for goodies all gathered and donned their mother and I started the neighborhood walk with them. Excitement, however, meant nothing when we approached the first house. There was a WITCH hanging from the porch roof! Neither child was willing to walk up to that door unless their mother went with them and they certainly weren't going to knock on the door - heaven forbid! When the very nice lady appeared and offered candy neither child could utter one peep, let alone shout "Trick or Treat!" She was very kind and said, "oh they'll get the hang of it soon." At the second house.....repeat performance. At the third house you'll never guess what happened! At the door appeared a fairy princess! A teenage girl in a beautiful princess outfit came to the door, came outside, sat down on the ground and talked in a sweet, gentle voice to both girls. Though they were completely amazed to see a princess living two doors down they were not afraid. They were enthralled. They were awed. They were happily astounded.

One teenage girl took the time to dress up like a princess for children she did not know. She was kind and gentle and precious. What a sweet gesture and what a wonderful candidate for my Sunday Star award.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


I had a busy week with lots going on at church and things to do at home and didn't get to read, or comment on, many of your blogs. I was almost feeling panicky (is that a word?). You know the feeling, like when you really, really need a fix of chocolate and haven't had any in looooong time and you have this nice Hersheys Bar in your hands? Your mouth is watering and you can smell the chocolate and you're trying to decide if you want to break it into little pieces and have one at a time or take a big bite out of it? Anyway, that's how I was feeling Thursday. I finished my chores, it was quiet in my house, and I sat down at my desk to read. No internet. I sat there staring at my computer with a blank look on my face, waiting. Waiting. I got up, put a load of clothes in the washer and came back. Nothing. I went back to the kitchen and had lunch; I returned to my desk. Nothing. Someone stole my chocolate bar - that's the way I felt. Hours later I called my daughter and she told me the sad story; someone laying a sewer pipe in a town 40 miles away cut a fiber optic cable and took out Internet for folks from Oklahoma, through Arkansas, and all the way to Louisiana. It would be as long as 36 hours to get it back on. I'm sure my eyes rolled back in my head.

Friday morning I got up, powered up the computer, and nothing. Meanwhile, we were going on a little trip up to see our son and his family, do a little trick or treating with the grandchildren, and then to a high school football game where our son coaches. We didn't get home until about 4:00 this afternoon. Let's see: noon Thursday to 4:00 Saturday would mean about 52 hours. Without Internet. I am traumatized. I'm not sure how long recovery will take but I am sure it will mean lots of chocolate.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I Need Help Here!

Week after next my small stitching group, Nimble Thimbles, will be meeting at my house. Oh how I love these women! They are funny, loving, giving, compassionate, sharing, and every other good thing I can think of. Once a month we meet in each other's homes for stitching, talking, and eating. No business! Just fun! Counting me there are 8 of us. Needless to say all are good cooks though none of us try to be fancy. (I wasn't counting me in the good cooks part because you know I burned the beans!) Anyway, I'm thinking I'd like to make something new and wonderful so I'm looking for ideas here. If you were fixing lunch for 8 women who aren't company but are definitely family of the heart what would you fix? Just put your menu in the comments and I'll pick one to fix for my friends because that way I don't have to dream this up myself and you'll be doing the dreaming for me. :) But beware, if it's something I don't normally make I'll be e-mailing you for the recipe!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Giveaways and Tags

Kim at Simple Needs is having a wonderful giveaway - go see her!

And so is Char at The Pickled Pepper Patch. Awesome gift!

Jacquie at The Middle of Eleven tagged me with a request to do the following:

1. Open your Pictures folder.
2. Go to the sixth folder.
3. Open the sixth picture.
4. Import into your blog and tell the story

This was taken March 23, 2003 when my children were all at my house for supper. This is one of my daughters with her one of her sons. The one with his back turned is my son.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Lost and Found?

Now I admit to not being the best housekeeper in the world. Or the best grandmother. But if you found this under the edge of a chair when you finally got around to moving furniture to vacuum what would you think? A gift from a grandchild? And no, I have no pets who might have brought it to me. Just grandchildren. He's not "fresh" if you know what I mean. He's dried. Skeletonized. (Is that a word?) He's been there a while. There is always the option that he snuck in and couldn't get back out. But I prefer to think a grandchild brought him in and then forgot about him to thinking he could have opened the door and walked in when I wasn't looking. Wouldn't you?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sunday Star

Earlier in the week I told you about my husband's class reunion that we attended last weekend. I mentioned two dancing couples but only told you about one. Now, here's the rest of the story. I was what I consider a lucky kid. I was very shy and changing schools would have been traumatizing to me. But I never had to do that. I went to the same grammar school from grade 1 to grade 6, changed with all my classmates to a junior high, and then on to high school. In high school there were new kids that came in from another junior high but since all my friends were with me it was ok. In grammar school with me, but one grade ahead, was a guy I'll call M. M was sort of like me, quiet and shy. He was really, really smart, not very big and not very athletic. But at that time in our society that was ok. It was nice to be athletic but not everyone was expected to be. I knew who he was then but he was older than me and a boy...well you know in grammar school you didn't really talk to boys much, especially an older one!

M went on to college and further and became a professional - a field I won't name because I don't want to in any way identify him since he doesn't know I'm writing this. :) But it's a profession any of us would be proud for our children to aspire to. In other words, he's been very successful in life. At other reunions he's been present but still quiet and reserved. He married a really sweet girl after college and they had two sons.

At this reunion when we ran into him again he was a completely different person. I think he had more fun than anyone there! He visited with everyone multiple times, he laughed and talked and laughed some more. And when the music started he and his wife danced every dance. Now I can't honestly say he's a great dancer but what he lacked in skill he made up in enthusiasm. We couldn't help but smile when we watched them - they were both so full of joy. At a break in the music I was talking with his wife and she shared with me that M had cancer several years ago, and a recurrence two years after that, but that he'd been clear for nearly 10 years now. She had just told me that when the music started again and her sweet husband grabbed her hand and said, "Let's go!"
Photo by Flickr

Today M is my Sunday Star. I applaud his decision, and mark my words it is a decision, to live life to the fullest every single day. He faced death and this time it passed him by. Instead of living with caution, watching every little ache and pain and wondering if "it" was back, he chooses to dance. He inspires me. He lifts my spirits. He gives me hope. All because he chooses to dance.