April 30, 2017

Sunday Stealing: The Unknown Author Questions

Sunday Stealing: The Unknown Author Questions 

1. If someone wanted to really understand you, what would they read, watch, and listen to?   Let's see....they would need to read the Bible, mysteries, and a little chick lit (Oh, who am I kidding? Just read books. I love books!)...they would need to watch The Big Bang Theory, really bad reality shows, and a wide variety of news shows...they would need to listen to pretty much anything and everything since I have very eclectic musical tastes.

2. Have you ever found a blogger who thinks just like you? if so, who?  I don't think I've found anyone just like me lately, but there were a couple who came close "back in the day."  They aren't around as bloggers any more.

3. List your fandoms and one character from each that you identify with.  I don't think I identify with any fandoms.  I'm not really the fangirl type.

4. Do you like your name?  Is there another name you think would fit you better?  I didn't really like it when I was growing up and went through phases of wanting to be Marcia (as in Brady) or Heather, but I'm fine with it now.  I can't think of any that I think would fit me better, it is after all who I've been for nearly 53 years.

5. Do you think of yourself as a human being or a human doing? Do you identify yourself by the things you do?  I think both.  I try to do new things and also to do things to help others.  I don't really identify myself by the things I do, though, except I supposed to some degree by my job.  We are in our world quick to want to know what everyone does, but my job is not something I'm terribly attached to or think of as who I am.

6.  Are you religious/spiritual?  I guess the simple answer would be yes, I am a Christian.  I am not, however, a fan of mainstream religions.  I believe it's all about having a relationship with God, not about all the traditions and rules man has imposed.

7. Do you care about your ethnicity?  What ethnicity?  I'm as white as it gets. I do appreciate my family history, though, and enjoy learning more about my ancestors.

8. What musical artists have you most felt connected to over your lifetime?  The Doors, Journey, The Eagles, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Billy Joel, and Casting Crowns.

9. Are you an artist?  I think I'm creative, but I'm not an artist.

10. Do you have a creed?  Love others, do good, and try to leave the world better than you found it.

11. Describe your ideal day.  An early morning walk on the beach, a morning spent doing something fun with my grandkids, lunch with friends, an afternoon of reading or browsing in a bookstore, and dinner with all my family.

12. Dog person or cat person?  I like both, but I've always had dogs and only rarely cats.

13. Inside or outdoors?  Outdoors if the weather is nice.  Indoors if it's cold or wet.

14. Are you a musician?  Bahahahahaha!  That would be a NO.

15. Five most influential books over your lifetime.  The Bible, Little Women, Black Like Me, Misty of Chincoteague, and To Kill a Mockingbird.

16. If you’d grown up in a different environment, do you think you’d have turned out the same?  Probably not.  We are shaped by our experiences.

17. Would you say your tumblr is a fair representation of the “real you”? I don't have a "tumblr."

18. What’s your patron-us?  Huh?

19. Which Harry Potter house would you be in? Or are you a muggle? I haven't ever read (or watched) any of the Harry Potter books so I have no idea.

20. Would you rather be in Middle Earth, Narnia, Hogwarts, or somewhere else?  None of those appeal to me so I'm going to have to go with somewhere else.

21. Do you love easily? I do when it comes to "loving others as yourself" but not so much when it comes to the world's standards of "love."

22. List the top five things you spend the most time doing, in order.  Work, online stuff (blogging, FB, etc.), Christian study, family, and chores. 

23. How often would you want to see your family every year?  My immediate family I would be fine with seeing every day.  Some of my extended family...a little less often would do.

24. Have you ever felt like you had a “mind-meld” with someone?  No.

25. Could you live as a hermit?  Probably all too easily.

26. How would you describe your gender/sexuality?  I really don't find any need to define it because I think it's pretty clear, but if I must...I am a heterosexual female.

27. Do you feel like your outside appearance is a fair representation of the “real you”?  Yes, except for my weight.  I have the body of an athlete on the inside.  LOL

28. On a scale from 1 to 10, how hard is it for someone to get under your skin?  With 10 being the hardest....I'd say about a 9.  It can happen, but I just don't allow it much.  It's a waste of energy and time.

29. Three songs that you connect with right now.

30. Pick one of your favorite quotes.  It's from my dad: "If you can't say something nice about someone, don't say anything at all."

Don't forget to stop by Sunday Stealing
to join in the fun!

April 28, 2017

A Little of This, A Little of That

Hey all, a little bit of this and a little bit of that today must mean it's time for some Friday Tidbits.

* It's a beautiful day here, but just a little chilly when the breeze blows...and it's pretty breezy today.  It's good to see the sunshine, though.  We don't get nearly enough of that around here.  I had hoped to work in my flower beds a little bit and get the deck cleaned off and everything washed (those pesky birds have been sitting in the tree that shades the deck and "unloading" on everything), but I hear it's going to rain all weekend.  Boo!

* Our grandson, Colton, was seen by Children's Hospital yesterday.  He has a big lump on his head from when he was born and now he tends to favor one side.  There was a bit of concern that maybe he'd need to wear a helmet to shape his head.  Children's says he is just fine and doesn't need a helmet. Thank you, Lord!  His lump is there to stay, however.  It has hardened, but will become less noticeable as he grows and once he gets some hair.

* I don't know what to do tomorrow.  There is an auction, a sale at a local monastery, an estate sale, and a community flea market.  I guess I could stay home and catch up on laundry and cleaning...and save money.  But I'm going to go out on a limb and say that at the very least, I'm going to hit up the sale at the monastery because they sell a lot of books.

* One lesson I've learned this year is to be careful what you pray for and make sure you really know what you are praying for and what you might be in for.  I have been studying faith and my prayer for the year has been to teach me to have the kind of faith seen in Hebrews 11, the faith hall of fame.  In response, I have felt that God promised this would be a year of "great faith."  Nice.  I was thinking He's going to show me what He can really do.  Instead, it is turning out to be about testing and growing my faith...and also that of other Christians I know.  

Just in the small bible study I attend we've had one of our leaders dealing with open-heart surgery (that the problem was found was a miracle and he should have been dead!) and recovery right as his retirement took affect; another member was wrongly accused of something at work and put through hell (she was found innocent, but had to quit her job and there had been a danger of her losing her nursing license); another member just found out a close family member has stage 4 cancer; and now there is the health business with my husband.

* My aunt's husband passed away this week.  He had taken a fall a couple of weeks ago and ended up in the hospital.  She had just brought him home under hospice care.  I think he only lasted a day, maybe two?  He was her second husband and much older.  I don't know what she was thinking...he was a miserable man and I think that made her more like him over the years.  I hope her spirit will get lighter now.

* Wedding plans continue to move along even though I have a bit of worry when it comes to paying for it all since things are a bit up in the air concerning my husband's health.  Y'all need to keep praying for him, please.  We just don't have any answers and likely won't until he goes in to have the bladder stone removed May 31.

* Mom asked me to keep her dog while they go to Florida in May.  Of course, I said I would.  They are going to the cancer center her husband went to in Jacksonville for his annual check-up.  I'm guessing they will stop to see my aunt since her husband died (they were going to avoid going before).  Anyway, watching the dog should be....interesting.  Lacey's only 3 months old and not housebroke.  She stays in her crate when you go away, but sleeps in the bed with my mom.  My husband sleeps on the couch most nights anyway, so she shouldn't bother him in the bed.  It's me I'm worried about because my Poodle sleeps with me and she is NOT a fan of the puppy.  Not at all.

* Only 19 more days of school!

And now that I've brought it up, I need to wrap this up and scoot back to work. You all have a blessed and wonderful weekend wherever you are and whatever you do!

April 22, 2017

Sunday Stealing: When One Answer Just Isn't Enough

From Bud:

We found this gem from a site called MommyeTime. It's not clear if she wrote or stole the questions. From the site's set up, it appears the blogs purpose was to help raise children and saving (or better phrased as "helping") your marriage. The picture here is from the blog, but we're pretty sure it's not the author. And to add to our confusion of not finding a picture of the site's writer(s), we couldn't even find a name.  

And now Stealing!

Cheers to all of us thieves!

Sunday Stealing: The Money Time Questions

1. What are five passions that you have? (If you have less than five, tell us what you do have interests.)

My family, my relationship with God, reading, cooking, antiques.

2. List up to ten random facts about yourself.

  • I lived in a wildlife preserve when I was a kid. My dad was the manager. Life was like those old, grainy documentaries from the 70s.
  • I'm addicted to really awful reality shows...Alaskan Bush People, Mountain Monsters, Swamp People, etc.
  • I have a tattoo on my ankle of a cute little fishy swimming among seaweed, starfish and shells.
  • I'm terrified of snakes and sharks.
  • I might have a slight "thing" for purses.
  • I HATE folding laundry.  Sadly, it's not unusual for the clean clothes to be in the dryer or basket until the next load needs washed.
  • I want to live on a small farm...or near the beach or a lake.
  • I'm an introvert in most situations and if I don't push myself I'd probably end up being a hermit.
  • I am the queen of procrastination.

3. List five people (personal, historic, living or dead) who have had a major impact on your life or the way you think.

  • Jesus...everything is filtered through my relationship with him.
  • My grandmother taught me to appreciate nature and the small things in life.
  • My dad set my moral compass and work ethic.
  • My mom taught me to love books.
  • My grandfather gave me my love of antiques.
  • Honorable mention goes to my aunt who taught me to appreciate my roots and family history.

4. List 5 things you'd tell your 15 year-olds self, if you could.

  • Stop worrying about what everyone else thinks of you.
  • Put more effort into school.
  • Just do what your dad wants so you're not grounded so much.
  • You really aren't missing anything by not being able to run around with the party crowd.
  • That guy you're going to spend your whole time in high school pining over? Forget about him.  He's a mess as an adult.

5. What is a major strength that you have? (You can list more than one. Staying with our no rules approach.)

I think I'd say my major strength is forgiveness.  That doesn't mean I go to a person and tell them I forgive them, but I let go of it in my heart so it doesn't poison me.  If they come and apologize to me then I would give them forgiveness, but otherwise, forgiveness is for me and my heart, not them.

6. What is a major weakness that you have? (You can list more than one. STILL staying with our no rules approach.)

I really hate being introverted. I feel lonely a lot, but at the same time connecting with people or maintaining relationships is very hard for me. It just seems to exhaust me emotionally and mentally.

7. Describe the family dynamic of your childhood versus your family dynamic now.

My childhood was great.  Both sides of the family were close and they got along with each other so there were often times of everyone being together.  We had great times playing games and talking.  Now everyone is spread all over the place, plenty of people don't get along, and no one wants to play games. I miss the old days.

8. What popular notion do you feel that the world has most wrong?

I think a lot of the thinking about God is wrong, but I'm not going there.  So let's talk about respect.  I want to scream every time I hear someone say that you have to earn respect.  I get that we shouldn't give everyone our deeper respect, but once upon a time people extended a basic level of respect to EVERYONE.  We don't do that any more and the world is worse off because of it.

9. Name three things that always cheers you up when you are down.

  • My grandkids.
  • My dogs.
  • Good music.

10. Name three things would you like to be remembered for?

  • I hope my family will remember how much I loved them.
  • I hope people will remember I loved God.
  • Making the world better in whatever ways I could.

Saturday 9: Don't Sleep in the Subway

Joining in with Sam and the gang at Saturday 9 for a little musical fun.

Saturday 9: Don't Sleep in the Subway (1967)
Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) Subways can be bright and noisy. Do you need it dark and quiet before you can fall asleep?  

Not initially.  When I first go to bed I fall into a dead sleep very quickly.  However, if something wakes me up during the night I have a hard time falling back to sleep if there is too much light or noise...a bit of a problem since my husband is often unable to sleep and is up and watching TV in the night.

2) In this song, Petula encourages her lover to talk it out instead of walking out. Do you usually remain reasonable during a disagreement?  

I try to and I think I'm successful most of the time.  The only time I'd say I really struggled with it was the last couple of years our adult daughter was living at home.  She knew how to push my buttons like no one else and kind of made it a point to do so.  Her moving out was the best thing that ever happened to our relationship.  We get along pretty well now.

3) Petula was a child star in England during WWII. Her BBC broadcasts were very popular with the British troops, who nicknamed her The Singing Sweetheart. Soldiers pasted her photo onto their tanks for luck as they went into battle. Do you have any little rituals or good luck charms that calm/comfort you when you're afraid?  

Not really.  I pray, but that's about it.
4) Now 84, she recently told London's Daily Mail that she's surprised and thrilled to have found love again with a new man. Do you believe you'll ever be too old for romance?  

I don't think age has anything to do with it, it's probably dependent more on the mind working as it should.  That said, I've always told my husband if he goes first I will NOT be looking for another relationship.  I've never been on my own in my adult life.  I just might like to try it.

5) Her family is far flung. She lives in London, her middle daughter is in Paris, her son is in Los Angeles and her oldest daughter lives in New York with Petula's two grandchildren. Who is your nearest friend or relative? Which one is farthest away?  

My mom would be the nearest.  I can see her house from my kitchen window. My aunt in Arizona has honors as the farthest.

6) In 1967, when this song was popular, Rolling Stone published its first issue. John Lennon was on the cover. Publisher Jann Wenner reports that, either individually or as a group, the members of The Beatles have appeared on the most Rolling Stone covers. What's the first Beatle song that comes to mind? 

Any and ALL songs from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (When I'm 64, Lucy in the Sky, With a Little Help from My Friends....).  The movie with Peter Frampton and the Bee Gee's was a huge hit with me and my friends when I was in jr. high.  We listened to the soundtrack constantly for a while there.

7) In 1967, Star Trek was in its second season on NBC. Who is your favoritStar Trek character?  

Spock, of course...though I will admit to an early crush on Capt. James T. Kirk.

8) RANDOM QUESTION: When you slip into jeans or slacks, which foot do you put in first?  

I'm right-handed, so I'm pretty sure I start with my right foot.

9) As you considered #8, did you mime pulling on your pants?

No, I just pictured it in my mind.

April 19, 2017

I Want to Fly Like the Hodgepodge

1. Tell us about a time you felt like you were 'flying by the seat of your pants'. Oh, gosh...I'd have to say that was just about any time when I used to be in charge of the youth at a church we attended.  I could plan something backward, forward, inside out, upside down, and sideways and it might still totally bomb out with the teens and I'd have to just work with what I was getting from them.  We'd often end up going in a complete opposite direction from what I had planned...and often those were the best sessions.  Nothing like a bunch of teenagers to keep you on your toes.  And humble.

2.  When or where would you most like to be 'a fly on the wall'?  In the Oval Office.  Or maybe at Bill and Hillary's dinner table...I bet some really interesting discussions go on there!

3. 'Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.'-Henry David Thoreau 

Would you agree? Why or why not?
 I don't know.  Happiness is such a fickle, fleeting thing that is dependent on so much.  I tend not to pursue it, but rather just enjoy it when it comes.  I'd much rather have joy which is rooted in the Lord and not dependent on circumstances at all.

4. Share a favorite movie, book, or song with flying in it's title, lyrics, or theme somewhere.  I couldn't think of a book, but for movies I came up with a couple: Airplane!, Top Gun, and Con Air.  For music, I've got:


5. What is one task or chore you tend to do 'on the fly'? Is this something that really needs to be done another way?  Sadly, it's often cooking.  I like to cook and I can be good at it, but during the school year when I get up at 3:45 and my day doesn't end until I get home at 5:30 in the afternoon...dinner often ends up being something I threw together on the spur of the moment.  I keep vowing to put my slow cooker to better use, but it's hit or miss depending on how much time and energy I have.

6. What was happening the last time you thought to yourself or said aloud, 'Wow, time flies when you're having fun', and you meant it.  I don't know.  I typically only think or say that in a sarcastic way when time is really dragging. Maybe when we took the grandkids to the science center back in February? That day was lots of fun and it flew by!

7. This Thursday is National Garlic Day. Will you add garlic to your menu on Thursday? Do you like garlic? What's your favorite dish made with garlic? Will I add garlic?  Ha!  I already add garlic to pretty much everything I cook.  You are talking to the "Queen" of garlic.  No vampires are hanging around here.  There is no such thing as too much garlic!  My favorite garlicky dish at the moment is my homemade hummus.  Yum!

8. Insert your own random thought here.  There are only 26 more days of school!  

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That's all the Hodgepodge there is today.  Thanks for visiting and don't forget to visit Joyce @ From This Side of the Pond to join in the fun or just to find more Hodgepodgers!

April 17, 2017

The Best Monday Ever!!

Easter was really different for us this year, but still a wonderful blessing.  We began on Thursday evening with my bible study/home church group.  Every year on Maundy Thursday we have a (semi) traditional Middle Eastern meal and invite our families and friends to join us to enjoy a meal together while we reflect on what Jesus did for us and celebrate his new covenant with us through communion.

Friday was meant to be a day at home catching up on chores for me, but I ended up having to brave the big grocery store when our small neighborhood one didn't have everything I wanted.  It was lunchtime when I finished and my daughter asked me to ride along to a local outlet place that sells craft and decorating things to look for wedding stuff.  We found a couple of cute signs, but that was it.  After that she dropped me at home and I did finally do some dusting, dishes, and laundry.  We threw some delicious steaks on the grill and I made corn-on-the-cob and baked potatoes.  Our daughter and her family came back for that because her fiance's birthday was earlier in the week and we were celebrating that.

We went to Pittsburgh on Saturday to see our son and his family.  We got a bit of time with the kids.  We snacked on the hummus (I made it!) and veggies and shrimp we took down and watched the kids see what was in their baskets and dye eggs.

Our grandson showing the sidewalk chalk he got from my
mom and stepdad and one of the Twizzlers that was
in his basket from us.  I asked him to hold up some
of his stuff.  That's what he chose.  I love that boy.
He is a real character!

Our granddaughter chose to show the fleece blanket she got
from my mom and stepdad and the rabbit and Farmer
Barbie (complete with a chicken) we got her.

I think that's Pappy's hand dunking a shrimp while
the kids are dying Easter eggs.  That dish right
past Pappy's hand is the hummus I made. It was
the first time on my own.  I'm ridiculously proud!
Our daughter called and said she and her family were on their way to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and wanted to know if we all wanted to meet up there.  It wasn't exactly the day we had in mind, but we all went so it was nice that the kids all got to see each other.

It was our future son-in-law's first time at the museum
so we had to take his picture with the dinosaurs.

There were a lot of kids' activities going on
and the kiddos got to meet up with
Rexy, the museum's mascot.

I don't know that the little one was excited
or even interested in Rexy, but Rexy was
certainly excited about meeting a baby!

Our littlest guy and spending some time with
his uncle.  It was the first time they'd been
together since Christmas.  It's so cool to watch
your kids step into adult roles as parents and
aunts and uncles.  It does make you feel a
bit old, though!
The hubby and I tired out before the kids and called it a day while they were all still on the last few exhibits.  Hubby really wasn't feeling too well.  He was hungry, though, so we stopped for dinner on the way home and nearly froze to death since our table was right under the air conditioning duct.  Brrr!

Yesterday, was a very quiet day for us, very unusual for our Easters.  Since our son and his family weren't coming home, my mom and stepdad decided to spend the day with my stepdad's family...something he hasn't done a lot of since joining our family.  Our daughter and her family were around for a bit in the morning and we went out to a local restaurant for the Easter buffet rather than me cooking a big meal because they left from dinner to go celebrate with her fiance's family.  The hubs and I just enjoyed relaxing at home the rest of the day.

I am still off work today.  I went to the hubby's urology appointment with him this morning.  I can talk about it now.  He didn't allow me to (our families don't even know) until we heard what got said today.

It started 2 weeks ago when he saw our PCP following some tests he had done because of pain in his side and groin.  What he heard at that visit was that the cyst we had known was on his kidney was not a cyst at all, but a tumor and the initial tests indicated cancer.  The doctor ordered a CT scan and set up the appointment with the urologist.  We have been trying not to worry and praying...and I did share the prayer need with my bible study group and a private prayer group on Facebook.  So the whole thing has been covered in prayer.

Basically, we walked into today's appointment expecting to hear how bad the cancer was and what the next step would be.  What we heard was that he does not have tumor.  He does indeed have a cyst.  The cyst has a small hard spot that bears watching, but it's classified as 2F which means it has a 5% chance of malignancy and since it hasn't changed in 2 years the urologist feels it's highly unlikely.  With regard to Hubby's pain, she was a bit concerned so she did a scope on his bladder and found a pretty significant bladder stone.  He is scheduled to have that removed on May 31 and she will take a better look at his bladder then and do a biopsy if necessary, but she really doesn't seem to think so.  The CT scan showed nothing else going on but the cyst.  Now what we have to do is figure out the source of his side/back pain.  The urologist said the kidney stone could account for the groin pain, but the other is definitely not urologic.

All I can say is GOD IS GOOD!

April 15, 2017

Sunday Stealing: The Pumpkin Place

From Bud:

A big thanks to The Gal Herself! She found it from Kimberly at Pumpkin Delight.These are unusual and clever. I obvious had no idea where I got them until The Gal commented in our comments section. If you think I'm just typing to fill this space, then you are right. I think a couple more sentences should do it! I hope hou have a great Easter! I was visiting my mom in the rest home and the Easter Bunny came and gave her chocolate eggs. I forgot it was Easter. Now, I think I wrote enough. If I play this I will see you at WTIT: The Blog. If not then next time. Same time. Same blog. Now...

Cheers to all of us thieves!

Sunday Stealing: The Place for Pumpkin Questions

1. If "happiness" was the global currency, what kind of work would make you a gazillionaire?  I'd either be a book seller or an antiques dealer. I'd be happy doing either even if I didn't make a penny.

2. Would you break the law to save someone you loved?  And, if so, how far would you be willing to take it?  Without knowing the situation it's impossible for me to say.  I suppose there are some circumstances when I might, but I can't imagine when it would be against the law for me to save/defend someone I love....unless they were a criminal and I were to block justice or break them out or something like that and I would not do that.  As for saving someone I love from someone threatening them...I own guns, I know how to use them, I will use them if I have to, I pray I never have need.
3. Is it possible to really know the truth without questioning it first?  I think it is sometimes, but most often it's good to question and find the truth for yourself.
4. Do you remember that one time . . . oh, about 5 years ago or so . . . when you were really, really upset?  Does it really matter now? If not now, then when?  Yes, I remember.  In a way it matters because the issue changed me in some ways, changed how I see certain things.  But I've forgiven those who caused the pain and while I wouldn't trust them again I've reached a point of being grateful for the things I've learned.

5. Is it possible to know, without a doubt, what is good and what is evil?  As a Christian I believe the Bible spells it out clearly.
6. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?  I can't really think of anything.  I'm pretty much an open book...what you see is what you get.  I don't hide who I am.
7. Would you rather have less work to do, or more work you actually enjoy doing?  Probably more work that I like.  Unless you're going to give me the funding to live a fabulous life of leisure at an undisclosed tropical location, then I'd want less work.

8. Would you rather be an anxious genius, or a tranquil fool?  Wow.  I don't know.  Anxiety sucks, but so does being a fool.

9. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?  
In all honesty I'm probably both.  I always hope to do the right thing, but my dad really pounded the need to do things right (his way) into my head. One of his favorite sayings was "If a job is worth doing, it's worth doing right."  I still hear that in my head every time I do anything.
10. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?  In my 30s, I think.

April 14, 2017

Good Friday

Good morning, friends!  I'm sorry I have been a bit scarce this week.  Spring is a crazy season at work and then with this being Holy Week I just haven't had time or the energy to post.  Today begins a 4-day weekend, though, so I have some time as I sit here still in my jammies at 9:00.

I love Easter.  More than Christmas, even.  If not for Easter and the events that happened all those years ago the Christian faith would be one without hope....if it was even still around at all.

Good Friday is where most of us begin our Easter reflections.  I hope that you celebrate today, not just mourn.  It's true that Jesus suffered horribly and died a cruel and lonely death...abandoned at the cross by all of his disciples but John. Oh, but friends, remember that He CHOSE to be obedient to the Father's plan. He CHOSE to allow himself to be nailed to the cross.  He did it because He loves YOU.

Remember the pain and suffering for sure...know what the cost was.  Jesus was the Son of God, but his was a fully human body during his time on earth.  He felt every cutting blow of the lash, he felt the bits of stone woven into the lashes rip his flesh each time they were pulled back for another strike.  He felt every splinter of the cross when it was laid across his torn and bleeding back.  He heard the mocking laughter and endured the humiliation of being paraded naked through the streets, his clothing having been stripped away and gambled for.

And he felt what you and I have never felt.  We have times when we don't feel the Lord's presence or when we feel He is far away.  It's not so...in those times it's we who are not close enough.  God has never, ever turned His back on us. However, Jesus, before He died, took on all the sin of the world....all the sin that was, is, and will be.  It was so ugly and so painful that God turned His face away and Jesus felt it, crying out "My God, why have you forsaken me?"

Such a horrible scene, but rejoice in it as well because Jesus's choice gave we who believe the hope of heaven.

Listen to one of my favorite Easter songs and remember the gift you have been given this day!

April 10, 2017

In My Room

Are you old enough to remember the Beach Boys' song In My Room?  It's an ode to the sanctuary of every teenager ever.

I was humming this to myself last night while I was journaling and I pasted a picture on the page of a sweet little wooden desk situated in front of a window open to a summer day.  The desk held a vintage typewriter, a couple of old cameras, a real wind-up alarm clock, and an old trophy pulling duty as a vase for brown-eyed Susans.

The picture of that little desk just delighted me and made me think about how everyone, teenager or middle-aged grandmother, should have a space that is totally their own...one that speaks to their soul and inspires their muse...and I realized that I've created just that in my now empty nest.

My space began it's life as my son's bedroom and then became my daughter's. My son left home in 2005.  Nothing of him remains in the room, but memories. My daughter, however, has left her stamp.  The beautiful pine paneling on the walls was her requested gift the next-to-last Christmas she spent at home.  My hubby was installing it when we got the call on the morning of New Year's Eve that his brother had passed away.  My daughter is also here in the florescent orange paint that still covers the interior of the closet, the checked red and beige homespun curtains that replaced the closet doors, and in the door that is still covered with stickers and notes written by friends in permanent Sharpie ink.

There was no discussion.  When my daughter moved out I made the room mine. The orange closet is stacked full with picnic coolers, luggage, and all my craft and gift wrapping supplies.  Between the closet and the door is an old milk can painted a soft mint green and decoupaged with some very 70s style chickens and flowers.  My grandparents made it for my aunt way back when.  It is filled with a collection of canes, walking sticks, yardsticks, a rain stick, and even a pool cue long ago abandoned by my son.

Four bookshelves cover most of the wall space.  No matter how hard I try to keep the collection down, they are always filled with stacks piled up.  There are also sentimental items on them like the crocodile in a hammock my daughter brought back from Australia, the stooped old woman carved from a cow horn my dad brought back from Peru, a service bell from a long-forgotten hotel, and a hand knit prayer scarf made by a friend.

Tucked in by the bookshelves is my great-grandmother's dough box.  Family photos, plants in vintage planters, and a warmer for wax tarts sit on top.  A beautiful keepsake box and a footstool made by my grandfather's brother in a long ago shop class rest underneath.

On the walls you will find a numbered print commemorating the 2013 Pony Penning Day on Chincoteague Island, VA...the year I finally got to see it.  There is also a framed poster from the Chincoteague firemen's carnival and a little rustic garland that bears the message "Live with faith. Laugh with friends. Love with family."  A funny little monkey given to me by the kids on the bus hangs from a hook on the ceiling.

Lastly, sitting at an angle by the window is my desk.  It's a sweet little thing that I picked up battered and wobbly for $7 at an auction.  It has fine lines, beautiful bones...my hubby secured the legs and put several coats of stain on it to "mostly" cover years of abuse.  It's perfect to do a bible study on, write in my journal, type on the laptop or do minor crafting.  All that is on it is a lovely desk lamp found at a rummage sale for $5 and a chunky glass vase turned into a pen holder.  I paired an old chair, another auction find, with it and sitting in front is a big, brown, storage ottoman with a padded lid.  It's good extra seating for visitors or a sweet nap place for my Poodle.

This my space, filled with my things...and a few ghosts from the past.  It centers me and fuels me.  Calms me and inspires me.  If you want to know who I am, this is where you start looking.

So, tell me.  What does your space look like?  Is it a whole room or just a certain spot?  What makes it your refuge?


April 8, 2017

Sunday Stealing: In John Deere Greene

Today we ripped off TWO memes and made them one! The first five questions are stolen from blogger Emily Rosenbaum at Wheels on a Bus. She explains she grabbed it from Lola's blog, and since Lola "is the sassiest of mamas" Emily titled the meme as The Sassiest Meme. So that's the story of today's title.

The final five questions were ripped from Midlife Mama from the blog Midlife Musings. She stole it from her "dear friend" over at Midlife Slices where it was originally written. So, it is almost a virgin meme. Link back to us at Sunday Stealing!

Cheers to all us thieves! 

Sunday Stealing: The Sassy Meme

1. If you could say anything you wanted to say to Donald Trump, what would you say?  Thank you for giving a voice to the blue collar masses.  Just one word of advice...lay off the tweets.  Things thrown out there on the spur of the moment are rarely well thought out and give your critics far too much fodder.

2. If you had to be the mother of Britney Spears or Lindsay Lohan, who would you choose and why?  It wouldn't matter, I'd treat them both the same.  I would hope that I could be their mother when they were young so I could make some major changes in the way they grew up.

3. You get to be Queen for a day. The kids are all taken care of, and you can spend as much money as you want. What do you do all day?  I would hire a contractor to add on to the house and do some remodeling, go shopping for new furniture, and end it all at a book store.

4. Is there a song that brings tears to your eyes every time you hear it? If so, which one?  Not every time I hear it, but the one that is most likely to bring tears is John Deere Green by Joe Diffie.  It came out when my dad was battling cancer for the final time and he loved his John Deere tractors...it just brings up a lot of sad memories.

5. A fairy taps you on the shoulder and tells you that you can either have a perfect face or a perfect body for the rest of your life. Which do you choose?  
If by perfect body the fairy means good health, I'd take that one.

6. If you could live any place in the world and money was no object, where would you live and why?  Chincoteague Island, VA is my first choice. I love it there.  It's been my happy place for years.

7. What is your biggest regret in life?  Not being a whole lot smarter financially.

8. If you could go back and visit one person in your life who is now dead, and ask one question, what would that question be and why would you ask it?  I'd most want to see my grandmother.  I can't think of anything specific I'd ask her, though.  It would just be wonderful to see her again and spend time with her.

9. If you had the choice to age forward (like we are now) or aging backwards (think Benjamin Buttons) which would you choose and why? I'd continue going forward.  I wouldn't want to deal with the teenage years again.

10. What will the epitaph on your headstone say?  I've gone home.  I hope to see you there one day.

Click the button to visit the Sunday Stealing site and join in the fun!


Saturday 9: Work from Home

Saturday 9: Work from Home (2016)
Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) This song is about a woman who doesn't get to see her lover often enough because he's on the night shift. Have you ever worked nights?  The first "real" job I had was in a foam rubber plant and I had to work alternating shifts...one week on daylight, the next on afternoon shift.  I didn't mind it much at 19, but I don't think I could handle it now. My husband worked afternoon shift for a couple of years.  I hated that.  He was always at work whenever anything was going on with family.

2) She promises that if he takes the day off, she'll make it feel like a vacation. Have you traveled anywhere fun so far this year? Do you have any leisure trips planned for 2017?  No and no.  We have a wedding to put on this year so all money, extra and otherwise is going to that.

3) The ladies of Fifth Harmony are enthusiastic supporters of the Girl Scouts, rewarding troops who excel in fundraising activities with free concerts. The Scouts' best-known fundraiser is their cookie sale.What's your favorite cookie (Girl Scout or otherwise)?  My favorite Girl Scout cookie is the Samoa, but I rarely indulge.  They are so high in calories.  That they are so ridiculously priced these days makes it easier to resist.  My favorite cookie in general, though, is and always will be, the humble homemade chocolate chip cookie.

4) Fifth Harmony also participated in Goodwill's Fall Haul campaign. They encouraged high school students donate as many items as possible to Goodwill, and the winning school got a free concert. When did you last take gently-used items to a resale organization?   Maybe a month or two ago.  I take stuff to Goodwill, the Salvation Army, and St. Vincent de Paul all the time.

5) Do you ever shop second-hand or thrift stores?  All the time, though it's usually for books.  Sometimes I find other things.  

6) Fifth Harmony member Normani Kordei competes on Dancing with the Stars this season. Would you do better on DWTS or The Voice? In other words, are you a better singer or dancer?   I don't know that I'm a good dancer, but it would have to be better than my singing.  I love music and love singing along with my favorite songs, but only when I'm alone so there is no danger of anyone hearing me.  As I like to say, God gave me the heart and soul of a singer, but he gave me the voice of a bull moose with a cold.

7) In February 2016, when this song was first released, The Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl and Spotlight won the Best Picture Oscar. Can you recall who won the 2017 Super Bowl and Best Picture Oscar, just two months ago? I think it was the New England Patriots.  I tend to not care much if the Steelers aren't in it.  As for the Oscars, I have no idea.  I don't watch the awards shows.

8) 2016's most popular TV show was Game of Thrones. Are you a fan? I've never watched it and don't have any desire to.  It just doesn't sound like something that would interest me.

9) Random Question: What's the subject line of the newest message in your email spam folder?  Beach Breaks from just 11 pounds (it actually uses the pound symbol but I don't know how to get that on here).  It's an ad from Trivago.

Thanks for stopping by to have a little fun.  Please stop by and visit Sam at the Saturday 9 blog to join in the fun and find links to other bloggers' posts.

April 6, 2017

Health-full Thanks

It's Thursday and that means it's time to join in with Rebecca Jo for a little showing of gratitude.  Hop on over to her blog every Thursday to join in the fun.

This week I am thankful...

* for today's all-day rain.  I really am.  It will wash away the pollen (at least for a day or two) that has been making that bothersome postnasal drip and cough come back.  All the allergy tests last week came back negative, but it sure feels like allergies to me.

* I saw my PCP today and found out the next steps to find the underlying cause of my respiratory woes.  For one thing, I have to see an eye/ear/nose/throat specialist to see if there's something wrong with my sinuses.  I also have to go to a pulmonologist (spelling?  Is that even a thing?), because while the pulmonary function test shows that my lungs are in good shape and I don't have asthma or COPD or anything like that, way down deep in my lungs I don't exchange oxygen and CO2 like they should.  The suspected reason is sleep apnea so I'm heading for a sleep study in the near future. 

* My mom got a new puppy.  She finally took the leap.  After having to put hers down last year she said no more dogs, but she's been looking at ads for several months now.  She is happy and it gives her something to do.  Meet Lacey!

* There are only 33 days of school left!  We have reached the point in the year when I can't even begin to express how happy that makes me.  Barring any unforeseen nasty weather and school closings our final day is May 26.  I will be done before Memorial Day for the first time ever.

* I have a dentist appointment on Monday and so far my tooth is cooperating by not turning into a full blown tooth ache.  I know it's not far off, but Monday was the soonest I could get an appointment time that didn't require taking time off work.  Spring is the busiest season in the school bus game...lots of sports and field trips.  We've already been told not to bother asking for any time off because the answer will be NO!

* For this little guy who just gets cuter every day and fills my heart with such joy.

* For all of you!  Have a blessed day!

April 4, 2017

The Simple Woman's Daybook: April 2017

For Today

Looking out my window...
it's a wet, gray day, but Spring is showing her face in warm temperatures, green growing grass, and a slow budding of flowers and shrubs.  Oh, and the mess the maple trees are making on the deck.

I am thinking...
of how much I am looking forward to the warm weather and the end of the school year (as that means I am on "vacation" for three months, too). I will probably be doing a lot of babysitting for our youngest grandson while I am 
off and I can't wait for all the fun and adventures we will have during his very first summer.

I am thankful...
that in the search for an underlying cause of the never-ending cough I end up with each winter, all the test results are coming back negative.  No allergies, no pulmonary issues.

One of my favorite things...
this pretty hummingbird suncatcher my husband bought me and this fabulous blue orchid.  (I just couldn't choose between the two!)

I am wearing... 

typical workday attire...jeans, a long-sleeve tee, and hiking shoes because they have more arch support than sneakers.

I am creating...
at least in my head, a new fairy garden for this summer.  My husband expressed how much he liked one he saw in one of my magazines that was in an old suitcase.  I bought a suitcase at an auction and now I'm picking up new items for the fairy village and pondering what plants I want to use.

I am reading...
these books.  One is for the bible study I am in.  I've just begun it and don't have an opinion yet.  The Case for a Creator I picked up at Goodwill.  I enjoy reading the scientific thinking that points to God.  As for the Mary Kay Andrews books, sometimes your mind needs something a little light and just for fun.  I enjoy her stories and her characters.  Plus, she often includes recipes in the books, a few of which I have tried and we have enjoyed greatly.

I am listening to...

I am hoping...
the medical tests my husband has had done recently will point to what is wrong with him.  He has not felt well or been in pain for a few years now and they just can't seem to get a handle on it.  He manages to go to work every day, but beyond that he doesn't do much at all.  It's no way to live and he's only 56.

I am learning...
about faith and how to have more of it. To have strong faith I must believe these five things:

  1. God is who He says He is.
  2. God can do what He says He can do.
  3. I am who God says I am.
  4. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
  5. God's Word is alive and living in me.

In my kitchen...
is a brand new oil-free deep fryer.  I just bought on Saturday.  I have been perusing Pinterest and am excited about all the things that can be cooked in it besides the typical "fried" foods.  I can't wait to start experimenting.  

There is also a bag full of my favorite Tastefully Simple spices.  My friend sells it and had an open house yesterday.  The spice blends are really very good.

In my garden...
nothing is happening so far, but it's still pretty early here.  It's not impossible that we could still see some snow or at least freezing temperatures.  The husband and I are busy planning, though.  If time, health, and finances cooperate, we plan to put in two raised beds this year and fence the majority of the backyard to keep critters out, but also to keep in the two hens I want to have roaming loose.  In addition to researching how to best build and fill the raised beds, I'm also looking into square-foot gardening as a guide for how to plant to get the most out of the beds.  It is lots of fun to plan and dream how the garden will look.

Post Script...
I've recently discovered the website affiliated with the magazine Living the Country Life.  It is an awesome site, just filled with helpful information on just about anything.  Check it out here.

Shared Quote...
I heard this the other day and it really hit me.  It's the chorus from Ryan Stevenson's song, "Eye of the Storm."

In the eye of the storm, You remain in control
And in the middle of the war, You guard my soul
You alone are the anchor, when my sails are torn
Your love surrounds me in the eye of the storm

The image of a ship with torn sails dead in the water and at the mercy of the sea and wind painted such a vivid image of what we are like without the Lord to protect us and keep us steady.

A moment from my day...
As I was the dishes, I see this cute couple on the window sill and they bring back some fun memories. I picked up this salt and pepper set over Christmas when we went to Oglebay to see the lights.  It's Joanie and Chachi from the show Happy Days.  Remember them?  I, like most girls my age, thought Scott Baio (Chachi) hung the moon back in those days.  I also used to hear a lot that I looked like Erin Moran (Joanie).

Here's a picture of me back in the day...

and here is one of Joanie and Chachie.  When my daughter first saw it, a few years back, she wanted to know who was that guy I was with!

Please visit the Simple Woman website
to view more participating bloggers
and to meet the creator and hostess,
Peggy Hostetler.

Have a blessed week, my friends!