Friday, July 31, 2009

An Explosion Of Hats

I love hats. When I was a little girl in the 50's, I had a cool yellow straw hat with flowers on top and a navy ribbon. How I loved it. Then I got a bigger brimmed one with wide pink ribbon hanaging down the back. I remember an elder gentleman at church complemented me on it.
In winter, my favaorite was a white knit with rhinestones. The material was gathered and held by a gold ring to resemble a ponytail.
As a teen, I got a blue velvet Beatles hat. It had a brim and was rounded on top like John Lennon's cap. Remember? I wore it to school. No one else did and I didn't care because I was happy and my German friend loved it.
This winter I got a brown cloche. It was so much fun to figure out diferent roaring twenties outfits to go with it. I received the correct brown shoes for Christmas and had various beads, jackets, lace blouses, etc . What fun .
For sun, I have a safari helmet, an Indiana Jones hat, visors and my Tigers Baseball cap. I wear them on walks, to stores and restaurants.
I also decorate with hats. I have two straw ones in my bedroom - a frilly place. I have the Indie, safari, and a Panama Jack hat in my Brittish Colonial living room.
Hats are just a fun little accessory. I love fedoras, which are in now. My dad always wore one. I do think I'm good for now. Anyone else got the hat craze? I'd love to hear from you. Nancy

Monday, July 27, 2009


This is one of my Pittsburgh pictures. Here are my daughter, my son's fiance, my son, and my husband walking away from me to the park.
This reminds me of the show Bonanza, where the three sons and old Ben, the dad, came riding at the screen all together. They were always united in one purpose. I have an Arizone picture where my three children were small and they are walking away down another path. It is one of my favorite pictures.
Once, the five people in my immediate family were walking side by side to a restaurant. I sang the Bonanza theme. It was jolly.
What I get from these pictues, whether they go forward or towards the camera, whether I'm in them or not, is the sense of family. We are united. We love each other. Next time your family is all in a line, think of your Bonanza moment and rejoice. Nancy

Saturday, July 25, 2009


Have you ever been in a rural cabin or outdoors in tents, or someplace where there were no mirrors? How did that make you feel? Chances are if you were in rugged places, you would wash up, tie your hair back and not worry about how you looked.
I wonder if you have been in a place with too many mirrors, where they seem to be everywhere. Shopping malls can be like that. Every store, every counter, even the shiny windows reveal that you either do or do not look the way you want to look.
At home it's just about right. You can decide when to look. You know where they are and can avoid them if you choose. As one gets older, that last option looks good.
Still, I love the way the shiny objects reflect light. They make a room seem larger, opening it up. A decorative wall with mirrors and pictures can be attractive.
Mirrors reflect what they see externally. It's reality, but it isn't necessaraily true. A woman whose mirror image is so-so can become beautiful when she is animated. This is especially the case when she is excited or sharing the Lord.
I guess all in all, I need a few mirrors. How about you? How long could you go without one?

(Hello to all my readers on my three month blog anniversaary. Since I am around a baby, I am counting months until the year mark and then you will only have to hear about it once a year.
I guess I'm still excited about the whole thing. Nancy)

Friday, July 24, 2009

My Guy, Ty

Here is my little guy, Ty that I got to visit today. He is so sweet. I got to feed him twice, burp him and sing him to sleep. That is all very important. I'm going to publish this now and hopefully write more tomorrow. Isn't he precious?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


When I think of the word "shoes," I think of an old beat up pair of work shoes. The laces are open and trailing. I can picture them being men's shoes or the ones from a little boy of the 50s. They make me smile. Worn in, used, protective, comforting, this all comes to mind.These shoes have been somewhere. They have seen toil and play, travel and rest. They don't look much cared for, but I imagine they are loved.
At the opposite side of the spectrum are a whole line of decorative shoes. Here, I remember my best little girl Easter shoes: black patent leaather with two little squares of rhinestones side by side on each toe. I'v never again had such shoes to capture my heart. Women are supposed to be crazy for shoes. I fit somewhere in the middle. I like plain black ones in different styles to go with everything. I also enjoy something quirky like straw or red heels. I own 15 pa;irs total - not too many.
The Israelites shoes didn't wear out. I have some like that. They go on and on. They take me to church, to see friends and loved ones, and on adventures. They could tell stories. They go in the direction I lead them and are faithful servants.
I try to care for my shoes - to keep them shined and looking new. With some of them, it's a losing battle and they have to go. Scruffy shoes are for work, nice shoes, well, should look nice.
I also own a pair of wooden shoes purchased in Amsterdam. I have definately worn them - when I needed to dress up as a Dutch girl. They also decorate my table at Christmas full of small goodies - just like in their home country.
I want to be like the work shoes with a job to do - shoes that last. I want to be like the ones with a story to tell. I also must be ready to dress up and mix in if that is what the occasion calls for. Even my little quirkiness can be used if I apply it right. Here's to shoes! May they always carry me closer to the Lord.

Monday, July 20, 2009


What are you passionate about these days? The Lord asked me that question awhile ago.
Let's see. I'm passionate about justice or lack thereof. I am very excited about healing. I'm wild about salvation and the way a person can be changed completely into a new man.
I love the words the Lard speaks to me. I love the idea of leaving my mark, or more importantly doing the thing I was called for - even though I'm still searching. I'm passionate about worship and joy and more joy.
I'm crazy about the written word, the way the written word can move a person, the beauty of a phrase.
It's hard to explain how I just get so moved with words. Dawn - my daughter's name. It's supposed to be the most beautiful word in the English language. The words "the Dayspring on high," and "deep calls to deep," from the Bible.
I have a little manilla envelope chock full of quotes. They are from non-fiction, novels, the radio, church signs, road signs, and anything that moves me. My quotes don't just sound good, they inspire. They say things in a different way, cause me to go in a new direction.
I hope that somethwhere in my blog someone will find something to remember. Nancy

Sunday, July 19, 2009

This and That

This is just a short one today. I had trouble with my internet device and had to take it back already. The new one is "coming through," but it is giving me a hard time getting on my email and even getting back to my inbox from one of the entries. It isn't quite right yet, but I don't know what the problem is.
The good news. My screen is beautiful and it is so nice to work in my room and work on my blog.
I got to see my new grandson today and held him for awhile. He just keeps getting better and better.
We have had great guest speakers at church lately. They and our regular pastor have been very encouraging.
Thanks for all of your comments. Nancy

Thursday, July 16, 2009

New is Better? Yes!

What a lot of information to assimilate at once. I feel like Alice lost in Wonderland. Every move I make on the computer is so sensitive and very different from my other machine. I remember when I got my electric typewriter. I was a young mother who loved to write. They didn't sell manual typewriters anymore. So I got my wonderful electric. I was so happy and proud of it. I bought it with my own money and my family and I shopped for it together. I finally got used to it. So much so that when my kids needed a computer, we had to put my "baby" out to pasture. It hurt, but when a writer can so easily fix typos and not need white out or those silly "retype-it" papers, well I adjusted.
We eventually got yet another computer, the one we are now discarding. It's from '98 so you can imagine how out of date that was. Now I have my lovely laptop and new inernet, which I mentioned. I'm still working out the bugs and probably will be for a long time.
Here's the thing. I'm in my own little room at a very comfy dresser/desk and I can work at night if I can't sleep. God is so good. Everything is one step at a time. Nancy

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Beads In a Necklace of Service

I am doing this on my new computer and my new internet coverage. So far so good.
Here is a letter I found when I was reading last night.

Scribed by Gracie Prior
Dearest One,
I think I can speak to you without any problem. Don't be upset over recent developements. All that seems to be a wasteland is merely the turning of the page. Iwant you to look to Me and lean on Me so tha I can give you marching orders.
I know you get a great idea and then it bursts. I see your heartache over delayed plans and what seems like a lot of false starts. But I am going to pick up all the pieces, like several strings of beads all laid out, unfinished (you see, I was finished with that strand for now - at the height of pefection) and I am now picking them all up and weaving a gorgeous necklace of service for My Kingdom. It will bear fruit.
Do not try to analyze your life, but put it on autopilot of trust in Me. You don't even have to drive, you see? I have set the course.
Now just leave all to Me. I will filll your larder - soon. Just look in My eyes. When it seems you are alone, know I am here. You will never lack for love, for I love you forever.
Your Abba
(Sometimes when I read my letters, I just feel I have one that should be shared. Be encouraged. Nancy)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Partners of Grace

"Greet all the saints in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me send greetings. All the saints send you greetings, especially those who belong to Caesar's household." Phil.4:21,22 NIV

I thought that was curious when I read it. The Student Bible explains that when Paul was in jail in Rome and wrote to the Phillippians, there were conversions daily in the Roman palace with the soldiers and guards due to Paul's ministry. So these converted people were most anxious to greet the people of Phillippi They were new, they were excited. They wanted to share the good news.
I also thought of godly people who might work with or near people of influence in the world, with presidents, prime ministers, leaders. These servants and friends can have a wonderful effect on a daily basis. We can pray for them even though we don't know their names. We can thank God that He works in many ways, even in Caesar's household.
Father, we give thanks to you for your many ways of working, for all You do, for all You are. Amen
(It comforts me to think on these things and partner with them. Nancy)

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Saturday was quite a day for me. It started by my going to get some pictures from my digital camera at Meijers. I got great scenes from that Pittsburg Pirates/Tigers baseball game I told you about. Such a pretty city. I got some of Mother's Day and Father's Day, and a few of the new baby. Now I have an actual picture to carry around. Everyone has been so nice about wanting to see the picture. I have great friends.
The next big thing is that I finally got a laptop computer with the help of my son, Ben. I just need to get some internet improvements and I can use it. Then I can put a picture or two on my blog. Yeah!
Our church took a bus to Comerica Park (Detroit), to see the Tigers play. It was loads of fun. We didn't win, but we did see a great home run by one of our brightest "stars". Then we were surprised with gorgeous fireworks. What a glorious display of sight, sound, and color. I didn't get to see any on the 4th, so was very pleased to have such a treat.
Sunday, the baby made his first appearance at our church, so that was a lot of excitement.
I centainly hope all of you had a great time, too. Much love, Nancy

Friday, July 10, 2009

Getting Started

(This essay was written some years ago. I wanted to do a magazine for teenage girls. It didn't happen, but I did several articles for it. I want this blog to be for the family, too. So if you have teenage girls in the home, this might help them. I believe parts of it can help others as well. Nancy)
By Gracie Prior
The hardest part of any project is starting it. Do you often put off doing all kinds of tasks? There are probably many reasons for doing this. You don't enjoy the task, you think it will be too hard, you think you might fail, it's no fun, you're to busy doing something else (watching TV?)
Let's go over these reasons which are all called procrastination - putting off something that needs to be done. If the task is boring, no fun, or you simply don't like doing it, there is one type of remedy. Find the fun . There's a song from the musical Mary Poppins called "A Spoonful of Sugar." The line says, "In every task that must be done, there is an element of fun, just find the fun and snap, the job's a game." Whatever the fun is, find it. Even math can be fun. It's just a number puzzle and a puzzle is a game.
What's a yucky task? How about cleaning the tolet? That's no fun al all. Why not put your Zud or Bon Ami right in the toilet, flush and see how much stain you can get off before the water comes back in? Can you get a little more done every week?
Let's say this is a job that may be hard, or you might fail - like schoolwork. This type of putting off fails under the heading of perfectionism. You think you're not a perfectionist? Nothing is ever done perfectly? But do you want it to be? Are your standards too high? If you ae putting something off because yo think you won't do well, you're a perfectionist. This little fact surprised me, too. Know that no one is perfect and no task is ever completed perfectly. It's O.K. to fail if you have sincerely done the best you can without striving - trying to be perfect.
Relax. Begin easy and go back and fix up or get rid of the early bad starts after you get going well. The important thing is to start. If you are doing math, at least try all of the problems. Note the ones you don't understand and ask for help the next day.
In writing, get something on paper. You get better as you go along. A quick rewrite can fix up your mistakes later. After you get your ideas on paper, bo gack and polish your work. I'm not a fan of guessed spelling or sloppy grammar. Look up a word in the dictionary and check out a grammar book. (If you dn't have these reference books, libraries do.) There's no excuse to be sloppy. I'm just trying to get you moving and to realize your work can be good, even excellent, but not perfect.
After you have done your best, quit. Quit stewing about it and turn it in. Many lessons are learned from mistakes and failures. Schools should include a learining process. Next time, don't make the same mistakes. You always go higher, but with joy, not stress.
If you are wasting time and a job needs to be done, you need diligence and motivation. Diligence is hard word and it has its own reward. You get strengthened each time you successfully completa a task, especially a difficult one. It won't be as hard the next time. And the Bible states that "all labor has value."
To be motivated, think what good things will happen when you are done: a clean room (or toilet,) a good grade, a check mark on your "to do" list, a feeling of accomplishment, a gift for your parents. Don't think of these activities as work, think of them as what you do, a part of yourself.
My favorite way to get moving is to get out all my materials before I am ready to start the project. If I am going to clean house a 3:00, I get out the vacuum, dust rags and srpay at about 2:30. I finish what I am doing, or rest. Then, at 3:00, I just have to start up the vacuum. Getting out things is often a stumbling block to a new activity. Let the new project start ar "paragraph two" (so to speak). As you finish project "A", you still have a bit of momentum. Set up porject B. Rest. This is iportant so you aren't overwhelmed and don't feel sorry for yourself. Then do project "B" at "paragraph two" and you will already be on the way. To use another metaphor, you will be starting the new job at 50 mph instead of going from a dead stop.
When you are done, clean up. You still have energy. And set up the next chore. Be sure to save time at the end of the day, or seveal times during the day to unwind, rest, think, play, be creative, or just be. You're a person, not a machine. Rest should be built right into your day and your week. Enjoy your projects.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Skein

I get frustrated so easily. It seems that unusual things are happening all over the place with my computer. I don't really get why it jumps here and there, erases what I want and plays silly games with me. Usually I can take it, but when I'm on a schedule it is hard to put up with the nonsense. My car clicker is tempermental, too. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. It works when my husband "tries" it. Enough technology. Let's go back to the simpler days.
Oh, yes, lets go back to chopping wood, churning butter, hauling water, making all the food from scratch. I don't think so. Being almost a non-cook, I'd be in deep water.
But how about the days when we were kids. We had phones, television, cars, radios. That's about it. I can deal with those. Society doesn't wait for me to catch up I'm afraid. So the best thing I can do is work at the new stuff, keep my schedule as lean as I can when doing techno things, and rely on the grace of God.
I feel like I'm in a big tangle of yarn right now. When I try to undue one thing, another gets messed up. Maybe He will illuminate the the thread and I can see a way through all the turnings. I hope so. Nancy

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Expectations of Good

Scribed by Gracie Prior
Dearest One,
I have good for you. I want you to wake every day with expectations of good. I have jobs for you. I will lead you step by step. You don't need to fret for I will show you what to do. You can be at peace. I will continue to drop joy and contentment on you and a realization of my all sufficience. Keep uppermost in your heart my ability. There isn't anything I can't do and I want to do many things for you and through you.
Let your trust be totally in Me. I have the answer for every problem and I want to give it to you.
Whether a day brings good or bad circumstances, know that I am bringing about answers to your prayers.
Don't fret over your family. Pray earnestly, but know that I have begun a good work in them and I will finish that work. Household salvation is real and it is for you.
Love, Abba

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Sandwich

Does it sound like I repeat myself on some of my devotion themes? It occurred to me that I did. I seem to give a lot of examples of the same thing. I guess I do that because that's what God does for me. He sends me a piece of a wafer thin sandwich. It might be e promise, a new scripture, an encouraging word dropped into my day, even a street sign or billboard. Each piece is delicious in itself, but not hearty. One day I realize that all the pieces have been put tkogether and what I have is heavy. What a great meal it makes.
I'm thinking there may be someone out there who gets one piece, says, "yeah, yeah, I've heard that before." But if the pieces keep mounting up and piling on, she may say ,"Oh, I see. I get it. That's for me." You never know which example will touch the heart just right and cause the whole to be a nourishing, satisfying, even saving feast. At least, that is my hope. Nancy

Sunday, July 5, 2009

My First Peek

Last night I finally got to see my new grandson. My daughter said that I was a baby hog, meaning that of the ten people there, I held the baby the most. She's right. No one else was pushing their way forward, so I did spend a lot of time gazing at one beautiful baby boy. Lots of dark hair sticking out eveywhere, navy blue eyes, and the sweetest face I can remember. He was so good with all those people there. Lots of the others took a turn holding him, too. But after such a long wait, I just enjoyed my first moments with him to the max. Love you baby Tyrus.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Independence Day

I wasn't going to blog today, but then I got to thinking (I love to do that) and I decided it would be fun. This one's for me and I hope you enjoy it.
I am way behind, but I decided to decorate for the 4th of July. I got up and even before breakfast, I got out my patriotic stuff. I took the yellow pitcher of flowers off my diningroom table and replaced it with a whirlygig Uncle Sam statue, a red white and blue Santa, and five red speckled sewn stars that my mother made. They made a joyful statement. Then I hung my flag angel and flag star from the knobs of my buffet These crafts were from my daughter's girlscout leader. I put a flag bandana, folded in thirds, on the flat surface and added my flag basket in the corner. Wow, I didn't realize how many flag things I owned.
I have a little plastic circle thing that holds flags that I got in Frankenmuth. Frankenmuth is a wonderful place. There are two major restaurants: Bavarian Inn and Zehnders. Both serve fabulous family-style chicken dinners. I love the Bavarian side, because its decor is German and the costumes and decorations are so cute. Zehnders is Colonial American design.
Well, they both have great gift shops and I got most of my flags there. I have a Bavarian Inn flag, an American flag from the 50's from my daughters Molly/American Girl collection, a Michigan flag, a regular American flag, and a Christian flag. That collection is on my chest in the dining room.. Then I found an old Michigan license plate from 1976. I almost threw it away when we moved. I'm glad I didn't, because that's the year my first son was born. It's a Bicentennial flag and lools like a work of art. Finally, I have a piece of stars and stripes ribbon I hung loosly with my Panama Jack hat in the living room. It sounds like overkill, but surprisingly, it's not too bad.
This afternoon, I'm watching "Yankee Doodle Dandy," with James Cagney. I love it. It's my only "for sure" 4th of July tradition. Black and white movies are my style, musicals are fun, and I believe the message from the film about honoring your country never grows old. Then, there is that fabulous dancing. It makes my heart sing!
Tonight, I get to see my grandson for the first time. I can't wait. How do you celebrate the 4th? I'd love to hear from you. Have a great Independence Day and a wonderful weekend. Nancy

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Keeper

By Gracie Prior
I believe that I am a "keeper." "When my second son was born, he weighed nine pounds and three ounces. When I took him to my doctor, he looked at him and said, "he's a keeper." Did that mean he's a big one, like you would keep a big fish? It was a compliment and I think he meant, he's really cool. When I say, I'm a "keeper," I don't have these sentiments in mind at all. No, I am an "observer of rites." This is Webster's definition of the word.
"Observer of rites." has a wonderful sound. I believe every family should have an archivist who details the history of the family. Through journals, photo albums, scrapbooks, boxes of artwork, and small memorabilia, a history takes place that can be assessed at any time. When I look at my photo album and see a picture of myself sitting in a chair wearing a simple outfit, and my two small boys wearing somewhat mismatched clothes, I laugh. I see the smiles on all of our faces and I know that being with them was more important than having a better wardrobe.
Seeing into our history, we can see our mistakes and our achievements. As an observer of rites, I have preserved my family's joyful journey through three high school graduations, three college graduations, a sweet sixteen party, a wedding, a twenty-fifth anniversary, and a new grandson. Coming up is another wedding to be documented as well as much about the baby.
In my albums, there are photos which, just to look at them, cause me pain. I know someone wasn't happy that day. There was the quarrel, the accident, the illness, the rainy vacation. My mind is keen to remember each snippet of time and in these sad ones, I try to think what I could have done differently.
"Keeping" is not collection junk. That is not my intention. I am fastidious about going through things on a regular basis and throwing out what is not important, to make room for what is new. I start with the new joys in our lives, record them in some way and then gather up all the old treasures and cherish them. Living in the present is essential, but the very act of recording adds value to the events themselves. For example, I underline in my books to remember, often not going back to reread. Noting the special words imbeds them in memory. So an archivist always records, not just to save, but to underline the value of the present.
Though a family may not appreciate a keeper, a vital service has been performed. Without a keeper, how would progress be evaluated? A keeper is, in every sense of the word, desirable.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

God of Details

Read Matthew 6:28,29

God is involved in all the details of our lives. Have you ever stood in front of your closet and wondered what to wear? When that happens, God picks out an outfit for me. Sometimes it just looks so cool and contains pieces I would never put together, and other times it's a plain outfit. I hear Him say, " wear this." In the former situation I may get compliments, but in the latter, I may never know why He asked me to wear the outfit. I treasure that because I know God is doing something special. Maybe it reminds someone of their daughter or their mother or maybe He just wants me to be a good steward and use what I have. It's just a little obedience thing. God is the God of details and little things. He is showing His loving care in all areas - even on "I have nothing to wear days."

Father, I thank you for all of your wonderful gifts. I love you, the God who put all things together well.