Wednesday, December 29, 2010

And Then The Kings Came

I love the story of the kings, or wise men, because it extends Christmas a little bit. The second chapter of Matthew tells of how they searched for the young Child and the text says they went into the house and worshiped Him. I don't know the period of time between the birth and the king's arrival, but they were still in Bethlehem. This doesn't ruin the story for me. It doesn't bother me that my manger scene has the kings in attendance. Who wants two scenes across the room from each other, one of the shepherds and one of the kings? The important thing is that both rich and poor, wise and simple worshipped the King. It's kind of neat how the traditional grouping represents everyone. Some of them have ethnic figures. All can be and are represented. Even a little shepherd boy could represent the children. Mary can represent the women since she was the first to adore Him.

I love that the kings outsmarted King Herod. I love how many dreams are involved in this whole nativity story, all to protect our wonderful Savior. I love that since the gifts came later, we can go into the new year and extend Christmas with our gifts of love and service. Christmas never truly ends. The story just goes on with all the wonderful things Jesus did and up to and through the cross. And finally we (in Acts and beyond) become a part of it. How I want to rejoice with all of this glorious Good News.

My heart's desire is that you may have a very blessed and Happy New Year! Nancy

Friday, December 24, 2010


I want to wish every one of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Victory! While I don't know the details of my test report yet, the doctor called and said that it was "All Good News." That's the word I have been waiting for. God is so faithful. Thanks so much for your many prayers for me.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Building Blocks

My little grandson has three sizes of plastic blocks. He has enormous ones in primary colors where the knobs that you stick the next block on are about 2" across. Then he has what are called Duplo or Lego blocks. These are the smallest. They are like regular Legos only a bit bigger for toddlers. He loves to dump these and swish them around. They make a great sound. He likes to take apart what I make and dump towers. He occasionally will build something, but it is difficult for him yet. Then he has these intermediate size blocks. They are many colors, some pastel, and the knobs are longer. He is able to stick these together very well. He still likes to take apart my imaginative creations, but that is part of the fun.

I was pondering on my bed one night, when I couldn't sleep, and I began to think of building blocks. We are all given a set. Some of us get primary colors, some pastels, some plain ones. The sizes vary as well. We can't choose the colors of our blocks, the size, whether they are easy to build with, whether we get some extra fancy parts that hep enhance the over all project. We all get a set.

Do you put your blocks on a shelf and refuse to build? "I can't build much, so I'm just going to rest." We put Ty's small blocks on the table after he has dumped them and played for a while. We get them out later so he can have another try. When he points, we build. I wouldn't want to be the one to squelch a creation he was about to make that day.

So you are building with the set you are assigned. Do you stick to one way, feel bored and put them away - unhappy with what you have been given? Or do you take that simple set and start from an entirely different place and suddenly make something that could not even be made with the best set of blocks?

We are not judged on the exquisite creation we have made, only on the fact that we took what we had and we applied it to God's purpose of furthering the Kingdom.

I am extremely excited this year-end to assess my blocks, look at them differently, and make an entirely inventive and useful creation in the new year. What about you? Are you ready to build?

"So they said, "Let us rise up and build." Then they set their hands to this good work." Nehemiah 2:18

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Worship Me In Truth

"I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." John 14:6

Richard Halverson was chaplain of the senate in the 80s. He wrote a book called No Greater Power. In it he asks: "Do you have faith in God or in your ideas about God?" He says that if He is limited to your understanding, then He is too small and you are worshiping an idol.

When we have a problem or are in tough circumstances, if we reckon God to be just what we can conceive and no more, He's too small, faith falters, and we don't see the true God. We need to believe His omnipotence, even if we don't understand it. As we think of these things, we are offering acts of worship to the one true God.

Prayer: Father, today, at this holy Christmas season, we come to you though Jesus and bring offerings of praise and recognize that you are a great and awesome God. Amen

*Thursday I had my surgery. It all went very well. I had the most fabulous nurses and all day the first day, I had no pain. Praise the Lord. Your faithful prayers carried me through. I am now awaiting word on the tests which I believe will be according to God's word.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Back In Time

Saturday evening my husband and I invited our neighbors to go on the "old Fogey bus" and tour Greenfield Village by night. This is in Dearborn, Michigan and it is a place of many recreated shops and venues, some actually taken apart and shipped there. There is also a Henry Ford Museum attached to it, but that wasn't included.

So, the four of us arrived at the bus in time to get great seats. I was able to catch up with all sorts of stories about my friend's doings and found out a lot more about her.

When we arrived it was chilly, but we were all bundled up. The lights on trees and buildings were lovely. Every so often, a pyre let out its warmth and light. Carolers roamed the facility, some in Dickensian outfits.

We waited in a line similar to the twisty ones at Disneyland and were able to have a Model T ride around the area. These cars are authentic and they sure looked and ran great.

I saw the chapel that I remembered seeing when I was a little girl. It was so gorgeous all lit up. It was just a great nostalgia trip for me. Also felt that way when I saw the Wright Brothers Cycle shop and a jewelry store where two figures gong the bell on the hour.

We wandered into a glassblowers. It was all dark except for the fires. The young men were pulling a length of glass candy cane material the length of the room. We were just in time to see them finish the process. Then it cools and they cut up for canes.

We heard a tinsmith tell all about pierced lanterns and watched him solder a small ring for a project. The people in the buildings were very knowledgeable about their subjects.

At the end, we went to the gift shop and were able to purchase "whatever" with our "fun money" that was given to us on the bus. I got a coin necklace and teeny tiny copper penny earrings. They are too cute. Then it was off to the bus so we could all sit down and wait for departure. We had one more surprise: fireworks. I went out to see them, but a mist was coming so I went back in the bus and we all saw and heard a great show right there through the windows.

I thing it is great that the facility puts this on every year. Every one who worked there was so full of holiday cheer. It truly set the scene for a very Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Songs Of Christmas

Another part of Christmas that I love is the music. I will sing along, even though my voice is not what it could be. Of the secular songs, my favorite is Sleigh Ride. I also love Winter Wonderland and The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year (as sung by Andy Williams.)

There is another pretty song called "At Christmas," by the group Hanson (the group that did "Um Bop" a few years ago. It is one they wrote themselves and is all about family, gathering together, and the real meaning of Christmas.

I love the carols the best. My favorite is O Come O Come Emmanuel. Then I love Joy To The World, O Holy Night, and What Child Is This.

There are some lines in these songs, usually down in the extra verses, that just thrill me:
In Joy To The World, a line says, "He comes to make His blessings flow, far as the curse is found.
In O Come All Ye Faithful, a line says, "Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing."
And in Hark The Herald Angels Sing, we get "Come Desire of nations, come, fix in us thy humble home.

So this wonderful season, let the rich words and the music fill your heart with joy.

*My medical appointment didn't go exactly the way I had hoped it would. There was an afternoon session where your prayers truly helped. I'm so glad you were there for me. It turns out that I have to have surgery and a medical surgical test connected with it. The date for surgery is Thursday, Dec. 16th. After that, I may tell details. Right now I just want to be more general. I'm getting wonderful scriptures and I know God is with me.

*The tree picture is for Jeanette and anyone else who wanted to see "the most beautiful tree ever." Well to me it is.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Decorating The Tree X Three

I was so excited to decorate after Thanksgiving. The tree with its lights is one of my favorite parts of Christmas. I love to sit in the evening with all the lights off except the tree and just enjoy its beauty. I may put on Christmas music, or just sit and think - one of my favorite pastimes. It helps keep me relaxed and all pulled together.

So I hauled my big bags of artificial tree from the shed, well my husband did. Then I got to work and dug in. Putting on the lights is my least favorite part because I wrap each limb and that takes time and because dividing a triangle tree into thirds for the lights and garlands is difficult. Well I got it all done, lights, garlands, beads and I hear, "crack, crunch." My tree fell over just after I got a few ornaments on. I caught it so there was no breakage, except for that old tree stand.

My faithful husband came from his "man cave" and taped it back together for me, after telling me I had to take all of the lights off so he could fix it. No problem, "grrrrr."

Now any other year, I would have been in a fit at the prospect of doing the lights over. But this year, many things have taught me a bit of patience and perspective, thank you, Jesus.

After doing the tree again and putting on a few ornaments, the whole thing crashed again at my feet. My husband comes in and says if I take it all down, he can fix up something. So after he fixes up a very large flower pot with wet pea gravel and sticking the pole their in, I decorate the tree for the third time. I used my head though. I tied the tree to the bookcase.

No sooner did I get the lights on, than over went the pole and the wet pea gravel dumped on my floor. I was done decorating for the day.

In the evening, my husband asked if I was willing to do the tree one more time. (I neglected to tell you that putting the tree up three times meant sticking all of the branches in one by one on all 7 rounds of the tree and taking them off.) He thought he could get a real tree holder and use it to screw around the stem of the tree. I actually said fine, because in spite of all the work, I loved that tree. We had used it many years in our family. Then he said, "Or, I can get you a new artificial tree tomorrow."

And that is how I got my gorgeous, skinny branched so you can see the ornaments, pre-lit, all in three easy pieces, new Christmas tree. I love it. It was all worth it. It is the prettiest tree I have ever seen.

Tomorrow is the big day. I'm going in for my evaluation. Thank all of you for your prayers. They are greatly appreciated and help me to know that I have loving support behind me. Remember, I pray for all of you on a regular basis and consider it a privilege to do so. You are the best. Nancy

Saturday, December 4, 2010


About two weeks ago I got a medical diagnosis that was in the "serious" category, according to the doctors. I am going in to the hospital on Wed., Dec. 8 for an evaluation. They aren't going to do any treatment that day. They are supposed to do another opinion on a test that they took at the first appointment.

I am asking all of you, my good friends, for prayer. I am not overly concerned about the ultimate results, because the Lord has promised me a long life in Psalm. 91. He specifically gave that to me as an answer to a question several years ago.

What I truly want is a victory. I want a victory over this diagnosis. And I want a testimony of healing. I have so many scriptures, books, articles, notes, and things God has written to me, all on healing. I want to be able to pray for others. This time alone with God has been fabulous. He gives me daily just the words I need to hear. I am believing for a healing, a victory, and a testimony.

I don't think this is presumption because of all of the things He has shown to me over the years.
So I am believing for a good report on Wed., and I know that whatever happens, I am in His loving hands. Thanks for your prayers. Nancy

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Family Pictures

Ever since I can remember, whenever my family (now or then) gets together, there are always family pictures.

The earliest ones I can remember are when my sisters and I would go to Columbus, Ohio and visit my grandparents on my dad's side. This group always included my first cousins, the ones who had the Hawaiian party not too long ago. Well, Grandpa would get us on the steps, as you see in one of my pictures, or he would get us all behind a couch with the adults in sitting mode.

When we visited my mom and dad after I was in Michigan, my kids, their first cousins, and the whole group had to do "the family thing." My dad had a tripod so he could be in the picture too. That was pretty neat. We all stood there with silly grins on our faces and waited for him to run into the picture. Then, flash, it was done. We have these from Thanksgivings, Christmases, and Easters.

Well, the habit didn't stop with my dad. No, I got the picture taking gene. I took the color picture on this post of our group when my kids were teens and younger. Everyone was down in the basement to watch my daughter and I do a clogging routine which we thought was pretty good at the time.

I love to look at all of these group pictures and see how we have all changed over the years. Even though I think it may be a funny, quirky, family thing, these pics are some of my favorite. I love to think of the groans behind all the participants as yet another shot is needed.

I realize that not everyone wants their pictures taken. My husband will only agree on special occasions. If it's not special enough, he won't smile. (Ha, Ha.)

So how about you? Do you do the picture taking? Do you like having your picture taken? And lastly, do you have stacks of comical family pictures in your possession that are just too cool to part with?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Turkey Cookies

Hope you are still glowing over your Thanksgiving feast and family moments. I thought it would be fun to share a recipe idea with you. Now I'm hardly the domestic type, I don't even cook most of the time, but the birthday cakes and holiday treats have always been left to me.

When my children were young, I came across a cute turkey cookie cutter from Hallmark. It's the type where it has a back and the designs come out as indentations.

Here's what you do. Find your favorite sugar cookie recipe. In mine which is from a Betty Crocker's Cookbook, I just make a few changes. Instead of using part shortening, I use all butter. That smells fantastic when the cookies come out of the oven. Then for icing, use confectioners sugar. Get out three little bowls. After the cookies are cooked, mix about 1/2 cup sugar in a bowl with a food color, (yellow, red, and green.) Add water slowly and at the same time, add equal amounts of lemon juice until the mixture is the right consistency. (Extra lemon juice never hurts. In fact, this ingredient is the secret that makes the cookies so good.) Just play with it to taste. Alternate green and yellow on the tail feathers. Use red for the head and wattle.

My daughter and I made a double batch this year. We have made these almost non-stop through the years. Sorry I didn't get around to putting this on so you could do it for Thanksgiving this year, but this works for Christmas cookies, too. We always get lots of compliments. Hope you like this idea and that it works out for you.

Monday, November 22, 2010

My Reasons

I won't have time to blog till after Thanksgiving, so I will do my thoughts a bit early.

We met a man going grocery shopping today who used to be the principal of my children's school. He looked so happy and spoke with such enthusiasm about how much we have to be thankful for. He is right. My heart overflows with love when I think of all of my many blessings.:

First of all I remember the day I met Jesus Christ as a person and not just someone I knew things about. That was a great day and every day I am thankful for my salvation and His presence and all He is, all He is to me.

Second, I am full of gratitude for my family. My wonderful husband and I have had 37 wonderful married years together. When you get older, some thing get sweeter.

Third comes my children whom I love more than I can say. They have all chosen such kind, loving, and wonderfully suited mates who make three more children to love.

Fourth is my grandson who fills me with more joy and wonder every day.

Fifth is my country which I love so dearly and have such warm hopes for our future as a nation.

Along with that, is number 6, freedom of religion. I can pray, I can go to my own church, I can tell about my faith. That is a great blessing right there.

Next comes good health and all of the medical helpers we have at our convenience.

Number 8 is tasty, nutritious food, housing (my little "cottage"), and heat in the winter and air in the summer.

I am thankful for the arts and beauty. For music, painting, dancing, theater, nature, and the loveliness of other people.

Lastly, I am blessed with all the mental things to do, jobs and writing, creativity of every sort, God's plans for us and our responses to Him.

Of course this is just the beginning. I am thankful now for life and for this time I am in.

May you all have a truly blessed Thanksgiving Day. Love, Nancy

Friday, November 19, 2010

Trying To Keep The Horse Before the Cart

My daughter, Dawn, and I went shopping two weeks ago and I bought some of that pretty fabric ribbon for my Christmas packages. They always have good sales at this time. While out, I picked up a gift for Dawn which she said she wanted. My first gift of the season. Then a week later, she helped me order some things online. I have received two of them so far. Wow, that was fast!

I usually leave all shopping and even the lists until after Thanksgiving. It's just hard for me, a person of order, to put the cart before the horse. But when opportunity strikes, I have to take advantage of it.

Usually I finish up with all my gifts by about the middle of December or a bit later. I don't like cutting it too close in case we have a snowstorm and I can't get out.

I never go out shopping on Black Friday or the Saturday after either. There could be the greatest discounts ever and I would just have to say "Oh, well." I don't care for crowds and I would be disappointed if the items I wanted were already gone. Besides, those two days are great to relax. This year, I plan on putting up my tree the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I can't wait. Christmas music, decorating, and everything in order. Ah, that's the spirit.

Do any of you brave souls go out and shop directly after Thanksgiving? I'd love to hear your short accounts of those days. Love, Nancy

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Favorite Songs

I love music and I thought it would be fun to list my favorite songs. I have two groups, secular and Christian.

Secular: Probably my all time favorite in this category is Unchained Melody. My husband and I saw the Righteous Brothers at the beautiful Fisher Theater in Detroit. When the main singer of that song, I believe it was Bill Medley finished, he said, " (some other singer I have forgotten, )eat your heart out") It was fantastic. Next comes Percy Sledge singing, When A Man Loves A Woman. After that, "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother. I love the lyrics and the haunting harmonica in that one. Rod Stewart singing, Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye. Two others, Willie Nelson's You Were Always On My Mind, and As Time Goes By, from Casablanca.

I guess you can tell that I have a great love for the ballad.

Christian songs: A Mighty Fortress with words by Martin Luther, Faithful One, As The Deer, I Will Celebrate Your Love Forever Yahweh, Let It Rise, Arise.

I also love these hymns: Be Thou My Vision (ancient Irish tune,) Above The Hills (to the tune of Danny Boy,) This Is My Song (tune is Finlandia,) Song Of Joy (Beethoven,) and Holy, Holy, Holy.

I especially love two Thanksgiving songs: We Gather Together and Come Ye Thankful People Come. The extra verses have such great words and the tunes are so sweet. I love to think myself in a small church in the evening about this time - lights are low, and we sing out one of these songs. This takes me back to my childhood, and makes me think of God and history and good things.

I think other people have done favorite songs on their blogs, but I haven't had the chance to list mine. Are there any on my list that you just love? Which are your favorites? They can be totally different.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Children's Rooms

I can still see the imposing yellow building in downtown Mansfield, Ohio. I walk in the door and a huge room awaits me. To the right is the very young child's books. Here, on the bottom shelves is the tall book area where I used top get all of my Flicka, Ricka, and Dicka books. There were comfy cushions to sit on. Above this seat was a blue and white round plaque of a baby in swaddling clothes. Turning 180 degrees, a clear glass case always held magnificent artifacts of one type and another. Going on to the further right, I progressed to the chapter books. These at the time weren't paperback, but something wonderful called library binding. They were often painted on the covers and were smooth and just felt wonderful. Then, to the far end and all around the rest of the room were the older child fiction and all of the non-fiction. I never made it to much of the non-fiction, except for a few of those orange biographies I needed for school work.

We could take out three books and they were due in two weeks. So every other week, we went downtown and got reloaded. It took me a long time to read books then. In the summer they had a reading program. You got a sticker for every book read and if you got so many, you got to choose a book. I dreamed of what book I would choose. My sticker sheet always had only three or four animals on it. I never did very well. My sister made it to all of the levels and got a book. My mom encouraged her to choose a poetry book. It was very nice. I guess she didn't think having a favorite story book around was very important. Once when I wanted a book because my cousin had one, she said, "you read it and them what do you do with it?" Oh, what indeed. I have to say in her defense that she got me some books for Christmas and I cherished them.

Now that I am in children's rooms at libraries again with my grandson, (Oh, I know, it's really for me,) I have noticed how beautiful they are. They have intriguing books displayed, have large counters full of things children love, and lots and lots of choices of wonderful, colorful books. And they have toys. We never had toys at my old library. But some of these do. Their goal is to get the children interested in books at a very young age, even if they just listen to the stories. My Ty is just finishing his first library time with other children. He loved it. They do songs, finger plays, and easy books. Plus, he gets to interact with other children and their nice mommies, daddies, and Nanas.

I think some of the sweetest people are children's librarians. They are always kind to me, even when I am just there by myself.
So, for a free experience where the only requirement is to be young at heart, go visit a children's room at the library. It's a very fun place to be.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Short Hair, Long Hair, New Hair, Old Hair

I decided to let my hair grow long again. I've had it short for a year now and I miss that nice hair at the back of my neck. Also, last spring, I couldn't wear my Tigers' baseball cap because it looked silly with my hair do. Next spring, I hope to have it long enough so I can do a ponytail and put it through the hole in the back of the cap. Love it.

I truly appreciate all of the kind comments about my short hair. I agree that it looked neat and cute most of the time. It was very easy. But I can never have short hair for very long. I'm sort of a Rapunzel kind of girl. I always wanted long hair when I was younger and my mom liked it in a shorter style, (except for my 4th grade ponytail year, one of the best years of my like but that's a different story.)

I'm thinking I may have a bit of a Samson complex, too. For some reason, I feel better, more myself with a little longer hair. Not stronger, just better. I realize that even though I can make the do nice on Sundays and special occasions with the curling iron, straightener, or both, most days, it won't look as good as it did a few months ago, before this growing out mess I have right now. I can live with that. When it is a bit longer, say just at shoulder length, and it looks nice, I feel great. I feel like I can lick the world. Silly, it's just hair. And one thing is certain, if, after I grow it out and I hate it, or it drags me down, I can always cut it the way it was this year and hope it looks cute again. It looks like a win-win situation.

I'm wondering, do you go around and around with the short hair, long hair thing? Or do you stick with one signature style?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Getting Out The Wools

One thing I do look forward to at this time of year is getting out all of the cold weather clothes. I have several nice wool jackets and a few plaid skirts.. These are my delight no matter whether plaid is in or out. I guess there's a little bit of "school girl uniform" in me even though I never went to a private school. I just love that look. I can still wear my favorite long red plaid kilt, a white blouse, black wool jacket, and some pin and feel as preppy as the next person.

I can also wear my blown cloche hat, my biased cut brown and maroon skirt, my maroon sweater with the cuffs, long beads, and be a flapper.

Another look I like is my leopard corduroy skirt and my black wool lady sweater. I always wear gold jewelry with that and feel so elegant - in an exciting way.

Then there is that cute plaid box pleat skirt I wear for Christmas with my red blouse and a Christmas pin. These things all fit me so well and that is part of the reason I love them . While I adore a crisp summer dress, it rarely fits so well.

Before I sign off, I'd like to sing the praises of wool material. I prefer wool coats since they make me look as skinny as possible while I'm staying toasty warm. I can't resist a pea coat. I never could. My dad was in the Navy after all. And there is just something about how a wool jacket or skirt hangs on you. It just makes me feel like quality, something I don't get to feel often on my budget. Since wool lasts forever, I can wear the pieces for years. I don't tire of them.

So there's my excitement for the next few months. I will be making up outfits out of these basics and having fun with that. I know, I need a life, but I have always enjoyed fashion. I think that is part of what keeps me young. Have a great weekend. Nancy

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Here It Comes

Yesterday, I heard the "S" word on the radio. In Michigan that can only mean one thing. Snow is on the way. Now I loved snow when I was a little girl. I couldn't wait to get on my snowsuit and gear, take my sled, and head out into the white vastness. I loved making snowballs and breaking off icicles and putting them on my sled. Even then, I was a collector.

As I got older and still didn't drive, I enjoyed the beauty of clean snow and hated the dirty mush. Once I started driving, I pretty much hated snow. I realize it isn't the stuff itself. No, what I dislike is the idea of slipping across lines on the road, sliding up to a traffic light, or something worse. I have been blessed and mostly I have just experienced the sliding effect. It frightens me and I do have concern for others. I drive slowly and carefully. But some surfaces are just slick.

Once the first snowfall has landed and been cleared up, I feel better. Now we are in it and I just have to realize that is the norm for my state. At times, I can even watch those porcupine quill-like flakes hit my windshield and sigh at the beauty and excitement. But not most of the time.

Proverbs 31:21 says: "She is not afraid of snow for her household..." That's in the section on the model wife/mother. I realize it is wrong to worry or be afraid. The Lord has been with me all of these years and He promises He will never leave me. That's a comfort.

Right now I guess I better put out those snowflake napkins I bought and get out my little silver snowflake earrings. It's coming whether I want it or not. And haven't we in Michigan had an exceptionally lovely fall so far? I am very thankful.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Sorry, I'm Not Into It

I will be glad when all of the carved pumpkins are at the curb. People seem to put up Halloween decorations sooner and sooner, so the Jack-o-lanterns look and smell nasty by now. And along with some creative and somewhat attractive designs, there are also many hideous and ugly scenes to look at this lovely time of year.

I'm just saying what I like. I enjoy beauty and these tableau ruin the landscape for me. When I take my grandson for a walk in his baby carriage, we pass a yard with a skeleton hanging from a tree, a man in an electric chair, and a large framed guillotine. I won't describe the details.

I'm not saying I think there should be laws or anything. I just will be glad when it is all put away for another year.

One time a restaurant got in the act with a skeleton lying in a fireplace trough and that cobwebby stuff all around it. I nearly lost my appetite.

I know the children have fun. But I'd just like to know, where is all the cry for healthy food when the kids are shipped into your neighborhood for bags and bags of candy? MacDonalds looks pretty healthy now, eh?
I used to enjoy Halloween, back when it wasn't overdone and most of the ugly yard designs hadn't even been thought of yet. As I say, my day is soon coming when I can go back to clear fall scenes without the icky extras. I told you I was a "Scrooge." Please forgive me and go on with your fun.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Colors and Styles

What would you think if someone were to goof up your decorating scheme? What if that someone were a hardworking and beloved husband? Here's my story.

My guy decides he wants new sheets and a different blanket on the bed, so we go looking at triple B. (That's Bed Bath and Beyond, where my daughter works.) We finally find sheets to his satisfaction. The colors he chooses are not my favorites, but I say, "just not the red." He picks navy blue. I would have gone with cream, turquoise, or even dark brown. I think, "Oh, well, I can live with that if we can get something to cover it." We also got the pillowcases and since there are no bedspreads to be had anymore, the pillows are going to show. We skip the quilts because they are too heavy. We finally find a cotton blanket that is a thickness he likes. Now we have the color problem again. He is willing to do cream in the blanket, but they don't have it in the right size. That leaves brown, which doesn't go now and pure white. I say, "now it will look more like French Provincial that Colonial." He gives me a look and says something like "who cares?" I think he just doesn't know that I have certain styles that I like together and some things just don't "go." He knows what colors he likes, but styles are out there in the stratosphere for him. Are most husbands this way?

I decided that since he was the one who wanted the new things, he could have whatever he wanted. (In the spring, I will have my light quilt and color scheme back.) It makes him happy, I think. At least I hope so. And hardly anyone will see our room. We don't use it to throw coats on at get-togethers or anything like that.

I got everything neat and ready and on the bed. I had to get a couch pillow whose pattern pulled the colors of the pillowcases, blanket and the room together. It didn't look bad. Did it look good? No. I wish I had my colors back. But lately, I'm thinking that I make too much of imagining what my house would look like in a magazine and just letting it be clean, neat, and comfy for my best guy. That's how I feel now. It may be a long winter.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Three Little Girls, Three Little Dolls

Here is a picture of my sisters and I out in back of our old first house that we lived in. We have in front of us our Ginny dolls. Mine has glasses on and a lovely black beret. I believe I got her when I was seven. Dolls were my world then. The advent of new walking dolls with their own fantastic wardrobes you could buy for them made me over the top.

I remember telling you that we went to Cleveland, Ohio in the fall for new school clothes. Sometimes we got to see the toy departments of the great stores: Macy's, The May Company, and others. The Ginny outfits were a bit pricey for those times. I think the real fancy ones were about $7, quite a lot of money then.

My sister on the right of the picture, Jean, the one I traveled with, always found the truly different ensembles. Her doll had a rollerskating skirt and sweater and skates that moved. She had a turquoise velvet coat with pink fuzzy pompoms and a fuzzy pink muff and hat. And the best, her doll had a nightgown and lace housecoat and a little mirror and comb set.

My doll was not completely lacking in luxuries. She had ice skates, a whirly skirt, and a cute little pink plastic suitcase. I was a bit tight with a buck and my mom made me many nice little costumes. To this day, Jean always picks things that are classy and I am still trying to save money. Not that I don't have any, I'm just a bit of a Scrooge.

My other sister, Ellen, had a pretty Ginny, too. She had cute things but she and I were so young that our dolls didn't make it to "adulthood" as well as Jean's. Mine was nice enough that I gave her and some other collectible dolls away to three little girls a while ago. Dolls should be played with. That's my motto.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Big and Little Pickers

Sunday turned out to be a wonderful day full of surprises. It began with a guest speaker at church who reminded us all how much God loves us. Simple, yet through the music he shared it became more like passion from God to us.

Then I hurried home because our family was going apple picking. I love family visits, but I was too tired for anything as vigorous as picking. Or so I thought.

We all met and started out at the fancy apple orchard in the area. It turned out that they had no apples to pick unless you wanted to use some picker on a pole and get a small bag and only one kind of apple was available. What to do? We all got in our cars and drove to the simple and ordinary orchard down the road.

We piled out and found that not only did they have many different apples available, but we all got a free wagon ride to the orchard. My grandson loved it all. At the last minute, I decided to join my sons and get a small green basket to pick raspberries. This was at the end of the trip.

My husband and I didn't need apples, and I had the only camera, so I was able to document the whole outing. What a great "sweater day." The sky was blue for pictures. We all went around to the trees and found the ones each liked best. Of course tasting one was the fun part. You should have seen my little Ty holding his apple and trying to eat it. It was small and fit right into his hand. You'd think it was a treasure the way he held on to it.

At the end, we visited the raspberry patch. I had never picked these. It took a bit of time to figure out that if the berry pulled right off the stem, it was ripe and ready. We all helped each other fill our baskets. I remember thinking how much more fun this was than staying home and resting. I guess I need to learn to like adventure better.

At the end, we all had cider and donuts. Of course, nothing ever tasted better. I love the plain "greasy" ones that are cake-like the best.

This all proves two things: plain can be better than fancy and sometimes I need to get out and do something. Hope your day was a delight as well. Nancy

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Heading For Home

We were up early the next day for our last round of sightseeing. We headed through Rhode Island and stopped at Newport. Our guide book said we could park and take a walking tour of the beautiful old homes there. We had our usual parking problems, but finally drove through the entrance of one of the houses. There a worker said we had to park and pay to see the house. Then, I guess we would have to do that for the others as well. We thanked him and drove on. Since we couldn't do what we wanted, we just drove slowly along and took pictures of the outside of some of the pretty houses. We parked at a turnaround near the water and I got a great blue show of lampposts and a house in the distance.

Traveling on to Connecticut, we aimed for Mystic. These two places were my sister's choices. They turned out to be quite charming. Jean had told me we would be eating pizza in Mystic. I knew there was a movie called Mystic Pizza. I thought it was just any old pizza place, but found out that there was an actual restaurant called Mystic Pizza. That was to be our evening treat. We found a place called Mystic Seaport. If you are from Michigan, you will know what it was like when I tell you that if was sort of a seafaring Greenfield Village.

Small shops and crafts and old time businesses were transported to the place. We saw a lady blacksmith make a Martin spike. She was so nice and a good speaker. A printer spokesman told us how upper and lower case letters got their name. It was their actual placement in a printer's box. We learned that a "first impression" is what the first printed sheet is called. "Copy" is anything you tell or write down.

This place was great for outdoor pictures. I got a picture of the boat Amistad, which was used in the movie and actually just came from Cuba.

One of my favorite things here was a whaling building which showed a film of getting a whale, from the first sighting, to the men's cleanup. All along, the narrative was from Melville's Moby Dick.

We found our restaurant and took pictures under the sign. The movie was playing non-stop and the poster was on the back wall. I will say it was great pizza. We also got a flattened penny from a machine with Mystic Pizza embossed on it. The last time I had one of those was when I was a wee girl at Niagara Falls. Such nostalgia.

We were to have one more treat. Saturday, our last day, we headed home. We ended up getting stuck for nearly two hours on the George Washington Bridge. It isn't fun when four or more lanes try to merge into two. Finally we were through and eventually passed lovely New Jersey and into Pennsylvania. We traveled on a new route 80 that was so scenic and had very few cars. I took pictures outside the car, as we finally saw some color on the trees. Then as weary travelers, still taking pictures off and on to keep busy, God put on a light show just for us. One time it seemed the clouds looked like flying saucers, other times they swished up like a brush had been at them. Finally as the light faded and the sunset colors came, we just kept getting good pictures. We put the cameras away, and then it lightened up and we took more. When we finally got home later that evening, we both burst out in a praise song to God for his loving care through the travels, the many times we just made it to some interesting spot, for the fellowship, the final light show to keep us awake, and just because He is worthy and it was such fun to let out a roar to finish the trip.

I hope you have enjoyed my travelogue. If you plan to visit New England, I know you will have a great time. I believe there is a lifetime of beauty, history, and excitement, just in those few states. Happy traveling. Nancy

I just found out that I received a lovely "One Lovely Blog Award" from Susan Reinhardt. What an unexpected honor. Thank you so much. I'd like to pass it on to Janean at Old Sweetwater Cottage for her always beautiful cottage pictures.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Literary Landmarks

Moving on from Boston, we spied the Charles River and saw some students rowing. We managed to miss seeing the swan boats by three days. It took a long time to get out of the city. Our GPS was headed for Concord. I thought that was just a destination for getting on our way, but we stopped and Jean said, get out, we're visiting here. Where? Orchard House, home of Louisa May Alcott. According to the guidebook, we had missed the tour. My sister had already apologized for that. We were just going to take some outside photos. We did and I was surprised at how close to the road the house was. I guess I thought it would be set way back in the country. Well, it probably was country then.

The lovely ladies at the museum/gift shop said we were in time for the last tour. It was just the two of us so we got a great one. It's a lovely house. The beautiful drawings and paintings were mostly done by the youngest daughter, Amy in the book. Two of my favorite things were the actual desk where Alcott wrote Little Women, and on the couch in the parlor, he mood pillow. It actually existed. Fans of the book will remember it kept Laurie from getting too close to Jo. Seeing this place was an emotional tug for me. It may be hard to imaging, but the March girls from Little Women seem so real to me that I feel that I knew them, personally.

It seemed like we were always hurrying on this vacation and we now needed to rush over and see nearby Walden Pond before it was too dark to take pictures. We were the last ones going in to the park again so we got in free. We parked and walked to the site. At the facilities, women were actually changing into bathing suits. These mostly older people walked down the path and into the water. We could have "partaken" but decided not. Walden Pond was so peaceful and serene. Yes, it looked like so many other ponds, but the fall leaves were changing and the water rippled and I could just imagine Thoreau being so full of ideas that this place helped him get them onto paper. I took quit a few pictures and couldn't part with a single one. Each had its own beauty.

This travelogue is getting lengthy, so my next installment is the last. I still have several great places to share with you. Thanks for being an armchair traveler with me. Nancy

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Visiting Boston

We left the Oyster house and did our regular evening activities. Jean planned the next day’s agenda and I checked my pictures from that day. Then we decided which pictures we wanted from the other’s stash and said goodnight.

Early next morning, we got up and wandered around Boston for awhile. We located Quincy Market and had breakfast. I finally got a bagel and my sister found some sort of fruit tart. We sat in what looked like old school desks. Above us was a dome and there were more old fashioned desks circling the place. We left and headed out to find Paul Revere’s house. We only had time to look at a few places on the Freedom Trail so we wanted to do the most important ones first. Of course we got lost, but eventually, with help from friendly Bostonians, we found the place. We took the tour and learned interesting information about Revere and his other works such as bell making. The house seemed small by our standards.

When wee were finally ready to locate Old North Church,we followed the bricks of the Freedom Trail and located our destination. I was overjoyed. I took pictures of it near and far, from the back and from the front. We went inside for a talk about the famous ride. I learned that Revere may not have himself hang the lantern, but was very much in on the plan. A plaque erected in 1924 says that he did. I don’t care. It still means so much to me and someone did put those lanterns there and warned the patriots and that’s what matters. It’s a beautiful Episcopal Church and just being there made me so happy.

We journeyed on to Faneuil Hall. The Hall provided the place where arguments burst out about practices leading up to the Revolution. I just sat in a seat and pretended to hear someone put forth a piece of information in a heated manner and someone else across the way yelling, “Oh, yeah?” or “That’s right.” The main floor room had a lovely dais and a stunning Daniel Webster picture. It’s very large and quite exciting and I hope nothing happens to it. In fact, I hope all of these sights are around for a long time to come so that future Americans can enjoy them.
My impression of Boston was a very good one, the traffic patterns and one-way streets notwithstanding. In the evening, the place seems as lovely and urban as New York City with all of the lights shining from the skyscrapers. By day, the cobblestone streets and history take you back to yesterday. Yes, I loved it very much. And the people were warm and wonderful.

Next time, we’ll visit a few literary stops to melt my heart and make me smile. See you then.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Rush to The Oyster House

Last time, we just had a great dinner at the Lobster Shack. Our original plan was to go back through New Hampshire and see the fall colors. Since the leaves weren't at their peak yet, we decided to skip the scenic tour and stay in Maine for another day. That was great for me because I had already fallen love with the state.

We rose early and went on a search for lighthouses. We found that the first one was at a great distance. It was Portland Head Light in Fort Williams Park. I was fascinated by old wire lobster cages, ropes, and other materials on the beach. There was an old post with handles on each end. We weren't sure what that was for. I got a good close-up still life of good debris, but no one else was very interested in it.

We came back to the lighthouse we had seen the first night and got some great closeups of it. As far as we can tell, it was called Two Lights Lighthouse. We came back to the Lobster Shack and took lots of pictures. I just loved the coast and the crashing waves and the weathered rocks. A private lighthouse was near and we got some very good shots of that, too.

It was about here that my camera started acting up and I was afraid I wouldn't be able to get any more pictures, but it just needed to be recharged once again and treated with more respect.

We left Portland and headed for Kennebunkport. We got lost of course, but it turns out that every road seems to lead there. We were very late having lunch. We had had no breakfast. So we were looking for a place called something like "It's Always Breakfast." We went through town several times. Finally got a place to park and walked around. We got directions, but still could not find the place. Finally we ended in a store/restaurant and there on a sign it said, "always breakfast." It was just to inform us of the menu, not the place we were looking for. We had a great brunch. I told my husband that Kennebunkport has the best bacon I have ever eaten. There were casual pictures of President George Bush (the first one) on the wall with some lovely looking townspeople. I even thought I saw an acquaintance in a photo on the wall, but on asking my husband about it, I guess I was mistaken. We never did find that silly old restaurant, even though we gave it one last look on the way out of town.

Now we had to hurry so we could be in Boston by about 5:00 so we could find our hotel, unpack, and get to our reservation at the Union Oyster House on time. We made it by five, but parking and missing a turn and getting back in place in Boston is very tricky. We were nearly at our wit's end, but finally got all settled. We had no time to change as we had planned, so we saw one of the oldest sights in our traveling clothes.

Jean, my sister, had lobster again - this time a lot more expensive. I had something light and Boston Cream pie. The place is very historic. There are great pictures of Daniel Webster, and battle scenes and a famous Kennedy booth. I'm so glad we went there.

Next time, the rest of Boston.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Rush to Lobster

We started our trip in Ohio, went through Pennsylvania to New York. From there we moved on to Vermont. We arrived in Bennington, Vt. in the evening. The first thing of note was The Old First Church lit up with candles in the windows. We later toured it and the graveyard where Robert Frost is buried. They still have services and it is one of the loveliest churches I have ever seen. Inside on the left, up in the balcony is a bench where young men sat and quietly whittled and whacked at the pew. So much fun to imagine those boys smiling away at the ladies across the way.

We stayed at Bennington Motor Inn where the rooms were quaint like a bed and breakfast. Dinner at Allegro was great. My salad had something unusual peeking through the leaves. It tasted like cheese and had the texture of mushrooms. My sister guessed tofu. I think she was right. Good, my first.

In the morning we found the obelisk monument to The Battle of Bennington. John Stark was the hero and his statue is out in front. Also the Green Mountain Boys come into the action. In the tower, reached by elevator, one can see out onto three states: New York, Mass., and Vt. The rest of the afternoon was spent trying to find the lovely covered bridges in the area. We were near three of them, yet managed to get lost several times. The map was a bit confusing. The blue sky and lovely landscape and the red of the bridges made for gorgeous picture taking.

One funny thing about this area was all the painted moose. There was one at the obelisk and several in town. My favorite is the "Starry Night" moose. We also got a picture of a moose silhouette on a moose crossing sign.

This left us little time to get through New Hampshire and get to our lobster dinner in Portland. We hustled across the state. The trees were just turning, so we didn't miss any scenic overlooks or anything. We finally get to near our destination at about 7:28p.m. Our GPS said this was it. "This is it?" We are at a dead end or near one. Suddenly my sister says "look," On her left was a huge lighthouse in the dusk looming over us. And "look there," I say. On the right, way up on a hill and back from the road is a building with a neon open sign. That's it. It's the Lobster Shack.

We got our order placed at 7:29 and the place quit taking orders at 7:30. Our dinner had a whole lobster caught fresh (that morning), fries, Cole slaw, and biscuits for $19. We didn't get any bibs or cracking implements. Lucking we were casually dressed. I cracked my lobster legs with my fingers. They were hot and prickly, but I persevered. Then the tail. Every bite delicious. Then I carried one of my big claws to the restroom. Several people were in front talking. I was feeling like a child, having fun. I washed it off and now it is on my bookcase.

We went out and looked at the ocean. Of course it was dark. Oh, it smelled so fresh and good. I had a huge overwhelming joy and I put my hand in the air. I think I felt like Brendan Fraser in Blast From the Past the first time he sees the ocean. It just does something to ya. More next time.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Four Very Nice People

Well, I'm back to my blog. It was pleasant to be off-line for a bit. Once on the trip, I saw a computer sitting in the lobby and I had an itch to blog, but our time was short in the evenings as well as all of the other times, so I didn't indulge.

We had a wonderful New England trip. The weather was so warm, we didn't need even jackets most of the time. It was more like mid-summer. Blue sky except the two days we were along the coast.

I went at least 2000 miles and we were in 10 states. Having a taste of many New England states, I would have to say I loved Vermont and Maine the best though Boston was fabulous.

I'd like to tell you about four very nice people we met. At the Bennington, Vermont gift shop which was next to a commemorative obelisk, an older lady waited on us. She seemed to have trouble walking yet her cheerful demeanor was so appreciated. We browsed quite a long time, bought and came back and bought some more. She never got grouchy. So pleasant.

As we were leaving Vermont and heading to Maine, we were pulled to the side of the road thinking and rethinking our route. Another elderly woman came up to the car and asked if we were lost. "Yes" times two. She gave us directions from Vermont to Concord, in another state.

There was an important turn about half way there and she gave us the heads up on that one. It all worked out just as she said.
We were riding through New Hampshire and my sister cried out in pain, Before I could react, a middle-age gentleman on the curb said, "it was a bee wasn't it?" It was and he asked if we needed help. "No, but thank you very much."

Now we are in Boston, looking for our first point or interest and dinner, The Union Oyster House. We went up one street and down another. So many one-way streets, it's easy to get lost and we were. We asked a nice looking middle-age man the way. He started to tell us and then said, "I'll show you." He walked with us for awhile. Then he pointed and we said thanks and he said, "Oh, I'll go with you, I have to catch the train." We were escorted to within a street across from our destination and had sights pointed out to us along the way.

What do you suppose made these people go beyond the call of duty? It wasn't their age or their state as they represented four different ones. There are just a lot of very nice people out there. These were just the best examples we found.

I'm going to be telling some stories of the trip itself and showing a few pictures for the next several blogs. Hope you like my travelogue. There will be some funny moments along the way, I promise.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

What A Guy!

I mentioned in my early August post that I was hungry for some corn on the cob. Well, my wonderful husband, Larry, managed to get it for me not once or twice but five times. Oh, it was so good.

I'd like to give him some thanks today. Besides cooking for me, he is taking me to Ohio to meet my sister for my trip because the freeways are too much for me to maneuver. The week I am gone will be his birthday. It will be the first time we haven't celebrated together in 37 years. He is going to find a very nice gift in a closet just for him.

My sister and I will be traveling to New England on Sunday. We have quite the itinerary. Since I haven't been there before, I'm very excited. We hope to eat lobsters in Maine, visit Boston, and tour Orchard House, home of Louisa May Alcott among other things. I probably won't be posting until about Sept. 28 or 29. If you feel like sending Larry a birthday greeting, I'll pass it along. Thanks much, Nancy

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Does Anyone Lack Wisdom?

"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind." James 1:5,6.

The other day I saw a big chunk of insulation, about one foot by two feet, bouncing down the road. It was headed nowhere, it didn't have a particular destination, it had no weight to make it stay in any one place. The wind just tossed it to and fro.

There are a lot of people like that. They have no idea of the times or seasons. They lack wisdom and don't even know how to ask. No discernible destination is in sight.

Someone has to tell them they can have goals and a dream and a place to go. It's important for them to know that they can be grounded on a rock, the Rock of Jesus.

I'm going to keep my eyes open for one who seems to lack weight and is miserable. I'll ask for wisdom on how to help and do as I'm led. If my person had an anchor, how different things would be.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Getting a Little Bit Crafty

Today, I thought I'd do a few craft ideas that that were fun to do, mostly with things I had around the house. The first one is my basket-coffee table. I received a large picnic basket from my grandmother. I put my dad's old college suitcase on top of it. Then, the crowning touch, a battenburg lace pillowcase as a tablecloth. I use this little table every morning to support my coffee, juice, and small breakfast plate. I can put magazines here or my small photo album.

In the next picture, I have my wire card holder. It has harvest cards on right now, but I have done Valentine's Day, roses for spring, postcards from Europe for the non-holiday months, and current photos like when we saw the Detroit Tigers play in Florida. The neat thing is that it is so easy to fan the cards out or make them small depending on your space. It makes a cheap large centerpiece if you need one. I got mine at a card store. It's just a simple double row of circles that squeeze together.

The last picture is of a plastic case filled with little sections that I found at Joann's Fabrics. It even has dividers to make each space smaller if you desire. After using my fabulous find for jewelry for several years, I inherited my daughter's white chest of drawers. It has a large flat top drawer. I bought several drawer dividers, put them in the drawer and nearly doubled my space. As a jewelry lover, I never had enough places to put my things before and I couldn't see it well. Now I can see all of it laid out nicely in the drawer and I know where everything is in the blue section box. As you can see, I prettied it up with a scarf and corsage.

These are just a few ideas to try. Hope you like them. Nancy

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Something Else New - New Food

The first thing I need to do in my new adventure is to re asses my diet and eating habits. It seems like I don't have the energy I should have. Part of the problem is that I have had bouts of sleeplessness since I was young and a night of that can spoil the great plans you had for the next day. This has been getting better, but I am going to try for "completely healed" of insomnia. I think a bit of this has been my love of diet colas. As long as I drink caffeine-free, things seem to be fine, but I forget and the restaurants seldom have caffeine free and diet colas. Then, too, I know I eat too many sweets. With this in mind, I have started to eliminate colas and most sweets from my diet.

It has only been a few days since I started and already I feel that I have more energy and have less need for a nap.

My husband, the cook, is home now for dinners, so I can have a nice large salad again. They are so good. And apples are in season. I like those. Now I just have to develop a taste for lean meat. I love fish, but chicken and turkey not so much.

What I have found is that if I just ask the Lord to help me eat better, He is faithful to give me the desire to eat certain foods. Right now I crave cauliflower since I haven't been able to have it. And I believe He will help me to greatly reduce my desire for sweets. A lot of that is just habit, wanting something special at the end of a meal. It could just as easily be mandarin oranges as cake. I'm not a health food purist and never will be. I just want to do better and feel better. I do get exercise, so I'm looking forward to the energy I know is coming.

So how about you? Is the fall a time for a new diet or the time for "comfort food" of one type or another?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Called Out

Today, this being a Sunday, I thought it would be a good time to tell you. If you are a Christian, you are called out.

When I was saved, many years ago, I read Daughter of Destiny by Jamie Buckingham. It was the biography of Kathryn Kuhlman. She is the lady who had in her latter life, fantastic miracle services of healing. One thing that got the attention of a new person in the Lord was how she got "called out" to the ministry by an evangelist in church one day. It made quiet an impression on her so that it wasn't long before she got herself "out there" and began speaking.

For awhile, I waited to get the call. There was something in me that was sure I should be getting it. Well, I soon began reading the Bible through and on one of those times, I received my marching orders. See, I didn't just want to be saved. I wanted to do something special with my life. I think I first saw it in Judges 6:14 where the Lord talks to Gideon: "Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?" NKJ. That was my official call from the Lord. I didn't have to hear it at church or at some retreat. Just to know that He wanted me in His service was wonderful.

For awhile, I looked at every job to see if the numbers 7-6-14 were anywhere about. (Judges being the seventh book in the Bible.) I never saw it. But still I knew that as I went about my life, my work, and my new writing venture that somehow I would be serving Him.

Recently, I have been having a renewed interest in the healing ministry. I began with it and I hope to be learning more all of the time. My 7-6-14 scripture showed up recently in my readings and I know I am on the right track.
So if any of you have been yearning to hear the call to a new place or a special ministry, my message to you today is, go for it. You are called. It's in the Bible. There are lots of other places of called-outedness. Let one speak to you, embrace it, and do exploits. Not that we can do anything of ourselves, but "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."Philippians. 4:13 NKJ. And we "workers together with Him..."2 Corin. 6:1 NKJ.

I feel like I know where I'm going. I had been in a muddle and things are being made clear. I'm taking one day at a time, letting my relationship with the Lord grow deeper and letting Him direct my steps. It is a serious, "fearful", trusting, joyous satisfying thing to be sure.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Oh, the Fair

This time of year, my mind wanders to the fairs I have gone to, mostly the Ohio State Fair. We went quite a bit when I was younger. Getting there was part of the fun as we rode these little tractor and wagon combinations which took us from the parking lot to the edge of the fair. The smells hit us right away: cotton candy, popcorn, something fried, hay, animal smell. We always had a plan so we could see everything in one day. We usually saw the animals first. I loved the bunnies, especially the lop-eared ones. Of course I wanted to take one home with us, but couldn't. I also enjoyed the horses as we didn't have any of those on that famous farm of my grandmother's. I loved the way the horses' tails were braided with ribbon woven in. The blond haired ones, oh they were so fabulous.

Then we went to one of the pavilions. We saw the latest 4-H sewing champs. Lovely aprons lined up, row upon row, some with blue, red, or green, or yellow ribbons. I remember wishing I could get one of those ribbons.

My favorite place was the new products enclosure. Many of the items were similar to the "as seen on T.V." materials. Things that stick, things that remove stick um, bamboo plants, kitchen gadgets. One time there was a display of what looked like roses fused into glass. All different colors. They were paperweights, parts of lamps, etc. For a smaller price, you could get a flower embedded in plastic on a key chain. Each of us girls got one. My oldest sister got violets, my youngest something white in blue, and I got a pink rose in yellow. I still have that lovely memento and use it on my purses.

We ate at one of the stands. One year, there was a new chicken recipe that had Worcestershire sauce and vinegar cooked slowly over a grill. Ummmmm.

In the dairy house,we always saw some type of butter sculpture. My favorite was the year an astronaut hovered in the glass case.

We were usually allowed one or two rides. Somehow I always got on the Farris Wheel. This was never my choice. There is nothing worse that being at the top while the workers put new people in below, especially if an "evil" sister decides to swing the seat. My favorites were the Calypso or the Tilt-a-Whirl which was firmly planted on the ground.

When we were done viewing the fair, we could walk across the road and see a modern art exhibit. Here is where I first learned that egg cartons and splattered paint can be art. It was a good lesson, actually and I enjoyed learning something new.

We didn't always see the headliner which the fair was promoting. Some I do recall were Hopalong Cassidy, Roy Rodgers (and his whole family,) John Davidson, and Andy Williams.

We were sleepy people as we rode back to our cars on the tractor wagon conveyances. Maybe we would have a Kewpie doll, or be wearing a gorgeous necklace with our names engraved across the front, or be carrying a gaudy, glittery, red, white, and blue painted baton stick. One thing is for sure. We had a blast and would be yelling to please let us come back next year.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


This week September officially begins. Fall is not my favorite season, but I do love this month. I feel like a perpetual student. I have been doing the going back to school thing for so long, as a student and a teacher, that I actually had to grieve the first year nobody went anywhere. Now I'm used to it, but the idea lingers. It is like a New Year for me. I divide the year from Sept. to Sept. more that from Jan. to Jan. I get new things to do. I get new ideas. I will say that when the first chill comes, it's easier to think than in the heat of summer.

Right now, our church is doing a new teaching called The Way of the Warrior, by Graham Cooke. Actually only the intercessors are doing it. It's very intense and liberating at the same time. I also got to know my neighbor better this summer and we had a fun shopping time yesterday, as friends. I may get to go to New England with one or two sisters. A car trip. It will be like old times when my family took off and enjoyed the new Ohio Turnpike.

Sept. is my favorite time for shopping and magazines. I usually get two or three to go through the clothes, see what I want to get to add to my already full wardrobe, and find cute tricks of putting this and that together in new and different ways. That's my favorite part.

I will decorate my house for fall, put my fall clothes in my new, cleaned out closet, and put away the completely summer things.

I have been passing out more of my old writings. They are used and enjoyed. Yeah.

Is this a good time for you? What about it excites you?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

More Quotes

Once again I dug into my huge, side-splitting envelope. This time, I went through my entire collection. What an uplift I got. Only truly inspiring, deep, or funny quotes are allowed. Here are some movie greats. I actually freeze the movie as I am watching it and write them down.

"Why am I trying to be somebody I'm not?"
"Maybe you're trying to be somebody you are. Legally Blond

"Your future hasn't been written yet, so make it a good one." Back to the Future 3

"Courage is not the absence of fear, but the judgment that something is more important than fear." The Princess Diaries

"No man walks alone from choice." Sabrina

Which one do you like best? I want to end with a quick little note that made me smile. It's a word from the game Balderdash. "lexiphanic" - using fancy words to impress others. Have you been lexiphanic lately? Nancy

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Are You Ready?

On my last post I listed some of the famous people I have seen in my day. One I had lunch with was Stephen Strang, editor of Charisma Magazine. It all happened like this:

My daughter was a teenager then and I was distressed about the sorry state of magazines for girls. There were Christian magazines, but nothing godly about fashion, room decoration, girl chat and things that were on their minds, but not necessarily devotion oriented. So I made a magazine proposal. I got great quotes to start us off, I had an artist lined up, I had ideas on how to do what the prominent magazines were doing, only in a proper way.

Here is what I mainly want to talk about in this blog. It was the way everything came together for that time period I was working. I got things from church bulletins, from friends, in the mail. It was as if the Lord were dousing me with excitement and ideas. Here is another great part of it. All of my interests were pulled into one place. Oh, the joy. Fashion, girls issues, decorating, crafts, art writing, social issues - I could do them all.

One day I told an acquaintance about my idea. I had no clue how to do a magazine. She had a group of ladies and said I could present it to her group. I did. It was the most fun and rewarding thing I have ever done. I felt like I was truly alive.

This friend said there was a women's conference in Florida coming up and we should go. Somehow we made it at a great price and with almost no planning in between. The two of us prayed to meet Stephen Strang who was speaking. By some grace I met him and he invited me to sit with him. That was a brave thing for me to do, to go up to this famous person, but I believed God was with us and we had our interview.

Now here is where I may lose some of you. He said most magazines were on Internet then and I should try that. I had even less clue about the Internet than how to start a magazine. Somehow my proposal got lost and other than great regrets, that's the end of the story.

But wait, I have an application. In Jane Eyre, there is a minor character named Saint John. He tells Jane that at last all the things he has done, all he has lived for are coming together for one great purpose - that he can be a good missionary.

I feel like the magazine proposal was not so much the thing in itself, from God's point of view, but that I would remember what if felt like for all of my life to come together for some great purpose. I feel like that now. I don't know what it is. I only know that when it happens, God moves his creation around to help me to do the thing he has purposed. I am very excited. I am moving towards some flow doing the things I know He has shown me were for me.

I believe many of you, too, are heading for a great purpose. My prayer is that you will know the exquisite joy of everything meeting you and falling into place. If that isn't realistic, at least you will know that you are headed for the stars.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Name Dropper

The summer I graduated from High School, my parents took us to New York City. It was our second trip. I had been in drama that year in school so we went to the Wintergarden Theater on Broadway and saw Funny Girl. We got box seats and I was able to lean over and peer straight down on Barbra Streisand when she sang 'People', a very famous song at the time.

When I was in college, Peter, Paul, and Mary walked right past me as they left the stage from their performance.

I heard a speech by presidential candidate John F. Kennedy at the courthouse in Mansfield, Ohio. My friends and I had no idea what a huge deal that would turn out to be.

Many years later, my daughter and I won the ticket lottery which allowed us to be first in line at Ticket Master. We were able to get second row tickets to the Backstreet Boys who were very big at the time.

Other entertainers I have seen at various times were: Andy Williams, The Righteous Brothers (twice), Barbara Eden, Henri Mancini, John Davidson, Glen Campbell (before he was famous), The Christy Minstrels, Glen Yarbrough who sang and read Rod McQuen poems, and others.

My daughter got her picture taken with new Christian artist Bebo Norman and we both enjoyed his songs at a small church.

I met Maureen Eha and Stephen Strang (sat next to Steven at a luncheon as we talked about a magazine proposal I had.) I will talk more about this in my next post.

These people added much to my life. I find that as I get older, the "stars in her eyes" personality has nearly disappeared. There are still some people I would like to meet, children's book authors perhaps. I find that everyday people are exciting though they are not famous - yet. Have you a famous person on your wish list to see, visit, or interview? I'd like to hear about it. Nancy

Friday, August 13, 2010

Little Jobs

It's almost 1:00 in the afternoon. I had wanted to get started on my blog by 11:00 at the latest, but things kept getting in the way. Little jobs. I realize I have used the word "little" in my blog titles quite a bit lately. Well, I'm 5'2" so I can relate to very small things.

These tasks are repetitive or they just seem annoying when you are busy. The ones I did today were figuring out banking and taking the money in. That's good that I had money. So then, I had dishes to do. We don't have a dishwasher, by my choice, so there is always a small stack ready to go. I cleaned the sink. It needed it. I put out the butter. How annoying that is - to get all greasy and plop two sticks in a Tupperware like container. But it pleases my husband to have nice new ones ready to go so I did it. I put more ice in the two trays. Now if there was ever a job (besides brushing your teeth) that it seems like you are always doing, it is ice cube trays.

Other things that can get to you are putting the new bag into the trash. We don't do it just as ours is emptied. We wait a bit to let the stuff settle and then put more in and take it out. Meanwhile, you walk to the container with that stiff top of the spray cheese in your fingers and there's no bag. So you put it in a tissue and put the bag in. There.

It always seems like I am watering my hanging basket. I have to do it as soon as I come home or it will be wilted in this heat. I snag a nail and have to clip it. Then I see several more that need attention. Who has time for that? I have to get rid of junk mail every day.

In each of these annoying tasks is a hidden blessing. Not difficult to find at all. Tell me what little job it seems like you are always doing and which ones bug you the most. It has to be a little one to count. I'll be waiting to hear. Nancy

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Spiritual Blessings

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ." Ephesians1:3 NKJ

I have such a desire to minister to people and to pray for them for healing. It seems that often, I am not in the right frame of mind to be a truly strong prayer. I have been to a friend's lately and refrained from praying for her because I didn't feel strong.

Sunday, I was eating ice cream and enjoying it very much, thank you. I got a phone call in the middle of it from this friend. It turns out she wanted me to come see her right away about some matter. I (reluctantly in my mind) went off to see her. I was far from being in a generous mood. When I saw her and heard her story, compassion fell on me and the prayer just came from my lips, anointed and powerful. It wasn't me or anything to do with me, just God loving another person through me. He helped me remember all sorts of scriptures. We talked and I prayed some more. It turned out to be a glorious encounter. The results are in His hands.

I just want to let you know that God has given you spiritual blessings. They are there to use for Him any time. You don't have to feel spiritual. So the next time you get the chance to pray for someone or minister, don't give yourself an exam to see if you are ready. If you've put the Word in you, it will come out when and how The Lord wills. Doesn't this just make your day? I came home a different person.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

August Pleasures

I was thinking now that we are in August, we aught to have some corn on the cob pretty soon. I told my husband that as he is the one who frequents little produce stands and gets the goods.

That reminded me also of the farm and things we used to do at this time. When we were little girls, the wagons were in the fields scooping up all of the goodness with their big machines. My sisters and I rode along with the incoming wheat or oats. One time during wheat harvest, my dad showed me some gum he was chewing. I asked him where he got it and he said he put a handful of the wheat in his mouth and chewed and - got gum. I said, "no way. You have some in your pocket. I'd like some." He said I'd have to do it his way. Well, very doubtful, I did as told. At first it was all mush and I had to try hard not to swallow it. But as I kept chewing, it firmed up, a little but at a time until I, too, had a wad of gum to chew. It didn't taste like anything, but, hey, it was free and chewable.

As the wagons filled, they rode the machines to the barn and the chute poured all the grain into big wooded bins that were side by side all along one wall of a little room in the barn. When full, we could climb in and play there. We used to take the kitties in, too. They were less than happy with the situation.

When we grew older, we rode the wagons and caught bugs for our insect collections at school. My dad who was great at making things, made us wonderful, professional glassed boxes to display our collections in. We took our prepared jars and when a good bug came along we scooped it up and put the lid on. Once I got a bright green shiny beetle that was so pretty. He also was unique because I couldn't find him in any of my insect books.

One other thing we did when the hay was baled and stashed on both sides of the barn, was to walk the narrow boards across the mows. It was a long drop to the wagon directly beneath. This story has made its way into all of my first attempts to write fiction. I'm still telling about it. I guess it made quite an impression.

Well, I hope you get some fresh corn this season, I hope you make it to a farm, and I hope you enjoy the last glorious month of summer. Nancy

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Little Steps

Take steps to Me. How far can you come? Walk as far as you can. When you get wobbly or feel that you would fall, look up for I am there to take your hands and receive you. Take those steps little one and when you see Me waiting there, lunge at Me. I will catch you up and hug you and twirl you around and kiss you.

Yes, you probably can walk all those long steps My way. But I love it that you see My smile. I love it that you are so anxious to be in My arms - with Me that you don't bother to finish. Reach. You know I will never let you fall. I love it that you trust Me to do that. You are becoming more steady all the time. You are alive with relationship. That makes Me smile.

(Teach me little one, what it's like to fully trust. For of such is the Kingdom of heaven. It's been a long time since I could just let go and rush forward, knowing that I'd be alright. Teach me, little one, the joy of something new. I'd forgotten what new is like. Let me learn patience as everything you do is right on schedule. You don't rush. You are in the moment and now, so am I.)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Two Little Rooms

I finally got my two little rooms cleared of extra junk and decorated. The two pictures on the bottom are my Victorian room where I do my blog and have my favorite books which I always talk about. On the top is my new prayer room where my clothes now reside and which is serenity itself. The beautiful bedspread was lovingly made by my daughter -in- law and contains names of Jesus. On the wall is my hand painted banner of Aslan.

I am happy to say that there are now a few empty spaces here and there. According to Don Aslett in For Packrats Only, "wide open spaces is the American way." And "empty spaces are the modern equivalent of luxury."

I had to earn my extra space. I lovingly babysat many things that weren't mine for a very long time so that my kids could get their condos and have a place to put their own things. It feels great to know where most of my belongings are now. I only have a few items that aren't useful or decorative (read sentimental stuff.) I even gave away some of my own kids' baby things for others to use since I won't need them. So there you have it.

I hope I haven't stepped on too many toes to do this. Now my house is clear and I can think of other things to do. Amazing how to clear up one area frees the mind to do its job. At least it works that way for me.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


When I heard about blogging, I decided that such an enterprise was just what I was looking for. Not only could I journal activities and thoughts as most writers like to do, but I could share my stories and articles which I had accumulating in the drawer, mostly unread. I say mostly, because you wouldn't believe the escapades my friend and I had, taking witnessing stories to cafes and consignment shop ladies. We were so nervous. As we handed over the scripts, the people were always so nice. Whether they later threw them away or the writings changed lives, I won't know until heaven. So I wanted the blog to be a place where I could share all the hard work and ideas I had amassed. Hoping to change lives, hoping to make a difference.

So on July 7, 2010, I finished my novel Scribblers. It took nine months. This baby was labor, I can tell you. So, week after week, I continued feeding my baby.

I want to tell all my wonderful writer friends who are always asking whether we are moving toward our goal that I have reached one of mine. The funny thing is that I learned along the way that the goal was perhaps silly and perhaps not very productive. Nevertheless, meeting a goal feels great and now, whatever comes, my story is "out there" for others to read and enjoy.

(For anyone who doesn't know, my story can be reached on its own blog. Just click the
Tell Me A Story at the top right corner of my regular Boomers blog.)

My writer friends are so special to me. I can't tell all of you enough how I am cheering you on with your works and hoping that you will win writing contests and get book contracts. I pray for you on a regular basis. You still encourage me to have goals. I am praying for a new one right now. I have found that it is the little spontaneous things that the Lord shows me to blog on that are the most fun and usually receive the most response. So for now, I'll just say, thanks for the encouragement that helped me to reach my goal. Nancy

Friday, July 23, 2010

To Be Read and Read Again

I believe I've told you that I read my books over and over. One reason I do this is, try as I might, I can't seem to find as many new ones that are as good as my old ones. So just this week, I finished rereading all of my Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis books.

I read them, not in the order he wrote them, but in chronological order, according to the story. Each book has places that are so good I actually underlined the quotes. Each book has its own treasures.

My favorite is The Silver Chair. If you know the books, this is the one where a prince of Narnia is kept underground. The parts in this dark castle beat any of his adult books for apologetics.

My next favorite is The Horse and His Boy. I know this one is somewhat politically incorrect, but it gives the best view of God as being always with us.

My third favorite is The Last Battle because Lewis' view of Heaven and the battle just before it, stirs me completely every time I read it.

Of course, everyone loves The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The expectation of Aslan and then the glorious story which follows brings the Gospel to children and the childlike.

In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, I love when Lucy hears Aslans' voice in a very dark place.

The Magician's Nephew shows a wonderful, creative, lush could-be scenario of other worlds. Such a resting place.

And Prince Caspian gets me excited about the legends of Old Narnians that just happen to be true.

So there you have it. These books always help me to be a better person. I see myself in the mistakes and goofs of the characters and I love that Aslan always forgives with a kind word, a smile, and a hug. I think I'm a little closer to God's love than before.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

He's There

When you don't know what to do, there's Jesus. When you have failed at so many things, there is Jesus. When your best isn't good enough, there's Jesus. I said these things to myself not long ago, and soon, the hope I was trying to get, the spiritual boost that eluded me came rushing down and all around and all of a sudden I was saying, "Why Jesus is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. He is the great and mighty one. I am under the shelter of the Almighty. I can do all things through Christ. These are things that He has put in my heart and I know them to be true. Soon I was at peace knowing that everything was covered by Him and I just needed to rest in His love, and I did. I was soon asleep and I know I could have very easily been awake all night worrying. It's just knowing and saying whatever is going on in my life, there's Jesus. That made all of the difference.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Too Much Luxury?

I was just sitting, relaxing, being the first one of our wedding party to get my manicure and pedicure done. The door opened and a rather confused looking girl walked in off the street. "What sort of place is this?" she asked.

The desk lady said, "we do manicures and pedicures."

The woman still wore her perplexed face and said looking around, "what, you can't bend over and do your own nails?" She left.

The desk lady was shocked as were the rest of us. We certainly weren't expecting that. "That was the first time that has happened," she said.

It was funny to me because this was my first ever pedicure and only my second manicure. There was a pregnant woman next to me. I'm sure she appreciated the services.

I wonder what that woman was about. Does she go around to all establishments she feels are unnecessary and do her thing, or was this just a spontaneous bit of confusion at how far luxury has taken us?

For me, I had loads of fun. Our party took pictures, we visited, we got pampered. I don't get that too often. I know I prayed for that woman that she would have a good day. It may have been shocking, but she didn't spoil our fun.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

And The Next Step

The big day finally arrived. I was as nervous as if I were the one getting married. My daughter was joyful and radiant the whole day and everything went according to the plan.

Now that the happy couple are off to their honeymoon, I realize that I need to do like the astronauts and "get back to earth." When nearly every thought and plan has been heading in one direction, it's hard to think what the next step is now that it's over.

I want to clean out my house, get rid of stuff, and simplify again. I want to do more creative writing, maybe some devotions. I want to get serious about prayer again. And who knows, maybe there is something else for me to do. I know that I'll be spending more time with my grandson, and that's a good thing. He's now at the age where a relationship can grow and I am having so much fun.

My husband and I had a nice quiet little dinner last night. I actually think I can learn to enjoy the quiet. (I know I can't go in my daughter's room right now or I will be sad.) Everything will turn right side up. We will be empty -nesters again. There's always more to see and do with The Lord guiding the way.