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.)