Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year Friends

New Year's Eve is one of my favorite holidays.  Usually I like to be in a small group or have one or two close friends or family, but on this day I feel like a party.  I mean a party where people are happy and expectant of new things to come.  I even enjoy meeting new faces and finding about other lives.  There is just such a spirit of looking forward that I enjoy.

My husband and I have a habit of going to a movie on New Year's Eve or doing a restaurant and a movie or just the restaurant.  This year we are eating at an Italian place, my favorite.  I love to dress up a little bit with a few sparkles, a Christmas pin or some fancy accessory.  Sometimes, we even have dessert.  I will probably be too full for that, but it's a nice thought.

I also love to get out my journal and jot the year down.  Once I start, it always surprises me how much I have been blessed during the past year.  These are my favorite journal entries to go back and read over.  This year I was especially blessed with two new grandchildren.  My son had success with a game he created with a friend, my husband had jolly fun playing in golf tournaments with his Hickory Shaft golf clubs.  My Tennessee kids came home and brought the two month (now 6 month) old baby with them.  I got to watch my two grandsons interact and start preschool.  Hard to believe that one. Had a lovely time with my other son and his wife at the art museum and her choral societies.  See, I'm just getting started.

I won't be sad to put Christmas away.  All I'm taking down is things.  Funny how they seem old after Christmas.  It's as if the life is gone from them for another year.  What I will keep is Christmas in my heart.  I learned a lot about that this season.  That's my only goal.  To keep Christmas well and keep Christ in that Christmas which is in my heart.

Here's wishing that you all have a very Happy New Year.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Oh, Glorious Day

Wishing all of my blogger friends a Very Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Blessings Floating Down

Several weeks ago, I shared with you how I was just going to write down the good things that happen and rejoice with them.  Some things have happened recently that are just too good to keep to myself.

The fist was when I lost one gold hoop earring from a pair that my late mother had given to me.  I had taken them off and laid them on my computer table.  The next morning I picked up a yellow folder that I needed at church that evening.  One earring was there beside it.  I briefly checked the folder and  looked all over for the other one.  I even sorted two bags for old papers that were under the table.  So for a week it was missing.  Then at church Sun., it was laying on the desk in the office.  What a mystery.  I hadn't even worn those earrings to church.  Even though I had looked, it must have traveled in the folder and been deposited form house to car to church to table at church and then fallen out.  Anyway, I consider it one of my minor miracles.

I had this incision on my stomach that wasn't healing.  It was almost a month and it was no better than day one.  I prayed earnestly for some improvement.  By the next evening, there was a huge improvement and it is almost healed.

This is a small one.  I thought I had all of my presents purchased and all boxes, bags, paper, etc. ready to go.  Then, I discovered that I needed two more bigger boxes.  The day I did my massive wrappings, I got all of the gifts from my computer room and found two boxes inside a huge one that would be just what I needed.  This is how I do "green."  I just use whatever is at hand.  So I was so excited.  And believe this if you will, the Lord caused my older paper, my new paper, the ribbons and tags to match the red and blue beads on my tree.  It all got color coordinated without any real effort on my part.

So wonderful readers, be sure to notice all these little goodies that constantly fly by you like snowflakes.  Catch them before they melt away. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Songs, CDs, Tapes, and Records of Christmas

First of all I would like to say happy birthday to my son, Ben.  That was quite a wonderful Christmas present 33 years ago.

Now, I would like to tell you of my favorite Christmas albums/CDs.  My favorite is my red Andy Williams Christmas Album.  The song I like best is "It's the most wonderful time of the year." It is just so full of joy and good cheer.  I got it first as a record.  Then when I couldn't play my records because we no longer had a phonograph that worked, I gave them all away.  All of them.  Then I found out that you could get old records in the CD form.  So I got an Andy Williams CD.  Then one year it got crusty on the back.  It wasn't a scratch.  I thought it might have been from leaving it in my car in the cold.  Anyway, it didn't work.  So last year I got my third A.W. record/CD.  I now bring all of my CDs in from the car, just in case.

My next favorite is old, too.  It's Amy Grant's A Christmas Album.  That's the one with ""A Tennessee Christmas" on it.  My favorite song is "Hark the Harold Angels Sing."  One verse, she gets loud and strong and sings, "Come Desire of nations, come, fix in us thy humble home."  I love that soooooo much.

Then I have a Christmas tape.  I  had to get a new tape player for it, because cars don't usually have tape slots now.  It's Hanson's Snowed In.  When Dawn was a teen she loved Hanson and we both loved this tape/CD.  All of the songs are cheery and fun .

Another favorite tape is Bethlehem's Treasure  by Praise Worship.  I love the way they do "We three kings."

Lost to me are my Firestone record with Robert Goulet singing "Do you hear what I hear?" and a fabulous version of "Good King Winceslas."  The kettle drums rule.

Also lost to me is my Cunningham's Drug store record Joy To The World.  That song on the collection is something else.  When they get to the line "and makes the nations prove" they go, "oo, oo oo oo.",  The oos go up, then down the scale.  Oh, my.

There are my favorites.  Do  you know any of them?  What are  your favorites?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Pretty Cards From the Past

Look at the top picture on the right. I had so much fun putting those old-fashioned cards on my printer's drawer.  They were my grandmother's.  One has a small gold foil hymn book, one has red flocked bells that stick out in a folded paper style.  The other red one is a candle with a little "pillow" between the sheets of paper that cause the red part to be pouffy.  Then there are a blue and silver foil one with more cutouts.  It is amazing to me how creative all of these old cards were.  I have some from birthdays, anniversaries, and other occasions.

My grandma saved all of her cards in a big pretty box.  Some of the "newer" ones (from the late 50s and early 60s) are parchment.  As a girl, I always loved those.  Now, they are vintage. 

When we three girls went to visit, we got all the cards, divided them up and them chose our card store.  One of us used the enclosed staircase, one the little room, and one the living room.  We would set them up in a fancy style and then go to visit each other and buy or trade our cards.  This was one of our favorite activities.

Grandma loved to sit with us and look at them all and tell the stories connected to them.  She always said they were too pretty to throw away.  They were indeed.  When she passed away, I asked to have a selection of them.  Now, as you see, they are part of this family's tradition, too.

Do you have a simple, inexpensive heirloom that has traveled through the years?  I'd love to hear about it.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Untangling the Skein...Sort Of

Last night I was finishing up the baby blanket that I was making for my granddaughter, Amelia, and I was having all kinds of trouble.  I needed to use a new skein of pink yarn to finish the edges.  I pulled the string that is supposed to unravel the yarn from the inside.  This usually works, but instead of one end coming out, two were there.  So when I pulled on the string, some yarn came out, but then it got tangled.  For the entire border, I had to pull a wad of yarn out, spend up to 15 minutes untangling it and then crocheting on.  The process was bordering on oppressive.  I prayed and that immediately helped me to get my good nature back. And I got an idea to cut a long piece off the top of the skein and tie it on and use that.  After taking many more hours than it should have taken, the pink edge was done.

Now I had a new problem.  I had about 1/2 of a skein of blue and I was hoping to add this to the pink edge in the shell stitch.  If if didn't reach, I would have to pull it out and either do a regular single crochet stitch or single crochet with a picot (a little knot) every so often.  I didn't think it would be enough, but I hoped and prayed.  When done, I had a small ball left over.  Praise God.  All ended well at last.

Now let me tell you that I have never seen such a knotty mess as that yarn (which is going in the trash.)  It was almost insurmountable.  If there is a knotty problem in your life, God can help you.  I know He will.

This majestic love and all good gifts are why I am so excited about Thanksgiving.  Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Three Good Things

The first good thing I want to talk about today is that we finally got our first snow here in Michigan.  But Praise God, it was just flurries.  My dear husband had my car brushed off before I even got up.  I know snow is coming, the kind that clogs the roads and makes them slippery.  But for today, I am very happy to see a light dusting that actually stirs up the little girl in me who used to love the stuff.

The second good thing happened at the optometrist's office.  My eyes haven't been quite 100% since I got new lenses after cataract surgery.  My doctor worked up a prescription recently in Oct. and he did some tests.  My eyes are just doing their own thing, but today I was able to order a pair of glasses that will work for a time since my license says I need to wear them for driving.  It was nearly all paid for this time by my insurance.  And I got some cute new frames thrown in for good measure.

The third good thing is all of the smells here and there at this time of year.  I raked up leaves recently and I enjoy that pungent aroma. My son and his wife made a lovely roast and the scent was heavenly with rosemary.  Everywhere I go in the stores I smell my daughter's favorite, pumpkin spice. I put on one of those perfume strips from a fashion magazine and hit the jackpot.  I don't know what it was, but if was so fresh and feminine and wonderful and not too overpowering.  (I should have written it down on the paper.)  Near the end of summer, I smelled real licorice.  Oh, that took me way back to my childhood and the big case of penny candy at the little mom and pop store.

Here's hoping that you get some good things coming your way. One other thing.  These few weeks between the election and the big Christmas rush are so sweet to me.  I'm busy, but there is a serenity that just comes from this time of Harvest Home.  Enjoy your week.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Wonderful Words

Words are fabulous.  They are currency for writers.  We all try to spend them well.  Along the way, I have come across a few gems that I'd like to share.

Tenacity - In the book of James, he says "count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." James 1:2.3 NKJ.  Webster says that's tenacity, firmness of hold. 
I just love the idea of holding onto something so tightly that it hurts and never letting go.  I love trying and going on trying.  I may not apply tenacity to all areas of my life, but I like it as an overall goal.

Epiphany - My friend said this word is used incorrectly.  She may be right.  She says that it only refers to the appearance of Jesus in the incarnation.  Certainly it does apply to that and the appearance of the Holy Child to the wisemen.  It refers to the church celebration of this event.  Besides this, I always thought that it meant some bit of wisdom which came upon someone in a certain circumstance.  The closest thing Webster has to this is "to show forth" or "an appearance."  I still love the idea of some great thing hitting me by thought or emotion.  And I love the very sound of the word.

Eclectic - Webster says "composed of material gathered from various sources, systems, etc"  The first time I heard this word was in the first Bob Newhart Show with Suzanne Pleshette.  Suzanne (Emily) wanted to get rid of Bob's old ratty chair and she redecorated the apartment in a hodgepodge which she called eclectic.  I always loved Emily and her attitude and I loved that new word.  Now I decorate my house in what may be loosely called British Colonialism.  I have netting and a safari hat and beads and lace along with animal prints.  The style just lends itself to the eclectic air.

Well there you are.  Do you have favorite words? I'm sure I can come with a few more again some time. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Counting Blessings

Lately I have been getting dissatisfied with some of my daily routines.  There sometimes seemed a dullness that I couldn't account for.  And things pile up in circumstances that make me feel under the load instead of sitting in the heavenly places (Eph. 2:6) where I am supposed to be.  I wondered what I could do to get above these things.  Then I remembered that praise and being thankful works wonders for the kind of thoughts I had been having.

Now there were several different years where I counted my miracles each day.  I put the date and each time I listed something that was unusual and exciting.  Not all of the days had what most people would consider a miracle, yet I had my share.  This time I just want to list blessings.  If all I can find is a sunny day, I want to be thankful for it.  In some ways, it is a miracle that the sun warms us and doesn't burn us up.  Much of the universe is so constructed that a tiny movement either way could even cause life to cease on this planet.  So who is to say what is a miracle anyway?

I started a few days ago because I had such a wonderful day that I just had to write it down and give it some worth.  Yes, I do praise God for each day and thank Him regularly, but just writing something down gives it an extra bit of honor  and permanency that just speaking it may lack.  It also is a key to remembering important things.  So far, I have gotten a very good series of results from a blood test and discovered that I do not have diabetes.  My granddaughter had a good report on something that could have been bad, but it turned out to be normal and will go away.  And one day I almost lost a just completed blog by pushing a button wrong or something.  The Lord saved it for me.  That was weird.  Also, I have been trying to keep my computer files clean and I lost my cookies and the computer actually told me how to get them back.

The most important part of this exercise is not the having the list, but the doing.  When a year is done, I can read it over and oooh and aaah over my blessings.  But the best benefit is in the now.  I look forward to what could be, might be happening to add sparkle to my list.  I expect something special to write down.

I guess I'm just getting started early on Thanksgiving.  I love Nov. and thinking thankful things during the month.  As I said, this is in addition to my regular praise and thanks.  I expect to see some major things on my list and if I can encourage you or bless you in any way by this blog, that would be another big blessing for me.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Former Foolishness

For as long as I can remember, I have had a phobia/superstition about the number 13.  I think it went back to the childhood silliness of "step on a crack and break your mother's back, don't walk under a ladder, watch out if you break a mirror, don't open an umbrella indoors.  These sound pretty lame.  I got over them a long time ago, but for some reason the "13" thing stuck in my mind.  If I counted how many sweaters I had to be sure I was covered for the winter, or how many slacks/jeans, if I got to 13, I had to add one or discount one for some reason.  Friday the 13th didn't bother me too much, because the number 13 was sort of a personal thing. I just avoided it if I could.

Another illogical superstition (I think I created this one because of my dislike of snow) was snowflake phobia.  I have a pair of snowflake earrings and I would never wear them until after the first snow, just because.  I also have a plain black long sleeve T-shirt with a single large snowflake on the front.  This too, I wouldn't wear until after a snowfall.

One day I read or heard that superstitions showed that I wasn't trusting God as much as I should.  I was really trusting in some things man had made  up instead of Him.

After this, I learned that the number 13 has several good things going for it.  It's a baker's  dozen, an extra, something unexpected.

As for the snowflake thing, I can now wear my earrings and black T anytime I want. If you think I'm foolish for doing these things, at least I had the desire to change.  Now that's freedom.     

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Putting an Old Talent to Good Use

While I was waiting for my granddaughter to be born, I thought it might be fun to do a little crocheting.  I hadn't made any wee clothes in a very long time and some moms may not like the little old-fashioned sweater, hat, and booty look.  So I decided to do a blanket.  When we were at the hospital with my daughter, Dawn, I got a good start on it.  The center is going to be turquoise blue and it will be bordered by pink and blue granny squares.  I once made a whole king sized bedspread of those squares (see the bed picture.)  That was our first year of marriage.

Years went by and I did a few crocheted Christmas stockings.  Then one year when I was able to be home with the two boys I went nuts and crocheted up a storm.  I bought a table at our church bazaar and by the time the event came, I had such cute ornaments, some crocheted around plastic bracelets with bells or holly attached.  I made snowmen, stockings, candy canes, snowflakes of various sizes, and my own creation, a skier out of a long tube bead with a crochet hat and toothpicks for the ski poles.  These I put on a little mirror.

I had a wonderful time at the bazaar.  My two boys came with my husband and oohed and aahed at my table of wonders.  Unfortunately, most people were interested in ceramics and fabric stuffed letters and such that year.  Nearly everyone stopped and complimented my creations even though most didn't buy.  I did manage to sell a few things.  Through that experience and another craft show or two, I learned that you just don't know what the public wants. It all ended well because my mother-in-law bought all my leftovers for a  huge tree she was decorating at the country club and I even got to see my works on display.

Once, several years ago, I got coral baby yarn and tried to make one of those long filmy scarves that were all the rage.  I did mine with granny squares.  They were all coral, but the lines between the squares showed and I never wore it.. So that was my last project until this wonderful baby blanket. I figure, it will be warm, washable, and soft.  I'm sure baby Amelia will like it.  I'm expecting it to be done by Christmas.

I know that at least one of my readers knits.  Do any of you crochet?  Have you had any successes or flops lately?     

Monday, October 8, 2012

A Little Fall Dancing

In my last blog I mentioned going to football games.  Going to the first High School home game was always such a thrilling time.  I remember one year, we were so excited because we had just purchased a clothing item called legotards.  They were opaque, thick, colored stockings that were like panty hose (except panty hose weren't invented yet.)  If you guessed they were tights, you are right.  That name wasn't invented yet, either.  So we put our new leg warmers on and our wool slacks.  We wore wool sweaters which often made me itch.  And then, we wore jackets.  At the game, some bold girls had blue legotards on with plaid wool Bermuda shorts.  What a fashion statement!

I love the chill that was in the air.  Some of us had homemade confetti cut from newspapers.  We bought a bag of the colored, expensive stuff and mixed it with the newspapers to have quality and quantity. Whenever there was a touchdown or a great play, we threw our confetti.

The High School band always got me going.  If I grew cold, I could dance up and down to the beat and warm up.  I didn't really understand football then.  I don't get it now either.  But that didn't stop me from having fun.  I knew our cheerleaders and I always cheered along with them.

I had just seen the movie West Side Story.  It was this year, I believe, that I walked home from the stadium with music in my heart.  I ran a few steps, twirled around,  and then threw up my arms into the air like the dancers in that movie.  From one corner to another, I danced my way with glee.  There wasn't much traffic along the way, and I wasn't in the popular set anyway, so I had no fears of looking like a fool.  I wasn't hurting anyone and I remember it as one of the few truly free times in my life.  That's what the autumn air did to me, back in my youth.

On another note about fall, I was driving down a country road recently and the yellow trees ahead of me started to drop leaves in a shower of glory.  They were small, yellow bits that shifted on the breeze as they fell.  It was like soft early snowflakes, only yellow.  As I approached, the leaves just kept falling and flowing in an enchanting style.  Then I passed them and the trees were lovely, but normal.  How I wanted to just drive into that new place of extraordinary beauty where the leaves seemed to be dancing to their own tune.     

Monday, October 1, 2012

Tribute to October

This is the first day of October and I would just like to thank God for making this whole beautiful month.  I admit that it does contain a day that used to ruin the month for me.  But no more.  I want to celebrate!  I can't afford to waste a single new day. So here then, is my tribute.

October has blue skies and just a bit of chill in the air.  There are football games and I remember putting on my wool pants and warm top to walk to the first game of the season.  (Yes, we walked everywhere back then, but I did not carry a potato.)  I don't know where my kids got that part of the story.

October causes me to switch clothes from one closet to the other and get out all of the pretty wool skirts and the lovely sweaters. Too bad they don't make the pretty died-to-match Bobby Brooks sets anymore that we used to wear.   I also love and look best in the dark, rich fall colors like red, deep yellow, dark green, brown, and purple.

You can't go far without noticing that the leaves are changing swiftly.  I saw a brilliant scarlet today bunched in with the usual yellow.

There are pumpkins, pretty gourds, Indian corn, and squash. I even like the little fairy-like spider webs you see glistening in the morning rays.

You can go to the apple orchards and get cider and donuts.  (Dawn, sorry that you came back and won't get too many fresh apples.)  We can still find some and there are berries.

One more thing I love is candy corn.  It just is so pretty and jolly and yummy. 

So welcome October.  Oh, Lord, "You crown the year with Your goodness, and Your paths drip with abundance."  Psalms 65:11 NKJ

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Different Type of Fasting

Several people in our church are going to fast for a time, during the 40 days leading up to the election.  I think this is a good idea.  Did you know that there are other things to fast besides food?  In the Bible, married people may separate themselves from intimate acts for a short time for the purpose of prayer and devotion. 

I like to give up the radio as a fast.  I enjoy hearing the voices in the background while I'm working.  It keeps me company.  I just quit listening to it as a gift to God so I can get a new perspective from Him.  I often fast during the church seasons of Advent and Lent.  Also, if I find myself too drawn to something, I'll give it up as a fast.  That usually breaks the wrong attachment to the ojbect so I can enjoy it later and not be so dependent on it.

Often I give up sweets as a fast.  Once my daughter and I fasted magazines.  Here is what often happens.  Just when you give something up, you get tempted to break the fast.  I see my favorite dessert at a restaurant or a special guest is going to come on the radio.

The more you give up as a sweet sacrifice to God for His purposes, the more you will receive - even if only God's nearness and that is a lot. Spend the time praying for the election.  Let the process purge self attitudes.  It can be powerful.

This is not like a diet where you goof and -oh well.  When you give something up, you do it. If you should slip, get forgiveness and go back on your fast until your time is up.  God actually works with you to help you.  Write down the things you have learned from your fast.

Give up the thing you love.  David said, "...nor will I offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God with that which cost me nothing."  2Samuel 24:24  Don't give up TV if you don't watch it.  The greater the sacrifice, the greater the blessing.  We're talking spiritual blessings, but God does hear and He knows everything we need.

Items you may want to fast besides food: radio, TV, books, sweets, pop (soda), magazines, jewelry, CDs, whatever.  May God bless your fasting.  May God  bless America as you fast for Him and for His plans to  come forth.

Monday, September 17, 2012

A Prayer for my Father

Here is a letter I found when I was going through my writings.  It was written for Valentine's Day in 2003, but any day is a good day to thank my Heavenly Father and I'd like to post it now.

Dear Father,

If I should die tonight, I would be content, knowing that I am in the arms of a faithful Father. There is nothing I am afraid of right now.

I am very confused, but You will supply me with answers.  You are my divine source, for truth, for all I need.

There is so much to do.  I know that you will help me choose what is best.  You are my shield.  There is only goodness in You.  You are my delight.  I think about how wonderful You are to me.  You give me all good things in due season.  You will not withhold any good thing from me.

You are my provider, my friend, my shelter.  My thoughts turn to songs about Your majesty.  You are so faithful.  I know there is never a time when You are not looking after me or caring for me.

You forgive me of my sins and faults because of Jesus, my Savior, and remove them far from me.  You are not upset when I ask questions.  You don't get mad when I am confused.

I have little areas of interest to me which I cherish and would like to keep, but they are yours if You want them.  Everything You do for me is to help me, so I can be blessed to be a  blessing.

You promise to fulfull my heart's desire when I am delighting in You.  You are the joy of my heart.

Accept my praise this day.

Your Nancy 

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Question Is Answered

On my last blog, I left you with a question.  Where did the "Letters, we get letters" song come from?  The name that fits in the blank is Perry and the show was The Perry Como Show.  No one got the answer or even offered a guess.  Just to make sure I didn't make it up, I checked on my search engine and found that it is indeed a song and you can even get it as a Ringtone on your phone.  I don't think I want to carry it that far.

Thinking of Perry Como reminded me of one of my DVDs, Blast from the Past.  In this movie, a couple lives in a fallout shelter for 35 years and their son was born there.  When he finally comes up to earth, he is riding with a girl and a Perry Como song comes on the radio.  He is exuberant.  He says to the girl, "here comes the good part."  It is a good part.  There are several other Perry songs in that movie.  While I do recommend it, I want to mention that it is PG-13 and there may be a few things that might offend.  Except for these the movie could be PG.  Mostly it's a joyous romp that shows how truly wonderful the 50s and early 60s were.  We get so see a young person in our world who respects his parents, prays naturally, is curious and has great manners.  This is in contrast to most movies that show this era as repressed, dull, and oppressive.  This main character isn't repressed, he is full of joy.

Having said all of this, I think I might have to put a Perry Como CD on my with list.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Memory, A Mysterious Thing

Last night, I was putting away a box of wooden alphabet letters that my grandson had been playing with.  I shook it and sang "letters, we get letters, we get stacks and stacks of letters.  Dear ______, would you be so kind, to fill a request and sing the song I like best?"

Now I have a question for all of you.  I know the younger ones won't know, but those from the fifties?  What T.V. show is that song from and who is the singer whose name fits in the blank?  There's no prize except the title of "Boomer Trivia Extroardinaire."  Here's one clue:  the letters mentioned are letters in the mail, that you put a stamp on, not alphabet letters.

None of the 14  people at our house knew the answer.  So what I want to know is, how and why did that little jingle get into my head at that time?  I haven't thought of that singer and certainly not the show for ages and ages.  My son, Ben, said that songs and jingles stay in your head.  That's why they are so good at advertising.  At which point my daughter, Dawn, (who is home again, yeah) sang a building advert. with the phone number and all.  And someone else, son, Joe, I think sang another ad to prove the point.

But why would I remember something long buried from an old  program?  I just don't get it.  I know that I can still sing the Greek and German alphabets even though I learned the German one in 7th grade.  I can sing the books of the Old Testament.  That's how I can look things up quickly.  I learned those when I was about seven.  I can remember old lullabies and verses of songs from the sixties and old hymns.  I can remember tunes like The Twelfth Of Never.

Now before you think I am bragging, I admit that I rarely remember dates, the numbers that go with my scriptures, geography or lots of history.  If you put these in a song, I probably could. So that explains it I guess.  I can remember most things that were sung, even long ago.  That still doesn't explain the "why" question.  Why did I sing that song then?  It's a mystery.

If you have an answer for my little quiz, I'll reveal all in my next post leaving many young people to say "what?"  "who?"  I may think of another question for my "Boomer Trivia Extroardinaire" to answer some time in the future. 


Friday, August 24, 2012

Another Small Pleasure

Today, I'd like to talk about containers.  I love them, all kinds.  I love cute little cubby holes in chests of drawers.  I love decorated tins, especially those with hinged lids.  I have an old Sucrets lozenges tin where I keep my bobby pins.  My mother kept hers in one like that.  I have one of the same shape from a tea company with a gorgeous picture on the front.  That is handy to transport tea bags so they don't get crushed.  These are so fetching that I have to be careful not to buy something I don't need, just because it comes in an adorable package.  The first luxury feature I look for in a car, after self-locking doors, is plenty of cubbys for my sunglasses, C.D.s and small umbrella.

Yesterday at the preschool my grandsons are going to, there was a white wooden box that looked like a building.  It had pictures of the Thomas trains painted on the front.  On top was a flat wrapped cushion that fit perfectly as a lid.  A lid and a seat.  Love it.  When my son was three, my dad made him a toy chest that looked like a circus car.  Instead of the curliques that could have gone on top, I asked for a covered seat/lid.  That worked great.

My grandsons love the container idea, too.  Their trikes have "trunks" and into them they put stones, small action figures, toy salt and pepper shakers, and whatever else they find.  Ty took out his loot yesterday and said, "see my treasures."  They love bags, boxes, lunch kits, cookie tubes, dump trucks and anything else they can put stuff in and dump it out.

Anything useful that has a  small drawer is improved 100% in my view.  I love piano benches, where you may find some enticing piece of old music.

Anyone remember Eeyore and his birthday jar?  He had a burst balloon which he kept taking out of the jar and putting it back in.  He was so happy.  Some days I am like the boys with my treasures and I just take them out of their keepers and show them off.  Sometimes I'm like the donkey and I just quietly enjoy the whole concept. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Going Forward

Lately, since I have suspended novel reading for a time, I have had a chance to reread some of my favorite non-fiction books.  I try to take time in the late evening, after prayers, to go over some of them.  I find that often, I get so excited about the promises and the exciting things the Lord says that it is difficult to sleep.  I nearly always drift off after a bit of mental wool gathering.  And it is so worth it because what happens is that with prayers, my Bible, and these books which help to put it all together for me, I find that my attitude changes immensely.

 Sometimes when I get busy, I rush through my quiet time and then attitudes that are less than the best come out.  I love the scripture: "forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead..." Phil.3:13 NKJ.  Most of my negativity comes from things that have happened in the past.  It is so wonderful that I can forget these things and go on knowing that I have a fresh new day and a brand new life at every turn.  I take the New Creation seriously.  This is what gives me courage to go on.  I know that the Bible says I am new and with His word behind me, I feel that way.

I just think it is so gracious of God to give us this opportunity at every moment.  I even find myself, when thinking some negative thought, saying to myself, "no, I don't have to think that."  I find a scripture somewhere in my memory band that is the total opposite and I quote that.  This works great for relationships.  I can just stop and remember a good quality about some person I was beginning to be annoyed by in my mind.  And when I see that person, I am ready with love from above to share with them.

This process is something I have known about for sometime, but business gets in the way of my "thinking on these things."  God's Kingdom waits.  There just isn't time to rehash old junk.  There's only time to love Him, help someone else, and get on with my life.  Have a great day today.  Nancy 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Talking About Elvis

Some friends and I were having great ice cream at a little shop, and there on the wall was a picture of Elvis Presley.  A story of a chance encounter came out and a discussion ensued.

The first time I saw Elvis was on the Ed  Sullivan Show.  I was a young girl.  My sisters and I weren't impressed.  I was not a big fan.  I might have gone to one of his movies.  I know that I did enjoy a lot of his music, mostly the ballads.

Later, when I was an adult I remember voting for the early Elvis stamp instead of the one with the white jumpsuit.  That was never my era.

Over the years, I heard more and enjoyed more of his music.  When we went to Nashville a few years ago, we saw a performer who did most of the big songs from all  phases of his career.  He wore the different era outfits.  What a great show. If I weren't a fan before then, I became one that night. I got an Elvis Inspirational C.D.  Some of the songs I love on it are: If I Can Dream, Amazing Grace, You'll Never Walk Alone, The Impossible Dream, and Danny Boy.  Danny Boy is one of my all-time favorite songs.  He does it so well and it has a second verse that I had never heard before.  Every time I play that song, tears come to my eyes.

Shakespeare says in Julius Caesar, "The evil that men do live after them; the good is oft interred with their bones."  In Elvis' case, I think it is just the opposite.  There were a lot of things not to like, but because of his music, we have much good to remember him by.  That's pretty much the consensus of our little discussion at the ice cream shop.  As time goes by, those ballads become more and more sweet.  I would love to be remembered for any good I have done.  To further tweak Shakespeare a bit, "so let it be with me."

Friday, August 3, 2012

Fleet Sails in September

Not too long ago, I got a chance to play the New Card game called Fleet.  It was invented by Ben Pinchback and Matt Riddle.  I sat down with my sons to listen to the directions.  I have played several of these detailed, strategy oriented games before.  Often I was overwhelmed by all of the rules and other issues. While they explained Fleet, we played a hand.  The beautiful ships in the fleet jumped out at me and I couldn't wait to draw another card, to see what fantastic boat I'd see.  All of the pictures are so colorful and full of mystery  You get pulled into the game even at this point.  Then there is the bidding which my son helped me to understand.  And there is an accessory card with what happens on each turn so that you can carry on.  I'm not sure at what point I quit asking questions all the time and the play just became natural.  It wasn't too long.  And this from a mostly non-gamer.

There are so many activities on a turn and you need to assess your hand frequently so that it seems like  you are always playing.  Three players was a nice number to play the game, though it can be played by two to four players.

Besides the boats that you launch, there are other cards with things to do that you can draw.  On many of them, there are directions written on the card so that each time you play the game, you could play it differently.  Also, you get to draw on every turn.  It's a comfort that you always get a chance to do better next hand.  And there are many opportunities to get the money you need.  It's a matter of strategy how you spend it.

Well there you are.  I found Fleet to be exciting,visually stimulating, fun, interactive, and while easy enough for a beginner, with enough challenge to  wonder how I will play  it next time.  I did pretty well, by the way.  Only the "master" got more money than I did.  What a way to start.  Hope you can get your fleet sailing soon.

Fleet will be sold on in September.

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Summertime Seven

Since we are about in the middle of the summer, I have been thinking of all of the reasons why I love the good old summertime.

1. First,I guess, is the weather.  We have been having highs of 80s here lately.  That is a bit warm for me, but I can always go into the nice, cool, air-conditioning somewhere and cool off.  After any Michigan winter, even our last mild one, I love to be warm.  It feels great.

2. Another thing I love is my garden.  I try to grow flowers, though I don't have a green thumb.  This year I put in perennials and they have been thriving.  Such pretty pastel colors and a white one that is supposed to look like butterflies. It spreads wide and is so airy and so like a fairy.  My husband has been growing the sweetest tomatoes, of which, we have had just a taste so far.

3. Then there is the music.  I told you about the "Beatles" performance.  We went back and heard a top 40s artist who was very good, too.  There is nothing quite like music in the park of a summer's evening.

4. I have been eating ice-cream.  During the rest of the year, I'd rather spend my sweets calories on cake, soft cookies, pies, or great candy.  But in the summer, I love to let it melt a bit and just enjoy how absolutely creamy it is.

5. I'd say I love the beach or swimming, but I don't live near either.  When we do go on the road, we are too busy to do the evening pool thing.  Perhaps there is yet a beach this season.  I love to walk along and let the water wash over my feet and look for shells or anything neat nature might bring up.  In pools, I love to lie back and float across from one side to the other and look at the rafters.

6. Corn on the cob is coming up in August.  Need I say more?

7. Lastly, I love to have a bit of extra time.  I can catch up on making my cards.  I made another collage.  And I like to sit in my little room and, since I haven't found a retreat to go on, just sit in God's presence, pray, sing, or read over my scriptures and notes.  He always meets me there.

Hurray for summer!  What do you love most?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Tables, Before and After

We have another addition to our family.  It's our brand new table and chairs.  We bought the old one in our third year of marriage when we moved to our big house.  My first son, Joe, was on the way and we needed to expand our furniture to include family activities.  The old one could be round, oval, or even more oval with its two extenders.  I liked the first oval shape and determined to keep it clear, no mail or later, school things on the table.

There were so many happy activities associated with that old wooden friend.  We had a few birthday parties, we carved pumpkins (before I quit doing Halloween,) cookie making, egg dying, craft projects, suppers and all of the rest.  It is the place where I wrote my first novel.  So many memories.

Nostalgia is nice, but then it is time to let go.  Of the six chairs, at least  half of them were scratched and marked  beyond repair.  The edges of the table were peeled off and even the extenders had scratches on them.  So, sadly we had to say good by and give it away.

Our new table is a rectangle and has one large extender.  Without the extra piece, our dining room is so spacious that the room is cleaner and brighter all at once.  We got another six chairs for the family when they come over.  Even with the extra chairs in the house, it won't be enough.  We may have to do a (yikes) kid's table.  And even then, we will probably have to go with the little trays that you put in front of your other furniture.

I can't wait to form memories with this new set of furniture.  Won't that be fun? 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Welcoming Amelia

Lar and I got home from Tenn. Thursday evening.  We were gone from July 1 to the 11th..  How excited we were to see our daughter, Dawn, and granddaughter, Amelia Rose.  We traveled the 10 hours including stops without staying overnight.  Dawn was recovering nicely from her C-section.  The baby was doing well, but it was considered a bit preemie, even at 6lb, 6oz.  The first night we saw her in her bassinet with the light glowing under her and a couple of lights over her  head.  As with many babies, she had jaundice.  Then she had to use an oxygen tube for a while and then a feeding tube.  Finally, today, I see that she is home.  Yeah!

During this time, Dawn, Daddy Dave and I did get a chance to hold her.  Oh, the experience of a newborn.  I remember it so well.  The Lord was faithful and let me be there during this time.  In fact, just before I left, I was having some pain in the side issues.  Flack is what it was.  My pastor prayed for me and a good blog friend Susan R. prayed.  So the trip was possible.

Now that I am home, I am so thankful for all that God has done.  He cared for Dawn through her pregnancy and brought Amelia safely to us and got her home.  I was supposed to help Dawn with the baby at home, but it turned out that I was a help, by the grace of God, just by being there and doing what I could.

Please forgive the delay.  I had so much to catch up on when I got back.  I am now very excited to see what all of my blog friends have been up to while I was away.

Saturday, June 30, 2012


Hello friends.  Our daughter had her first child, Amelia, yesterday.  The baby was over a week early.  That was the surprise.  I will be going to Tennessee to visit her tomorrow.  Can't wait to see the little family.  I will probably pick this blog up in about two weeks.  Till then, enjoy the summer.  Nancy

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Seeing The "Beatles"

I thought I'd do a fun post that connects to the Baby "Boomers" part of my blog.  Hope some of you can relate.

We were going to Lexington, Mi. for dinnner and then to see a free concert in the park of the Beatles' music.  Rain threatened and we weren't even sure that our two hour trip would be worth the trouble.  But, we were ventursome so we headed out to get our place on the lawn as the skies cleared.  I had pictured many musicians on stage playing tunes, even without words because that was what we got  last year.  Even that wold be great.  Was I surprised when John, Paul, George, and Ringo walked onstage in the form of a band called The BackBeats.

They started right in playing one of my favorites, "I Want to Hold Your Hand."  We were close enough that we could see pretty well, but far enough away so that the faces didn't show.  All of the mannerisms that Paul and George had on stage, the way they went apart and came together with their heads over the mike, the way John stood with his feel apart, knees bent, the way Ringo hit the drums with the stick sideways while slightly shaking his head - well it was amazing.

  Unless you were about the age of a  17 year old girl when the Beatles first appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, you would have no idea how that moment felt to me when they broke into that song.  Of course I was a huge fan until they went into their "hippy dippy" phase.  No, these Beatles wore suits and had the famous mop-top hairdos.  Music wise, they were great.  The boys individually sounded quite a lot like their counterparts.  George was an especially good singer I thought.

The group came back after break with other outfits and they played later music.  It was all good.  I kept up with the Beatles' music for a long time after I "got over them."  This was a little fantasy trip where I got to go back and visit one of the best times when I was  young and silly.  It was fab.  I'd give it a four.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Body Of Work

Several years ago I saw a little blurb about one of the Beatles, George, I think, and it praised  his "body of work."  That phrase hit me hard.  I was so envious that he had all of these songs, this beautiful music to show for his life.  And before I could get too down, the Lord told me that I, too, had a body of work.

He gently reminded me of all of the short stories I had written and which are still in my files.  He said not to forget the novels I have written, and the early poems.  I was beginning to see what He meant.  "But Lord, those aren't even published."  "No," He said, "but you tried.  You sent them out diligently.  Look at all of those little notes at first and also the kind letters that were sent in  response.  You were only responsible for the offense.  I do the defense."

"Let's look at those letters from Me and articles that you wrote and shared, just for My sake and the Gospel's.  You will never know until you get to heaven whom they affected or how much.  When you sent out a devotional, even though it came back, it could have had many readers before it was returned.  It didn't get the wide audience you craved, but what if I just wanted some little lady in some far city to be encouraged and you did it with that piece of writing?"

I think I'm seeing a pattern here.  "Never forget, Child, that you also have your Box.  When you get discouraged, look in there.  So many little things you have done that you don't remember are captured by loving notes.  That, too, is included in your body of work."

"Most of all, look at your photo albums, each one lovingly tended.  Here is your true vocation.  Any time taken from your dreams and put into my Living Letters will be well rewarded some day.  So you see, if your time were up, you would leave many important pieces of work behind that together forms quite a body of sharing from My heart to others.  And with your extra days that I give you, carry on.  Go deeper with me and add daily to your list.  I am right behind you, leading you on."

This idea, taken from one of my "letters from God," is not to show off the things I've done because many other people have done far more.  It is to encourage some heart who may just need to know that little efforts build up to the great thing you want to do.  Indeed, the little acts become the great thing even as you move toward your goal.  

Friday, June 15, 2012

Father's Day Thoughts

I was looking over one of my "Letters from God" that I used to write. One particular note touched my heart so much.  It said "Your Father is the core of safety."  And then I immediately said to myself, "the Yearling."  The next line confirmed that in the letter I had referenced that particular quote.  In the wonderful children's book The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, a father, mother and boy live in the Florida swamps, a very dangerous life.  The boy, Jody, and his dad had just come home from a trip where they had encountered a bear and the dogs were howling and it was all chaos.  At home safely that night, Jody was going over the boisterous events of the day and that's when the narrator spoke Jody's mind that even if all  outside was unruly, here, close to his father, all was at peace.  It wasn't the home, it wasn't the light, it wasn't even the warm covers, it was Father.  I love that book for its earthiness, its simplicity, and its heart.  The dad, a little man, could always use his skills to protect those he loved.

My dad was like that.  He was safe and rock solid and a good man.  Even if your dad wasn't like that, if you are a child of God, you have a wonderful Father who wants to protect and shelter you.  He isn't even small.  He is huge and omnipotent.  He can do everything.  He is in charge of all of nature.  He carries your burdens and your heart so tenderly.

This Father's Day, I salute my dad, my husband and his dad, my son (who is a dad), my son in law who will be a dad very soon, and all of the great fathers out there.  And I thank my heavenly father for being my "core of safety" from all the wild world.  It is such a comfort to know He is there.

Happy Father's Day Dads!

Monday, June 11, 2012


I love mice.  As Rose Fyleman said in her famous poem, they are "very nice."  How can you not love something so soft and tiny with such cute whiskers?  I know, they eat corn and seeds and grain and farmers hate them.  That's why they have cats.  Once when I was little, I was sitting on the step outside the farmhouse back door and my sisters and I had a cardboard container or straw and baby mice that my grandfather had caught in a nearby shed.  We let them go.  I didn't know what their fate would be, but I could guess and out they went.  Well, Grandpa was not happy with our compassionate critter routine.  We never did that again. 

I also know that at times I have had to set a mousetrap to catch a mouse in the house.  I am not afraid of them, but they don't belong running along my kitchen floor.  I just made sure that I didn't have to empty the trap.

My childhood storybooks always had such cute mice illustrations.  The best is Beatrix Potter who is amazing with any furry creatures.  There was the story, Ben and Me, of a mouse who lived in Benjamin Franklin's hat.  There is a newer one which won the Newberry prize for best children's book, Desperaux by Kate DiCamillo. This brave mouse goes on a quest.  I'm sure you can think of other cute and similar stories.

I also love Mickey and Minnie Mouse.  Besides making the Magic Kingdom so friendly, they have a new clubhouse on early for the little ones.  It teaches letters, numbers, shapes, and kindness.

My favorite mouse is a little 4" porcelain Revolutionary figure wearing a tricorn hat.  He is carrying a lantern with one at his feet and he is reading a blue book, Longfellow's The Midnight Ride Of Paul Revere.  I got him at the Old North Church gift shop when I went to Boston.  He is probably my favorite little figurine ever.

Well, there you have it, my funny fondness for mice - of every type.  Hope you cat lovers don't get upset.  I like cats, too. 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Thoughts on Jobs and Other Things

I finished cleaning my house the fourth week in May.  I was a week early because I forced myself to do my files, dining room, entrance, and linen closet all on one day.  All I did was use my attachments to clean behind couches, under furniture and around cushions.  I love attachments.  I only had a long skinny slot type tubing thing that fit on my hose when I unhooked the hose.  Next year, I hope to have a new vacuum with the brush, flat 4 incher, and several "arms" so I can reach farther.  Now those little tools make me so happy.  I also did the blinds and cleaned around wherever my weekly cleaning missed.  It feels fresh and new.  I love the empty spaces on shelves after I donated many items.  It's that clean look where you can highlight a great photo or knicknack and let it shine.

This month, I plan to do some creating in my little bit of extra time.  I'm not sure what it will be but creating gives me endorphins like exercise does to others.  I feel totally pumped up when I am done and at peace while so composed.

My schedule is looking quite busy, even with some working days off.  That's fine.  Whatever my hands find to do, I hope I can do it with joy as unto the Lord.  It seems like "playtime" isn't as much fun as it used to be and work is getting to be so much more interesting.  What's happening here?  Time to take all of the labels off things and just rejoice in the days the Lord has made.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Three Little Stories

I was feeling down as I do occasionally, and three things happened.  I got a letter from a friend who told me about a video she had seen which showed God's glory in an amazing way.  I believe God heals just as he did in the Bible days.  I have missionary reports that prove this.  So the thought of God's wonderful presence to heal and to wash over hungry hearts just reminded me of what I so ardently adhere to.

I also was reading a devotional and one line stood out helping me to just trust God to fix a tricky situation.  I took it to heart believing that He could do what He said he would do.  Once my faith gets a hold of that kite tail, I just soar in the heavenlies where I belong.

A few days later, I read a very good book which was off my beaten path, genre-wise.  When I finished it, I realized that it is possible to spread God's word in a way that reaches hearts without seeming preachy.

These three little stories help me realize that my life and your life are not insignificant.  If you are feeling that your little weight for God's Kingdom doesn't count for much, think again.  All these three people did was use their gifts for God and share them.  Hey, I can do that.  You can do that.  One little word of encouragement that there is a God who loves them and can help them and they can help too, is all it takes to lift another person heaven-ward. Soon, the whole sky will be full of kites with happy people holding to the tails and singing praise to our great God.   

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Revisiting Alcott

I just finished rereading the March family chronicles, better known as Little Women, Little Men, and Jo's Boys by Louisa May Alcott.  I enjoyed them very much, but something disturbed me about myself and society.  Alcott had several themes which she wove into most of her books: "sensible fashion." temperance, morality, phillanthropy, rights for women, and her own ideas in education.  Sometimes, her narrative of the story stops almost completely while she puts out a chapter on one of her topics.  

Here is what bothers me:  I first read most of her books when I was in my teens, even my late teens.  I was a very "square" little person.  I always wanted to do what was right and tried very hard to be good.  These books were such a find.  As an almost non-reader, I found not only great friends in her pages, but ideas that I agreed with and which guided me for a long time.  As I grew older, each time I read them, I would find myself more bored by the "preaching" parts.  Have I gone so wrong?  Has society gotten so dark that her lessons are completely outdated?  I hope that is not the case.  Perhaps it is just the writing style that has changed.  Modern books do have "issues" in them, but they tend to be character driven and so a child reader might not feel as much preached at as in Alcott's books.  I, myself, often feel that someone has been on a soapbox, even with the newer styles.  It seems that writers with a passion just have to put out what they feel.

And so I think that is my answer.  Louisa May Alcott had every right to put her heart into  her books.  Along the way, she created some of my all time favorite characters.  One of the best things about her is that when she does get into naarrative mode, she is the best.  Her romances are full of wit, warmth, surprises, and just the right amount of pulling things together for a happy ending.  Her books are still in print, in spite of the values which have surely changed.  Some of her dreams have been realized.  She would like that. Some have not.
So why do I read old books in the first place when there are so many new ones out there?  I do read newer books and there are many I enjoy.  I think I keep going back because, in spite of the fact that I am no longer such an innocent, and the styles are sometimes difficult, there is just such a peacefulness, a pleasure in being in a more simple time.  It's as much an escape as a fantasy.  And with Alcott's Marches, I feel that I am visiting family.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

What would you do if...........?

I would like to propose a dilemma to you:

While at the store today, I was just looking around and I saw a sign for greeting cards which indicated that all cards by a certain company were 25% off.  Cards were the one thing I did have on my list for the day.  I had planned to go to the discount store next door and get them but thought it would save time if I bought everything in one stop and the sale was pretty good.

  Well at the checkout, I asked a very kind and sweet young man if the cards were on sale.  Not a single one was sale priced and I  had selected from several different locations.  "If these aren't on sale, you should take that sign down," I said in a calm voice.  My anger was aroused because I hate it when this happens.  I hate the injustice, but I hate what it does to me more.  He asked if I still wanted them.  I take time to pick out greeting cards.  Don't you? (smile)  "Yes, I need them," I answered.  While he was ringing up my purchases, I had time to calm down and get myself right.  Sales are fun and bargain hunting is in my blood.  It's not about the money, it's about the principle of the thing.  When he was finished, I paid it all and told him I was sorry and not to say anything about it.

I know some of you are bargain hunters.  Do you complain when you think you are getting a sale and you don't?  My daughter never questions the register and she has been overcharged several times.  I am at the other end.  I'm thinking of changing my attitude to: if you don't want to pay the price quoted,  just don't get that item and buy the rest.

So now I want to know.....what would you do?

Friday, May 4, 2012

Spring Things

This is just one of those times when things are going crazy. I went to my blog and the phone rang.  I had a long conversation with my sister.  Then I got started again and the phone rang again.  Well, now we are doing fine.

My daughter, Dawn, went back home to Tennessee after being here for two weeks.  We had such fun shopping and playing "Nerd Games."  One day, for something different, I got out my craft box and we both made something.  She created an outfit on a wee hanger so small you could put it on a note card. I made a collage.  It's always fun to work together.  Taking Dawn home, I got to go past my Alma Mater, Bowling Green State University on the way going and coming.  It is always fun to see how much the town has been built up since I left many years ago.

Now I am entering on my big Spring cleaning of '12.  I managed to get the kitchen cleaned in two days.  That was a bit of a  push as I usually need three days for that.  Now it's done and looks sparkly.  I hope to do two to three rooms a week until I'm done at the end of May.  Once I set myself a task like this, I get tunnel vision and don't like to be disturbed.  If I do get an interruption, I'll just have to go into June, but I hope that doesn't happen.

In June, I'd like to do some more creating.  I'm not sure what, but something.  Spring just has that "get going" feel about it.  I may put in a small flower garden the first week, but my attempts at gardening last year left much to be desired.  I don't know if it is the soil or just my lack of ambition to be out there working.

I'm babysitting the two boys (remember my two two-year-olds?)  That has been fun and exciting.  I am only needed once a week or so for the summer, so that's why I have time to think of other persuits.

Hope everything is well with all of you.  Have you any plans to continue Springtime fun?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Versatile Blogger Award

Susan Reinhardt at Christian Writer/Reader Connection gave me this award about a week ago.  You can visit her at  She interviews writers, keeps us on our toes, does analogies and warm devotions.  Thank you, Susan.

I'd like to pass this award along to Brenda at  Her blog, It's a Beautiful Life, is full of visual and emotional beauty, every time.
I'd also like to give the award to Rebecca at  She is the best treasure finder I have ever seen.  Visit her and see how she used her finds in her home.

The rules for this award are that the receiver should pass it along to 15 bloggers.  I chose two that I enjoy so much from my reading list.  Also, you may write 7 interesting things about you that readers might not know.

Here are my revelations:

1.  I love to sit on the register when the heat comes on.  It dries out my skin, but I get so cold and it is so comforting.
       2.  I enjoy reading craft books and directions and then not doing the projects. 
        3. I hate driving on the freeway and making left turns.  I will go to great lengths to make any turn into a right turn.
       4.  I have postcards from all the major places I have visited since the New York World's fair in l964.
       5.  I won't eat fat if I can see it.  I will even pull it off of bacon.
       6.  I love live theater.  It just gives me a thrill when a great song or emotional moment happens live.
       7.  I am very easy going and just absorb little things and yet get very frustrated when driving or losing a game, as I found out recently - oops.  Love you, family.

So there you are.  Did any of these surprise you?  Again, thanks Susan, this was fun.,

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Yikes! A new format.

This is my 3 year blogoversary.  I wanted this day to be so special. I took the shortcut to my blog and saw a crazy screen. I guess that if anything was the hallmark of my blogging experience, it would be to expect the unexpected. I hope I have time to play around with it and see what I can learn. Then my next blog will be as complete as I want it to be. For now, I just want to say that I have enjoyed reading all of your blogs.  I have made some great friends that I hope are life-long.  I intend to go on with this for awhile.  I did find out that I have written 317 blogs on this title.  I sincerely hope that all of you are having a great day.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Sunny Day Shower

We had a shower for my daughter Dawn. As you can guess, she is expecting a baby girl. What a lot of fun going through all of the cute party things for babies and helping put the shower together.

My daughter-in-law, Rebekah, did the cute decorations, my other daughter-in-law, Sandra, designed the clever invitations, Dawn's mother in law and her sister helped with food and games and I designed the cookies. It was all a labor of love.

The Lord gave me the idea for the cookies as soon as I heard that we needed a favor. This is a variation of my "turkey cookies." After baking and designing them, I bagged them with ribbon and a charm.

The games were lots of fun. I found out that I knew less than I thought about nursery rhymes. Some guest got them all right. That is remarkable.

Dawn got lots of items she needed as well as some adorable ones like a pink body suit and tutu. I am blessed that Dawn is spending a couple of weeks with me. Then she is off to Tennessee and the long wait for the baby in early July. Well, it was quite the festive day. We had showers that turned to big sunshine for our special day.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter Greeting

On Palm Sunday, my husband and I had the opportunity to hear the Oakland Choral Society present their piece, The Passion Of St. John, by Bach. I enjoyed it because it helped me prepare for Good Friday. It was in English so we could follow along with the narrative. The crowds were angry and the chorale sang old hymns in praise of our Lord. All of the voices and instrumentals were excellent. What a thoughtful and enriching experience.

Tomorrow, I am visiting my son Ben's church and we are going to hear the second half of "From Triumph To Tragedy." Then we are all meeting at his house and getting to know L.J. who is my my new grandson. He joins us at the age of two. Tyrus, who is a few months older, has a new little brother. It will be so much fun as God helps this sweet boy to know how much he is welcomed into our family.

I would like to wish all of you a Happy Easter. Happy Resurrection Sunday! Love, Nancy

Friday, March 30, 2012

Putting Jesus First

I have been reading a book about grace and it includes journal pages. One page asked us to list our thoughts about putting Jesus first in whatever we do. I can usually think of things to write, but this time I was stumped. Putting Jesus first in whatever we do? What does that mean? Nice words, but do they mean anything? Once before, I was stumped and I just started writing. "I'll try that," I thought. Here's what I put down.:

(I'm not really sure what putting Jesus first in everything I do means. I can understand putting Him first in my day, in my mind, in my heart. But in all I do? How do I put Jesus first when I brush my teeth or eat my breakfast? All I can think of is to take extra good care of my teeth because they are a part of my body which is the temple of the Holy Spirit. And breakfast, I guess it would be first finding foods that are good for my body, truly appreciating all of the variety of foods there are, and then thanking Him for it all. That would work.

What about cleaning? Doing it well, singing to Him, praying, meditating on His word, having a conversation with Him. Doing dishes - being happy to thank Him for any cute little dish or glass He gave me and being glad I can do this small job for my husband. And so through the day. O.K., now I see how.)

It amazes me that when I ask God a question, He always gives me the answer.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Meeting a Ray Of Sunshine

I was sitting in an office with a good friend recently, and I heard a very lovely lady speak to another patron. "You should be happy if you could get up today. If you don't hurt anywhere, be glad." She was cheerful, helpful, informed and her upbeat attitude was very touching. She was trying to help some people who came in to see that even with problems, you can have an upgrade in your perspective.

I know that people have serious problems: health issues, financial problems, serious troubles. You have a right to sympathy and prayers. This woman is just saying that if we can get out of bed or have all of our parts working, we can be happy to be alive and to have a thankful attitude. I have been trying to do this. I have heard this type of saying before and right now I am in the category where I am blessed with good health, enough finances, and people to love and who love me. So I want to wake up each day with a song in my heart and give thanks for how I am able to move freely and feel good. Do I have any problems? Yes, of course I do. You may hear about a few of them some time. But even with problems, I want to appreciate what I do have.

This lady in the office was just sharing her joy and hoping that others would catch it. I think that was a great thing to do. She really couldn't help it. Sunshine was just bursting out from all over her.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Looking To Spring

I have to say that I have enjoyed this "winter/spring thing" more than I can tell. I don't remember any winter ever in my life that was this good. I know we still have a month and a half of possible bad weather in Michigan, but that doesn't change the fact that we have had almost a year of great weather. I love it when the sun shines in my bedroom window. I feel as if The Lord were saying. "Good Morning, Nancy. Hope you have a lovely day." And I do and did. A lot of things that were covered over and dark were healed during this time and also with my "new way of looking at things." So that even on a dark or rainy day, I could still see God above the clouds, smiling at me.

Many years ago, I recall a spring day that was balmy and I went a little crazy with spring fever. I wanted to jump and run and be silly. It was that kind of thing. There were other days in Ohio that I remember that feeling. But for too many years in Michigan, I haven't had any of them. Then here comes The Lord with a host of sunny days and not just that, but balmy ones where I want to pinch myself for joy. Oh, it makes me feel young. It makes me feel that anything can happen.

I'm ready for pretty colors: pink and blue and purple and yellow. I'm ready for blossoms (like they had in Nashville when we were there.) I'm ready for green grass and going out in a T-shirt, jeans and light jacket. Are you four-season people ready for Spring?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Nashville Part II

After we visited with my daughter and her family for a while, Larry and I headed off to Nashville. I love the area. We got lost locating the new site of the Grand Ole Opry. We had wanted to see a show in the new auditorium. It turned out that the theater was being used for a private party at the time. The picture of me beside the giant guitar was taken outside this facility. We then decided to retry visiting the Country Music Hall Of Fame. The last time we were there a few years ago, we were on the second floor, just beginning to enjoy the Hank Williams exhibit when the lights went out. There was a blackout in the city and we had to leave the museum. This time we saw the whole thing, but we just missed the Hank Williams display by a few weeks. They change things around and we just had a different exhibit. I enjoyed it anyway as I like to see the films they have of old time T.V. shows. I saw a very young Dolly Parton.

In the next few days, Larry played golf at a club in Murfreesboro or near there and he used his new hickory shaft clubs on a few holes. He is always getting into something new with golf. Dawn, our daughter played and I rode along. (I tried golf early in our marriage, but I was awful. There is really no other word to describe it.) Dawn and I went shopping for her baby to be and for a few maternity things for her.

On the way home, we stopped at Louisville, Kentucky and toured the Louisville Slugger factory. That's a picture of me swinging Mickey Mantle's bat. The tour was fun and informative. We each got a miniature bat as a souvenir.
Our trip home was uneventful. We stayed overnight in Ohio and came home on Friday. There's so much to see in Nashville, I'm glad my relatives are there so we can continue to enjoy the wonderful city.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Nashville Bound

We started our trip to Murfreesboro on Friday, March 2. We were headed for the southern part of Kentucky when our country radio station interrupted with tornado warnings. These were for Indiana and lower Kentucky. They said, "take shelter immediately." We were listening and much of the bad weather was where we had just been driving. Then they spotted a tornado touch down in Carrollton. We were passing over the city limit sign a few moments later. The thing is, we had nowhere to go. We were out in the middle of nowhere. I started praying and I prayed for my husband to do what the Lord wanted him to do. We were also hit with almost blinding rain and hail. Hail as big as baseballs or bigger was predicted in some areas. Finally we pulled off to a strip mall that offered protection for half of our car front. When the rain let up, we drove on. We then entered an area where about 15 minutes before had been exposed to driving rain and hail. So basically, the Lord took us all around the tornado and bad weather area. I learned on my return that my neighbor had been faithfully praying for us. This rainbow came just as the weather broke. At first it was a double rainbow. What a sign of God's care and protection!

We finally stopped in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. Boy was I glad to get out of that car. The next day, we drove on to Nashville and then Murfreesboro. We met our daughter and she took us to a Sweet Ce Ce's Yogurt place. It was all decorated for spring and was so cheerful. I broke my "no sweets" thing and we all had frozen yogurt. Then we turned a knob here and used a scoop there and our healthy yogurt was full of tasty candies, treats, etc. I'm so glad for vacations on my diet, too. That evening we met Dawn's husband and we all went to a Mexican restaurant and I had the best enchiladas I have ever eaten. Next time, I'll tell you about a few of the touristy things we did in Nashville and the area. Stay tuned.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Fun Of Collections

Are you a collector? I didn't mean to collect all of the salt and pepper shakers I have, but the antique store just had so many and once I got started, I enjoyed the journey. Right now I have enough and more. Pretty soon, I'm going to have to be in that "one in, one out" mode. There is just no cabinet space for more and I don't intend to build extra shelves to hold my collection. My dad made this little white shelf about twenty years ago. It has housed many things in its time. I have some S and Ps on the windowsill and I love to use them for holidays.

If I put them on the table, my husband expects there to be salt and pepper in them so quite a few of them are filled. My favorite ones are either a holiday theme or a couple: boy and girl, man and woman, etc. I like each one of the pair to be a little bit different like the little Irish girls. They can be the same if they are spectacular like a set of little green Sprite bottles I have.

I also collect old books that I loved as a girl, little brightly painted juice glasses, and I did collect Toby mugs. These are little English men with tricorn hats. I'm pretty filled up with the glasses and the Toby mugs. One thing I'd like to find is a white primary color fruity table cloth like the ones from the 50's. And it needs to be square. I don't want to spend a lot, so there is that element of the hunt left for me. I only need one or two of those.

Do you collect anything? What kinds of places are the best for the hunt?

I am off to Tennessee on Friday to visit my daughter who moved down there with her husband last August. We are so excited to see her and visit Nashville again. So I will not be posting for approximately two weeks. See you then. It will be almost spring!

Monday, February 20, 2012

One Backward Look

Something new happens all of the time. This time my scanner decided to have fun and make the picture very small. It is still big enough for me to make my point. See that little girl way over on the right of the group. This is a picture of my grandparents, Mom and Dad, and sisters at Niagara Falls. I must have been way into something else to miss the spectacular falls and be looking at my shoes.

The funny thing is that I do remember the falls and that trip. That little girl was different. She didn't always think the same way as other people. She often had a best friend but few extra friends. She loved books and dolls. She loved animals. She even loved church.

I have recently been on a search for Grace. I want to give myself permission to live and live without guilt or all of the negative things that used to occupy my brain. This idea of letting God love me and having everything else move from that point is rather new for me. I was always a doer, a striver. Now, what I do comes from this place of peace and joy.

I would love to go back in time just this once and hug that little girl and say, "I love you. You will be just fine. God loves you and that's the best kind of news there is." And then I would come back to my family and my everyday life and just live in the contentment and trust of the Lord that I have been given. This is my new thing. I'm looking to Jesus to help me go forward and not go back again, except to rejoice in the wonderful things He has done.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine's Day Rests Softly In My Heart

I guess you could say that this is my Valentine's Day blog II. Since that is my favorite day of the whole year, I'm going to go ahead and let myself have a sequel. I was putting off making my cards this year. Getting started and getting things out is the worst part of any job for me. But once I "made a mess" all over the table so I could be creative, the fun started. I usually do each card differently. This year I decided to do one basic design and use various papers. Since they are home made, no two are exactly alike. Oh the fun I had and they were made with love for each person concerned.

I told a family member that what I love about this day is that it's so simple. My husband and I don't buy expensive gifts. One year he gave me a selection of red objects from the dollar store and I loved it. I just feel like a kid all day. I love to look at all of the "penny" valentines they still make. They aren't as cute as they were when I was a girl, but I still get my kicks looking at them. I love the store windows in lace with red and white confections of every type. We will be going out to eat and I like to dress up and think lovely romantic thoughts like - how did I get such a wonderful person to share my life all these years? Well, that was God's grace, pure and simple. Hoping you will have a wonderful Valentine's Day. Nancy

Monday, February 6, 2012

Colors Of The Year

It's finally February. Oh, I love January with its fresh beginnings and brand new year, but even without the snow we usually have, I'm tired of white and ready for red. Yes, my months come in colors. January is white for snow, February is red for Valentines Day, March is green for St. Patrick's Day, April is pink and yellow for Easter, May is purple for lilacs, June is primary colors for sunny beach days, July is red, white, and blue for the fourth of July. Aug. is orange and yellow for crops, September is brown, red, and yellow for the leaves, Oct. is black and orange for tradition, Nov. is purple, brown, and orange for the cornucopia, and Dec. is red and green. These aren't exact, but when I was a teacher, I needed to do a seasonal bulletin board and these were my basic colors.
I love February. There's Groundhog Day, Valentines Day, Abraham Lincoln's birthday, George Washington's birthday, and it's the shortest month. What's not to love?

I will love every day this month because next comes March with its unpredictability and strange weather changes. I'm loving our "spring thaw." But green is a great color, so March has something going for it. Hope you liked my calendar color coding. We elementary teachers have to do something to keep the cute little rug rats smiling.

Do your months come in colors? When you turn a page, do you just think "white?" Any other teachers think like I do? Anyway, have a very colorful day.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Late Christmas Gift

Sat. we enjoyed a late Christmas treat from my son and daughter-in-law, tickets to The Macomb Center for the Performing Arts production of Fiddler On The Roof. I had seen the movie with my husband in perhaps the late 70s. There were several scenes that I remembered and even bits of dialog. I was curious if they would be in the play.

Our seats were perfect. We were in the middle left of the stage. I could see everything. I can't recall when I have had a better view. In fact, it looked like all of the seats were good. The play started with the fiddler on the roof and then Tevye, the poppa, comes out and asks how the fiddler stays on the roof. Tradition! Then they go into their superb song and dance as they introduce the characters.

The production is first class in every way. Another scene I loved was the pub where Tevye announces the engagement of his daughter. Here we are treated to Jewish dancing, Russian dancing, and both combined. The choreography was incredible. Imagine staging that scene. One other great dance scene was the wedding where men in black coats and hats balanced bottles on their heads while doing fancy footwork.

My favorite scene in the movie and in the play was the Sabbath scene. In the movie, the momma lights the candles and draws the swirls of smoke towards her. She is dressed up and the scene is so reverent. In the play, the family is center stage while on the two sides, two other candles are lit and the whole song is a prayer for the family. Lovely

Since they don't make movie musicals much anymore, I guess I'll have to be satisfied by finding returns of the old greats like Camelot. In fact, I love the stage even more because you get such a thrill when a big number ends and everyone claps. I love the immediacy and interaction.

Do you love musicals? Which is your favorite? Do you prefer the movie or stage version?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Return - to The Detroit Institute of Arts

My son, Joe, invited me to go to the Detroit Institute of Arts to see an exhibit called The Faces Of Jesus by Rembrandt. That sounded like a wonderful outing. We met at a Barnes and Noble. Due to circumstances, we had sometime to browse. I love the visual feast at that place. There were notebooks with every imaginable period of design. Then we all noticed a large shelf 0f classics where several of an authors stories were bound into one book. They were gorgeous, gilded covers with just the right pictures on front, some in color. They were a great price ($20) and I was tempted to get one. We all refrained, with long last looks.

When we got to the museum, we found that we had to wait until 4:00 to see our exhibit. That meant about 4 hours to spend in the museum. We are in the cafeteria and I got a Maurice salad. I told Joe that I hadn't had one since way back at Hudson's Department store.

We had time to visit many exhibits. I saw some Van Gogh's and a picture called The Nut Gatherers by W.A. Bouguereau. One of the girls in this picture had a face so full of joy and life. My other favorite, I don't remember the artist, had a dad in a robe, a mom in pretty lounge attire, an infant and a slightly older sibling. The parents were looking at the children. The mother had her left hand on her heart and she had gently placed her right hand against her husband's chest. It was a complete circle of love. Volumes were spoken with just a brush and some great talent and emotion.

We finally saw the Rembrandt exhibit. It had many of his pictures of his sketches. There was lots of information about him and how he decided to portray Jesus the way he did. One room was all faces - rich, dark, sensitive, beautiful. All of it was good, but the faces were what made the whole trip worthwhile.

To end the trip, we ate at the Union Street restaurant. On their special: J.L.Hudson Maurice Salad. Isn't that funny? Well, at the museum I turned down mac and cheese to get my salad. So the evening meal was mac and cheese.

Hope those of you in the Detroit area get a chance to see this exhibit. It will be well worth it.

(Please scroll down to find my comment button. I don't know what it did that.)


Friday, January 20, 2012

Pictures and the Pitfalls of an early Baby Boomer

I have so many busy weekends and another one comes and I don't have time to get the pictures on my camera printed. What? Yes, I said that. I truly can't understand the new thing where all the pictures one takes are on the computer and that's it. Oh, I know people get prints occasionally of the best of the best and sometimes use them in crafts or for gifts, etc. I just need to see and feel my pictures (and put names on the back and put them in an album.)

I am one of the small minority who actually puts the pictures away in an album when I get them back. Then I look at the whole thing again and enjoy. I love doing this. It's not because I'm neat but because my pictures bring me such joy. With a digital camera, I can take lots of poses and just print the ones that are good, but I often print quite a few. There is always a deal if you get thirty or more. I usually do that. I do try to be selective and only get the best of a set of poses. I do like the fact that I have all my pictures in my photo gallery on the computer. I can access them if I need them. But for the enjoyment of looking at them for fun, nothing is better than an album that I fixed up myself.
I feel the same way about books. Do you think I'm a tactile learner? I don't know. I only know that if ever books ceased to be printed I'd have to rely on the ones I have. Nothing feels better to me than a great book sitting on my lap.

I'm thinking one day soon I'll get with it and join the 21st century. For now, my blog will have to be my big adventure.

Do you still print pictures when an event is over? Tell me your story.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Red Herrings

I love mysteries. There is just something about solving a puzzle that I enjoy. I like the ones with lots of characters, like in the Agatha Christie books. She introduces many people quickly. I spend a bit of time getting these people in my brain. And then in the stories, I try to remember all of the events. When the book is finished, I can see where all of the information that was thrown at you fits in place. That is what usually happens.

Sometimes, the author throws in red herrings. They will have several similar unusual looking characters. Sometimes the author clears up every one of them and I feel satisfied. She got me and I feel silly I fell for that one, but it was cleverly done.

What I find too often and it truly bothers me is running themes that are never used. And if the author doesn't mention them, I feel betrayed. It's one thing to add lots of possible courses for the outcome, it's another to fail to let the reader in on how these elements fit in with the story, especially the ending. Well, I'm off my soapbox now. I will continue to read these stories, because just recently, I figured out not one, but two plot twists in a novel.

How about you? I know a lot of you are romance readers. Do unfinished plot elements bother you? Am I taking this too seriously? Or are you also a puzzle person and love all the pieces at least on the table?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Those Who Cover Me.

Over Christmas my husband bought me a new Chevy Malibu. We had talked about getting rid of my HHR and getting a bigger car. I had a small fit. The HHR seemed enormous to someone of my height (5'2".) I truly didn't want a bigger car. He had to take the backseat headrests off so I could see to back out. And, I needed to use a wedge pillow to be tall enough to see out the front.

Well, he wanted to get me something that would be heavier on the icy roads.

I explained to him how I felt. Besides, I don't like change. I just get used to one car and he wants me to get another one. I need to figure out where the wipers are, all the lights I might need, like where to turn off the inside light if it gets bumped. (That happened.) He's a car person, but I'm not.

I took the problem to the Lord. I told him how I felt. I didn't want a new car. I liked the one I had. He knew about the big car problem and the change thing. Finally, I felt that I should listen to me husband. That scripture about honoring your husband in all things sure has saved me in the past. No matter how silly his ideas seem, if they are legal and moral (of course they would be) and I have had my say, I usually come around to his way. You know what? It works great most of the time. I totally put the car, my wishes and concerns at God's feet. I told him He could do what He wanted. I asked Him to pick out the car that was right for me.

So we got the car. When I saw it, I couldn't believe this was the " big" car my husband wanted for me.
My husband insists it is bigger than the old one, but it is lower. Ah, that makes a lot of difference. I don't feel like it's going to tip over. We test drove it and I could see out the window perfectly. It has a button where you can adjust the wheel and lower it and adjust the seat and raise it. Some designer must have had a short mom.
I love my new car. It's much easier to maneuver that the old one. It's navy blue. I even got to pick out the color.
So God's word is awesome. I put my cares in His hands and He got to work for me. I honored my husband and made him happy. I'm thankful for my two "coverings." They take such good care of me.