Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Where've You Been?

Yes, where have I been? It's been almost a year since I last posted. What's up with that? There's not too much that has been going on. Pretty much the same ol' thing. I did make it out to California last October and had a great time with friends and family. Spent 3 days at Disneyland/CA Adventure with the girls, sister and niece. We had so much fun. It was nice to be together to celebrate mine and Ruthie's birthdays. Those two left for Portland and the rest of us drove up to the Central Coast. Spent time with friends there. Didn't get to see some I'd hoped to see but still enjoyed our visit. Spent a lot of time on the beach which was amazing. I do miss the ocean, sand, gulls, the Rock. I'd definitely move back. Thanksgiving and Christmas was nice, quiet, but nice. Then we had a colder winter than usual. We had snow 3-4 times. One week of ice all over. Dangerous driving for sure. Well, I guess I should say dangerous walking also. When trying to entertain lively boys you just can't stay inside. We ventured out for some sledding (not me of course). However, I might have been safer on the sled. That week I fell 3 times, once on my cheek and broke my glasses. They're still broken. I had cataract surgery again, this time on the left eye. It went well. That's why I haven't gotten any new glasses. I'm waiting to see if I need a new prescription. I should know by the end of the month. While someone I know is hiking across Spain, and my sister is soaking up the sun on the beach of Hawaii, and my daughter is getting ready to go to Madagascar, I'm just doing the same ol' thing.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Road to the Amish

The Amish are fascinating people; so talented and resourceful. Today we headed to Etheridge to find some homegrown vegetables. We ended up with lots of corn, tomatoes and red potatoes, oh and don’t forget the watermelon for $2—not bad. Okay—just found a fresh loaf of bread—still warm—yum! Yes, I had to break off a piece for a taste. And cinnamon rolls with pecan topping. Yeah, I tried that too. (they were a little on the stale side) We didn’t see any buggies on the road until we were ready to leave the area. We saw some young boys coming in with a load of watermelons on their horse drawn cart and a man plowing his fields with a horse drawn plow. There were lots of children around and a cute little baby girl sitting in the middle of a pile of watermelons content with patting them with her tiny hands while her sister watched over her while swinging on the tree swing. I found an “Indian bead” necklace which looked like some type of seeds. I asked what they were made from and the lady just said, “A plant.” Okay. Said I could go look out back if I wanted. I guess I should have. Jim thought it was poisoned—I hope not. The lady said one customer called them “Indian teardrops”. They do look a little like teardrops. I also picked up a hand woven basket. It has the name of the person who made it on the bottom. It happened to be the name of another farm that we stopped at. I’m always surprised that they also grow tobacco on some of the farms. There wasn’t as much as in the past, but a large field. I love seeing the little schoolhouses which aren’t very big. I wonder how many children fit inside. I also wonder if they have their own curriculum to follow. Tuesday must be wash day since there were many lines filled with clean white shirts and blue pants and skirts. If I ever have any questions—I just ask mom. She’s read so many of the Amish fiction books that she knows a lot. At least I suppose most parts are true. I’d rather believe her than the Amish reality shows. I don’t understand why they do those shows. Seems it would disgrace them. Hmmm. For dinner we tried out the corn, squash and tomatoes. Well, not too happy with the corn. Was expecting it to be delicious and sweet. This batch wasn’t and Jim bought 41 ears. He scraped the corn off all the cobs and froze it. We’ll try it again off the cob. We will return! Mom does enjoy driving through the countryside and seeing all the Amish.

Monday, July 7, 2014


What does that mean—fulfilled? Am I fulfilled? Remember those 5 books I said I was reading? Well, I finished with Fullfilled by Joey Lankford. (The refreshing alternative to the half-empty life.) Fulfilled won out for the book I’d finish first—about a local Tennessee family that gave up a great job and most of their material possessions to follow the call of God on their lives to South Africa, working with Living Way. The interest level kept me reading straight through and I enjoyed it, was inspired by it and I confess I’m envious of them. “Surrender!!” The big nine letter word. Fear has struck at this point. Can I actually pray: “God, anything. You have me.” Joey did. He surrendered everything to the Lord. That’s a hard thing for some of us to do. (or maybe just me) God wants our heart, our loyalty, and our trust. And we need to be ready for what he has for us. “There will come a time in your life when you’re going to need to be prepared. And you’re not going to have time to get prepared.” Pastor Mike Glen I’m a dreamer—God’s a dreamer too. God built us to dream. dream (n.) A strongly desired goal or purpose Something that fully satisfies a wish A visionary creation of the imagination Am I afraid God’s dream won’t coincide with mine? His ways are higher than our ways so maybe his dreams are bigger than ours. (I may have mentioned some of this in a previous blog.) So, what are my dreams? my visions? my passions? my purpose? Jennie Allen uses the following formula in her book Relentless: God’s Story + my threads + the need + the Holy Spirit=my purpose gifts talents passions dreams To go a little deeper: The story of God through Scripture + an understanding of myself and my resources + taking inventory of the need around me + the mystery of following the Holy Spirit’s leading=obediently living our purposes. “Build a working understanding of the ways you have been created, the stories that have been given to you, the passions in your soul, the people in your path, the places you are to be, and the purposes the Holy Spirit is calling you toward.” A couple of years ago, I believe I was given a vision of what I was supposed to do. How do I live it out though? I have ideas, some of which have kind of fallen into place. I’m just not sure how to get started. I am hoping to get involved in something similar, locally for now. I’ll keep you posted in how it all plays out.


I’m in the beginning stages of 5 books again. I can’t seem to get going on just one or two—but 5??? It’s all about interest level I guess. At this moment, I’m reading Restless: because you were made for more by Jennie Allen. Yes, I’ve been rather restless for the past several years. Pretty much since we’ve been in Tennessee. I had all these plans to get involved with this cause or that one but didn’t get too far. Unmotivated, lazy, dragging my feet, forgetful? Excuses every one of them and I’ve fallen into all of those at one time or another. So here I sit—RESTLESS! Fear has struck at this point. Can I actually pray “God, anything. You have me.”? I sometimes wonder. I’m a dreamer—and God’s a dreamer too. God built us to dream. dream (n.) A strongly desired goal or purpose something that fully satisfies a wish a visionary creation of the imagination Am I afraid God’s dream won’t coincide with mine? When my dreams don’t come true, I tend to give up. I’ve done that more than once: given up. However, I should never stop searching for purpose until God’s will becomes my passion. Am I afraid? Is there some deep need within me that keeps me from missing God’s plans for me? Maybe I should quit analyzing so much: “Quit analyzing everything and just do something.” -Kevin DeYoung “Just Do Something!” Yes, maybe that’s a good idea. Just do something. Stop just thinking about it and follow through. “So God, what am I supposed to do?” How about respond to the need you see right now. John Piper said-“Know Scripture, know yourself, and know the need around you.” We’re all different yet we’re one body. We each have a gift and we’re given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. And are my motives pure? Is my heart right before God? Is this where surrender comes in to play? The parable that Allen uses of running the race hit home with my kids and I. We’ve all been hurt by people; by the church. And as we sit there by the side of the road, we see others racing by. No one stops to offer help when we’re hurting. Why were we hurt? What happened? This is the church. Aren’t they supposed to stop and check on us? People are too busy with their own race it seems to stop and ask if we’re hurt or need help. For that matter, have I taken the time to stop for those on the side of the road? There is a time for every purpose under heaven. What time is it for me? What season am I in? What part of the race am I on? Will I finish well? Will I finish at all? Or will I stay by the side of the road. I’m thirsty. I’ve been waiting for someone to show me the way back into the race. I’ve been hurting and I’m longing for more. I’m not satisfied but not sure what to do about it. I’m asking, “Is there more? And if there is, how do I find it?” (paraphrase from the book) God has been speaking—but I haven’t always been quiet. I try to listen but I’m not sure what to do with all he is saying, what he’s asking of me. Paul says in Ephesians 4:1 “I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” I need to run towards Hebrews 12:1-3: Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross scorning its shame and sat down on the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

I don't live the life of an adventurous world traveling missionary, though I'd like to. And I don't live the life of a wilderness naturalist, though I'd love to. But I live the life of a wife, mother, sister, daughter, niece and caregiver. I know we're to do the best we can, no matter what we are doing. But I sometimes want to do more. Then there are times I just want to sit in my room and be alone. I'd never be a motivational speaker without a little motivation, and that's what I think I lack. I can come up with ideas and reasons but the follow through isn't always there. I have gotten to do a lot of different things in my life. And most of them I've enjoyed. I've set goals, and accomplished some of those. But, still, there are other things I've thought about doing, but either didn't have the nerve or the "gumption" to get it done. I took up a challenge, well really I tweaked it a bit, but I haven't even worked on that all that much. I have a habit of reading several books at once, if I find some that catch my interest. I was in the middle of like 5 books and I was determined finish them all. Well, I got 2 finished, but then I added a couple. So now, I'm in the middle of 6. One also includes a study guide. So I filled out a calendar with the books I'll read each day but I'm still behind. Now I can't even find the calendar. Sometimes I just can't focus and sometimes I'm just not in the mood to read. However, I will eventually get them read, one way or the other. And did I mention, I hardly read a book from front to back. Does that tell you anything? Here it is the second week of December and I still haven't finished my next book. I'm now reading a children's book: My Side of the Mountain. A good read.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

I haven't been keeping up with blogging, at least on this blog. It was over a year before I blogged last night about my husband's surgery. I've often thought about it though. I do have a nature blog that I use to keep track of my Kamana journaling. September was the last blog posted there. I haven't been out journaling because of the invasion of progress to my neighborhood. I believe I will post a bit of my last evaluation though. This week has been up and down with emotions. And Jim has been up and down with how he's been feeling. Some days are good and he's sitting up watching TV or a movie. Other times he's feeling slow and in bed. I did call the doctor again to find out if any of his symptoms have been unusual but I guess not. He still has another week before going in to see the surgeon. I'm not sure what's going to happen. Taking it one day at a time. I have a hard time with caregiving. With kids, it's a piece of cake. But with adults, it gets a bit harder. I did help with Jim's mom and dads a few years ago when they were going through diabetes and heart failure before passing into heaven. That was a difficult time. Oh, it wasn't both at the same time, a couple of years apart. And I've had mom living with us for a while now making sure she's comfortable, taking her to the doctors and to JoAnne's for her yarn. However, she's now living with Melanie again, for a while at least. Now with Jim, a little different still. I'm praying for a quick recovery, but still no idea what the future holds for him. Whether he'll return to work or completely retire this time. I can't really see him doing that though, since he loves being around people so much and I'm just pretty boring. Ha! We'll find out more after his doctor's visits. In the meantime, I'm trying to relearn to cook, in a more healthy manner. It's not easy since I haven't cook much in years. With Jim's schedule so varied, we eat on the fly a lot of times. I'm afraid I'm in need of help. I had fun with the boys this week. Friday we went shopping for Operation Christmas Child to fill our shoe boxes for a child someplace in this world who may not get Christmas otherwise. We tried watching the new Veggie Tales Christmas movie but the boys weren't very interested. But we still had fun. Till next time...

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Heart of the Matter

I’ve taken on a challenge--that’s right--to blog once a week this month. From whom you may ask? From a friend at Check these 3 authors out if you are currently writing or if you’re an aspiring author. I haven’t blogged in some time and I have been thinking about it this week. So here I am. On Halloween, my husband Jim, had an appointment for an angioplasty. He had been having some symptoms which he thought were bronchial/respiratory. After seeing his doctor, he was referred to a heart specialist and a few days later this test. We got to the hospital around 7 a.m. for the 9 a.m. procedure. They were running late but I just hung out in Jim’s room. I received a text from a friend out in the waiting room and went out to talk. MJ is a nurse and she just felt she needed to be there with me. And was she ever right. A while later, the nurse came to get me, however, not just me. She insisted that my friend come along. I knew things must be serious. After talking with the doctor, I was informed that Jim had 2 arteries that were blocked at 99% and that he’d need a triple bypass surgery. Well, I sure wasn’t expecting that. I saw pictures of the blockage and was told that the catheter couldn’t even enter into the blocked area--they had to shoot die into it to see further. I was later informed that this blockage was called the “widowmaker” because it often times ends in a major heart attack and even death. The doctor was surprised that he hadn’t had a heart attack or even any heart damage. Jim had been having these symptoms for 2-3 months. Needless to say, Jim wasn’t leaving the hospital that night. Later that afternoon, my kids arrived to stay with me awhile. I decided to go home that night to get some sleep. I felt Jim was in good hands. The next morning, bright and early, my sister and I headed for the hospital again to hopefully catch Jim before he went in for surgery. We made it. We got to see him a few minutes before they began anesthesia. We went in once more, right before being wheeled to the OR and he randomly asked: “Did Ben get a job?” Then began the waiting game. It took about three and a half hours for the surgery and the staff was good about informing us of the progress about every ninety minutes. We sat, we talked, we snacked, and we walked, waiting for the outcome. Around 11:30, surgery was over and we could speak with the doctor. All went well and we peeked in on Jim who was hooked up to so many machines and IV’s it was a bit scary. We had to leave him for a few hours and returned after they had removed his breathing tube. It ended up being a quadruple bypass. We were extremely pleased with the hospital, the doctors, nurses and staff. They were wonderful. And so happy that Jim finally listened to his friends and got checked out. He’s home now recuperating but is missing work and his coworkers.