Thursday, July 31, 2008

I've Been Tagged for Songs

I've been tagged by my friend, Steviewren, and the challenge is to list 5 songs that I am embarrassed that I enjoy. This is the most clever tag and really got me thinking. So here goes in no particular order:

Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine-this always takes me back to the late sixties and early seventies. I got to see the play "Hair" in London and I thought the music was great. Knowing who I am now it probably would seem strange to people that I would enjoy this. I was definitely not a hippie.

The Star Wars Theme--I love the Star Wars movies and I know there is a stigma to people that enjoy them. I love the whole good vs evil theme throughout them. My husband got me into them and Star Trek. I would have to say Harrison Ford was my favorite character.

Henry the Eight, I am by Herman's Hermits--this is another song that takes me back to the 60's. I thought it was such a darling song and I sometimes still get it locked in my head. You know the part, "Second verse, same as the first". So many pop songs are depressing now, there were lots of cutsey songs in the 60's.

Stop in the Name of Love by Diana Ross and the Supremes--My girlfriend Pam and I stood in front of her big bathroom mirror and sang this with the hand motions along with her 45 record about 8 million times. Of course, we had brushes for microphones. We were so cool. I think we called ourselves tuff back then.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T by Aretha Franklin--this was a song of my youth that had the most wonderful beat, in my estimation. I just think this is a neat song and have thought it for over 40 years. I admit it's not something you would hear in the most sophisticated settings, but it's a fun song.

I took away the one originally I had put down. It sounded braggy and that is the last thing I want to sound like. Sorry.

Now I have shared mine. Here's the rules:

1. Post the link to the person who tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
2. Share 5 songs that you are embarrassed to admit to others that you like and tell why.
3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post.

This was fun and it took me all day to figure out what songs I would not be thrilled about others knowing I liked. You are supposed to link the songs to YouTube, but you know if you are reading this that I am somewhat computer challenged. I'm thrilled I've figured out this much.

I am now tagging, Ruthie at Just Ruthie, Sharon at Techno-Nana, Maggie at Nuts in May, Barb at French Elements, A Woman Who Is at In A Garden. Have fun!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Thanks for Being Out There

I am feeling very grateful and blessed for my friends in blogdom. Through your blogs I have found some of the warmest and most encouraging folks. There seems like a special bond and we haven't even met. Perhaps it's the sharing of our thoughts, hopes and dreams
that brings the bond.
Getting back into something that brings me so much joy has definitely made a difference in my life. By realizing that so many of you are doing things and making so many memories it has encouraged me to get back into doing some creating. I love art and was constantly putting it on the back burner because I didn't feel inspired.
I now see so many friends at various sites creating art, cooking, doing some wonderful photography, writing excellent essays that are thought provoking and inspirational. Thank you for being there and giving me the privilege to share in your life.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Having a Mary Spirit--Week 3

Joanna Weaver's study has taken me to some places in my walk that are not my usual stops. We are already into week three and this terrific guide has helped me to dig into places that usually are left untouched. This week's lesson was "Spirit Check". Joanna refers to Mark Buchanan, a pastor and author who describes,"the halfway life too many Christians settle for as 'conversion without regeneration, an initial encounter with Jesus that doesn't lead to a life abiding with Jesus. He calls it borderland." I don't want to be sitting on the fence and there are references to being lukewarm in the bible.
There is a mention of people being comfortable with boredom. I pray I am not in that group. I have been a passionate person for most of my life, but I have to recognize that I can tend to get into a mode of being content in staying at a certain place. I need to focus on the fact that Jesus was bold enough to step up and be strong when it meant 'taking a stand'.
There's a section in the book called, "More than Y'all". This referred to a love that Christ has for us that feels like more than any other. I loved the reference to a grandmother that had loved her grandchildren so much that each one felt that they had been the favorite. They were shocked when she passed away and they found out that she given this intense love to one just as much as the other.
In our questions for reflection one stood out to me.
"As you were growing up, what irritated you most about your brother
and/or sister? What irritated them? (If you were an only child, perhaps
you tangled with an annoying cousin or friend)."
I was an only child and I don't have a reference for living with a sibling and the interaction it must conjure up. I did have cousins. One of my cousins was quick to let the rest of us know that he had special toys. He would pull these toys out and would tell us, "you can't touch my toys. These are my toys." We would just watch him play with the toys or games and I can remember looking at my other cousins as we sat around in awe watching him play by himself and not including us in the fun. This was so frustrating to me. I spent most of my time wishing I had someone to play with and here I was getting a chance to play with my cousins and we were left sitting on the sidelines watching someone else participate alone among a group.
This was a source of irritation for me for years. Growing up I thought that he had elevated himself and was sending a message to the rest of us that we weren't good enough. I had to get to a point in my Christian walk that I realized that my cousin was the one that was losing out. It wasn't us on the sidelines. There comes a point when we can view events as lessons and I started realizing that Christ would not want us to exclude. I began to feel sorry for my cousin that was so selfish.
There was also a question about Philippians 2:1-11. These verses speak to us about the way the Lord humbled himself and became a servant. "Christ was obedient to death--even death on a cross." There's some deep part of my spirit that doesn't like to be controlled by others. I don't like the feeling that someone else can make my decisions and be in charge of my destiny. I believe that if I take an honest look at myself I will realize that Christ wants me to naturally let Him control all my ways. I need to be more like Him and realize that His walk here on earth was guided by His father and I need to humble myself more and turn everything totally over to Him. I shouldn't hold back certain things that I want to manipulate. I love Him and I need to abandon my selfish thoughts of thinking I know what I need to do. If I can come to the place where He directs ALL my thoughts and paths I will be so much better off.
To me, so far, this has been the deepest lesson in the book. Examining ourselves is not easy. It takes stepping back and acknowledging negatives about ourselves that I believe we like to shove over into the shadows. I need to put the light on my selfish tendencies and let His light totally surround me.
This is an introspective study and I'm not even half way through it, but I see myself trying to develop more characteristics of Christ through the author's direction and strong reference to the scriptures.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

How'd It Get So Upside Down?

Do you ever wonder how everything got so upside down? I do. These mermaids are chilling out and the fish are flying all over the place. This makes me think of how different it is now from when I was growing up. I know I'm getting old with these thoughts, but it's a reality.
Life seemed so simple then. There was more respect for authority. The things that are so common place now were rare then. So many of our basic institutions were solid and at around the time I got in my mid-teens (mid 60's) there was a deterioration of values. There was an unsettling spirit with so many people. Drugs became more widely used. It was the time for 'free love'. Many chose to protest everything there was to have an opinion on. They took prayer out of the schools in the early sixties. In public school we used to have 'weekly religious education'. When it stopped, I couldn't understand why. We'd walk down the street to a church and have Bible lessons and learn scriptures for a couple of hours a week. I guess the government thought that was hurting us. I disagree.
I guess somedays I'd like to be a cute little mermaid and just explore the ocean and take it easy. What about you?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Flowers are a Gift from God

When I look at flowers there is something within me that sings. There are so many beautiful flowers and each has it's own beauty. I never get tired of admiring God's gift of flowers. I have never been very good at growing them. My mother had a passion for raising them. My daughter has a green thumb too. Now Avery, my granddaughter seems to have a love for them.
We are so blessed to be able to see the beauty. Do we take it for granted? I work with restoring people's vision and I am always reminded that this will give the individuals a second chance at witnessing God's tender love in the petals of the flowers.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Crickets and the Sound of Her Ukulele

Untitled by Leo Hunter
I found this interesting picture today and it made me wonder about it. She's playing a ukulele and he's lighting a cigarette. I love looking at pictures and trying to figure out what is going on. Is he getting ready to lure her on some wild adventure? Are they heading out on the lake for a little song? This is a very dark picture that really makes you feel as though it's an inky cool night.
I will be doing some resesarch on this artist and I hope I can find something about him. It's a simple picture, but I think beautifully done with a thirties feel to me. Just like my daughter and I used to always try to figure out about people's lives when they were sitting in a restaurant, I like to figure out what is happening in paintings.
This has been a good hump day. I hope everyone is having a great week!
Maybe this is all about the moon. It seems to set the tone for romance.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Having a Mary Spirit--Week 2

This week our study focused on the third chapter of the book, "Twisted Sisters". It spoke of our Flesh Woman. We all know we have a 'flesh woman' within us. Joanna Weaver, the insightful author, has us looking at various scriptures to see how we handle our lower nature.

The first scripture is Romans 13:14, "Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature." I am reminded that as a person that has always loved fashion, do I put too much emphasis on the outward appearance? Do I seek to clothe myself in what the world looks at as fashionable and not necessarily what I think is what I should be buying? I don't mean revealing, inappropriate clothing, but is a desire to have lots of clothes holding me back from seeking what God would have me be satisfied with? Is the outside woman too important to me?

I realize that in this scripture Paul is not referring to literal clothing, but it hit me that I may be trying to satisfy my 'flesh woman' by trying to put too much emphasis on appearances and maybe that fulfills something in my sinful nature. I know I don't want to look dated and pitiful, but my Mary spirit should shine through and perhaps I do focus on having more and more.

Galatians 5:13, "You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature, rather, serve one another in love." This verse says to me that I can't be self-absorbed and focus on myself, rather than seeking to serve others. Yes, the blood of Jesus has set me free, but this also gives me a responsibility to look for opportunities to share Christ's love. If I stay in my own little world, basking in what the Lord has done for, I will not be looking for ways to help others and spread His love. I don't believe there's a certain formula for serving. I think He expects us to be open to his nudging to do what He would have us to do for others.

Colossians 3:5, "Put to death therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed." I take from this scripture that we must turn completely from those old desires. Putting something to death, to me, means expelling it forever from our attention. As Christian women we should be focusing on what is pure and uplifting, not what satisfies our old 'flesh woman'. This reminds me of a song by Nicol Sponberg, that used to sing with Selah, "Not You Again". The lyrics talk about our old self wanting to come back in the picture. The devil knows our weaknesses and he can use them to try and trap us. We need to keep our eyes on the Lord.

The author tells us that even after salvation, Flesh Woman tends to call the shots. She says it takes time and the dark corners of our heart still need to be evangelized. This reminded me that because we have become Christians we have not 'arrived'. There are corners that we may try to keep private and secretly hold old desires.

She gave the analogy that Flesh Woman is still our roommate, but as Christians she will not run the house. I believe having the awareness that she is there is vital. She can no longer control us, says the author. I find that exciting. I want to be Christ-centered and He will show me what He would have me do and where I should put my energy.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Coming out of the Darkness

First off let me say that I don't know what was up with that dark picture from yesterday. I like easy breezy art and that definitely was not light. I don't know where that came from so just delete it from your memory bank.

Tomorrow I will be doing my once a week study on Having a Mary Spirit. I am so enjoying this book. I hope everyone is starting off with a good week. I have had a sleepy Monday and I pray I will rest better tonight. I will be on-call all this week so they can call me any time day or night until Monday morning the 28th.

My friend, Jeannie, should be getting back from Africa later this week and I can't wait to see how she is doing and what kind of experience she had. I plan on having her and the doctor give a talk on what they got to do. I will keep this short tonight, as tomorrow's post should be longer covering my study for this week.

Thank the Lord for all His blessings!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Easing out of the Weekend

She's a Material Girl
This has been a fun weekend. This is part of a picture I painted for Avery. I needed something to be whimsical and put me in my happy place. I am feeling lots better and this took my mind off of things that will need my attention this week. One of the hardest things for me is to learn to turn things over to the Lord and leave them there.
I pray about situations and truly believe the Lord is able to handle it and then before you know it, I am digging it up and worrying about it again. I sometimes wish I had one of those pen-like things that the Men in Black had to make me forget about stuff.
I think my problem is striking a balance between worrying and be concerned and planning for situations. There are so many references to worrying in the scriptures perhaps I need to study them and learn to really release my worries. If anyone has learned to do that, please let me have some suggestions.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Budding Romance

Geranium Babies

First of all, I want to thank my loving blog friends for their prayers. I do feel much better and not so overwhelmed. It's so good to know I have friends that will pray for me and care. I have tried to focus more on the positive and give the rest to the Lord. I cannot change other people. It's hard enough to change myself.

I have been doing my study on Having a Mary Spirit by Joanna Weaver and it has really helped me. This next week I will be writing about how we have this battle raging within us and going over it this week has helped me to put some things in perspective. I have always had a tendency to want to help people even when they really didn't want me to.

When I was in kindergarten I had a little boyfriend named Donnie. He was so cute with olive skin and big green eyes. We were five but liked each other and held hands when we walked to the lunch room and outside for recess. At the end of every day we had to fold our mats a certain way. We used these mats to rest on for our nap. One afternoon Donnie was having a very difficult time getting his mat to fold up right and he had tried numerous times. I tried to get him to let me help him. He refused. We were the last two children left in the room with the teacher. He started crying and I started crying. I wanted him to let me help him. He was determined that he could do it himself. The teacher let us try and work it out and the tears kept coming. Finally our mothers showed up to pick us from school.

They hugged us and of course, the tears really got going. That was a very stressful situation for two five year olds. As I look back I was beginning a long history of trying to help someone that I am more worked up about helping. than they wanted to be helped. It is not a wonderful thing. It is draining, heart wrenching, and has taken me many years to figure out. Of course, figuring it out doesn't always been I don't fall back into old habits.

When I was in social work I experienced so much frustration. I am much better in the field that I'm currently in. I'm still helping people but I am more removed from the person I'm helping. That's a good thing for me. Again, I thank you for all your prayers and know that I do appreciate it so much.

I wanted to share Avery's new blooms. She loves gardening and has been watering and caring for, and I must add, talking to her flowers for months. She now has new geraniums on the horizon. It thrills her and I am so proud of her new skills.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Precious Grace

Lately I have been feeling somewhat overwhelmed. I know that everyone does at times and I'm not trying to invoke sympathy. I'm blessed and have much to be thankful for. It's just that for the past few weeks so many things have been happening to people I care for and admire. These are tragic things that will change their lives. I have prayed with them and for them and I still feel as though there's some type of veil over my eyes that needs to be lifted.

Since I was a little girl I have called out to the Lord to help me when I am in crisis situations. He's been there. I can't help but think of the scripture, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9) This is a promise that Christ has given us and I am clinging to it. I am weak and I need to focus on His love.

I am thankful that He is changing me in many ways. I suppose change is always stressful, but I have never been one to be too afraid of change. I look forward to what He has in front of me. I was telling my staff the other day that I remember back over 50 years ago going to the dentist was much different. As a child the smoke from the drill and the terrible sounds were so frightening. I had to go through the drillings, but I prayed the whole time. Tears would run down out both sides of my face. I held the arms of the chair so tight I had to have been white-knuckled. I knew I had to go through this time to get to a better time. Maybe that's where I'm at now. It's hard, but He won't leave me nor forsake me and I will keep running my race.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Having a Mary Spirit--Week One

Outside my office yesterday

I am participating in a wonderful study with several people. The study was originated by Susanne at Truly Captivating. She is a dedicated woman that plants churches with her husband. This is their calling and she decided to do this study. We are using the book, "Having a Mary Spirit" Allowing God to Change Us From the Inside Out by Joanna Weaver. We know the story of Mary and Martha and their focus. I was interested in going into this study and I'm so glad I have.

This week as one of the study questions we were asked to read Philippians 3:12-14. I have read this passage many times, but after reading in the study about others struggling to know God in a deeper way, these verses really jumped out to me. Paul said in verse 13, "Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." NIV.

I think of how Paul had been through so much tribulation and he decided to 'strain' towards what is ahead. He realized that he couldn't focus on the past and the pain. It takes a lot of energy to dwell in the past, living in the things that have hurt us, words that have hurt us and sometimes people that have hurt us to our core. Paul made the decision to strain and focus on what is ahead. God gives us hope and He gives us a purpose to live our lives. When we have dedicated ourselves to Him we, no not we, but Trish, I need to focus on the future and what He would have me to do.

I am praying that He will show me the path He wants me to follow. I cannot, in my own power, accomplish what He wants me to do. I admit that I have dedicated a lot of energy on "what is behind", this I want to let fall away. I pray for the wisdom to see where He wants me to go and what He wants to show me.

This is a deep rich study that I am thoroughly enjoying. The author introduces the information in a way that is thought provoking and has helped me to look at certain areas of my life that I feel the Lord wants to deal with.

This afternoon several of my co-workers and I will go to the funeral home for the viewing of one of my employee's father. He unexpectedly passed away last week and this has brought us all closer. Vanessa was the daughter that had taken care of her daddy for the past couple of years, but he was doing good living on his own now and this was a shock for her. I thank the Lord that I have such wonderful people around me that have rallied for a loved one and helped her to try and get ready to entertain out of town relatives and prepare for all that comes with a loss.

May the Lord bless you today and may we all 'strain toward what is ahead." God is good and He gives us so much.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

This is the Day that the Lord has Made!

flower power
To all my bloggy friends that have flowers galore, this one's for you. I do not have a green thumb, unless some of the green paint gets on it. This has been a lazy Sunday. I was on-call last night and I was up and down talking on the phone quite a bit so I couldn't wake up to get ready for church. I have been working on this picture for my daughter as she loves orange and I had promised her a picture over a year ago. Truth is..I had procrastinated and just got moving on it.
Avery wanted to call it flower power so that is the name. My cousin just called and I hadn't talked to her in years. She said she is shrinking and is now 4'11. She said her son tells her that if she keeps shrinking that when she died they can just put her in a shoebox. I have the funniest cousins. When we are all together we just laugh and laugh. It's so much fun. Avery, Jo, and I hope to go up to Indiana to see them in a few weeks. I can't wait. I hope you guys are having a fabulous weekend. Love to you all.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Bright Hope for the Future!

This will be a bittersweet post for me. This is a picture of Becca. She will be starting medical school next month and yesterday was her last day at work. She will continue as a per diem person, but we were used to her Monday-Friday, all day long. I have hired and worked with so many young people through the years and only a handful really stand out. Becca is right up there in that group. She has so much initiative, she's analytic, and super dependable.
I hear so many cynics talking about how young people these days do not have values and what is going to happen in the future with their lack of work ethics. Well, I must tell you that I have hope for a bright future as long as we have young people that are similar to Becca. I told her to tell her parents that they should definitely be proud of her.
She has been a friend to all of us and many tears were shed yesterday. We are so happy for her being accepted in medical school and proud that someday she will be Becca, M.D., and we hope she'll choose ophthalmology as her speciality.
Good Luck, Becca! May God richly bless you!

Friday, July 11, 2008

A French Connection and Maggie May

How could two women clear across the world from each other know that I was going to have a super stressful week and would love being given awards that would cheer me up? I don't know, but I'm sure glad they did. I appreciate the recognition and I want to thank Barb from The French Elements, She gave me the Brillante Weblog Premio-2008 award. I enjoy her blog and she has a little skin care business. She's a busy woman, but writes an excellent blog. I do have a French Connection, at least I think I do. I named my daughter Jolie Renee. My husband's grandmother was French. She married his grandfather after WWI and they met in France.

Oh yow, I took a year of French in high school. That's got to count for something! I want to pass on this award to Ruth of Just Ruthie, Teresa of Plum Water Cottage, and Susanne of Truly Captivating. I read all three of these blogs on a regular basis and I think these women are brilliant. They bring wonderful pictures and stories to their blogs and you need to go see them if you haven't already.
The second award, Sharing the Love, was given to me by Maggie May. She's a grandma, too and I love how she seems to share the love. I would like to nominate Betsy at My Five Men. She always has the sweetest things to say and she is a strong woman that blesses me. I also want to nominate Gretchen at Gretchen reads 24/7. She is a loving young woman that is always working with young people and recommends great, uplifting books. Next comes, A Woman Who Is at In a Garden, this is another woman that works with young folks and shares such love with a beautiful garden and darling pictures of her grandbaby, Puddin Toes. The final nominee is Pat at Mille Fiori Favoriti, she shows love in her constant sharing of her hometown, New York City. This is a woman that is getting ready to be a grandma for the first time and makes you feel like you are right there in the Big Apple. She has a sweet spirit and I truly love reading her blog.
Please drop in on these blogs. You won't regret it. I am so grateful for my blogging friends. Just when I get down about something, along comes a comment or someone posts something that reaches me down deep and I realize how blessed I am and how special it is that I can have all these friends all over the world. My blogging buddies are so dear to me and I appreciate you so much.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A Very Brave Woman

Ralph, Helen Dee,and Veda (my sweet mother)
circa 1925

My mother was born in 1901. She was brought up in a family of eight children and they lived on a farm. She adopted me when she was 49 and she had led a whole other life by then. This picture of her was taken shortly after she and her husband and little girl arrived in Arizona. Her husband had learned he had tuberculosis and so they moved from Indiana out to the desert.

She left her whole family and off they went, not knowing anyone, but he had been told that the weather would be good for him. He died later during the first year they got there. She became a widow at 25 with a five year old child. They headed back for Indiana and the depression was kicking in with gusto. She took care of her little girl by working in a shoe polish factory. They lived in a small apartment and were at church whenever the doors were open.

Her daughter, Helen Dee, grew into a very pretty teenager, but was a sickly girl. At fifteen she was diagnosed with TB and passed away at seventeen. My mother had a deep faith and when many women would have fallen apart, she turned to the Lord and continued on. She married my daddy around 1942. He was a widower with two children and she helped raise them. They both grew up and married and in late 1950 they stated the proceedings to adopt me.

I had a sweet life until my daddy got sick in 1958 and was diagnosed with colon cancer. My mother took care of him and worked part time at a small department store . He died in 1960 and neither of us cried at the funeral. He had suffered so much that it was a relief. My mother was very emotional and I cry at commercials, but that two year battle left us drained and I suppose, cried out. My mother had taken care of two sick husbands and her daughter and she told me she never wanted to marry again. She didn't, although there were men that wanted to pursue her. She was a feisty and fun woman. I miss her and there's not a day that goes by that I don't wish I could talk to her. I know she would be crazy about my granddaughter, Avery.

My mother was strong and didn't complain. She had plenty she could have complained about,but always told me she felt blessed. I thank God she adopted me and gave me so much love. She worked hard cleaning houses after my daddy died and we had to give up our car so we always had to ride the bus or walk. She was so good about telling me stories about the old days. When she died I felt like my world went into slow motion. It was the biggest loss I had ever had. I am so thankful that I have the hope that I will see her someday on the other side. She loved the Lord and was so warm and tender. She was so patient and as I look back I see why. She had learned so much through the fire. She was such a special person and I thank God for her.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Passing Along My Award

I was given the 'Fun To Read' award by Lavinia at Birdbath Chronicles. This really neat award was designed by Out & About in New York City. I will pass it along to 3 other bloggers that I love to visit on a very regular basis. Although I haven't been blogging for very long I have learned that this is a very addictive activity. I wonder where people are when I don't see a fresh blog and I truly care. I have found this is a community of special people that write the most interesting posts with touching photos.

It's very difficult to choose 3 out of the several dozen that I read, but I would like to pick the following at this time:

Sharon at Techno Nana is a loving mother and grandmother that shares great pictures of her family and always has such uplifting posts. She's truly got the Gift of Encouragement. In fact, she wrote about encouragement today and it's so typical of her style. Why don't you hop over and check her out?

Vee at A Haven for Vee is a sweetheart that's up in New England. She has gobs of gorgeous flowers. She seems like someone that would make you feel right at home at her haven. She recently had a toothache and I could sense the caring that fellow bloggers had for Vee. She is a great writer and has a variety of subjects I always enjoy. Wander on over, you'll be glad you did.

Judy at My Front Porch is one of my Canadian friends that has a fun site. She has great photography and travels all over the place sharing her wonderful adventures. She lives on a dairy farm and seems to always have the best time. She recently had two of her blogging friends over to share a new swing in her yard. Now, who wouldn't love swinging with friends and looking at such an awesome countryside.

These are some of my favorites, but there are so many. I would like to pass this award along to them as I always enjoy seeing awards and I learn about new sites and new friends with the announcement of the awards. I treasure my award and thank Miss Lavinia Ladyslipper. What a very special person!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

I'm Tickled Pink!!

I just visited my friend, Lavinia over at Birdbath Chronicles and, low and behold, she gave me an award. I feel so honored. I haven't been doing this blogging deal for very long and so it is especially wonderful to me. As soon as I get the award on my site I will pass it along, but of course, I am going to think hard about who I will send it to. If you haven't been to Lavinia's site you need to hurry over. She has great stuff all the time. I have learned about art and history and lots of other things, plus she is a great writer and has traveled lots and has stories that just draw you in.

I must tell you that I had a great weekend with Avery. Yesterday we were riding along and she asked me about musical instruments that I learned to play. She is taking piano lessons and her daddy bought her a guitar and she is teaching herself to play it. She wants her own band someday and she writes songs so the guitar playing will come in especially handy.

Anyway, she asked me about my experiences with instruments and I must put this in at the beginning......If you play or love accordions, then please don't be offended. This was just my little experience. It was 50 years ago and I was eight years old. My parents loving Mr. Lawrence Welk, wanted their little girl, Patty, to be an accordion player. I was meek and tended to want to make my parents I went along with this whole dream for them....for a while.

I would go to this neighbor's house for lessons and the woman told me I could take the accordion home and practice with it to decide if this would be for me. I can't imagine how my face must have looked when she brought it out and I saw this huge instrument with silver decorations all over it. It was gigantic for a child. Plus, it had this odor like it had been sitting in the carrier for a long time. I still can smell it if I close my eyes. Of course, I don't try to think of how it smelled because it makes me want to swallow a lot to keep from vomiting. Well, for three weeks I went to the neighbor's house and struggled with holding this monster accordion and I didn't get very far with it or very good. All that business with the pulling in and out while playing keys was just too much for my brain.

Three weeks after my introduction to the world of music I broke my arm. Yes, I fell off my bike and had a compound fracture. I remember telling my daddy that I just didn't think this was all going to work out and he looked so sweet when I told him. He didn't get angry and thinking back on it, he was probably sick of lugging it back and forth.

Avery and I laughed about my short musical career, that I hadn't thought of in years. That's a special thing about grandchildren...they help you remember awkward and humorous times in your childhood. Who knows, if I would have stayed with it maybe I could have been a famous accordion player in a polka band? or not.

Did you have any false starts with musical instruments?

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Special Request for a Special Person

Jeannie leaving for Africa
Blog friends, this is Jeannie and she is on her way to Zimbabwe. She is going with one of our doctors to do mission work. They will be doing ophthalmic surgeries for 3 weeks. She works for us part time and teaches full time. She is a bubbly, energenic woman with 4 teenagers. I would like to ask you to please pray for her and the team as they head out to this country that is in such turmoil.
I admire her so much to leave her family, her work and all things comfortable. She is heading out to a place where she will not have the many creature comforts we are used to. We had the doctor come and give a talk last year when he and his family returned and it touched us all so much. We could see the dedication and also the determination of the people that had walked for hours to have treatment for their eyes.
Yes, I have volunteered , but I have never traveled half way around the world to help people. I think these people are true heroes. Our country tends to honor athletes, pop stars, and singers that, a lot of the time, are self absorbed ego maniacs. As we look at the Independence Day of our country I reflect on some of the great heroes of the past and present day. Jeannie's family, friends, church members and co-workers all understand the sacrifice this wife and mother is making.
This trip will not be covered on the major networks or the cable news stations, but the One that created us all knows exactly what love will be shown through this work. I thank you in advance for praying for Jeannie and the team.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A Recovering Workaholic

Mark as I saw him a few years ago
Here's Papa (Mark) and Avery at the Berry Farm
This is my husband and my granddaughter. We went to a farm up in the northern part of South Carolina with some friends and we had a great day. We mined for gems, picked blueberries, and ate some wonderful ice cream. As you can probably tell from the picture, they are crazy about each other. Mark has never had children of his own and Avery has been in our life since she was born. I used to think people were exaggerating when they talked about grandchildren and the intense amount of pleasure they bring. I was wrong.
I sketched the picture of Mark some years back when his hair was longer. I have pondered and pondered putting any of my work on my site. It is like a huge deal because it's as though I am showing something so personal. I realize sharing pictures of your family and especially, my granddaughter is quite personal. But my art is somehow this deep part of me that doesn't seem real most of the time. I want to do more and I struggle with taking the time to do it. I have art supplies up the wazoo and I keep telling myself I will get back to them when the time is right.
I want to tell my bloggy friends that I want the time to be right and I want it to be now. I have been working on making changes this past month. I have not been working 10-12 hours a day. I have been taking more time to relax and perhaps this is what is I am preparing to do...get back into something creative.
Being a recovering workaholic is challenging. I must talk to myself a lot about the fact that everything will be fine and working crazy hours doesn't necessarily make things better. For those of you that can relate it is probably some type of pride thing mixed in with an identity deal.
I feel better now that I have this out in open. I want to do my art. It doesn't matter how good or how much, but I need to have this outlet again. Thank you for indulging me with this post.