Monday, December 9, 2013

Winter Life

I've been thinking about this poem and decided to bring it out from under it's winter wraps and share it one more time :-) 

Winter LIfe

Under boughs of evergreen
beneath cold dirt you'll find
little rooms in tidy nests
for critters of every kind.

Grey mice and squirrels; chipmunks, too,
seek shelter from winter's air
They burrow a furrow and line the end
with some of their soft, warm fur.

They venture out on warmish days
and skitter across the snow
to search for food and stretch their limbs...
then it's back to the evergreen boughs.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

What? Already? (Wednesday Hodgepodge)

1. According to Oxford Dictionaries, the 2013 word of the year is 'selfie'. Your thoughts? When did you last take a selfie? Do you post them online somewhere?  Do you prefer to be in front of the camera or behind the lens? 

Occasionally I take a "selfie" the last one was my favorite and it was totally by accident! I was riding on the back of my husband's motorcycle and he just doesn't understand why I don't like it - can't see anything but the back of his helmet! So I took a picture of the back of his helmet just to show him my "view" from the back seat and when I posted it from my camera to Facebook, there was my reflection and I had a slightly smug look on my face! HAHAHA!!  I'll try to post it to #8 below. I prefer to be behind the camera, but if someone takes my picture and it's decent, I'm ok with that. Most of my pics I take and that are taken of me end up on Facebook, and in online picture storage, Shuttefly

2. Will you send out Christmas cards this year? If so, are they ready to go? If not, are you glad or sad about leaving that tradition behind? 

I will; just as soon as I have some other things done :-)  No, they're not ready, I don't even have my photo or letter ready!

3. Do you trust easily?

No, unless we've been friends for a VERY long time.

4. Pine-cinnamon-peppermint-vanilla (as in sugar cookie)...of those listed, which one is your favorite December scent?

Tough one. Perhaps pine.

5. Did you do more talking or more listening yesterday? Was that by choice or necessity?

Wow, I would have to say it was an even trade-off!  Visited with a friend for lunch and then ice cream and we just all talked and talked and ate and ate!

6. What's the last song that got stuck in your head? Sorry if it's back there now :  )

All songs from church choir. I wake up with them going through my head. We are doing a cantata so it starts with #1 and goes to the end, just like the practice CD! I'm an alto so I try not to sing out loud too often here at home.  :-)

7. Which world explorer (in the whole history of the world) would you most like to have traveled with, and why? 

Well, I'm not the exploring type, but if I could have controlled the sea-sickness, perhaps Hendrick Hudson -  and he could have dropped me off in Catskill on his way up the river (I grew up just north of there!) HAHA!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Here's a shot of the back of my husband's helmet - no clue my reflection was in it! I only took it as a joke to show him my view from the back seat of his motor cycle!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Twas the Hodgepodge Before Thanksgiving

1. Are you settling for something?

I guess so. I'm such a traditionalist and we have had to change our Thanksgiving traditions. We always had Thanksgiving dinner with my parents and as they grew older and passed on to heaven, I started cooking my own dinner for our family in the tradition of my Mom and Dad. My ideal Thanksgiving Day has me cooking a big bird starting early in the morning so we can have dinner with the family in the afternoon. The more the merrier, so bring on the in-laws! However, my own children are now married and attempting to have traditions of their own and even nieces and nephews are getting married and moving away or going to college in a faraway state. So the big dinner here at our house has been reduced and I just have to get over it! We are settling for as much family time as we can squeak in on this holiday. I'm so very thankful that all 3 live within 40 miles of each other and at one point all will be here for either "Dad's Holiday Hash" (our new tradition) for breakfast or "Mom's Turkey and Trimmings" for dinner.

2.  It wasn't that long ago almost every store in the US locked doors and turned out lights on Thanksgiving Day. This year many will be open all day Thursday, giving shoppers a jump start on 'Black Friday'. In your opinion is this a good thing or a not so good thing? Will you be shopping on Thanksgiving Day?

In my opinion, I believe this is a bad thing. The one day a year that is supposed to be set aside to give thanks for all that we are blessed with; to be spent either with family or friends and we have slapped it across the face with consumerism/commercialism. No, I will not be shopping on Thanksgiving Day.

3. Speaking of shopping... I saw a recent article on the twelve best shopping cities in the world. In order they are-

New York, Tokyo, London, Kuala Lumpur, Paris, Hong Kong, Buenos Aires, Vienna, Dubai, Madrid, Milan, and Seoul. 

Ever shopped in any of the cities listed? In which city would you most like to pull out the plastic or cold hard cash?

I've shopped in New York because we lived there for several years and if I had the cold, hard cash to back up my plastic, I'd like to shop there again! I'd also like to try shopping in Tokyo, London, Kuala Lumpur, Paris, Hong Kong, Buenos Aires, Vienna, Dubai, Madrid, Milan and Seoul :-)

4.  When did you last dine by candlelight?
Uh... probably when we were without power; 10 years ago comes to mind. Oh, wait a night this past summer, the waitress lit a candle on our table when we dined at Jay's Lakeside!  I think it may have been our anniversary, too!

5. What do you have too much of?

Weight. Enough said.

6. The Hunger Games...are you a fan?  Did you read the book(s)?  Will you/have you seen the movie?  Will you/have you seen Catching Fire?  No spoilers please!

Haven't seen "Hunger Games" and not sure if I am interested or not. We are not movie goers unless it's a mutual "Need to See" movie. I've only heard about that one and also "Catching Fire." We'd rather spend our money at a restaurant!

7. Share your plans for Thanksgiving Day. The who, the where, the what...especially the what! As in what's for dinner?  If you're one of my International visitors, whose homeland doesn't celebrate American Thanksgiving (the whole world doesn't ya know!), then still tell us your plans for Thursday. 

Home. Possibly watching bits and pieces of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. "Dad's Holiday Hash" in the morning with two sons and their families. This is a combo of kielbasa, eggs, potatoes (onions, peppers), cheddar cheese; dishes of fresh fruit, too. The "kids" will bring something to share. That evening, our third son and his wife will come for dinner:  Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, gravy, creamed onions, beets, broccoli, butternut squash, rolls, pumpkin pie with whipped cream. Then someone (not me) will fall asleep on the couch! LOL!!!! It's a tradition! No football.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I'm going to whineSo much media hype over less than 2 inches of snow!  I can't stand it! The forecast was calling for rising temps and snow changing to rain with very little ice accumulation expected but they went on and on and on and on...  Now, I understand it was scheduled to arrive the evening before the biggest travel day of the year and no doubt, there were going to be delays at airports, but PLEASE...the rest of the country and even those of us who live through it do not need to hear it over and over and over! By the time, February comes NO ONE including the media, will care about 2 inches of snow that turns to slush. End of whining.  That said, I loved our snowfall! It brightened up our end of autumn drab colors and even the slush does not bother me. Since there is very little frost in the ground, it will slowly melt into the bringing up the levels in our wells and not just run off causing flooding. I took a picture of our back yard Christmas tree farm but am having trouble uploading it so here's a similar one from a few years ago:

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wednesday Hodge Podge (and it's still Wednesday!)

1. When it comes to good manners, what two top your list of most important?
Only two? OK, how about holding or opening the door for a person near you; saying please and thank you.
2. Let's open a proverbial can of worms...Common Core.  Are you familiar with the term (talking education reform in the USA)?  If so, care to share your thoughts? In your opinion, what is one of the biggest issues schools (in your home country) face today?
Oh, brother! I'm familiar with Common Core; enough to know that I'm glad I retired when I did and am only subbing, now! As a substitute teacher, I have found it necessary to familiarize myself with some of it, so that when I take a class, I'm able to at least make a semblance of sense of it before I attempt to teach the students. I've never seen teachers so frustrated and that includes the LAST three times they attempted to modernize math. The biggest problem I believe is getting parents to realize the importance of a good education; being involved with their children from grade school all the way through high school. 
3. Name a celebrity whose fashion sense you admire and share why.
I do not care for the styles of today's fashions and I'm not big on celebrities. However, I do like our local news anchors and think they are always dressed appropriately; not like many "celebrities" that show up on TV.  
4. How are you affected by the changing seasons?
I love the changing seasons; each one! However, if there are too many "gray" days in a row (no matter the season) I start to get grumpy. I do have a tendency to "snuggle in" (not quite hibernate) when it gets dark earlier and earlier in the winter and look forward to the lengthening days of late February and March.
5. Scariest book you've ever read?
Thinking...thinking...    I don't read scary books.... I suppose the creepiest may have been back in college with Edgar Allen Poe's "The Telltale Heart."
6. What time of day are you most hungry? What's your go-to snack?
I find myself the most hungry in the late afternoon.  Saltine crackers with peanut butter take care of my cravings, nicely! Some times fruit... Oh, and anything chocolate...   
7. Do you lean more towards being too needy or too independent? Which do you find harder to deal with in others?
I'm independent, but not from my family.  I love how our family helps with each other no matter the need; the same with our church family. The one time we were desperately in need of help, it was extremely humbling to be on the receiving end of things, almost to the point where I wanted to say "No, thank you!" when I really needed to say, "Yes, please!"  People who seem to be needy all the time, wear on me. I find I have a hard time being good friends with people who are always looking for someone else to "do" for them what they should be learning to "do" for them selves.
8.  Insert your own random thought here.
We had a wonderful vacation but finding so many of our destination points with this sign was extremely discouraging. I hate to complain since many of our friends actually lost time from work but when you've been saving and planning and set out to visit, oh, say..."The Wright Brother's Museum" in Kitty Hawk, NC and it closes up tight before you get there... or the light houses you want to visit are in National Parks at the shore... and don't forget the National Parks in the Great Smoky Mountains and Cherokee National Forest... and a marina on the Outer Banks in NC (among other places)  they do not own in waters they seem to think they do, it gets very discouraging and it's the first time I've actually been more than just disgusted with my government, more like just plain ANGRY.  I'll remember all of this come election day for years to come.

If it weren't for us taxpayers, there would BE NO national parks, national museums, national NOTHING! (I know, poor grammar.)

Well, we had a good time in spite of our government's shut down thanks to great family, friends and weather! 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Six Minutes to Thursday ... oops!

1. Picture postcards were first printed back in the mid-1800's and deltiology is the official name for postcard collecting. When did you last send a postcard?  Receive one? Do you save postcards sent to you? Do you collect and/or send postcards when you travel?

Last send a postcard?  Oooohhh.... I can't remember!  It was probably from Maine, many years ago. The last post card was probably from my sister-in-law when they were visiting family out west.  She was big into post cards when the rest of us were discovering instant photos on Facebook!  I sort of collect them ... as in I never throw anything out :-)

2. What treat do you most like to indulge in while on vacation?

Definitely eating out!  We plan our meals and restaurants carefully and enjoy every last morsel!

3. Are you good at hiding your feelings?

Mostly more than less ...  it depends on how tired I am.

4. Does your town/city/county still deliver telephone books to your home? Do you check the yellow pages when searching for a local business number or has the internet replaced the phone book in your home?

Why, yes! Just had our yellow pages delivered a few weeks ago.  If the computer is on, I use the internet, otherwise I'll flip the pages.

5. Would you rather be first or last?

Depends on what is going on....   I'm not terribly competitive.  For interviews, definitely neither!

6. July is National Park and Recreation Month (in America, but everyone can still play along)...where and when were you last in a park?  Did you participate in any recreational activities while you were there?

Ahhh!!  Acadia National Park on Mt. Desert Island in Maine!  We walked and took lots of pictures.  We have biked the carriage roads on previous visits.  We have also taken in sunrise on Cadillac Mountain... where the sun first rises on the east coast of the United States!

7.  What was one of your worst ideas?

Let me think.  I guess, continuing to ski when I knew I had hurt my knee in a fall while x country skiing.  It felt "funny" but didn't really hurt.  ....til later.

8.  Insert your own random thought here:

Near "Thunder Hole" (which really does 'thunder' at the right time of tide) in Acadia National Park

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Right on Time - Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. What's one simple small pleasure on your summer 'to-do' list? 

Finish reading a few books. I love to read and occasionally have spare time!  Amazing!

2. Do you have strong feelings or opinions regarding the immigration debate in your home country? Feel free to share your thoughts, but please play nice.

Too late at night to really discuss this topic; here's my short version. If you want to live in this or any other country, follow the laws that are already in place. Don't sneak in; get a passport and visa if it's required. Learn the language. Get a good paying job; it won't bother me if you take it away from someone else ... chances are if you "took it away" they weren't doing a good job or were not qualified to begin with!

3.  What's something in your home or wardrobe that could be described as 'star spangled'?

I have a white shirt with a simply beaded American flag on it.  I love that shirt! I also have a hand panted shirt with stars and stripes. 

4.  Is your house set up for a party?

Uh, no.  It was barely ready for company but we' have had 2 families in as many weeks!  Love them both dearly, and they didn't mind the clutter!

5. What one never-before-visited city in America, would you most like to see?

Hmmm... Anchorage Alaska..  Also thinking of Boulder, Colorado. 

6. Your favorite red food? White food? Blue food?

Red food: Fresh strawberries; White food:  home made bread; Blue food:  Blue food?   Let me think.... not blue berries as they are too tart.  I know! Blue Corn tortilla chips!

7. What freedom do you value the most, and why?

Freedom of religion followed closely by Freedom of speech.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

It did not rain today.  This is good news! 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Whoa! Wednesday Almost Slipped Past Me!

1. What question do you often ask yourself?

I wonder if I can get away with eating this cookie?

2. Do you grow roses? What's your favorite color of rose?  Ever been given a dozen roses?  Where was the prettiest rose or rose garden you remember seeing?

Lots of Rose questions...  I have two rose bushes. My favorite would be yellow (bright). My husband gave me a dozen roses just once. Prettiest rose garden? Would have to be at Yaddow Gardens in Saratoga Springs, NY. 

3. Do you read the freshness dates on grocery store products?  Will you use eggs past their 'use by' date?  Take medication that's expired? Buy a dented can?  

I always read the freshness date ... especially for milk.  I never shy away from "expried" anything!  Topical medicine is good, in my book, way past the "use by" date. Medicine taken orally, needs to be no older than 1 year.  Eggs are fine well past their date and dented cans are ok if there is absolutely NO rust and no swelling.

4. Should athletes be role models?

All people in the public view should be role models.

5. Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay of Nepal became the first explorers to reach the top of Mt. Everest on this date (May 29) back in 1953. What's something you hope to achieve in your lifetime?

Oh, my.  It's too late at night to seriously think about goals.  However, I love the idea of role models from a previous question, and I sincerely hope that I have been a positive role model (and will continue) for not only my own children, but the children I've worked with at school and through church.  You're never too old and it's NEVER too lat for that!

6. What would you do if you had twenty acres of land and the money to develop it any way you choose?

Well, we just had to give up the idea of acquiring an additional 11 acres which would have brought our total acreage up to about 24.  We already have a small Christmas Tree farm, and would probably have kept the additional acreage pretty much wild ... a place for the wild to roam and the curious to walk and take pictures. It would be something nice to leave our children.

7. If I invite you to a party with a 7 PM start time, what time will I actually see you there?

7PM  (unless you need help, and then I'll come earlier!)

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I can't believe how tired I am.  Managed to get 8 hours of yard-work done before it rained .. AGAIN!  The lawn and flower beds will be beautiful in a few weeks and that will be my reward!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge ~ Right on Time!

1. When the children of today grow up, what do you think they'll say about this period in time? What do you most hope they remember? 

Well, this is a toughie...I had to think about it, but here goes:    I'm hoping they will be enjoying the freedoms our country has stood for and will be saying something like, "Our parents had to struggle with a meddling government, but we've  managed to turn it around!"    I'm hoping they remember that although there were struggles they lived through (financial, moral, political) that God was watching and waiting the whole time and always in control.
2. National Teacher's Day is celebrated in the US of A on the first Tuesday in May, this year May 7th...share how a particular teacher positively impacted you.  
Only one?  Ok, I'm choosing Miss Spalding :-)  She was pretty old when I had her but she still had lots of patience dealing with those rascally boys in our 4th grade class!  She was patient with the talkative girls in class as well.  She was kind and caring... letting me soothe my little friend when another classmate hurt her feelings in a terrible way. My brother had her, too, so she was familiar with my family and would come to our restaurant once a week for supper... usually on the same night I was there :-)  She loved nature and taught us kids all about flowers and trees having us bring in different specimens for a contest in the springtime.  I didn't win, but that was ok because  I have retained a good portion of that education in nature being able to share with my own children. She came to my high school graduation and hugged me to pieces. 

3. What's a dish your mama made, that if set in front of you today would whisk you right back to childhood? 

Meatloaf. Definitely meatloaf!  ... and "cornstarch pudding" for dessert.                                                                         
4. Mother May I was a game we played when I was growing pieces, parts, or plugs required. What games from childhood do you remember loving that were also pieces, parts, and plug-free?

Red Light! Green Light! was a favorite; Freeze Tag, TV Tag, and acrobatics on the lawn ... I'm telling you, we rivaled some of those Olympic participants!

5. Besides your own mother, tell us about a woman who influenced you as a child?

My sister, Barbara, was already grown up, married and had two children by the time I can really remember ... my nephew was 3 months older and my niece was 2 1/2 years younger than me. Her life was difficult for many reasons but I got to watch her continue to mature into a loving mother, working girl, caring wife and daughter and as always, a faithful sister.  She included me in so many activities with her own kids. We had only a few disagreements in our adult years, but love has a way of gluing relationships back together!   Though I was no longer a child, I watched her miraculous comeback from a stroke at age 69 and her successful determination to be independent! She died suddenly, two years from complications involving osteo arthritis and a weakened  heart. I miss her very much.

6. Mamma Mia! What's the best play or musical you've ever seen? 

Phantom of the Opera ~  

7. What are three smells that make you feel nostalgic?

Specific perfumes, popcorn, and hyacinths

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

My friend, Loretta,  died today. I made this my Facebook status for the day and kept reminding myself throughout it:

How can our hearts be heavy and filled with joy at the same time? By the power of the Holy Spirit! Thank you, dear Lord, for the life and homegoing of our dear friend. She has fought the good fight that is spoken of in the scriptures and has finished her race. May we learn from her example and be found as faithful. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge ... on Wednesday!

     Thanks, Joyce!

1. April showers bring May flowers...what have you been showered with this month? 

Light snow.  More days of light snow than all of winter.  Nothing very deep, just ... there... when it should have been sunshine!

2. What is the nature of compassion?  Is it learned or innate?  Can compassion be learned?  If you're a parent is this something you've purposely sought to instill in your children, and if so how?  

I think compassion is innate and can not be learned, but needs to be developed.  Its one of those things that separates us from animals. Little children understand things like compassion, love, respect by watching and imitating.  If this is what they see, they are more apt to show it as they mature and seem to show compassion much more easily/more quickly than older children and adults. If a child is raised in a home with no compassion, it is still possible for them to be compassionate; just takes longer to develop.  I believe that adults who do not  appear to possess compassion, actually do, but choose to follow their sinful nature and ignore it. 

3. Do you prefer to watch romantic comedy or romantic drama...or are you rolling your eyes saying bring on the action flicks?  

I'm not much for watching romantic anything, but would probably prefer comedy over drama. Action flicks usually bore me. I'm more of a documentary person.

4.  It's April which means baseball season is officially upon us here in the US of A. Humphrey Bogart is quoted as saying "A hot dog at the ballgame beats roast beef at the Ritz." Agree or Disagree?  

Well, I've never been to the Ritz or a pro ball game, but I DO love a good hot dog (all beef) with spicy brown mustard and sleeping in a potato roll.  I also love roast beef ...  So,  I believe that each destination deserves it's own food .. hot dogs at the ball park and roast beef at the Ritz!

5. What's something in your community or city that needs fixing or improving?

My first thought was "My city; period" but that was kind of flippant of me ... so let me say, I appreciate the hard work SOME of the people in my neighboring city do.   Urban blight needs to be dealt with BIG TIME and there are codes in place but not enforced...  Welfare fraud has been dealt with to some extent, but I'm afraid the problem is rooted at the State level and that's beyond my community's reach. However, the SOME I was referring to are involved with volunteer organizations and are doing a wonderful job! The politicians could take a lesson...

6. Share a song you enjoy that mentions flowers or a specific flower in its title.

Only one?  OK ... waxing nostalgic and going back to my 60's roots and The Kingston Trio with "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?"  But my all time favorite is one my mom used to sing to me when I was little; then I sang it to my kids, and I know one of mine has sung it to his:

Dandelion! Dandelion! What golden stars are you. 
Shining in the meadow grasses, sparkling with the dew.
Did you shine up yonder, dears, all the whole night through
and then come dancing down with the sun...
because little Peggy loves you?

How I wish you could hear the tune!

7. April 22nd is Earth you believe there's life on other planets?  That wasn't the question you were expecting was it?  

No, and no! Oh, there could be micro-organisms, but intelligent life would have found each other by now, I'm pretty sure.  But for the sake of imagination, I'll leave a spark of "maybe" in my mind...  :-)

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

It's been a rough week in the USA ... how anyone can go through this life without a compassionate God is beyond me.  He's there to comfort and care; to save and to share ... he's all powerful, all knowing, all seeing  and just because he doesn't intervene when sin over takes this land and troubles arise from fire, flood and storm does not mean he's mean, or doesn't exist, but he lets the life he's created, live. He lets us make our own choices, and our choices affect all those around us ...  He leads and directs, but we don't always follow. When we do follow but bad things happen, is it His "fault"?  Of course not, we are not puppets and this world is not our stage. It's our home...but only for awhile. When people die, it's only for this period of time; in this place.  There's more to come; So much more.  I don't have all the answers but I know who does and He has the peace that surpasses all human understanding.  I've got it! Do you?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge... on Sunday (oops!)

1. Share one fun thing you did last week, while the Hodgepodge was on 'spring break'.

I made some venison stew; took a walk up on our hill; did bare minimum housework and read a book during spring break. 

2.  April 10th is National Sibling you have siblings, and if so are you close? Share a favorite story featuring one or all of your siblings. If you don't have siblings, did you ever wish you did? 

I have 3 half brothers and 1 half sister. 2 of my 1/2 brothers were much older than me so our relationship was a distant one for the most part, simply because of time and well, distance :-)  They were my father's sons and have both passed from this earth to heaven. My mom's son was 8 years older than me, but we were as close as a big brother and baby sister could get. We are separated by distance, now, but keep in touch. My mom's daughter is my 1/2 sister and she was much older than me. However, we were pretty close in that we did lots of fun things together and even argued as we got older!  My sister's children are my age, so my niece and nephew were more like a brother and sister to me.  People have asked me if that felt strange and my answer is always, "Not at all. We all had a great time growing up together and I didn't know any other way!"  My sister has since passed, but I am still in touch with my niece and occasionally my nephew. 

3. Is it important to you to 'buy American'? Why or why not? How much of an effort do you make to 'buy American'? If you're not American, insert your own country in the blank. 

I look for quality. If I have a choice between 2 products that are of equal value, I'll choose American made every time...if the quality is there.

4. Besides The Bible, what book has impacted your spirituality in some way?

Probably the first book to impact me as a very young woman (other than the Bible) would be  The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom (also her book, Tramp for the Lord.)  In more recent history, I have been inspired by the writings of Patsy Clairmont ... one book being, "God Uses Cracked Pots"  .. I also remember a book titled, "Change Points" by Joyce Landorf that had an impact on me over 25 years ago as I was working my way through motherhood with 3 boys ... probably still a good read!

5. April showers bring May flowers or so the saying goes.  Do you find rainy days calming or depressing?  When were you last caught in a rainstorm? What's blooming in your neck of the woods today?

The first rainy day of spring or late winter is awesome! I love to hear it hit the windows and watch the droplets run down our window panes.  If those skies stay gray and drippy for a 2nd day, though, I become antsy... especially in the springtime!  In the fall, a rainy day is fine ... again, as long as there are not too many of them! A cold rain in November reminds me that snow will be coming ...maybe any minute! 

I was caught in a real "gully washer" one summer; no umbrella; had to wade through ankle deep water and then made it to the neighboring business' car port to wait for my husband to pick me up.  There was lots of thunder and lightning and NO WAY was I waiting in our little mini golf clubhouse with all those big pine trees towering over head! I was soaked and scared!

Although it is spring here in upstate NY, we have nothing blooming, yet, this year. Last year the crocuses and even some dandelions were already blooming with daffodils and tulips just ready to burst! This year? Crocuses little green shoots just broke through the ground.

6. What's your favorite yellow food?

Hands down, Butter and Sugar variety of corn on the cob and the butter to go with it!

7. April is National Poetry Month...what's a poem that holds special meaning for you, and why is it special?

I'm a bit nostalgic about poetry. Certain ones stick and always for a reason. I write my own, but often find myself  "hearing" my mom's voice as she had memorized "The Children's Hour" by Henry Wadsowrth Longfellow  and "The Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers" by Dorothea Hemans.  In her late 70's, my mom started writing her own about life on the farm and when dementia set in, she would recite them over and over and over and over ... my sister, niece and I all agreed that we could just about not stand it any longer BUT would one day miss hearing her voice and those very same poems. We were right. 
8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Long shadows at sunset on the beach...ahhhhh!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

God Started It!

I've had more than just a few people ask me about my faith, recently.  Some were quizzical, some were  combatant and some were just curious where I stood on certain issues.   Let me say up front, that everything in my life revolves around my relationship with the Lord.  Now, don't get silly and ask me if I pray about what color to wear and what type of pasta to buy....   Understand that there are simple areas of life that I can take for granted simply because of the Lord's provision!  However, I thought I would share a few spiritual thoughts running around my head and heart, this day before Resurrection Sunday. 

Our families, past, held the Lord in high regard with preachers, missionaries and everyday believers abounding midst struggles of several wars, The Great Depression, a house fire, physical and mental illness and some untimely deaths,   Our families, present, have had some difficult roads to traverse but still with preachers, missionaries and everyday believers with God holding us up in spite of our downfalls. Our families, future, look forward to that Blessed Hope, being raised to everlasting life in Jesus Christ! The future is ... somewhere out there ... there's still time for thought, reason, action, *changes of heart and mind, decisions but one thing is constant and that is our salvation in and through Him.  Only one thing we can't change; *once saved, we can not change our mind.  If we have trusted Him as our Savior, we can not "be plucked" out of His hand.  

We need to have the desire to be sinless and make a conscious effort to sin less. Sounds rather obvious, but we are to avoid sin. Not just avoid it, but to flee from it. "C'mon, Peg, you're being a bit dramatic." Really? Run as quickly as we can!  Why?  Because it can grip the believer just the same as the unbeliever. FLEE!  Do we?  No! We think about it, consider it, rationalize it; NO! FLEE IT!  As Paul the Apostle asked (and answered), "Should we continue to sin that Grace may abound?" ...  Certainly not! Once we have made the decision to trust Jesus Christ as our Savior, our past is forgiven, our present is comforted and our future is secure. We may take our eyes off of Him, we may back slide, we may let the wave of popular opinion sway our thoughts, we may even start doubting our decision and even try to run away from Him, but He will still be there.  

I LOVE the "never alone" part of being a Christian! He is always with me. I got a kick out of the new "Footprints" cartoon and saying that has been going around the internet.  I would have posted it here but don't want to break any copyright infringement. It shows Jesus and some dude walking and Jesus says, "My child, I never left you. Those places with only one set of footprints is where I carried you." and the next picture shows them with Jesus continuing to talk, "That long groove over there is where I dragged you."  I can not tell you how true this has been in my life! HAHA!!!   Even in times of struggle, where I have been dragged, almost kicking and screaming, I have had a sense of His presence. Only once have I ever prayed and FELT God being silent. That's the only way to describe it.  It was a silent feeling ... as if He just stood back to watch ... and that was in the face of evil, where there was a battle going on for, I truly believe, the soul of a loved one. It was a very short period of time and it was a very long time ago, but I have never forgotten it. It would appear that the battle was won by the Lord and there is even earthly evidence (answer to prayer)  to back up this spiritual victory!

I cut my own hair last night....ooooohhhh... I know; it could have been a really bad scene, me with scissors in front of a mirror, but we're good :-)  Today, I got to thinking. We were created in His image; not that we look like Him in the physical sense, but we are His design AND we are to REFLECT Him. So in that sense, we SHOULD look like him ... at least in a spiritual way!  It is my desire and prayer that others see Jesus in me. 

Not too long ago, I had someone curious how I could justify my "celebration" of each season, as the pagans do, with my dependence on and devotion to God. They mistakenly thought that since the pagans celebrate these things, Christians weren't suppose to. Wrong. Since nature proclaims His handiwork ... and at the end, even the rocks are going to cry out, as a Christian I get to enjoy it all and I can celebrate each season, the weather within them, and I even get to see and appreciate everyday miracles, just as the pagans do! Why? Pagans do not have a monopoly on God's creation! The biggest difference in this respect, between me and pagans, is that I have a relationship with the Creator and they don't. He is my Father and I will give Him the glory!

One of the kids in Bible Club at church, asked our "Question Man" (Pastor George), "If God knew we were going to turn out to be sinners, why did He bother to create us in the first place?"  Good question!  (I love these kids!) God wanted a "people" (not spirit beings, like angels) to be a part of the earth He was creating.  In order for these people to return His love for them, they would have to be able to choose to do this. We are not Christian puppets.  I've got news for my pro-choice friends.... God was Pro Choice before you were! ;-) He chose us to be part of HIS creation and as soon as we chose to go against God's rules, sin entered the world. Was God surprised? "...Oh NO! How could that happen?  I never saw it coming!..."   He knew. He was prepared. Read John 1.

Some thoughts (and mental images) on the consequences of sin. First off, it separates us from God; like building a wall. Pretty soon, we're so used to doing what we want to do, we can't even see God any more because of our wall.  Happily, God has a big sledge hammer and with one prayer can break the wall down.  On the other hand, those sledge hammers can send debris flying and we (the sinner) can get hit with the shrapnel. It hurts to be wrong. It hurts to be corrected. But it hurts even more to be left to our own devices. To wonder and wander on our own instead of having God to guide us. The Bible says in Romans 6:23  that the "wages of sin is death."  Wages is what we are paid ... so for all sin, we are paid ... death.  Well, that's not a pretty painting! I thought God was love?  Oh, no! This must be one of those contradictions my unbelieving friends talk about!  Not at all. God loved us so much He had already made a way to redeem us. See, the 2nd part of that verse says that the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  I call that LOVE!

The Bible also shows us incidents where He stepped in and took back authority so that others would not be led astray; so that His people would be preserved. He stands presumably "idle" just so long. When sin was rampant (Old Testament), God dealt with it and it wasn't pretty. I could name specific instances (but I won't)  that are referenced in the Bible and I'm sure there are many more that aren't recorded but the bottom line is, He fulfilled His promise (New Testament) to send Messiah to be our Savior. Those who trust in Him are not only saved from the punishment of sin, but get to experience the comfort and joy that only the Holy Spirit can give. 

Now, it is my heartfelt desire that those who question my faith, might "test the waters" and pray to the Living God, and read His Word instead of just looking at my words and blowing them off. So, go ahead; you've tried other ways. Ask God for an understanding heart, then for starters, read John, chapter 10...I love this verse where Jesus is speaking: "The thief (that would be Satan) comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."  Is my Christian life perfect? Of course not. Is my walk with the Lord where it should be?  Nope.  Does He still love me and want me to turn from sin? Absolutely! Living my faith does not make me a good person, but it does make my path and convictions clearer.  I am who I am (sounds like Popeye) and God met me where I was and He will do the same for you!  

He has more to do, by the way ... Lots more.   Happy Resurrection Sunday! May it be a day of joy and reflection!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge Once Again

1. My real life friends came through with another question this week so thank you real life friends. When you've eaten in a restaurant do you complete their comment card? Do you take online surveys highlighted at the bottom of store receipts? 

I will fill out survey cards at restaurants, but not the "online" surveys. I get too much junk e mail as it is! If I am contacted via e-mail for a survey (motel, purchase, etc) I may or may not respond.  
2. The (US) ban on women in combat was lifted at the end of January. It will probably be next year before specifics are worked out, but its been reported over 200,000 front line positions will eventually open up to women.  Your thoughts? 

I don't believe women belong in combat.  

3.  In looking back at all the blog posts you've written, what's your favorite posttitle

I'd have to actually look back ... probably one of my poems.  I'll leave that to my readers!  Just check the side bar for "poetry" and it should bring them all up!
4. What's worse-overly permissive parents or overly protective parents?  Did your own parents lean more to the permissive or the protective category?  If you're a parent where do you fall? 

Well, this is a hard call!  I'm going to go with overly permissive parents being worse. Their children tend to get  into more trouble at an earlier age than others. Children of permissive parents often expect other people to be permissive as well and this does NOT go over well at school! These children also tend to be spoiled and spoiled children have a hard time making good friends. Overly protective parents end up with rebellious children, but I think it's easier for them since they get a reprieve at school for 6 or 7 hours a day!  My dad was permissive, but my Mom was not. Therefore, I needed to ask my mom for permission for everything! What made it ok for me, was that I was not a demanding/rebellious child and was content most of the time :-)  ...MOST of the time!

5.  Candlelight-moonlight-firelight-bright lights in the big city...which one's your favorite? 

Ahhhh... decisions, decisions...    I'm leaning towards firelight.  We don't have a fireplace, but we do have bonfires several times a year.  I LOVE to sit out by the fire with or without my marshmallow stick, Hershey Bars and Graham Crackers!  I also love candlelight, but my husband is allergic to most fragrances so we use them only on occasion.  Moonlight in the winter is pretty cool, though ... we've taken winter walks in the moonlight! Bright city lights are pretty, but we can't usually afford the theatre, dinner, etc that goes along with them.

6. Dr. Seuss's birthday was celebrated on Saturday. What's a favorite book you remember (Seuss or otherwise) from your own childhood?  Did books play an important role in your growing up years? Explain. 

I love books. Sometimes as a teenager, I felt they were my only friends. I loved reading about horses, nurses, mysteries (but not scary things).  Besides my Bible (with pictures), the very first books I remember were, MIss Frances' (Ding Dong School) about a birthday cake;  and a Little Golden Book, called , "Out of My Window"   ...  From memory, the last verse of that book is: 

 "Out of my window, I can see 
the sunset as the sun goes down, 
the lights come on all over town 
and my Daddy coming home to me. 
That's what I see from my Window."

It's making me smile all over again...  :-) 

7.  To quote Dr. Seuss...

"From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere." 
from One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish

Share something funny you've recently read, seen or heard.  

I work with little kids mostly, and they are a never ending source of funny comments.  Just today as I was tying a little boy's sneaker, he asked, "Did you take a shower this morning?"   LOL!!!!   I asked him why he asked and he smiled and said, "Because your hair still smells like shampoo!"    Love those kids!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I probably won't be doing Wednesday Hodge Podge next week because we are going on vacation :-)   We go every winter... here's a sneak peek!  

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wednesday Hodge Podge ... say bye to February!

It's that time of week, again!  Thank you, Joyce :-)

1.  When were you last facing an ocean? Using just ONE word, describe how you felt as you faced that ocean. 

The last time I faced the ocean was back in October; Ocean City, MD.  One word?  small

2. What are three sounds you hate to hear?

Children wheezing with asthma; very loud claps of thunder; sirens at night. 

3. This question comes to you courtesy of some real life friends. Hi real life friends! When you shop for yourself, do you try everything on in the store before buying or do you buy, try on at home, and then return what you don't like or what doesn't fit?

I do a little bit of both. Sometimes, I am just not in the mood for trying on, so I hold it up and try to judge. I can get away with this for tops but usually not bottoms. A couple of weeks ago, I got away with both!

4. February 26th is National Pistachio Day...are you a fan of the little green nut? Do you use them in cooking and baking or prefer to eat them right out of the shell?

Munch, munch, munch; salted and right out of the shell! I don't like pistachio ice cream, though. 

5. When did you last have to compromise with someone?  Were you happy to reach the compromise or slightly irritated it was necessary? 

If you're married, then you have compromised! Probably it was vacation we stay in a cheap hotel where we get points or try a new place that looks great online? (last week) We were both happy! However, what type of new living room sofa do we buy? (two weeks ago)  Two big stores but couldn't find "my" color, but we really couldn't wait much longer! Honey liked the reclining sofa in the color tomato red and I was ok with it. But now we'll have to get a new rug, new curtains (already on the list) and 2 end tables :-)

6.  Have you ever written a letter to an elected official? Did you get a response?

I wrote to my state representative regarding the closure of a hospital; the only hospital in the county (where there are two ski areas and a major interstate highway.) The county to the west also had their hospital close 10 years before. He was very concerned and shared my sentiments but supposedly the #'s spoke for themselves, but that is another story....   He's a nice guy, though, and we're facebook friends. 

7. We 'March' into a new month at the end of this week...what's something on your March calendar guaranteed to make you smile?

My next encounter with an ocean :-)  See? I'm smiling already!  We're headed to the east coast for about a week, taking in the boardwalks on Virginia Beach, VA and and Ocean City, MD.  If the extended forecast does not look warm enough to us, we'll head for Myrtle Beach, SC instead. 

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

Can't wait to find the first peek of springtime!  We'll spend about 7 - 9 days enjoying the ocean, some family and friends: 

From this ... this!