Saturday, March 24, 2018

Taking a Leave of Absence


You are to rise in the presence of the elderly
and honor the old.
Leviticus 19:32

Beloved and I are embarking on a family project that will take me away from blogging for the next month or two.  We have some  matters that need our attention, energy, and some travel. 

Lord willing, I intend to resume writing blog posts after the intensity of these activities are behind me. As time allows, I will read your blogs, pray about your concerns, and leave comments.

In the meantime, have a blessed Easter as we focus on the sacrifice our Lord made for us so that we can be at peace with God.

For God so loved the world
that He gave His only Son,
that whosoever believes in Him
will not perish 
but have everlasting life.
John 3:16

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Reviewing the Birthday Pictures

My birthday was last week. I promised to post pictures of the celebration. Beloved continued our long family tradition of mounding on the breakfast table all of our saved curly ribbon for an instant party look, along with the birthday banner that spends most of the time rolled up in a tube with the ribbon. This is what greeted me as I entered the kitchen on my birthday morning.

We drove to Amelia Island, which is northeast of Jacksonville city limits, to the town of Fernandina Beach.

My friend Glo recommended a wonderful restaurant sitting on the edge of the Amelia River.

We were given a table beside the huge windows overlooking the boats and pelicans, the latter of which proved to be very entertaining to watch.

Not only was the food excellent, but I admired the presentation with black-and-white paper contrasting against the white plate. 

We saw a ferry boat arrive from nearby Cumberland Island National Seashore.

After our filling lunch, we investigated the area, watching the pelicans landing in the water like in-coming airplanes. We weren't able to snap a really good picture of them up close.

The day before my birthday I bought this pair of stylin' yellow pants and coordinating top (with sparkly jewels in the print) from Stein Mart, so I would look celebratory. Yes, the outfit was festive, but I'll not be wearing the pants often because the pockets are too small to hold my cell phone -- and my phone is my auxiliary brain!

I have shared in another post earlier this week a photo of the Bottle Brush tree in our back yard. These beautiful trees are everywhere, including the shopping district in Fernandina Beach. I just love them!

Of course, we walked through many of the shops. Beloved does this to please me, and as you can see here, he amused himself with this selfie.

History and wonderful old architecture are all over these barrier islands of Florida and Georgia. This is an Episcopal church that reminds me of something King Arthur would like.

This very old house was constructed without any nails! Back in the day, the boards were secured with wood pegs instead of nails. A passerby told us he was a physical therapist. Years ago he was called to see the elderly woman living in this house, to give her a treatment. She told him she had lived in the house all her life. She remembered that as a little girl,  Civil War soldiers marched past in the road.

This is not my philosophy (I dress mostly for comfort), but I thought the sign was blog-worthy!

This is a huge slab of freshly-made fudge. Beloved likes to buy a small souvenir of fudge when we travel to places like this. And I never complain about it.

After our feet got tired of walking, we drove to the ocean side of the island to get a glimpse of the beach. As you can see, the water was gorgeous that afternoon against a cloudless blue sky.

It was a nearly perfect day, marred by the news that one of our family members got injured and needed a horrible number of stitches. But these several days later, the patient is recovering. 

Life isn't always easy but as I look back on the good, the bad, and the ugly, I can see God's hand of blessing in every phase and sincerely thank Him for the grace He gives.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Welcoming Spring with the Hodgepodge

Bottle Brush tree

I'm welcoming Spring today with pictures of the Bottle Brush tree in my back yard. Every morning when I open the window blinds, this tree is in full view and I marvel at its beauty. The distance shots I take of the entire tree just don't do it justice. As you can see, the flowers really do look like a brush for washing a baby bottle!

Wikipedia tells me I can expect this tree to give a showy performance through all of spring and all summer long. I love it!!

Joyce has published her weekly questions for Hodgepodge Wednesday. It's Tuesday, but I'm going to go ahead and submit my replies and then link up with other bloggers tomorrow.

1. On this first official day of spring, tell us something (besides the weather) you're looking forward to in this season of the year.

We have quite a social calendar lined up for the next few months. I look forward to seeing family and friends both hither and yon.

2. When it comes to spring cleaning would you rather wash windows or wash baseboards? Ugh! I'll go with baseboards. 

Clean out closets or clean out the garage? Closets for me; the garage is Beloved's domain and he does a wonderful job of keeping it clean. 

Dust ceiling fans or dust bookcases? I need to say that dust is not near the problem here in humid Florida that it was in dry Colorado. However we do have mold here and I'm learning how to keep that at bay. But to answer the question, I'd rather dust bookcases because a ladder is not needed for that job. 

Wipe down the patio furniture outside or wipe down light fixtures inside? Patio furniture. We don't have as much of that as we do light fixtures. 

Any of these tasks recently completed? The pollen count has been quite high here for weeks, so we wipe down the patio furniture every time we sit outside!

3. Your favorite thing to make/eat that calls for cream cheese? Pecan Tassies

Sour cream? Onion dip with Lipton Onion Soup Mix

Whipped cream? Pumpkin Pie

4. I read here a list of commonly mispronounced words. What is a word that a gives you trouble when it comes to pronunciation?

I can't think of one right now. I tend to be pretty articulate.

5. What's a song you love with the word "rain" in the title or lyrics?

The Cascades ~ 1963
Listen to the Rhythm of the Falling Rain by the Cascades. I like the catchy tune, the lyrics, and the sound of thunder and rain in this recording.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Nothing more need be said!

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Linking up at 

Saturday, March 17, 2018

National Quilting Day 2018

newcomer in my sewing room

Today is National Quilting Day, however, over the years I have seldom done any sewing on this holiday. Either I'm between projects or just too busy with other things. This time it's both.

But, I did complete this quick little project earlier this week. It's two vertical rows of pinwheel blocks with an extra row of half-pinwheels added down along the right side. AND the pinwheels are turned in such a way that they hard not easily recognizable as pinwheels! I just played around with them to see how I could make a more interesting look.

Truly "winging it" all the while, I had the two vertical rows of pinwheels done but I wanted it to be just a little bit larger for the area on the wall where I wanted it to hang. So I tried adding the additional "half pinwheels" and Voila! I had something really intriguing (or so I think!).

If you study this more distant photo, you can see what looks like diagonal ribbons of the aqua fabric twisting their way from the top left in a diagonal direction toward the bottom right. 

And since this is in my sewing room, where I'm going with a beachy pink and aqua theme, the colors of this piece also remind me of the ocean.

Anyway, this is my contribution to National Quilting Day.

PS. I will blog about my birthday activities some other time. Got a lot going on right now... But thanks to all of you who sent well wishes to me! I had a great day.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Blessed With Another Birthday

Another birthday for me has rolled around. This is a day of thanksgiving for the Lord's continued blessings on my life. 

Beloved tells me we are getting the oil changed in my car, but I have a feeling he's got more than that planned.

Google Images: Mary Engelbreit

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

A Green Hodgepodge

the Bottle Brush tree in our back yard
As our first spring blooms in northeast Florida, we are fascinated with the botanical changes taking place. We have a Bottle Brush tree in our back yard that is showing off daily with more of these deep red flowers that truly look like bottle brushes. 

                                         * * * * *
It's time for the Wednesday Hodgepodge. Joyce has supplied the questions; bloggers respond and then we link up to share our answers at Joyce's blog,

1. Best place you've been lately?

one of several amphibious cars at
Disney World's Disney Springs
Disney Springs, which is a marketplace area outside of the parks at Disney World, Orlando.

2. What's something you should say yes to today?

I'm responding to this question at nearly 8pm on Tuesday night, so after I complete my social media obligations, I should say "yes" to getting to bed at a decent time. At the rate I'm going, that shouldn't be hard.

Or this week?

I've already done this. I made an appointment for my annual Medicare Wellness visit after a prompting phone call from my doctor's nurse.

Or even this year?

I'm just trying to keep myself out of trouble, so, whatever that requires.

3. Do you celebrate St. Patrick's Day in any way, shape, or form? If so tell us how.

My heritage is German, Swiss, and probably a heavy dose of Mayflower. (smile)  I wear green on St. Patrick's Day to keep from getting pinched (and the the color don't look too bad on me).

In Western cultures the color green is typically associated with jealousy, nature, good luck, and growth. What's the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word 'green'?

Click here to see the song: It's Not Easy Being Green

4. What's a product or service you love so much you'd happily be their spokesperson? Tell us what makes you such a fan.

Blogger! I've been using Blogger for over 9 years, trying WordPress several times, but always coming back to Blogger as my favorite platform for blogging. I've had to figure out some of its quirks all by myself along the way, but seldom do I get into a twist with it anymore and it really is user-friendly.

5. March 14th is Pi Day. How are your math skills?

I married a mathematician. He does the arithmetic and I do the cooking. 'Nuf said.

What's the last thing you did that required math of any kind?

my laundry room
I measured the space above the washing machine to see if this quilt would fit on the wall. (This used to hang on a dining room wall in our former house, The Brown Bungalow.)

And most importantly do you like pie?


What's your favorite kind?

Cherry pie, both hot and cold.

With ice cream, whipped cream, or please hold the cream?

Just give me a generous serving of the pie, please.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

I continue to read a daily devotional from the book, Whispers of Rest by Bonnie Gray. My copy was a Christmas gift from one of my spiritual mentors (you know who you are!). It's got 40 devotions in it and I do one most weekdays, depending on what other study materials and obligations I may be juggling at the time. 

order from here:

This book could not have been put into my hands at a better time. I have needed its theme of giving myself permission to slow down to find healthy ways to deal with the toxins that build up in the body due to continuing stress. 

The book has been so helpful that I hate to see it end. I've got ten more days of it, but I may stretch out the reading as much as I can.

"Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares 
which will not withdraw from us."  
Maya Angelou

* * * * *

Linking up today with other bloggers at From This Side of the Pond

Saturday, March 10, 2018


I am holding my breath to see if spell check tries to auto-correct the title of my post today. So far it's holding as I want it to be.....

Forgive me, any of you who are English majors or those who are trying to homeschool your children in proper writing skills. But I like to write the way I talk and although I know better, this is the way I communicate.

It's been a full week here and my DayTimer tells me the pace will only pick up from here on out for the next few months. But that's okay. I like to have things to do, don't you? 

I'll catch you up on a couple of the fun things from this past week.

my new metal bench

Last fall Lea, on her blog titled Cici's Corner, posted a picture of a beautiful black metal bench on her front porch that she had decorated with a festive pillow and large ribbon bows on either end in season-appropriate colors. 

Lea's bench

I love the look! After that I began my search for a similar bench. We found one at the local patio store but they were asking $400 for it, so Beloved nixed that idea. But I kept looking.

We found one in a consignment store for $40, but it was too light-weight and it really needed seat cushions, which was not the look I was going for.

Then last Saturday we were in Old Time Pottery looking for something else when we came across this one at $80. Beloved knew he would have to buy it for me. He takes a hint so well!

needs a decorative pillow to hide the electrical outlet
I haven't put a pillow on it yet, but when I do, that will hide the electric outlet on the wall behind it and all will be good. I don't like to see cords or electric outlets with my home decor, although I am very thankful for the invention of both.

So let's see. What else have I been up to? 

We added some bright yellow pillows to our guest room for our grandsons. I love how the pillows go with the small yellow flowers in the mountain picture on the wall. I wanted the boys' room to be light and airy and not desperately masculine (just not too froo-froo, ya know?).

re-designed room for the boys
We've been doing some rearranging in the granddaughters' bedroom, too. I'm not done with the decorating in there yet, but you can see the color scheme I'm working with. It's a delight to be able to add pink in here. As Julia Roberts said in Steel Magnolias, "Pink is my signature color!"

re-arranged room for the girls and sewing
note: decorating still in progress!
We recently decided to make a part of the girls' room my sewing area. When the grands come to visit, the big cutting table can be folded up and stored in a closet, making room for sleeping bags on the floor as needed.

the cutting table in the sewing (girls') room
Here is a better view of the sewing area. By the way, those two bright squares on the wall are high windows. They didn't photograph very well. I should have closed the blinds before taking the picture. 

using a wall quilt like a bulletin board

My sewing "career" began around the age of nine when The Cook on Fifth Street let me play with her sewing scraps. You could say that over the years I've become very opinionated about the necessities for a seamstress (quilter, in my case). No 'set up the machine on the dining table' for me! I've got too many tools and supplies that need to be at-the-ready for my sewing projects.

the wall above my sewing machine

In addition to a liberal use of pink in the girls' room, my theme is  "Beach" with a growing collection of fun beach quotes. Love it!

And one more tip-of-the-hat to Lea: I got the idea to display all these signs from a more recent blog post of hers where she hung many sayings on her laundry room wall:

from Lea at
This isn't everything I did this past week, but enough for now. 

more pink accents

What about you? Got any adventures to share?

P.S. Beloved will be doing some maintenance on my computer this weekend, so please feel free to comment but I may not be able to reciprocate.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

You Actually Believe in Mother?

photo credit: Deep Roots at Home
Today's post is not original with me. It came to me from the blog titled, Deep Roots at Home. That author came across this 'parable' on FB and saw no attribution to the writer.  I did a little digging and found this:

A parable/thought experiment from the Hungarian writer Útmutató a Léleknek

It's a short and interesting story I felt worth sharing....


In a mother’s womb were two babies.

One asked the other, “Do you believe in life after delivery?”

The other replied, “Why, of course. There has to be something after delivery. Maybe we are here to prepare ourselves for what we will be later.”

“Nonsense” said the first. “There is no life after delivery. What kind of life would that be?”

The second said, “I don’t know, but there will be more light than here. Maybe we will walk with our legs and eat from our mouths. Maybe we will have other senses that we can’t understand now.”

The first replied, “That is absurd. Walking is impossible. And eating with our mouths? Ridiculous! The umbilical cord supplies nutrition and everything we need. But the umbilical cord is so short. Life after delivery is to be logically excluded.”

The second insisted, “Well I think there is something and maybe it’s different than it is here. Maybe we won’t need this physical cord anymore.”

The first replied, “Nonsense. And moreover if there is life, then why has no one has ever come back from there? Delivery is the end of life, and in the after-delivery there is nothing but darkness and silence and oblivion. It takes us nowhere.”

“Well, I don’t know,” said the second, “but certainly we will meet Mother and she will take care of us.”

The first replied “Mother? You actually believe in Mother? That’s laughable. If Mother exists then where is she now?”

The second said, “She is all around us. We are surrounded by her. We are of her. It is in her that we live. Without her this world would not and could not exist.”

Said the first: “Well I don’t see her, so it is only logical that she doesn’t exist.”

To which the second replied, “Sometimes, when you’re in silence and you focus and you really listen, you can perceive her presence, and you can hear her loving voice, calling down from above.”

“…as it is written,
“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love Him”-
these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit.”
~1 Corinthians 2: 9-10

Sunday, March 4, 2018

An Illustration of Holiness

Google Images photo

It has been a poignant few days since the passing of evangelist Billy Graham. Those of us who grew up hearing about and attending the crusades of this vibrant Christian are sad to know we won't see him any more this side of heaven, but we are certain he is now in the physical Presence of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Billy Graham, Cliff Barrows, and George Beverly Shea were not only effective evangelists of the gospel, but they were men of godly character of the highest calibre. In this era of daily news about men who have behaved badly with women, these men have been pure. They set down chaste behavior patterns long ago, making themselves accountable to others. I admire that, as any woman with good sense would.

Much has been said about this great man in articles that are easily available via a quick Internet search. We know that adversity was a part of his life just as it is with everyone. But there is one example of how he lived out the gospel that I want to repeat because it so clearly illustrates the wonderful love of God. These are the words of one of his daughters:

Ruth Graham told how her father hugged her following a difficult divorce and greeted her with the words "welcome home."

"There was no shame," Ruth Graham said. "There was no blame. There was no condemnation, just unconditional love. And you know, my father was not God. But he showed me what God is like that day. When we come to God with our sin, our brokenness, our failure, our pain and our hurt, God says 'welcome home,' and that invitation is open for you." 


Every single one of us has messed up in life. To say otherwise is to fool ourselves. Yet when we humble ourselves before God, confess that we have sinned and accept His offer of salvation through Jesus Christ, we are made new. 

We all need to do this if we want peace with God.

God so loved the world
that He gave His only Son
that whosoever believes in Him
will not perish but have everlasting life.
John 3:16

Friday, March 2, 2018

The Door

One door, and only one
And yet its sides are two,
Inside and outside,
On which side are you?

One Door, and only one,
And yet its sides are two,
I'm on the inside,
On which side are you?

"Before" and "after"

We recently had a home improvement make-over in our laundry room. The original plan was to order and install white cabinets to replace the wire shelving. We also put  up a pole for hanging laundry.

That went well and made a wonderful difference. The cabinets improved the view significantly from the rest of the house, and now I have more storage for what won't fit in the kitchen pantry.

But then it came up in conversation how the door opening into the laundry room to the garage took up some valuable space. Our installer offered that he and his assistant could turn the door around, so it would open into the garage.

I took the bait and said "Yes! How soon can you do it?" They turned the door around that very day, but then the hinges were on the opposite side of the door frame, making it very awkward to reach the light switch and garage door openers.

original door turned to open into the garage

While I was very pleased to not have that door opening into the laundry room, it was not satisfactory to have to fumble in the dark to find the light and door switches (we have no windows in the garage at all). So, a new door was ordered.

old door on left; new door on right
Happily, the new door took just a few days to arrive and within a week it was installed. 

However nothing is ever simple it seems. Work had to be done to make the trim around the door frame fit and look right, adjustments to be made on the threshold both inside and out, and the door itself had to be painted. Our workmen are good at what they do and accomplished it all in just two days. We are very pleased.

left: new door in the laundry room; right: new door as seen from the garage

Of course, all of this reminded me of a Bible verse about a door in the New Testament book of Revelation:

Here I am!
I stand at the door and knock.
If anyone hears my voice and opens the door,
I will come in and eat with that person,
and they with me.
Revelation 3:20, NIV

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