Category Archives: Faith and Religion

Sadness and Happiness

Sadness and happiness live pretty closely, side by side.  Life can change in an instant.  Joy can turn to sorrow. And vice versa.  It happens every day to people.  Life is not promised and we may not see tomorrow here on earth. I have been thinking a lot about death lately only because I know so many people who have died in the last few months. When you get to be my age, you start to lose friends and family at a regular rate, it seems.  My church family has been hit pretty hard lately.  Today I just found out a friend’s husband has died.  I grieve for her although she had a pretty hard life with him at times.   She is a very strong woman, though, and will come out on the other side of this stronger than ever.

The weather has not helped my emotions. We are stuck in cloudy, gloomy weather right now.  Generally, the weather doesn’t bother me.  In fact, I look at bad weather as a good time to hunker down with a good book or go out into my shop and make something bright and pretty.  I have done both of those lately, but I still have felt a little melancholy.  I know this, too, shall pass, for I really am, for the most part, an optimistic, happy person who looks at life as one big adventure to be lived looking at everything as a miracle. Because it really is.  You reading this are a miracle. Is my life perfect?  Heck, no.  Am I sad sometimes. Of course.  But I do feel I was placed here for a purpose.  You were placed here on this earth for a purpose. Some of us find our purpose late in life while some children already know theirs.   I read a blog the other day about a family who had a little baby who was not well and died very shortly afterward and yet, that baby served a purpose. Thousands of people who read the blog were touched.  People who had lost babies themselves were touched.  It made me think. How am I touching people’s lives?   I get up every day and ask God, “Let me be a blessing to someone today.”   I don’t know if I accomplish it most days, but I try when I can.   I hope in some small way I am a blessing to those who read this blog.

I find my relationship with Jesus Christ has helped me immensely in this walk on earth. I met Him at a young age in my small church one night at a revival.  He’s been by my side since then. He was always at my side, I had just not acknowledged Him before.  He’s by your side right now. I have been reading some of my diaries from when I was a young girl and I see how my walk with Jesus has affected my life in so many ways.  I have found comfort in Him when times have been tough.  Joy when times have been happy.    I married a Christian man and that has made my life easier.   Do not be unevenly yoked, the Bible tells us. In other words, don’t marry someone who does not believe as you do or does not like how you believe.   I think that is true. At least it’s worked for David and me.

I didn’t mean to get all philosophical here or push my faith on anyone, it’s just who I am.   It’s what I have been thinking the last few days.   I have been blessed beyond measure. If I were to die tomorrow, I have lived a blest life.  I was blest to be brought up in a Christian home, although my daddy did not become a Christian until later in life.  I saw a transformation in him like nothing I had seen before when he accepted Christ as his savior.  I can vouch for the fact that Christ does change people.  My daddy stopped cursing and smoking cigarettes from that moment on and I never heard him say a curse word or see him smoke a cigarette ever again.  And Mother never had to beg him to go to church. He went gladly.

I was going to post a whole lot of pictures on here of things I have purchased at a new antique store we found, of my chicken quilt I wrote about in my last post, of the strange people populating my shop right now, but since this has become a “things on my mind” kind of blog, I will save them for another day.

I hope and pray you are having a wonderful day, that the sun is shining on you and that peace reigns wherever you live.  Bye.

 

A Fresh Start

Ah, a brand, spanking new year to celebrate.  Clean, bright and shiny with nothing to tarnish it for a short time.  Once the clock says twelve midnight, we say good-bye to 2016 and hello to 2017.  When I was a young girl, this year would have seemed like it would take  forever to get here.  I would be an old lady then(or older lady, anyway.)   There would be flying cars and robots doing all our work for us.  Well, it hasn’t turned out quite like that, but things sure have change a lot since I was a child.

When I was a child, we still had television antennas and three or four channels.  We had no indoor plumbing and we heated with wood and coal oil.   We did have electricity and telephones but the phones were connected to the wall and we could only take the phone as far as the cord would stretch.  No telephone conversations that the whole family could not hear.   My daddy drove a big old station wagon and we could sit clear in the back without seat belts and even lay down and take a nap.   I was raised on a farm where the animals were fed and cared for before my daddy would come in to eat.   We ate our meals around a table with conversations and no cellphones to interrupt. Now, it’s the other way around. Conversations interrupt people texting on their phones.  I don’t call that progress.  I call that sad.   Every meal was freshly prepared by my mother, who was the best cook in the county, if not the state. Never any takeout meals.  No McDonald’s or Wendys when I was growing up. Our little town did have a restaurant, but I don’t think our family ever ate in it.     We washed dishes by hand together, drying them with a towel and talking as we worked.  Until we had a bathroom installed, we washed from a wash basin in the kitchen.  My mother would cover all the windows with newspaper so no one could see us bathing.

I enjoyed growing up on my daddy’s farm.  I think I had one of the best childhoods anyone could wish for.  I spent hours in the barn playing.  I dreamed of having a horse and every Christmas I always thought I would get one.  I did get one, but my brother helped me buy him and I will be forever indebted to him for being such a good big brother for helping me get my horse.   I roamed the farm playing with all the animals, even the baby pigs and calves that were born in the Spring.  I rode my horse on the country roads and even into town.   I worked in our garden, fed the chickens, helped my mother clean the house.  We were always cleaning house, it seemed.   We washed clothes in a wringer washer and I loved putting the clothes through the wringer, being careful not to catch my fingers in it.  We hung our clothes out to dry. I still miss the scent of air dried clothes, fresh from the clothesline  My mother didn’t get a washer and dryer until after I got married and left home.  Mother did the washing every Monday and I helped do the ironing on Tuesdays.  Fridays we always had hamburgers for dinner which was a treat for me.  Saturday dinners were always fish.   Sunday dinners were almost always fried chicken or beef roast. Saturday night and Sunday night suppers we got to eat on a tray in front of the television and it was the only time I got to drink a coke.

I never thought I would grow up, grow old and not live on a farm.  I still have a farmer’s daughter’s blood running through my veins and I always will.  I loved when every new year came.  I always got a diary for Christmas and loved writing on the very first page about the very first day of the brand new year.  Some day I will share some of my diaries writings.  But not all of them!  Some things must remain private!

We don’t know what this new year will bring.   I know we will get a new family member through marriage.  Will I get a new puppy?  More chickens?  Will David and I journey someplace new?  Will we lose a loved one?   Will we keep our good health?   Will I gain a new friend?  Every day when I get up, I pray God will send me another friend.   I pray for all my friends.  Some have had a bad year and some have had good years. I have lost several friends in 2016.  We have seen several celebrities die. Ones I watched when I was a girl.  We don’t know what life will bring us in the coming year, but we can know one thing. We can have a relationship with the very One who gave us life and put our trust in Him.  My hope is in Jesus Christ.  Whatever befalls me, He has my back.  I am not alone in this walk through life.

So for all of you reading this, I pray for God’s blessings on you and that this year will bring you peace, joy and love.  Love being the greatest of these.

Happy New Year, friends.  Bye.

 

On This Most Blessed Day

 

dscn4431

The tree is up and shining,

dscn4593

The stockings have been hung.

dscn4594

Santas on the mantle,

Carols to be sung.

dscn4556

Manger scene so precious,

God’s own little boy.

Here on earth to bless us.

Bringing hope and joy.

dscn4445

Children so excited,

World is all aglow.

Christmas will be coming,

Awaiting the first snow.

Carols sung with gladness,

Hope is all around.

The Christ child came to save us,

Our blessings to abound.

dscn4429

What’s your prayer this Christmas?

Peace to all mankind?

Fellowship with others?

Our hearts as one to bind?

No better present ever,

Than God’s own holy Son.

Seek Him first this Christmas,

So we can all be one.

A very blessed Christmas to you all.   See you next year!  Bye!

original poem by Kate Craig

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Inn Keeper

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a degree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed……….And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city, Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem;(because he was of the house and lineage of David:) to be taxed with Mary, his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.  KJV Luke 2:1-7

No room for them in the inn.  Has that ever happened to you?  It has happened to David and me.  One time when we were traveling, we stopped in a college town to find a motel.  We didn’t know that there was a major football game happening there between two rival teams and we could not find one motel with a room in that town.  We traveled to the next town.  Same thing. So we drove and stopped at motels and I would run in and ask, “Do you have a room?”  and  I was told several times, “No, sorry.”  So we had to drive a good distance from the first town we had stopped at to find a place to lay our heads that night.  I kind of understood how Joseph and Mary felt when they arrived in Bethlehem and they could not find a place to sleep. Plus, Mary was in her ninth month of pregnancy and was due any time.

Not a whole lot has been written about the innkeeper who told them they could stay in his stable.   Some think he was cruel.  Others say, “How dare he not give a room to the holy family?”  Well, he didn’t know at the time they were a holy family.  Only Mary and Joseph knew who the baby was that Mary was carrying.  God’s only Son.   I am sure they had kept it quiet ever since they found out Mary was pregnant and still a virgin.

In Bethlehem in those days, there weren’t motels and hotels like we have today.  Most inns were probably quite small and accommodations were probably crude, at best.  No white, fluffy towels.  No showers.  No bathrooms, probably.  No little bottles of lotion and shampoo.  So, all the inns were full to capacity because people had come to Bethlehem to be taxed.  The city’s inns were overflowing, kind of like when there is a Super Bowl happening in a city and you can’t find a motel room anywhere.

So, here is an innkeeper, looking at this young couple at his door. The girl(Mary was probably in her teens) was obviously pregnant and he had no more rooms to let.  What was he to do?  He had a stable( more like a cave) that he knew was dry and warm and had clean straw, so he gave them the choice of staying there and they took it.

If you have never been in a barn, you would not know that it can be a very cozy place.  When I was growing up. I played in my daddy’s big, red barn almost every day.  In the Summer it was cool.  In the Winter, it wasn’t exactly warm and toasty, but it was comfortable.  If there were cows, pigs and my horse in it, it was warmer because of their warm bodies heating it up.  I loved the smell of the barn.  I would lay in the straw in the barn loft and play with kittens that were born between the hay bales.  A stable is not the worst place you could find yourself.

So Mary and Joseph went to the stable and looked around and found a manger, from which the cattle ate, probably found some straw and padded it and awaited the birth of their son.  And when Jesus was born, they found some rags in the stable and wrapped him up in them and laid him in the manger.  Why would God allow His son to be born in a lowly place like a stable?  Prophets had foretold hundreds if not a thousand years before Jesus’ birth, that he would be born to a virgin, of humble estate.   There are several reasons why Jesus was born in the stable, but the main one was to show the world the humbleness of the man that would be.  That he came, not to conquer the world, but to save it.   It may have been God’s way of protecting  Jesus because the king of that country was looking for the Savior and king that was to be born.  He would never have thought of looking in a stable for a king.

Anyway, I believe the inn keeper was in God’s plan.  He provided the humble place for Jesus to be born.  He was not mean. He did the best he could.

In this glorious season celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, and that is what Christmas is really all about, let us thank God for the wonderful blessing he gave to us that first Christmas day and say a thank you to the inn keeper who provided a safe, dry and warm place for the holy family to stay. May our hearts provide a place for Jesus in them, too.  Bye.

 

 

 

Note To Self

Labor Day Weekend.  David and I have to get away from the house or we will labor all weekend because that’s what we do.  We are always puttering around this old house and its gardens.  So, we planned a trip to see Noah’s Ark.  The Ark Encounter is located in Kentucky, just south of Cincinnati.  It was built as an exact replica of the ark described in the Bible.   This time we took no grandchildren nor did we go with anyone else.  We decided we wanted to see this for ourselves and take the time to see it properly.

DSCN3810

So with David behind the wheel, we were off.  Driving on the Kentucky side of the Ohio River this time. I must say, I really enjoyed the ride as it was different from how we usually go to Cincinnati.  We followed the Ohio River a good portion of the way.

DSCN3685

We got to the park about 11:30 in the morning. We had stopped at this really nice coffee shop where they had the best Boston crème donuts I have every eaten and I liked their coffee too.  Anyway, see that lady there?  Just want to say she and her husband were so nice and were smarter than David and I. Know why?  They bought their entrance tickets online and suddenly someone came along the line and said if you already had your tickets. you could get in line for the bus.  David and I did not have our tickets. They did, so they left us.  Note to self, if we are going to a popular place where tickets are required, buy them online.  We would have saved at least an hour’s time in line if we had done so.

DSCN3688

So, we waited and waited in line.  I don’t think the people at the Ark Encounter were expecting so many people, but it being a holiday weekend, there were thousands there.  People just kept coming.   Thankfully, it wasn’t too hot and there was a nice breeze.  Finally, we got to the ticket booth and purchased our tickets.  Everyone gets a wristband to wear to get on the bus to the ark.  Then we got into another queue to get on the bus.

DSCN3687

DSCN3689

These buses ran continuously all day taking people to the ark.   It was so nice to finally get to sit down.  The bus takes you on a winding road to the ark.

Then, suddenly, there it is in front of you and I have to say I said out loud, “Omigosh!”   It was huge.

DSCN3696

DSCN3684

And so beautiful.

Then we got into another queue to get into the ark.  After the obligatory picture they take of you, that they would try to sell to you in the gift shop after your trip though the ark, we finally actually stepped into the ark, two hours and forty five minutes after arriving at the parking lot!

By that time we were exhausted.

We began to walk through the ark.  It was so beautifully made.  The largest timber-framed  structure in the world today.  It is hard to imagine one man and his three sons making something so huge in Biblical times, but it was God’s plan and people lived a whole lot longer when the world was fresh and new and didn’t have the distractions we do today.  It probably took them decades to build.   This ark took men just a little over a year to build with all the modern equipment we have today.

DSCN3787

There were so many exhibits. This may have been what their living spaces

looked like on the ark. Since they had no idea how long they would be on the boat, they would surely have wanted their living spaces to be comfortable.

DSCN3708

Food may have been stored in earthenware pots such as these.  Think how much food was needed to feed all the animals and the eight people on board for such a long period of time.

DSCN3703

Cages of all sizes lined the walls.  Young animals of every species of the day were brought on board, one male, one female.  Noah would probably not have brought elderly animals or animals past their prime for having babies.    We have no idea what some of the animals looked like back those many millenniums ago.  Elephants may not have looked like they do today. Giraffes may have had shorter necks.   The truth is, we don’t know what animals looked like in Noah’s day for the most part.

DSCN3717

Who knows what animals were all on the boat?   There were thousands upon thousands.   Even then, there was room for more.  The only things we do know for sure is the size of the boat, what people were on it. and that animals were rescued to replenish the earth after the flood.  By the way. Did you know there have been stories all over the world down through the centuries telling about massive floods but that in only one of them were there survivors?  Noah and his family are the only known survivors of a worldwide flood that killed everything that could not breathe under water.

DSCN3762

This was a robotic Noah who told his story.  Children were captivated by him.  I noticed how they would go right to the front and listen with interest to one of the most amazing stories of  mankind.   So thankful parents are teaching their children the Bible and its truths.

DSCN3755

There was no rest on the ark for all those days they were aboard.  Cages needed repaired, animals fed and watered and the animal waste disposed of.  What a job!

DSCN3761

When they had time to rest, they probably studied the scriptures. Noah was a righteous man and his family must have been righteous people.

DSCN3747

They were metal workers and wood workers.   All these skills were needed to build the ark and would be needed after they returned to dry land.

DSCN3746

Some people scoff at the story of Noah and the ark, but if it’s in the Bible, it’s a true story.  This sign says it all about how satan wants to convince us that it isn’t true. Then you won’t believe any of the Bible.  You cannot pick and choose what to believe and what to set aside.  It’s all in there for a reason, whether to teach a lesson or show the way to Jesus Christ.  Did you know the story of Noah and the ark is also an analogy of how people accept or reject Jesus Christ?

You see, God has a plan.  Has had it since the beginning of time.  He knew men would be sinful and need to be made fit for Heaven because sin cannot abide in Heaven.  So, He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, as a sacrifice for all of us.  Jesus bore our sins upon himself on the cross.  God’s only requirement?  That you accept this gift of salvation and His Son as your Savior.  Many people reject that gift and would rather live a sin filled life.  That is what happened in Noah’s day.  Men were so sinful, God was going to destroy his entire creation, but He saw one man, Noah, who was righteous and decided it was worth a second try.  The ark represents salvation.  Then there is the door.  There was only one door in the ark.  Just as there is only one way to Heaven.

DSCN3734

The day the rains began, God shut that door and no one else could enter.  Jesus is the door to Heaven, and one day that door will be shut also, if you reject Him.  There will be no second chances.  God will close the door once for all and those who are in Christ will be with Him in Heaven.  When I stood by that door, my heart ached for all those who have rejected Jesus.  Who think there is no Heaven or Hell.  Do you know Jesus talked more about hell while He was on earth because He doesn’t want anyone to go there?  No one. He loves us all.  Everyone around the world.  If you are reading this, He loves you, too.  I hope you have a relationship with Him.

Another thing I noticed about the ark was the lighting.  It wasn’t bright, but you could still see everything.  Almost like it was lit by oil lamps. Every once in a while I would stand back and just look around at the ark, at the people and think how amazing it all was.   Some of the exhibits were in little alcoves which became quite claustrophobic for me when twenty or more people crowded around.  People were taking pictures, as was David and I. Note to self.  Next time you go to the ark, leave the camera behind and just soak in the atmosphere and read all about the exhibits.  One man backing up to take a picture stepped right on David.  I was wishing that cellphones had not been invented because at some of the exhibits that was all you could see.  But all in all, people were kind to one another and it was a really nice day.

After we got out of the ark we realized we hadn’t gone to the zoo there yet, but we were so exhausted, we said, “Next time.”  We bought some drinks and a big bag of kettle corn and walked to get back on the bus.  Note to self.  Wear crocs next time.  They are the only shoes I can walk in for hours without my feet hurting.  By the end of the day I felt like I was walking on stumps.  We got to our motel and I laid down and went right to sleep!

The next day we returned home, again along the Ohio River. We took back roads and came across one area where people had Summer cabins on the river.  Some were already closed up for the season.  We went through some little towns with neat old houses.

DSCN3816

 

 

DSCN3815

Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye I saw something on my window and I thought it was inside the car and I screamed and David swerved the car.  What was it?

DSCN3805

This gigantic praying mantis had landed on my window, thankfully, outside.

DSCN3804

David had to get outside and take more pictures of it.  It was the biggest one I have ever seen.  He knocked it off the window and we went on our way.

DSCN3818

Watching barges make their way slowly down the Ohio River.

It was good to get home, but I would recommend seeing the ark.  Whether you are a believer or not, it’s an amazing structure.

Today was Labor Day and David and I did labor. David had to work today so I decided to stain more boards for the fence we are replacing.  I worked all day and I am glad I finished them today because it is suppose to be hot and humid once again tomorrow.  Ugh.

DSCN3820

DSCN3819

DSCN3823

Fifty boards, after staining hundreds of others, and we are only half done with the fencing.  Next year.

Hope you had a wonderful Labor Day weekend if you celebrate it.

Here’s to a righteous man who listened to God.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spa Day and Father’s Day

I did something unusual for me.  I got up at six o’clock, something I very rarely do nowadays.  I have become a lay-a-bed in the past year or so because I have been staying up late at night.  Last night I sat outside and watched the lightening bugs flit around in my garden.  It was magical.  They would light up all at once and then there would be a short period when few were lit up and then they would light up again.

Anyway, I jumped out of bed this morning, ready to go, got dressed and out the door to do some chores before it got too hot.  David was still asleep.  He is almost always up before me.  I was thinking he was supposed to be at work at five, but his employer changes his hours often, so I just thought he was going in later.    I weeded a flower bed and spread some mulch.  I watered the flowers.  I took out an unwanted bush that had grown up on the fence. I trimmed down a small tree that had popped up in one of my flower beds.  Then I went inside and it was seven o’clock and I thought if David was going in later, he should be up by now so I went upstairs and he was still asleep.  I really hated to wake him, but I was wondering when he was suppose to go into work.

“You didn’t have to go in at five this morning?” I asked him as he opened his eyes.  “No, I go in at ten,” he replied.  “That’s your Saturday hours,” I told him.  “It’s not Saturday?!”  he asked and jumped out of bed.  He was dressed and out the door in fifteen minutes.  As soon as he left the phone rang. It was his manager wanting to know if something had happened to him.  I told her what had happened and that he was on his way.  I think this is only about the second time David has ever been late for work.  He prides himself on arriving early.  This will bother him for days.  He was also hoping they would keep him for two hours longer to make up for the two hours he missed this morning.   Yes, he has a very strong work ethic.

After he left for work, I went out and cleaned out the chicken house, spread some new bedding, raked their yard and fed and watered the chooks.

Then I decided I would do something else I have not done in years.  I took a spa day for myself. Not a go to a spa and get myself pampered.  My spa day was a long soak in the tub, washing my hair and reading all morning.  I very rarely get time to read during the day.  I do most of my reading in bed at night.  So this was a treat for me today.  I am reading a very interesting book by Vernon Coleman.  He has become one of my favorite authors. He not only writes fiction, but he writes about the medical profession, politics and the EU, which he hates.  He was a general practitioner in England until he retired to write.  I didn’t know if a doctor retires in England, he loses his license to practice medicine ever again.  Is it that way here in the United States?  Sounds like a horrible idea to me, but it’s one of the EU’s laws.  Anyway, I read one of his books all morning and enjoyed myself immensely.  Maybe I need to do this more often.  When I was a girl, I would read all day sometimes swinging on the porch swing.  Now that I’m retired(if a homemaker can ever really be retired) I should find more time to read.

I got this book and DVD in the mail today.

DSCN3392

DSCN3390

At the Creation Museum near Cincinnati, Ohio, they have built an exact replica of the ark as described in the Bible.  It’s longer than a football field and four stories high.  I sent some money to help it get built and received these for donating.  Very interesting.   It opens on our wedding anniversary, but I think we will wait a while to go see it until the newness wears off it, because the crowds to see it will probably be enormous for the first few months.

This Sunday is Father’s Day. I lost my daddy decades ago, but I still think of him every day and miss him.  I know he’s in heaven, probably building something or taking care of animals.  My daddy taught me a strong work ethic.  Because of him, I am not afraid to work.   In fact, I love to work.  He was a farmer and a factory worker. He raised six children with my mother and I think all of us turned out pretty good.  He saw some tragedies in his life that would have broken weaker men.  He was a Christian.  He got saved later in life and I remember when it happened. Now my father was always a kind and good man, but he could swear with the best of them, especially if he hit his finger with a hammer or some such accident and he smoked cigarettes continually.   The day he was saved, all swearing disappeared, the cigarettes were tossed and he started going to church every week and became very active in the church. Before that, he only attended once in a while.  I kept waiting to hear him swear, but I never heard him say a swear word for the rest of his life.   He took his salvation seriously, as we all should do and lived it until the day he died.

My father showed no favoritism to any of his children.  I loved being out with him when he was working especially when he was in the milking parlor where he taught me how to milk cows by hand.  Later he got milking machines.  He showed me how to squirt milk into a barn cat’s mouth from several feet away.   We kids always loved it when he took some time out from his always busy days to play basketball with my brothers in the haymow.  Daddy didn’t have a lot of time in his days.  He was always working.  Later in his life he slowed down a little and he would come in, lay down on the floor and take a short nap.  Then it would be up and out and working again.  He was the love of my mother’s life and when he died, she lost her best friend, lover and constant companion.  She was never truly happy after that and I understand her completely.

I received some books of my mother’s a while back and in one of the books that was like a high school annual, my daddy wrote my mother a poem.  From the words, it appeared they weren’t dating yet and daddy was trying to get my mother to like him.   Later they would date and elope and were married for over fifty years.

DSCN3387

My daddy was a very handsome man.  He had very blue eyes.  I remember once when I was about five years old, I did something naughty and all daddy had to do was cock an eyebrow and look at me sternly and it would crush me.   I only got one spanking from my daddy in my life and it was when I was grown and old enough to know better.   I said something very disrespectful to my mother and my daddy whipped around, threw me over his lap and gave me a few whacks on the bottom.  I was more embarrassed  than hurt, but daddy was not going to stand by and hear his wife talked to in that manner.  Now that I look back, I sure deserved that spanking and I have never held it against my daddy.  In fact, I rather admire him for sticking up for his wife, which every man should do.

One of my grandsons reminds me so much of my father.  I tell him that all the time.  Daddy had delicate features, but was one of the toughest and strongest men I know.   He wasn’t a big man either, but was tall in stature in my eyes.

Happy Father’s Day, daddy.  I know  you are watching over me and I will see you again one day.  Say  hi and give my love to mother, too.  Bye.

 

 

A New Day and An Old House

  We celebrated Easter this past weekend.   Resurrection Day for Christians all around the world when we celebrate the resurrection of the living Christ who died on the cross for every single person on earth.  Took all our sins upon Himself so that no one  would perish.  All one needs to do is accept Him as your Savior and you are saved for all eternity.  How wonderful is that? 

I love Easter and all it means.  But I also love all the renewal in nature with the trees budding, the flowers growing and the birds nesting and making new families.  I love to be with family on Easter and have a big dinner and an Easter egg hunt for the kids.   We had seventeen at our table this Easter.  Friends and family and I felt so absolutely blessed.

 

We had a big Easter egg hunt.  We put money signs in some eggs and candy signs in others and the children had to turn their eggs in for money or candy.

DSCN3022

They were all excited about the money.  Yes, money wins over candy, but not by much.

Here they are ready to start the hunt.  We made it a little harder to find the eggs this year as they all found them way too fast last year and they are all getting bigger so we wanted them to be challenged.  One hundred and seventy eggs to find.

DSCN3026

And the race was on for the eggs.  We hid them in the front yard, in the back yard, in the side yard and in the tiny woods next to our house.

 

 

DSCN3027

When the hunt was finished, they all lined up according to age and Grandpa counted their money out and they picked out their candy and I think they were all excited and happy to receive their prizes.  I told David that next year I want to make it bigger than ever.

DSCN3032

 

DSCN3033

And as in past years, we had a contest to see who would get in the pool first.  It was 54 degrees cold.  All the boys(and that big boy)  jumped in the pool.  Immediately they all ran for the hot tub.

DSCN3029

Fifty-four degrees to one hundred and one degrees in five seconds.  I think these two were numb from the cold.

DSCN3034

The biggest boy of all had to get in also.

Yes, it was a blessed and fun Easter.  I am so thankful we can have this time together to make memories.

And in other news.  I love old houses.  Our house is over one hundred years old and I love everything about it.  Yes, it can be drafty and hard to keep dusted and it’s not open concept like so many people want nowadays.  Yes, it’s a lot of work and we have spent a lot of money through the years to make it up to date and liveable, but we would rather have this old house than any new one.

We had a beautiful older house right next door.  It belonged to a doctor who had his office in it.  When we first moved here, his office was a bustling business.  People in and out all day.  He was an OBGYN and everyone I met through the years knew of someone whose baby had been delivered by him.  He and his wife were nice neighbors.  They let us use their yard when we were building our pool for all the equipment needed to build it to come through their yard.  They even gave us flowers for a gift for our pool.   Then he closed his office and retired and they moved to a house not far away, but kept this old house. Every week they would come and mow the yard and clean up around the house.  They would pick up their mail every day. But the house stood empty for years.  One time some kids broke into the house and David went over and caught them and we called the police, but the doctor and his wife let them off.  They were nice people like that.  So through the years the house stood there.  David and I wondered what would become of it.  Would some family buy it and bring it to life again?  Would it become a business?  One time David offered to buy it for our quilt shop, but it was the family home so it wasn’t for sale.

DSCN3039

It was a beautiful old house. Notice I wrote, “was.”

DSCN3036

For the almost thirty-nine years we have lived next door I could look out any of our southern facing windows and see this beautiful old house.  There was something comforting about it.  Knowing it had stood there for years sheltering families and a doctor’s office.

DSCN3040

A grand old home with a big front porch.    But then…….

DSCN3037

This pulled into the side yard the other day.  David and I speculated what was going to happen.  David thought they were going to dig a new sewer system.  I had a premonition that the old house was going to be torn down.  Sadly, I was right. It seems the house was uninsurable and had to be torn down for liability reasons.

So yesterday I woke up and heard a noise next door I wish I would never have heard.  The sound of an old house dying.

DSCN3042

Piece by piece, it was torn apart and the pieces put in a huge dumpster.  It would take eight dumpsters to haul away all the pieces.

DSCN3052

I get tears in my eyes just looking at this picture and realizing this house will be no more.

DSCN3046

How quickly decades of living and memories can be all wiped away.  A house is built and families come and go in it and it holds all the memories.  Where do the memories go when the house is gone?  Who will remember the things that went on in this house?   Who will remember the people?  I know I will remember Doc and his wife for as long as I live.

DSCN3081

Finally the last vestige of the house remains.  But it can’t withstand the machine pushing it down.

DSCN3087

A final push and it’s over.

While watching the house going down, David and I noticed all the things left inside.  It was almost as if Doc just up and left everything in it and locked the door.

DSCN3091

Clothes hanging in a closet upstairs.  Some look like army uniforms.  Probably from the second world war.   Why did no one want them?

DSCN3092

Painted cabinets and beautiful woodwork and wallpaper.  I wish I could have gone through this house before it was demolished.

DSCN3072

A coffee pot and medical records.  David found one that blew out and it was dated 1932.

DSCN3062

A sign on the wall about the first year’s growth of a baby.

DSCN3069

An old wooden cabinet.    Someone could have torn this out and used it.

DSCN3051

I saw this old door and really wished I could have gone in to save it, but in the dumpster it went.

DSCN3050

Beautiful old wallpaper.

DSCN3055

The old house sat in a big yard.  A yard my children and the neighborhood children played in years ago. Doc was nice about letting kids play in his big back yard.  Baseball games, kite flying, walking dogs.  There was even a “secret” gate into the adjoining field that my grandchildren loved to look for and go through.   Yes, many memories surround this house for our family.  My daughter played under a big old mulberry tree with two neighbor girls.  Neighbors met in the field to talk.  Now most of the neighbors are gone and now the house is too.

DSCN3093

I don’t want to remember the house like this.   Just like a person I have loved who has died, I want to remember them in the prime of their life.  That is how I will remember this house.

DSCN3036

Beautiful and stately with redbuds blooming around it.   Good-bye, old house.

Here’s to the hope of Easter and dear old houses.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

Merry Month of Many Memories

March is one of my favorite months.  Probably because it’s my birthday month and I kind of celebrate it all month long.  I had a cake.

DSCN2965

I got to eat out with some of my favorite people and I got some gift certificates.  Always love that.

David and I took a weekend off and just did what we wanted.  Ate out, relaxed, saw three movies and had a very nice couple of days.   We think we enjoy that as much as we do taking a long vacation.  We will probably do a few more of these weekends this year.  We have one planned to go to Cincinnati in May where I am going to a book signing of one of my favorite bloggers.  If you read Susan Branch’s blog, you know what I’m talking about.  I love her blogs especially the ones where she wrote about Downton Abbey.

I bought myself some new fabric. Seems like every March I do this.

DSCN2968

Love getting new fabric. I don’t have a clue what I will make with this yet, but it will be used, I am sure.

DSCN2970

Love these little flowers.

DSCN2976

Decided to complete this child’s quilt I started last winter.

DSCN2979

 

DSCN2980

DSCN2978

Each block has a picture of a child playing.

DSCN3016

Among all the getting ready for Easter and company Sunday, I did get this pinned today. I also made potato salad, cleaned the chicken house, mulched some of the garden, did two loads of laundry, did the ironing, fed the dogs and chickens, moved bags of mulch, prepared supper for David and myself and then I collapsed on the sofa and have not gotten up since!  Oh, yes, I mixed up a batch of sugar cookies too.

DSCN3015

Meanwhile the dogs want me to play with them.  I try to give them some play time with me every day, but today, not so much.  Sorry girls.

DSCN2989

‘”Then I just won’t look at you, Mom.”

DSCN2959

The hens are finally laying again. They went through a few weeks that we were fortunate to get an egg a day.   But now, we have them coming out our ears.  The eggs taste like butter, I’m telling you.  So rich and yellow.

DSCN2987

They have been fertilizing my garden area all winter so I should have a great garden this year.  I think I am just going to plant pumpkins and tomatoes.  I have about fifty tomato plants started with some ready to plant outside when the weather is warmer.

DSCN2985

Chickens still love their “crack.”

DSCN2984

They’ll follow me anywhere when I have a bowl of this in my hand.

DSCN2967

I got this quilt pinned this month.  I’m going to quilt it on the sewing machine.

DSCN2966

I just got a brochure in the mail this week for a quilt magazine and this very quilt was in it.  All finished. I hope I get this finished in a few weeks.

DSCN2993

I’m still knitting.  When I get frustrated trying to knit socks, I knit another scarf.   I’m trying to use up all my old yarn.

DSCN2995

Speaking of socks, I got the heel flap knitted on this sock and then something horrible happened and I ended up tearing out the whole sock.  That makes about six times I have tried to make a sock.

DSCN2996

I’m almost afraid to tell you about this sock because it’s the farthest I have gotten on one.  I knitted the heel flap, turned the heel, picked up stitches(Oh, that was horrendous) and am knitting the gussets now.  I am seeing a very dim light at the end of the tunnel, but until I get a sock finished I am not going to crow.  Even with all the ripping out and starting over, I quite enjoy knitting socks.  I just have to finish one. When I do, you all will be the first to know besides David, as he has been keeping up on my progress and encouraging me when I get all flummoxed.  When learning to knit socks, you need an encourager beside you so you don’t give up.

Spring has sprung in Indiana.  It takes me by surprise every single year.  One day it’s all grey and dark and the next tiny green leaves are sprouting from the ground and on the trees and bushes.

DSCN3003

The Nanking cherry bushes bloomed first and early this year.  They are already almost gone, boo hoo.

DSCN3012

DSCN3009

Our two dwarf magnolias are just about to burst into bloom.  The magnolias around us and in town have already been blooming for a week or two.

DSCN3010

DSCN3011

DSCN3013

Daffodils blooming everywhere.  I have planted hundreds of them through the years and they really are beautiful this year.

DSCN3000

One of my top five favorite flowers.  It’s a shame they only bloom in Spring, but I’ll take them whenever I can get them.

DSCN3020

DSCN3019

I really need to divide these flowers.  August Lilies or Magic Lilies. They won’t flower until August after all the foliage has died.  Looks like we will have a lot of flowers in August.

DSCN2997

My Spring angel by Jim Shore.

DSCN2998

Holding a bird in her hand.  The birds are nesting and singing their hearts out.

Happy Spring and have a blessed Easter.  He is risen.  Halleluhah!!  Bye.

 

 

 

O Holy Night

She had walked ninety miles over rough terrain.  Sometimes Joseph would place her on their little donkey, but in her condition it wasn’t all that comfortable.  Coming into Joseph’s ancestral home, Bethlehem, there was a bustle and hurry among the people, most here to pay their taxes to Caesar Augustus.  She and Joseph were pushed and shoved in the crowded streets.  She felt twinges of pain.  Her baby was due at any time. Where was she going to birth him?

From inn to inn they went looking for a bed for the night.  “No room, no room,” they were told over and over.  Then one inn keeper felt pity for the young couple and motioned them to follow him.  He took them behind his inn where a sort of cave held his animals.  At least it was out of the weather.  There was clean straw on the floor.  A couple of cows stood in their stalls.  Chickens  clucked softly on their roosts.  A few sheep baaed softly.  Mary looked around at the surroundings and thought to herself that this was not a place for God’s son to be born, but there was no where else to go, so she settled down in the hay.

The birth pangs became harder and harder.  Joseph rubbed her back and said soothing words.  Then the time came that she should be delivered.  The boy they had been promised came into this world among animals who watched curiously at this event that was happening.  Mary gazed at her baby’s face.  She was looking into the very face of God.  This tiny babe who would change everything.  Time would be based on his birth, BC and Anno Domini.  The world would not accept him.  He would touch thousands of people during his short time on earth.  Thankfully, Mary did not know what her baby boy would one day have to suffer to save this world of His.  All she knew was that she loved him more than anyone she had ever loved before.  She kissed his sweet, baby face and smelled the sweetness of his baby smell.  His downy hair stuck up.  He gurgled and cooed.  She held him to her breast.  All was calm.  All was peaceful in the stable.   Joseph found some rags and she carefully swaddled Jesus.  They were now a family.  Parents with a great responsibility for they were to raise God’s son.

Out in the fields surrounding Bethlehem, shepherds were watching their sheep.  Watching that no predators would come along and grab one to kill and eat.  It was a chilly night.  They pulled their garments close around them as they looked up at the starry sky.  It was such a clear night, so quiet and peaceful.  The sheep were grazing.  Lambs following their mothers up and down the hills.  Suddenly, right before their eyes in the dark nighttime sky, a light appeared.  A figure of great beauty appeared before them.  They began to shake with fear as the angel said to them, “Fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to ALL people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David A Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  And this shall be a sign to you. You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”

Suddenly the skies were filled with hosts of angels,  a multitude of them, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace, good will to men.”

Suddenly it was a dark night again and the shepherds looked at one another.  Did we really see that, they asked themselves.  “We had better get down to Bethlehem and see this thing which the angels told us about.”  So, they left their sheep grazing on the hills and hurried down to the busy streets of Bethlehem going from place to place until suddenly, there they found a little family in a stall for animals, their baby swaddled and laying in a manger where the cattle fed.  Such a lowly sight and yet a glorious one.  A soft glow shone over the family. The shepherds bowed down and looked at this tiny baby who would change the world.

This year as you celebrate Christmas remember this.  It is about the gift.  The greatest gift of all.  God’s gift to you.  Just for you.  Jesus.  He came, not to condemn the world, but to save it because He loves us so much.  That little baby grew to be the savior of the world.  One day to die a horrible death on the cross taking your and my sins upon him.  Every last person on earth meant that much to Him.

Happy Birthday, Lord Jesus.  You are infinite.  Your birthdays will go on forever.  Welcome into our hearts today.  Merry Christmas, everyone and may you be blessed to know Jesus.  Bye.

The Days Before

I sit here writing this as a blizzard is blowing outside my window.  Snowdrifts creep up the steps of the front porch.  Snowflakes hit the windows as wind gusts slap them against the panes.  I sit here in my warm house, by a roaring fire, a cup of hot chocolate holding one marshmallow in my hand.  My knitting at my side waiting for me to pick it up.  I hear the wind outside and feel the coziness within where I am safe and warm………

No, this is really not happening.  Only in my dreams.  We are having unseasonably warm temperatures here in the Midwest of the United States.   Fifty and sixty degree days almost like the beginning of Spring.  Today it is raining outside my window.  I am still warm and cozy inside my house with an electric log glowing in the hearth, blowing out warm air.   It doesn’t seem that Christmas is less than two weeks away.  I worked in my shop this morning making a few little gifts.  I won’t stop sewing until the day before probably.  David says I always do this every year.  Think of one more thing to make even though I have finished with all the gifts.

The picture above is of two of my brothers back in the 1950’s checking their stockings on the fireplace our daddy had built and covered with brick looking paper.  I still have some of those stockings we hung back then.  I love everything about this picture.  My brothers in their pajamas, the Christmas tree on the side, the wallpaper, the logs in the fake fireplace, the candles on its mantle.  I remember it all. I see in the picture that someone got a Bobbsey Twins book.  I was too little at this time to have received it, but I did love the Bobbsey Twins when I grew older.  On Christmas morning the stockings would be full of candy, little gifts and always an orange and nuts in the toe.  One year my stocking held a Cinderella watch.  I loved that watch, but wore it out winding it over and over.

My heart and mind turn to Christmases past when we children were all at home.  Christmas was always a very special time for our family.  Mother and Daddy made it a wonderful time for us and always managed to give us a wonderful Christmas every year.  One year I got a bright, blue Schwinn bicycle.  Because we hadn’t had much snow that year, I took it outside onto our road and rode it up and down the road pretending it was a horse, because, you see, I always asked for a horse every Christmas. I would go so far as to go out and look in the barn every Christmas Eve to see, if maybe, there was a horse standing in a stall.  Little did I know that it would not be long before my brother, Fred, helped me buy my horse, Tornado.  I took all the money I had in the bank and he gave me some money and we bought my beloved horse.  I rode Tornado bare back until one Christmas there was a saddle under the tree.  I loved that horse until I fell in love with David and I forgot about all else and after I married, Daddy sold him. Not David,  Tornado!  I still feel sad that I forgot all about him.  But I had several years that  I rode him all over the countryside.  There is nothing like the back of a horse to make you feel happy.  I loved riding.

I can still remember the smells of Christmas.  The tree brought in from the woods.  Mother baking fruitcake, cookies, making candy.  My sense of smell was blasted with so many good smells and my sweet tooth was satisfied immensely during this time.  Mother always made gingerbread men to put in the Christmas stockings she had made for the children in her Sunday school class. I always helped her ice them and decorate them with raisins for eyes and mouth and buttons.   I think I may try my hand at gingerbread men this year.

I get nostalgic this time of year.  Wishing we could all be together one more time, but Mother and Daddy and my oldest brother, Jack, are in heaven celebrating being with Jesus.  I will see them one day and every day will be like Christmas.   So I make the most of Christmas here on earth and pray for peace and that everyone will have someone to love this year.  That’s what Christmas is all about, you know.  The greatest Love came down at Christmas into a manger stall.  Celebrate.  What a  wonderful time.  Bye.