Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas Letters

I plead guilty. For several years, in my youth, I mistakenly sent out family-themed Christmas Letters. For some reason, I thought folks actually cared to hear about the good, bad and the ugly that had happened to my family over the year's time. I was wrong.
Every year, when we receive Family News Letters, I cringe. TMI. The truth is, your good and your sort-of-good-friends, don't want to read about your bad news. They stop reading when they hit the part about your unsuccessful gall bladder surgery. People do not want to share your misery. They might have empathy or even sympathy for you, but they really don't want to hear about it.
Likewise, if the letters are unbelievably Pollyanna-ish, no one is going to want to read past your astonishingly cute description of "Susie, our miniature cock-a-poo, can read lips" story. No real family is perfect. Bad things happen to all of us.
The point of Christmas Greetings is to wish your friends and acquaintances a Happy Holiday and a Healthful and Prosperous New Year. So do it. Email a card, send a card by snail mail. Call friends on the phone. Say Merry Christmas in person.
Just stop sending those letters. (But, I do appreciate the photos!)

Good Lord. You never promised us a perfect life. We have to take the good, along with the bad. Our abundant life comes from knowing that you are always listening to us and hearing our prayers.
We are truly blessed.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Christmas Song

Mel Torme' wrote the Lyrics to The Christmas Song. While listening to it and other Seasonal Selections, the other day, I realized that I had never eaten a roasted chestnut. I have no idea what one tastes like. I wonder, if like peanuts, you can't eat just one? My maternal grandparents lived on Chestnut Street, but I don't remember ever having chestnuts at her house. She was a great cook, but she never roasted chestnuts.
I know a lady named Eve. I hope I get the chance to see her today, so that I might wish her a "Merry Christmas, Eve." Yesterday, I spoke to Carol and wished a "Merry Christmas, Carol."
It's the little things that make a Christmas memorable.

Dear Jesus: Happy Birthday. We are so glad you came to visit us on Earth.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Let it snow......

We had our first snowfall of the season this week. It was a beautiful sight. The snow was deep enough to cover everything in sight. It was a total blanket.
I find that I like winter weather much more than I used to. The older I get, the more I appreciate a good dose of snow and cold.
Snow slows everyone down. It's fairly difficult to race around over the speed limit in a decent snowfall. Folks try it, but generally only once. The risk of slipping and sliding is a big deal. Wrecks happen.
Snow makes everything it covers look clean and pure. The nasty brown and grey of a winter lawn and the bleakness of bare trees are made beautiful and shiny, with snowflakes everywhere.
We don't have school age folks, that we are responsible for, living here now, so we don't have to worry about "snow days". Our days of dressing kids for outdoor "snow day" play are long gone, and we no longer have to entertain bored youngsters home bound and away from school.
I've retired from teaching, so I don't have to worry about lengthened school years, to make up for "snow days". If schools have to make up lost days until the middle of June, I don't care.
Snow is very relaxing. It's a blessing. I love it.

Dear Lord: Thank you for giving us a chance to slow down and consider your wondrous works.
Help me to appreciate all kinds of weather. Our ever changing world is amazing. I am truly blessed, in so many ways.

Friday, December 19, 2014


Psychiatrists have coined a new type of Phobia. They call it FOMO. Apparently many Americans are experiencing it. Notice, I am not saying that many of us "have" it, because I'm not sure the disease truly exists.
FOMO, the acronym, actually means, Fear Of Missing Out. Doctors say that many Americans have a need to constantly check their Facebook or other Social Media pages, because they fear that they will miss out on something important. Holy Toledo, I thought I looked at my Facebook Page because I was interested in what my "Friends" were doing. I wasn't aware of any fear that I had.
Realistically, we all get "left out" of a lot of things in life. In my 68 years of life, I'm sure I wasn't invited to every one's birthday parties in grade school and, guess what, I didn't get invited to Prom when I was a Sophomore in High School. Most recently, I was left out of a party at work.
Big deal. Life is full of events, and we all don't get invited to all of them. Tear yourself away from that Facebook Page. Live life and quit worrying about what you are missing on that screen.
So, the lesson here is..... and I am quoting my five year old granddaughter, a mega-"Frozen" fan....."Let It Go!"

Dear God: We are so blessed, but many of us fail to open our eyes and see what you have given us.
Life is such a gift. The world is such a wonderful place. We thank you.

Friday, December 12, 2014

"On Broadway"

My new screen saver at work is a black and white photo, circa 1965, of the main street in my home town. It's a winter scene. Snow is on the pavement and sidewalks. Cars are parked diagonally on both sides of the street. And, it's Christmas Time, because across each and every intersection, along the whole length of the mile-long business district, are stars, garlands, shiny tinsel and hundreds of lights.
I love looking at this dated picture of the Christmas decorations in my small Midwestern town. It's been a highlight of the Holiday Season. Seeing that photo gives me all kinds of happy remembrances of Christmases all those years ago. Every time I sit down to my computer, I think of some long ago event that shaped my life today.
Those lights remind me of shopping trips to Kresses and Montgomery Ward, with my mom and much older sister. They remind me of my Girl Scout Troop singing Christmas Carols in the second floor window of Little's Department Store. They remind me on going to Midnight Mass. I think about all of the gifts I begged for and just had to have.
I'm reminded of all the different cars we had growing up, and riding in them, up and down that lighted main street.
For many years now, I have lived in a large metropolitan area that has a world famous display of Christmas Lights. People travel from all over the country and abroad to see the fabulous Plaza Lights. I agree that they are a truly spectacular sight.
However, I know that I would trade them, in an instant, for a view of the "not so famous" lights on Broadway, in Pittsburg, Kansas.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

What's red and green all over?

We had a discussion at work today about the bright red blossoms that are used to decorate during the Christmas season. To be specific, it was a pronunciation discussion or perhaps a disagreement on the correct pronunciation of the name of the familiar plant.
Some folks say "Poin-set-TI-a" and others say "Poin-SET-ta". Actually, according to Wikipedia, either pronunciation is correct. And, everyone knows that the Internet is all-knowing and all-correct.
The Poinsettia Plant was named after Joel Poinsett, an American Ambassador to Mexico. He first introduced the plant to the USA in 1825. Don't let anyone tell you that he discovered the plant, it had been in Central America, forever. It's known as the Christmas Star down there.
Anyway, no matter what you call it, we all appreciate the colorful plant during the most joyous of all seasons.

Gracious and most bountiful Lord, you have gifted us with so many wonderful things. Thank you for the beauty of nature. Green Christmas trees and colorful Poinsettias enhance our celebration of your birth. When everything in the cold outside is bleak and barren, Christmas color makes us so thankful.
We are truly blessed.

Monday, December 1, 2014

"Just like the ones I used to know."

My favorite holiday movie is appropriately named "Holiday Inn". It stars Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. It's corny, sappy and above all, most certainly, politically incorrect, but it remains my all-time holiday movie favorite. Just watching it makes me feel all happy inside.
"Holiday Inn" spawned another Crosby Christmas Movie, "White Christmas". That is not one of my favorites.
Both movies feature the Irving Berlin/Crosby mega hit, "White Christmas". Seen side by side, both  movies have very similarly contrived and goofy plots. The two movies, made decades apart, have the same main theme......boy meets girl, the two fall in love and they live happily ever after. Of course, by the time the second movie was made, Crosby was a long way from being a boy. I actually think he might have been a grandfather, several times over, when he and the lovely Miss Rosemary Clooney sang their duets, in "White Christmas."
Crosby plays an entertainer in both musicals. Big stretch! But somehow, no matter how many times I see Bing, sitting at the spinet piano in the corny country Holiday Inn, I get all teary eyed and happy.
Guess we all dream of a "White Christmas".

Dear Lord: Sometimes our dreams never become reality. We have disappointments, but our faith sustains us. We know you will never fail to provide for us, that we should never, ever loose hope.
Your steadfast love endures forever. Everything will turn out bright.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Try it. You'll like it.

A co-worker asked me to name my favorite holiday food. My answer came so rapidly, that I didn't even skip a beat. At the top of my "all-time holiday treat list" is leftovers. For my daughter it's all about the sides and for my husband it's the dressing, but for me, it's the leftovers!
My all-time favorite treat of the holiday season is a sliced white-meat turkey sandwich on plain, fluffy white bread. I like the 2 slices of bread, lavishly buttered and spread with jellied cranberry sauce, right from the can. And, I must have a glass of cold milk to wash it down.  It's a long time favorite and I look forward to it all year long.
Lest this recipe seem mundane and horribly dull to all of you gourmands, I feel the urge to tell you that I can and do cook new recipes regularly. This year's Thanksgiving feast featured two new sides. We nixed the green bean casserole for a timely, yet elegant, corn souffle and instead of Waldorf Salad, we tried cheese-stuffed sweet piquant peppers. It was a delicious change up, everyone agreed.
And, because we just don't buy fluffy white bread any more, I had to substitute some kind of healthy bread with seeds and nuts (or actually, it might have contained saw-dust), for my leftover turkey sandwich.
No problem, I am adaptable.............I enjoyed every bite.

Sweet Jesus: You allow us to enjoy so many things in life. We are grateful for our many blessings. Sometimes it's the simple things that give us extreme pleasure. The simple things often make us realize that many of our blessings are truly astonishing. Great and small, we thank you.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Being Thankful

My favorite holiday of the year is Thanksgiving. As usual, we will celebrate with all of the traditional hoop-la. We have a big afternoon meal planned, and we've invited family and friends to help us celebrate.
Thanksgiving, in my opinion, is way better than Christmas. Thanksgiving is all about the fellowship and food. Christmas is about presents, decorations, travel plans and making sure everyone is remembered and happy. By the time we get all of the required present buying, wrapping and mailing finished, we are often too tired to enjoy the season.
We have grandchildren and children who live hundreds of miles away, and we like to send them real gifts instead of gift-cards and or money. Last year, I decided to use those "stuff all you can into one  box-for one price" mailing packages. It was going to save us a ton of money.
Not this year. Limiting the size of packaging, put more stress on me, the mailer, because I knew I could only select gifts that were a certain size and bulk, so that they would fit in the box.Whatever the cost, my new motto is "it's the gift that counts, not the mass." Size really does not matter.

Lord. I am very grateful for my many blessings. I don't know why I worry. I need to improve my "faith attitude." Help me to manage my stress. Show me how to focus on the present. Your steadfast love endures forever.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

It might just be too late!

Last week, I elected to make a quick run to the local Fabric/Craft Store (they actually sell a lot of other items, but I was looking for yarn). My idea, and I thought it was a good one, was to make the trek during the telecast of the local NFL football game. My theory went along the path of " the store would be less crowded, because a lot of folks would be home watching the game".
I was so wrong. It seems most of the women in town were all thinking the same thing, because the store was packed. The store has one of those "take a number" machines at the fabric cutting table and when I wedged my way past the crowd, toward the yarn aisles, I heard the sales clerk call out number 436. I could see that number 555 was already taken and the holder of that number was, no doubt, waiting impatiently, in a nearby aisle, for service. Oh my goodness.
I hastily picked out my yarn and headed toward the check-out lines. As I waited for my turn, it dawned on me that my good intentions for making every one of my co-workers a hand-crocheted item for Christmas, this year, was probably only a pipe dream. Standing there among the countless women, all with the same or a similar purpose, I knew my goal was way beyond my Yuletide reach. I'll never get them all done.
So little time, so many dish cloths.

Sweet Jesus. My intentions are mostly good. I want to give all that I can, but sometimes I just bite off more than I can chew. Help me to face reality.  Please, watch over me and lead me down the right road. Show me how to give more and worry less. Give us all peace.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

It's all about change.

For the past several weeks we have been engaged in a home remodeling project. We have owned our home for nearly 40 years and although we have painted and redecorated numerous rooms, numerous times, we haven't updated the flooring in a really long time.
Our plans are to change the flooring in the kitchen, living room, dining room and two baths. We might tackle the other rooms at a later date, but that's what we're doing right now. Our goal is to have the current project completed by Thanksgiving (3 weeks from now). We are on schedule and we have absolutely no reason to think that we won't get it done on time.
I find that I am able to handle the stress of living in remodeling chaos quite easily. But, then I get up every morning and leave for my job for eight hours. The dust isn't particularly bothering me, nor is the fact that our "stuff" is in boxes, placed where it doesn't normally belong. I just come every night and manage to work around the mess.
My spouse on the other hand, appears to be a bit discombobulated with the remodeling process. He tends, by nature, to be very orderly, and he is living in the clutter 24/7. In his mind, we cannot be finished with the changes soon enough to please him.
As a good friend of mine once said, " This too shall pass." We will get through this chapter in our lives and live on to start more adventures in the future.

Good Lord: Help us to realize that change is a real constant. Nothing ever remains the same. Familiar faces and places are comforting, but fleeting on the path of life. Be with us and we make changes.
Guide us and show us how to make our lives the way you want them to be. Make us your stewards.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Here kitty, kitty.

Most everyone is familiar with the humorously descriptive term "herding cats". Although most of us have never taken part in corralling a rowdy bunch of felines, many of us have had experiences that could be described as rivaling that of a kitty wrangler.
I've never taught preschool, but I can only imagine the task of attempting to get 3 and 4 year-olds to stay in line-up or sit still for any period of time. No doubt, it is crazy difficult. Trying to control preteens, during their 15 minute lunch hour, has been about the extent of my cowgirl experience.
However, yesterday it was my job to transport 6 octogenarians, along with three multi wheeled walkers, home from a scheduled lunch date. And, had my passengers suddenly grown pointy ears and tails, it wouldn't have surprised me in the least!
My first task was to get all 6 ladies into their appropriate seats and get their seat belts fastened. It's sometimes difficult for folks of any age to locate the right belt and place it into the matching receptacle. Arthritic hands and fingers find it particularly hard. So, I took it upon myself to secure the belts in the proper manner. I did this by stretching and tugging my passengers, the belts and myself, in all manner of ways, over the van's three rows of seats.
Then, dealing with the loading of the walkers was another issue. They had to be folded, in order for the vehicle to accommodate them. That meant the baskets had to be removed and stowed separately, from the chariots. Only one of the walkers would fit in the back storage area of the vehicle. Since I am just a smidgen too short to close the hatch of the van without assistance, I had even more logistics issues.
I'm not even going to tell you about the problems we experienced with the 6 handbags and the portable oxygen tanks.
But, once loaded, we made our journey.
Arriving home, we started the process all over again, as we proceeded to unload. Herding cats.

Lord: Give me patience. You have placed me here to do your work. Thank you for all of your creatures and thank you for Michaela (without her help I would have had to drive both ways).

Sunday, October 26, 2014

I can't believe that you said that!

I have made a new acquaintance. I write acquaintance because the chances of the two of us becoming, in any way, shape or form, friends will most likely never happen.
We are truly opposites. I can't think of one thing that we agree on. My acquaintance is Anti-Abortion and I am Pro-Choice. We differ on our views about same-gender marriages and on whether or not folks ought to live together without a legal union. Our religious differences are huge. We are on opposite sides when it comes to the definitions of missionary, heaven and doctrine. Our political views define the words "polar opposites". Oh and duh, we don't think the same jokes are funny.
Interestingly enough, I do not dislike this person. We are just not in agreement, on anything.
In spite of our differences, I really believe that meeting my opposite is a positive thing. By listening and discussing different points of view, my faith is going to grow. I will learn to be more tolerant and hopefully become more educated about all manner of subjects.
I hope this positive attitude is reciprocal.

Gracious God: Thank you for creating different kinds of folks. I am thankful for those who make me think and cause me to question. My faith grows daily, because you are my constant. You challenge me. I will strive to become a better Christian.
I am thankful and humbled before you.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Look at ME, NOW!

I am annoyed and slightly troubled by the trend of "selfies". When did we get so absorbed by our own likenesses that we began to take our own pictures, seemingly, incessantly?
I remember thinking, several years ago, that it was kind of cute to see teenage girls taking phone pictures of themselves with their friends. It's not so cute anymore. It's gotten downright Narcissistic., and I think it might actually be harmful to young psyches.
Common folk are taking "selfies". Celebrities are taking them. Politicos are taking them.They are being posted everywhere and I don't want to see them.
Think about the real celebrities of the past. (Now I do realize that the technology didn't exist years ago, but....) Can you imagine Jesus taking a "selfie"? How about Lincoln? For that matter how about Frank Sinatra or Elizabeth Taylor? Would they? Well, I just don't think so.
As a teenager, I think I probably spent more than my share of time in front of a mirror. As I got older, I didn't have much time for that kind of nonsense, and I became more confident in my own skin.
Today, in this, "Look at ME world" folks are obsessed with their own images. We should be loving ourselves a little less and loving others more.
Cut it out!

Dear God. We are really a bunch of silly beings. We worry too much about our own appearance and how we look to others. You have told us to Love God and Love each other. That is so hard to do, when we spend so much of our time worrying about who we are and how we look.
Lead us toward the right goals and create within us a thankful and worthy servant of God.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

One Megabyte, Two Jules, Three Amperes, Go!

One of my favorite TV Commercials (I enjoy Commercials more than most current programming) is the one which promotes some type of insurance that takes 15 minutes to save 15% on your bill. This particular commercial features an older woman speaking to her two friends about her vacation photos that are "posted on her wall". She shows them that they are, in fact, taped to her living room wall. During her 60 seconds of air time, she also verbally "un-friends" her one listener, for questioning her computer skills. The former friend then says, " This isn't how any of this works!"
I'm not doing it justice here, so believe me when I say it's pretty funny.
My thought is, we are often confused about how "things work".
I am computer literate. I can type, send and receive email, play games, create a decent spread sheet and make a darn good greeting card. However, if you start talking to me about Cookies and bytes and bits, forget it. I am probably at a fourth grade commuter literacy level.
The same goes for electricity and gasoline engines. I know just enough about a great many subjects to be slightly dangerous to others.
All folks may be created equal, but we were sure separated at birth when it comes to knowledge and life experiences.

All Good and All Knowing God: We would accomplish nothing without your Divine Intervention.
Lead and guide us as we go through life. Show us how to do your will. Allow us to recognize our limitations.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Make like a tree and leaf!

Remember the Joyce Kilmer poem, "Trees"? As young children, most of us read it and perhaps we were even asked to memorize it. "I think that I shall never see, a poem as lovely as a tree."
As I write this post, I am looking out our front window at the two huge ash trees, which are the total landscape features of our double-width front yard. Tomorrow, they will be gone.  They have become the first victims, in our neighborhood, of the dreaded ash bore. Tree experts predict that 90% of the ash trees in the Midwest will succumb to the disease and most of the older neighborhoods, in our area, will be "ash-trees-less", in 5-8 years. Our trees are infected and because we can't afford to risk having them fall on our home or cars, or us, they have to be removed.
The tree-man and his crew are coming tomorrow. They have promised to remove all traces of the two, nearly 60 year old trees. They are even going to grind the stumps.
We will miss their shade and protection. We'll be sad about losing the sight of their brilliant yellow beauty in the autumn. However, we will be able to quit losing sleep over the possibility of a smashed car and/or house roof, by their absence.
Yes, we will certainly miss them.
The trees teach a lesson and it is a lesson that we all learn as we grow older. Nothing lasts forever. Nothing remains the same. Diapers are a phase. Cranky and moody teenagers grow up. Jobs come and go. We live, we die. Change is a fact of life.

Gracious and all knowing Lord. Your steadfast love endures forever. You are the constant, in our ever changing existence. Our lives are never going to stay the same. However, our faith in You sustains us, as we experience our ups and downs. Life is a cycle. Watch over us and keep us strong.

Now what did I do with my car keys?

Each and every time I meet with a group of my contemporary boomers, the conversation seems to drift toward the subject of forgetfulness. We all seem to spend a great deal of time talking about how we are always forgetting our car keys or how we are continually misplacing everyday items.
When we talk about such things, so often, it really means that we are genuinely afraid of the onset of  Alzheimer's and or dementia.
Let me be truthful with you. Forgetting where you put your car keys is normal for just about everyone. We all forget day to day things. Our lives are so busy with the trivia of life that our minds are full and our brains are on overload. Forgetting happens..
It's the next step that should have you concerned.
If you forget where you placed your eyeglasses, don't worry, they are right where you last put them down. You'll discover them, sooner or later. Now, if when you find them, you cannot remember how to put them on your head, or if you can't remember what you use them for.......then you should start worrying.
The same thing goes for your car keys. You will find them, eventually. However, if upon finding them, you do not know that they are used for starting your car, or if you can't remember how to drive......you may have a problem.
So, chances are, if you are forgetting to remember things, it's probably okay. Just forget about it.

Great and Powerful God. We are not perfect. We can never be perfect. Help us to accept our own short comings and the faults of others. We get frustrated when we don't do everything just right. Teach us how to love and honor you with our own humble abilities.
You are perfect in every way.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Scared Stiff!

First of all, I want it known that I don't have a long list of fears.
I have faced a diagnosis of cancer, done chemotherapy and radiation. With the Grace of God,  I have helped to raise four children, who all survived to adulthood, for goodness sake.
Last week, I even faced down a construction worker, who had allegedly talked back to one of my seniors. He out-weighed me by at least 100 pounds, but he meekly cowered when I told him not to do it again. And, believe me, he was right in backing off! I would have taken him down, high heels and all.
But, I am afraid of specifically one thing. I don't do high!
Recently, in a fit of cleaning, I came across a card. It was from the Pike's Peak Highway, dated June 5, 1997. I remember the event like it was yesterday.
We were in Colorado Springs. Our youngest was playing in a Soccer Tournament at the US Air Force Academy. In the off-game hours, we had just enough time to take our "Plains Boy" up into the mountains for an adventure. So up we went.
The first 15 minutes or so, was pleasant. But, the higher up we got, the scarier it became. Sitting on the front passenger side of the car, I noticed immediately that the ground had dropped away and it was a really long way down the mountain. The trees were gone. It was just rock, all the way down.
If I could have slipped out of my seat belt and climbed onto the driver's lap I would have done it, but I was too frightened. I was frozen in terror!
At the gift shop, near the top, I remember screaming, "Is this mountain enough for you? Take us down, right now. If you don't, I am going to go by myself. Turn this car around, now!"
So, we returned to Colorado Springs, at the foot of Pike's Peak. I became fearless once again.

Oh, God. We are all afraid of something. You remain our constant through all of our struggles. Shield and shelter us. Give us strength.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

They are Gold!

I'm about to celebrate another birthday. Funny how that anniversary rolls around every year at this time, and I never seem to feel any older!
Well this year, I received a little treat, by mail, that made me feel a great deal older, but at the same time very grateful and blessed. My friend sent me an ancient black and white photo of myself! I hardly recognized the skinny pre-teen in the photo. She was a stranger.
Right before I turned seven, my parents bought their one and only home on Walnut Street. It was a nice place, perfect for a family of four, in a nice neighborhood. And, right across the little dirt alley dividing our block was another family of four with a girl who was just my age. That was something very special. We became great friends. There were summers when we saw each other every day and winters when we walked the three blocks, to and from grade school, with each other as companions, religiously.
The two of us rode our bikes, roller skated on the sidewalks, spent hours at the community swimming pool and walked to the public library together.
Throughout grade school and high school, we were very close. Then we went to college in different towns, married, had kids and never lived near each other again. We stayed in touch, but in our twenties and thirties we were busy with our families, etc. Our communication, during that time, was through yearly Christmas cards and the infrequent school reunion.
Thankfully, in the years since, we frequently talk to each other by phone. And when we have our long distance chats, we start right where we left off the last time we talked. It just doesn't get any better than that.

Thank you Lord for my many blessings. Thank you for the friendships. I am so blessed to have such a lasting friendship with someone so special. This is an amazing world and there are so many great people in it. Help us to keep focused on the truly good things in life.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Opposites Attract

By now almost everyone has tried to buy some of the new "light bulbs". I sure hope most of you have better luck than my spouse and me, at trying to get replacement bulbs that give off similar light to what we have been used to, for so many years.
Seriously. Who does that government think we are? Edison think alikes? Genius electricians? The old packages were labeled: 40 Watt, 60 Watt, or 100 Watt bulbs....and we knew what amount of light we were buying.
Now, these new LED or CFL bulbs give out light on a completely different scale. You want a 60 Watt bulb equivalent for your living room floor lamp. Good luck trying to find one.
Because my long suffering husband...he's long suffering because I have the patience of a gnat and the attention span of a hummingbird.... spent a great deal of time figuring out the number of lumen's per Watt and the LED/CFL equivalent, we now know a 60 Watt bulb gives off 800 Lumen's and is "sort of" equal to a 13-15 Mercury infused "new light".
Theoretically the new lights are more energy efficient and are better for the environment, but HOLY COW, detailed stuff like this just wears me out!

Dear Lord: I know that I am deficient in the patience category. Thank you for sending me someone who has enough patience for the both of us. Thank you for allowing us to recognize some of our strengths and weaknesses. We praise your wisdom.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

You Have to Visit Me...

Tonight, we had "carry-out" from Kentucky Fried Chicken. Maybe a better phrase would be "carry in" because my husband "carried it into" his car and :"carried it into" our kitchen. Now, no one would name KFC "The Best Fried Chicken on the Planet", but tonight we enjoyed the double novelty of something fried (a rare dining experience in our cholesterol-fighting home) and something not made at home by MOI.
The originator and founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken was Col. Harlen Sanders. An Honorary Kentucky Colonel, he started KFC, after a business failure left him with nothing but his Social Security Check and a recipe for good fried chicken. He created the fast food giant after he turned 65. He cooked up some chicken to sell, created franchises, and became a millionaire, before he passed away at the ripe old age of ninety.
Hooray for the Colonel!
I know tons of folks who are active and going strong, and all of them are past retirement age. Who said you have to quit doing what you are doing at 65? I say that's a great recipe for retiring from life permanently. Keep on keeping on, seniors, and do for as long as you possibly can.

Dear Lord: We pray that we remain active and healthy, to do your will. You bless us with abundance and that abundance takes many shapes. We are honored to be your children. With your blessed help, show us how to be as good as we can possibly be.

Sunday, August 17, 2014


I received an interesting piece of personal mail yesterday. The letter, addressed directly to me, was from General Motors Corporation.
Now, please understand that we are not currently paying off a General Motors automobile. Our only GM car is a thirteen year old Cadillac, with a mere 350,000 miles on the odometer. We haven't heard from GM or a Cadillac Dealer in eight or nine years. All of the Cadillac "bells and whistles", like ON-STAR, have been expired now for several years......maybe a decade. The car runs like a top, but it is a junker.
Never-the-less, suspecting a major sales pitch, I opened my personal letter and read that "I must immediately strip our Cadillac key chain of all items, except the key". The key must be the ONLY item attached, in any way, to the ignition of our Cadillac. GM says that there may be something horribly wrong with the mechanism that triggers the ignition and the extra weight of the fob and anything else (Price Chopper, CVS, K-Mart, U.S.Toy discount mini-cards, the flashlight, Hand sanitizer, and panic whistle) attached to the key, is going to cause a wreck. OMG. Who knew?
The letter went on to state that there were no parts available, currently, to fix the problem. GM is going to let us know when to bring in the car for a re-fit of the ignition. Just be sure and reassemble our key chain, ASAP.
Right. I have enough to worry about, for Pete's sake. I refuse to worry about what damage my key chain is going to cause. We would have more issues trying to locate a safe and usable place for all of the stuff that GM wants me to remove from where I know it is. Lord, if I lose that stuff, I will be in a real mess.

Oh Lord: Help us hold our lives together. Sometimes it seems like we are being bombarded from all sides by nonsense. Show us a filter. Help us to see what the really important issues are.
We glorify your name. We praise your majesty and power.

Saturday, August 9, 2014


Yesterday, I chased and caught a cat. No big deal, you say. People chase and catch cats every day....unless you mean a Tiger or perhaps a Lion, of some ilk.
No. I am writing about my experience with a common house cat. I don't spend any time around cats. It's not that I don't like them. I'm not one of those people who abhor cats and say with firm belief "that the only good cat is a dead cat". Oh, no. Cats are just fine......as long as they don't come near me.
I am one of the many folks who are allergic to felines. Really, desperately allergic to cats. If I am in the same house (not even the same room) with a cat, I will start to wheeze, cough and tear up within minutes. And, my throat starts to close up, if I am even near someone who has a cat. Let me touch a random cat owner's coat, hat, scarf or purse, and I know within minutes that the owner of these garments lives with a member of the feline order. They don't need to tell me. I just know.
So yesterday, I allowed a cat to escape from one of the apartments. Being a conscientious concierge, I took out after the escapee. Upon tracking him or maybe it was a her (I certainly didn't bother to check) down and pinning it with my right hand to the floor, I called for the owner. As I smiled, the grateful owner rescued Le Chat from my death grip and took it back to her apartment.
I kept my right hand away from the rest of my body and rushed to the nearest sink where I bathed, fingertips to my elbow, in hot water and soap.
Two of Christ's creatures saved.

God of our Universe. You created us all. Thank you for the animals that enhance our lives. Keep them all safe and in the care of those who love them. We enjoy your many blessings.

Yum and then some.

During our journey to California this past week, I had the opportunity to taste several new dishes. I wouldn't call myself an adventuresome eater, but sometimes when the opportunity arises, I like to tickle my taste buds with something off the beaten menu.
Last Sunday night, I tried Paella for the first time, and I really liked it. The spices were a pleasant mix of some sort. And, who doesn't like rice, sausage, shrimp and chicken? The ingredients, in this Spanish dish, were blended excellently and I enjoyed the meal immensely.
Then, later in the week, I had an Ahi Tuna Burger. Of course, I have eaten tuna many times. Tuna Salad (of the Starkist kind) was one of the very first dishes I ever learned to make. I believe the recipe went down in Miss Esch's seventh grade Home Ec Class. However, this Tuna Burger consisted of fresh fish, grilled to a delicate hue and it in no way resembled that gray stuff called canned tuna. The burger, coated in Panko Crumbs,  was delicious.
Next, I tried Lemoncello. Talk about good! After I got over the fact that I wasn't going to eat reconstituted lemon geletin, I loved it. It was even better tasting because I knew that it was made from lemons grown not over 20 feet from where we sat drinking the delicate liquor.
Now, what did I learn from my Culinary Adventure?
You know! Of course it was...Try it, you'll like it!

Great and glorious God. We are blessed with sharp new adventures and soft comfortable memories. Thank you for allowing us to experience life each and every day. You are our Rock and our Salvation.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Enough is enough

I don't know about you, but I always have trouble packing for a trip. I have a hard time including, in my suitcase, just what I will need while I am gone from home. I'm not a good packer.
It just isn't a matter of packing the right outfits. It's putting all the right accessories in the bag, too. You know...the shoes, the earrings, the purses, etc., that will complement the dress or shirt and slacks, etc., that I want to wear, while on my trip.
When I reach my destination, I always find that I have forgotten to pack something that I need. I packed my blue dress, but not the silver necklace that I wanted to wear with it. I packed the black slacks, but forgot the top that goes with them. Or, those perfect sandals that I bought, just for this trip....they are still in the box at the bottom of my closet.
In spite of this inability to get my packing act together, I have never had to go naked, while on a trip. Or, for that matter, had to skip an activity, due to my lack of accessories.
All of this leads me to the question......How much do we really need to carry on our lives?
The fact is, we are all collectors, buyers, consumers and users. We all have too much stuff.
Living simple, whether packing for a trip or living every day life, has got to be the best way to live our lives.

Dear God: Help me to simplify my life. Show me how to let go of all the little meaningless extras that basically just cause me a lot of stress. Help me to stop worrying about the little things. Make my life's focus to be doing right and helping others. Guide my feet, while I run this race.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A little help from my friends.....

Let's get real here. I work full time.....forty hours or more each week. I get home around 4:45 p.m. each weekday evening, dog-tired and worn slick. But, like most women, from my generation, I expect and plan to cook a nice meal for my spouse.
I am blessed. Sometimes, my spouse offers to take us out to eat. Other times, he has even cooked the evening meal himself. He is thoughtful and kind, but most times it is up to me. I don't mind. I've been cooking dinner for 40 some years.
It's part of my routine.
But, because I have been doing it for such a long time, I want to share with you one of the secrets to my domestic success.
I always wear an apron.
Aprons are great. Especially the ones that cover up all of your front area. At my age, I have a lot of front area.
When I cook, I get dirty. Greasy. Wet. Gooey. Cooking is a messy job. And, aprons are a great defense against getting your nice work clothes (sometimes, I am too tired to change, before I start dinner) and even your favorite grubbies (othertimes, I opt to change into lounge wear) really messed up.
I have collected a great many aprons, over the 48 years of my housewif-ed-ness. I wear them all. Aprons are like a costume. When I put one on, I become another person. Aprons are a type of superwoman's cape. I become confident, in my role as cook. I am controller of the kitchen, queen of the counter and I can withstand any mess that comes my way.
Viva La Apron!

Great and Loving God. You are our Apron of life. You can shield us from anything that comes our way. You are our protector and provider. Our job is to let You protect us. You are our fortress.
Precious Lord, take our hand and lead us to every lasting life.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Two to Tango

We have two golden anniversary events coming up. One, I am very excited about attending and the other one not so much.
The planners of one of the anniversary events are very concerned about not highlighting anything from the past. They have expressed concern that they don't want anyone to get their feelings hurt because they weren't popular or successful ....way back when. And, they have decided against recognizing much of anything that has happened in the last fifty years, that we are supposedly celebrating. No honors, no congratulations on a life well lived, no high fives on jobs well done. That, in my opinion, doesn't leave much to celebrate.
Don't get me wrong. I'm going to this reunion, and I will participate, but frankly, I'm not looking forward to it.
The planners of the second reunion, are going all out. They are inviting folks to come and celebrate lives well lived and to toast to an exciting future. The celebration will include old and new friends.
I can't wait to join in.
In both cases, we will acknowledge a long span of time. Fifty years is almost a lifetime. Over fifty years there have been good times and bad. That's life folks! We have become who and what we are, thanks to the many events, good and bad, that have shaped our lives.
I'll drink to that!

Great Lord. I am so thankful to be alive. Life is a journey, and I am so thrilled to be on the road. You steadfast love endures forever. Thank you for showing, to each and every one of us, your care and mercy.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Come On In!

Nothing lasts forever, and true to form, a trusted piece of of our outdoor decor fell apart this week.
Unfortunately, it was a victim of several decades of snow, ice, 100 degree temperatures and thousands of downpours. For years on end, this sturdy old item has done its duty and kept dirty shoes and boots from tracking through our living room. It wasn't fancy, but it was trustworthy and did its job quite well. But, now it is in pieces.
I am writing about, as you have probably guessed by now, our trusty old black rubber WELCOME mat. We don't remember when we purchased it, but those seven letters have greeted each and every person who has stood at our door for a really long time.
As I think about replacing our mat, I am becoming a bit sad and nostalgic.
Some of the folks who have stood on that mat have passed on. Young parents carrying toddlers have become senior citizens. Children who stood there are long into adulthood and many now have children of their own. Our old mat has WELCOMEd a lot of people.
But, on the bright side, we are going to replace it today. A trip to the big-box, home improvement store this afternoon will do the trick, and by tonight, the pieces of our old mat will be in our trash bin.
Tomorrow, if our shopping trip is successful, we will have a brand new WELCOME mat at our front stoop, ready to greet many more years of visitors

Kind and welcoming Lord. You always have the WELCOME mat there for us. You are always the perfect host. Help us to become family in Your kingdom and earth and forever.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

"Hats Off! Along the street there comes a ruffle of drums..."

Just the other day, I overheard a conversation between two older gentlemen who had just met. They quickly passed through the introduction phase of their conversation and then went on to the next phase, that always seems to follow, among 80 to 90 year-old men.
That next phase, I am quickly learning, almost always begins with the same question, "What did you do in the war?"
For the next 20 minutes or so, these two men talked about where they were stationed, with whom  they served and what their jobs were. They were recalling precise names, dates of battles and specific types of aircraft, from over 65 years ago. I was fascinated and they were enjoying themselves immensely. What a wonderful time they were having as they reminisced and talked about old times.
As a "Boomer", I have known that the "Greatest Generation" has never wanted to discuss their experiences in World War II. I now know that just isn't the case. The truth is, those veterans have never wanted to share their experiences with their wives and children, but they do want to talk about the war to fellow veterans.
It won't be long before the veterans of World War II are no longer with us. I think it is our duty, as the next generation, to make sure they all have the opportunity to share their memories with their fellow service folk.

Great Lord: I am thankful to be an American. I am proud and humbled to know that many of your children have given their lives in service to others. Service takes many forms  and although Peace is what You expect from us, sometimes we must fight for what we believe is right.
Watch over us and help us to make good decisions.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Ditto, I guess!

Have you ever purchased one item and then as time went on, wished that you had purchased more of the same thing? I have and I suspect that you have experienced this very same buyer's remorse, at one time or another.
Take this story for example. It's about my favorite night gown. It's a Vanity Fair night gown. Vanity Fair has been making the same type night gown for years. Maybe you have one. Maybe your great grandma had one. But, the wise among you know exactly the type of night gown I am talking about.
I love my Vanity Fair night gown. It's a perfect fit, it feels great and I love sleeping in it. And, believe it or not, it's 20 years old. Really. One of the great things about Vanity Fair night gowns is ....they never wear out.
In the past twenty years, I have purchased numerous night gowns, but none of those have lasted over a couple of years. My Vanity Fair gown is tried and true. It's my go-to night gown.
(I would like to tell you about my Vanity Fair underpants, they don't wear out either,  butt...pun intended.... :), that's another story!)
So, recently I set about trying to find another Vanity Fair night gown, just like my old faithful favorite.
After several unsuccessful retail forays, I located a local store that sells Vanity Fair Lingerie and PTL, they had "the" same ageless night gown.
I didn't just buy just one night gown, I bought three of the same style, same size, but in different colors, and proceeded to the check-out.
"Now", I told the clerk, "I am set. I will never have to buy another night gown for the rest of my life."
She gave me a puzzled look....then, I smiled a wise and all-knowing smile.

Good God: Sometimes things just seem perfect. Life is beautiful and everything is coming up roses.
I know that You yearn for us to appreciate the Great Times. Why else would we have the bad times?
You are our strength and comfort in time of need. Help us to remember where and from whom the Great Times come. We are your servants.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

....Good and Faithful Servant.

During a recent workday, I had the opportunity to observe a young woman, as she attempted to do a rather tedious cleaning task. I had been asked to observe the worker, not to actually help with the work. (This was a good job for me. Because, as you might guess, I am much better at observing, than I am at actually working.)
The young woman worked up quite a sweat, as she attempted to get the job done. However, it soon became obvious that she lacked the correct tools. So, after she had made several stabs at the project, I explained to her that she needed to stop and go find the proper items to get the job done correctly.
She left and returned an hour or so later with the right tools, and she got right to work.
Voila! Success. Smiles. A job well done and appreciated.

All powerful God; How often do You wonder why we can't get it all right? Are You ever just disgusted with us when we mess up our lives?
You are amazingly patient and unconditional in Your love and forgiveness of Your children.
It is so simple when we use the tools You have given us.
Keep us strong in our Faith. Show us how to love. Keep us ever hopeful.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

"Shake it up Baby"

It's another long holiday weekend. Memorial Day comes around every year and we welcome it as the beginning of the summer season. But, as an older American, I can remember calling the same holiday Decoration Day. The designation changed sometime in my childhood, as it became a day to honor our deceased Veterans, as well as relatives and friends who have gone before us.
I have many memories of the old fashioned Decoration Day.
My maternal grandmother had a large yard with an abundance of blooming bushes and flowers. Early in May, she prepared for Decoration Day, by cutting her pink, white and red Peony (she said,"Pee OH nee") buds and placing them in water filled Mason Jars. The jars were then set in rows in the ice box. They would stay there, several weeks, until it was time to go to the cemetery.
Then the icy jars, brim full of cold of water and buds, would join bundles of purple and lavender Flags (the local name for Iris) on the kitchen table, as she prepared for the yearly trek to the Wintle family graves.
To this day, I remember sitting in the back seat, alongside my sister, with jars of flowers on the floor between our ankles, and more jars on our laps. Between us, on the seat, were bundles of newspaper wrapped Iris. The scent of the cut flowers was overwhelming and disarmingly sweet. Iris and Peony scented perfume has never been marketed, for good reason.
We were cautioned to sit still to keep the jars from spilling, but no matter what we did, we always arrived at the cemetery with damp anklets, cold arms and legs.......and squirming. An interesting fact about Peonies is that they are always full of tiny black ants. During the trip, the ants would travel up our legs and end up in our underpants.
Never wonder again about the origin of the phrase "Ants in your pants."?

Dearest Lord; We are thankful for our memories. Looking back is often a good thing. We have so much to be thankful for.
Looking forward is good, also. You give us many opportunities to help others as we live our lives. Guide us and allow us to make good choices and improve your world.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Could you repeat that, please?

A good part of my afternoon was spent speaking with a knowledgeable "support representative" from a major technology company. I ended up actually speaking with this "support representative" after I was unable to download some material from an Internet site. I called for help.
I admit that I am techno-deficient. Some of my inability to cope with the latest electronics has to do with my age and the rest of my stupidity has to do with the fact that I apparently need not only written, but spoken directions and hands on manipulation to understand things fully.
The young woman, with whom I spent my afternoon, was from a county other than Middle USA. I did have some difficulty understanding what she was trying to tell me. I had to keep asking her to repeat what she had just said. AND, she kept using terms like USB and Analog Telephone Line. She kept telling me I needed a blue cord, and I didn't have one. Then she wanted me to put that blue cord into the fax machine port. I didn't have a fax machine, either. More than once, I had to say...I have no idea what you are talking about, madam.
Finally, she gave up on me and suggested that I stay on the line to schedule a maintenance call. Tomorrow, I'll welcome the maintenance person, with open arms and an open mind. Hopefully, he or she can teach me how to get the information I want and improve my knowledge and skills so that I can successfully learn how to download what I need next time. I intend to take copious notes...in long hand, and then use my handwritten notes to improve my 21st Century computer skills.

Dear God, help me to be all that I can possible be. I yearn to appreciate what I know and what I don't know. Guide me and allow me to use the skills that you have given me. Show me how to use my gift and graces to do your will. I am truly blessed.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

"What's your name? Is it Mary or Sue?"

In the past few months, I have become acquainted with four women named Wanda, four more named Helen and three named Edna. Three Marys, two Margarets and two Virginias have also made their way into my life.
Names run in cycles, you know. It is reasonably easy to determine the age of a women by what her given name happens to be.
There is, of course, no woman over the age of fifty named LaToya or Brie. Most women,  around 60, have names like Nancy, Susan, Sandra, or Pat. Women, around 70 or 80, are Margaret, Wanda, or Betty.
The same phenomena occurs with men's names. Harold, Herman, John, William and Robert are, for the most part, all senior citizen names. Cassidy, Connor, Chase and Clint are names that have become popular in the last 20 years
Whatever our name is, the word defines us. Our name is what we are known by......forever.

Great God. We pretend to know how powerful you are. Your goodness and mercy are beyond our comprehension. We do know that you are always with us, through any difficulty. We know your name and you know our names. Watch over us and keep us ever mindful of your will.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Lost Cause!

There is a long list of things that I don't want to lose. I don't want to lose my car keys, which I actually do, at least once a week. My purse gets misplaced about the same number of times. Both, of course, are always right where I left them.....usually under my nose.
It seems that I can't read a book without losing my place, every chapter or so. The thought of using a book mark just doesn't occur to me until it's too late. I'm lost.
Although, I have two pair of eyeglasses, it is often the case that I can't remember where I put either pair. Unfortunately, my vision is nearly to the point where it is fairly difficult to SEE where I have misplaced them. Crunch!
At the top of my "no lose list" has to be a positive attitude. It must be easier to be bad tempered, as we get older, than to "accentuate the positive". Sometimes I think, getting old is synonymous with getting cranky. After all, the movie was titled "Grumpy Old Men", not "The Joys of Aging".
I just pray that no matter how old I get, I can continue see the bright side of things.
If my meal at the restaurant is a bit under average, help me to remember that it most likely will not be my Last Supper. A better meal is just a couple of hours away.
If I'm chilly, in my old age, please let me remember to put on a sweater. And, likewise, if I'm hot, I hope I have enough sense to take off that same sweater, and cool off.
Help me to remember that patience is a virtue. Waiting should remind me that I am blessed to still be here, living my life.

Our happiness often depends on our own attitude.

Good and gracious God. I want to count my blessings. You have given me so much to be thankful for. I am truly blessed. God, I want to keep my sense of humor. Bless me with the ability to appreciate what I have.
Your goodness endures forever, and I will appreciate your mercy until I am no more.

Friday, May 2, 2014

"Open my eyes, that I might see...."

Spring this year has been a bit strange. We have experienced cold days and warmish days. We've had frosts and even April snow showers. Tornadoes have been spotted all over the Midwest. There have been quite a few injuries, a great deal of property damage and even several deaths related to the severe weather. We've had an unusually dismal Spring. We are all wondering....will it ever warm up???
However, right in the midst of this really bleak Springtime, there is, growing right next door to us, the most gorgeous blooming pink dogwood that I have even seen.
Our next door neighbor is rarely home. His house needs painting and the gutters are falling off of the eaves. His electric yard lamp has been useless for years, with the wires hanging limply from the light less pole. He mows his yard only occasionally, but since the green consists mainly of weeds, it doesn't grow very thick and long. Yet, in spite of this, the dogwood tree, in his front yard, is stunning.
Our neighbors, on the other side, have a beautiful house. They repaint every three or four years. Their lawn is manicured to perfection, and the trees are trimmed to perfect spheres. And, every Autumn, their wrought iron fence glistens with a new coat of black paint.
These neighbors also have a pink dogwood. And, this year, it looks pretty sad. There are a few spindly pink branches, but it looks pretty thin and scrawny.
Thinking about these two very different trees, I decided that we just don't know where and when God is going to bless us. In a perfect world, the beautiful house would have the beautiful tree. But in our real world, the run-down shabby house was awarded, this Spring,  with a gorgeous bloomer.

Stop and consider the wondrous works of God.

Kind and gracious Lord. Your handiwork is awesome. You surprise us with beauty everywhere we look. Remind us to look in unexpected places for your grace and glory. Your steadfast love endures forever.

Monday, April 28, 2014

How about a slice?

My very wise daughter is fond of telling me, "That is not your watermelon, mother". When she utters those words, I know in my heart that she is making sense. However, as a caring, sympathetic woman......of some age... it is, oh so hard, to walk by your huge watermelon which you parked, right there in front of me.
I don't know when I will ever learn that I cannot solve all of the world's issues. Logically, I know that I cannot carry the burdens of everyone who has a problem. After all, I have my own watermelons.We all have watermelons. I have enough burdens of my own. I don't need to take on your burdens, right now.
So tell me your problems, I'm a great listener. But please, don't expect me to solve your problems. I'm going to respond to your story by asking you a few questions. What are you going to do about your situation? What do you think the solution to your problem is? How will you move forward?
I'll help by bringing a knife and maybe some paper plates, forks and napkins. But, you, my fellow traveler, are going to have to tote that big old watermelon by yourself.

Kind and loving Lord. Life is often a  struggle for your children. But, you have blessed us with your healing compassion and love. Show us how to love without being overbearing and all-knowing. Remind us that you are the only one with all of the answers. Put us in our places and direct us to where we can truly be helpful and lighten the loads of our fellow travelers. 
We praise your holy name.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Pardon me?

Old age is tough. Knee joints, hip joints, and shoulders get sore and eventually fail. Backs ache. Physical labor gets harder and harder to do.
Those and other tell-tale signs of aging get more noticeable as time marches on.
Take, for instance, losing the ability to hear. I'm finding it much more difficult, these days, to hear lots of things. I was really concerned about it, until just recently.
That's when I realized that by sleeping with my "good" ear to the pillow, I was no longer aware of any disturbing sounds in the night. Nothing, not even the horrendous snoring next to me, keeps me awake after 10 p.m. Quietly, my life is improving.
And, I don't have to remember what's secret anymore. If anyone whispers something in my ear, I can't hear it. You can trust me with whatever you consider "top secret." I promise that I'll never tell. Because, I sincerely have no idea what you told me. Mums the word.
Diminished hearing isn't such a bad thing. My work place has several alarms that beep at regular intervals, every several seconds, all day long. They are driving my fellow workers mad. Praise the Lord, I can't hear them.
Life is getting better with each passing day.
What did you just say?

All knowing Lord. You are our strength in all phases of our lives. Guide us and lead us to do your work here on earth. Protect our loved ones and show then your love. We trust in your goodness and
mercy. You are all powerful.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

What, me worry?

Remember the Franklin Delano Roosevelt quote? " The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."? Well, I remember it and I believe that fear is a huge probelem for many of us.
Fear often consumes a great deal of our time. When we are afraid and worry about what might happen, it takes up our time. Fear is a tremendous time waster. And, time spent on worry can never be regained.
It doesn't do us any good to worry.When we spend time worrying about the worst case scenario, it rarely helps the situation. Often, the effect of our worrying does not change the eventual outcome, one tiny little bit.
The other night I couldn't sleep, because I was worried about the future. What did my lack of sleep do for me? Nothing, except make me tired the next day. Most problems, including mine, cannot be solved in the dead of night. Why did I waste the time worrying? A good night's sleep might have given me a much better perspective on my problem!
I have a friend who worries about the weather. She is consumed by the fact that her home might flood or a tornado might come or she might get snowed in. These things have never happened to her, but she continues to worry.
Jesus told us not to worry. The seasons come. Life continues. Just, count your blessings and quit worrying. It won't help.

Dear Lord: We are blessed in so many ways. Hold us in your loving arms and help us to realize that your steadfast love endures forever. Our problems are insignificant. Your mercy is great.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Gone, but not forgotten.

Just the other day, or maybe it was the other evening, I was thinking about lost stuff. Not the little things that I misplace, such as my car keys or my glasses. And, not the big things that I lose regularly, like my car in a parking lot.
No. Really lost things, like gas station attendants. Remember when guys would actually come up to your window, when you drove up to the island, and ask you how much gas you wanted? Then they would proceed to pump it for you. Oh, and of course they would finish it all off by washing your  windshield. Where did that go?
Or milk delivered right to your door! Usually twice a week. That's lost, too.
What about those dime-a-ride horses and stage coaches that we used to ride (or at least get to look at) in front of the grocery stores? Where did they go?
Whatever happened to sidewalk roller skates, jacks or cat's eye marbles?
All of those items are lost!
I wonder what will vanish next?

Good Lord. Things change constantly. Our lives are very different now from when we began them, many years ago. We miss the way it used to be. But, we are blessed with what we have become. Maybe we really don't need those "lost items" so very much. Because, no matter what, we will always have the memories.
We thank you for our lives and for your very presence in all that we do.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Deja Vu, again.

So, quite a few years ago, in the midst of my substitute teaching career, I had a bit of an on-the job-injury. Putting it briefly, let's say that it was a combustable combination of large middle school male, rolling computer-lab chair and a small teacher with fashionable, open-toed sandals. The result was extremely painful and rather than killing the young man on the spot, I decided that his punishment should be to stand for the rest of the academic period. We all survived.
Fast forward to the present. I have a new job. I am much older and presumably much wiser. However, today I was injured in a very similar manner. This time the incident involved an octagenarian, a wheel chair ramp, an electric wheel chair and a small van driver wearing sensible flat shoes.
My toes fared the same in both incidents. I will be sore tomorrow, but I will only be impaired by a slight temporary limp. I will survive.
My point here is......life goes on, circumstances do change but sometimes we just never learn to GET OUT OF THE WAY.

Great Lord. When will we ever learn? We think we know everything there is to know. We are so wise and successful. When will we realize that without You and Your unceasing love, we are nothing? You are our source of power and knowledge.
Thank you God, for your everlasting care and concern for each and everyone of us.

Thursday, March 6, 2014


Did you ever have one of those days when everything you did was great? When everything that happened to you went well? Today was one of those days, for me. This was a super duper day. The bestest day ever!
My entire day today was wonderful. I couldn't have had a better day. It was perfect.
I am blessed. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
Unfortunately, not every day is perfect. Tomorrow may be a bummer.
But, on the other hand,  tomorrow may be as perfect as today.
We just don't know.
I'm looking forward to tomorrow. I'm going to do the best with whatever I am dealt.

Precious Lord. Today was a blessing. Tomorrow may bring a whole bunch of trouble and worry. But, I know that you will be with me, no matter what happens.
You are my strength and my salvation. Bring it on.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

40 Days

Next Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent. Never being much of a believer in "giving up" things for Lent, my goal is, as it has been for several dozen years now, to DO something special during this holy season. I think that I have conceived something really unusual, for this year.
Friends and family members are very important to me. So, for each of the 40 days of Lent, I am going to pray for a different person, near and dear to me. Next year, I might pray for 40 people that I don't know. Give me a break. This plan seems a little easier.
My prayers will be for health and happiness. They will be prayers of peace and acceptance. Each and every one of my "prayer people" will be dealt with sincerely and thoughtfully.
I believe in the power of prayer.
If you would like to be included in my list of forty, just let me know. You don't have to ask me to pray for a specific thing. I don't need to know your business. God knows what you are in need of, and he answers every prayer.
And, don't worry. You won't be listed in a future addition of this blog.
Hope to hear from some of you soon. Ash Wednesday is less than a week away.

Good and Holy Lord: Your powers are awesome. Your mercy is abundant. We pray that you will guide us to be the best we can be. You love us. We are blessed with friends and family who love us. Show us how to love, unconditionally.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

I Don't Think So.

I experienced a bit of a theological break through yesterday. In the midst of listening to a  sincerely heart-felt sermon on "God's Plan", I realized that I didn't believe most of what I was hearing.
Bad stuff happens to everyone. Heart attacks kill. Snipers wreck havoc on innocent children. Whole populations are wiped out by typhoons and disease. It happens. And, I don't believe any of those things are "God's Plan."
My God doesn't want his children to suffer. Most of us are responsible for our own health. We make poor judgements in our exercise, habits and food. We, and sometimes our descendants, pay dearly for our choices. God does not force us smoke, drink or eat chili cheese fries, in order to follow "His Plan" for us.
There are some really bad and confused folks on this planet. My God does not "allow" crazy people to gun down shoppers, in a mall. Don't blame that on God, or Satan or anyone but the person with the AK47.
And, weather happens. God does not destroy His beautiful Earth, in order to teach people a lesson (no, I don't buy the Flood story, either) or make things work into his "Plan". If the conditions are right, look out and move to higher ground.
My God doesn't want me to try to second guess Him. What He offers is not a mystery. He wants me to know that He will be there to comfort  me, when the inevitable tragedies of life occur. Life happens and I refuse to believe it's His plan. He loves me and He does not want me to suffer.

All Powerful and Knowing God. I put my trust in you. You will be my strength and my shield in time of need. I know that you will be there for me, always.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Just wait a minute.

Most of us are never satisfied. We all complain about something. Even the most "Pollyanna-ish" of us has a gripe, every once in a while.
For example, the weather. For those of us in the Midwest, the ever changing weather conditions give us great fodder for complaint. Too much snow. It's too dry. Will it ever be Spring? It's too whatever, and on and on. Bottom line.......there is nothing we can do about the weather. Well, maybe we can. We could all move to San Diego.
We fuss about the inside temperature. If two people are in a room, chances are one will be too hot and the other too cold. Most of the time we can do something about the temperature. That's why God made sweaters, for Pete's sake. Put one on or take one off.
Our health is another subject. Our this or that is acting up today. We didn't get much sleep last night. My feet are killing me. Uh....we woke up this morning. We're breathing. Our names are not in the morning's obituaries.
It's a great day.

Kind and all knowing God. We are such complainers. Show us how to focus on the greatness of our lives. Your blessings are many. We know we should be grateful and thankful with each breath. We glorify your power and your name.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

What was that?

Looking out from our kitchen window this morning, I saw that we had a newly-fallen tree, lying in our backyard. The event may have taken place last night, or perhaps it had happened days ago. But this morning, because of a two inch snowfall overnight, I could see the tree and its prone position, very clearly.
We have a large backyard which measures over half of an acre. Our house sits in the middle of an acre lot, so our neighbors' homes are fairly distant. It's very possible that the folks, on either side of us, haven't even noticed the fallen tree.
So the obvious question is..... did the falling tree make a sound during its demise? We certainly didn't hear anything and I doubt if our neighbors did, either. So, who knows? Yet another missed opportunity to explain one of the great mysteries of life.

Great God: Life is full of mysteries. When will we realize that we can't explain everything? You are the creator of our Universe. You make the plans. Help us to be more patient and accepting. Faith is "the assurane of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."  Help us to become more Faith Filled. Take away our doubt. Fill us with wonder. We praise your power.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

"The Way We Were"

I've been thinking about the past, lately. Specifically my past. Several milestones will occur this year, for me, and those are bringing up memories of long ago.
I recall being the maid of honor in a wedding that took place fifty years ago this year. I remember that I wore a blue dress and carried some sort of bouquet. The church was beautiful and everything went very smoothly, according to plan. Surely, there were glitches and tears, because most of the weddings that I have been involved with since, have been a mixed bag of emotions and situations. Brides have thrown fits, preachers were tardy and out-laws were feuding. But, I remember that event, fifty years ago this coming August, as a really nice event. The couple is still happily married, so I think I am remembering it just right.
Fifty years is a long time. Ask anyone under the age of thirty and they will tell you that anything occurring 50 years ago is surely ancient history. Those of us over fifty, however, often remember our early years as if they were yesterday.
It's a fact, that as we age, our short-term memories sometimes fail. It becomes difficult to remember what we were thinking or doing 10 minutes before. Our long-term memories, or the ability to recall long-ago events and people, often become sharper and more clear.
I'm praying that happens to me. My perfect dream of aging would be remembering all of the good times of the past and forgetting the bad times.

Great Lord: Thank you for the abundance  and richness of our lives. We grow as we are challenged by the ups and downs of our daily living. Help us to look at our lives as glasses half full. Your steadfast love endures forever and our gratefulness is constant.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Twirling In Line

Perhaps there are only two types of people in this world. One personality type thrives on routine and consistency and the other sort seems to be most at home experiencing change. A daily
routine keeps about half of my friends and acquaintances sane. Change makes them crazy.
I believe that I belong to the other half of creation. I love different situations and non-routine. Of course, I shower every day and brush my teeth regularly, but beyond that, my days are never the same.
Most of my work experiences have been of the non-routine type. During my long career as a substitute teacher, every day was a different classroom, a different subject and a different set of students. I never knew, from day to day, what my circumstances would be. I thrived on the challenge.
My current position has me assisting residents, in many different ways, every day. I'm loving it.
But, I know that this lack of routine is driving some of my co-workers bonkers. They lament the fact that there is no routine in the work that we are doing.
I don't think it is possible to have things both ways. We are who we are and we like what we like.
Frankly, we are fortunate that there are people who are creatures of habit and those who wouldn't and couldn't have a habit, even if their lives depended on it.

Creative God. Thank you for the challenges of our lives. Help us all to be forever adaptable. Grant us patience and forgiveness. Allow us to appreciate the differences in our brothers and sisters. We glorify your power and honor your name.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Nanook of the Northland

The New Year is predicted to come blasting in with a major winter storm. Now, we just had a white Christmas, and the weather has been relatively chilly for days, but the weather persons are all predicting a really deep dip in the temperature. One forecaster said that we will hit temperatures 20 degrees below normal, for this time of year.
Most of the time, people in this town take what the weather-folks say with a grain of salt. In other words, they normally refuse to pay any attention to forecasts. When we have the threat of a tornado........we wait to hear the sirens, before we take cover. When rain is predicted, we hardly ever remember to pack that umbrella.  Dry and hot. Well, it's summer and we'll survive. Cold. Maybe a coat if we have to walk a major distance. Gloves, sure, but forget that stocking cap! It might wreck havoc with our hairdos.
However, when snow and ice are predicted, the locals panic. The grocery stores get packed. People everywhere are buying the necessities. Flying off the shelves are toilet paper, bread, milk and the makings for chili. I can understand the milk and toilet paper, but chili beans and canned tomatoes?
This whole town is making chili! You can't find a single can of tomatoes on a grocery store shelf, for miles. (Oh, I just happened to make a run to the neighborhood Price Chopper for some.)
Just let the weather-folks say the S-N-O-W word and we all charge off to buy stuff. Something in that four letter word makes us imagine being snowed in. And, we must have our necessities, chili and all, if we are forced to stay home.....for days!
It's not going to happen, of course. We have modern snow removal in my town and throughout the entire area. Never, in my long existence, have I ever been trapped in my home by snow and ice. I have chosen to stay home a day or so, however, until the roads are perfectly clear.. But never, have we been snow bound.
We are funny creatures.

Lord God. You must marvel at the silliness of your human sons and daughters. We worry about the goofiest things. When we ever learn to "Trust and Obey". Oh, us of little Faith.
Your goodness and mercy is everlasting.