Sunday, December 27, 2015

Over and Over Again.....

I suppose that there are people out there who do not eat leftovers. They are the same folks who have probably never worn hand-me-downs or shopped in a second hand store. But, those folks are really missing out on some of the finer things of life.
There is a real thrill and sense of achievement when you find a bargain at a thrift store or even discover a treasure, used of course, at an occasional garage sale.
Having an older sister, I always had plenty of previously worn clothing passed down to me. I probably didn't care for it at the time, but that's what families do to make ends meet. Our children wore hand-me-downs and survived. And today, I am thrilled when my girlfriend "gifts" me with her stylish cast offs. I consider myself very well dressed in her gently-worn presents.
And, I love eating leftovers. Now, that the Christmas Feast is over, we have lots of turkey, dressing, gravy and pie left over. I do not intend to cook a new meal for a week. New Year's Day is soon enough to heat up that old stove!
We will have turkey sandwiches, hot and cold. Turkey and dressing as a casserole and in the end, probably next Wednesday night, we'll wrap it all up with a "turkey refrigerator soup". (That's a soup made of whatever is left in the refrigerator from the previous week.) By the New Year, we will be full and happy and we will consider ourselves well fed.
Leftovers are part of the Holiday!

Great and powerful Lord: We are celebrating the anniversary of your birth, as Jesus. We are coming to the end of one year, in our lives, and entering another. Some things will remain the same and there will be a lot of changes.
Show us how to celebrate the new and the old. Help us to be adaptable. Give us the power to face new challenges and help us to hold on to what has been good in our lives. Help us to embrace our "leftovers".

Thursday, December 24, 2015

A Champion Idea

On this day before Christmas, I am thinking about my Holiday Favorites. My favorite drink is Egg Nog. My favorite way to eat turkey is cold slices on buttered white bread, topped off by a slice of jellied cranberry sauce. I love sugar cookies and Rice Krispie Treats.  My favorite pie is Mince Meat.....but I never get any. It's not a favorite at our house.
My favorite Christmas Song is "Here Comes Santa Claus!" (Next year I might write about the ones I can't stand.) I love the verse about " Santa Claus comes to all God's Children, if we just follow The Light. So hang your stockings and say your prayers, 'cause Santa Claus comes tonight".
Gene Autry wrote this delightful song. Gene Autry was a good man, and a good cowboy.
He's also known for his Cowboy Code of Ethics.
Here it is:
1. A Cowboy must never shoot first, hit a smaller man or take unfair advantage
2. Hew must never go back on his word, or a trust confided in him
3. He must always tell the truth.
4. He must be gentle with children, the elderly and animals.
5. He must not advocate or possess racially or religiously intolerant ideas.
6. He must help people in distress.
7. He must be as good worker.
8. He must keep himself clean in thought, speech, action and personal habits.
9. He must respect women, parents and his nation's laws.
10. The Cowboy is a patriot.

Let's all try to be Good Cowboys in 2016.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

"A Little Bit More."

Just a week ago I was silently congratulating myself on how far ahead I was on the holiday preparation. Now, on the night of the 15th of December, I am wondering how could I be so far behind?
We have only a few presents bought and wrapped. None of the baking I had planned to do is finished.
I haven't made up the spare bed. The groceries haven't been laid in. Nothing is done!
Granted, the tree is up, the outdoor lights are up (one string is not working,but what the heck!) and our house is relatively picked-up. I'm thankful for all of that.
But, I'm not ready. I don't think I can get ready. No. I know I can't get it all ready!
Today at work, I solved numerous resident issues. I put postage on a couple dozen Christmas Cards and weighed and mailed eight packages. An ambulance needed to be directed to the correct door. Light bulbs were burned out and begged to be replaced, sinks were stopped up and a very teeny tiny piece of furniture required a move NOW!!!  There were 4 documents demanding to be Notarized, a padlocked apartment that required a special key, and I was thankfully able to provide a shoulder for a resident to cry one. It was a normal day!
After work, I drove my husband to our weekly Bible Study, then I came home exhausted.
No Holiday Prep tonight. I can complain all I want, but like Dr. Seuss said, " Somehow or other, it came just the same".
The Prince of Peace, Emmanuel, our God is coming, no matter what. Ain't life grand?

Dear Baby Jesus: Why can't we just let it all go and celebrate your coming? We know "Christmas doesn't come from a store". It comes from the heart.
So what if we don't get it all done? You know when we have the right spirit.
We praise your name. Amen.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Ding a ling!

Every month, we have a fire drill at work. The drills are part of a mandate for fire safety in our building. Once a year, the state requires us to evacuate the residents. But, the remainder of the drills are held for staff preparedness, only. During these drills, our residents do not have to come out of their apartments or participate in the drill, in any manner. The alarm, however, is sounded in every room, throughout the building.
We announce the time and date of the drill, in a written note to all of our residents.  Therefore, they should not be caught off guard. To most of our staff', the fire drill is a surprise.
Now, I have several tasks on Fire Drill Day.
Prior to sounding the alarm, I remind residents that the fire drill is about to occur. I remind them that the buzzer is very loud and I offer ear-plugs to help to reduce the noise. Ninety-five percent of the time, the response to my ear-plug offer is, "Huh?"
Then, I repeat the offer again, sometimes several times. By the time the resident decides whether or not to take the plugs, I am usually SHOUTING.
Providing ear plugs for the hearing impaired.....not in your average job description.

Dear Lord. We are all unique, one of a kind, and special to You. Give us the grace to deal with our fellow sojourners. Teach us patience and kindness. Your world is awesome.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


Well, by gosh and by golly. It's Advent.
Are you celebrating?
Are you asking, what the heck is Advent?
Well, Advent means coming. ......You say, amidst your decorating, partying, cleaning and buying, what's coming?
DUH.......the celebration of the birth of the Christ Child. Christmas!
I had a "holiday" party last night. The girls from work came over and we ate, we laughed, we gave gifts and we had an all around wonderful time. Who knew 12 ladies could have so much fun?????
Thank you Jesus. Because of you, your birth, your teaching and your death, we had a marvelous time.
You came to us as a child and you taught us humility. Because of you, we have learned how to treat others with respect and love. You taught us to reach out and honor one another. You taught us each and every one of us that it isn't all about ourselves, it's all about how we treat others and what we do for others. You have taught us Love. You have taught us that good memories live in our hearts, forever.

Good and great God. Thank you for so many things. We are all so blessed. We honor you and we welcome you into our lives.
Grant us peace and grant us joy.
We ask these things in your name. Amen.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

"All is Merry and Bright"

Here are a few of  my Christmas Favorites:
  • "Here Comes Santa Claus" by Gene Autry. My favorite Christmas Song. ("Let's give thanks to the Lord above, 'cause Santa Claus Comes Toight.")
  • Cinnamon Topsy's Popcorn. My favorite Christmas Pig-Out Food.
  • Christmas Morning Breakfast. My favorite holiday meal. I love to plan it, cook it , serve it  and eat it.
  • Filling the Stockings. My favorite Gift Giving Activity.
  • "Holiday Inn". My favorite Christmas Movie. (It's totally cheesy and  politically incorrect...but so much fun, time after time!)
  • Listening to my husband read, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas", and the Christmas Story from Luke. My favorite Christmas Eve event.
  • Pittsburg, Kansas, Circa 1960. My favorite Christmas Lights.
  • Christmas Shopping at Kansas City's Country Club Plaza. My favorite holiday shopping trip.

Do you have favorites at Christmas Time? Good memories?  I hope they involve family, friends, love, joy and celebrating the birth of the Christ Child.

Gracious God. We look forward to the coming of your son, Jesus Christ. We love the many activities leading up the December 25th. Help us to remember the real reason for the season.
Thank you for sending us Jesus.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Over the river........

The truth is, there is a lot of misinformation and myth that has gone into our traditional celebration of Thanksgiving, here in these United States. The story of the happy Pilgrims, celebrating a bountiful harvest, along with their Indian friends, is a tall tale with little truth, that was taught to all of us in grade school. The Pilgrims, our honored forefathers and mothers, are not the black and white costumed thanks-givers that we have always believed them to be. They didn't even really invite the Indians to dinner! The Indians just heard all of the hoopla and stopped by just to see what what going on. Then, they stayed for the feast!
According to scholarly research, only one person wrote an account of the first "harvest feast" of the Plimoth settlers. That description was discovered two centuries after the fact. No one recorded the eating of turkey, cranberries or even pumpkin. We do know that they grew corn, shot a lot of deer and some ate some type of wild fowl, perhaps partridge. And, we certainly do not know if those birds were in a pear tree!
The whole story is just a bunch of hooey!
But, truth or not, I'm still glad we celebrate Thanksgiving. I treasure memories of Thanksgivings past and look forward to celebrations of the future. I'm going to eat my fill of turkey and dressing. I love jellied cranberry sauce (and yes, I will slide it out of the can and cut it in rounds!). I'll prepare green bean casserole and pour turkey gravy over the whole plate. I'll eat leftovers for days.
What difference does it make whether the story of the first Thanksgiving is true or not?
No matter what, I am truly thankful. God is good.

Thank you Lord, for our many blessings. We praise you name and honor your presence in our daily lives. We know we should be truly thankful for your steadfast love and guidance, everyday.
Open our hearts and our minds to your leadership and strength.

Monday, November 23, 2015

"Mississippi Melody"

My mental picture of Hell includes listening to sopranos...a lot of strident sopranos, which would explain why I was not particularly thrilled about attending a entire concert of high voices. But, because I love the man who invited me, I went. I surprised myself and actually enjoyed the evening.
Yes, the Vienna Boys Choir (the choir that performed annually on the Ed Sullivan TV Show) is actually made up of preadolescent European boys (You could tell they were singing phonetic English, on numbers like "White Christmas" and "Winter Wonderland").
The group consisted of about 16 middle-school age boys, all high voices. If you have ever dealt with middle school mini-men, you know that 10-14 year old males have not only a wide range of stature,  they also exhibit a wide range of maturity.
While listening to the group, I was reminded of many middle school performances I have attended, over the years. Most of them were unmemorable, but a few were outstanding.
One performance, that has come to mind, was a musical rendition of "Tom Sawyer". The boys who played Tom and Huck, were typical middle school mischief makers, good one day and rotten the next. And, because they were so much like the characters they portrayed, they played their roles well.
Those two boy sopranos grew up to be a  respected educator and a successful doctor.
My hope is that the current members of the Vienna Boys Choir will have the same bright futures as Tom and Huck.
(The young man who played the piano for "Mississippi Melody", turned out to be pretty special, too.)

God of everyone. Hold us in your hands. Help us to realize that we are all different and that we are all the same. Show us how to recognize the potential of everyone on this planet.
Guide us and help us to do your will.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Patience and Prudence/ Phil and Don

I am lamenting the loss of close harmony in pop-music. It's gone.
Remember the do-wop singers of the late nineteen fifties? The Everly Brothers and Don and Juan. The Temptations and the Supremes. Even Frank and Nancy Sinatra. Those folks could harmonize.
There is no such thing today. People can't sing together.
Do you know why?
The solo artists of today are all over the scale with one note! It's the style.Two or more folks couldn't sing like that and do any type of harmony.
Just think of the last time you heard a solo artist sing "The Star Spangled Banner". I imagine you could hear five or six tones for every note of the melody. No one could harmonize with that. Why even the fans at a ballgame can't sing along!
Oh, my. Just another good old thing lost forever.

Dear Lord. Change is hard. Most of the time we don't like it one bit. Sometimes we just have to learn to accept the change, forget about the "good old days" and move on.
We are but a tiny speck in the universe.
Dear Lord, help us to focus on what really matters. Help us to lead better lives.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Dumb and Dumber

Years ago, there was a sports celebrity in our city, who took advantage of his fifteen minutes of fame and started making commercials for a local product. He was a spectacular ball player and years later went on to achieve a place in a National Hall of Fame.
He had great skills on the ball field, but he must have been working on his expert ball handling instead of learning reading, writing and arithmetic in the classroom.  In every one of his several commercials he mispronounced the word "statistics." The guy kept saying, over and over, to check the SA-TIS-TICS. He was phonetically challenged, for sure.
Thankfully, our local sports hero chose to continue his career in the front office of the ball club, rather than attempt a career at sports casting, or making any more commercials. No doubt he spent many a day, checking his sa-tis-tics.
I hadn't thought about those commercials for years, until I recently heard a national broadcaster mispronounce the word "quarter". He said COR-DER. Didn't he know that "quarter" means one quarter of the game? One-fourth of the game, twenty-five per cent! The last time I checked the guide in my Webster's, I recall reading that QUart is not pronounced in the same manner as COrd.
All of which causes me to wonder why we as a nation put so much emphasis and value on sports and so little on the things that actually make a difference in our lives.
Like ....Love God and Love each other.

Good Lord. Help us to focus on the things that really matter. Help us to accept the gifts and graces of others. Show us how to get our priorities straight.
Help us to become more like You, and give us patience withourselves and others..

Monday, November 2, 2015

Measure twice...cut once!

My "Grammy Award Winner Husband" has joined a new church choir. He is enjoying the group, and although the church is not a denomination that we are very familiar with, we are comfortable with the service and the people in attendance. The choir members have been welcoming to my husband, and he is enjoying singing with the group.
The director of the choir is an excellent communicator, and she often sends out emails to inform the choir members about last minute details and directions for their upcoming Sunday morning musical offerings.
This past Sunday, as Scott was headed out our front door to church, he decided to check his email for any messages.
Dressed and ready to depart, he opened his emails and was informed that it was All Saints Sunday. He was also directed, he read, to wear White Socks.
Well, it was way too late to change his footwear. If he made this last minute change he would be
late for the Sunday Service. So, he left for the church, wearing his usual black socks.
All the way to the church, he worried about being "out of uniform". He reasoned that his robe was pretty long, so that perhaps his black socks wouldn't be noticed by the congregation. He also wondered about the unfamiliar and peculiar Presbyterian Liturgical custom of White Socks.
Upon arriving at the church, he observed that the choir members were all attired in robes and White Stoles...not White Socks.
A definite case of Mistaken Item...nity.
Good Lord: When are we going to get it right? We have great directions from you, through the Holy Scriptures. We keep trying and we hope that it is enough.
Our mistakes are many, but our love for you is great.

Friday, October 30, 2015


The end of October is nearly here, and as usual, I find I have eaten the last of the mini candy bars that I had purchased early for Halloween. Now, it's time to reflect on the upcoming holiday. Tomorrow, I will go and buy some more candy.
Soon, my "trick or treat aged' grandchildren will appear at local doorsteps as Dorothy (from the Wizard of Oz), a mermaid,  (there is a slit in the tail, thank the Lord, so that her own little legs can carry her from door to door), a superhero, and a superhero's sidekick. All great costumes, but I ask myself, "What happened to the costumes favored in my youth?"
Well, now they would all be considered "Politically incorrect".
Can you imagine a youngster of today clad as an Indian? (Excuse idigenous American.)
Or how about a Cowboy? (No firearms please.) A Cowgirl? (That's too sexist.)
A Bum or maybe you called it a  Hobo costume? (It's so wrong to make fun of the homeless.)
Peter Pan? (Was he transgender?)
A Ghost, which was my mother's personal favorite and the easiest for her to make? (No, too tame. Today we have zombies and the walking dead.)
I could go on and on.
Times change and so do our holidays.

Dear Lord. We are making you laugh. I know we are. Your children are a funny bunch.
Help us to see our silliness and show us how to care for our fellow world citizens.
We ask so many things in your name. Amen.

Friday, October 23, 2015

The "Royal We"

Several folks at work, are fond of using what the dictionary refers to as "the editorial or Royal we". And, although we know that they are using "we" because they want to appear less demanding and/or dictatorial it, never-the-less, drives us crazy.
We would like for our peers and boss-types to say, "Nancy" will you please call, clean or fix whatever they would like accomplished. When someone chooses to say, "we need to call, clean or fix something",  we are fairly certain that we are the person that has been selected to do the job. But, we do not work with royalty. "We" should be reserved for use by the queen and not for one of our co-workers, who might be walking around with a case of multiple personalities or a mouse in his pocket!
Imagine, as a parent, if we had said to our messy boys, "we need to clean your room". Those boys would have replied......"Go right ahead, mom". Or, to our husband, "we need to mow the lawn". We would, for sure, find ourselves riding on the John Deere.
So, please be clear in your choices of pronouns, dear people. Be specific when asking us to do something. We promise we will do it to the best of our ability.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Chapter II

My last entry was about life's unexpected bonus of "senior love". I celebrated the newly found companions that are found late in life.
New love is wonderful, at any age, but I would also like to celebrate those couples who are still in it for the long haul.
Everyone who takes the marriage vows,signs on "for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, etc....." However, let's face it, around 50% of marriages don't make it these days. That "til death us do part" business just isn't the norm. You don't find a lot of people willing to commit to eternity.
So, by golly, hats off to those who have stuck it out for 50, 60 or even 70 years!
Life is a struggle. None of us really thought we'd be sick, old and feeble, when we got married at age 20 or so. We were all invincible. Unfortunately, after a while, we do get sick, old and feeble. Our knees don't work. Our backs can't bend and we're not able to do the things we once did. Some of us are in need of spousal assistance to do the most simple things.
Praise God for the spouses that continue to be partners to one another. It ain't easy, but it's worth it.
I am often reminded of the old Captain and Tenille lyric....."Love will keep us together, whatever." Let's keep doing on doing the "whatever" forever.

Great and powerful God. We are your servants. We know we are here to do the very best we can for as long as we can. Give us courage and strength for the long haul.
You are good all of the time.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Young Love

I've met and talked with dozens of young engaged couples in my lifetime. These folks are in love. They are planning to get married and anticipate glorious futures together. It's a wonderful magical time in their young lives.
Now, fast forward 50 or even 60 years. Young love is a memory, those young lovers are older and years wiser. Often a spouse has passed away, or moved on for other reasons. But, there is often a spark of love left, in those older lives.
At work, we have had a session or two of "speed dating". We've all giggled a bit about it, but there are always lots of folks eager to participate. Seniors relish the chance to meet new folks and see if they can form friendly or possibly romantic relationships.
And, just like in high school, some of the most popular guys are the ones with cars. You see, if you have a car and a valid driver's license in a retirement community, you are automatically a very popular guy, with the ladies.
Today, a couple walked by my desk. They were holding hands and I was introduced the the gentleman, by his companion, one of our female residents.
I was stunned by the glow that was emanating from this woman. I had never seen her look so wonderful. She was enchanted and enchanting.
Love is grand at any age.

Dear God, you have heaped so many blessings upon us. You have granted us the ability to love and to be loved. With that love comes huge risks. Living life to its fullest means taking those risks.
Life is a great big challenge and a huge blessing. Help to rise to every occasion and to continually honor your power and glory.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Misty Water- color Memories........

Like most people that I know, I have mixed memories about my childhood and youth. I wasn't particularly brilliant. (My sister was the smart one). I wasn't particularly athletic. (My dad told me I threw and hit like a girl!) And, I wasn't chosen Homecoming Queen.
But, believe me, life in Kansas was great. I have wonderful memories of growing up in the 50s and 60s, in small town Middle America. I was blessed.
On most summer nights, I can remember dropping off to sleep, listening to the radio. Those  nights that  my Dad was home, the program of the evening was Major League Baseball. This would have been before we had a TV or maybe before night games were televised.
Anyway, my dad would sit, on a lawn chair, on the front porch and listen to the game. He was probably drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon or maybe Schlitz, from the bottle. The night was still, and there was no noise from the air conditioner, because we didn't have one. My sister and I slept in the front bedroom and all of the windows were open. There was no talking, because my dad wanted to hear the game
One of the teams would have been the St. Louis Cardinals. I believe that was the only team being  broadcast in our area. My dad wasn't very demonstrative, but I do remember him swearing in amazement at the grammar of Mr. Dizzy Dean. What kind of idiot, he would ask, would say,  "He slud in to second base."? Well, Mr. Dean, sure made an impression on me. To this day I am very careful about my choice of tense for the verb slide.
Great  memories. Simpler times.

Good and gracious God. Our lives change. Things get complicated. Help us to remember the basics. Love you. Love one other.
We need you in our lives.
Stay with us, forever.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Well, Shake It Up, Baby!"

I'm all for mixing things up. I support blended families, mixed marriages (both religious and racial) and the occasional mixed drink. One of my favorite activities, during my years at Lakeside Junior High, was attending YMCA Mixers.
I like mix and match patterns and the new trend of mismatched socks is kind of cute. Eclectic, is the word.  I have been known to serve mixed vegetables and I can mix up a tasty batch of brownies. I have salt and pepper hair.
However, just recently, on a whim, I sipped a newfangled "holiday beer", and I am here to shout from the top of Mount Crumpet......I am unequivocally against Pumpkin Beer.
More correctly, I believe the label read, "Pumpkin Flavored Beer". But, whatever the label read, two things that should never, ever have been mixed are the flavors of pumpkin and beer.
Yuck. Double Yuck. Nasty. Don't try it!

Gracious God. We have many choices to make. Sometimes, we even make the right ones. Stand by us. Be our shield and guardian. We honor you.
Life is good, every day.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

What does that mean, anyhow?

It may be the over sized full moon or it may just be that I am experiencing a lot more craziness than usual, but each and every day, I find myself wondering and even saying , out loud......What?
Today, a woman said, "We want to make it worth your wild?" What? What on earth did she mean? Did she want to help me get wild and crazy, or was she simply misquoting an old saying? Well, I was certainly in turmoil over the wildness of that proposition.
Later, someone asked to borrow a "wheel barrel". What? It is wheelbarrow, isn't it? Or is it? Sometimes, I doubt my own sanity.
How do you react when someone says, "I could care less?"
Do you say, "Could you? Could you really care less. How much less could you care, than the way you care now? Come on. Tell me, just how much less could you care?"
And, just the other day someone told me that I had a "tough roll to hold". Now, we all know that my baking skills are next to nil. But, hold on a minute, because I recognize a good farming term when I hear one. The phrase is correctly stated as "a tough row to hoe". And, yes, thank you, I work very hard at my job. Translation is becoming, more and more, an important part of it!
I am just realizing that there is a fine line between insanity and good grammar.

Great God, everything I say and do needs polish and practice. I am not an expert at anything, but I know, that you know, that I try. You grasp everything and are all powerful. You allow us to work on our life skills daily. We succeed a tiny bitty bit of the time and we often fail miserably.  Whatever happens, we know that you love us unconditionally.
We honor your omnipotence and glory.

Monday, September 21, 2015

"Please Mr. Postman, look and see. Is there a letter in your bag for me?"

I am going to share with you the most special, absolute, prize winning, joy-bringing, present that you could ever give.............

                          Write and mail a personal letter or card, to someone age 80 or older.

You will be loved and honored as a kind and thoughtful friend, for the rest of the recipient's life.
Letters and cards, delivered by the US Postal Service are some of the most treasured items in a seniors' day. Why? Because letters and cards are few and far between.
Think about it. Many friends of Senior Citizens are deceased. Spouses may have died. Parents and some siblings are long gone. Work colleagues have moved on.
The children, of most seniors' are busy folks. They call or email them, or if the seniors are blessed they come, on rare occasions, to see them.
But, day after day, seniors eagerly open their mail boxes, hoping for something other than junk mail and bills. Most of the time, there is nothing there.
How hard is it and how much time does it take to send a letter?
Just sit down and just write a few lines to Uncle Charlie or Auntie Rose. Hallmark has a whole line of 99 cent greeting cards. With tax, they cost about one dollar and seven cents. The card and a 49 cent stamp is less than the cost of a Latte, for goodness sake. That's how easy and inexpensive it can be to change the whole day or whole week of one lonely older person.
It's my challenge. Just do it!

Dear Lord: You love us unconditionally and constantly. Your steadfast love endures forever. Help us see that a little love toward our fellow travelers is the most important emotion and action we can show. Show us how to give of ourselves. Lead us to the Post Office.

Friday, September 18, 2015

...Gone tomorrow.

It's been a rough week. My job at the Great Living Senior Facility is truly worthwhile and enjoyable. I have become very attached to the residents and my fellow workers are great people. We have become like one big diverse family.
My work days are filled with many uplifting and truly wonderful events, and I have tried to share them in this blog. But sometimes, because of our population, we have to deal with the grim reality of death.
We are all going to die. And, as we get older, it becomes more evident, that our days are indeed numbered. I counted it up and there are 69 days until Thanksgiving. There are 97 days until Christmas. It will be 359 days until my next birthday.
However, as my wise friend, Mabel Hamil, once told me, " I never look at the expiration date on the milk jug. Who knows if I will last that long?"
God doesn't promise us another year, or even another day. He tells us to get it right today, because this may be our last chance. We should live like there is no tomorrow, because there just might not be one.

Good and Holy Lord. We are you children and you are out Parent. We trust in you. We honor you. Hold us in your arms and give us love, protection and peace.
We promise to listen to your word and guidance.
We promise to be ready to heed your call.


Saturday, September 12, 2015

...and he was a Baptist.

Today, in the mail, I received an interesting birthday gift. My very own County Commissioner sent me a "free admission card" to a couple of county museums.
I am avoiding the glaring "don't look a gift horse in the mouth" cliche and wondering why am I , an old lady, at long last receiving a gift from a government official? Could it be my advanced age? Could it be an election year?
A question to ponder.
But, back to the "free admission card." Our county's most famous historic citizen is a treasonous, lying, murdering, bank robber. He was a true outlaw. People think of him as an 1860's Robin Hood, but in reality he was a Robbing Hood. Nothing I have ever read about him points out any redeeming qualities. Jesse James was a very bad man.
But, in Clay County, Missouri, we have a Jesse James Farm and Museum, a Jesse James Amphitheater and a Jesse James Bank Museum. Naming a Bank Museum after a Bank Robber is like naming a knife after the infamous Jack the Ripper. (I hope I'm not planting any ideas.) Jesse James is buried in Clay County. He has been buried at least three times, that I am aware of, because.....well, who knows why. Maybe people want to be sure he's really dead and buried in Clay County. We wouldn't want him buried someplace else, God forbid. We want him here!
I know you meant well, Mr. Commissioner, but I won't be using my "free admission card" before the January 1, 2016, expiration date. And, I won't be voting for you in the future.

Dear Lord.  Give me patience. Help me to appreciate the gifts and foibles of my fellow earthly travelers. Allow me to keep my strange sense of humor, in spite of life's trails and tribulations. You are my strength and salvation.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Happy Birthday, my friends!

I have been invited to or have helped to plan a great many birthday parties in the past two years. I am not including, in those parties, events for my spouse of 50 years, my 4 adult children, their spouses, nor my 9 grandchildren. Those family events occur for all of us.
I am talking about the 10 or 12 birthday parties that I have been asked to attend and helped to plan for nonagenarians.
Because of where I choose to work, I know a lot of folks over the age of ninety, and
every one of them is special. They make themselves special because of their attitude. When folks get to be ninety, they stop worrying about how old they are and start celebrating their "old age." It's a freeing sort of thing. When you turn ninety, you are proud to announce your age. It is a marvelous attitude of achievement.
By golly, if you live to be ninety years old (and older), you deserve to be proud of your age.
I love the baby pictures that often accompany the invitations I love to look at those pictures and I try to see the seniors that I have come to know and love. I love the attention the 90 year-olds get from their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. I appreciate the admiration they get from their friends and acquaintances. It's a grand time.
I hope we all live to be ninety.

Great God: Thank you for life. Thank you for growing old. Thank you for loving friends and family. When life gets tough, we know that you are there for us.
We praise your Holy Name.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Dot Com Grandmas!

I'm here to tell you that the age of technology has finally reached as far as it possibly can go.  Yesterday, I led a Mission Study for United Methodist Women, in a very small town, in
a very remote part of rural Missouri. Around 40 women were in attendance.
Now, as you can imagine, United Methodist Women are generally not Spring Chickens. We have all, and of course I am including myself, "got some age" on us. To put it another way, we've all been around the block a couple dozen times, at least.
Picture this....the discussion is centered around the liberators of Latin American Countries and I asked some of the ladies how and why the town of Bolivar (we say Bawl-Liver, here in Mi-zoo-rah)was so named.
No one seemed to know, until one of the "seasoned" UMW ladies voluntarily picked up her phone, went to the Internet, looked it up and gave us the answer.
Later in the day, I asked for a volunteer to read a few Bible verses. So, yet another lady tapped her finger to her phone a few times, and proceeded to read the verses. It appeared, from the sound of tapping, that quite a few ladies had one Bible translation or another on their phones. Who knew? 
Well, move over members of the I Phone generation, Grandma has a brand new bag!

Great God: It seems that we can use modern technology to get closer to you. In our eagerness to be technologically savvy, let us never forget that this knowledge and the ability to use it, originally comes from you.
We praise your power and genius.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Old Stuff

It has been a few years since our town had a big Air Show. When we do have one, and this year we did, they are often held at the Downtown Municipal Airport. This venerable old airfield lies on one of the jutting out pieces of land, next to the river that separates Kansas from Missouri. The Downtown Airport hasn't been used for commercial air travel for over thirty years, since the newest Municipal Airport was built. That newest version of airport is twenty minutes north of the old one and on the outskirts of the city.
The Downtown Airport had a great history. Howard Hughes, of TWA, had his headquarters there. President Harry S Truman flew in and out of our Downtown Airport, on his trips home to Independence. JFK flew there on some campaign trips. The Beatles landed there when they flew in to play at the KC Athletics Stadium.
Alas, our old airport, was too small for modern planes. It was and continues to be "water bound" on two sides. The tarmac was as big as it could get.
Our home sits on a bluff above the river and because we sit up high, we can watch the Air Show from our back deck. Today, yesterday and the day before, we have been able to view the Blue Angel Fighter Jets zoom back and forth over our heads. The noise has been deafening, but we have loved the thrill of the show.
It's great to see the old Downtown Airport come alive, once again.

Dear Lord: Could it be that well-meaning Christians are becoming obsolete. I know so many people who do the right things and work so hard, and yet nothing seems to come their way.
Help us all to keep positive and hold fast to our Faith and our belief system.
We know you are great and all powerful. Show us how to keep on keeping on. Amen

P.S. City Government is pushing to build another airport, soon.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Name your Poison!

Let's set the record straight. I am not a guy. I have never been a guy. I will never be a guy. Why then does almost everyone under the age of forty keep referring to any group of men and women, that I happen to be a part of,  as "you guys"?
I resent being called a guy, and I am beginning to feel like I am the only woman out there who is outraged and offended. Where are the feminists in this country? Come on ladies, come out from under the glass ceiling that you are constantly whining about. Where are you when we need you? You used to get really angry at the use of "gender" language. You got upset when "man" was used to mean "people". Why aren't you upset about "you guys"?
Let me cite an example. Last week, a young man addressed a group of us, at work. His message was good. It was well prepared and full of important and interesting information. He was, for the most part, well spoken (although, I would have chosen to spit our my gum. before I took the podium), and well intentioned.
But, he kept referring to those of us in his audience as "you guys".
"You guys" should be confined to the locker room. "You guys" smacks of testosterone and stinky socks. "You guys" is boy talk. It is not adult language.
I hereby offer a new choice of words for naming a group of mixed gender folk. Try "Ladies and Gentlemen." It worked for Middle Schoolers, years ago. They used to say, when I would address them in that manner, "Nobody ever calls us that." I would reply, " Well, that's what I choose to call you, and I expect you to behave as such!"
Nine out of ten times it worked.

Good God: I recognize the power of your name. Bless us and allow us to glorify your name. You know who we are and whose we are. Amen.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Lunch Room

Much of what we practice in the Judeo-Christian Tradition centers around food. There is much to be learned about what is sacred, when a meal is shared.
A communal meal takes place daily, in many office lunchrooms.
At my place of employment, as in many offices, the same folks share the same lunch period every day. We've become like a family, sitting down together at the same table, eating with one another, and sharing food and conversation, five days a week.
We've developed a routine. We all observe and comment on what each person is eating. Most of the food consists of leftovers from the night before. One of the men always has great restaurant leftovers, which he often offers to share. None of us can resist the temptation.
The "Model" always brings a green salad and a chunk of broiled chicken. Every day, she eats the very same thing. We all watch intently as she constructs her salad, cut by cut, piece by piece. Maybe one day she will vary her diet.
There is a lot of yogurt (both the cheap, fruity kind and the more expensive Greek stuff) consumed, and some of us eat frozen, processed food. We are a bunch of Equal Opportunity Consumers.
Recently, one of the guys has been bringing fresh mangoes in his lunch. That has prompted an ongoing argument about the proper way to slice tropical fruit.
Our lunchtime gathering is generally rather informal, except for the manners of our English colleague. She routinely eats everything from pizza to cucumbers, with a knife and fork. She says eating the proper way with the proper utensils, instead of using your fingers, eliminates the need for a napkin.
Many topics are discussed, while we eat. And like most families we agree most of the time, but we have had some moments of disagreement. At those time, no one threw food or stalked off in a huff. We just kept eating, talking and accepting that we can and do have different ideas. That's what families do.

Dear Father of all families: We appreciate our work families and we treasure the time we spend together. A meal, from a plain old lunch in a sack to Holy Communion, brings all of us together.
We ask you to bless our families at home and at work. Your name is Holy.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

"Sugar and spice and everything nice."

I'm just back from a Girls' Weekend. I shared it with over one hundred of my close girlfriends, a couple of token men, and a whole bunch of teens and kids.
We were all housed at the small United Methodist University in Missouri. We stayed in their dorms and ate in their college cafeteria. I've attended this event almost every summer for the past 20 years or so, and I keep going because it's always a wonderful adventure.
I went for the very first time because my Aunt Anna invited me. She had been asked to be a Study Leader on the subject of "India". It was fun and since that first time I have gone, not only as a student, but also as a class leader, a work shop presenter, and for a couple of years, I was the Event Leader.
Why do I go? Well, it's not because of the food. College cafeteria food is, at its best, just okay. It's not because a college dorm room is as comfortable as a five star hotel. Believe me,it's not. A twin bed with a plastic mattress cover and a two bedroom/shared bath suite, is not the Ritz Carleton!
I go, because as a Christian, I never want to stop learning. I never want to say that I am too old and too tired to work for the Lord. Ten years from now, I may have to pack my walker and a breathing machine, but I plan to be there.
This weekend, I missed my soft comfortable bed. I missed my gourmet coffee with the half and half. I had to share a bathroom with 3 other women. But I prayed, sang, smiled and shed a few tears of happiness with the Girls, and I loved every minute of it.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

That's What It's a All About!

Today, a truly "un-churched" man spoke to me about religion. He just could not wrap his mind around what he believed was the prevailing thought around the world, "That the only good neighbor is a dead neighbor". He asked me, "How can religious people commit murder in the name of God?"
He is right. Hatred and killing are everywhere. Racism is an issue. Nationality is an issue. Ageism is an issue. Politics is an Issue. Wealth, the lack of it and the desire for it, is an issue.
I really didn't have an answer, but I told him that not every one lives that way. A true follow of Christ tries very hard to love everyone. It's not easy. That's why we are practicing Christians.
Do I sometimes fail to show all the love that I can to my fellow humans... my neighbors? You betcha! I can be a really bad girl. But God knows, I'm trying.
I live, I forgive and God knows that I keep trying to be a better Christian.
And, in the end, the answer should be to Love God and love your neighbors as you love yourself. It sounds so easy, but it is often so difficult.

Great God, around us. Listen to our prayer for peace. We all want a good life. Why can't we share what we have joyously and without hatred?
Your steadfast love endures forever.
We praise your glorious name.

Monday, July 13, 2015


I've had my share of jobs over the years. I've worked as a concierge, herded hundreds of volunteers, taught school, sold flowers and shoes, paved driveways and above all raised four kids and a husband.
One thing that I always wanted to do, especially when I was raising three really loud boys, was to be a librarian. For some reason, the thought of a really quiet job really appealed to me
Anyway, starting at a very early age, I have always been a public library devotee. The library was a sanctuary for me. I always felt at home and safe among the smooth tables, rows of books and cool tile floors.  My sister used to walk my friends and me to the Pittsburg Public Library, every week during the summer months. We went to Story Hour on Wednesday mornings for years. We listened to Mrs. Kempster read The Oz Books, Alice In Wonderland and other classics.  I loved every minute of it.
When my kids were young, we were frequent visitors at the Public Library, where ever we lived. I made sure they went to the local story hour, too. I recall that they really enjoyed the Laurel and Hardy movies along with the oral story telling. The video generation, I guess.
So, joy of joys. One of those story hour youngsters, in my special care, is now an employee of the public library system and will be engaged in story telling at one of their branch libraries.
You never know how your dreams and wishes will be fulfilled. God only knows how and when you might be an influence on the lives you touch.

Thank you Lord, for the gift of words. You have blessed us with so many wonderful books. Allow us to be good role models and to make our each of our lives a model for others. You are our guide and shield. Watch over us.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Tenemos Esperanza!

When I agreed to be a study leader at a United Methodist Womens event this summer, I had a lot of confidence in myself. Now that the event is approaching, I am having second, third and maybe even fourth thoughts about my ability to do the task. The class that I am leading is centered around Latin America.
Number one doubt: I know next to nothing about the topic. For sure I have read a half dozen books, watched several videos and practiced my "three year old's knowledge of Spanish", but I still know very little about Latin America. Yo estupido.
Number two doubt: The subject is so vast, it is overwhelming to me.There is just so much to cover. a dozen countries, for gosh sakes.
Number three doubt: I'm having a hard time focusing on life, let alone a class about something I'm already confused about. on.
So, today (a week and a half out from the beginning of the class) I really began in earnest, trying to get a handle on the subject.
God and I had a heart to heart talk about me and Latin America. In order to make it work, I am going to concentrate on what I know and not  on what I don't know. I'm pretty good at lesson plans. I can entertain folks, and I can engage others in duscussion about mission. I can throw in a couple of art projects and I can distribute maps. Ta Da!
God is there when we need Her.

God Almighty. Thank you for your help. You are always there when we need you. Be with me this day and every day of my life. I honor your name.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

You Got Talent!

Our Activities Director taped a "sign up sheet" to my counter a few days ago. (We need to tape papers to the counter, because they have a tendency to walk away, if they are not attached somewhere.)
The new "sign-up sheet" was a recruitment for a Talent Show. It has come as a surprise to a few, but not to many. that most folks do not think that they possess any talent, what so ever. Dozens of residents have read the sheet, but so far only a few have signed up to share their talent. So far we have two photographers, 1 painter and a drummer.
Now, I happen to know that each and every resident of my work place has unique gifts and graces. There is one women who knits beautiful and intricate sweaters.  Another woman writes amusing and insightful stories.
The most amazing pies, bordering on sinfully delicious, are made by yet another woman.  Talent abounds and these folks are way too modest.
My friend, the pie maker, just assumes that everyone can do what she does. Not so. I can't think of a soul who can match her lemon cream pie, or any of her pastry creations, for that matter. She is a master baker with incredible talent.
Senior citizens, we are a talented population. Think how long we have been around. If nothing else we have a talent for living....and living well. Our age makes us experts at living, and many of us have quite a knack for it.
To Life!

Great and all powerful God. We owe our existence to you. Show us how to praise you and how to follow your example. We ask these things in your Holy Name.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Mrs. Anderson was right.

June is traditionally a major celebration time for 3 groups of folks. Brides and grooms, graduates and of course fathers. A nationally designated day to celebrate mothers has been in existence for quite a while. The day to honor fathers, paternal bonds and just good men in general has a much later officially assigned date. President Nixon, himself the father of two girls, made it official, as the second Sunday in June, in 1972.
However, Americans have been celebrating an unofficial Father's Day since the early 1900's, when Harry C. Meek decided (after hearing about Mother's Day) to work to have a day set aside to honor fathers. Oddly enough, Mr. Meeks chose his own birthday, June 15th, as the date for all future U.S. Father's Day Celebrations.
Over 150 Nations celebrate Father's Day. In many of those countries, the celebration coincides with St. Joseph's Feast Day, Joseph being the earthly father of Jesus. Joseph is recorded as being a pretty good dad. Not perfect (he left Jesus, stranded and alone in Jerusalem, for a couple of days), but like most fathers, he did the best job he could.
So, enjoy a day in your honor, gentlemen. It will be a day quite different from Mother's Day. Unlike mom, you probably won't be receiving any flowers or chocolate candy. You might not even get all of the greeting cards or phone calls that you are expecting, but when the times get tough and some fatherly advice is needed.....Father Knows Best.

Heavenly Father: It's hard to be an obedient child, but it's much more difficult to be a loving father.
Thank you for loving us unconditionally. We are trying.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Edamame, anyone?

Several weeks ago, I attended a United Methodist Church Conference being held at a beautiful big city hotel. Along with hundreds of  well-appointed sleeping rooms, this venue had numerous banquet spaces and a huge wait/catering staff. Our event lasted an entire weekend, so we had a total of seven full meals served to the 300 or so folks in attendance.
The food was good. There was plenty of it.
However, it became immediately apparent, during the first meal, that the staff was spending a huge amount of time preparing and serving "specially prepared" meals.
At the tables, seating 10, it was the norm to see two or three regularly plated banquet meals and 7 or 8 "special meals". Some of these "special folks" were having salads with specific types of lettuce. Others "no salad" plates". Some had requested "no pork" and others "no chicken". Vegetarian meals and vegan meals had been prepared. There were "no spice" requests, "no gluten" requests, "no dairy" requests, "no nuts" requests and specific fruit requests. And the list didn't stop there!
Food has always been important to Methodists. We are known to honor the large casserole dish as the "symbol" of our faith. There are very few skinny Methodists, and true to our doctrine of "no dish goes uneaten", there were perhaps only 1% of our group who were not in need of a little less chow and lot more exercise.
I found it interesting that these same attendees were all or had once been devotees of the good old-fashioned Methodist pot-luck dinner, salad luncheon and men's breakfasts. Only God knows what kind of ingredients go into the dishes served at those events.
God Bless the Methodists. I noticed that NO ONE turned down the desserts.

Dear Lord. Our immense propensity toward ridiculous behavior amazes me. It's a wonder you can love and assist us when you must spend a great deal of your time laughing hysterically.
It seems the harder we try, the crazier life becomes. Help us to focus and the truly important issues.
We must love you and one another and you have taught us.

Friday, May 29, 2015


My smallish Southeast Kansas hometown was featured in a two column article in this morning's copy of the Kansas City Star newspaper. The Crawford County Museum was reported as closing. It seems that the 75 year-old County Historical Society only has one member and he has been running the museum by himself for the past three years. He's tired and has decided to quit. I don't blame him.
All of the artifacts, he was quoted as saying, will be given to the county.
Put that fact up against another fact that I learned last weekend. While visiting this same smallish town, I discovered, much to my dismay, that in a town of less than 30,000, there are four Drive-Thru Liquor Stores. That's right, Drive-Thru Liquor Stores. I didn't even know such a thing existed.......especially in a state where the liquor laws have been historically strict. You cannot even buy alcohol, in a grocery store in Kansas.
I don't know where I'm going with these disparate facts or exactly how they are connected, but let me tell you, I am dumbfounded. What types of things are important these days? Where are our priorities, America?
Sometimes life is just darned amazing.

Great and all powerful Lord. Human beings are awe fully strange. Show us how to get it right. Help us to arrange our priorities, so that we can make life better for us and our fellow life travelers.
We praise you Holy Name.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Road Trip

I made a solo trip to St. Louis, and back, this weekend. All of those cross-country hours, in the car, gave me some intense and extensive alone time with me, myself and I. All three of us enjoyed the trip.
But, before you think that those 10 plus hours were quiet and contemplative, let me set you straight.
My plain old car radio and I are the best of traveling companions. From KC to Columbia ( a little over halfway on the journey) I sang along to contemporary country music. I actually enjoy country music, although I tend to get a little wound up in the story lines. After all, what isn't there to like about drinkin', lovin' and dirt roads?
From Columbia to St. Louis, my country music station petered out, so I switched genres and sang along to the songs from a station that claimed to be "St. Louis' only oldies station". Just imagine being able to groove to pop hits from the 50's and 60's, for hours! The Beatles, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino! It was terrific.
Listening to old-fashioned, regular AM and FM radio stations gives you a variety that you can never get listening to personally mixed CDs or commercial CDs. I enjoyed every musical surprise that came up on both stations.
On the way home, I reversed my listening and ended up "crushing beer cans" (a current hit) right up until I drove into my driveway.

Thank you for being with me on my journey this weekend, Lord. Your presence was greatly appreciated. I am blessed to be your child. Allow me to find the courage and wisdom to do what you want and need for me to do. I am your vessel.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Bloom where you are planted.

Grandma Wintle always said that flowers should not be planted until after Mother's Day. Here in Mid-Missouri, we have experienced snow showers and frosty mornings well into April, so May planting is a good thing.
I am planting flowers today, on the Saturday before Mother's Day. There are two new planters on my front porch, into which I intend to snuggle a nice mixture of colorful blooms. Planting will give me some time to reflect on the holiday and to remember some good times with the mothers and mother figures I have known in my life.
Master Gardening does not come naturally to the women in my family. My grandmother tended iris and peonies, which amounted to watching them grow. My mother, to my recollection, never planted anything. Just today, my sister just told me a story about the beautiful purple flowers that popped up in her backyard........but, after a couple of weeks went by, she realized they were artificial!
I will be doing my planting today, and I'm going to enjoy the experience, with a smile.

Great and glorious God: Each and every day is a wonderful gift from you. Help us to focus on our blessings instead of our misfortunes. Just like pretty flowers, we all unique and colorful creatures.
Allow us all to be nurtured and to nurture one another.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

She's got a ticket to ride.

One of my responsibilities, as the Concierge at a Retirement Community, is to arrange for transportation for the residents. Every day, I work on scheduling rides to and from doctor appointments, hair dressers, podiatrists and therapists. It's a challenge, but in truth, I am honored that I get to help so many folks get to where they need to go and in a timely manner.
However, I am beginning to wonder what the effects of such a responsibility is doing to my Psyche.
My work is beginning to manifest itself in my dreams.
I had a very unusual dream last night. I was riding a unicycle, in the midst of a snowstorm.  I was trying to transport passengers to appointments on that unicycle. It was fruitless, and I was trying so hard to get my work done. I tried and tried, but to no avail. I just couldn't make it work.
My co-worker, upon hearing about my dream,this morning, told me that when she worked in food service it wasn't unusual for her to have dreams about not being able to reach a table to take people's orders.
And, I remembered that during my days of teaching school, I sometimes had dreams about not being able to get to a classroom to teach. I would be unable to climb stairs to get to the classroom, there would be a door that I could not open, or I was without the proper schedule of classes.
I guess, all of these dreams constitute a certain type of work stress. Everyday life is not easy.

Good and all knowing God. Help me to let things go. Allow me to leave my stress in the workplace. Lead me and let me do my best at work and then give me enough sense to leave the rest to You. You are my most learned teacher and advisor. Remind me to listen to your wisdom.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Enough is way too much.

I want a dumpster. Yes, I really want a dumpster. I believe after nearly 50 years of marriage (to the same man), keeping track of 4 children (who made it to adulthood), and living in the same house for nearly 40 years, I want a dumpster. I need a dumpster. I could fill a dumpster.
It's time to lighten my load. Over the same amount of years, mentioned above, I have been accumulating stuff. I have way, way too much stuff. And, not only have I been keeping and packing and stacking stuff, my husband has been doing the same, and of course those adult children still have stuff here that they haven't collected.
So, I want to take a de-cluttering pledge, right here and now. I am going to start unloading right after I get up, away from this computer.
Tonight it will be one bag of stuff. Tomorrow I will fill up another bag. I'm going to keep at it until I have lightened my load. My goal will be no more piles in the corner, and no more stacks in the closets. It's time to get it done. I've attempted to do this before, but there were always excuses. Well, no more excuses.
Truthfully, I probably won't be getting a dumpster, but I am going to make a real, honest to God effort to de-clutter my life.
Wish me luck.

What can I say, Lord. I am blessed. I have more than what I need. It's time to simplify. You have said, " Love God and love one another." That's as simple and as easy as it gets.
Keep beating that into my cluttered mind.
With your help, Lord, I can make this happen.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Patty's Potatoes

On occasion, I prepare a dish I call Patty's Potatoes. It's a family favorite and I always get compliments whenever I serve it. My friend Patty gave me the recipe years ago, and that's why I always call the tasty dish, Patty's Potatoes.
However, in spite of the invariably rave reviews the dish gets from family and friends, it always reminds me of a horrible mistake I made in giving someone the recipe.
Patty and I had a mutual friend. I told the friend about the wonderful new potato recipe I had. (In truthful retrospect, I probably failed to tell her it came from our mutual friend, Patty.) It was a simple recipe, one that required only the word-of- mouth details...not a long, drawn out recipe. Do this and do that and it's great, an easy type of thing.
The mutual friend prepared the recipe and of course, to her, the recipe became "Nancy's Potatoes".
All was well, until Patty heard about it. OMG. What a horrendous mistake, I had made.
I tried to correct the error with one and all.....especially Patty, but the deed was done.
Our mutual friend continued to make "Nancy's Potatoes."
Patty and I never had the same relationship, we had once had.
I CONFESS. I messed up.

Dear Lord: Often we make mistakes. We regret them. Life goes on and we still remember what a mess we made and we continue to regret having made that bad decision.
We are truly sorry. You have forgiven us. Help us to move on.
It is possible that others have forgiven us, and it is only ourselves that we can't forgive.
We know that you are our shield and protector.
We praise your wisdom and power.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

What goes around........

In order to arrive at my place of employment, I have to maneuver one of those modern automobile traffic configurations called Traffic Circles or Round-Abouts. Living and learning to drive in the American Heartland has given me very little experience with this type of  "traffic calming" device. Cities in the Midwest are traditionally built on grids. We have right turns and we have left turns. We make a point of not "merging" into traffic!
Years ago, while in Paris, France, I remember being a passenger on a bus circling the Arc d' Triumph (BTW, our driver did have a minor wreck, trying to make the exit) and in the United Kingdom, I was driven through a few of them.
In the U.S., I actually drove through DuPont Circle in Washington, D.C. and I remember listening to my father's rants and raves as he attempted to negotiate the Traffic Circle at the heart of Indianapolis, Indiana. Those encounters were the extent of my Round-About experience, until I took my current job.
Now, every day, I use the Traffic Circle to get to work. In fact, it's a double circle. The rules of the Traffic Circle are simple. Entering traffic yields to traffic already within the circle. This rule applies to every state in the US and county in Europe, except New Jersey,(where no rules apply).
But there are many, many drivers who apparently are not aware of this one, very simple yielding rule.
And, believe it or not Traffic Circles are becoming the norm in new road construction.
The last two Retirement Communities, constructed in our area, are approachable only through Traffic Circles.
Senior Drivers----Round-Abouts!
A perfect storm!

Dear God: Sometimes life makes no sense. Your children have made up some really silly rules. Sometimes our human solutions are slightly ridiculous, especially when your instructions are so simple. "Love God and love one another".
We praise your Wisdom and Power.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Down, but not out......yet!

Oh My!
The Blogger and her man have basically been off track for the last three weeks. We were laid low by the Bronchitis Bug and suffered the whole nine yards of symptoms.
I came home from work on a Friday night and went to bed. On Monday and Tuesday, I went to work and Scott started feeling kind of strange. Wednesday, I finally went to the Doctor. He made the diagnosis and I spent the rest of the week at home, feeling really bad.
Now, two weeks later, I am still coughing a bit, but I feel like the storm has passed.
Scott is a couple of days behind me, illness wise, and he sees that full recovery is just around the corner.
Both of us had lots of plans and responsibilities over the past three weeks. Bottom line is that neither of us felt like doing anything. We just couldn't do anything but cough, sleep, whine and feel bad.
Whap! Slap us up on the side of the head. Bingo!!!
We are not in charge.
If you want to make God laugh........tell him your plans.

All powerful Lord. You are the truth and the light. You make us who and what we are. Thank you for our many blessings. We owe you everything.
Thank you for good health the joy of knowing that you are our redeemer.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

What a day!

If you are a fan of movie musicals, you have to be familiar with the song, "Sisters". Rosemary Clooney and Vera Ellen sang it in "White Christmas". The two were performing siblings, warbling away about their devotion and jealousy of each other.
And, if you happen to have a sister, then you might find the song appropriate or at the least, rather amusing.
Today, I want to wish my much older sister a very happy birthday. We are what remains of our birth family. Our parents are long ago deceased and we have both enjoyed a lot of ups and downs in our relatively long lives. As sisters go, we have a lot of similarities and a few dis-similarities, and in spite of everything, we are "such devoted sisters."
"Caring. Sharing." I wish all sisters could be like us.

Gracious and all loving Lord. Thank you for family. Thank you for the special bonds of sisters.
I am truly grateful for my sister.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Up to my armpits.......

So many commitments, so little time. I have obviously over extended myself this month.
Awhile back, I agreed to do the monthly program for my church women's group. The program was for March. It is now March, and that faraway program date in this Tuesday.
Our Annual Open House at work is also scheduled for this Tuesday. Thankfully, I have not been asked to stay longer than my regular work hours.
However, I am going to have to cancel my hair appointment........Tuesday, again.
More recently, I agreed to participate in a Follies program at work. I said I would play "Dolly" to the song and dance man of our senior facility. That event, which seemed a long way the Spring, is this Thursday.
I made a luncheon date for Friday.
I also said "yes" when I was asked to be an usher at two upcoming concerts for my husband's choral group. Those dates are next week.
I'm exhausted just thinking about how I am going to follow through with work and my extra-curricular activities.

Oh my Lord, Can you believe the mess I am in? Don't you just want to shake your head? Why don't I think before I commit? I am going to need your help, so don't give up on me. Guide me. Give me the strength and courage to do my best. I need you to be beside me.
Thank you for loving me unconditionally.

Friday, March 6, 2015


I sincerely believe that one of the greatest obstacles to achieving a truly successful life is our inability to follow simple directions.
Mr. Garmin has made billions trying to get us to learn how to follow that knowledgeable young woman, who tells us where to turn, intersect and, when all else fails, as soon as possible "make a legal U turn."
But, it is all to no avail. We simply can't and won't follow directions.
Any classroom teacher will tell you that students, no matter the age group, do not follow directions.
It doesn't do any good to read the instructions before hand. No one pays attention to explanations. We are all too eager to get the work finished, to really listen to how to actually do the work.
In adulthood, how many folks actually "read the manual before attempting to operate."? Hardly any one. We don't want to waste time doing that. But, how much time is wasted taking things apart and redoing them, because we didn't read the directions the in the first place?
Maybe it's arrogance. Maybe it's ignorance, or maybe it's just downright stupidity. But, most sets of directions are just a jumble of meaningless words that no one reads or listens to. And, it's not always written directions we ignore. We can't even "read" wordless directions. Most of us don't even have the patience to follow a video or take oral direction.
Listen folks. In my senior years, I realise that a little bit of thought before action is a darn good idea.. Read directions. It's the prudent thing to do.

Almighty and all-powerful God: Thank you for trying to give us directions to live a good life. We have the best example ever, in Jesus, to lead holy and honorable lives. Help us as we attempt to achieve the life you have planned for us.
We praise and glorify your name.

Saturday, February 28, 2015


Tomorrow is March 1st. We had a measurable snowfall, yet again, today. Not massive, but at least a couple of inches. I shoveled once this morning and I will have to do it again tomorrow before we can venture out.
I really don't mind shoveling snow, because with each storm there is the hope it is the last one of the season. But, if it's not, then I can have that same hope with the next snowfall. We deal with it.
But, like I mentioned, tomorrow it will be March. And, I am so over winter. I am over the freezing temperatures. I am over scraping my windshield every morning, in order to go to work. I am over boots. I am over heavy coats and gloves and scarfs. I am over being cold every time I step into the shower and every time I step out of the shower. I am over cold beds.
I am so looking forward to Spring.
Bring it on Lord. Show me the Sunshine.
Like Veruca Salt...."I want it NOW!"

Great God. The seasons are wonderful. We enjoy this great Earth and you, in your wisdom, seem to know when we've had just enough of any particular weather. Spring is a re-awakening of your bounty. We rejoice in the re-newing of your planet.
We are grateful for our abundant life.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


A celebrity from my teenage years passed away last week. I read about it, took note of the event, and to tell you the truth, I promptly forgot about it.
Then in a recent conversation, one of my much younger colleagues made a comment about her hair. Young women talk a lot about their hair. Older women talk about other things like I.R.A.s and out-of -control grandchildren and Medicare. Young women talk about hair, hair dressers, hair color and hair products.
My young friend stated that although she wanted to cut her hair, her significant other didn't want her to do it. So, of course, she admitted, she didn't have it cut.
Wow! I had an "A-Hah" moment! A lightening bolt of understanding and knowledge!
What would Leslie Gore say? Well, you know what her reply would be.
"You Don't Own Me." "Don't tell me what to say and don't tell me what to do."
It's hair for gosh sakes. It's temporary. It will grow back. Stand up and grow up, girlfriends!
What happened to Feminism, young women? You have the vote!
 "It's my Party and I'll Cry If I Want To.", by golly. Take charge of your young lives, before you get to old to regret it.
R.I.P. Leslie.

Grand and glorious God. You gave us free will. Praise You, we have minds. Help us make good choices and help us to do the very best we can with our lives. We are so blessed.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Just a minute.

If each day lasts 24 hours, why do some of them seem longer than others? I don't have the answer to that question, but sometimes I wish I did.
Today seemed particularly long. I began looking at the clock above my desk around 3 p.m., hoping my 8 hour work day would end soon. Tiredness had set in. I began to think that four thirty would never come. The end of the work week was minutes away. I'd had enough of this particular  work week. It was Friday, and the weekend was near.
Quitting time came. I punched the time clock, dragged my tired body to the car, and drove home. I opened the front door, chatted a few minutes with my spouse and began to cook dinner.
Between boiling the rice and sauteing the salmon, I looked out our back window and saw eight young deer, grazing on our back lawn. Those deer were having a delightful time enjoying their feast of bushes and tall weeds.
As I watched the informal gathering, I realized that perhaps God was showing me those deer for a specific reason. Those animals were not worrying about what had happened at work today or what might happen on Monday. Maybe God was telling me to put myself in the "present". The opposite of stress is putting oneself in the present. Don't worry about the past or be concerned about the future.
"Consider the lilies of the field...."

Great God. Why do we focus on the negative? Why do we worry?We have so many blessings. Our troubles are so insignificant and really not worth the worry. Help us to live in the present. Help us to live our lives in the best way possible. Open our hearts and our minds to your will.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Too much.........

As the years pass, I seem to be getting "more set in my ways". Surprise!Surprise! We all do, in one way or another, whether we want to admit it or not. And, by telling you that I am getting "more set in my ways", I mean I am more sure of what I truly believe.
I believe, for certain, that we all have our space and limited time on this earth. It is a fact that we only have the time between our birth and our death. And, by space, I mean what we do in our lifetime. I have my space and you have yours.
Recently, I have come to the conclusion that there are people on this planet who are taking up way too much space. Celebrity is one thing, but that word used to mean that famous people were famous for doing something. Celebrities are certainly, in my humble opinion, entitled to use up a little more space than us average people
Using a little more space is one thing, but those folks who encroach on my space and your space, should just stop and move back into their own space. Kim Kardashian is taking up too much media space. I do not want to see or look at her and her no-talent family. She's everywhere. It's impossible to avoid her image. She's messing with our space, and she hasn't done anything to deserve it!
I can think of several others. Al Sharpton...too much space. Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber......too much space.
Just let me be happy in what I do and how I do it. Get out of my space.

Good and all powerful Lord. We are very thankful for our life on this huge planet. Show us the best way we can live, so that we can do your will by serving you and others. Make others our focus.Help me to channel my energy toward positive things.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

The only sure things......

Tax season is here. Our mail for the last several weeks has included several W 2 forms and notices of interest accumulating accounts. That has reminded me of the old saying "The only sure things in life are death and taxes."
Well, not really. There are many things that you can be just as sure of. How about batteries? You can be absolutely sure that if you are in need of a 9 volt battery (say, for that annoying smoke alarm that kept you awake last night, beep, beep, beeping), you will only have  AA, AAA, C and D batteries. Probably several of each kind. But, no 9 volts. That's a fact of life, and a sure thing.
Another item is an ice scraper for your windshield. It never fails. There is never an ice scraper in your car when you really need one. Ice appears and you suddenly remember that you broke the scraper on your windshield last winter or that you left it in your spouse's car last week, when he broke his own. It's just another thing you can be sure of.
I could go on and on. The sure thing is that there are dozens of life's little sureties. Ain't life great?

Dear Lord. You are our most sure thing. Your presence is eternally with us. We are your high priority and you should be ours. We are thankful and grateful for your love and care. We praise your name.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

More power to you, girlfriend!

Do you know how to age gracefully? Let me tell you that I know of one lovely lady who is doing it spectacularly well.
Recently, this acquaintance of mine wrote an essay on aging. She entitled it "Gimme Gravy."
It seems, that at 94, she has done all of the Yoga, watched all of the calories and eaten all of the Kale that intends to. She is as healthy as she is going to get, so she figures, why not live a little in the time she has left. In other words, it's time to have a little gravy on all her breakfasts, lunches and dinners.
I think she's right as rain. There comes a point in life where you don't need the "lifetime warranty"that is a draw to many fine items. Those are for the folks who intend to beat the odds and live to be a hundred or so.  Over the age of seventy-five, however, just who benefits from a 30 year mortgage or a lifetime guarantee on a furnace? Well, I just don't think it's us, the aging buyers. Nobody guarantees us another 30 years of life!
Maybe after age 75, it's best to go for the cheap. After all, at a certain age a little cheap glitz and a lot of gravy makes growing older a real treat.

Great God: We humans are a funny bunch. We are all concerned with looking younger than we are and living longer than we should. Our lives here are just a precursor of what it to come in your heavenly kingdom. Help us to focus on our everlasting souls.
In your blessed name we pray. Amen.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Move it!

Since the new year has begun, I have had to deal with quite a few folks that just aren't trying. I mean, they aren't trying to enjoy life. They aren't trying to learn. They aren't trying to "do" anything. And, you know what? They aren't happy.
Good Lord! What's wrong with waking up every day? Not a darn thing. It's a sure bet that each of us  can think of ten people, in the blink of an eye, who no longer wake up every day. And, I really believe that if they could, they would be willing to switch places with us.
We all have aches and pains. (I don't know of anyone over the age of 60, who doesn't.) Getting older just hurts most of the time. It's a fact of life. But, sitting, doing nothing, doesn't help the situation. My friend, the fitness expert says that it actually makes the aches and pains much worse.
 Life isn't a bowl of cherries. We've all messed up. What we have now is the result of what we have done and how we have lived. We can't change the past, no matter how often we choose to dwell on it.
So, the cure to the "do nothings" is to "do something". Whether it's exercising our minds or bodies, or just "doing" a change of attitude, our lives are bound to be better.
Many people have many millions of dollars by preaching and teaching about a positive outlook on life. But, it is up to us to do it.

Lord: Why do you waste your time and effort on us? We are so unworthy of your steadfast love and devotion.
Help us to be more thankful and grateful for all that we have. We praise your name.

Sunday, January 4, 2015


I try to keep a positive attitude at all times. But, sometimes I run into a real downer. It's as if I'm just cruising along, happy as a fat tick, and then I just get slapped in the side of the head with the ping pong paddle of life. When that happens, I have a very hard time trying to push myself up and be a happy camper.
When the people you love the most disappoint you, time after time, it's hard to forgive and forget. It's really hard.
But, you know, that has to be the way that God feels about all of us. We disappoint Him, time after time, but His unconditional love is there as our constant.
So, listen up, ME. Buck up and continue on. Life always gets better and there is a silver lining in every Life Cloud.
Life is a blessing. We can't know how much until we live another day. We have to take life a day at a time. Sometimes there are roses and sometimes there are thorns. Ouch!

Great and all powerful Lord. You have given us so much. We get disappointed when life doesn't turn out the way we want it to. We are fair weather believers, after all. Remind us that you didn't promise us blue skies every day. Help us to look on the bright side. Life does have its rewards. Your steadfast love endures forever.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Hello. How the heck are you?

A New Year has begun. My number one goal, this year, is to renew old friendships.
These days, in the rush of living, it is really easy to walk away from those folks who were once-upon-a-time our close friends. But, because stuff happens and our circumstances change, friends fall by the wayside.
Today, I spent a couple of hours with a former work colleague. I hadn't seen her in over a year, but we made time this morning to see each other. We had such a great time. I loved it.
This afternoon, while walking through a nearly deserted department store, I spotted a woman that I hadn't seen in years. Actually, I couldn't remember her name, but I knew that I had once known her. So, I walked up and re-introduced myself.
She seemed genuinely glad that I had taken the time to say hello. We chatted a few minutes about "old times" then we went on our separate ways. Brief but nice.
My take on this whole thing is: Life is too short not to speak to everyone we know or once knew.
Life is much more meaningful if we share it. I am going to make the effort to let people know that I remember them and care about them.

Great God: Thank you for allowing us to share our lives with others. We have such abundance that keeping it all to ourselves is selfish. Thank you for friends.