A SUMMER OF PSALMS

In 1975 my thinking about suffering in life was challenged in a profound way.  A film depicting the Ten Boom family during WWII called “The Hiding Place” was playing at a local theater.  Once I saw it, Corrie Ten Boom became my favorite person on the planet.  I’m thankful to everyone involved in the film.  Nobody understands why my favorite movie is about such a horrific time in history.  Well, I suppose it’s because this film taught me about adversity in life and how to react when bad things happen.

We don’t like to think about storms, do we?  And yes, I guess this movie could be considered a “downer” to some people, but I walked away with the thought that if Corrie Ten Boom was able to lean so heavily on God and trust Him to see her through something so unbelievably evil, then I can trust Him for any bad situation I find myself in!  I was not depressed after watching it – I felt a peace and a hope that God is sufficient for any circumstance in life.  He is and always will be enough.

One day a psychologist friend asked me how I’m able to function in life.  We had talked a bit about how bumps in the road of life can affect us in negative ways as Christians.  The first thing people notice about me is that I don’t have children.  They become uncomfortable at that point.  Nobody knows what to talk about with me because the “go-to” subject of any conversation is kids.  How old are your kids?  What school do they go to?  It’s the most predictable conversation people have when they meet for the first time.

But when they ask if I have children and I say no, they’re at a loss.  They have no idea what to say next.  Once in a while I hear, “Oh, then you probably have fur babies then, right?”  Well, yes I did – but we lost our fur baby a while back.  Sometimes I just smile or nod yes to save face.  I don’t want two pity pauses in the conversation.

I was chatting with a friend recently and the subject of childlessness came up and I said something to the effect that I felt like a freak.  She said, “It stinks.”  It’s true – it does!  There’s not a thing I can do about it, but it does!  Sometimes you just want someone to acknowledge the fact that something stinks, ya know?  I felt better after she said that – I felt understood.

When I was younger, it was difficult to be around the women my age who were having children.  I kept thinking it would get easier as I got older, but now those same women have grandchildren and no…  it’s no easier to deal with that either.

The Bible says that children are a reward… which makes a childless person wonder if they are being punished Everyone’s quick to tell me that’s not the case, but that’s not how it feels.  One of my friends told me that the Lord may have saved me from worse heartache because perhaps a child of mine could have had serious health issues or something like that.  Well – I guess that could be true too.  I just don’t know – but I have to trust God.  He knows what He’s doing and I need to accept it.

God does surround me with songs of victory.  He helps me cope with all kinds of loss.  I can’t really explain it except to say I know in my soul that God’s helping me.  When it storms and I’m tempted to give up, I hear that sweet song of victory and I know it will be okay.  The Lord is with me.  Oh, and even though Corrie Ten Boom is no longer alive, she’s still my favorite person.  🙂

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A SUMMER OF PSALMS

God’s secret agents, His angels…  I’m interested in knowing more about them, although the Bible really doesn’t mention them often.  It seems that when they are mentioned, their appearance is almost frightening, which makes me wonder why the image of angels that man makes is always either a beautiful woman or a cute little cherub.  No way am I complaining.  I have collected angels for years – from Jim Shore to Precious Moments.  I have quite a collection of angel figurines, etc…  I think the more angels I have around me, the better protected I’ll be.  No, I don’t really believe that – but it sounds good, doesn’t it?  I think I need to get a new angel now!

It comforts my spirit to know that the Lord sends His angels to protect me.  Sometimes I can tell without a doubt that I was spared from something awful, like a near miss when I’m driving.  I always pray before I drive my car – anyone else do that?  I know God hears those prayers and sends me help!

One day I was late getting to work.  It seemed I was hitting every red light along the way, and then I had to stop for a train!  Well, that’s just all I needed!  There was no way I was going to clock in on time.  I couldn’t understand why everything was working against me when I was in such a hurry and racing against the clock.  The answer was soon revealed to me.

As I was finally able to get past the railroad track, I saw a horrible accident at the next intersection that involved at least four cars and a large truck.  I believe that being delayed by that train kept me safe.  Now, why those others were in the accident, I don’t know.  I wouldn’t hazard a guess about that.  I did send some prayers for everyone involved, that’s for sure!

God loves and cares for us so much!  In this life we will face trials and temptations, but through everything, isn’t it wonderful that our Lord hears our prayers and inhabits our praise?  Then we get Heavenly helpers in the bargain!  I talk to my angels – do you ever do that?  No, I’m not weird – but I do believe they are surrounding me, so…  sometimes I talk to them!  

I like this video – be patient because it takes him a while to get started – but it’s really good!

My Father’s angels all protect me…  everywhere!  They’re all around me, above me, beneath me, beside me!  Have you read Billy Graham’s book about angels?  I highly recommend it!

We can trust our Heavenly Father to take good care of us every day of our lives!  Have you thanked God for sending you angels lately?  I’m so glad they are with me.  🙂

IT’S FINALLY SUMMER

TL 6-20 FINALLY SUMMER

What does summer mean to you?  There are obvious changes – like we can turn the thermostat from heat to cool, all of our comfy comforters come off the recliners and go back into the cedar chest, the sun shines so much later than it did before, and hopefully here in Kansas we are finished with rain every day!

It’s beautiful weather for traveling, so everyone is saving their pennies for vacation.  I enjoy cruising around town in my little cobalt because it has a sunroof – and when that’s open and the windows are down, it’s an amazing feeling to just let the warm wind blow as I drive!

Some people live at the swimming pool or the lake, or maybe the beach.  I’ve still not been to a beach – but it’s definitely on the bucket list – I haven’t scratched it off – and won’t.

Yesterday we went to a fun craft show held in Wilson Park in Ark City, KS.  We didn’t buy anything, but it was such a pretty day, and after the rain it wasn’t too hot, although it was a bit humid.  There are some interesting craft ideas these days.  I really stopped buying craft stuff in the 1980’s when country crafts were popular.GOD ON A HARLEY

Will you ride your Harley this summer?  If you do, wear a helmet – stay safe.

Whatever you have planned for the summer months, above all else, stay cool and hydrated.  It’s important to not get overheated or dehydrated.  There are two common types of heat-related illnesses – heat exhaustion and heat stroke.  Heat exhaustion happens after sun exposure or not being properly hydrated while outdoors.  Symptoms include heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting, and fainting.  If not treated, it could result in heat stroke which is more serious because body temperatures can reach above 104 degrees resulting in red, hot, dry skin, rapid pulse, throbbing headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion, and unconsciousness.

Please take care of yourself – and be aware of others.  If you see someone experiencing these symptoms, call 911 immediately and attempt to cool the person off in a shady place while waiting for help to arrive.  Without medical attention, permanent disability or possibly death can occur.

Have a fun (and safe) summer!  🙂

 

NATIONAL THRIFT SHOP DAY

TL 8-17 NATIONAL THRIFT SHOP DAY

Today is NATIONAL THRIFT SHOP DAY!!!  A thrift shop (also known as a thrift store, charity shop, hospice shop or resale shop) is a retail establishment run by a charitable organization to raise money to be used in accord with the organization’s stated charitable purpose.

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A great cup of coffee begins with a great cup

Here in Wichita, we have quite a few thrift shops and I definitely have a few favorites.  About a month ago we lost our large Salvation Army Thrift Store, which made me sad.  They used to have a really great deal on Thursdays.  You could get a bag full of clothes (and I packed mine tight) for $5.

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Polka dots are timeless fashion

If you have kids going back to school, check your local thrift stores today for special deals.  Yes, there are some old styles on the racks, but if you are handy with a needle and thread, you can update those clothes to update and customize them.  Follow this hashtag for great bargains!  #ThriftShopDay

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I’m ready for a night out

I like vintage clothing!  There are some cute outfits and unexpected finds in thrift stores.  They don’t always have women’s petite sizes, but once in a while I find just the right size and style.

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Nice coats – I see a few yellow ones

I’m starting to see some of the old styles coming back.  I’ve seen young girls in jumpers like we used to wear in the 1980’s.  I think they are so cute!  Every girl and woman needs to have one little black dress.  Where did I get mine?  Three guesses…  lol.

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Pretty and flattering with a splash of green

Most thrift stores have more than clothing these days.  Ours have furniture, home décor items, accessories, shoes and even used books.  Now you can own a book for a reasonable price instead of checking it out of the library.

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Classic literature

It’s fun to shop at the thrift shop because you see items that bring back memories.  You may find some rare antiques – and pay a lot less for them!

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Life is better with Trolls

When was the last time you saw one of these???

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I call this a boat motor

I still have my boat motor and use it once in a while.  There are so many great finds hiding in the corners, like this:

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My mood ring is always blue

I appreciate handmade items and have to talk myself out of buying them.  Granny LaVella was talented at knitting and crochet:

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This reminds me of my Granny LaVella

Are you in the mood to shop yet???

Here are a few common sense rules for thrift shop shopping:

  1. Take the price of gasoline into consideration when choosing which stores to visit.  If you have to drive too far, it will defeat the purpose of saving money.
  2. Check the merchandise carefully for flaws.  Remember you are buying second-hand stuff, so it could possibly have some defects.
  3. If the store does not allow you to try clothing on, turn around and walk out!  Some of the stores in our city do not let you try clothing on because they’ve had problems with theft.  I don’t purchase clothing until I’ve tried it on.
  4. If you have a large tote bag, it’s probably a good idea to take it to the thrift shop with you because they don’t always provide bags.
  5. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes today because you will probably be shopping till you drop!

The most important thing to do is have fun!  Saving money should be a happy experience.  🙂

 

 

 

I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE

I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE (3)

Does anyone have the number for heaven?  I would really like to call my mom and dad today!

I want to tell them how much fun I’ve had this week and how much I appreciate the lessons they taught me.  Daddy always told me to be aware of my surroundings at all times.  I believe that lesson kept me from harm’s way last night.

We were traveling home and stopped at a well-lit, popular and seemingly busy truck stop in another state last night.  I went in and headed for the women’s restroom.  Ahead of me, I noticed a man standing in the narrow hallway.  He did not appear to be going in to the men’s restroom, nor did he appear to be leaving it.  He was just standing there, leaning against the wall.

Something told me to wait…  so I stopped in my tracks and did an about-face, heading toward the grocery section of the store.  I pretended to need something, but was of course, watching the actions of the man.

I thought maybe he was waiting on someone – but nobody came out.  It seems like he stood there for several minutes (my poor bladder was convinced he stood there an hour).  I never felt it was safe to go back there.  My instincts kicked in…  the instincts my father instilled in me.  The instincts my heavenly Father helps me to remember.

I prayed that no other woman would walk back there – and that prayer was answered.  I got tired of waiting for him to leave, so I went to the clerk and told him about my concern.  I didn’t want to get an innocent man in trouble, but I didn’t want to assume he was innocent and live to regret it if he wasn’t.

God’s Holy Spirit helps me to use wisdom at times like this.  I praise Him for that and thank Him for giving me a dad who taught me to be observant of my surroundings at all times.

Was I being paranoid?  I’ll never know, but I got home from vacation safely.  I want to encourage you to listen to the little voice inside that tells you that something doesn’t look right.  If you see someone who is neither coming or going from a restroom, that’s not normal.  If there seems to be no good reason for a person to be there, they are probably up to no good.

At any rate, I had a very good time and would love to call my folks and tell them all about it.  Wouldn’t that be nice?  I always talked about vacations with my mom.  I used to call her on the phone from the motel – yeah, wish I could do that again.

So, what did we find at the Longaberger Homestead???

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I have wanted wrought iron shelving to organize my “coffee” stuff for so many years.  I found it at a quaint little shop in Dresden, OH.  I decided to get one for the kitchen upstairs and one for the bar downstairs!  I’m so tickled with this find.  We found other things too, of course, but the shelving was something I’ve wanted for a long time.

There was one piece of sad news from the Longaberger Homestead.  They have closed Crawford Barn because the furnace exploded!  All of the basket making is done in the main building now.

Do you enjoy Longaberger baskets & pottery?  Me too!  I have a group called “I’m a Basket Case” on facebook!  I hope you’ll come over and join us!  https://www.facebook.com/groups/669536513153216/

It’s great to get away, but wonderful to be back home.  We’re so thankful for traveling mercies and that God brought us home safe and sound.  🙂

NATIONAL HERMIT WEEK

TL JUNE 13-20 IS NATIONAL HERMIT WEEK

This is NATIONAL HERMIT WEEK!!!  Does it have anything to do with Herman’s Hermits?  Well – that’s up to you.  I might listen to some of their music while I do what I need to do!

Everyone needs a little “me time” to get stuff done.  Here’s your chance!  What will you do with your time?  I’ve decided to use my time to pack my summer beauty emergency kit.  Will it take a week?  For me, more than likely – yes, it will!

With summer comes more time outdoors, so it’s important to plan carefully and pack the right stuff to meet every conceivable contingency.  Here are my must-have’s for summer:

  • Vaseline – it is a great lip balm and moisturizer.
  • Thermal-spring water spray – it has anti-inflammatory minerals, which calm itchy or  irritated skin.  You can also mist it on limp curls or waves to renew their bounce.
  • Sheer lipstick – protects lips from the sun.  You can also put a little on your finger and rub it on the apples of your cheeks.
  • Concealer – it can be used as a foundation if necessary, but is important to cover up those under-eye circles that happen when I don’t get enough sleep the night before.
  • Visine – they constrict blood vessels and make my eyes look well rested.
  • Translucent face powder – since it is not tinted, I can not only brush it on over the concealer, but if my hair begins to get oily, I can use it like dry shampoo, sweeping it on roots to sop up oil and add volume.  It’s my cheap answer to Wen.
  • Stick sunscreen – unlike the messy sunscreens of the past, this is a great way to reapply SPF.  I also use it to soften dry cuticles before pushing them down.
  • Hand cream – obviously it keeps my hands supple for a while, but it’s also good on hair!  I just rub a drop on my palms and tame split ends in a flash.
  • Waterproof mascara – not only lengthens lashes, but acts as an eyeliner if I gently put the tip of the applicator into the base of my lashes.  I use a brown mascara, so I can quickly cover gray hairs with it as well.
  • Clear nail polish – I’m a piano player, so I don’t wear my nails long.  I don’t actually paint my fingernails, but use a clear polish to give them a sheen.  It also stops a runner in my hose like a boss.

I’m planning ahead for vacations and just a day in the back yard!  Summer is meant for fun times and making good memories with loved ones.  Enjoy your week!  Happy packing!  🙂

SUMMER COOL OFF DAY

TL 8-20 SUMMER COOL-OFF DAY

8-20 WAGGING TAILS

Today is SUMMER COOL-OFF DAY!!!  In 1630, lemonade was invented in Paris.  That’s certainly one way to stay cool this summer.

These awesome photos on my poem were taken by my friend, Ian. He is fortunate enough to live close to a beach. Of course, going to a beach is on my bucket list. One day I will get there, Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise.

It’s obvious his dogs enjoy going to the beach to frolic and play. Our beagle mix, Casey, is too old to frolic much anymore, but he still enjoys a good walk around the neighborhood. No matter where we live, we all like to take our pets out for some exercise because it’s good for them.

I talk to him when I’m lonesome like; and I’m sure he understands. When he looks at me so attentively, and gently licks my hands; then he rubs his nose on my tailored clothes, but I never say naught thereat. For the good Lord knows I can buy more clothes, but never a friend like that. – W. Dayton Wedgefarth

I care for Casey by using a homemade flea shampoo. Most bottled dog shampoos have added toxins that could hurt him, so I make my own.

Flea Shampoo

1 c. Dawn dish soap
1 c. vinegar
1 qt. warm water

Massage in and leave for 5 minutes before rinsing clean.

You ask of my companions. Hills, sir, and the sundown, and a dog as large as myself that my father bought me. They are better than human beings, because they know but do not tell. – Emily Dickinson

We try to feed Casey the most healthy food, but it’s fun to make treats for him!

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Dog Treats
Yield: About 2 dozen small treats

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30-40 minutes

Total Time: 35-40 minutes

Ingredients:
1 cup pumpkin purée
2 eggs
1/2 cup oats (optional if your dog is on a grain free diet, sub an extra 1/4 cup grain free flour)
3 cups whole wheat flour, brown rice flour, or gluten-free flour
3 Tbsp of all natural peanut butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In small bowl, stir together the flour, oats, and cinnamon
In a separate large bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin and peanut butter until combined. Stir wet ingredients into dry.
Pour onto a floured surface and roll dough out to 1/2 thick. Cut out using cookie cutter. The dough will be a little sticky, a dusting of flour for your hands and the rolling-pin will help! Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown.
Place on cooling racks and let cool thoroughly. They will harden as they cool.

Notes:
*These are the treats that are pictured.
*1/2 tsp of salt can be added to these treats to help extend the shelf life but, it is optional.
*Cinnamon is fine to use in recipes for dogs, however do not use a pumpkin spice blend or anything that could contain nutmeg. It is toxic to dogs and even in small amounts can make them sick.

I need to share one more heart-warming video. OK, two more… LOL!

Heart-warming. Five hearts from me! ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤