Las Vegas Beyond the Neon Lights

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Las Vegas Beyond the Neon Lights Wow! Las Vegas is quite a city to behold. It seems to rise out of the desert with soaring skyscraper hotels and buildings. It’s amazing to see the skyline complete with the stratosphere, the … Continue reading

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It’s Summertime!

It’s Summertime

We’ve had some big changes around our house recently! We decided to purchase a new furnace and central air conditioning system. Our old one was nearing the 30-year-old mark and we decided to go for it before we started having tons of problems with the equipment.

The old furnace




We’ve lived in our two-story home in a “country-city” location now for over sixteen years. What that means to me is that we live in a town with sidewalks and near to our small town amenities, but we have space and we are not right on top of our neighbors.  Someday I think I would enjoy being more in the country with a single story home, but for now, this is home.

The Old Way

During that sixteen years, we have only had access to window air conditioners. Trust me that I mean this is the most grateful and positive way! That being said, they are noisy and with our old wiring, we were only able to run one unit at a time. Some crazy thing with the upstairs bedroom and the kitchen on the opposite side of the house on the same breaker. Alas, that is a problem for another day! 🙂 The room you were blissfully sleeping in would be nice and comfortable, but you are greeted by a blast of hot air when you open the bedroom door and the hallway is still ninety degrees.

We’ve gotten used to having to batten down the hatches whenever we would leave for the day in case it would rain. Coming home late at night to a steamy, hot,  house that had been closed up all day. Cue in the time needed to get the bedroom to a tolerable temperature to get to sleep. Torture? No. Irritating? Yes. Livable? Absolutely!

New Things

So now we have had a great contractor install our new furnace and central air. The utility room is right off our kitchen and we emptied most of it to prepare for the installation. After he was finished installing it, including a cool UV light thing that is supposed to be great for allergies to dust and pollen. Woohoo! Totally excited about that!

Side view of the new furnace and central air unit

Anyway, I decided to empty out the rest of the room on the floor and walls so that I could repaint the floor. According to the paint can, it was last done in 2005. So it held up pretty well for 12 years of wear and tear. Everything except the washer, dryer, and freezer were moved out into the garage and the floor is now sporting a pretty new coat of off-white paint! Sigh. If it could only stay this uncluttered and pretty looking!

Freshly painted floors

My plan was to paint the walls a pretty, bright blue color that I purchased at the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store last summer. Rainy weather has derailed that plan since the floor isn’t quite dry and I don’t want to mess it up. A few more days of stuff everywhere and we’ll be back to “normal”. Ha ha. Life is exciting waiting for paint to dry.

The hard Stuff

Now we have to take a hard look at all our “stuff” and decide what needs to stay and what can just be donated or tossed. That’s never much fun. I feel like I should make a box of “stuff I might need one day” so that whenever I need that obscure little tool, screw, what’sit, I’ll know exactly where to find it. Anyone else have stuff like that?

Then the task of assigning permanent places to the things we keep. Jigsaw puzzle work in life-size. I always think I will be so organized when I’m doing this. Truly, I start out that way. Then instead of quitting for the day, I get to hour 20 and I just squish it in somewhere cause I don’t care anymore. You’d think knowing this about myself going in would help. Nah. It’s just a life-size definition of insanity. Doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result.


Enjoy the beginning of summer! Maybe if we start early on these projects we’ll have more of the summer to play?

New furnace and Central air

New Brigher paint color



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Why Does Change Hurt?

Why does change hurt?

So I have heard plenty of cliches for why change hurts like “no pain no gain”, “growing pains” etc. These just leave me wondering if anyone really gets it.

I began to think about planting seeds in a garden. There is a lot of preparation to get the soil ready. The placement of the seeds needs to be determined. How much sun and water will it need to grow?

In the waiting

Once that is taken care of we wait.

Underneath the soil that is where the real action begins. The seed has been watered and placed in the proper soil.

A short time later, the seed’s shell bursts open underneath the soil for the newly formed seedling to begin to grow. In retrospect, it must take a lot of force for that shell to explode open to allow the new growth to come out. It’s almost “violent” if you ponder it.

And we’re still waiting

Then as the seedling is watered it continues to grow. Pushing hard up through the heavy soil towards the surface. Up on the surface, nothing has changed. It might look as though nothing will ever happen. Maybe the sower is even discouraged. Possibly they think the seed will never grow.

However, as time goes by and the proper amount of water and temperatures are provided, that little seedling is still pushing and striving to grow. It is striving to break through the surface!

At Last

Then one day, the sower looks and a brand new tiny plant has pushed through the surface. That tiny plant is growing up towards the sun.

Danger awaits the tiny seedling. Animals love to eat the tender leaves of young plants. Hopefully, this plant will persevere and grow to produce fruit.

It has to be continually watered and even once the animals that would like to eat it are kept away the plant is still in danger.

Even though the plant is doing all it is supposed to do to grow and produce fruit it still has one more enemy.

Keep moving

Weeds! Weeds will grow up alongside our changing and growing plant and move closer and closer until one day they have choked the life out of the beautiful little plant if the sower does not remove them.

If the sower has removed the weeds, watered the plant and kept the animals and insects away it will produce fruit of its own kind. Green bean seeds grow green beans.

So, I think the reason why change hurts is because there are many steps in the process. Each one of those steps has a new danger or problem with it. Most of the time, the danger or problem is unknown to anyone else’s eye.

Stand steadfast during your times of change. If you take the time to prepare yourself for the pitfalls that lie ahead, recognize that the process is slow, and have a friend to help shoo away animals and pull the weeds with you, it will happen!

Stay strong and remember that God who walks beside you will never leave you.



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Best Foot Forward

The Inspiration      

You may not have everything you want, but somewhere out there, someone is wishing for exactly what you have.

By now, it’s probably clear that I love sayings and metaphors. For your own safety, don’t get me started on old wive’s tales! Anyway, recently I read a quote similar to the one above.

It has made me think about my life. I have much to be grateful for!

Start at the beginning

I began to start taking better care of myself and I also began to walk my dog, Lily. The exercise is good for both of us. The first week was relaxed and mild. Then the next week I did better. We walked on four different days and reached 12.2 miles. I was super proud of myself. Lily was thrilled. She comes back and crashes on the floor and sleeps for hours but she is happy. Whenever I walk past the cupboard where her harness and leash are stored, she gets super excited so I know I haven’t worn her out yet.

In the fitness world, walking your dog a few days a week is hardly an accomplishment. However, in my world, it’s a beginning! Nothing has ever been accomplished without a beginning. 

Consequently, on days when it is not pouring rain, I plan to walk. Last week one day we did get caught in the rain. Not such a big deal to me, but Lily was not impressed! Today the weather has been partly to mostly crappy, dreary and ugly.

Tomorrow we walk! Can you picture the sheriff of an old wild west town, pushing back his stetson hat with his pistol and wiping the dust from his face with his other hand? Good gravy, my mind will wander off!

Best foot forward

Today, I am trying to be thankful for the small things. My feet do what I tell them. I don’t have pain or blisters. I am able to stand. These legs are strong enough to walk and go as far as I decide to go. Hip sockets function the way they should, without pain! My lower back is good. The excess weight I carry around my middle is my albatross, but this particular problem area is not exclusive to me. With more effort, I hope to become less buoyant this summer, and less attached to my spare tire!

My arms and shoulders are strong. Hands that are pain-free and able to grip the leash firmly. My voice is strong to be able to give commands and praise to my four-legged walking companion. Lastly, my brain and senses are functioning well and alert me to dangers, pretty flowers, and remind me how to get back home. I am thankful to have these things that others wish they had.

With more effort, I hope to become less buoyant this summer, and less attached to my spare tire! My arms and shoulders are strong. Hands that are pain-free and able to grip the leash firmly. Hands that are learning to put down the Mountain Dew and walk away. My voice is strong to be able to give commands and praise to my four-legged walking companion. A little bit of patience to give her a chance to smell all the interesting things along the way.

Lastly, my brain and senses are functioning well and alert me to dangers, pretty flowers, and remind me how to get back home. I am thankful.


I am thankful that there isn’t really a feasible way to walk a 40ish pound dog and eat an ice cream cone at the same time. The road the ice cream place is on is really busy and would be dangerous. Ice cream aside, I am ready to move forward and turn my hope into action!

I would love to hear from you in the comments below!


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Words Will Never Break Me

Words will never break me

I’ve always been interested in the origins of sayings, idioms, and old wives tales. Where do they start and why? For instance:

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never break me.


I have a friend with special needs child.  I have realized that I am guilty of stereotyping. I have said unkind words without meaning to be offensive. It was not uncommon for people to use the word retard when I was growing up.

One day, my friend was talking and she explained why the use of that word cuts to the core. She explained that retard never has a positive connotation. That word is always a put-down or an insult. It never occurred to me until then that I was guilty of tearing down people who have never wronged me. People who have never dreamed of hurting another person. I felt ashamed. I want to wash my mouth out with soap to get rid of the awful ugly taint the word had left.

Reality Check

I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know her daughter much better since then and I have seen the world differently. She is a strong person. Heads off to work, she does all the things that I do back at home and yet she has a very different attitude. She is cheerful and happy to do the tasks in front of her. She owns what she does. Consequently, she gives her all to whatever she is doing. I am trying to be more like her.

She makes me laugh. She is convinced that I am twenty-nine years old and well, what’s the point of correcting that? We were on a road trip and her mother and I were trading off driving. I had only been driving a few minutes when she announced it was time for us to switch. I asked her why and she said I was a bad driver.  Ha Ha. In reality, she was just a little nervous because it was a new experience.

We met many people along the way. Some people were rude, most were won over in a few short minutes by her smile and her joy to be alive. She is proud of her family and she will tell you why.

It hurts my heart to think that the sting of a hateful word would ever have the power to break her sweet spirit!

Check out:

“Sticks and Stones” is an English language children’s rhyme. The rhyme persuades the child victim of name-calling to ignore the taunt, to refrain from physical retaliation, and to remain calm and good-natured.It is reported[1] to have appeared in The Christian Recorder of March 1862, a publication of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, where it is presented as an “old adage”



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Road Tar Skillet

Road Tar Skillet

Cooking is a skill that is learned over time.

I have often envied the people from long ago who cooked and baked without the aid of a recipe. A pinch of this and a pinch of that. Taste testing and stirring until the dish is finished. When I was younger, many of my cooking and baking fiascos were attributed to sheer stubbornness. Who needs a recipe? Apparently, I do!

The Garden

We had a lovely garden for several years. Beautiful, juicy red tomatoes. Yummy green beans. Leaf lettuce was readily available for salads. Nutrient-rich sugar snap peas. It was amazing and very bountiful for such a small space. We even had a few ears of sweet corn.

One day I decided to make a skillet supper similar to hamburger helper.  It smelled yummy and we were getting hungrier by the moment. I used fresh tomatoes and so the sauce was very pink in color. In my infinite wisdom, I thought that my boys would turn their cute little noses up in disgust at a pink meal. Therefore, I got the idea to add black food coloring to the mixture.

The Problem

Little did I know that adding black food coloring would have a different result than the one I had envisioned. In my mind, it would produce a warm, creamy gravy look. It did not. It produced an unnatural look to each item in the skillet. The corn stood out like gravel. The tomatoes took on a deathly pallor. What had been appetizing two seconds prior was suddenly ghastly and un-appetizing.

I thought maybe if we all sat on the living room floor and ate supper by the pale light of the television, it would help. My boys were young. Elementary school aged. I thought maybe they wouldn’t notice if we ate somewhere different. We tried turning off the television and eating with just the illumination of a single candle. Even that didn’t help much.

My oldest asked what it was. I told him. He looked at it and declared it Road Tar. Correcting him would have been an option if he had been wrong in his assessment. We tried closing our eyes and eating it. Nothing helped. Even though it smelled good, we could not get past the way it looked. Consequently, we dumped it into the garbage and Momma learned a lesson. Black food coloring does not help make foods other than frosting appetizing.

It would be a nice gesture if pizza places offered an “oops, I killed dinner” discount. Just saying…




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A Grain of Sand

A Grain of Sand

I love the beach. The waves, the smell of the water, the sounds. Sunshine in its most glorious place. I know that we are all important to God. It says in the bible that he knows the number of hairs on our head and he knows the number of grains of sand.  One of my hobbies is genealogy. I really enjoy learning more about the people who came before me. Even if you don’t know much about your family history, rest assured that within a very short amount of time the people whom you are researching grow exponentially in number.

One of my hobbies is genealogy. I really enjoy learning more about the people who came before me. Even if you don’t know much about your family history, rest assured that within a very short amount of time the people whom you are researching grow exponentially in number. We start out with 2 parents. They each have 2 parents by the time you reach your great grandparents you are already at 15 people. Not including any of the other children of any of those people. Theoretically, it makes me think of grains of sand.

I picture the families working the land in places like Ohio. I’m sure they had some livestock and their way of living was filled with hard work.  In the same idea, I picture the lives of the families who lived in the cities. Some of them were wealthy, many others probably worked in dirty, dusty factories. Consequently, I am sure some of them lived in tenements. Crowded altogether.

A New Day, But the Same Struggles

It’s easy to gloss over the details when you are researching. People are born, they get married, they die. Names, dates, and places. However, when you stop and think about them as real people, they had the same struggles that we experience now. People were born with handicaps and challenges. Transportation has always been an issue. Gas money= food for the animals. (At least now we don’t have to worry about stepping in the exhaust so much!)

Struggles like keeping up the house, taking care of your family, employment, schooling, and alcohol abuse are ones we share with our ancestors.

Many who were sick and suffering could not get the medicines they needed. Sadly, that is still true today because of the cost of health care. Unfortunately then, people died from common diseases we have cures and vaccines readily available to treat today.

Many families had babies who died prematurely, were stillborn or who died in infancy and childhood. Recently, I was able to hear a young mother talk about this issue and it really has opened my eyes to the enormity of that loss. I wonder if women were able to grieve their loss, or if they were just expected to move on and not talk about it. I found a strange custom while doing this research. In some cultures, it is common to name a child after the father. Sometimes, if these children died in infancy, the families would then name the next child the same thing. Seems a little creepy to me. It also causes confusion to the person who is researching that family 200 years later. I’m pretty sure they weren’t thinking about that.

My Discovery

While doing research, I recently discovered a relative with historical significance and it really affected me. His name was James Finely Bowers. He was born in Belmont, Ohio near the West Virginia border in 1827. He married Barbara in Athens, Ohio. They had 6 children. He entered into the 73rd Ohio Infantry on November 23, 1861. At the time, his oldest daughter was 11 years old and his youngest son was 1 year old. He was a farmer. I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been for him to pack up and leave to fight in the war between the states with such a young family. Besides, that I cannot imagine how difficult life must have been for Barbara to be left to keep the home fires burning with so many young children. 

Surely, James was not able to take a time of R&R and come back to visit his family during the war. That being said, the last time that his children would have seen him would have been when he left for war. Unfortunately, he lost his life on July 3rd, 1863 at the battle of Gettysburg.

“Nothing noteworthy then occurred until it entered upon the Gettysburg campaign. The regiment, with its brigade, held the line in front of Cemetery hill and was almost incessantly engaged on the ground in its front, its losses amounting to 143 officers and men out of about 300.” Source: The Union Army, vol. 2

If you would like to know more about him or his regiment, I have included more information below.

We all make our mark in this world and like the wind cause ripples in the dunes made up by tiny individual grains of sand. 

Psalm 139…17How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! 18If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with You.

Name: James F Bowers
Age at Enlistment: 34
Enlistment Date: 2 Nov 1861
Rank at enlistment: Private
State Served: Ohio
Survived the War?: No
Service Record: Enlisted in Company H, Ohio 73rd Infantry Regiment on 30 Dec 1861.Mustered out on 03 Jul 1863 at Gettysburg, PA.
Birth Date: abt 1827
Sources: Official Roster of the Soldiers of the State of OhioThese Honored Dead: The Union Casualties at GettysburgRoll of Honor of Ohio Soldiers


Regiment: 73rd Infantry Regiment Ohio
Date of Organization: 1 Dec 1861
Muster Date: 20 Jul 1865
Regiment State: Ohio
Regiment Type: Infantry
Regiment Number: 73rd
Officers Killed or Mortally Wounded: 4
Officers Died of Disease or Accident: 1
Enlisted Killed or Mortally Wounded: 167
Enlisted Died of Disease or Accident: 149
Battles: 18 Apr 1862 at Williamsville, WV.
25 Apr 1862 at Williamsville, WV.
26 Apr 1862 at Williamsville, WV.
27 Apr 1862 at Williamsville, WV.
2 May 1862 at Williamsville, WV.6 May 1862 at McDowell, VA.
8 May 1862 at McDowell, VA.
9 May 1862 at McDowell, VA.
8 Jun 1862 at Cross Keys, VA.
30 Aug 1862 at 2nd Bull Run, VA.
1 Sep 1862 at Fairfax, VA.
15 Sep 1862 at Harper’s Ferry, WV.
3 May 1863 at Chancellorsville, VA.
2 Jul 1863 at Gettysburg, PA.
3 Jul 1863 at Gettysburg, PA.
4 Jul 1863 at Gettysburg, PA.
21 Jul 1863 at On The March.
22 Aug 1863 at Greenwich, VA.
22 Aug 1863 at Bristoe Station, VA.
19 Sep 1863 at Chickamauga, GA.
20 Sep 1863.
28 Oct 1863 at Raccoon Ridge, TN.
29 Oct 1863 at Lookout Valley, TN.
15 Apr 1864 at New Hope Church, GA.
14 May 1864 at Resaca, GA.
15 May 1864 at Resaca, GA.
19 May 1864 at Cassville, GA.
25 May 1864 at New Hope Church, GA.
25 May 1864 at Dallas, GA.
26 May 1864 at Dallas, GA.
30 May 1864.
19 Jun 1864 at Kenesaw Mountain, GA.
20 Jun 1864 at Kenesaw Mountain, GA.
22 Jun 1864 at Kenesaw Mountain, GA.
30 Jun 1864 at Kenesaw Mountain, GA.
20 Jul 1864 at Peach Tree Creek, GA.
5 Aug 1864 at Atlanta, GA.
10 Aug 1864 at Atlanta, GA.
13 Aug 1864 at Atlanta, GA.
15 Aug 1864 at Atlanta, GA.
20 Aug 1864 at Atlanta, GA.
25 Aug 1864 at Atlanta, GA.
9 Dec 1864 at Savannah, GA.
28 Dec 1864.
15 Mar 1865 at Averysboro, NC.
16 Mar 1865 at Goldsboro, NC.
16 Mar 1865 at Averysboro, NC.
19 Mar 1865 at Bentonville, NC.
25 Mar 1865 at Goldsboro, NC.
1 Apr 1865 at Goldsboro, NC.
Regiment Histor OHIO SEVENTY-THIRD INFANTRY (Three Years)
Seventy-third Infantry. – Col., Orland Smith; Lieut.-Cols.Jacob Hyer, Richard Long, Samuel H. Hurst; Maj., Thomas W.  Higgins. This regiment was organized at Chillicothe, Dec. 30,1861, to serve for three years. It remained in camp perfecting its drill until Jan. 24, 1862, when it moved via Parkersburg to Grafton and Fetterman, W. Va, and thence a few days later to New creek. In the spirited engagement at McDowell in May the regiment,was engaged but met with a slight loss. In June engaged,in the battle of Cross Keys and lost 8 men killed and wounded. In August the command took up its line of march for Culpeper and it arrived in time to relieve Gen. Banks’ corps on the battlefield of Cedar mountain. Passing through Culpeper, the regiment crossed the Rappahannock at White Sulphur springs, moved down the river to Rappahannock Station, and thence up to Freeman’s ford, where it engaged the enemy , thence back to White Sulphur springs and Waterloo to prevent the enemy from crossing. Passing through Warrenton, New Baltimore and Gainesville, the regiment reached the battle ground of Bull Run and in the second battle there acted a prominent part, the gallantry of the brigade of which it was a part saving the army from utter rout. The loss of the regiment was very severe-out of 310 men present for duty, 144 were killed or wounded and
20 captured. In the Chancellorsville campaign it formed part of the column which turned the left of Lee’s army, crossing the
Rappahannock at Kelly’s ford and the Rapidan at Germanna. Nothing noteworthy then occurred until it entered upon the                                   Gettysburg campaign. The regiment, with its brigade, held the line in front of Cemetery hill and was almost incessantly en-
gaged on the ground in its front, its losses amounting to 143 officers and men out of about 300. After Lee’s retreat over the Potomac the regiment crossed the river with the rest of the army and finally went into camp at Bristoe Station, where it remained until transferred to the Army of the Cumberland. In the fight in Lookout Valley the conduct of the regiment called forth praise and especial notice, Gen. Grant, in his official dispatches, naming it “one of the most daring feats of arms of the war.” In this action the regiment lost 65 men and officers
out of 200. Encamping near the scene of its brilliant exploit, the regiment was occupied by picket duty and building earthworks until Nov. 22, when it crossed the river and was engaged in the battle of Missionary ridge. At the end of the year it veteranized and was furloughed home, then returned to its old camping ground in Lookout valley. In May it moved with the corps through Snake Creek gap, confronted the enemy at Resaca and it was highly complimented by its brigade and division commanders for brilliant conduct in this action. A severe battle
followed near New Hope Church, in which, though badly exposed and suffering severely every moment, the regiment stood firm
and fought till nightfall when it was relieved, having suffered a loss of 3 officers and 72 men killed and wounded. Pine Moun-
tain, then the railroad with Acworth and Allatoona, then Lost mountain were gained; and the army confronted the enemy
strongly upon Kennesaw mountain and around Marietta. On July 20 the regiment reached Peachtree creek and in the engagement
that followed there lost 18 men. During the month which followed it was constantly in the front line of works, under fire
day and night, and continually at work skirmishing and fortifying, each day losing one or more killed or wounded. At length
Atlanta was evacuated. In the campaign the 73d had lost 210 men and 8 officers out of less than 350; had been repeatedly
engaged with the enemy, and had never retreated before him.It now encamped near the city, recruiting and working upon the de-
fenses until it started with Sherman on his “march to the sea.”Up through the Carolinas, at the battle of Averasboro, N. C.,
in which the regiment lost 15 men wounded, and then came Bentonville, the last battle of the war, in which it lost 5 men
killed and 25 wounded. The regiment was mustered out on July 20, 1865.
Source: The Union Army, vol. 2
Find Soldiers in this Regiment: U.S. Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles


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Is it a wish or a promise?

Is it a wish or a promise?

Don’t worry…this is not an infomercial

I have nothing to sell you. No promise that I have no magic potion that will help you for $19.95 + shipping and handling. I won’t even double your order for just a separate shipping and handling fee. Truly, I wish it was that simple!

Truly, I wish it was that simple!

Have you ever made a New Year’s Resolution? Did you promise yourself that you would eat healthier, lose or gain weight, go to the gym regularly, quit some bad habit, or something equally heroic? I have. I can’t even tell you how many times I have missed the mark. I’ve even found myself deciding to make a New Week resolution. Don’t jump on that bandwagon. I found it was just a quicker route to epic fail!

How to tell the difference

It has occurred to me that I have always WISHED for my New Year’s Resolutions. I wished the problem to be settled. The reality is there was action necessary on my part to make that wish come true. I lacked motivation. As a result, my wish never came to be. Basically, a wish is just a day dream. It’s a nice thing. By itself, it won’t accomplish my goals.

A promise is by definition a declaration that something will (or will not) be done or given. Seems like I never took the step to promise myself that I would be more conscious of what I am eating and when. I did not promise myself that I would buy less junk food (or gasp!-None). In conclusion, I am going to have a do-over! Tomorrow is a new day and the best I can hope for is to promise myself to do a little better than yesterday.

A few reflections:

  • I wish my house were neater
  • I promise to throw away junk mail today
  • I wish I was a more patient wife, mom, grandma, friend
  • I promise to listen more than speak
  • I wish I could train myself to use only nice words
  • See above 🙂
  • I wish I would quit jumping to conclusions (although it’s the only exercise I get some days)
  • I promise to talk to God first. 
  • I wish the people I loved always felt loved by me
  • I promise to make an effort to let them know in small and big ways whenever I can
8 The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”


Wish- verb (used with object)

  1. to want; desire; long for (usually followed by an infinitive or a clause)
  2. to desire (a person or thing) to be (as specified): to wish the problem settled.


  1. a declaration that something will or will not be done, given, etc., by one: unkept political promises.
  2. an express assurance on which expectation is to be based: promises that an enemy will not win.
  3. something that has the effect of an express assurance; an indication of what may be expected.


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Super Ball Spirituality

Super Ball Spirituality

A few years ago, my boys had a fascination with super balls. In school, they were able to pick prizes for reaching reading goals. They both would come home with super balls. We had a shoe box filled with them. Daddy’s shoe box. I can’t tell you how many were in that box, but it was a fairly big collection. They varied in size from the tiny which were about ½” to the huge which were 2” in diameter.

We found them everywhere. In their pants’ pockets, in the bathtub, in their beds and once when I was driving them somewhere I stopped fast and one rolled from the backseat up to me. Their favorite thing to do with them was to climb up as high as they could get and flip the box over just to watch them fall. They liked hearing the different sounds they made as they hit the hardwood floor. In that respect, I thought they were a useful tool in their creative learning process. At least when you were in the room watching their delighted faces. When you were downstairs just below the flip site it sounded like a herd of tiny animals running across the floor.

The Downside

The super balls began to annoy me.  One morning when they were both at school,  I found the puppy happily chewing on something on the living room floor. To my dismay, she had gotten ahold of one of the bigger super balls and had succeeded in chewing it into tiny bits. I was angry because I had warned them about leaving their stuff lay around. So I got down on my hands and knees and began to talk to the pile of rubber bits.

“That’s all we need in the backyard….bouncing poo”

“Oh, they are in so much trouble…”

“That’s it. No more super balls in THIS house”

Another reason why I am not a brain surgeon

I stormed into the kitchen with my handful of trash. Wisdom would have said to gently set them on the top of the garbage. However,  I gathered up the energy of an NBA player and slammed it into the top of the already full garbage can. At this point, I guess I should divulge to you why there are more reasons than one that I am not a rocket scientist or brain surgeon. Ha-ha.

In my anger,  it did not occur to me that each and every one of those chewed bits was a miniature super ball. To my shock, I suddenly had hundreds of tiny super balls flinging themselves all over my kitchen. They bounced off the wall behind the garbage can, me, and the ceiling fan in the kitchen.

Suddenly the “mess” on the living room floor became a much smaller problem. I had bouncy ball parts all over my kitchen, dining room and even pieces back in the living room and laundry area! It literally took me hours. Maybe days, until I found all the places where those little particles bounced. We found them under our microwave oven, in our shoes by the back door. It was crazy.

The Lesson

As a result, the Lord revealed to me that our careless words are like those little bouncy ball bits. We may say something slightly hurtful, sarcastic or mean but we don’t think much of it. We don’t realize how our words just keep bouncing around everyone we speak with. For me, this is especially true about how I speak with those I love the most. Familiarity breeds contempt. That’s how the saying goes and I think it’s true that we allow those with whom we have the most contact and those who know us the best to get under our skin. My family is the brunt of my frustrations so much more often than I’d like to admit. Sometimes it’s me just having a moment and I choose not to filter my words or tone, and sometimes it’s them. They know the buttons to push to make Mom come unglued!


The words are like all those different sized bouncy balls. The big ones, I imagine, are like the meltdown words.  The smaller ones for the minor infractions. The really tiny bits are more like the times we say things to our kids like, “You are being lazy. “  We don’t truly mean it as a character flaw. Maybe we’re just trying to motivate them to get moving on a task. The funny thing is, maybe they hear that as a confirmation of a flaw and their spirits sag.

Finally, be aware that your words are bouncing. And once you release them, you can’t ever totally take them back. Not even when you apologize to someone for speaking out of turn. Consequently, once they’ve heard and internalized your words they will have that on “permanent record”. Maybe when you’ve asked for forgiveness they won’t associate the hurt with you, but the enemy does have a way of reminding us. He whispers in our ears things that have hurt us in the past. There is no condemnation for those in Christ and we need to remember that those whispers are his weapon. We just need to take a moment and quit loading the gun for him!

For more information about superballs:



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Be Careful What You Wish For

Be careful what you wish for!

I was watching one of those shows today that has a buyer looking at new homes. I’m not really sure why I like watching them so much. I think deep down, I am just nosy. Sometimes, when we are traveling at night (no worries, not when I am driving!) I will look at the homes we pass to see what they look like inside. I’m never really interested in the people who may be there but the style used to decorate. Mine is Early American Garage Sale. It’s an eclectic style blend of heirlooms, hand-me-downs, items we’ve purchased ourselves both new and used, and a little bit of dust, dog hair and clutter threw in for good measure. I wouldn’t want any of my guests to think I’m full of myself, after all.

Time is money

One couple today was particularly interesting to me. She wanted a two-story and he wanted a ranch style home because he has bad knees. She wanted Craftsman and he wanted Modern. Do you think the realtor on the show was taking hits of whiskey from a hidden flask somewhere? Seriously! You’re set up for failure with that. One of the two of the clients is going to be either very unhappy or will settle for less than what they really want. So it seems like the people are just setting themselves up for years of ammunition for arguments. How do you even retain a realtor when you don’t know what you want? Seems like a waste of time to me.

That being said, I wish I was a fly on the wall after the realtor takes them to twenty plus listings. None of which was good enough. This one is too small, this one is too big, this on is just not right.  I think my head would spin around in circles, horror movie style, while I was screaming, “What is it you people want from me!” So, maybe it’s a good thing I’m not a realtor.

If these walls could talk

In Toledo every year they have tours of some of the historic homes in the Old West End. I really want to go to that this year and see inside these old, beautiful homes. They are steeped in tradition and history. I wish it were possible to put your ear to the wall and hear the stories they have to tell. Dreamy, romantic notions from days gone by.  In reality, we would hear siblings fighting, parents singing lullabies, sweet nothings whispered on porches from young lovers, prayers at bedtime and mealtimes, last words of those heading on to their eternal reward. Beginnings and endings. The full circle of life.

Wish Granted

Finally, I was engrossed with a young couple’s journey. They were all over the map as far as what size, style, price point, location, etc. The realtor never broke rank. The couple complained to him that they wanted something “small”. The very next house he showed them was a tiny house. 250 square feet of living space. They were super excited on the walk up to the home. Once inside they turned to each other and said simultaneously, “It’s too small!”. I think I did see the glimmer of laughter in the realtor’s eye. Fist bump, dude!

So the moral of the story is, be careful what you wish for because you just might get it!




Posted in Happiness, Home Improvement, Perspective, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

What can I take with me when I leave?

What can I take with me when I leave? I heard this question posed on the radio the other day while I was driving in my car. Situation: your home is on fire, your family is safely outside, you have just moments to grab a few precious items that you can carry in your arms. What to take? For me, it would definitely be photos of my family. However, there is no way I could carry all of them. My husband doesn’t call me “Gramma-razzi” for nothing. Ha ha.  I’d try to grab our birth certificates and vital paperwork. A family heirloom or two. The genealogy research I’m working on.  I would fail this simple test just based on the fact that I would have to do this quickly! Count in the fact that I have T-rex arms and I’m toast. Literally.

My Aunt called me. She is moving from a large two-story house to a small one level house. She had some items that she wanted me to look at and possibly take home. I am the unofficial “family historian”. I wear that title proudly, especially since the whole “Super-Model” thing never really took off.

Early 1900’s Glassware

Seems like it was time to pass on dishes from my great-great aunt. One piece was a compote dish that was used by the hostess to serve fruit. It is beautiful and has a matching lid. Clear glass and very heavy. It was a wedding gift in 1907. I’m amazed to think it is 110 years old. I daydream and wonder what stories this piece of glass would tell if it could. I have it proudly displayed on my kitchen table with candy. The dish better not tell stories about that.

Another piece was a highly decorated set of serving dishes with brightly colored flowers on them with gold trim around the wavy edges. This dish was called a “Strawberry set” and the main bowl would be filled with berries at a dinner party. The guests would then eat from the smaller bowls. It sounds so grand and fancy. Consequently, I may rethink my “I’m the hostess with the most-ess”  banter since I entertain with paper plates and plastic silverware! I wonder what great-great Aunt Aletha would think of that?

Most noteworthy, the difference between hand-cut glass and pressed glass is that the designs on the pressed glass edges are not sharp. I didn’t know that and I am excited to learn new things. And when a question like that comes up on Jeopardy, I’m ready! So, I was enthralled with two very delicate hand-cut glass bud vases. The glass is very thin and fragile.

Therefore, it seems that Great-great Aunt Aletha received amazing gifts for her wedding. As a result, it makes me wonder how fancy the wedding itself must have been!

Handmade Beauty

Imagine a  handmade inlaid wood lamp and table.  It has many layers and designs with subtle variations in the wood color. My paternal great uncle crafted these items in the 1950’s. He was from Scotland. The artistry is just incredible. So much detail and love went into their creation. Craftsmanship beyond my imagination. I pray that a disaster never strikes them down, especially while they reside in my home.

Dinner Parties and Days Gone By

Furthermore, Noritake China was synonymous with class and elegance. Dinner parties demanded fine china. Married couples picked out “good dishes” in their wedding registries. Fine china told you that you are a special guest. (Because I serve my guests on the finest quality paper plates I can afford, with the prettiest patterns available at Sam’s Club, I hope my guests realize how important they are to me!) Maybe one day I will get out all of the Noritake China and have a big party. We’ll eat from the lovely gold rimmed ivory plates with pink and purple flowers. Sip only the finest beverages from the lead crystal stemware.  We will be elegant. Seems like the biggest problem I will have that day is deciding which pizza toppings go best on Noritake China.

Finally, look around you. Tell the people you love that they are special. Give compliments (they’re complimentary). Praise your children for the small things. Thank the people you interact with for their service. Smile. Eat off the good dishes. Because in the end, what can I take with me? Nothing. In the event of a fire, there’s no way we can ever gather all the stuff we’d want to save. Consequently, if you could save everything that is meaningful to you I believe your insurance company will have a few questions!







Posted in Family, Happiness, Perspective | 16 Comments

Happy Anniversary, you crazy kids!

She was nervous.  The sanctuary of the church was filled with hushed voices. The organist began to play the wedding march. Her knees and hands were shaking as she took her father’s arm and slowly walked down the long aisle. She was breathing with fluttery little butterflies inside. Her long white dress rustled as she walked and all around she could see the large gathering of family and friends.

The minister asked, “Who is giving this woman to this man?”

She could hear the deep rumble and slight cracking of her father’s voice when he answered, “Her Mother and I.”

Her father released her arm and sat down with her mother in the front pew. She was the oldest, and the first of their children to be married.

She faced her groom. He half-smiled and fidgeted slightly. There were so many people watching their every move. Breathe. Somehow the words of the minister both filled the room and bounced over her head.

They repeated their vows to each other, her voice barely above a whisper. His voice quieter than she’d ever heard it,  filled with emotions.

Suddenly, the room erupted in joyous celebration as the minister announced them husband and wife and proclaimed that he could kiss the bride! He carefully lifted the veil from her face and sweetly kissed her.

The organist skillfully played as they walked back down the aisle. Hand in Hand. Their faces glowing with joy and excitement. Two crazy kids embarking the journey of their lifetime.


Fast forward fifty years. She makes them breakfast and they sit down together to eat. She hands him his medicines. He protests, but takes them anyway. They discuss what they will be doing that day. She tells him that he needs to be getting ready for the party by 11am so they will have plenty of time to help their children get the banquet hall set up. They have tables to decorate and food to set out. Beverages to prepare and all sorts of last minute things to do.

How on earth did fifty years go by so quickly, she wonders.

A lifetime of memories shared.

Babies born. Camping trips. Road trips. Birthdays. Anniversaries. Weddings. Grandchildren. Vacations. Classic car meets and conventions. Motorcycles. Car Accidents. Motorcycle accidents. Buying a home. Losing a job. Retirement. Death of family members. Medical crisis.


Congratulations you crazy kids!



Happy  50th Anniversary to you!

Posted in Children, Family, Happiness, Uncategorized | Tagged | 1 Comment

Chasing the Rainbow

Chasing the rainbow

I have devoted this blog site to be a place to find happiness in everyday life. That being said, some days it’s very difficult to do so. Consequently, I am in a place of struggle at the moment. It is only temporary and I will once again rise to my place on the top of the heap!

In my younger days, I battled episodes of hypoglycemia.Specifically, Reactive hypoglycemia, which occurs within a few hours after a meal. An overproduction of insulin causes reactive hypoglycemia. Having reactive hypoglycemia may mean that you’re at risk for developing diabetes. I would eat breakfast and shortly thereafter my blood sugar would just crash. I’d find myself in a daze unable to concentrate, dizzy, confused, sweating, shaking, most of the time with a headache and personality changes. Stir in the angst of Junior high and High School and it’s a roller coaster ride for sure! The doctor suggested to take along snacks to keep my blood sugar levels more even. That did help.(Some of the above paragraph I read here and if you’d like more info. )

Fast Forward

Today, I am a type 2 diabetic. I have been for about eight years. Much of the time it was controlled by diet and occasional exercise. (Who am I kidding!) Then it progressed to an oral medication. Even then it wasn’t such a big deal. But, diabetes is a progressive disease and it eventually does get worse.

About eight months ago I started taking a non-insulin injectable medication. I hated it. I lovingly called it my personal whale harpoon. Ha ha. It hurt sometimes to do the injection and initially I just had tiny bruises. Then about two months ago, it started to really hurt and burn a little. The bruises were the size of the circle if you make the OK gesture with your hands. (Different gesture than the Triple-A traffic finger, relax.) Black, with raised bumps. Then they started to itch and welt. I didn’t know what to think so I tried to eliminate any changes. New Laundry soap? Body Wash? Etc. Nothing. Finally, I called my endocrinologist who told me to stop taking it. I was having an allergic reaction to it.

The good news! The itching is starting to go away. I can wear my bikini again! (Just kidding, I won’t.)

The bad news! The new medicine he prescribed may make me look “chubby”. It moves the fat stored around your organs to under the skin so while you may not gain any weight you will look like you did. Ugh. He followed this up with saying that having fat stored around your organs is bad and in the long run this medicine will provide protections for my heart. Not protecting my heart now. Just when I was about to launch my supermodel career. Sigh.

Acceptable Side Effects

Why don’t medications have side effects we can live with? The following are my suggestions to the FDA for side effects acceptable to the average person. Let me know what you think. There’s strength in numbers!

  • May cause alertness while driving
  • May cause focus and concentration to words spoken by teacher, professor, clergyman, spouse, children
  • May cause restful, energizing sleep
  • A majority of people may notice feelings of happiness and tranquility
  • Do not watch a funny movie until you know how this medication may cause the volume of your laughter to rise. It could cause unwelcome stares from strangers and at the worst to make you wet yourself.
  • This medication may cause you to like fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods
  • The use of this product may cause other people to see the best in you and in turn, you will see the best in them
  • You may notice increased productivity while in the workplace. Use cautiously as your employer may notice also and increase your salary.
  • Do not take more of this medication than prescribed. If you are over the top cheerful too early in the morning someone not prescribed this medication may harm you
  • Lastly, the use of this medication may allow you to capture a leprechaun and chase him over the rainbow to your well-earned pot of Gold. Good Luck




Posted in Family, Happiness, Health | 2 Comments

Aging Gracefully

Aging Gracefully.

I have always dreamed of being one of the beautiful women that I have seen on screen. Imagine a close-up image of Grace Kelly. Fluid motion, precise steps, and beauty that is timeless. It isn’t that I want to emulate her looks, it is the confidence and inner grace that I admire most.

Imagine a close-up image of me. Fluid motion, precise steps, and (I almost had you going there, didn’t I?) Reality; fluid motion interrupted by coffee tables, chair legs, walls and other non-moving objects. Precise steps interrupted by gravity, imperfect footing, uneven surfaces and the vote of the union of inanimate objects that has put a hit out on me. I think gravity is the ring-leader.

As for the timeless beauty that I possess, I like to think that the beauty I wake up with right out of bed is a tool. It has come in handy over the years when I have had kids whose alarm clocks go off but they do not stir from their blissful slumber. Cue me to stage right. I gently wake them with a nudge, and as they open their eyes they glimpse my beauty in its full uncombed glory and shoot out of bed like rockets. Works every time. So while I dreamed of looking like a famous actress, I never suspected my look-alike would be the bride of Frankenstein.

Picking a Number

I know people who regularly play the lottery and have a system for how they choose the numbers that they play. I have developed a system for determining which number to pick when the conversation comes up about age.

If the person with whom I have the conversation is close to my parent’s age I know that I am safe to say my legal number. In their eyes, I still have some time to go. If the person is close to the age of my children I usually ask how old their parents are and if the number is better, I go with that. If I am talking to someone who is a tween or new teenager I try to avoid it all together. I find that asking about snap-chat or their favorite Meme is far more interesting. If the person asking is under ten, I usually just say that I’m like forty. They always turn their sad serious eyes towards me and pat my hand. No words are necessary. They hug me and reach into my pocket. They know all old people carry candy.

Moving Forward

In conclusion, I begin the journey of another new year. I haven’t decided how old I plan to be moving forward. Forty sounds okay. Way back when I was a teenager I had to get out my ID to convince people I was old enough to drive. Never mind me ever thinking I was going to convince anyone that I was eighteen. 21? I didn’t even try.

Now I’m feeling a little bit nostalgic. Maybe I need to learn to act my age? A wise person once said, “I would act my age, but I’ve never been this old before.”


Posted in Family, Happiness, Perspective, Uncategorized | 9 Comments