Monthly Archives: November 2013

The Holiday Season ~OR~ Hold On To Your Hats!


Take a deep breath ~ Relax

You are about to have an imperfect holiday season.  Trust me.

Are you ready?  Are you all geared up?

Before the extra Halloween candy is bought and dispersed and consumed..

{the panic and the rush begin}

I know this because I’m really adept at observing the junk mail and the internet.  My mailbox has been filling with innocuous flyers and the news has begin to whisper the dreaded words of “Early Holiday Shopping”

{Run, Run NOW!}

~I’m going to apologize here and now – this might become a rant of sorts~

Have we all become stark-raving mad?  (Rhetorical question, of course)

In a season of thankfulness, how can we possibly be thankful and enjoy ourselves when we feel the pressure coming on as we start filling our calendars with?? …

office parties

ornate meals

gift purchasing and giving

church decorating

home decorating

mailing cards

school plays

church plays

extra choir music, rehearsals and performances

We really have to “pick our battles” here… or where we can best spend our time or things can get out of hand…and everyone ends up tired or aggravated or both.

**I’ll take a pause right here**

  **A quick sanity check if I might**

I would have gotten this written and finished last week except I had to add an emergency to all those things that HAVE to be done because the refrigerator broke.  (and of course, it involved WATER leaking)

I quickly shopped and found a new one.  It was delivered today while I was trying to do laundry.  (I’m purposely ignoring that last, wet, heap in the washer right now that beckons me to hang it up)

Now I’m tired.  Mostly for having to remove and replace all my magnets.  The food too, although I had “HELP” from the kids.  Thank goodness they are off this week and underfoot – how else would I know it was almost Thanksgiving???

**Another sanity check**

Did I mention that a change in plans means I’ll be shopping for {last minute} and cooking Thanksgiving dinner?  I am, and I just found out last night.  It’ll be ok, the kids said I could drink the sparkling grape juice while we cook together.

I think I need a blood pressure check, or perhaps I could just have an anxiety attack now, before the stress induces it?  I mean, if we are scheduling things for every day… why not an anxiety attack?

Please don’t get me wrong here … I love the holiday season -Thanksgiving AND Christmas.  I enjoy feasts and gifts and spending the day in the pajamas if necessary.  I really love letting loose and playing games all day or building with Legos.

I enjoy decorating a tree and adding extra lights around the house to take the edge off of the dark evenings.  And lighted garland?  Oh, I wish I could hang it everywhere – or even better…get some of the real stuff that emits that lovely {real} pine aroma.

But I’m tired.  Already.

Just thinking about some of the holiday stress of the past gives me a case of the “vapors.”

Thankfully, I gave up that list a few years ago.  I learned that if we were going to squeeze in family time, it had to come first.  And I mean – only relatives living under this roof – usually.  Because those days of having them sleep, shower, and eat here  – those days are seriously running short.

And when I began to focus on salt dough ornaments, or sugar cookie baking here at home… the importance of family drew very precious.  Next thing you know, we were making cookie dough from scratch instead of the refrigerated kind.  It tastes so much better and it’s worth the extra time.

My advice?  Pick your events wisely.  Go about your activities with a good attitude and less rush and those memories will last longer in everyone’s mind.  Seriously…Take a DEEP BREATH before you grab the keys and the casserole.  There will be way more smiles, laughs and silliness to look back upon for years to come.  And occasionally some really goofy gifts and weird food.

I’d like to share an excellent recipe for sugar cookies … be sure to make this ahead of time and that way you can wrap the dough in plastic wrap and take it out when you are ready to make the cookies – even a week later!

Sugar Cookies – shaped or dropped

1 ½ Cup confectioners’ sugar

1 Cup butter

1 Egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp almond extract

2 ½ Cup flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cream of tartar


Cream Sugar and Butter with mixer

Add Egg and Mix until blended

Add Extracts and Mix until blended

Combine dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar

Add dry ingredients gradually into Wet mixture

Roll into large ball and wrap in plastic wrap

**Chill minimum 3 hours****Can prepare Days Ahead**

Set dough out for about 30 minutes

Flour surface and work chunks of dough until soft

 Roll out and Cut (not too thin)

Lightly grease cookie sheets

 *Bake in Oven at 375°  10-12 minutes

DSC_0167 DSC_0174

DSC_0185  DSC_0186

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Posted by on November 25, 2013 in Holidays, Life, in general


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Five Minute Friday – Fly



I long to fly

continuously through the air

stopping only at the destinations that I chose.

When I arrive I long to tarry

soaking in the beauty

of land and people.

Whether it’s here

or another country

I long to go.

To escape

and feel free

and unfettered.

To stroll

or bike

or rent a car.

~To find the lost things-

the pieces of me

that long to be


In each place I have been

I have left





If I could fly

I’d gather them

and then return


But I believe

these pieces-

they are of my heart.

And I believe

they belong

where I left them

~with others~

So, here’s the deal… Fridays are for fun.  Unedited writing that’s good for the soul – You are always welcome to join us…


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15 Minute Art Challenge ~ 1 Cor. 10:16-17

Today’s 15 Minute Art Challenge left a little peace and quiet in my heart

as I pondered the verses that were chosen.

Giving thanks for the communion between the LORD and His people was where my mind drifted …

1 Cor 10 art challenge

1 Corinthians 10: 16-17

16 Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ?  And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ?

17 Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf.

{Linking up with Amy and others at}


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15 Minute Art Challenge ~Psalm 9:1~

Between my Five Minute Friday unedited writing and a 15 Minute Art Challenge, I am kind of finding my blogs intertwined today.

Today’s Art Challenge verse is:

Psalm 9:1
I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart;
I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.

OK, so Five Minute Friday’s prompt was Tree …
And to me, one of God’s wonderful deeds was creation …

{I love trees}

So, here is my 15 Minute Art Challenge in colored pencil

Might I add that all the art items this week were graciously donated by my husband and even unearthed and placed on the drafting table where I could EASILY find them …

{Tree, Creation, One of God’s wonderful deeds}

psalm 9:1 tree


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Five Minute Friday ~ Tree


“Yes I am the Lorax who speaks for the trees, which you seem to be chopping as fast as you please.”

I’ll admit it, I’m a tree hugger.  I love trees.

I love to stomp through a nice forest and traverse their roots.

I love the leaves in all their colors through Spring, Summer and Fall.

I love a cold, dark wintry day when the trees are black and stark and empty standing tall against a formidable sky.

I love them when they are covered in snow, moss, and fungus.

I especially love them when they shelter bugs and birds alike.

In my childhood days I spent hours climbing the trees in our yard.  I practically lived in the Maple out front and the McIntosh out back.

These days I’m happy to wander amongst them or to burn their dead wood for a campfire.

Then I relish the smell for days.

So, here’s the deal… Fridays are for fun.

Unedited writing that’s good for the soul – You are always welcome to join us…


Posted by on November 15, 2013 in Five Minute Friday Flash Mob


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When the Landscape Changes

reddish orange maple

I swear I didn’t know it was there…

That tree in the back of the yard.

The VERY reddish-orange one.

It’s probably an odd thing to say considering that we have lived here for 9 years. But, really, I never noticed it before and it is REALLY beautiful!

This past Spring we had a large part of an old Sycamore tree taken down to keep it from falling. It was well over 60 feet tall and had already been relieved of 2 of it’s 3 trunks. It was tall, old, and wouldn’t look good toppled over the new fence or the pool.

So, because of that, an amazing thing happened …I acquired a new view of the trees that line the back of our property line.

And the view from my kitchen this Autumn is quite gorgeous … what a nice surprise while I enjoy my morning coffee!

Then it happened – a storm blew in that brought very little rain, but a WHOLE lotta WIND.

Shoot, those maples just can’t hold onto their leaves… Shame on them, why can’t they be like the mighty oaks?

How quickly the beautiful reddish-orange leaves can disappear – almost as quickly as they appeared.  Amazing how quickly the landscape can change – IF we don’t pay attention.

I love hiking and am trying to manage to go once a week because the woods are changing so fast.  That storm knocked many leaves to the ground this week and the freeze that occurred the week before?  Well, it fried more than its fare share of the tall, green plants.  So, each week, during nights and days that I wasn’t there, the woods kept changing.  That’s nature.

We, as humans, change too.  Our hopes and aspiriations and sometimes the nitty-gritty days of marriage change as well.  Especially when we aren’t paying attention and we are caught off guard by a huge storm that blows in.

Something I’ve been noticing lately is how a shift has been occurring in my marriage due to my physical issues.  These changes were forced upon me – meaning I didn’t see them coming – fought against them – succumbed to resistance in the change – then kind of threw my hands up in the air and pretty much wanted to quit.

Change happens and so does unbalance in relationships.  When this happens we need to address it and not be blind to it.

It’s time to address the shift of balance in my marriage.

~I’m no longer capable of some responsibilities~

~I need to rely on my husband to carry some extra burdens~

~I need to be thankful that he loves me and is so willing to accept the shift of control~

I hiked with a backpack yesterday and understood if I don’t shift the weight, change up the distribution, or tighten up the straps, I wasn’t going to make the whole trail.  It would hurt my neck and back worse if I didn’t work with the balance issue …

I WANT to:

ACCEPT my limits

ACT upon that knowledge and shift the weight

KEEP going down the trail

But first – I had to TRY…

{some days that’s the biggest challenge}

Shutting off the “What if” in my brain and try to see “What’s possible.”  Like … Laundry, Dishes, Writing, Hiking and occasionally remembering to defrost something for dinner!  (Energy to actually COOK it is a whole other deal)

Then, go to bed, wake up, and repeat.

I go to sleep thankful for my husband’s help and especially when he holds me at the end of the day and tells me “It’s going to be ok, we’ll get through all this.”


~Performing the balancing act~

That is what gives me the chance to *sigh* at the end of the day.  I love this man so much.

~To have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part~

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Posted by on November 11, 2013 in Life, in general


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15 Minute Art Challenge

Art is not something I do on a regular basis. However, I was challenged to try to make a piece of art in 15 minutes based on a scripture prompt.  Flashmob artists born out of the Five Minute Friday writing group.

Little did I know that the real challenge was digging out the oils, resin gel, and getting some pens and paper from my husband … so I was a day late.

The idea came to me quickly yesterday and this morning-working on the power of only a cup of coffee… I opened my supplies for the first time ever … So it took almost 25 minutes…

Pen and ink Roughing of what I would say is one of the “riches” I have received.

Philippians 4:9

And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

Pen and Ink Roughing

Pen and Ink Roughing

Now, the other hard part… let’s see if I can get this linked to


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Five Minute Friday ~ Truth

So, here’s the deal… Fridays are for fun.

Fridays are for free-falling and writing fearlessly.

Fridays are for linking up with some other fun and fearless free-fallers.

Unedited writing that’s good for the soul – You are always welcome to join us…

the truth is out there

The truth is out there…

Yes, I “went” there – straight to the pages (or episodes) of X-Files.  Starring FBI agents Mulder and Scully.

I became a fan of this TV show years ago – back when all the DVDs came in a case and included a movie or two.  I was hooked.

But talk about a mirror to our society…  What truth was out there?  Lies.  Buried under truth.  Buried under lies.  If you didn’t keep track of the ultimate mythology to the show, you could easily get lost.  Watching them back to back helps you keep track of whether those aliens were real, or fabricated to fool Mulder….or were they real again in the end???  (Time for another movie I hear)

I can watch just about anything and find the good vs evil or truth vs lies.  There’s always a lesson to be learned.

Here’s what I have discovered about those good life-lessons:

-sometimes they’re found in the lies

-sometimes they’re found in the truth

The devil likes to prowl around like a lion I hear, waiting to devour his prey.  He’s not always dressed as the lion though… He’s dressed as “happy” “upbeat” “spiritual” “self-worth” “determination” and many other avenues that are for sale out there on the book shelves and on the internet and on TV.

In my life, God’s truth always rises to the surface, but the view through that flat screen isn’t always clear…

Check your facts… Read the roadmap … God’s Word can be that lamp to your feet to help you avoid the pitfalls that are out there to drag you astray from HIS truth.

1 Peter 5:8

Be alert and of sober mind.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.


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Five Minute Friday – Grace

So, here’s the deal… Fridays are for fun.

Fridays are for free-falling and writing fearlessly.

Fridays are for linking up with some other fun and fearless free-fallers.

Unedited writing that’s good for the soul – You are always welcome to join us…

stone of grace


~Un-abandoned giving~

~No boundaries and limitless~

If we could receive it well, we’d be full-up


and satisfied in all things.

But we’re human,

and full of fault,

and can only fathom grace

in small doses.

How we long for the


and immense


that God has for us.

Grace – abundant and free

For all.

It’s waiting

for you.

Accept it.

Bring it into your being.

Make it part of your life.

Experience it.

Share it.

Ephesians 2:8  For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith

– and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – 


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