Monday, January 30, 2012

I do believe.

The Bible Study group I'm in has been studying Revelation.  The main focus of Revelation seems to be worship, even in the worst of times, worship Him.  My 'worst' time right now, the loss of my friend, does make it difficult to worship.  However, I had an 'ah ha' moment because of it.
Because my friend lived alone and died unexpectedly, no one is sure exactly when she died.  That fact troubled and hurt me greatly when I first heard the news.  Why hadn't I stopped by last week?  And more than anything else, the thought of her being alone at that particular moment caused me great pain.
I took this photo last fall because it was so breathtaking.
Today, it seemed to fit this post, because it is so breathtaking.

After crying on my husband's shoulder for a time on the night I found out, I went to the chapel at our church.  As I knelt at the rail, I felt a sense of calm, a sad and tearful calm, but a calm none the less.  Elsiemay was not alone! Jesus was with her, at her side as she crossed from this life into the next.  That realization strengthened my faith, removed the little bits of doubt that niggle your mind and heart in times of sorrow.  I was comforted by this spiritual assurance.  I cannot explain why, perhaps some would say it's what I wanted and needed to know, but I choose to believe, because I'm always asking Him something, whether it be in prayer or in conversation, that at a profound moment, He chose to give me an answer. An answer, I chose to believe.

Friday, January 27, 2012


I have lost someone very special and I am heartbroken.  I have only known her for 11 years but her impact on my life has been significant.  I have learned many things by watching how she lived her life and served her Lord.  When I am 85, I hope the Lord will bless me with the zest for life and the love for family and friends that Elsiemay Draper showered upon so many of us.  There was no doubt in my mind that she loved me.  I pray that she was as sure of the same in return because I did love her dearly.  I can best celebrate my friend by fitting her life principles into my life.  She was never far when someone needed a hand and she always extended hers.
I miss you today Elsiemay and I will miss you tomorrow but I know one day I will see you again so I can let you go, for now.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

My Miele

To say that I am in love, with this piece of housekeeping equipment, would be both a proclamation of affection and a realization of a dream come true.  I have owned this beauty for almost 2 years and I pay  homage to it each time I put it to use.
I've been married to Marty almost 23 years and I am ashamed and frustrated to say that I have owned nearly that many vacuum cleaners.  I've tried numerous brands and styles,- bags, no bags, wind tunnel, super glide, self propelled, whisper quiet, pet hair exterminator, upright, canister, shoulder mount - honestly, you name it, I've probably tried it.  During those years of disappointment (you get what you pay for) and repeated complaints about one thing or another, little did I know that my knight in shining armor would gallop into my life when I least expected him.
I was shopping for fabric that fateful day and discovered this store just happened to also sell sewing machines and vacuum cleaners; what a combination eh?  Anyway, I wandered over to that area, started reading some of the literature, got a free demo and two weeks later, brought my love home.  My heart wanted to buy him on the spot, but candidly, the price was a lot more than I was willing to spend without talking to Marty first.  We discussed it, Marty went to the store to see this piece of technology that had words of praise, contentment and pleasure rolling off the tongue and out of the mouth of his wife.  A wife who previously loathed this category of cleaning machinery. "Are you sure, really sure, this is 'the one'?", Marty asked. I was.  I still am.
Marty would probably say he loves my Miele too!  No more vacuum cleaners accidentally (wink, wink) tumbling down the stairs, no more unhappy tirades, no more complaints of any kind and best of all , no more  new vacuum cleaners!!  Had I met my Miele sooner, we would probably have a bigger retirement account :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A list

Many of the blogs I've read recently have started the new year by resolving to do 'things' or to participate in challenges to organize, create, cook, read, knit, etc.  Not wanting to be left out of the trend, I've contemplated the past couple of days about what I could do that would improve my life throughout the year.  I definitely need to lose weight, I've promised Marty to spend more time at home vs work, I'm working on a better personal budget and as many of us crafty sorts do periodically, I've asked my self to please "use what I have before buying more".  All of these things will benefit me and I hope that I will continue to pursue success in all, throughout the year.  But I came up with another idea that will nourish me personally and spiritually.
I try to consciously break away from whatever is happening at some point in each day to pray.  I have a couple of things that I ask for everyday, just like most everyone else but I also try to include a thanksgiving.  I have so much, on so many levels that I never want to take any of it for granted, though I'm sure I do.  So, yesterday I spent some time adding some gadgets to my blog, including a list.  I want to record something different everyday.  I'll exclude my Savior Jesus Christ, my husband and my family because there is not enough space to list the blessings they add to my life each and every day!  Recording the little things, the unexpected moments that add or maybe detract from my day is my goal.  I'm late starting so I won't have a full year but 345 thankful things isn't too shabby.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Never too late

Aren't these pies beautiful??  I made them and they didn't just look good, they tasted good too!!  This is a big accomplishment for me and I am very proud of myself.
My step-mom is the pie maker from heaven.   Marty & I believe she makes the best crust on this side of heaven and the filling isn't bad either :) I have watched her make pies many times, I have written down her recipe and I have attempted it at home, without much success :(  A couple of months ago, I asked her if she would give me a hands on lesson and she agreed.
We peeled the apples, set up the necessary equipment for pie crust making and began.  She instructed me in a step by step process and offered tips at various stages.  The lesson went smooth as silk and you can see the awesome results.  It's never too late to learn!
Later, what amazed me about the whole process was, how easy it really is to make pie crust when assisted by the knowledge of experience.  Alone, technically, I did exactly what the two of us did that afternoon but the pauses for "mix it till it feels like this", "use cold water and ice" or "maybe you need a different pastry blender" made all the difference.  I purchased a pastry blender like hers and it works 100% better than the one I had.
You can have a PhD or read 1000 books but nothing beats learning it face to face, heart to heart from someone who already knows how and is willing to share.
Maybe I should consider an entry in the pie baking category at our local fair?  Something to consider over a piece of good apple pie.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

T-shirts that talk

Last night, I was reading blogs.........shock@!
One of my favs, Not Just A Hockey Mom, was talking about hockey fan/player T-shirts.  The topic specific lingo and humor may only  appeal to and be humorous to those involved but others can be appreciated by all who read them.  I commented about how many activities have their own fan lingo and humor.   Here are couple of mine that I could find quickly.....

My sister saw this card and knew it was for me.  Not saying I've  ever done what it describes......but  it sure made  me and some knitting buddies laugh one night....over a bottle of wine :)

Never enough time because the pile is always growing.  B & N just sent me an email reminding me that I still have items in my shopping cart from my last late night online excursion.

My mom gave me this T-shirt and included a note that said, "Hope you think this is funny!"  I totally did and wear it proudly.
What are your hobbies, loves or other comments like pet humor that you proudly wear??

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Winter...finally or not?

I've been shoveling snow for the past hour; we received about 10" on our hilltop in the past 24.  I have a large, wrap around one corner deck, on my home.  I love this big deck in the summer but not so much in the winter.  I wanted the big deck.  The agreement was stated "Then you keep it shoveled in the winter."  Mid July when we built the deck 11 years ago, I said no problem.  Fool. Opened mouth before engaging brain!!  It's not a hard job and most of the time I enjoy shoveling it, really, I like being outside.  I like the closeness of nature on my hill and the quietness on my hill, which was the main reason I wanted the deck in the first place.  But the darn thing just won't stay clean this time of year :)  Kind of like the lawn won't stay mowed in the summer, or the flower and vegetable gardens won't stay weeded and the car won't stay clean.... anytime!!
Repetitive work builds character, provides time for introspection, right?  Well, I've had enough personal development for today; it's time for football!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Work frustration

This marquee sign at our local theater caused both Marty & I to laugh.  Even though there are 1000's of people without  jobs, sometimes it seems an impossible mission to find, hire and retain a good employee.
The manufacturing business where my husband works is a prime example.  We both will agree, the wages are not top notch.  However, they have decent benefits, the company has grown and they continue to make changes, planning for the future.
The biggest issue in Marty's department is the turnover.  He supervises second shift in a warehouse.  His employees, after training, are expected to know about packaging, part numbers, shipping details and return procedures. They learn fork truck operation and trailer loading procedures as appropriate.  An employee is also expected to be on time to work and show up everyday.  A positive attitude with an inclination to learn would be considered a huge bonus!  Unfortunately for Marty, who has worked there 18 years, employees who grasp the warehouse mindset are few and far between.
The work environment is tedious at times, always counting inventory, stacking boxes, pulling orders and loading trucks.  And  depending on the season, it can be too hot or too cold. Marty & I talked about the number of people he has trained and lost, rough guess, 200+.  During the worst periods it has been as many as 2 or 3 a month.
Most of these employees have been 20 somethings.  NOT lumping ALL 20 somethings together because we do know many that are wonderful young people,  assets to the business and to the community.  But as mid range baby boomers, Marty & I wonder where his experience group learned their work ethic or more to the point, why they don't have a good work ethic??
Who told them it's OK to not show up for work during the second week of a new job, without calling?
Who told them it's OK to not take a bath, brush their teeth or wash their hair, at the very least, once a week?
Who told them it's OK to disrespect their supervisor and fellow employees with colorful  #@$%%  language?
Who told them they don't have to work to support themselves and their families?
Who told them they don't have to have a reliable form of transportation so they can report to work?

Marty and I are not a perfect employees by any stretch, but in 18 years each, at our current jobs, Marty has missed maybe 12 days of work; I've probably missed double that amount. And in Marty's case there have been several years in a row when he didn't miss a single day!  But many of these young people miss 12 or more days in their first 3 or 4 months and then wonder why they are let go.  When they are let go, Marty gets someone new to train and the frustration of the cycle starts all over.

Friday, January 6, 2012


I reread some of my early blog posts this morning and reviewed from where I started and found a similar thread---time.  Not enough time mostly, but occasionally, adequate time.  It seems I'm obsessed with my lack of time.  And when I just glanced at the clock and realized I have been surfing around here in blog land for over an hour, I was amazed.  NO wonder I don't have enough time, it's your fault!
But you know what, I consider it time well spent.  I've learned many things from you and expect to learn many more.  I don't see myself becoming a blog queen but my little corner has provided many things for me, all good and I plan to continue being nourished by it.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

It happens

But why in this case?  Everyone makes  a mistake, little things slip through the cracks and no one catches it right away.  I understand that and empathize.  I'm sure, in fact I know, I've done the same thing.  I'm a very understanding and easy going person, I'll give anyone the benefit of a doubt.
It's a standing joke with Marty and I; he's always teasing me about sticking up for everyone, " you'd invite Charles Manson to Thanksgiving dinner"......that's a bit of a stretch but I do extend invitations easily.  And on my side of the joke, his glass of water is always half I guess that's why we're a good team.  But I digress.
I have to admit when Family Medicine called to say my test from last week had been botched, someone forgot to send in both parts, I was a bit peeved.  So I'm headed there now to have another.......PAP test!!!
Hope your day is starting better than mine is :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Well, everything is cleaned up, put away and life has moved from Christ's birth to the birth of the New Year 2012.  Best wishes to all.

I did make my Christmas cards but not as early as I said I would, 12/23!!  But it worked out in the long run because at the last minute, my sisters decided that we'd do a gift card (hey, that was my idea!) grab bag this year.  So instead of making gift card holders, I just made regular Christmas cards.  I really enjoyed doing it and I can see myself making more and more there a market for homemade cards??  I rarely see them at craft shows or in gift shops. Cards are so personal, it would be hard to make a wide enough variety of cards to be profitable.  Maybe if I specialized in one type of card, say birthday or thank you or get well...guess I'll think about it.  And of course it would be good to have a large stock of cards before I start offering to sell them......cart before the horse, oops!
Anyway, a few pictures
The work space, if you can really call it that.....not much space :)

This blue card is my favorite.  The paper already had little star bursts on it, I added some gems in random centers and it just sparkled!  I'm a silver (not gold) loving gal,so the blue, white and silver mix was just over the top for me.  I should have taken a photo of the inside, I added a large snowflake flourish, it was stunning!

I love cute snowmen.

I gave this one to my youngest sister, who is very talented in many areas--decorating ,sewing, personal appearance, etc. She raved about it on Christmas day  which made my day and again when I saw her several days later.
Guess she liked it!!
There were others but didn't want to be too self promoting.  I think I've found a hobby that I enjoy and that produces successful results.  Watch out Hallmark :)