Subject Matter

Friday, February 25, 2011

A Blessing!!

This is a continuation from the last post so if you haven't read the first post you may want to read it before reading this one.  I am going back to the pennies in the driveway.  After God gave me peace in knowing that He is in control of my life and that I can trust Him with everything I started finding pennies everywhere.  It was almost like it was raining pennies.  I would just see it, smile, relax because God was reminding me that He was still there and still in control, I would pick up the penny and put it in my pocket with the certainty that what ever I was anxious about He was already there and I didn't need to worry.  This went on for a while.  I somehow managed to get my bills paid and feed us.  I got a job so that I would have some health insurance and extra money, my divorce was finalized and that stress was over and God was there right in the middle of it all.  Beside me or in front of me all the way.
I had teenagers I was raising on my own.  Boy, that was interesting.  It amazes me how teenagers find so many things to get into that are bad for them.  I knew that they both loved Jesus and they were both saved but still I felt I needed to be a one woman show and beat away the enemy on my own.  I learned quite quickly that that wasn't God's plan.  Once again I got a penny reminder.  My daughter, (aka the princess) hit a rebellious point in her early teens.  I thought I was watching her pretty closely but sometimes I just had to sleep.  One night she called and said she was going to the movies with a friend and her mom so I said okay and went to sleep.  I asked her to call when she was back at her friends house to spend the night and off the road.  Well, she called and said she was leaving the movies and would be home in about fifteen minutes.  A short time later she called and said they had been in an accident and to come quickly, it was bad.  I leaped into my clothes, grabbed my son and his fiance and went to where the accident happened.  It was really bad.  Teenagers laying out in the street, a car wrapped and folded around a tree, emergency and police everywhere. Total chaos.  I found my daughter in the street and checked to make sure she was okay.  She was hurt but she could talk to me.  I could talk to all the teenagers but one.  It was the middle of the night and I was the only parent on the scene with all minors.  My daughter was about to be taken by ambulance to the hospital but I couldn't leave the scene as the only parent and one teenager being cut out of the car and then being air lifted, it was going to be a while before I could leave.  My son was allowed to ride with his sister to the hospital and I would follow later.  My daughter had been laying in the middle of the street on a backboard.  After she was placed in the ambulance I looked down at the street where she had been laying and right in the spot her head had been was a penny.  I immediately felt peace wash over me and I knew that whatever happened God was there and it would be okay.  He had been sitting right there, with her head in his lap, while she waited for me.  I found out that I couldn't be with my children all the time to watch over and protect them but God can.  After the princess got out of the hospital she wanted to go back to where the accident happened.  Where she had been when the car hit the tree. Low and behold, God had placed another penny there.  I picked it up and told her my penny story about how God had protected her and her friends.  I took both the pennies to a jeweler and had them made into very plain, very simple necklaces.  Now when we wear them and someone asks why we have a penny around our neck we share the story of God's love and protection.  I have had many more struggles since then and I'm sure I will have many more in my lifetime but God is constantly reminding me that He is there by dropping pennies everywhere.  When I find one, I smile and say " Look, a blessing!"  and I pick it up and thank God that He loves me and I put that penny in my pocket with the peace that passes all understanding.  I am so unworthy of His love yet He gives it freely.  Has there been a time God blessed you?  Would you like to share that with me?  I would love to hear your story. I want to encourage you to release your cares to Him.  He is strong enough to carry them and wants to carry them.  I hope you are inspired to live a life of peace and love and freedom knowing God loves you.
Here are a few scriptures to remind you of His love....
"Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall." Psalm 55:22
"Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way.  The Lord be with all of you."  2 Thessalonians 3:16
"I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies."  Psalm 16:3
I hope you have a Blesssed day!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bad Days Make You Just Want to Bury your Face in a Carton of Ice Cream!

I woke up this morning looking forward to a great productive day and then reality kicked in and I felt like someone punched me in the gut and knock the wind out of me.  It is a bright sunny day outside it feels like spring but my mood is dead of winter in a blizzard.  I just want to bury my face is big tub of ice cream and wait for another day when the sun rises again and all is good!  Have you ever felt that way? Emma, the queen of my household, is demonstrating just how to get down and get the very last lick of ice cream out of the tub.

You just stick your whole face down in the tub and lick 'til you taste nothing but cardboard!  That makes everything all better!

Totally Twisted!!!!!!!  I hope you are having a better day than I am.  But..... you know what they say.... The Sun'll come out tomorrow!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Look Out Nashville Here We Come!

The man of my dreams (MOMD) loves Nashville.  He had been talking about taking me there almost from the first moment we met.  We had planned to go for his birthday which followed close on the heels of Christmas.  We made reservations, We watched the weather, SNOW!  Now, I live in the south.  We don't really get snow.  But this year, we have SNOW.  Not much compared to those on the other side of the Mason/Dixon line but none-the-less, we have snow.  The roads are closed and travel is suspended.  We call and change our reservations.  We postponed a couple of weeks.  We are preparing to go, and watch the weather to see what to expect. 'cause the weatherman said the "S" word again.  (Sometimes I think they do that to boost ratings or they get a kick back from the bread and milk companies).  But this time, sure 'nuff,  SNOW.  We change our reservations once again.  The hotel is nice about it and we plan for the week before Valentine's.  We really don't want to change plans again but the weather appears to be going back into the deep freeze.  No snow this time but really freezing temperatures.  Too cold for walking outside all day!  We try one more time to move our reservation to the next weekend.  MOMD's daughter said, " Maybe God doesn't want you to go to Nashville."  We laughed about it but..... So, February 11th we make our plans.  SNOW once again is predicted but only in the night and only a little with no icing to shut down the roads.  The day before we are to leave there is a beautiful snow fall at night.  It was so pretty that we went out and played in it.  Nothing on the roads.  So far so good.  The next morning, this is what I saw when I got up!

It was the perfect snow, pretty, but the sun was out and the roads were clear!  We are heading to Nashville! Hooray!
It was a lovely drive up.  Snow on everything but pleasant temperatures and sunny!  I was so excited to finally be going. I was looking forward to seeing my country favorites singing in the honky tonks!  I was looking forward to the good food MOMD has talked about for months and I was especially looking forward to just getting away and enjoying time with MOMD!
Nashville didn't disappoint me.  The city was beautiful, friendly and fun!  We walked and ate and had a really great time!  Here is a picture posting of some of the things we saw.  The only thing that we didn't see were my favorite country music stars.  They were all away at some silly event called the Grammy Awards.  Go figure.  They must not have heard that I was coming to town.  The first thing we did was check in and eat!  We had great barbecue at an establishment call Jack's.  It was delish!!!!  Then we walked up town to book a tour of the city.  We wandered in a few shops and peeked in a few honky tonks waiting for our tour to start.  It was a walking tour of Nashville!  Our tour guide was great.  She made me feel like I was getting a personal tour from Cousin Jill.  She was sooo bubbly and friendly and told us some fun stories about the city.  We were touring with a family from Australia.  Boy, I'm sure they were in culture shock.  I have a strong southern drawl as did the tour guide and everyone else we stopped and talked to. I wonder what they thought...  We went through the Ryman Auditorium, that was my favorite part, and some other old buildings with great stories.  The tour guide told us that Elvis was booed off the stage at the Ryman and never returned.  They are trying to make up for that somehow because Elvis was everywhere. From the sidewalks in from of stores and restaurants to the top of buildings. It was like looking for Waldo!!!!  Only Elvis was everywhere.

After our walking tour, for an hour or so, we took a bus tour.  That took us further out on the other side of town.  Nashville has so much history!  It was fascinating hearing all the stories.  We saw several things that we wanted to go back and explore on our own.  One of them was the Capital building and the Bicentennial park.  We decided to go there in the morning.  We wanted to see Nashville's night life and have a good dinner.  The tour guide told us to take a romantic stroll across the walking bridge at night.  We decided to do that.  It was covered in snow and very beautiful.  We stopped over the water and tried to imagine what it must have been like when the Riverboats were parked along the docks and people like Doc Holiday frequented them to gamble and drink.  We were the only ones on the bridge.  It was very romantic and we took our own pictures.

Aren't we cute!  Those earmuffs weren't attractive but they were practical!  We hung out in a saloon later and walked back to our hotel.    The next morning we got up and walked to the Capital.  It was only two blocks....then we walked to the Bicentennial Park.  That was huge!  This is what we saw....

The sun rising over the beautiful Capital building.

The monument to the Civil War.  This is also a representation of my relationship with MOMD.  I am a southern girl and he is a dang Yankee!!!  But mostly he is the man of my dreams!

We also stopped at the Korean War monument in honor of my dad who served proudly in the Army during the Korean War.  I lost my dad two years ago and I still miss him every day!  (I love and miss you Daddy.)

I also wanted to see the Parthenon.  I don't think I am getting to Greece any time soon so this was as close as I was going to get.  It was impressive.  The original Nashville Parthenon was first created as a celebration to 100 years as a city.  It fell into ruin and was later rebuilt.  It was stunning to see.

They say everything is bigger in Texas but they haven't see the Parthenon in Nashville.  The building itself is amazing.  The detail is incredible.  They tried to make it authentic to the original ,though that one had fallen into ruin.  The golden statue of Athena took my breath away.  I wasn't expecting it when I walked into the upstairs room.  There was so much attention to detail.  A scale model was made of the statues that were going on the Frieze of the building, to get a perspective of the height and arrangement of the people to fit in the are across the top.  I was impressed with the overall presence of the structure.  There were these humongous Bronze doors that  weighed 7 tons but slid with ease in the front and back of the building.  You can see the actual size of these by comparing them to the people standing beside them.
We had one last stop at the Country Music Hall of Fame before heading home.  It was amazing seeing all the memorabelia they had. We parked our car and walked to Margaritaville, a new restaurant , to eat lunch.  It was fabulous!!!

That concludes our wonderful trip to Nashville.  I hope you get to see it for yourself soon!  I highly recommend it!  Thanks Nashville for a great experience!  If you have been to Nashville please leave a comment and share your stories.  I wanted to take the ghost tour but didn't have the guts or the time.  Maybe next time.  

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Feathering my Nest: Part 2 Kitchen Re-do Finally Finished! Whew!

I am finally finished with the re-organization of the cabinets in the kitchen.  I have posted sticky notes on the doors of the cabinets to remind me and anyone else where things are located.  I will probably leave the sticky notes up a couple of weeks until I am familiar with where everything is.  As you can tell I have a small kitchen but it its very efficient.  I love to cook and I like having everything at my fingertips.  I don't have to take more than a couple of steps to prepare most everything I cook.  My counters were always crowded with stuff that didn't belong in the kitchen so that was the first thing I tackled when I got started.  As I went through the cabinets everything that didn't belong got placed in a box to either find it a new home or put it back in the place it belonged before it migrated to my kitchen.  I really only have myself to blame for the stuff or junk being left in the kitchen because there is no one else around I can blame it on.  MOMD (man of my dreams) is very neat and if he moves anything he puts it back!  I want to be more like him when I grow up!  I like having things organized, I am just bad with neatness!  A creative mind thrives on chaos and there is always chaos around somewhere to inspire me;)  Back to the kitchen....  I eliminated a good bit of unnecessary utensils.  I evaluated what utensils I used regularly and kept them close at hand.  I can now open the drawer and quickly find just the right item that I need.
I had two mismatched pieces of furniture that didn't have a home and I needed the extra storage space so they ended up in my kitchen.  The room itself is rather large but there are only a few cabinets to store items.  I love to cook so there are lots of extra pots and pans and gadgets that I (infrequently) use.  I also borrowed my daughter's ("boom boom Pow!) stereo system.  She has flown the coop to Hawaii so while it was abandoned for a while I am putting it to good use by soothing the savage beast within with  my jazz music. ( I should have been born in the forties!  I would have fit right in. )  These two rather random pieces add character to the room and provide some great added storage.  
 One last area that I worked on was the cabinet around the refrigerator.  I cleared off the counter and move my glassware to the cabinet there.  It seemed an obvious place since it was near the refrigerator.  

It is so pleasant to work in here now with everything in its new home.  I have more work to do in here but for now I am happy!  I have a big open space in the center of the room that is just begging for an Island! (hint hint)  That may be my next kitchen project!  For now I will enjoy my newly re-organized space and cook up a storm.  I will keep you posted on the pursuit of the island!  It is so nice to feel like I have something brand new and I didn't spend any money on it!  That makes it the best project ever!  It is almost as thrilling as going to the thrift store and finding a designer dress for $1.98 and it fitting perfectly!  Well..... almost.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Feathering the Nest: The Kitchen Re-Organization (Part One)

Is your kitchen organized to it most useful potential?  No?  Mine either.  I have lived in my home for four years now and I am just getting around to organizing my kitchen.  This photo shows the good the bad and the ugly.  I have a small yet convenient kitchen.  I  have tall ceilings so my cabinets have an extra shelf in them.  I need a ladder to get to them but they are there just the same.  I moved in on Christmas Day 2005.  I let my kids open their gifts and I even allowed them to eat a little breakfast then it was a mad scramble to load the cars and trucks and get to moving.  I had one week off from work so I only had a small window to get moved in and living before that Monday morning when a new life began.  I was downsizing.  I was divorced with two teenagers and didn't need the three story house we were living in so I moved to a garden home.  I was thinking about retirement years!!!! I was looking toward that empty nest when the responsibility of yard work and house work would be mine alone and climbing stairs and cutting grass on the side of a steep hill wasn't what I had in mind.  So I found this really cute small garden home that had a lot of potential.  It was new and I got to watch it grow from the ground up.  It was like having a baby.  You knew that among all the pieces that were floating around something beautiful would emerge.  I checked on the progress daily, much to the annoyance of the people working on my home.  The guys who were building my home didn't speak much English, so I just smiled alot and nodded my head at the progress, and looked forward to the day I would move in.  Now... four years later it is time to make it more convenient to living.  I now have the empty nest and the Man of my Dreams (aka: MOMD)  so it is time to start living. I find myself cooking daily.  When I had nothing but teenagers living here I didn't cook much.  No one was here long enough to eat.  I love to cook but it is much more enjoyable to cook for someone.  Now MOMD loves my cooking. I have gained at least 20lbs. since we met because I am a good cook  and we eat well.  Back to the purpose at hand.  My kitchen is not convenient to cooking.  I don't have a very large work area and finding everything I need, to measure and mix in, is a problem because when I find it, twenty things come tumbling down from the cabinet that I have to put back, and I can't find where I stashed things that I need that  I haven't used in a while.  So... Here we are!  Things are stashed and a mess and I am going to straighten them out!
I am going to begin with the upper cabinets.  I have spent the last several weeks planning where to move things to make them more convenient to cooking and cleaning up.  Unloading the dishwasher is a hassle because I have to handle things several times before putting them away due to lack of order.  In the photo above, I have the cabinets open so that you can see what a mess they are in.  The glassware is above the dishwasher and that is something we use a lot of, and putting them away requires too many steps.  The glasses have to be removed from the dishwasher, then stacked on the counter, if it is cleared off, then close the dishwasher and put them away in the cabinet.  Too much trouble.  

 I moved them to the cabinet next to the refrigerator and put my spices and oils in the cabinet my glasses were in!  

Much better!  It is amazing how much better you feel When things are more in order!

That is all we're going to get done today.  The rest of life has to go on.  Check back for more updates!  I want to encourage you to organize something in your life today.  It doesn't have to be a large undertaking maybe something as small as a drawer or your purse (oops, I said no large undertaking!)  But you will find a little peace and happiness when you know that at least a little corner of your world is organized!  Share with me what you organize.  I would love to see photos.  I am always looking for ideas to improve some area of my life.  Please leave a comment and tell me your thoughts.


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