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My Blog

Door Bells Ringing? in the middle of the night?

Good morning.  I was awoken during the night from the doorbell ringing.  This is not the first time that this has occurred for me.  Some of the strangest phenomenon happens and I am out to find an answer.  In the midst of slumber, I am awoken by the sound of my front doorbell ringing.  It has always occurred while it is still dark outside...around 2 and 3 in the morning.  I am startled and jump up.  No one is there...it doesn't continue to ring either...but I swear that it had!  Another phenomenon is a man's voice....(sounds like my husband's) saying my name.  I jump up and no one is there....although I would have sworn that he was right there...he is not!  I go to check to make sure he is alright and discover him sound asleep! 
Then things like this have happened in the past, I have attributed it to the thoughts that I must have dreamed it...even though it seems NOT! 
Last night when this happened, it left me thinking that perhaps it might be some sort of message.  An awakening of another kind...so to speak.  I pondered about who it might be...what it might be about.  The one odd thing was that yesterday...I was cleaning and decided to move my mother's memorial box which contains her ashes to a different spot.  The thought went through my head...could it have been her...could she not be happy with the move?  I haven't given any of the other doorbell events any thoughts...so this was one to journal about....and now to pay closer attention.  Being that it is memorial weekend...by thoughts have also been on a neighbor who was killed in Vietnam.  As I sat on the computer, I watched a video of the cemeteries and all the crosses displayed of the men and women who were killed in the wars and thought about Tony.  He was killed in Vietnam and his body was brought home for burial.  He is in the cemetery at the end of my block.  Could it be him? 
I blogged yesterday about missing a dear friend who had recently passed away and how much I miss her...could she have decided to make contact?  Or is it just me dreaming with lifelike experience? 
The first thing I did this morning was to search the internet about what it might mean...believing that oftentimes...a dream is telling us something.  I was surprised to discover that MANY have had the same experience as myself. There is a lot of speculation as to what is happening...I myself will continue to research and look for others input.  How about you, my readers?  Have you had any experiences like these?  I would love to hear about them.   Won't you share your experiences?
As for Bells...it seems to me that they are definitely an important part to spirituality and religion.  I know that the movie "It's a Wonderful Life" interjects that when  bell rings, an angel gets their wings...and sure you would think that those sentiments are just because of the movie...but the belief in that was here long before the movie was ever made.  I started to think about bells....church bells...and how the ringing of them are really a memorable statement at a funeral.  I have been to a cemetery that rings their bell that is in the entry archway.  I thought about the catholic masses I had attended and the ringing of the bells for particular parts of the service.   Chinese ring bells to communicate directly with the spirit.  Russian Orthodox, bells directly addressed the deity There have bells throughout history playing an important role.  From bells on ships, bells on animals, bells that alert and bells of freedom. 
All I know is that I believe that the bell must mean something important.  I will mark this day down in a journal and wait.  I will update you whether something occurs or I gain some revelation over the bells of the night....in the meantime, I would love to hear your feedback. 

Feeling Blue

Good afternoon to all.  It has been quite some time since I have written on the blog and decided that perhaps it was time to resume.  I must admit I am at times discouraged on whether it makes any difference to anyone  since feedback is next to nothing....but since I found that the time spent writing and the reflective time that happens when I do is beneficial at least to me.  I would try again.  
I have never  suffered from depression...at least I don't think I have...but feeling blue or down from time to time does creep up into my life. 
I am not quite sure what triggers these types of feelings...but there are some days when it does appear.  The past year or so has been quite the roller coaster for me emotionally.  Oh...I must admit...it is nothing disastrous...but then again...perhaps it is...at least in my realm of normal. 
I have lost a very dear friend this year...and I miss her terribly.  I have lost many in my lifetime...but this last death has knocked me for a loop.  I have had another dear and close friend go through a mastectomy and a VERY large dose of chemo treatments.  I see how the wind in her sails has been depleted and marvel at her tenacity and fight.  I have seen her lay under covers, vomit and gag...lose her hair, her eyebrows and eyelashes.  She has lost weight....but never lost her faith.  I marvel at the way she has handled this and wonder if I could do the same if I were in her shoes. 
I have a whole in my heart for many reasons and I try to put one foot in front of the other...but from time to time...the "woe is me" can get the best of me. 

As I reflect back in time...I remember how it used to be growing up.  Families were together..sometimes in the same household.  It has been my lot in life it seems to have my family far away.  First it was my mother who moved 2,000 miles away and then it was a daughter who left and never looked back...so to speak.  Grandchildren who I am not sure even know who I am.  Another daughter gone to pursue life with her family.  Grandchildren who I wish I could partake in their everyday activities like my own grandmother did while I was growing up.   I guess it is the new way of life...at least it seems that it is for me. I cannot say that I like it very much....but then I watch a show like "Love Comes Softly"and realize that in those days...often times once a child left...the distance was so great and the ability to travel was almost non-existent that I am not that bad off...at least I can get in a car or on a plane and go to them.   Non-the less...it doesn't make the lonely days any less lonely. 

Now, don't get me wrong...I have plenty of things to fill up my day...and I tend to be one very busy woman...but still...every once in a while...I want to just embrace those I love. 

I thought about the phase of feeling blue.  Blue is associated with calmness and tranquility...and yet it is also the color associated to depression.  Sort of a oxymoron. 

When I think of a blue ocean or the blue sky I feel at peace.  I find it interesting that they named a bird the blue bird of happiness. To say someone is True Blue means that they are loyal and faithful.   A Blue blood is someone of nobility  Blue is said to be the favorite color of 50% of both men and women.  So why then do we say we are feeling blue when we are down in the dumps?  There are many sayings that we use that contain the word blue.  Someone appeared out of the blue, His face turned blue or once in a blue moon.
It is also a color of some of the most beautiful things in the world, like a blue sapphire, blue topaz, lazuli and  wedge wood to name just a few. 
So, blue has it's ups and downs.  It has it's yin and yang.  For the moments that I feel blue..I know that on the flip side...I will have my upsides and will be fine.  Thank goodness for the paint brush and paints.  They take me to many places.  As I create I relax and reflex about how fortunate I am to have been a part of those lives that I miss.  There is definitely something to be said about reflection....it always takes me back anywhere I choose to go.


New Year Memories

Good morning to all.  Well, here it is...almost the end of another year.  time to get ready to ring in the New Year.  As I sit here this morning, I started to reflect on so many of my past New Years.  I can remember when I was a young girl of 13 and I worked in a restaurant in the coat room at the restaurant my mother worked in.  I can remember taking in the coats and hanging them up.  I remember reading a book and occasionally glancing out the small room surrounded by beautiful coats and furs and staring out at the dance floor 100 feet away.  I listened as the band played on and the men and woman danced the night away donned in suits and chiffon dresses.  Dreaming that some day, I too would be doing the same on New Years.  Eve.  I watched as the evening progressed to midnight.  Hats and horns slowly made their way onto each of the peoples heads as bottles of champagne appeared on their tables.  The sound of the popping corks and the Auld Lang Sign rang in the New Year.  People laughing and kissing was surely a sight to see and remember.  I was bound to have the same scene embrace me in the very near future. 
Well, years rolled forward and I married and had children.  My New Years Eve was certainly a different sight than what I had envisioned.  I remember how I prepared food for the evening along with preparations for when the clock struck twelve.  It was hats and horns and streamers, along with pots and pans and large kitchen serving spoons.  As we counted down the clock with Dick Clark on the television, the children prepared their musical instruments to bang in the new year with.  These of course were the pots and pans.  Our attire was pajamas and slippers.  We would stand on the front porch of our home as the sounds of New Years rang out quite loudly.  Now the champagne was replaced with sparking grape soda so that the children could participate.  They of course thought that they were drinking the real thing.  One year was quite the scene.  My eldest daughter convinced herself that she was really drinking and proceeded to act like a drunkard.  To all of our surprise...she caught the flu during the night and was sicker than a dog the next morning.  She was positive that this was a hang over.  I laughed for many years over that one. 
Well, years have rolled on and as I sit here today, I think of how many of the years were never even greeted formally.  Tonight I will entertain guests with dinner and cards.  Somehow, my future vision of wining and dining to music never seemed to happen.  Almost 50 years have passed and I must say, I really think more about the resolution  tradition more than the rest.  I have made more resolutions than I care to admit have never come to pass.  Today, as I consider making a New Years resolution, I resolve to look forward to a new year with excitement.  I look forward to what life will bring to me and the courage to handle it.  I look to the past and see how fortunate all those years have been.  How much I enjoyed banging pots and pans and watching my children grow.  I enjoyed the thrill of being together and laughing the day and evenings away.  May you have a wonderful new year and may your future be filled with memories. 

On the 2nd day of Christmas

Good morning to everyone.  Hoping to find all well and happy.  today is the second day of Christmas....and did you realize that?  It is so discouraging to see that so many do not remember that there are 12 days of Christmas.  Now a days, so many even take down their decorations today, when really...Christmas has just begun. 
Growing up, we always celebrated Christmas until the three kings day on January 6th.  You wouldn't dream of taking down the decorations until then.  It wasn't until I became a storyteller that I learned the story behind the 12 days of Christmas.  To some...it may be such the song that you have heard through the years...but it is so much more.  Catholics in England during the period 1558 to 1829, when Parliament finally emancipated Catholics in England, were prohibited from ANY practice of their faith by law - private OR public. It was a crime to BE a Catholic. Imagine that? 
It is said that "The Twelve Days of Christmas" was written in England as one of the "catechism songs" to help young Catholics learn the tenets of their faith - a memory aid, when to be caught with anything in *writing* indicating adherence to the Catholic faith could not only get you imprisoned, it could get you hanged, or shortened by a head - or hanged, drawn and quartered, a rather peculiar and ghastly punishment I'm not aware was ever practiced anywhere else. Hanging, drawing and quartering involved hanging a person by the neck until they had almost, but not quite, suffocated to death; then the party was taken down from the gallows, and disemboweled while still alive; and while the entrails were still lying on the street, where the executioners stomped all over them, the victim was tied to four large farm horses, and literally torn into five parts - one to each limb and the remaining torso.
The songs gifts are hidden meanings to the teachings of the faith. The "true love" mentioned in the song doesn't refer to an earthly suitor, it refers to God Himself. The "me" who receives the presents refers to every baptized person. The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. In the song, Christ is symbolically presented as a mother partridge which feigns injury to decoy predators from her helpless nestling, much in memory of the expression of Christ's sadness over the fate of Jerusalem: "Jerusalem! Jerusalem! How often would I have sheltered thee under my wings, as a hen does her chicks, but thou wouldst not have it so..."
The other symbols mean the following:
2 Turtle Doves means The Old and New Testaments
So to honor that, I will reflect on something OLD in my life  and decide on something NEW that I will begin.
 3 French Hens means Faith, Hope and Charity, the Theological Virtues
4 Calling Birds means the Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists
5 Golden Rings mean The first Five Books of the Old Testament, the "Pentateuch", which gives the history of man's fall from grace.
6 Geese A-laying means the six days of creation
7 Swans A-swimming means the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments
8 Maids A-milking means the eight beatitudes
9 Ladies Dancing means the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit
10 Lords A-leaping means the ten commandments
11 Pipers Piping means the eleven faithful apostles
12 Drummers Drumming means the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle's Creed
So today, as I turn on my tree lights and bow my head in prayer...I look to the song for my teachings.  I remember that this time is the 12 days of Christmas.  I will sing the 12 days of Christmas song to remind myself of how fortunate I am to be able to sing of my faith without any repercussions.  . 

The best Gift I ever got

Good morning and Merry Christmas.  For me, Christmas began last night.  Christmas Eve has always been the beginning of the season for me...but more so last evening. 
I began my evening at a candlelight service at the Salvation Army.  It was a night filled with emotion.  As we took the audio trip back in time to Bethlehem and sang the songs that are so befitting the coming of Christ...I was overtaken with emotion.  The major presented a most amazing take on the story.  Fear and joy.  How we can have both of these emotions at the same time in so many facets of our life.  How true that is on so many levels.  For me, life has made so many twists and turns.  So much had happened in the past 60 years of my life.  I contemplated the Christmas' of past.  I thought about all the preparations and all the traditions.  I thought of how much I tried to keep it all up.  I contemplated what they meant to me and to others.  Then, last night...I just wondered where it all went?  I thought about all those who were involved in those days of long ago.  I thought about the countless nights of lost sleep and pure exhaustion.  I thought about how many times I have washed and cleaned, shopped and wrapped, prepared and cooked meals.  I made sure that no one was left out.  No corner had been forgotten.  I made the cookies and the fudges, decorated the tree, the outdoors and just about every room of the house.  I wrote Christmas cards and made gifts....and until last night...I never realized how I had not stopped to truly take in the reason for it all.  Yes, I can say that I did it for all those that are precious to me...family and friends...but somehow... in that quant chapel, I understood why.  It was the same reason that Christ came to us.  It was all out of love. 
Today, as I no longer have family near to celebrate with...I remember that even my Savior is no longer present in human form, but has never left me. What a gift I received.  In fact, I reopen that gift continuously.  
Last night, my eldest granddaughter became engaged.  As I looked upon both her and her fiancés faces I received yet another gift.  Their smiles portrayed love. Love is the reason  for the season.  Love for all mankind.  I was given yet a second gift last night.  I played a large part in her life and to see her happy and filled with love and standing next to the man who loves her unconditionally was amazing...to say the least.  As I looked at the picture of them...I saw myself.  I remembered what it was like. I remember the fear and the joy.  The fear of what the future holds and the joy of being in the moment.  I remember the gift of Christmas...the gift of that baby.  That package in swaddling clothes that was filled with love.  I never really thought this hard about how much the actual picture scene tells us.  It wasn't just a baby...but a family.  A struggle....yes struggle.  Imagine Mary and Joseph and the situation they were in.  Mary with child...not of Joseph....a man wanting to find the child...to end His life...and no where for them all to stay. Travelling that was long and hard.  The kindness of an innkeeper.  Let us all remember that the scene was of a FAMILY, it was filled with kindness and love.  May you open that gift today. Merry Christmas from my house to yours.

The Christmas Tree Surprise

Good morning everyone.  Well, Christmas is just days away and as I sit here in my living room, I cannot help but think back in time.  I guess my thoughts are brought on by the saying :what we do out of love".  I remember all the years of growing up as a young girl and racing home on the last day of school to decorate the Christmas tree with my Grandfather.  I can remember bursting through the door only to be greeted by the aroma of Christmas.  The smell of the fresh pine tree, hot chocolate and freshly popped popcorn.  It was a thrill to string the popcorn, drink the cocoa and listen to Bing Crosby on the phonograph player.  My grandfather would put on the bubble lights and grandma would carefully unwrap all the glass ornaments.  We would trim the tree circling the finished product with popcorn strings and finish it all off carefully with tinsel.  Oh, what a memory!
When I married...the unfortunate choosing of a bad tree a couple years in a row caused my husband to want only fake trees.  If disturbed me each year thinking that my girls wouldn't get the same experience of a real tree.  It bothered me so much...that one year...I secretly purchased a small 3 1/2 foot tree and hid it from my family.  We decorated the fake tree and on Christmas Eve, upon arriving home and putting the girls to bed...I revealed to my husband what I had hiding in the shed.  I made him bring in the tree and I had secretly gotten everything ready to decorate it.  I had decided that I wanted it to be the very first thing that my girls saw when them opened their bedroom door on Christmas morning.  So very quietly, we decorated this wonderful fresh tree in the hallway right outside of the bedroom door.  The thrill of them seeing that sparkling, popcorn trimmed, tinsel clad tree had me lying awake all night.  I put a note on the tree wishing them Merry Christmas from Santa and began a trail of presents that started under that tree into the dining room, circling around the dining room table leading into the living room and under the main tree. 
When Christmas morning arrived...I was pleasantly surprised with the squeals of joy that came from the girls when the saw that tree.  The smell was just amazing...and the sight of the tree and two VERY thrilled little girls was truly one of my finest Christmas gifts ever.    They talked about it all day long and for many years to come.  Today as I sit here thinking about that day...it brings a smile to my face.  Today, there are no longer children in the house for Christmas. The house is empty with only memories left of those precious years and those golden memories.  What I did for my love for them...was a gift for me as well.  A gift that lasted over time.  When I look at my tree and gaze into the lights...I still remember the way that small little pine tree gave way to a very special Christmas.  I don't remember what was in all those boxes trailing through the house...but I have never forgotten the tree and the smile on my girls faces. 
It is no wonder that when I hear the words to the song by Bing Crosby..."When you trim your Christmas Tree...think of me...beside you." That Grandma and Grandpa and my daughters are with me in spirit. 
Oh Christmas Tree....Oh Christmas Tree...HOW LOVELY ARE YOUR BRANCHES.

Christmas Spirit Returns

Good morning to all.  Well, what a difference that a day makes.  Yesterday's Christmas party perked up the Christmas spirit.  What a great time spent with friends.  A room filled with artists and friends.  One of the things that we did was collect toys for tots and had 2 marines there to take the gifts.  2 very nice young men.  During our conversations...we all commented on how very young they were.  I commented on how...when we were that young...the young men seemed so grown up...now that we have crept into the golden years...they looked like babies!  What a difference the day can make! 
I met a lovely women yesterday who has joined the group....I had actually met her on facebook and now...she has joined our guild.  It was such a pleasure.  She is a wonderful addition and I was pleased to have an opportunity to have a nice conversation with her. 
Later on in the day...I attended a Come to Bethlehem at the Salvation Army.  What a stupendous job they do recreating that time for all to experience.  Walking from room to room, we were told the story of the birth of Christ.  From Caesar to the shepherds and wise men. From the messages given to Mary and Joseph to searching for the star and finding a baby wrapped in a blanket you retravelled that time in history.  Afterwards,. there was a magnificent concert.  It was filled with the spirit of Christmas!  I sang my heart out.  Tears flowed from my eyes as I sang the verses of "O Little Town of Bethlehem"....truly feeling in God's Presence.  What a wonderful change in my spirit.  It was a blessing indeed.  It reminded me of how wonderful life is and how truly blessed I am.   The Salvation Army is welcoming to all.  They don't try to twist any arms to coming there....just instill the suggestion of finding your own place of worship...and if you don't have one...to feel free to join them.  If you ever have the opportunity to attend a Walk to Bethlehem with the Salvation Army...I would highly recommend going.
Upon returning home with some friends...we played some cards and then had the Christmas gift discussion.  You know the one....the one about what to buy people.  How many struggle with the whole "I HAVE to get something for this one and that one!"  I am once again reminded of a young boy's comment to me...."Mrs. Claus" .  when he told me his 3 choices for Christmas gifts...and I asked if there was anything else...his comment was simply..."why should I receive more than Jesus received?  After all...it is HIS birthday we are celebrating!"  Well...out of the mouths of babes!  We often forget that the gifts are a symbol of Love.  It so reminds me of the part of the movie with Loretta Young, David Niven and Cary Grant in The Bishop's Wife...where at the end...the minister speaks of getting a tie and the pipe....and how we need to remember the true meaning.  Recently, my granddaughter send me a picture of gifts that she was MAKING!  MAKING....I was so very proud of her.  That is truly a gift of love and friendship.  A gift of caring enough to give of your time....it took me back to the morning party and one women shared that after many years of exchanging....the chose to exchange only handmade gifts.  The giving of oneself....now that is a precious gift.  That is a true symbol of the meaning of the day.  That makes me want to do more and more to make people happy.  It is the little things in life that I have found thrill me.  It is the memories and not the presents that keep my heart full.  My Christmas spirit has returned.  It seems that it just had to take a walk down memory lane.  I don't care what others seem to put out there.  This Politically correct business seems to only work for those who want THEIR opinions to be heard and don't care about those whose opinions and beliefs are being offended.  I choose to say YES to my savior and His miraculous birth....I am not asking anyone to change their beliefs...just be kind and gracious enough to let me have MINE!  Today I will strive to share the Love of the season.  I will strive to make each day special in the name of the season.

Christmas Season Time

Good morning to everyone.  It has been quite a while since I had been at my post....So much has gone on and so much to deal with.  It has been a struggle to get through this season....many reasons behind it.  A lot a friends who have been ill...a very close friend lost her battle with cancer.  Others are battling the monster at this moment.  I seem to have lost the spirit and the energy that goes along with this season. Thanksgiving was dampened with the thoughts of the following day of a wake to attend. But non the less...a lot that I am thankful for. 
I recently picked up a wonderful book at a good will store and it is filled with amazing stories of Christmas spirit.  It reminded me of what the season stands for...and what I should be celebrating.  I have been in such a state lately...I am really missing the holiday that I used to have.  How do you capture that when the house is void of your children and grandchildren?  When they are too far away to be with on the holiday?  Today I read about the love of the season.  How to spread that love onto others.  Tonight I will visit a walk to Bethlehem and enjoy the concert.  I will be there with friends...how wonderful is that?  Tomorrow I will go on a candlelight tour of a historical home with my friends in the Red Hats...how exciting!  I have finally put up my Christmas tree...and the sparkle of the lights have seemed to brighten my spirits.  I have wrapped some special gifts to ship to the grandchildren and as I prepared them, I was filled with joy over the thought of what thrill they might bring! Today I will enjoy my Christmas party with my painting friends...it is sure to be colorful!  So why the blahs?  Just missing some of the days of old.  Missing the people who made it so special for me.  Missing the get up and go that sometimes fibromyalgia seems to rob from me.  I continue to push myself to get things done...but lately have needed to stop, drop and rest.   I guess we all have to remember that time is so relevant in our lives...we need to remember to take the time to remember...take the time to relax...and take the time to enjoy.  Sometimes, I feel that I just don't have enough time in my day to do all that I want to do...so I have to start to make the time. Starting today...time is going to be on my side!  Hope you do the same.

Gifts of the Earth

Good morning to everyone. Another beautiful October day is expected here in the Niles Illinois area.  This is absolutely my favorite time of the year and yet I have so little time to enjoy it due to the nature of what I do for a living.  The best that I can say is that I really enjoy what I do. 
Well, as for today's picture of the day...I am sharing some clouds.  I took this picture because of the colors.  They are not intense, but soft.  It gives me a soft feeling.  A wispy effect.  When you think of clouds...often times you might think of them in white.  This photo shows me very little white.  More of creams and touches of very light yellows and shades of pinks. There are very faint hints of lavender as well as the blues.  It is really amazing to me how much there really is to things.  It really speaks volumes if you take the time to look.  Each day there is something new out there that one can appreciate if they only take the time. 
Well, on to today's blog. I thought that I would share a walk that I recently took to the Biblical Gardens.  What an amazing place.  It is in Warsaw Indiana.  The gardens can be found behind there tall stoned walls.  In this garden are only the plants and the trees that are found in the Bible. In the Bible it states: Genesis 1:29-30
Then God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food"; and it was so.
I walked in the garden amongst Quince to Olive trees, I walked in pure delight of my surroundings.  I found sweet gum spread out on the grounds and was told that I could take them if I wished.  I of course was thrilled.  Another project for my work table.  There was a gorgeous grape vine gazebo that appeared more like a bridge.  There were ponds filled with goldfish and a dry pond with just rocks.  Each with its own appeal.  When speaking with the grounds keeper...I discovered that they use goldfish instead of koi because people steal the koi!  Can you imagine?  And in a biblical garden yet? 
As I continued to walk the gardens I found it interesting at home many of the plants that I could identify. I had studied the herbs many years ago.  I found it so interesting that in the beginning, the native Americans chose plants to use medicinally by the shape of their leaves.  For instance...the heart shaped leaves of the Digitalis (Foxglove) was determined as a good plant for the heart. It seems that today...we know so little of what is out there.  From the beginning of time...we were gifted with amazing trees and plants and yet so many pay attention to them. 
Today we use chemicals to scent our homes. We use chemicals to care for our bodies.  We breathe in chemicals and eat them as well.  Something has definitely gone wrong with this world when we were given everything we need to survive and no longer trust it. 
If you have the chance to walk through such a garden...in fact any garden...stop and look closely at it.  Pay attention to each and every detail.  Perhaps you would like to take a picture or sketch it...then go home and read up on it.  I once read a book that states plants grow in your garden because you need them.  It also stated that you are drawn to the plants that you need.  Go home and look it up...see what meaning is there for you.  
Every time I look at the Sage plant...I cannot help but think of the SAGE....the wise man.  Is it any wonder that Sage is shown to improve cognitive function in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's Disease.  Sage was also used in a tincture to make after shave splashes in the Victorian times to keep men awake at work. 
So wake up and smell the herbs!!  It might very well be what you need! 
As a precaution....read about things before you touch...especially if you are pregnant...for instance:  The Pennyroyal...in the family of mints....if touch by a woman who is pregnant might cause a miscarriage.  Just by touching you may ask...YES...the oil from the plant penetrate through your skin!  Pennyroyal is a wonder plant to use to deter fleas.  I used to wrap it around my dog's collar....put under a carpet will deter mice from crossing over it...but it also has it's flip sides...so a word of warning.  Be careful...be smart....be safe! 

A Bald Head and the Owl

Good morning.  I can't tell what type of day it is going to be yet...the sun is just starting to peak it's head up from the horizon.  I have plenty on the agenda for today.  Getting ready for the Grove show in Glenview.  Painting and then some more painting is in my future. My photo for the day is of a display in a nearby resale shop.  I thought their use of gloves was amazing.  How creative.   
Today's blog is about a ghost story.  One of my favorite stories to tell is about the bird woman....the LeChuza.  It is a great story of a black bridge and the fear connected to the spot...all because of the LeChuza.  With the proper voice and just right timing....a great scary tale.  As I told the story on Saturday, it made me remember an actual tale of my very own...the OWL.  You see, as a child, I would sit on the front porch of my grandparents home after dinner every night.  We would like in there Dove Grey Rocking chairs and usually stitch or crochet.  My grandfather was rocking one evening when I asked the question.  The question that no man wants to ever hear.  I proceeded to ask him why he didn't have any hair.  Well, my grandfather....bless his heart...couldn't explain that it was part of the aging progress and that some men might be more prone to others when it came to losing hair.  No, my grandfather proceeded to tell me a STORY of how he lost his hair...and to make matters worse...at the time...I BELIEVED him and his story. 
With a tense voice he began to explain how one summer...it was so hot out and the heat continued through the night.  With our homes so close to one another...there was no way for air to filter through the gangways and into the windows of our bedrooms.  He said that no matter how many times he washed himself down with water from the sink, he couldn't seem to cool down.  He finally gave up and took his pillow and a lounge chair and set himself up a makeshift bed on the front porch.  Now outside of our home sat this great big Catalpa Tree.  It seemed that an owl decided to perch itself in the branches and called it home.  Grandpa proceeded to explain that the owl in the tree was a female and that she was on the lookout for nesting materials.  Since she was a nocturnal animal....what better time that in the middle of the night to search.  Grandpa was a sitting duck, so to speak.  He said that once he got comfortable and an occasional breeze aided in the ability to finally fall asleep, the owl sat watch.  That night was the perfect night for the owl to come down off of its perch and peruse the area.  She must have noticed the white hair on my grandfathers hear shining under the light of the moon and swooped down to take a closer look.  Upon landing, she decided that it was perfect for her nest.  She silently crept forward until she was close enough to peck away.  She pulled strand by strand  of grandfather's crowning glory until he finally felt an uncomfortable pull which woke him.  Upon his waking, the owl flew away with all his hair in her mouth.  He told me that was why he only had hair around the very bottom which wrapped around the lower portion of his head. 
This petrified me of being out of doors at night and especially in any vicinity of that Catalpa tree for fear that the owl would decide she needed some of MY hair.  I can remember countless evenings when I would be sitting there on the porch and would suddenly hearing the sound of the owl.  I would begin getting fidgety in my seat and finally get up and go indoors.  One evening my grandmother...already suspecting that grandfather's story was the basis for my fear, pulled out a cotton babushka (a scarf) and handed it to me to tie around my head.  She told me that it would keep the owl from seeing my hair.  I tied that babushka on my head every evening.  As I got older and was a babysitter down the street for 3 boys, I would have to walk home in the evening.  I pretty much had figured out that my grandfather had made up that story....but I must admit...each time I came close to that Catalpa Tree...my walk became quickened and upon reaching the tree...I ran past until I reached the stairs to safety.  It was many years later when I realized my grandfathers gift of gab and his ability to tell a whopper.  I always wondered how he came up with the idea of an owl...and it finally dawned on me that he smoked White Owl Cigars....that had to have been his inspiration. 
copyright...by Debi Gajewski

2 sides of the coin

Good morning to all.  It has been quite some time since I had the opportunity to blog.  I have been on a whirlwind of things and starting fresh in the morning until the dead of the night...I have just not had the ability to sit down and write up something.  I have missed it terribly.  This time of the year gets so unbelievably hectic for me, between the rehearsals of stories for Halloween and working on painting projects I barely can more at night and in the morning, my hands are still swollen from the day before. 
I decided that today I would like to blog about the season.  I have noticed that the trees have turned color and dropped their leaves much quicker than before. Hence my picture of the day.    It seems as though we are about 3 weeks earlier into the season that we have been in the past.  This makes me wonder what the winter will be like.  My birds are definitely pecking away more food than even last year.  Funny, how when we are young...we don't think much about the ensuing winter months...mostly because it really didn't matter...Snow meant snowmen, sleds, snowballs fights.  As adults, it means shoveling, ice, driving in unfavorable conditions. 
Sub temperatures as a kid meant hot chocolate, long underwear, inside games.  For adults it means sweaters, higher gas and electric bills and uncomfortable breathing when you leave the house. 
I began to notice how very different life is from the perspective of the children versus adults.  Reading what I have just written...I must say that it is not always a half filled glass for the adults...because we hopefully have gained so much through the years that we can appreciate what is before us. 
I performed at the Museum yesterday and there were only adults in attendance for the ghost stories.  Now...I must admit...a room of adults is so thrilling for me because I can tell much more advanced ghost stories...but I was prepared with both.  Unfortunately there were no children and that was a disappointment for the museum.  They had put their best foot forward in making provisions for the children.  There was candy galore...comic books, cartoons and more.  We as adults could soooo appreciate this!  But in our conversation over the lack of children...discussed how the things that we are accustomed to for entertainment...are not always where the children's minds are at.  We discussed how the are all with their phones and electronics.  We joked over the future type of surgeries.  There will be plenty of carpal tunnel surgeries and we had agreed that there would be some thumb surgeries or perhaps trigger finger surgeries in their future.  Children seem to enjoy the visual entertainments rather than the audio.  I have to question their strength as far as their imaginations go when everything is set right in front of them.  They have everything at a fingers touch away.  In my day, it was an imagination away.  I cannot refute how amazing the computer is today...but it has caused us to become less tenacious when it comes to searching out anything.  It is now so instantaneous!  I enjoyed the hunt and the challenges that were there through the years...and even though I use the computer for many things...the physical hunt is still the most excitable to me.  Is there a need for our youth today to go on a hunt of any kind? 
I recently watched a recap show of Carol Burnett.  I have put together a wonderful program that is currently being booked for me to perform.  As I watched some of her shows, I found myself roaring with laughter.  She and her cast were some of the funniest characters around.  While watching...I had to wonder just how many of our youth today have been exposed to such greats as Carol Burnett, Tim Conway or Harvey Corman?  Would they even know who they are?  As I watched the scene where Carol is dressed in an outfit that Bob Macke made from window curtains as a take off of the outfit from Gone With the Wind...I questioned whether a young person today would get the joke...and then I even questioned whether they had even seen Gone With the Wind? 
I watched as I saw amazing costumes and show tunes fill the hour.  I thought about how different todays entertainment is and how much the youngsters are missing. I could not help but wonder how many classics from my lifetime will fade away.  I am grateful that some books are still being insisted upon in schools for readings.  Pride and Prejudice for example.  I was thrilled the day my granddaughter discussed the book with me.  I hope that her future and the future of her children will be enriched with both what is in the present and still what has come to pass.  As so many of our amazing movie stars have gone onto to become some heavenly stars ...I hope that the youth will take an interest in the legacies they have left behind.  I pray that they will appreciate what was here before as I appreciate what is yet to become.  Tomorrow is filled with question marks.  Hope for what is yet to become.  I look forward to what will be new.  I hope in all the rush to get to the future that the past and present doesn't become erased.  I hope that some of the simple pleasures can be reintroduced to the young generation.  I hope that they will see the value in both sides of the coin. 
I hope that the Super Heroes of tomorrow are still some of the real heroes of today and yesterday and that even the imaginary ones will still be there as well.  As for the youth...they too will grow up and age and look back...hopefully, when they look back, they will see a fulfilled life as I have.  Something that they too will be able to look at and compare.   

Back Pain Remedy That Rocks

Good morning to everyone.  Well, Friday is here and another weekend is upon us.  There is so much to do in fall...what a great time to get in a car and go for a drive.  The colors of the leaves are truly spectacular!  I see that the weather is really changing today into very wet and VERY cold for this time of the year.  they are even predicting a bit of snow mix in the northern parts of Illinois....BRRR!!  Time to pull out those hoodies.  
Today's picture is a farewell to the summers garden.  I took this picture of one of this fairy.  It is time to take the garden treasures and store them away for the winter.  I love the way this fairy has rusted.  I am hoping to capture the look of rust when I draw and paint her.  This will be a wonderful project during the winter on a bleak day! 
Well on to todays blog. It is interesting to have found an old folk cure book  at the Good Will.  I am always in search of a good book or 2 or 22.  LOL...I am a huge book collector for many reasons.  Now, this particular book was rather interesting.  If you have read some of my other blogs..and have begun to know me a bit...you will know that I don't believe in accidents...everything happens for a reason.  Now...I grabbed this book off the shelf because it's lead title was chicken soup and I thought it was another chicken soup for the soul book...but it turned out to be chicken soup and other folk remedies.  One of the section was about back pain.  Since I suffer from lower back pain...I read this section thoroughly.  It was most interesting to find out that the Rocking Chair was first built in America.  The second piece of information was that it was deemed the healthiest seat to sit in!  It was discovered by a leading back problem Dr. in England...that the rocking chair seems to block nerve impulses that produce lower back pain.  It was also discovered that aside from being good for circulation it is also has a relaxing effect for us tensed up people.  I always knew that my Grandma and her rocking chair were the key to a happier life.  I have been in search for a special rocker ever since I started with my arthritis...never knowing it's medical prescription...just because I always had good memories of my Grandmother.  I have now decided to treat myself to one the next trip I make to the Amish country.  I am determined to find just the right chair for me. 
As I continued to read the book...another discovery that they state is to avoid sugar and sugar drinks.  It went on to say that the sugars put an extra strain on the kidneys and adrenals glands which in turn causes back pain.  It also tells one to drink less fluids and to each more foods with liquid in them...suck as vegetables, salads and raw fruits. Another additional suggestion was cooking black beans, first soaking over night to remove the gas bloating effects, then to cook and each a couple tablespoons a day for month and then every other day for an additional month.  They suggest at the end of the 2 months that your back pain should have improved.  If it does to continue this.    Who would have ever imagined?
Well, it seems that some of the old remedies have stepped up and tapped me on the shoulder today.  Gram never made mention of the rocking chair as an aid to her back pain...but then again...I never asked.  I don't ever recall her sitting in any other chair...and since she too had Psoriatic Arthritis, perhaps that was her little well kept secret!    

The Adams Family's "IT"

Good morning to everybody.  A very gloomy day today in my area.  Rain storms are expected here today and it certainly looks like that will happen. 
Oh the pain that will develop through out today on my body because of it. 
Well, today's blog is about holiday decorating.  I was thinking back in time over all those years that I went to the max decorating the house for the holidays.  It was such a thrill for me to do it every year.  Each time, I tried to put a different spin on it.  I loved Halloween, that was the start of the decorating.  The pumpkins, corn stalks and bales of hay followed by the ghosts and goblins of the season.  Now that it is just the 2 of us again...the desire is there, but the energy is gone. It is not so much in the putting it up as it is in the taking it down!  Recently I saw a picture of "it" from the Adams Family.  It was done up as a holiday decoration. I thought it was so cool that I went ahead and purchased the items that will be needed to make it.  It needed a Hawaiian grass skirt...which I managed to snag at the Good Will for $2.00 and a tomato cage...got that in the yard.  I had picked up a pair of Sunglasses at the dollar store and have a black top hat from a snowman kit.  All ready to go.  I thought he would be adorable at the front door to greet the trick or treaters.  So I think today I will assemble him and put outdoors with a pumpkin.  It will be interesting to see whether he will make the kids wonder whether he is real or not. 
At least he will be something new and different. 
I have a memory of the Adams Family from when I was a child.  It was actually on Christmas Day.  I know, an odd memory!  But it was on one Christmas Day that my mother was actually home for the day...being that she was a working mother and worked in a restaurant, she was not often home on a holiday.  Well, that particular day, she was and I can still see it as though it were just yesterday and not 50 years ago.  We were sitting at the kitchen table and we were playing a board game while we snacked on her famous pineapple and cream cheese dip with potato chips while the Adams Family was on the television in the background.  It made for such a lasting memory.  It seems that the Adams Family has been a Christmas memory ever since!  It is no wonder that finding how to make "It"  was near and dear to my heart...I would leave it up for Christmas...but I am sure the neighbors might think me a bit off the mark...unless I added some holly to his hat. LOL. I suppose those who like "The Nightmare Before Christmas" might just like "IT" for the Holidays.
Lastly, I wanted to display the picture that I just took of the baby watermelon that we grew.  Many of the plants are in pots and this particular watermelon plant was in the dirt...but the trailers of the plant grew on our driveway.  The funniest part of this was that we had a number of watermelons grow and this one was substantially the largest.  Go figure that one.    

Barking up the Wrong Tree?

Good morning to everyone.  Well, another gorgeous day outside...although rain and storms are predicted for later in the day.  Lately, I am realizing that we are coming close to winter once again and I am taking advantage of all that this season has to offer.  If you are following this blog...one of the sides that I have chosen is a picture a day.  Here is today's picture. 
Yes, it is a stump.  My reason for this was to study the many textures and colors that are there.  It is funny how most might just say that it is a brown stump...and yet when upon closer inspection, there are so many layers of colors.  When I enlarged it I found shades of grays, umbers, whites and even blues.  It is interesting to me that the bark of a tree can tell us so much. Plus, each tree has its individual bark patterns.  All trees are not created equal.  When we look at a tree's bark we see it as one layer when in fact it has multiple layers...with each layer having a purpose.   Beginning with the center of the tree...first we have Heartwood, next is Sapwood, then Vascular Samblum...then we reach the outer bark...that is comprised of layers called Living Phloem and then the Periderm which sub contains Cork and Cork Camblum. 

When I think about bark...I also think of it's medicinal values.  There are many barks that are used in herbal remedies...suck as Slippery elm bark  used as a mucilaginous herb internally to coat and soothe mucous membranes while also absorbing toxins which can cause intestinal imbalances_  It comes with a multitude of benefits. Just search for its plethora of benefits.

There is Witch Hazel Bark which is an astringent bark is most often used topically to tighten and tone tissue, fight infection, and soothe irritation. Common uses include bug bites, acne, cellulite, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, and cuts and scrapes.  We have  White Willow Bark which is technically a pain reliever.  There is also  Alder Bark which increases circulation and blood flow while tightening, toning, and healing tissues. It has application with gut damage, immune infections, toothache, and more...and the list goes on.  It is funny how we don't see the bark of the tree as a valuable commodity. 

Every time we uncork a bottle of wine we are in contact with the bark of a tree...although we never stop to think about cork coming from the tree bark.  Many of us even us bark chips for mulching around our plant beds without connecting the dots. 

So I guess my point here is that there are so many things that we take for granted.  There are many layers to the bark of a tree.  Many markers that make them different.  The next time you admire a tree...stop and really look at all that it has to offer...You may be pleasantly surprised.

Behind the Scenes

Good morning everyone.  Well today will  a much cooler one than yesterday.  Last night a breeze came through this are and dropped the temperatures down substantially.  Today, we are looking at a high of 60 where yesterday it was 85.  I won't complain since I like the weather cooler. 
Well, yesterday was a very enjoyable day.  I took our seminar teacher to the airport and on the way home I stopped at a nearby lake to take a few pictures.  I am posting one that really caught my eye.  My initial desire was to capture the leaf so that during the winter months I can paint it...but I came home with something much more on the snapshot.  In this picture I began to notice how many shadows are cast.  Bits and pieces of highlights and shadows were everywhere.  The lighting was critical in this picture.  It not only showed the layers of the leaves but also brought the spotting of the leaves to the forefront.  
When I thought about this...the effect that the sunshines has on its surroundings...it made me stop and think about how a sunny disposition can change not only your own feeling and attitude but also those around you.  It is hard to be in a bad mood when you are around someone who emits a sunny outlook.  Someone who has a upbeat, happy disposition leaves an imprint on those that they are with.  A smile from you can cause another person to smile even if they are not thinking about smiling.   The sun in this photo is not visible in the true sense of visibility...but it's imprint is left on the leaves, the tree and the grass.  It leaves a shine, some shadows, and highlights.  It makes this picture worth a thousand words..so to speak.  That makes me want to be that sunshine in the course of a day.  Perhaps something I can do will effect others in a positive way.  It will highlight someone's talent perhaps....perhaps I can effect someone to do something that will effect ANOTHER person....causing a shadowed effect.  Maybe I will do something that will make someone realize that what they see as a flaw they can turn it around and see as part of their person beauty just like in the leaves blemishes.  I am amazed and happy that I took this time to stop and take a few pictures.  I am even more happy to have taken the time to really LOOK at them.  There is more than meets the eye in everything if we only stop and SEE it.   

My 60th Birthday

Well, good morning to everyone.  I have been busy for a few days and not able to get to the computer to post a blog and today I am finally at a point to sit down and think a bit.  Well, today is the BIG one...the big 60...how did this happen is all I keep thinking.  No other year has bothered me...but this one seems to sting a bit.  I have to say that I am one very fortunate woman to have made it to this point and I am grateful for all the amazing people who have walked this life path with me.  Some are as old as I am some are spanking new...but no matter who you are...I am so grateful God has placed you in my life. 
Now, I have to include here my reasoning behind my dreading this birthday.  The major thing is the illnesses that seemed to have plagued me this year...making me feel old.  There are days when I seriously look at something on my bucket list of wanting to do and knowing that I will not be able to complete them.  And to top that off, knowing that the clock is ticking away on some of the others.   60 years of age is not the end all of life here...but coupled with the disabilities for many things is. 
Now....to look on the flip side of this age thing...I am so grateful for so many things.  I am grateful for my husband, my children and my grandchildren.  I am grateful to have lived this long to watch them all grow in this lifetime, become amazing people who I am proud of.  I am grateful for my amazing group of friends that have surrounded me with love and friendship.  My red hat group has been an aid to seeing and doing so many wonderful things.  My painting groups have given me exposure to so many different art forms and skills.  I am thrilled to still have the connections to so many people in my life.  Today, I want to celebrate life.  Not necessarily my life...but all those who are in it.  They are my gifts for the day.  When I lay my head down on the pillow at the end of a day...I am good knowing I have been so blessed by God with all that I have.  Yes...ALL that I have.  All the trials and tribulations have contributed to making me who I am. It is no only the good things that build character, but the troublesome things that teach me how to handle tragedies, sadness and loss.  I have learned to accept the downfalls because I will learn how to pick them up.  I compare that to an apple tree.  The apple tree blossoms, has fruit, the fruit falls...but there are endless possibilities from the fallen fruit.  From pies, to cakes, to applesauce, down to dehydrating them to consume or use for crafting.  There is a plethora of things to do with items that have fallen down...and I am no different.    I am grateful for the opportunities that have been presented to me along the way.  They have taught me how to grow, accept and how to get to the finish line.  It doesn't matter how long that takes...just that you keep trying.  So, today on this the 60th Birthday, I applaud all of the gifts that have been given to me by God.  Thanks to all the amazing surprises that have happened along the way. 

Coincidence or Not?

Good morning to everyone.  Friday has arrived.  A painting seminar is on its way today.  What a pleasure to host such a lovely teacher.  We had a productive time getting the seminar set up for today.  I had the nicest surprise from a member.  It is so like her to help out with just about anything...but especially touching to me because she had read my blog yesterday and knew how much pain I was in...so she made sure to come out to help.  It is moments like that when I truly know I am blessed to have such friendship.  A big thank you Chris.  Your caring made my day! 
As for today's picture...I thought I would share this photo from the Ten Chimneys.  It is the strangest thing that happened.  I never really watch The Waltons, and oddly enough I turned on the television and without turning the dial because I had started to work on something...I heard the name of Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontaine.  Imagine my surprise to hear those names...they owned the Ten Chimneys.  I hear it right after being there...names not commonly used.  It is circumstances like that when I wonder if there is a hidden meaning for me.  Was I to learn something.  The home was magnificent and filled with art work...am I to do something specific?  What are the odds of leaving that program on?  It just seemed like the strangest coincidence. 
Well, today's blog will be brief since I have to get to the seminar to open.  So I will leave this thought today...Are there hidden messages and guides for us out there?  Are we to take the lead after experiencing something like this?  Perhaps we are just to reflex on it.  Perhaps the universe is telling us we did the right thing.  Whatever the case...it was the oddest coincidence. 

Endurance

Good morning everyone. I hope this finds you well.  It is an interesting adventure blogging.  I wish there was a way to ask readers to comment.  When blogging, there are many roads to travel down and I have chosen to use mine as a somewhat thought provoking one...I just wish that I knew how any of my readers felt.  It is interesting to me to see whether they are affected or touched in anyway.  Do you get any inspiration or has the particular blog taken you to a similar situation?   Do you come back to read more?  If you are reading any of these blogs and have a moment...I would love to hear your comments and thoughts.  Thanks.
Well, in accordance with my picture a day...I am posting a picture I just took outside my front door.  It always amazes me that in the coolness of fall, my bushes have yet another bloom.  This is my Weigelia  bush.  It is a delightful bush that first blooms in May. Originally, I planted this bush in our old home.  My mother in law took a cutting and we planted that cutting here in our current home.  It has grown many time to over 8 ft tall and I have cut it down year after year and it comes back full with these amazing flowers.  I am thrilled to see it has thrived and continues to thrive.  If I sell and move, this will be the one bush that I will make numerous cuttings from to plant wherever I go. 
Well, today's blog was brought on because of that flower...it is about endurance.  The thought of endurance was brought on by the rough night that I had.  I have a number of diseases, with fibromyalgia and psoriatic arthritis as 2 of them that cause me the most difficulty as far as pain. Yesterday was an extremely difficult day to get through.  It was a an exceptionally early start and I was on a roll through out the day.  It is really something when you look at the clock hanging on the wall and feel like the day has elapsed and realize it is only 10 AM.  Although...by that point and time, I have worked for 5 hours already.   I pushed past the pain, worked a number of hours more and then decided that I really couldn't handle it without some help.  Being allergic to anti-inflammatories, it makes getting the pain under control quite difficult...but I have endurance.  By 2 PM, I administer a pain patch on 2 locations that seems to be the worse.  I then move to another spot to work...hoping that will help a bit...but the pain continues.  Now it has spread to more areas...but I continue to work.  As I turn on the television to watch while I work, I cannot help but think of others that are affected with this type of pain and decide that it is the gift of endurance that gets us through. Never giving in to it is a difficult task, but a needed one.  I have the biggest fear of giving in and then it takes over and will leave me there....helpless.  So, my stubbornness, my need to win takes over and I push more.  Many times others will tell me to relax...take it easy...everything will still be there tomorrow or the next day...but I question whether I will.  If I take it too easy...the pain actually worsens.  If I sit too long, the inability to get up to even answer the phone become crippling.  I have to look to my endurance to survive.  In the middle of the night...I move from side to side in hopes of finding a moment of unriddle pain.  I heat up the heating pad in the microwave and place it on my body and then move it from location to location hoping to ease some of the pain that is attacking and traveling.  Yes, traveling!  Having pain in just one area is one thing...but when it travels to various parts of your body and you feel as though there a bugs crawling everywhere inside your skin...it becomes more difficult to handle than one can imagine  .  At 4 AM the pain is more than I can bear...so now I am awake and not able to return to sleep.  I know that if I don't do something...it will be another day of misery.  So I drag my body to the microwave, heat the heating pad again and attempt sleep. I am happy to say that even though it took another 40 minutes or so to fall back asleep, I am pleased to open my eyes to a dimly lit room and the realization that it is now 5:45.  I can handle the day a whole lot better now.  I have endured the worse night imaginable!  Am I out of pain now?  NO way...it is really a struggle to even sit.  The heating pad has already been rotated to several areas.  I await the time that I can eat so that I can take a pain pill without the nauseating stomache discomforts.  I have a very busy day ahead of me.  I will endure and push past the pain.  I will adjust how I do my work, but work I will!  To look at me...you would never imagine that there is anything wrong!  These diseases usually attack without warning.  You never know what the triggers are!  I just know that there is pain and the biggest question I ask myself is "What can I do to get past this and find my endurance? "  They say that "there is no rest for the wicked"  Well....look out wicked witch of the west....you are no match for me today!

Smiling On The Outside

Good morning to all.  I am amazed that it is already Wednesday.  Loads of things to do today.  Tomorrow begins a mini marathon for me.  I have a teacher coming to town for our painting chapter and it is my job to take care of her and turn the seminar.  Whew...time to put my running shoes on. Well, my photo for the day is of an amazing friend who is going through cancer.  She has begun chemo and has had some rough days but even through it all is still smiling and looks amazing.  I wanted to share what it looks like.  You would never look at this picture and imagine that any thing is wrong.  I am taking time to be grateful for both her friendship, her life and the lesson I learned today. 
As for today's blog I decided to write about a young girl named Priscilla. A long time back...my daughters met a young, brown haired brown eyed young girl.  She was taken in by a foster family.  This young girl was as sweet as the day is long.  She spent many days over at our home playing and eating dinner and spending the night.  My heart went out for her knowing her background and that her parents just were not able to care for her at the time.  Sometimes, even in the most difficult times, we tend to forget how troubled others lives are.  She seemed perfectly happy on the outside...but had to have been troubled on the inside.  
One day when I came home, my husband evidently had made some decision in his mind.  He pulled me into the bedroom and pulled my down on his lap and announced to me that he thought that we should adopt Priscilla.  I stared back at him as though he had lost his mind.  Not that the idea of adopting her was crazy...but that he really didn't understand that she was no adoptable!  I knew in that moment that I was going to have to set him straight and break his heart....and mine as well.  It was a tough conversation to get through....but the bottom line was that it was not a possibility. 
Time went by and eventually her father set up a place for her to return to.  We even sought her out and went to visit her.  Time went on and so did their lives and they moved and we lost touch.  Perhaps 25 years went by and my daughter found her again.  She is all grown up and doing well.  My daughter shared the story with her about our wanting to adopt her but knew that we couldn't.  She was touched by that.  She said she wished that we could have.  We never really know what is going on in a person's life by simply seeing them from the outside.  I always heard that you don't know a book by it's cover...and how true that statement is.  We do not know how bad someone has it.  All I know is that I can always find something in my day...no matter how bad the day or situation may be...that there is something of someone to be grateful for.    

The Front Porch

Good morning to all.  What a lovely day it is outdoors this morning.  I will be running around a bit today helping a friend in need.  More work is calling my name from my work table..so hopefully, today will be a good day for working as well.
Well, today's picture...one a day for a year, was taken this morning looking up into the sky.  Just a reminder of the beauty of the day as it begins. 
As for today's blog, I decide to write about the front porch.  I know that the front porch has been a staple in my life.  I have heard many things on a porch, from stories that my grandparents told, to stories that I have told to my children and my grandchildren.  I have sat and rocked on the front porch or my grandmothers and rocked on the porch of my daughter.  That front porch was there for me on my wedding day, and on the day that I wept when I lost my mother.  It was the porch that I sat on when I needed to pray for help and the same place that I have helped others up and down stairs. 
I remember sitting on the stoop as a child and playing mother may I and sat on the stoop of the porch while I watched my granddaughter draw on the sidewalk with chalk. 
Funny how life goes past us on the porch.  We can sit and watch the sunrise or set from that place.   It is the porch that acts as the entryway for a new baby to come home from the hospital and the last place from home that we leave from upon our death.  My front porch was the place that I embroidered and crocheted and read books from as a child.  It was the place I played with my Barbie dolls and the same place that I played with my children.  From my porch I listened to music on the radio and the melodies of the birds in the trees.  On my porch I have hung Christmas Lights and set out decorated pumpkins...the porch played the role of an easel.  It sets the stage for life.  So today, as you leave your home or perhaps when you return and walked onto your porch...stop for a moment and think about all the phases of your life that has crossed over that place.  All the special occasions and moments that were shared there.
The definition of a porch is simply and entryway.  It has many names...veranda, portico, lanai, gallery, piazza and stoop.  Whatever the name, wherever it is found...a porch is the entryway into our lives.  It holds the memories of when we come and when we go. 















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