Sunday, May 31, 2015

"Some of the greatest success stories of history have followed a word of
encouragement or an act of confidence by a loved one or a trusted friend. 
Had it not been for a confident wife, Sophia, we might not have
listed among the great names of literature the name of Nathaniel
Hawthorne.  When Nathaniel, a heartbroken man, went home to
tell his wife that he was a failure and had been fired from his job in
a customhouse, she surprised him with an exclamation of joy.
"Now, " she said triumphantly, "you can write your own book!"
"Yes," replied the man, with sagging confidence, and what shall we
live on while I am writing it?"
To his amazement, she opened a drawer and pulled out a
substantial amount of money.  "Where on earth did you get that?" he
exclaimed.  "I have always known you were a man of genius," she told
him.  "I knew someday you would write a masterpiece.  So every week,
out of the money you gave me for housekeeping, I saved a little bit.  So
here is enough to last us for one whole year."
From her trust and confidence came one of the greatest novels of
American literature, "The Scarlet Letter."
~written by Nido Qubein

I want to always look for opportunities to share encouragement.
I am filled with gratitude to those who have encouraged me along
 life's journey, no matter in what form it came.

By the way, thanks to everyone of you, for your visits, your comments, and your support. 

It means so much to me!

Thanks to my uncle for sharing his exceptional pictures with me, so that I can share them

with you:)  Don't you wish you could see the other 500 pictures too?  They are amazing!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Reflections from my heart this morning;

I have sat through Memorial services of good friends recently.  Each of those who were

honored, just happened to be the husband and the father of the family.  I listened intently

as those left behind, with heartbreak and sadness shared.   With memories flooding their

souls, they spoke of important and sometimes seemingly insignificant details they

longed to have us all know.  One learns a lot about people at Memorial services.  As

I sat in the audience, listening to the ones left behind, speaking, I came to a few of

my own conclusions.  Here are a few I came to;
~As a parent, all the trials and the errors that make up the
parenting role, and all the times one worries that they
failed in aspects of that role...will not be those things that are
shared.  No, "Love" remembers not those things.  "Love" remembers
the good in those who went away. 
"Love" remembers the strengths, the moments, the lessons learned,
the reassurances, the encouragements, all the life lessons...
"Love" remembers when everyone else walked out, the one who
walked in.

I heard about the leadership these men bestowed, the examples they
provided, and the lessons they taught.  Two of the adult children that
spoke at the one service, laughed as they shared how their dad
believed in hard work, and how chores were a big part of their Saturday

And, the gift of "time" given was paramount to all the memories shared.  Not one of

those who spoke, mentioned the material gifts that were bestowed on them as

being important aspects of their dads.  No that was not even mentioned.

I was reminded that kindness really does matter.  That lessons are learned.  That everyone

needs to feel cared for, and know that they are so important to you.  That words you

speak will linger, as the one man was remembered for the words "Keep up the good

work" that he spoke when saying his goodbyes to people.  A simple statement that

left a lasting impression. 

My conclusions to all I've heard, reminds me of a quote I read recently;

"These guys who fear becoming fathers don't understand that fathering is not

something that perfect men do, but something that perfects the man.  The end

product of child raising is not the child but the parent."   ~Frank Pittman, M.D.

As Father's Day rapidly approaches, I share these pictures of the loved
men in my family.  Deep gratitude fills my heart, with every thought of
these dear guys, and the children they have been blessed with.

The ones that they lead, they instruct, they give of their time to.

I pray that they are reminded on a daily basis, the importance they play in their roles... my family and in every family everywhere! 
I close with the words from the chorus of a song I heard years ago,
about what our worlds needs,
titled " A Few Good Men" by the Gaither Vocal Band;
"Men full of Compassion, who Laugh and Love and Cry-
Men who face Eternity and aren't afraid to die-
Men who'll fight for Freedom and Honor once again-
He just needs a Few Good Men."
Today I am thankful for my "few good men"!
I am also grateful for all the guys in my life, whether they are fathers
or not, they do play a big role in the lives of those around them.
Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Some holidays are busy with activities, and some are not.  This past weekend provided some
rare free time for my husband and I.  When I find myself with free time, I always discover
ways to fill it.  With such crystal clear weather, and lots of sunshine, I spent some
time learning new aspects of my camera.  You see, I am not one to read instruction books
right away.  No, I only do that if I run into snags and have to figure out how to do
what I want to do, in taking pictures. 

A few years ago, a good friend gave me three small peony plants.   Each year, these
plants produce more and more flowers.  Right now, there are so many gorgeous
flowers on those bushes, that I just had to share them with you.

One of my rose bushes is producing in abundance, and each delicate, fragrant flower
adds beauty to my home, too.

My mother's flower beds are filled with petunias.

It provided me with comfort and a peaceful feeling, as I took pictures of each exquisite,
colorful flower.

The pine tree contributed it's own source of color.

I like the lamp on my porch, and think that it's tiny lights add the right
touch to the old table.
Simple enjoyment on a holiday weekend.  I spent time thinking about
those living in Texas and Oklahoma over the weekend.  I cannot imagine what they
are going through with so much rain and wind.  Made me appreciate our sunshine
all the more.
Today, a good friend that I mentioned on the last post, went to heaven.
Another good bye in my world.
This is what I am resting in tonight;
"There is no place beyond His strength,
no boundaries to His love,
no limit to His mercies,
no problem outside His solution,
no need beyond His care."
~Roy Lessin
Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Last evening, we took a drive through the countryside, offering us a beautiful, yet simple
way to start out our holiday weekend.  After a long, cold winter, the sights before us
presented way too many photo ops for me.  It was a picture perfect evening!  For many,
sunny skies just extended the work day, as you can see by this picture.

Farmland always presents a calming, peaceful and orderly feeling to those passing by.

As you know from previous years, I cannot pass by roadside stands, offering fresh goodness
from the farms.  We came upon the attractive, clean, and good smelling farm store, about
45 minutes into our ride.

There were a plethora of signs on the lawn out front, adding enticement to a "must see" experience.

 Colorful, healthy looking flowers were everywhere!

Custom planted pots and hanging baskets, filled the front of the stand.  I found myself
wondering how they could keep everything looking so alive, and growing.

Fresh, homegrown rhubarb was the first of the vegetables that I came upon.  Now, I must
admit, I am not a rhubarb type of person, but what I immediately remembered when I
looked at the rhubarb, was the rhubarb quick bread that my friend Arlene brought along as
a treat to our Bible Study years ago.  Recently, I discovered her handwritten recipe in
my file, and knew I had to make it again.  I clearly remember how delicious it
had tasted, as she brought it warm from the oven, to our Thursday morning get-together.
I will share the recipe, and my attempt at making the bread, with you in another post.

Homegrown asparagus filled the blue tub.

Brilliantly red, ripe tomatoes were a picture waiting to be taken!

The sign above the cash register clearly said it all, and I found it to a great way to advertise
their success story, and the reason the small store was filled with people.  And...can I tell you,
the sweet aroma of the cider donuts frying, filled the air.

The first fresh, homegrown strawberries of the season, presented another photo opportunity,
as the filled pint boxes covered the entire counter.  I was told they had picked them that
morning.  I could not decide which one offered the most temptation for me...the cider donuts
or the boxes of strawberries:).

The sign out front advertised a very special treat.  Every Friday and Saturday, the magic

And, here is where it happened.  The spotless fryer and the girl operating it, produced these
best smelling morsels.  I bought a half dozen. 

My husband had two when we arrived home, with a cold glass of milk.  Celebrating the
holiday in simple fashion ...... works for him.  He raved about the taste, through every bite he
took.  We are both trying to forget now, that they make these delectable masterpieces,
every Friday and Saturday through the entire summer:)

The baked good shelves were filled with other goodies from their kitchen, and I found it
difficult to not purchase one of each.

Quiet, peaceful, serenity existed at this thriving produce stand in the middle of the farmland...

...providing scenes of relaxation...

...and hard work at the same time.  Nature was alive in every direction that we looked.

Another highlight, was dinner at one of our favorite restaurants.
The food was exceptional tasting and our server Jessica, added to our
evening memories.  Don't you just love to find restaurants where the
food and the service both receive high grades?

The glorious sunset seemed like the best way possible to end our Friday night
I wanted to share this with you.  The week is been a difficult one for us.  We
lost two good friends, and another dear friend had a stroke yesterday, at an
out of state hospital.  Our hearts were heavy as we rode, and yet at the same
time were filled with gratitude for the exquisite beauty and peacefulness that we took in
during the evening.  At times, it is good to get away and spend time in
thought and prayer.  It is comforting and soothing to our hearts.
Wishing you and your family, moments of joy as you spend time together 
this weekend.  
Also, our hearts are filled with gratitude towards everyone
who has served and is serving in our United States Military.  We are so
grateful for you, and we appreciated the many United States flags that
we saw flying during our ride... churches, schools, businesses, and by the driveways of private homes.
Freedom... is a huge gift!  May we never take it for granted!

Saturday, May 16, 2015


When you find a big, nice shaped acrylic bowl on the clearance shelf at Marshalls, and you
have a glass pillar candle holder in your attic, you might want to glue the two together,
creating a pedestal bowl. It works when you use E-6000 glue and let it set overnight. 
At completion,  you have a nice centerpiece container, or ice cream bowl server, or
maybe even a salad bowl.

If you happen to have blooming Azalea and Rhododendron bushes, you cut a few blooms, fill
bowl partially full with water, add a pillar candle, then arrange blooms in the water.

So simple, so inexpensive, and yet such an attractive way to create a centerpiece.

Their pretty, delicate blooms, add beauty to any table, or buffet table.

If you don't have flowering bushes, you may have pots of pansies, or maybe some growing
in your garden.

Another way to dress up your pedestal bowl creation.  I found adding a bit of the green leaves
and stems, adds to the look.

This is now what is sitting on my kitchen island.  I like seeing the pansy flowers floating in
the water around the pillar candle.

But, if you do not have access to real flowers, it even works if you have some bright red
faux geraniums from the craft store.  You can cut up the flowers and the greens, and
arrange them around the pillar candle.  No water needed in this arrangement.

You might choose to add a flag or two, for a Memorial Day table.

Once again, just me, sharing a little something with you.
Hope your weekend is a good one, and that you find a way to add
beauty to your home or your table.

Speaking of adding sister's family hosted a special, belated
Mother's Day meal for her last evening.

A few friends and family gathered together, at the table in their lawn.  What a lovely
place to hold this special meal.

These girls made a delicious dinner of homemade quiches, a garden salad, fruit, and
coffee drinks.  We enjoyed laughter, conversations, and just relaxing after another busy
week.  In all the years of spending time at my sister's home, this was the first time we
ever ate in her lawn.  I am sure she was honored by all the time and expertise that was
put into this gift of love for her.

When the sun went down, the lights hung on the old tree, added a glowing ambience to the
table setting.  The addition of the big umbrellas, was because of the unexpected light rain
during the dinner. 


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