Saturday, March 28, 2015

Today I share a story that spoke to my heart, recently;

Love; The One Creative Force

"Spread love everywhere you go; first of all in your own house.  Give love to your
children, to your wife or husband, to a next-door neighbor...Let no one ever come
to you without leaving better and happier.  Be the living expression of God's
kindness, kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile,
kindness in your warm greeting."   ~ Mother Teresa

" A college professor had his sociology class go into the Baltimore slums to get case
histories of 200 young boys.  They were asked to write an evaluation of each
boy's future.  In every case the students wrote, "He hasn't got a chance."  Twenty-five
years later another sociology professor came across the earlier study.  He had his
students follow up on the project to see what had happened to these boys.  With the
exception of twenty boys who had moved away or died, the students learned that
176 of the remaining 180 had achieved more than ordinary success as lawyers,
doctors, and businessmen.
   The professor was astounded and decided to pursue the matter further.  Fortunately,
all the men were in area and he was able to ask each one, "How do you account for
your success?"  In each case the reply came with feeling, "There was a teacher."
   The teacher was still alive, so he sought her out and asked the old but still alert
lady what magic formula she had used to pull the boys out of the slums into
successful achievement?
   The teacher's eyes sparkled and her lips broke into a gentle smile.  "It is really
very simple," she said.  "I loved those boys."

Written by Eric Butterworth, and published in the book, "Chicken Soup for the Soul".

On Friday, it was my 61st birthday.  I was blessed to share it with family and friends.

We spent a few hours with our middle daughter, her husband, and their children,
at a seafood restaurant near their home. They ordered fruit and sherbet, instead
of cake, because they knew that is what I'd like.

Our daughter and son-in-law are both celebrating their 30th birthdays this year. 
It is always fun to spend time with them, even if it is only for a few hours.

And with two of our special grandchildren.  Sitting in a restaurant can only be
tolerated for so long. An animated child's video now at times, replaces toys.

In my heart, I am so thankful for the grace, love, kindness and mercy that
God bestows on us daily.  I pray always, that I can share the same characteristics
with those I come in contact with every day. God's love does make a difference!

And, in one way or another, we are all teachers.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Like I mentioned in the last post, my granddaughters and I attended a "Sweeter Then
Pie" girl's baking contest, yesterday morning, at their church.  It was the first event of
it's kind and I must tell you, it was very well organized, and decorated beautifully!

As you can see, the contest was broken down into three categories. 

My granddaughter chose the "cake category", and knew that the recipe she wanted to
make.  The full name of the cake is "Grandma Wright's Light Lemon Cake".
Thanks to this recipe, that you might want to try sometime.  You can find it here;
With the original credit was given to Mindi from Home Grown Beets blog.

After school on Thursday, she came to my home and we baked the cake.
She had done a trial bake earlier in the month, and the taste was one that she really liked.

It was a light, refreshing cake, using lemon pudding and whipped cream for the icing.

Pink, green, white were used in decorating the church social room.

A fun, festive atmosphere was immediately evident, when we walked in.

Bingo, or as they called it "Bake-o" was a popular game with the young girls.
Sugar cubes were used as the chips on the square, and the words were baking
terms written on a big chalkboard at the front of the room, that each girl
chose to write on her paper.

Here the vivacious, young hostess, did a talk comparing the
the ingredients of a cake to the ingredients that go into individual lives.
She did a good job and held the attention of the girls in the room.

While she was doing her talk, the judges were carefully taste testing and doing their
judging.  One prize only for each category.  Eagerly, the girls waited to hear the results.

In the cake category, this creatively done cake bouquet took the prize. I loved seeing the radiant
smile on this sweet girl's face.  While disappointment can present itself to those who don't get the ultimate prize, neither did it take long to get back "on track"..........

Their disappointment quickly turned to joy, when they discovered that chocolate milk
was being served.  Doesn't take much to put a "loss" behind you, does it? :)

I wholeheartedly support any event that brings together, mothers and
daughters, or grandmothers and granddaughters.
Thanks for the privilege of sharing our fun Saturday event with you.  Now
I wish I could share a piece of our cake with every one of you, because
it really is delicious!

Friday, March 20, 2015


Ever since my recent airplane travels, I have been thinking a lot about the aspect of
"loneliness" in our world.  Due to somewhat last minute nature of our most recent trip,
my husband and I discovered that we would be sitting at different locations on the plane.
He was in the middle section, and I found myself in the last row, at the back of the plane.
My seat was in between two women, whom I found out later, were mother and daughter.
I quietly buckled my seat belt, then grabbed one of the books that I had brought along
to read.  I smiled a quick smile to the elderly lady(which by the way, what age is elderly
anyway, and she might have surmised the same about me).  The lady on the other side
of me, was immediately absorbed in her magazine.   As the plane climbed, I looked over
at the elderly lady and asked her if she was headed for a vacation, to which she
quickly replied that she was.  At that point, she started talking to me, and aside
from a few questions that I got in to the conversation, she never stopped talking
until we landed at our destination.  Two hours worth of information I received from
my "listening time" on the flight.   I learned immediately, that her beloved husband
had passed away 9 months before from cancer.  I learned that it was a fast moving cancer,
and within a few months, he was gone.  I learned that loneliness took over from that
time on, and that some of her new best friends, were the ever friendly staff of the
QVC network.  Seriously.  She knew their names, their
family dynamics, she knew if they had children or not, their marital statuses, and
how long some of them had been employed by the QVC Network.  She talked so
favorably about each and everyone of them.  She showed me a special purse she
had purchased from them, opening it up and individually showed me each
compartment.  She opened her coat and showed me her lovely blouse, which was
another one of her purchases.  She talked for a long time about a certain brand of
cookware, that everyone should buy, and then proceeded to tell me why that was
true.  On and on she went, talking so lovingly about this Network, that at times, I
almost forgot that it was not her family or personal friends that she was talking
about.  I thought to myself, that I needed to write QVC and make them aware
of another huge aspect of their enterprise.  Since that flight, I have discovered that
there are more people like this dear lady. 

After the plane landed, and I got up to leave my seat, she took my hand and
thanked me in such a genuine fashion, that I found myself asking her why she was
thanking me, to which she immediately replied,  "you listened."  From St. Louis
to St. Paul, I listened.  That's it!  A listener was the role I played in this encounter.

Listening...what a gift it is!  I learned it from my husband years ago.  He is an active,
caring listener.  I was not.  I can tell you, I was one of those listeners that may have
appeared to be listening, but my mind was way ahead in the conversation, and at
times, my mind was not even on the conversation at hand, but maybe off on some
far and distant land, or project:). 

What are some of the characteristics that make up a "good listener"?

I found a brief list of some of the characteristics of listening from Raychelle
Lehmann, MS, LPC, Psychology;

~They pay attention to the person who is speaking.

~They keep eye contact.

~They show interest by nodding or by smiling at appropriate times.

~They make sure that they understand what has been said by repeating it in their
   own words.  For example, a good listener might say, "Do you mean that...?"

~They let the other person finish his or her thoughts without interrupting.

~They ask questions if anything is not clear when the speaker has finished.

I know that this is an abbreviated list, but I think it is a good one.  I also read another
characteristic recently, that stated you should be "genuinely curious", when you are
listening.  I like that!  I know people that are genuinely curious when you talk to them,
and you know what?  They have many friends!  People like that characteristic...if it
is truly genuine.

Another characteristic that I believe to be true, is a good listener knows how to handle
what is shared with confidentiality.  They are trustworthy.  This type of person would
also have many friends.  "Confidentiality" is a rare quality in today's world.

You may not be taking any upcoming plane trips, but you will come in contact with others
day in and day out, and maybe this shared list, may help to enlighten you in the extra
special gift of listening, that we extend on a daily basis, to those around matter
what their age...

...or needs, because one thing is for sure, and that is, we all need each other!
We all need to know that we do matter, and that what we think and say, is important.

"Loneliness" hurts, and makes life more difficult to live.  My prayer is, that we all spend
more time reaching out to others, and listening to what others have to say.  We might be
surprised at what we can learn from others, like the big difference those on QVC might
make in the lives of those who tune in, on a daily basis.

Thanks so much for stopping by today.  I am participating in a "Baking Contest" this
weekend with my 7 year old granddaughter, at her church.  I will let you know some of
the happenings with that fun event, when it is over.  Stay tuned.  We already did our baking,
last evening.  Tomorrow morning, the fun begins.

Happy Friday!  Guess is snowing here again:)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day to each one of you!

I have fun on  Just sharing it with you, because it reminds me that
Spring is almost here:)

Monday, March 16, 2015

I'm back! We spent some days in the Midwest, visiting our daughter and grandson while
our SIL spent time on a business trip.

We relished our time together, and enjoyed stepping into their world for a few days.

We spent time going on long walks, chilling at their home, visiting
historical landmarks, and even had an ice cream break, which thrilled this
little guy.
After a bitter cold winter, the temps were definitely getting warmer,
but not warm, as you can see by this picture.

The ice on the lakes was starting to break up. 

The trees stood in stark contrast to those pictured in the picture I took
on our last visit in October.
As I stood here looking at the scene before me, it was difficult to imagine that in
a few weeks, they would be covered with green leaves. 
Life is like that isn't it, continuously presenting seasons of beauty and seasons of barrenness?
It was exciting to see signs that Spring was in fact coming, like these few tulips
bursting forth in the clay pots.  Nothing quite like new growth at the end
of a long, cold Winter season.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Our "winter wonderland" morning.  I just cannot help myself.  I had to share it with
you.  It is breathtaking beauty!



Yesterday it snowed most of the day.  The following pictures I took during
that snow.  I know I should not share any more bird pictures, but there again,
I can't help myself:)

I had to take a break from organizing closets.  Snow days in my book, are a special gift.  Yes,
I am so sure many of you would disagree with me by now.  You've had too many of them.
But, since I am a "Winter person", I am thrilled with them.

Despite the fact that I enjoy the Winter season, the pansies by my kitchen sink serve as a
vivid reminder, that Spring is coming.  Don't we all love that fact!

Saying my goodbyes to Winter.  I promise you all, that I will not share any more snow
and bird pictures with you, for a long time.

One of my blogging friends from California, said that there temps were to be 78 degrees
yesterday.  Ours here this morning, was 5 degrees.

Thanks so much for stopping by, and sharing a bit of my landscape this morning.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

It was just started to sleet on Sunday evening, when we passed this farm.  The sheep were
waiting to get into the barn.  I thought the scene looked like a magazine photo.

The ice storm continued through the evening.

This scene greeted me on Monday morning. Ice covered everything!

On every pine bough, and the sun shining on it, made it look like thousands of
This evening, we are having another ice storm.  Many cancellations again, have
crossed the television.  Tomorrow evening, a snow storm is predicted.  Winter at it's finest!

I heard yesterday, that our county had the coldest February on record.  Hot tea, some
warm blankets, and a new "Fixer Upper" show on HGTV...happy me:) 

Thanks so much for stopping by!


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