Friday, December 31, 2010

Pieces of the Puzzle Come Together

The holidays are coming to a close. Tomorrow morning we will awaken to a brand new year.

One of the highlights of this final week was putting together a 750 piece puzzle with my granddaughter. I close this year with one of my favorite things- bookshelves with every nook and cranny stuffed with books.

I began the year by writing a quote from a book-
"There are years that ask questions and years that answer them."
2010 was for me a year with answers, finally.
In the weeks to come, I hope to gain more clarity and share a few of them.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Let There Be Light

Yay! We got a real tree this year and I put up lights all around the house. I love Christmas :)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Frosty

Even though it was a frosty 8 degrees this morning, the sunshine mixed with the cold made even old trees look beautiful!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Time to Switch Gears

video

On Friday, Terry and I went to Camden with our daughter and her family merely to enjoy the holiday atmosphere. It was delightful.
I don't think any store could top staying at my sister-in-law's home the previous night. Every room shown with Christmas lights, music, and knick-knacks - candy canes on the overhead hanging light to Singing Santa. I had to share him with my sister bloggers.

I don't have one Christmas decoration up yet. When I've had the time, I haven't had the energy. It's time to switch gears and enjoy a bit of Christmas here in my home.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Inspiration

I know my blogging is short and sweet these days but it is two weeks before Christmas :)

My hubby and I have watched every episode this season of The Biggest Loser. Ada is my favorite.

When I think of getting out to the gym in the morning, I want to cover my head and go back to sleep. But then I remember that it's worth it.
I'm not there to lose weight. As a matter of fact I'd like to gain a bit. My goal is to increase my muscle mass and overall body strength.

There is a girl there who works nights and shows up in the morning to work out before going home. She has a long way to go and I'm rooting for her.

We all have different journeys, but here's to cheering you on wherever you are on yours!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Beautiful

My daughter recommended this CD. I bought it via Itunes. It is truly a testimony to God's grace. If you don't know their story, google Steven Curtis Chapman.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sisters


The past 24 hours were filled with blessings.
My daughter came home after 3 years away serving in the military. It was a quick visit with her hubby and two daughters in tow, McKenna now 14 and Lily 3 monthes. They are only a few hours away now.
I took 75 pictures in a short time. One of my favorite was when Ken laid on the floor with her sister. Lily grabbed Ken's hair and was asleep in an instant. So precious.
I loved every moment :)
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Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Perfect Pie

I was a bit worried about what I would do for pies this year. I have really been trying to stick with gluten-free cooking. Yet I do have holiday traditions. Nevertheless, I'm working on letting go of stress and praying about everything, leaving it and trusting God for the answer.

Praying about pies? Yes, everything.
There's a scripture that says God delights in the details of our lives.

So I asked for wisdom.
I had a plan- to got to the Amish store and place an order, but the day I planned to do so, the weather was awful. Nope, didn't get there.
Next thing I knew, Mom volunteered to bring two pies and Amy, my daughter-in-law, said she was going to make a pumpkin pie when she got here.
She did and it was the perfect pie.

I made gluten-free brownies, which were a big hit with ice cream!

Everything was great. I had cooked my turkey the day before and only had to warm it along with the stuffing. When  we sat down to dinner and I realized that I  had forgotten to make the mashed potatoes. I was mortified. Then everyone laughed about driving clear to Aroostook County ( potato country) and no potatoes.  In my defense, we did have sweet potatoes.

It was a  peaceful day and I was able to relax and enjoy my family. I think God was smiling right along with me. :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Out with the Old, In with the New

 Yesterday I went to my hairdresser and we got adventurous. Instead of my normal highlights, I went darker. It's quite a change and I am not sure how I feel aout it yet. But I love the fact that I was willing to take the risk.
In a few short weeks, we will move into a new year.
This holiday season, I hope to simplify my plans and preparations so that I have more time to pray over the new year and what I want my life to focus on. I'm starting with Thanksgiving. Instead of buying flour (I'm gluten free) to bake regular pies and all that, I've decided to order them. The turkey is going in the oven the day before so I can enjoy my family the day of...
Little adjustments can make a big difference. It takes a bit of courage to change tradition but how were they established in the first place? Gotta start somewhere.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Finally :)

Lilyana meet your Mammy.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Healing Journey Continues

Since my last post it has been an up and down journey. My husband bounced back well , but my shortness of breath returned. Once again my trip to see my granddaughters was postponed. This time I was determined not to bow to discouragement. I decided to make the best of it. First of all, I emailed my "yada" sisters prayer group to ask for prayer. Then I spent the day reading, catching up on my Bible study, working on a project for christmas...

There are 6 of us in our prayer circle. Perhaps I'll tell the story of how God put us together at another time. We are all at different places in our lives, but our hearts are connected. So today I have posted a picture of Ann and Jo, two of the gals that I am so grateful for. Love you Barbie, Vicki and Steph.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Healing Journey

You've probably heard me say it before.
"Everything can turn on a dime."
My last post described my excitement about seeing my granddaughters today. A trip to the ER with my hubby changed all that last night. Bronchitis seems to be sweeping our area. My husband hasn't missed a day of work in years until today. Hopefully he's on the mend and I will see my girls soon.
I have been working on my own healing journey of late. There is no hurrying such a work so I may as well yield to the Hand who holds the controls.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sweet Corner

Many times a day I walk from my living room through my used-to-be art room to my kitchen. As I do, I pass this sweet corner where pictures of my new granddaughter and her family make me smile. In a couple of days I will meet Lily in person for the first time, after seven weeks of waiting. I am looking forward to our meeting and to seeing my daughter after months of separation. This is a sweet corner but the real thing will be even sweeter :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

One Life

Never underestimate the importance of one life.
I've been blessed to have nearly every weekend this fall with my granddaughter and much of the summer. Her parents were finishing a military term across country, but today they arrived home. I felt a little sad as I waved good bye. I am grateful that she will only be a few hours away but a season is over. Transition is one of my words for 2010 and certainly will be for my daughter and her family as they settle in. I am truly blessed. This one child's life has impacted mine in ways I can never fully express. I treasure each moment we have had together and look forward to more. I love you, Ken.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Beauty Following the Storm

It's a beautiful morning here in Aroostook County, Maine. The trees remain colorful even after all the rain and wind we've had the last several days. I love autumn and have missed so much with being sick and stuck inside some of the time. I finally dug out a few fall decorations and placed them around the house. Enjoying them this morning. Not a very exciting post but a little color from my neck of the woods.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

What was I Thinking Continued...

This is where my laptop ended up at 5:30 Saturday afternoon.

I thought I would get creative and see what I could do about Christmas photo projects for my children. It gets harder every year to find something unique for each of them  and I have neither the time nor energy this year. So I decided to buy for our five grandchildren and make something special for each couple together.

You would think I learned my lesson the other night in blogland, but no, I ventured into the digital world filled with hope. After wading through hundreds of photos to find my favorites (an impossiblity to begin with), I ran into a few problems. Several hours later with my brain feeling like mush, I shut it down.

My husband came in to take me out to supper. I desperately needed to get out of the house. Every restaurant in PI, near where we live was packed. So we ventured on to Caribou another 15 minutes away only to end up at one of my least favorite places to eat. It wasn't too bad considering we were so hungry, anything looked good. I almost told my hubby to stop hanging out with me because I am in one of those funks, definitely not a flow.

I must say, my blog doesn't look too bad after the battle waged the other night. (See previous post). See, I'm ready to try again! What am I thinking?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

What Was I Thinking?

For the past two hours I have been working on this blog. What was I thinking?

In the first place, I was tired but I thought the new setup would be easier to work with. Wrong!

In the second place, it seems these days that I am too much in my head and not enough in my heart.

Over the weekend, my teenage grandaughter was here and we decided to make life maps or dream boards- whatever you want to call them. The key is to turn off that side of your brain that reasons and plans and just let the images and ideas flow. Kenna was finished within two hours. I was still working on mine when she left later in the day.

Yes, I am definitely too much in my head! And now it feels so heavy from trying to figure out this blog.

I am calling it a night. Maybe it's a good thing I don't have anyone commenting right now. I don't even know why I bother with this. Just call me frustrated.

And to top it all off,  as I previewed this post I noticed the  colors have changed for the post titles. I give up for tonight.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Ordinary Beauty

I've been sitting here leafing through the new Artful Blogging magazine with a mixture of emotions. I miss sitting at my art table and loosing myself in a project. I miss connecting with other bloggers but my blogging has been so sporadic that I've lost the regular contacts.
I looked at all the ordinary beauty in the photos posted and wished I had the time to devote to getting just the right shot for my blog. I decided to skim through the pictures I'd recently taken and found this one. A few weeks ago I found this huge mushroom growing under a bush at our camper and on impulse grabbed my camera. I was surprised at how lovely the colors appeared in the photo. I may not have had the time these last 6 months to do many of the things I was used to, but there have been some lovely moments along the way.

Monday, October 4, 2010

October Miracle




I hadn't been to the camper in a week and when I was there last I thought these flowers were on their way out. My neighbor returned to Florida so noone was there to tend them. When I drove in it was dark, but even then I could see how they had flourished.

Thank you Lord for tending my flowers.

Even here at home, He has taken care of them. I have not had the time nor energy and they continue to bloom. Another miracle- Terry voluntarily covered them last night to protect from frost.

An October miracle.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Close of Summer

Autumn snuck up on me this year. I was busy traveling back and forth to get my granddaughter ready for school and  to camping weekends with my family that I barely noticed. It wasn't until this past weekend when once again I headed to southern Maine that I began to notice how much the trees had turned.
I can hardly believe that my blog has been so neglected, but then so has my health and my house.
I keep saying when this is over or that...then I can slow down. How many times have I heard others say those very words?
In light of all this I posted a pic of a terrific purchase  made on Monday- my new red electric tea kettle. It looks copper in the photo but it is bright red. I am going to go make a cup of tea and rest a bit. All my work is caught up today and the rest of the office work will wait until tomorrow. I am going to dig out my new copy of Artful Blogging, which hasn't even been opened and get re-inspired.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Lily


My beautiful new granddaughter. Lily.
 Need I say more?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Hurricane Fizzles Out


Where has the time gone since I last posted? What has happened since that leisurely Sunday ride on the motorcycle?

I took my granddaughter shopping for a whole new wardrobe for school. She is moving from New Mexico to Maine, from public to private school so major changes.

We went to orientation, guidance counselor appts, bought school supplies, dr's appt.....yep, all that and more.

I had a day to catch my breath.

Spent a day with a friend I hadn't seen in months.

My son and his family landed at the camper on thursday last. We packed up on friday and headed inland because of the serious hurricane warnings.

The above pic is out my sister-in-law's window. All we got was driving rain. The storm turned towards Nova Scotia.

Bact to the camper, all of us weary from a hot sleepless night.

A day with hubby at the camper. Lobster :)

Labor Day was labor- cleaned the camper, mowed the lawn and did up the bedding and towels.

Home to more laundry, cleaning house, bills.

Offfice work awaits me.

Oh, and my precious new granddaughter was born on Saturday morning! :)

The storm may have fizzled out but this past month seemed like a whirlwind!

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Perfect Day

Sunday was the perfect day.
I was feeling a little blue after my best friend went back home. It was a bit late to get ready for church. My hubby suggested a motorcycle ride. It's actually not one of my favorite things to do, but it was just the right thing at the right time for me yesterday.
Terry took me on a back road ( of course almost every road here is a back road :) to show me these flowers. Feel free to right click and save for a gorgeous desktop.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Flashback for a Second

My hair has been the source of some anxiety this summer. I put off having it cut for months because I wasn't happy with it and it seemed to be getting thinner. Finally on a trip downstate I made an appointment with my sis-in-law's hairdresser and got it cut and colored a bit differently. 
This photo reminds me of my senior picture. I was wearing my hair in a similar cut the day I had them taken.
I almost regret not going to my class reunion tonight. almost, but not really. I'm happy with my life today and looking forward to the future. For some reason, I don't want to look back. I've done enough reflecting over this past winter as I read through old journals and now time to move on.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Quiet Day


It's a quiet day here at the camper compared to our July vacation when the whole family was gathered. I am sitting up at the campground dining hall where I can access the internet. More than a gentle breeze is cooling things down today. My granddaughter and I played a game of scrabble this morning where I promptly beat her. Of course, she whipped me soundly last night. i'm a morning person, for sure. Hunger pangs are telling me it's time for lunch. Just checking in.
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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Lavender Surprises


Life went on fast forward after we returned from our trip to New Mexico in May. I didn't have a chance to post some of the great pics I took, including this one. This delightful little shop is tucked away in a corner of a little town in the mountains. The welcoming lavender door made it love at first sight. Every nook and cranny is filled with various treasures. I certainly did not emerge empty-handed. I found the most gorgeous purse at a decent price and carefully packed it in my suitcase to be used this fall.
I read something yesterday about everyday holding a surprise for us. This photo reminds me to believe and watch for my surprise today.
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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Mountaintop


The view from Mt. Cadillac on a clear day is stunning. I never tire of Acadia National Park and its endless beauty. This is one of the places we visited on vacation.
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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Hope Comes in Blue

We returned home from vacation last night after 10 days of incredible weather camping with our children, spouses, grandchildren, and pet dog (not mine). Our grandson purchased a birdfeeder for my husband, but I was the one who fell in love with it right away.
While sitting on the deck early one morning, seven blue jays appeared- 3 on the feeder and 4 on the ground beneath.
Bluejays have always been a sign of hope and new beginnings for me. One would have been a treat, but 7 became a sign. As a mom and grandmother and wife, the "just for me" things are rare when we are together. Others in my family saw one or two, but the seven never returned after that morning.
Thank you , Lord.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Relax and Breathe

A few days ago, a friend of mine sent me an email with these words- relax and breathe. I thought it a bit strange at the time, not her usual words of encouragement, but I have not been able to get them out of my mind.
No, this picture is not a page from the O magazine with relax and breathe above it. It's the scene I will be looking at in a few days. I am taking my laptop but not sure when I'll have the chance to post for a bit, so taking a pause for 10 days or so. don't forget me dear blog sisters.
Remember to relax and breathe :)
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Friday, June 25, 2010

Checking In

This is my New Mexico girl, my granddaughter. She's been here in Maine at her other grammy's house. Going to get her today so will be offline a couple days.
I'm really not that old :) I had my children when I was very young.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Yadas


For many years I have been leading Bible studies for women in my small hometown, but something changed 3 years ago. God connected me to a small group of women when we did Beth Moore's study Believing God. We began getting together to pray for one another and share our hearts. Then we passed around the YadaYada prayer group series, a set of fun fictional books and our hearts were knit together. There are 6 of us- different ages, backgrounds, careers, personalities etc. Oh, so much fun!
We pray for each others families, heart needs, and even our nation. The best part of all is that Jesus meets with us every time. We gather when we can and can hardly wait to hear what is happening with each other.
I have 2 really close long-distance friends  that I can trust, but now God has opened this safe place here at home. Our prayer is that he will use us to bless other women, too.
In the picture above are Ann and Jo, probably the youngest and the oldest.
We met last night at 6:30 and at 10:00pm, we gasped at the time! Every woman needs a Yada Sister.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

On the Road to Love


This morning I am beginning the online study with Beth Moore and her SIESTAS all over the nation.
This summer study is on the book of Ruth. I actually began a couple of days ago because I just couldn't wait. I love it already! I know this is a book about God's Covenant Love.
As I read this morning in chapter 1, it struck me how God loved three very different women. Orpah turned back to her old life, but with the Blessing of the Lord because Naomi had spoken that over her. Naomi was filled with bitterness and grief, but tiny rays of hope were already shining. Ruth decided to follow her, but more importantly committed her life to the Lord and to going forward. I love what Kelly said about we can weep forward or weep backward.
I placed my feet on the road to Bethlehem-Judah this morning- The House of Bread with Praise.
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Monday, June 21, 2010

Decisions


I know I have better pictures of our camper but being in a hurry, I'll take this one from my phone.
I love the camper at night with the lights on, campfire burning, cool ocean breezes blowing and the grandkids all tucked in.
We've been in the process of looking at new campers, trying to decide whether or not to trade ours for a bit better one. It's a tough decision and I drag my feet when money, especially payments are involved. That's the quandry for this Monday morning.
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Thursday, June 17, 2010


I've carried around this sense of failure since last fall about my horseback riding lessons. Each month I purposed to get back but something kept getting in the way. As more time passed, every time I thought about it I felt discouraged- until today. I was reading Kaileen's blog (see bloglist) and she was talking about her love for yoga. She explained that even when she can't get to yoga, it is always with her. as I responded to her post, I began to think about what I carried with me from those lessons.

When I first began I was terrified to even get near the horse. Over the summer I grew to love Apache, pictured above. then i had numerous problems with a tailbone issue that caused me many hours of discomfort, but I refused to give up.
As the summer ended, I changed instructors and realized that I had only just begun to learn. On the third week of lessons with my new instructor, I was forced to face the fact that I had some physical issues that needed tending. I walked away from lessons and spent the time instead at a massage therapist to help with my neck and back. I truly believe that, had it not been for that day on the horse when I was forced to look at the tension in my body, this would have gone on until I had serious problems.

So what did I take with me from this so-called failure?

I can overcome fear with prayer and doing it afraid.
I have determination.
Sometimes I want to focus on one area, when another must be tended first.
Timing is everything. Be patient.

Thaks Kaileen for helping me to see this experience in a different light. I am going to continue to ponder it.
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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Single Pansy

I have always hated the rock terrace outside my door. Weeds and dandelions grow through the rocks and I am constantly fighting to keep them at bay. Two years ago I came up with the idea of container gardening and placed pots of flowers all over the space with a little birdbath, a fountain etc. But this spring, with the trip to NM and then cold, rainy weather I haven't had a chance or the energy to dive into this project, which makes me sad.
Then a couple of days ago I noticed this lone pansy growing up between the rocks. It must have come from last years flowers. It seemed to be smiling at me, giving me hope.
Hope seems to be my word of late.
Today my plan is to go buy some flowers to keep my little pansy company. :)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Looking Beyond What I Can See


This is the view during our flight out to New Mexico.

A world in the clouds. This world exists everyday, although its appearance may change. We don't think about it, for our perspective is limited to this side of the heavenlies.

I had a conversation with a friend this morning who has been battling leukemia for many years. Recently her battle has grown fierce, yet in the midst of all that rages against her, she chose to share with me a miracle that happened. She turned her face to the heavenlies and looked beyond where she stands.

I am humbled and inspired.
So often my vision is filled with problems,my own physical limitations, and discouragement. Yet I am blessed with women who pray for me, a happy family and a cozy home.
Lord, help me to raise my eyes heavenward and remember that there is more to life than where I am standing at this moment. I am surrounded with angels, blessings in heavenly places, and the love of God. Open my eyes to look beyond what I can see.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Butterfly Happiness

I don't know who was happier to see the lilacs in bloom, the butterfly or me. I wanted them to blossom before we left for New Mexico and they did. surprisingly when we drove back in yesterday, they were still in blossom. A whole week! What a nice surprise :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Songs, Rest and Fun

Watchman Nee wrote a book on the Song of Solomon, which I purchased many years ago. I've read it so many times that it is now in three sections with a rubber band tied around it. The Song of Songs came to life under his pen, an allegorical story of Christ and  his beloved bride.
A few months ago a friend gave me a copy of The Shulamite's Cry and I have been reading a few pages at a time with my Bible in the morning. It is beautifully written and a fit companion for my Nee book. I loved it from the first so much that I bought a few copies to give out to my prayer group.
I've struggled with knowing what to post today. It's been so long and I thought about my excitement of an upcoming trip, the incredible beauty of my lilacs in bloom, how much I treasure friendships, etc. But as I looked for a picture this came to mind. I have been in a quiet resting season of reflection and regaining strength after winter's virus.
This is about to change as my granddaughter comes to visit.
I am blowing the dust off the scrabble game, thinking of getting back on the horse literally, and other summer activities. Life is never boring. Don't you love it?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Basking Belle

Some mornings I move more slowly than others and yesterday was one of them. Laying aside my plans for the morning I gathered my Bible, journal and cup of tea and headed for the porch. The sun was shining giving warmth to a chilly day. I've been starting each morning with a prayer,committing my day to God's direction. Proverbs 3:5-6 and Psalm 23 have been my companions for a few months. Time and time again I have seen my day take a different direction from what I had planned, but I'm learning to trust and rest in this season. I admit there are times when all of the things I want to accomplish scream at me, but then I remember that I am trying to live quieter and listen to my spirit, hoping this will bring heaking to my body as well.
I've discovered that when I move a little slower I enjoy moments that previously simply were overlooked, like the one pictured above. I finished my morning ritual and stepped back into the kitchen, but Belle remained basking in the sunlight, with her head lying on my sneakers. a perfect picture of my morning. I did eventually get to the gym but I enjoyed it much more than if I had rushed out the door with my to do list in my hand.

Friday, May 7, 2010

New Beginnings

This was the view from my back porch a couple of days ago. Rainbows are a sign of promise. For me they have always signaled the end of a season and hope for new beginnings. This past year has been a year of testing for me in some ways. Over the last couple of weeks, I've sensed a change and then two nights in a row there were double rainbows in the sky. I only caught the single one on camera, but my heart caught the rest. I love the promise of new beginnings.