Thursday, December 16, 2010


Christmas, for me, is the most wonderful time of the year. It's a time to see family and friends, to share gifts especially selected to each one, for baking cookies, decorating the house, Christmas carols, parties, and so many other things. But those things, no matter how wonderful each one is, is not what makes Christmas the most wonderful time of the year.

Without the birth of my Savior, Jesus Christ, some 2,043 years ago, there would be nothing to celebrate. That cold winter night, shepherds were in the hills above Bethlehem protecting their sheep from the wolves that roam those hills when an angel appeared in the sky before them, proclaiming the birth of Christ the Lord. Somewhere in the east the wise men saw the star appear in the sky and began following it towards Bethlehem, the trip took them two years. Joseph and Mary, cold and tired from their trip to Bethlehem from Nazareth searched for a place to spend that night and could only find a barn available. Mary's labor began in earnest and soon she gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, she and Joseph named him Jesus. He was born to be the Savior of the world.

As you and your family celebrate this Christmas season, in the hustle and bustle, in the flurry of wrapping paper and the excitement of the children as they open their gifts, may you, if even for just a moment, stop and remember. Whisper a prayer of thanks for the greatest gift ever given, God gave his only Son because He loved us so much it was the only way to provide for the forgiveness of sin, the only way to make a path for us to enter Heaven. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. That WHOSOEVER believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life."

May your Christmas be merry and bright, and may God bless you and your family as you celebrate together. From our house to yours, MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Monday, November 8, 2010


There's something wonderful about fall. The crisp cool air, the bright blue skies, the scent of leaves as they begin to change colors and fall to the ground. Here in Florida fall comes slower than other places. My cousin in Indiana has already had snow, thankfully we seldom see snow in Florida, although we do have some cold nights and see frost regularly. We had our first frost on Sunday and it officially began the fall season for me.

Today I had to visit the dentist again, visit number four out of the nine I need. He filled two teeth, deep fillings. Why I mentioned this is because I have a problem with dentists, they bring on anxiety attacks. Anyway, I've been doing all these visits on faith, claiming God's promise that he will keep me in perfect peace. So today, I was having a little problem and I changed the station on the walkman they'd given me so I didn't have to hear the drill. The Joy FM popped up and playing was Casting Crowns Voice of Truth. My faith was immediately restored and the tears began flowing as it was a message from God that He is keeping His promise. I know that Dr. Parent didn't understand the tears, but for me that song was a precious gift, a reminder that I am a daughter of the King of Kings, a child of God, a Princess.

I'm off to church for finance committee meeting, gotta love it. Hope you have a wonderful fall evening, enjoy the precious gifts from God.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I truly enjoy reading Joel C Rosenberg's end times fiction. I am a huge fan of his Political Thriller series (The Last Jihad, The Last Days, The Ezekiel Option, The Copper Scroll, Dead Heat) and when the opportunity to read THE TWELTH IMAM opened I eagerly agreed to read and share my opinions. My mother always told me I was never short of opinions on things, as I've grown older I see she was right!

The ironic part of reading this book is that I live just outside Gainesville Florida. While we're most famous for our Florida Gators champion football and basketball teams, recently we were in the news for quite another reason, a small local cult was threatening to burn the Koran. This set off a firestorm in the media, but for me it brought this book to life much more clearly. Things written made perfect sense to me.

As a Christian I look forward to the second coming of Jesus Christ and his Millennial Kingdom. I was never aware that Islam also believes there will be a "messiah" coming, in the form of the last Imam. Joel C Rosenberg never fails to bring new things to light while providing an edge-of-your-seat thrill ride of suspense.

Even if you have not read the Political Thriller series you will enjoy the suspense and intrigue of THE TWELFTH IMAM. This one is another winner for Joel C. Rosenberg.
This book was provided by review by Tyndale House Publishing Company.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


While I was cooking dinner the other night my husband and I were watching our 6:30 news of choice: World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer and she was reporting on Delaware's Republican candidate, Christine O'Donnell, and how she is being raked over the coals for things she said in her teen years. I began laughing and told my husband I'd better never run for national office then because in my teen years, as a member of our local high school newspaper staff, I wrote an article supporting the SDS! Ah, we were so young and militant, wanted to change the world! We wanted an end to the horrors of the VietNam War and we wanted to end dress codes in schools. I remember walking to school on that first Earth Day in 1970. My parents thought I was crazy.

As I write about it it brings to mind the song THOSE WERE THE DAYS, "Those were the days, my friend, we thought they'd never end, we'd sing and dance forever and a day. We'd live the life we choose, we'd fight and never lose, those were the days, oh yes, those were the days."
Well, those days did end, and I grew up. Suprisingly enough, my views on the world grew up as well. I might note here that I re-read that article (yes, I still have a copy) a while back and I wondered what I was thinking as I penned it and I could read the wide-eyed innocence in my words. So pie-in-the-sky. I think any politician should receive complete immunity on their own pie-in-the-sky stupidity in high school.

Now, I'm extremely conservative. Politically, I've done a complete 180 over the last since I first voted. Let's face it, we don't see the world as it really is when we're young. It takes time, experience, years of wisdom, and some grace to see the truth of politics. I think that's why the Tea Party and similar grass roots campaigns are picking up so much support of late, and why candidates like Christine O'Donnell, who are advocates of no more "business as usual" in Washington D.C. are doing so well. The American people are tired of the government digging into our pockets so deeply they've ripped off our pockets completely.

I still say if the government had given the bail-out money to the registered voters instead of the banks, car makers, Wall Street, etc., the economy would be completely stable by now. We would have bought new homes, cars, goods, and services. Instead, some CEO has a new $4000 shower curtain in his bathroom and his wife's dog has a matching fur coat. There's simply something wrong with this picture. Well, maybe I haven't changed so much after all.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Everyone loves a beautiful smile. Nothing can win the heart faster than a heartfelt smile. Beauty queens win because of their smile. Politicians are charismatic because of their smile. Movie stars spend a fortune on having the most beautiful teeth. We put a lot of importance on having perfect teeth.
Unfortunately, mine aren't so perfect anymore. Aging takes its toll on our teeth, so today I must take the first step and go visit my dentist to have two molars extracted. I'm doing my level best to be brave and to not have a panic attack, to simply breathe deep and know that I am in God's hands and nothing can happen to me that He does not allow. Part of my problem is I have never had novacaine before...nope, not for one single filling, cleaning...sans novacaine! You'd think I'd be thrilled, I won't feel anything, but I fear that needle. Silly, I know.
My plan, close my eyes, open my mouth and sing over and over in my head the words to Voice of Truth from Casting Crowns, Completely from Ana Leigh, and Redeemer from Nicole C Mullen. God promises to keep me in perfect peace if I keep my mind stayed on Him and also promises that His perfect love casts out fear. I'm counting on it!

Friday, August 27, 2010

A Beautiful Poem

by Joyce Kilmer, 1917

I went to gather roses and twine them in a ring,
For I would make a posy, a posy for the King.
I got an hundred roses, the loveliest there be,
From the white rose vine and the pink rose bush and from the red rose tree.

But when I took my posy and laid it at His feet
I found He had His roses a million times more sweet.
There was a scarlet blossom upon each foot and hand,
And a great pink rose bloomed from His side for the healing of the land.

Now of this fair and awful King there is this marvel told,
That He wears a crown of linked thorns instead of one of gold.
Where there are thorns are roses, and I saw a line of red,
A little wreath of roses around His radiant head.

A red rose is His Sacred Heart, a white rose is His face,
And His breath has turned the barren world to a rich and flowery place.
He is the Rose of Sharon, His gardener am I,
And I shall drink His fragrance in Heaven when I die.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Waning Days of Summer

August is half over, school starts next week and summer is waving good-bye as it retires until next year. This has been the hottest summer on record here in Florida, and the humidity has been horrendous. There's been times it's been so hot and humid it's been hard to breathe and I've lived inside as much as possible this year. One good thing about that, I've read a lot of books I had on my shelf and even gone back and re-read some golden oldies.

I'm looking forward to fall, it's my favorite time of year. I'm looking forward to putting away the Americana decor from my home and bringing out the fall colors. They're so relaxing and comforting. It'll be time to put away the summer fruity candles and bring out my favorites, Autumm Wreath and Home Sweet Home...there's nothing like a Yankee Candle for bringing the scents of fall inside.

I'm ready for fall...are you?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


The other night my sweet husband was telling me how since he's been reading his Bible every day he's noticed it has all the answers to life's questions. Being the smart-aleck I can be at times, I asked, "do you suppose there's a diet in there that would really work?" (We'd also been talking about our need to eat healthier and for both of us to lose some pounds.)

I didn't give it anymore thought until I was surfing the television channels as I played with Kyle and noticed a man reading Isaiah 55: 1-2. What caught my ears was the phrase, "let your soul delight itself in fatness." That brought to mind one of my husband's favorite phrases, "oh forget the diet, eat what you want and die fat and happy." I don't think that's what this scripture really means. What it really means is that we work and struggle to try and find happiness. Instead we find depression, anger, tiredness, or _____ ( fill in your personal blank here) and then we eat to try and medicate that feeling. Instead of eating to live, we live to eat. We plan our next meal before we digest the one we just ate. If you're anything like me, if there's a piece of pie in the refrigerator it calls my name until I go eat it. We eat when we're really not even hungry, we eat because the clock tells us it's time to eat.

Anyway, I recalled Daniel in Babylon and how he didn't want to eat the King's rich foods and instead asked for pulse and water. Pulse? what's that? Basically it's seeds, whole grains, fruits and nuts. Hmmm that sounds more delicious than pulse! Then I remembered Ezekiel being in the wilderness and God giving him a specific recipe for bread...that's in Ezekiel 4:9. Then I read Ezekiel 4:10 and found out God even says how much meat to eat...."20 shekels a day". Okay, what's a shekel? I looked it up and 20 shekels of meat is 8 ounces. And there we have it....God's perfect diet! Whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruits and 8 ounces of meat a day, water to drink. How easy is that?

So I'm giving it a try.....I'll let you know how my progress goes as time goes along.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


I recently began participating in the Tyndale House bloggers tour. They send you a book, you read it and write a blog about it. Easy enough? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Once in a while you get a book you find difficult to finish and write something constructive about. HOWEVER, and I want to strongly stress that word, HURRICANES IN PARADISE is one of my all-time top-ten summer reads!
DENISE HILDRETH shares the tale of four women from different walks of life but with something in common: deep, dark secrets that keep them from being the women they ought to be. In the midst of the book one of the characters is sitting in a little church and the congregation begins to sing the old hymn, Amazing Grace. Up to that point I'd had a hard time warming up to a couple of the characters, but suddenly I realized that God's amazing grace isn't just the saving kind of grace, although I'm very thankful for that grace, but it's also the kind of grace that helps us through the deepest, darkest valleys in our lives. For Riley, Winnie, Laine, and Tamyra it is especially true. HURRICANES IN PARADISE is also a story of friendship, built around a storm in the Atlantic Ocean, certainly, but more importantly a friendship built around the love they all share for the Lord, even though a few of them had forgetten about that love.
Normally I donate any book I read for review to our new church library, we're struggling so to get it off to a good start. HURRICANES IN PARADISE is firmly at home on my keeper shelf, it's a book I'll want to read again and again, anytime I need reminding that God's Grace is all-sufficient for any problem, any trial, any situation.
This book was provided for review by Tyndale House Publishing Company and is available for purchase at as well as your local bookseller.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Marnie Wittier has life just where she wants it. Quiet. Peaceful. No drama. A long way away from her past. In the privacy of her home, she fills a box with slips of paper, scribbled with her regrets, sins, and sorrows. But that’s nobody else’s business. Her bookstore/coffee shop patrons, her employees, her friends from church—they all think she’s the very model of compassion and kindness.

Then Marnie’s past creeps into her present when her estranged sister dies and makes Marnie guardian of her fifteen-year-old son—a boy Marnie never knew existed. And when Emmit arrives, she discovers he has Down syndrome—and that she’s woefully unprepared to care for him. What’s worse, she has to deal with Taylor Cole, her sister’s attorney, a man Marnie once loved—and abandoned. As Emmit (and Taylor) work their way into her heart, Marnie begins to heal. But when pieces of her dismal past surface again, she must at last face the scripts of paper in her box, all the regrets and sorrows. Can she do it? Or will she run again?

I was prepared to enjoy SHADES OF MORNING, and I really dislike writing negative things about books, simply because an author works so hard to produce a novel for people to enjoy. However, I can honestly say there were a few parts of SHADES OF MORNING I didn't enjoy at all, from the confusing and disorienting beginning to the disturbing surprise ending. The middle, I DID enjoy! It was a heartwarming story of coming to grips with what is in life and learning that God allows us hurdles to overcome in order to learn to lean more on Him. It's also a story of learning to love who you are, who God made you, and of letting go of the past; a story of healing and miracles.
SHADES OF MORNING is available at and is a worthwhile summer read. This book was provided for review by Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

101 Reasons.....

Well there could be 101 reasons why I haven't blogged in over a month but the truth is I simply haven't felt like it. Yes, there's been a lot going to in my life taking up my time, but nothing so pressing that I couldn't have taken a few minutes and shared. I guess the real truth is I didn't have anything I felt was interesting enough to say. So, since the last time we visited:

I had my 1-year post op check and am blessed to be cancer-free.

We have a new addition in our life...Kyle. I started keeping him each day mid-way through April. He's 9 weeks old and such a blessing to our lives. We pray we can be an equal blessing to his parents and are humbled by their faith and trust in us to help raise this little one.

We have another new addition to our family....Bud. He's a 1-year-old German Shepard who is a big lap dog. He's a lot of fun to watch play. He's already knocked Paul down to the ground once playing.

We're doing a tomato plant experiment this year. We have one in a topsy-turvy planter and 3 in different types soil/fertilier/containers. I'll let you know as the season progresses which one yields best. Here's some pictures of the different plants and containers.

My azaleas were especially beautiful this year. I don't know if it's because it was so cold for so long, or if it's simply the year for azaleas. Here's a picture I took just as they reached their peak.

Our AWANA year at church was a success. One of my Puggles learned 35 Bible verses this year. This may not sound like much of an accomplishment until you remember she's only two years old. Two of my Cubbies completed an entire book, that's memorizing 24 Bible verses. One is four and the other five.

We'll soon be starting VBS and I'm looking forward to an exciting time for the kids. They're going to be studying God's Word: The Bible and looking at how we got our Bible, the men and women, such as Tyndale, who gave their very lives so we could have the Word of God for our own.

I guess that pretty much catches everyone up as to what I've been doing in my life lately. Time to get ready and go to church. I pray your lives are so very blessed.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

FORGET ME NOT by Vicki Hinze

Over the years I've read many books by very talented author Vicki Hinze. She is queen of the nail-biting, edge-of-the seat thrillers. This lady writes a mean mystery story! FORGET ME NOT, however, is the FIRST Christian thriller I've read from her talented pen and it does not disappoint!

Just who IS Susan? The very mysterious lady has lost her memory and has nothing to go on but a name and a necklace. Benjamin Brandt thinks she looks like his deceased wife, but could she be? What is NINA and why are they trying to kill Susan? These are but a few of the questions that fill the mind as you turn the pages of this excellent book.

FORGET ME NOT is offered through Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing where you can visit for more information. It is available online or at your local bookseller. If you are a lover of mysteries, this is one book you won't want to miss.

This book was provided for review by Waterbrook Multnomah.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Let me say my house is cleaner, and more organized than I thought possible, and I thought I was already organized!

I have already reached my 365 item decluttering goal, and have cleaned my spice cabinet and pantry of all outdated food. I have cleaned out my jewelry box of all jewelry I no longer wear, cleaned out my clothes closet and the office supply closet in my office/spare bedroom. I cleaned off my bookcases and have donated all appropriate books to our church library PLUS I sold my entire Emilie Loring book collection on ebay (netting a nice $50 profit.) We sold our Chevy Blazer, I cleaned out the buffet in my dining room and got rid of all the extra vases (who needs 10 vases?) 3 dozen votive candles and a dozen taper candles. We donated an extra computer to the gal who cleans house for me, she's returning to school to become a phlebotomist and donated a second extra computer to a local Christian school who was in desperate need of one since theirs bit the dust. Lest you think we are computer poor now, we still have three (2 desktops and a laptop) so no one will have internet withdrawal. We've also decluttered an extra printer, 2 monitors, and a half gross of pencils.

I still need to work on my husband's closet, but this has to be done when he is not home as he doesn't understand why I need to throw out t-shirts with holes in them or socks that no longer stay up. Me, I will never understand why men think it's perfectly all right to wear clothes a rag-picker's son should not wear. I also need to clean out my shoes and my off-season clothing closet. I also need to clean my kitchen cabinets and see which items I can do without. Lastly, I will clean my music cabinet. I probably won't discard any of is something you never know when someone will ask, "do you have the music for ?" and I can say, YES, I do! As a musician who has to prepare 2 preludes and 2 offertories per week I need a wide variety of music. I will organize it better and clean up that area so it is out of sight instead of on a shelf. I'd love to have an antique music cabinet, unfortunately those I've seen are way out of my budget.

How are you doing on your decluttering challenge?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I can not believe this is the 100th post on my blog. I can't say I've always had a lot to say, nor can I say I have a faithful following to my ponderings, but I have enjoyed sitting down and writing; sharing my thoughts and feelings with you all.
One thing about blogging is you share who you are and what you're doing with the world at large. Someone suggested I share 100 new things about myself....I couldn't come up with 100! Instead I have decided to do a simple giveaway in celebration of my 100th pondering. Here's the rules...short, sweet and simple.
1. Leave a comment and you'll receive 1 entry into my drawing. Be sure there's an email address where I can contact you if you win.
2. Post on your blog and link to my blog and let me know in your comment and you'll receive a 2nd entry.
3. Begin following my blog and let me know in your comment and you'll receive a 3rd entry.
4. Entry deadline is Sunday February 28, 2010 at midnight
5. Drawing will be held on Monday March 1st and winner will be notified by email.

By now you're probably wondering...what will I win??? As I've mentioned before, I am not crafty or creative. Sorry. However, you will receive a $100 gift basket of wonderful AVON products.


Monday, February 15, 2010


Okay, the whole title is HEAR NO EVIL: My Story of Innocence, Music, and the Holy Ghost, and Matthew Paul Turner is a HOOT! Well, maybe I think so because I'm a Southern Baptist girl who grew up with the "we don't dance" rule hanging over her head while her feet simply would not be still. I always tried to convince my parents that David danced before the Lord, why couldn't I? Needless to say that argument never held much water. Thankfully they relented for high school dances and I was able to dance at prom.
Similarly, Matthew Paul Turner's roots are implanted in the Independent Fundamental Baptist Church, they're stricter than Southern Baptists! I thoroughly enjoyed the peeks into that realm and into how a teenage boy who thought he was destined to become the Michael Jackson of Christian music rebelled and survived. I also enjoyed the subtle look into the realities of CCM (contemporary Christian music) and how all things are not always as they seem in the hallowed halls of Christianity.
What Mr. Turner is trying to convey, in his funny and often irreverent way, is that Christianity isn't found in the four walls of a religion, but instead inside one's heart and in their personal relationship with God. It's not whether you play the drums in church, sing rock and roll, dance, tap your foot, or clap your hands. It's not in lifting hands in worship, or in putting on your piety along with your best dress or suit before you head out the door for Sunday morning worship. A real relationship with God is personal and intimate. It's not a performance for others.
Highly entertaining, HEAR NO EVIL is a quick read with a sound message. It's a book I hope you won't pass up. Recommend it to your chuch librarian, it's one everyone can enjoy!
This book was provided for review by the Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group.
More information about HEAR NO EVIL is available on the Random House website.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Like many, the economic situation has hit us hard. Harder than some, for we are self-employed. Because of that I've taken to simplifying our lives and trying to live more frugally. We eat out much less, we've agreed to keep it to once a week, and we look for bargains wherever we can find them. I was thrilled recently to discover a local grocery store has five packages of meat for $19.99. Because they're family sized packages I can get as many as 10 meals from those five packages of meat! They're not always the most tender of cuts and take a little creativity to tenderize them, but it's fun.
I've begun following a blog FRUGAL AND SIMPLE which is filled with tremendous ideas and recipes. We tried her chicken and Rotel rice the other night and it was scrumptious! But, as usual, I digress. The challenge I speak of here is from her blog and goes along with my annual January de-cluttering. She challenges us to remove 365 items from our home during the next year. I admit, I'm too OCD for this to take 12 months, probably won't take me 12 days to be honest, but I like the idea of ridding my home of clutter, things that don't fit my decor, clothing that doesn't fit, and down right junk.
Today, for instance, I cleaned out the closet and cabinets in my laundry room. I found a bottle of waterbed matress cleaner and conditioner. We haven't had a waterbed in over 10 years! I also cleaned out my spice cupboard and condensed some cookie/cake decorations into one container and got rid of several out-of-date spices. Next is the pantry where I'm going to get rid of everything out of date and try to use my almost out of date pantry supplies during the next couple of weeks for dinners.
Yesterday, to the delight of my best girlfriend and her daughter, I cleaned out my side of the closet and got rid of three purses I no longer use (to their delight because they were all Dooney and Bourke purses). To my shock, I am now down to four purses in my closet. That's never happened before! Next closet is my shoe closet. I'm also going through my jewery and getting rid of everything I haven't worn in more than six months.
Our biggest thing we "decluttered" today was we said goodbye to the Chevrolet Blazer than has given us 10 years of great service. It went to a really good home and will help us with less expense on license and insurance.
Why don't you try accepting the challenge. I'm finding it a lot of fun to do!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


There's a song June Carter Cash and Johnny Cash used to sing years ago by this title and as I was sitting here thinking about what to write today the song popped into my head. Not because of the lyrics of the song but because of the title and what I've had on my heart recently....wasting time.
One of my goals for this year was to spend less time wasting time..doing things that don't truly matter. One of the things I have discovered that wastes a lot of my time is playing silly games on Facebook. FarmTown, CountryLife, Island Paradise and others aren't harmful, in and of themselves, but they are thieves of time. I could use that time in other ways.
With that in mind I've decided to stop playing them for a trial period of three months and see how I do with my time. Will I use it elsewhere contructively or will I find another way to spend that time in another wasteful way?
Today, I used some of that game time beginning my annual decluttering. I worked on my side of the bedroom closet, the bathroom closet and cabinets and the buffet in the dining room. I will admit, I didn't toss out too many things but I did straighten, reorganize and tossed things like old sheets, and repurposed some other things (like unused hand towels from DH's bathroom that he never uses).
Tomorrow I plan on decluttering the laundry room cabinets and closet and the closet in my bathroom. I also need to make a trip to Sam's Club for the church....maybe tomorrow...we'll see.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

What a GREAT week!

I was so blessed this past week to have my oldest son, Derek, visit with us for his vacation. It was great to have him drive the 1100 miles from Chicago to Florida to spend four days with us. We had such a terrific time and I was amazed to discover how much he has become just like me.

He arrived Sunday late so we spent Monday resting and Tuesday we drove down to Micanopy (no it's not pronounced Ma Canopy, it's Mi ca no pee) It's a small town where they filmed the movie Doc Hollywood with Michael J Fox and it's like taking a walk back in time. We ate at the Florida Cafe (GREAT reuben sandwiches) and then spent the afternoon browsing through all the antique shops. Oh, I taught him well. He knew what to look for and how to choose...and how to barter and when to say no.

Afterwards we drove to Cross Creek and visited the home of author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, the author of such books as Cross Creek and The Yearling. He loved it as much as we do...again another walk through time to simpler days of the past.

Wednesday was a fun and busy day and before I knew it Thursday morning dawned bright and early and it was time for him to head back to Chicago with promises that he'd return over Easter break, this time bringing my grandchildren with him. I am already counting the days.

Speaking of counting, if you've noticed I'll soon be at my 100th blog....I can't believe that! Anyone have any ideas for the subject of my 100th blog? Leave me a comment with your suggestions. Hope you have a great week!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Week from H E Double Toothpicks

If there ever were one, this week was it! It started on Sunday when my wonderful, 1 year-old computer decided to up and quit. No notice, no flickering, just POOF and it was gone. It was exactly two weeks out of warranty so HP didn't even want to discuss it. Note to all who are thinking of buying a new computer...DO NOT purchase the HP slimline computer. Not enough air gets in and it will fry the motherboard. That's what happened to mine. Sooooooo needless to say I had to buy a new one and panicking all the way that they would not be able to retrieve all my old data. Thankfully we were directed to a FANTASTIC computer guy in a neighboring town who builds computers and he not only retrieved my old data but took my old drive (which was working great still) and added it as a secondary drive where I could access anything I wanted from my old computer. Praise God!

Then on Wednesday, I was cleaning out the pantry and found three bottles of water. I figured we'd drink them if they were cold so I stuck them in the door of the fridge and when I went to stand up...POP! I pulled my lower back out! AGONY!!!!! I could barely walk, sitting hurt, standing hurt, lying down hurt and I couldn't get a massage until the next day!

Thursday dawned with pain and anxiousness as I was finally getting my newly built computer and thankfulness that my massage was only a couple of hours a way and I could get some relief, hopefully. My sweet husband drove the two hours to pick up my computer (one hour each way) and brought it in. We hooked it up and GASP! They hadn't installed the programs they were supposed to and installed some I didn't want. I called and joyfully the guy was coming to Gainesville and offered to make...wait for it...a HOUSECALL! Who does that anymore? I went on to my massage, happy my computer would be accessible in the afternoon.'d think my worries would be over but no...some program I installed wiped out my CD/DVD and now what to do? So, I put in a call to great Mr PC...they know me by name now ...and he generously walked me through the process over the phone. VOILA!

I still had a few kinks to work how to get my hundreds of favorite places back (I worked that one out this morning...copy and paste!) and get my last few programs installed now that my CD/DVD drive is working again. My useage is through the roof, but I think I'm finally back in business.

Ha Ha Satan, you sent me a really bad week, but with GOD all things are possible and I am an overcomer! So pfffffffffffffft!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


There is something so wrong about Florida having 10 degree temperatures and a forcast of ...SNOW !!! Me, I'm staying inside, trying to keep warm. A trip to the doctor yesterday revealed it's not another cold, I have bronchitis. I haven't had bronchitis since I moved to Florida 12 years ago. Speaking of which, I moved to Florida so I didn't have to deal with those kinds of temperatures or snow anymore. The weathermen and historians say this will be the longest cold snap Florida has ever had in history (since they started keeping records). It does warm up during the daylight hours, it was in the 40's today, but these nighttime temperatures mean your fruit and produce prices are going to rocket even more.

And exactly what is the deal with the fruit prices? DH bought me some seedless green grapes yesterday...$8 for a bag of grapes! I can't wait to see what the strawberry prices are going to be. (Yes, strawberries are in season here in Florida...unless this cold weather kills them all ) It reminds me of a phrase from a song from years long ago passed...."a piece of bread would buy a bag of gold." Just one more sign that these are indeed the last days.

Anyway, I think it's time for me to head to bed. I'm not getting enough sleep because I cough so much, but it needs to get out of my chest so I guess coughing isn't such a bad thing, it just means I don't get a lot of good sleep. It doesn't last forever, though, so I can be patient and catch up on my sleep as I heal. Have a blessed evening!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

THE ONE DAY WAY by Chantel Hobbs

"I've tried every diet known to man and nothing works!" "I have a hormone problem." "I don't eat all that much, I don't understand why I'm so fat." "I have no willpower." Any of those excuses sound familiar?

It seems that as the calendar pages turn to January 1st our minds turn to losing weight, exercising more and making changes in our lives. Most of the time, according to Chantel Hobbs, we sabotage ourselves before we ever begin day 1 of a "diet." I don't know about you, but the word diet has such a negative connotation. The word diet alone seems to scream, "you're not going to get to eat anything you love!" As one of my good friends says, "Where's the fun in that?"

I will admit, I am very overweight and my weight directly led to my having cancer last year. When women are overweight after menopause their bodies still produce estrogen. Fat produces estrogen. When you're menopausal there's no progesterone to "oppose" the estrogen and so you have what is termed "unopposed estrogen". Now, in women that can cause three things to happen, uterine cancer (which is what I had), breast cancer, or heart attacks. I'm giving you this little medical lesson because I wish someone had given it to me a few years ago. It would have changed the way I looked at my weight in a big way, because I can tell you from personal experience that cancer is not fun.

When I opened the envelope with THE ONE DAY WAY inside my first reaction was, "oh great, another self-help, pie-in-the-sky diet book." But, I tried to be open-minded and fair as I started reading. Now, I don't know about you, but when I read a book I read ALL of the book. from flyleaf to flyleaf. Including the kudos, forewards, introductions and dedications. Sometimes there is important things in those sections. If I hadn't I would have missed a very important testimonial from Mike Huckabee that changed my attitude on this book immediately.

As I turned the opening pages and began getting into the meat of thebook, the old adage, "how do you eat a bear?" came to mind. The answer is, of course, "one bite at a time." This is Chantal Hobbs' answer to losing weight! It's not the end goal, it's only looking at today. Not next week, not 100 pound weight loss but small victories, small changes. It's the small changes that add up to the end result somewhere, sometime, someplace...none of which are important today. For today it might be passing up that second cookie, or choosing not to eat a bag of chips with that sub sandwich. It might be choosing a piece of fruit instead of an banana split. It might be taking a walk around the block instead of sitting on the couch watching reruns. Small steps add up to large rewards. The author guides the reader into finding alternatives for the stressful lifestyle of dieting and shows you instead how to break your long-term goals into bite-sized pieces.

If you've ever tried a diet and failed I can say this book will be a life-changing revelation. THE ONE DAY WAY is available from Waterbrook Press, a division of Random House publishing and is available at your local bookseller.

BONUS~~ If you've made it this far~~~Waterbrook Press has sent me a 2nd copy to offer to those reading my blog. All you have to do to win is leave a comment and a way to contact you if you don't have a blog. I'll draw for a winner on Friday, January 15th and contact the winner.

This book was furnished for review by Waterbrook Press.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

ANOTHER COLD!!! and other things

I'd barely gotten over the last one and I've got ANOTHER cold! Or maybe it's just a relapse of the last one...who knows. I only know I feel absolutely MISERABLE! It reminds me of why I stopped teaching school...because every kid that came to school sick, teacher got their cold. By the last year I taught I had chronic bronchitis. I've done really well since I've moved to Florida...until this year. In the last twelve months I've had FOUR colds! I think I must be a cold magnet. So, if you're walking down the aisle at church this morning and you see a woman sitting there with watery eyes, running nose, coughing her head off while she sucks cough drop after cough drop, think of me.

On a cheerier note, we watched the movie Julie/Julia last night. My sweet husband bought it for me as a Christmas gift, and it was wonderful.

For those keeping track of Andy, his name is now Alex and he's found a brand new home with the family of the little girl I've kept for the past five years...oops SIX years now. As much as we loved him, he caused me considerable stress. As I told a friend, I had no business having a puppy. He is much loved there and we'll still be able to see him often. Yes, I have a few regrets, but I know it was the right thing to do. So, if you even hear me THINKING about getting another dog, please kick me.

I'm off to the shower and to get ready for church...hope your Lord's Day is blessed!

Friday, January 1, 2010

WELCOME 2010!!

As I sit here in the still darkened early morning hours of the first day of this new year, of the first year of a new decade, I ponder over the last year, reviewing the ups and downs, goods and bads, positives and negatives and as I focus on the year ahead I begin to think of things I would like to change, things that need improvement, things that need to be eliminated from my life and things that need more focus in my life.
Let me state, upfront, I don't like New Year's "resolutions". I find that they're generally self-focused and usually don't last more than a few days because people don't begin looking in the right directions. We need to begin by looking up and asking God how we can do more to serve Him, how we can grow more in our walk with Him and how we can be a better picture of Him to the world in which we live. We need to look and see how we can be a better example to our families, especially our children and grandchildren and how we can be an example to those within our sphere of influence.

I'll start with elimination....I am backing away from spending so much of my time on this computer. That includes games on Facebook and other type games, message boards and email loops that cause me entirely too much stress, and shopping for entertainment at the blogs and sites of others. I'm also reducing the collections and clutter in my home. Knick-knacks and tchotckes are cute and all, but they're also another thing I have to dust or find a home for. (Note here to my friends...if you've given me something and the next time you come to visit it's no longer sitting on a shelf, please don't take it personally, it doesn't mean I no longer love you). I'm also reducing my book collection. Books are meant to be read and enjoyed, not collecting dust sitting on a shelf. Most of my book collection will be donated to our brand new church library. That way if I desire to re-read one I can check it out!

I scanned over my list of goals for last year and realize they're things I can still work on in 2010.
1. To grow closer to God through dedication to Bible Study and prayer each day.
2. To begin keeping a prayer journal once again
3. To become a more dedicated prayer warrior
4. To study my Bible, in depth, rather than simply reading it. To make it come alive by studying it in the context of history and truth, to make the scriptures and people come alive.
5. To share the gospel of Christ, with at least one person, each week
6. To be a blessing to someone each day
7. To continue building a stronger relationship with my sister
8. To become a gentler, kinder person through the Grace of God
9 To use handwritten cards and letters as an encouragement to those who are ill or need other uplifting
10. To keep my mind focused on Christ and to be more aware of His presences in my life as I choose activities, books to read, television programs and movies to watch and music to listen to.
11. To be more pleasing to God in my everyday activities
12. To let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart by acceptable to the Heavenly Father.

In addition I would like to work harder to make my body an acceptable Temple for the Holy Spirit by not only strengthening it spiritually but also make it a better physical that includes the eat less, exercise more typical "resolutions" but this year I plan on doing it one day at a time instead of setting a specific goal and trying to reach it...small victories.

More than anything else I want to be like the children's song, "This Little Light of Mine" and I want my light to shine, shine, shine for the Heavenly Father.

May your New Year be the most wonderful year!
Blessings be upon your house in 2010.

Philippians 4:13