Monday, December 14, 2009

2 Sides to Every Story

It's a funny thing...we always want others to see our side of the story but often we only see ours and ours alone. It's a tough thing to see the possibility of someone else just doing the best they can. I know it's tough for me. When another chooses to act in a way that I would not choose I can quickly move into judgment. I can quickly say "What an idiot! Why would anyone see that as a healthy idea or action?" Well, the reality is: Very few of us choose the hard way. Most of the time people choose what they perceive as the best way possible. Believe it or not, that woman ahead of you in line isn't really that rude, she may have a sick husband at home and the line has not moved in the last 5 minutes and she just wants to get home to give him his medicine to get him comfy and resting. I would love to say that I have decided that once and for all I will always see the world as there is two sides to every story. But I will fail. Unfortunately, I am new at it. So I am asking for some assistance. I would love to count on you (yes, YOU) to provide for me the necessary reminder that I can choose to see that there are other ways of looking at someone and their behavior. I would love to shift into that magical place where I can actually choose to love someone unconditionally and I believe this may be key in that goal.
So when I see my world, I can see that everyone is simply doing the best that they can. When they ask for some insight or suggestion from me I will be there to help. But until then, I must respect that God is at work in each and every one of us in His perfect way and orchestrating the world we live in to teach us. He is much better at it than I would ever be. So, I trust Him. And I trust you. I trust you to be learning right along with me.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

It's a beautiful day...

It is still dark outside, so how do I know it's a beautiful day? Since my eyes opened from a wonderful restful sleep (and sometimes these days that isn't a given) I have been in gratitude. I can see twinkling lights from the Christmas trees around the house. I hear a purring sweet sound in my ear. My sweet man has his hand resting on my shoulder. I see pictures of loved ones and upon seeing them I have floods of memories rushing in. I know the sun will come up because God is in His splendor and has created a world where the sun always comes up. I know today I will work, smile, laugh, maybe cry, love on people and they on me. I know tonight I will feel my granddaughters arms around my neck. I know my grandson will call me at least 5 times today if not 6 to ask when I am coming to pick him up. I know I will have energy to do all this and tonight when I lay my head on the pillow I will rest again.
I am grateful for all of these. And so much more. I choose today to see all the things I have thanks for and in so doing it will all roll just the way it was intended. And it will be easier than if I started off without gratitude.
That works for me.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

20 Little Things to Treasure in Autumn

I found this list on The Inspired Room blog:

20 Little Things To Treasure in Autumn

Quiet dinners by the fire
Reading mystery novels in darkened rooms
Flannel sheets at the end of a long day
Candles Flickering
Smelling cinnamon, oranges & cloves
Roasts, Potatoes & Carrots
Fluffy feather beds on a cold night
Watching movies snuggled in soft blankets
Cozy socks
Pie in the oven
Warm crackling wood stoves
Squash with buttered brown sugar
Chili and corn bread smothered in honey
Wind blowing through leaves
Glow of lamps through windows
Laughter filling a room
Scrabble and popcorn
Caramel apples

So here's my list:

Leaves falling on Main Street
Cats snuggling in a little more
Soup: Jim's favorite Autumn Squash Soup
Squash: You know the hearty dense baked sustenance
Inspiration: Feeling the juices flowing, this is the time of year it comes for me
Planning: For Thanksgiving, Christmas, parties, programs at church, Advent
Getting out the Recipe book
Meat roasting in the crock pot
Trees showing off their beautiful colors
Daylight Savings Time: An extra hour!
Long Sleeps: So much easier to sleep in the cool
Martha Stewart magazine
Noticing other's creativity: Others are so creative and then I steal their ideas!
Browns Oranges Rusts Coppers: The colors of fall
Planning where to put the Christmas Trees
Socks: I never wear them until now!
Crisp Air: Love it! So invigorating!
Hot Tea: I pull out my tea pot and my pretty cups and saucers
Bold Coffee: You know the kind that tastes like a meal!

That's the ones off the top of my head. What are yours?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Dinner at the Loft

I asked Jim to go into the closet with the ladder and retreive the toys from up there. We don't have many little ones around normally but are prepared when they grace our home. There is a kitchen and one box with assorted toys that are simply thrown in. We were having a big dinner at the house and I knew Carson and Abbey would be coming. So when Carson realized there was a kitchen he not only wanted to cook for everyone but was willing to wear the badge of honor:the apron. So sweet. He had a ball.


It is an amazing complexity of life...learning. In order for me to learn most of the time it requires some kind of pain. Sometimes big pain, sometimes small but usually pain. It gets my attention like nothing else. When pain hits it is the loudness of it, the strength of it that grabs my sight and awareness and then I can get the lesson. I find it interesting that when I choose to learn from difficulty rather than mope and complain and relish in the injustice then I have a new set of eyes. I then can see where my part was played in the drama. I can see where I knew this was a bad idea or when I should have spoken up or how I could have caused a whole change in the chain of events by being aware and speaking my truth. No one else can speak it for me. I alone know my heart and its stirrings and I alone am responsible to be true to it. So this time I have learned with some significant pain that when I am struck with the "gut" feeling I must act in love and honor all the while preventing others pain as well. If I had simply spoken what I knew to be true then I would have been unstung and others would have been spared it as well. Yes, I could wallow in that alone for days, but I refuse it. I love it instead because it is my teacher. I learn from this experience and learn it well. I learn that when God tells me to move or act or speak then I must. Unless I want more pain and more learning! Then I remain in the victim-hood of life and never learn a blessed thing. That is my choice.
Today I choose to learn. I love this lesson and its pain too for now I know more than ever how to listen to the still small voice and do as it says.
Can I hear an amen?
Onward to the day I go.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A fun place to look

I found this fun fun fun site with all kinds of stuff!!! Check it out:
There is a link on my blog list too. Make certain you look at the spectacular house tour. Unbelievable!

Have the best day full of creativity, imagination and spark.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

He's growing up.

He just insists on growing up. What am I to do? I watch him. I listen. I hear. I laugh. I encourage. I believe. There isn't a day that passes that I don't think of the blessings in my life and he is one of the top of the list. His sister is such a joy. Thank you Lord for this growing learning blessing. He teaches me so often and I am grateful.

The Corn Maze

We had a blast at the corn maze...even though when we arrived we discovered that it was to be done in the dark...duh. Oh well, we still went ahead and had fun in spite of Ammon's observation "This is pretty lame Meema." And with a shrug he went ahead and had so much fun and made us laugh and have a better time than we would ever have had without him.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Power of a Smile

This morning (quite early and still dark) I was headed to Starbucks. OK, some of you will not be able to get over the fact that I DRIVE to Starbucks...I do so there. Anyway, I was driving and it was COLD. The air was a little damp and I had not yet grasped the day yet. Empty of thought and unaware of the beauty of the beginning of the day my eye was drawn to a woman on her bike (remember I said it was cold) and she was headed across Blue Lakes SMILING. I thought "is she really smiling?" And indeed she was. Smiling in the cold, smiling riding bike, smiling in the dark, smiling.
I thought "I'm not smiling." I was not necessarily unhappy nor unsatisfied or even preoccupied. But I had not yet made the decision that she beat me to. She decided to smile long before I did. She had decided this day was great and was happy to be in it. (And no, she did not look loco.)
So, what else was I to do? I smiled too. I wondered how many other people decided to smile when they saw her pearly whites. I wondered how many saw her on that busy road and their day too was confronted with her contagious behavior.
So, I determined that I too would follow in her grinness and be a contagious one of smiling too. So, I began to smile. Driving down the road smiling. And you know what happened? I began to SEE. I saw the beauty of the changing colors, I saw the beauty in the face that handed me my Americano. I saw the beauty in the sky as it began to unfold the day. And I saw my reflection in my rear view mirror and saw my own beauty.
How many people were infected today by that one guilty smiler? I would venture to say many many more than if she had not blessed just me with her grin.
So, take the challenge. Go on. Do it. Grin. I dare you.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

SNOW snowed today. October 4, 2009 and it snowed. It started early this morning and went until about 3:00 pm. So much fun! It's fun since there is no slick roads or ice, just pretty snow. We sat in our nook and watched the snow and ate steamy soup.

Gracey is here!!!

She is absolutely beautiful. Amazing and perfect. Don't you love what she did when her mommy showed her toes?! She arrived on September 25, 2009 at 8 lbs 4 oz and was 19.5 in long. Her mommy looks great and Abbey and Carson MUST do it all!

Ammon's 10 Birthday Party

What a blast watching Dad and Grandpa get with it and even race, so many smiles and trials of staying on your feet and finally pizza and cake. And yes, presents. A very good day.

Friday, October 2, 2009


It's time for Oktoberfest so I decorated the window with some fun punkins I did myself.

Fall is in the air and the time for apples, chili, baked potatoes, soup and pot roast is here. We have had some low temps and the air feels crisp and sharp. I love it. I love putting on a sweater and socks after so many months of flip flops and sandals. By the time it comes that I can wear them again I am ready, but on this day I am prepared for some shoes!

Monday, September 21, 2009

My name is Teacher

When I was a little girl I had a favorite shirt. It was my first choice because it felt good. I don't even remember what it looked like, although it was on the tshirt side. I wore it for days. Days. I don't know how I got away with it. And when it started getting really noticeable, I would turn it inside out and wear it more. I think that is a telling detail of many of us. We don't like change.
But change is good. It causes me to decide on the priority of things. It allows me to consider what is really important and what is not so important. When a favorite mug meets its maker by shattering on the tile floor I am sad. But then I realize how many other fun mugs I have in my cupboard that I like a lot.
However, other changes can carry way more weight. For instance, a growing child will shock me when a birthday comes and they are not in my class anymore. I have one of those. I have several, but Brayden has been with me since he was 2.

There were many Sunday School days when he was my only student. And last spring when he declared that "next birthday imo be 6!" my heart sank. He is my charming sweet boy that never calls me Miss Mary Ellen or Mary Ellen or anything else except Teacher. That is my name now. Brayden blessed me with the title and all other students have followed in his stead. I am Teacher and I am very proud of this name. I have indeed earned it. What's even crazier is I was Brayden's mommy's Teacher too. I remember her beautiful brown eyes and pretty blond hair and sweet smile. Sometimes Brayden and now his brother Noah smiles with their mommy's smile. I love the reminder. I remember when she sat up at the Christmas play so tall and sang so sweetly all alone in her first solo with the microphone up to her mouth and I cried. I remember when she left my class too. And I cried then.
Now I am crying again. I don't want Brayden to grow but I do. I can't imagine how his mommy and daddy are feeling. I just know how I do. I want him to stay in my class forever, but the time has come for him to move on.
I have felt this way so many times and quite frankly I am sick of it. Yes, sick. These beautiful babies grace my world and I am so fortunate as to be the one that wipes their noses and make them laugh and they make me laugh. I watch as they learn to hold a crayon and sing a new song. I beam when I hear them say their abc's and watch them write their name. I see their pride when they remember the lesson from last week and remember how wonderful Jesus' love is for us. I never want them to forget it and I think somehow if they stayed in my class just maybe they would never forget it. That's silly. Of course they will remember. Many more are standing in line to teach them and walk with them and love on them. I just want it be me.
So don't forget me Brayden. Remember who Moses is and remember how he was so brave so you can be too. And remember Zaccheus and David and when God made what because you know now. I know others will help you remember and of course Mommy and Daddy will too. I will certainly not forget what we have learned together.
So go to the next stage precious boy and learn more and more and more. And always when you see me remember, my name is Teacher.

A Shower of Love and Gifts

Jessica, my sweet neice is just about to give birth to Gracey. Gracey will be Scott and Jessica's third baby. Abbey and Carson are ready to hold, play and feed that baby if she would ever get here! She isn't late yet, but Jessica is ready now! The church that Jessica attends showered her with many gifts and a beautiful get together. We commented how we were missing Jessica's mom Brenda. And also Diane along with a few others, but the turnout was great.

These diaper cakes were on almost every table. The gals at the Nazarene Church went above and beyond to make it so fun. Jessica went home with a unreal amount of diapers!

Aren't their faces so sweet. These little girls are so into these little precious gifts. The red head is Abbey, my great niece and Gracey's sister.

It was so fun to see everyone having such a good time and the food was yum. Meatballs, bread wrapped weinies, cream puffs, fruit salad, green crunchy salad. And then after all of that...cake!
She made a HAUL!!! What a wonderful showering of gifts. Come quickly Gracey!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The old stairs come down!

They started by removing the stairs in sections. This is a photo of the second part of the old stairs removal. They had already removed the first section. Not a great pic, but you can see the section gone. I filmed the removal of the second part and it is on my you tube link! Sooooo exciting!

...and now the old stairs are gone!!! We have a completely new look and after the welder completes all of the work on the spiral stairs then the deck construction will begin! Wooooohooooo!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Letting go

I have recently been faced with a crazy idea. Letting go of all expectations. What? Letting go? Letting go of a time frame of when my deck will be done or when the rest of the house will be done. Or letting go that ANYONE will be kind to me today or that I will get all the things on my list of things to do done today. Or when I have a plan, that depends on anyone else to let go that they will do their part. When I let go, I allow all those feelings of disappointment, or unmet expectations or those "less-than" feelings to exit my life. Because then it's all up to me to create what I want, what I deserve...what I own. I free myself up from waiting for another to make me happy or meet my needs. I have all I need in and of myself. I can give that gift to all in my life because I am not waiting for them to perform for me or create a feeling for me.
As I was folding the blanket on the couch the other day for the 18th time I realized I was feeling annoyed and resentful. How many times does he pick up that blanket and it is magically folded? Does it EVER occur to him that someone comes along and folds it every time he uses it? Or does he think that it is inconvenient to have to unfold it when he wants to take a nap?
I laughed at myself. It was really funny! I fold the blanket because I want it folded. No one else seems to care, but I do. So why not just fold the stupid thing and smile because it is as I want my little world in the TV room to be?
I cannot wait for Jim to perform tasks as I see they get to be. He is looking at the world from a completely different view. He is so wonderful to me. If I ask him for ANYTHING...literally anything...he would go to ends of the earth to give it to me. So his lack of folding should have nothing to do with how I feel or how I feel he feels about me.
Don't know if any of this makes any sense except to me. And that's great because I wrote it for myself to see how it feels for me.
"I let go of all expectations..."

The spiral staircase is going up!

...once the spiral is complete then the old staircase will be removed, allowing construction for the new deck! Woot!

Here is another view. Exciting, huh?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Dave's 50th Birthday

My brother Dave had his birthday party are a few slices of fun that happened in the day. Zoe and Hadassah are so beautiful and precious. I think you can see how much they are loved.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Scary sight...

My grandson Ammon got to go onto the roof with Grandpa the other day. Amiah wanted nothing to do with it! So up they climbed and I set out to get my camera, go outside and down the stairs a little ways and take a pic. No problem right? Hah. I saw him up there and about lost my cookies. He was so close to the edge (Grandpa says not even close) and I felt my stomach up in my throat! I felt my whole body cramping and wanting to be calm, cool and collected I snapped the picture as quickly as I could. Then encouraging him to come right back in...right now...and we will play a game.

As I climbed the stairs I felt my knees shaking and my hands quaking and then inside I realized the bottoms of my feet were sweating. Too much. Just too much.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

To the sun...

Dear Sun,

I want to say thank you. Every morning I awake during the dark. As you approach my day I experience something every single time whether I acknowledge it or not. I feel this wonderful washing. With the new day I realize that yesterday is no more. The night is no more. This new day is here and I can grab a hold of it and say "Yes!" or I can choose to hang onto yesterday. It is a choice. When I choose to hang onto yesterday I know that I miss whatever is happening today. Why would I do that? (many reasons...all of them silly.)
And so today I choose today. Yesterday was wonderful! We celebrated Lee's birthday in a very unusual way as we declared her 80! We laughed and visited with many who came and went. There was a wonderful energy in the salon with Karla there. (Thank you Karla!) And I learned things yesterday.
But now it is today. I take it in and embrace it for what will be today. I let go of what is no more and take hold with a tight grasp of what will be right
So, thank you, Sun for the opportunity to experience this new way.
And as for this post, yes, it may sound esoteric and etherial but in my own way it is what I wanted to say right now. So there.
Thank you!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I have been so blessed. I need more words in my vocabulary. Words that mean unconditional, treasures, fun, awesome, talented, honest, trusting, vulnerable. When I think of my friends (which include my family!) I see these faces and I look up to the heavens and I say "Thank You." I need more words for that too. Gratitude, acknowledge, cherish, sincere. And then I smile. I smile because when they look at me they smile too. They have that knowing that we agreed to love each other and for the most part, it's so simple, easy. Sometimes looking into the face of a friend I remember home. I remember the feeling of relief and comfort. I remember that I can let go and just be. I feel this way whether we are related by birth or familiarity. My family are the perfect representation of knowing and yet loving, no matter what. True friends.

The other day my dear friend Renae came to town. She comes once a year and she reserves a day for me. For me! Usually it's lunch. So we went to a restaurant and before being seated we made certain with the server that she knew we were going to be a long time there. A loooong time. She tucked us away and gave us the space and time to refresh ourselves together. I love the kind of friend (and they are few and far between but I have been blessed with many) that even though we have been seperated for a long time or distance we take up where we left off like it was yesterday. After the food and drink and non-stop sharing with laughter and tears we knew it was time to go. When I stood my legs didn't want to work. I looked at my watch and literally laughed out loud when the time showed that we had been in that booth for SIX HOURS. SIX! And still we talked in the car all the way to her family's home. Yes! Thank you, Renae, for being that constant sweet friend.

And now today is my birthday. I look at the faces of my friends and family in my minds eye and I know my gifts. They surround me like a blanket of comfort never allowing me to be without their company.

Do you know how much I love you? When you read this, you will know who you are. And yes, I mean you. There is no blanket statement here. I think of you and realize that I get to say thank you to you. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for honoring me by being in my life. Thank you for being the witness of unconditional love to me.

Friday, July 24, 2009

How my house came to be mine...

I should tell you at this point (now that I have shared some photos of my house) the story behind finding this property and how it came to pass that we live here.

Years ago when I was a teenager my family lived on Main Street. We lived in one of the few houses left on one end of Main. My father had a little shop next to our house. My first job was at a little greasy drive in close to home. I would either walk or Dad would come and get me if it was late. Later, during high school I worked on the other end of Main back when there were still large department stores downtown which was before the malls came.

At that time each member of my family worked somewhere on Main street. Sometimes I would walk home from work and stop at a hotel that had a quaint restaurant within. I would have dinner alone and upon arriving home Mom would ask if I was hungry. I would reply with just the appropriate pause "Nooo, I guess I'm not too hungry. Thanks anyway." And then I would head up to my room and do my homework still thinking about the steamy pie ala mode that I had gorged myself on just a half and hour ago. Mind you, this kind of solo behavior just wasn't done in my home. We were members of a large family never prone to eating out or eating someone else's pie.

So, Main Street was a home to me. I dreamt of living there as an adult. As a teenager I was very aware of folks still living above the shops on Main. I envied them. I wanted to move into these places and eat whatever I wanted and watch the birds outside my window and have to go walk my dog in the middle of the night. I wanted that bad.

And when I started as a nail technician on that very same Main Street, it was very comfortable for me. Although so much had changed since I was a kid, I still loved it. I loved the fountain, the trees, the buildings.

We bought a building that had so much potential for business with lots of space. At the time, I never thought we could possibly use the lower level but my hubby did an amazing job renovating that and now there is a wonderful clean bright salon there. We use the main floor for the main business and the upstairs was quite frankly to me unlivable. Mind you, I had been up there when I was a kid and I can't quite remember the reason why I would see it but even then it was getting worn down, unkempt and plenty of repairs gone to the wayside. But now, that was a whole different story. So much gone untended. So sad to see walls falling showing their lathe and plaster as if they were embarrassed. I was embarrassed for them. Knowing that this building at its time was sweet and practical just drove my hubby and I crazy. It would almost scream to us to get in and get r done!

I had a good friend who is an extremely talented and gifted designer say to me "Let the building tell you what will work. Don't make it do something it won't. You will fight it forever. But let it speak and follow that direction and you can't go wrong."

So we listened very closely to the whispers of the building and it spoke. We knew what to do and how the wood would respond and how the walls would look. We knew how far to go and when to stop. When they say the walls have eyes, I believe that. They also breathe and I know that many who have been here before speak to me as well. I love it all. Such richness resides here and sometimes in the quiet of the night or on a sunny afternoon one can even hear angels wings here. We know they are here and they are very welcome.

Sometime I will tell you how my hubby gifted me this is a great story. But for now, I say thank you for listening to my ramblings on about a home I love.

Have a great evening.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My friend Karla is your kudos. Karla is the one who is my blogging inspiration! She has turned me on to this blogging thing and I have only one thing to say to her...

THANK YOU!!! :):):)

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Kitties

Friday, July 17, 2009

So much fun...

I have been having a ball with my new blog. What a blast! Had a full day of clients, a welcome cancellation in the middle of the day and out to dinner with my hubby. Friday nite and I am on the puter and he is napping on the couch. Tomorrow is filled with big projects and going to Meg's play and then the rest of the weekend! Goin to the doctor on Monday and looking forward to a complete "A-OK" from him so I can resume all of my normal activities! Woo hoo! Ya'll have a great nite, y'hear?

The Quilt Walk (click on any and see the very large pic for detail of each quilt...Amazing!)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

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