Monday, December 29, 2008

73 Unread Messages

That's my email inbox--and then there is the big basket full of snail mail that collected while we were living and working in Mobile.

Christmas was wonderful, but now that is behind us and the last minute wedding preparations are under way. I still have MUCH to do before January 3rd.

My father is having surgery tomorrow, then I've got to make my way to Dumas (100 mile round trip) to participate in one last family Christmas get-together on Thursday before rushing back home to welcome out-of-town guest as they start to arrive for the wedding weekend.

It is three minutes until midnight and I'm debating whether I should go to bed or sew more snaps on the wedding gown. (Part of the bustling process.)

What's that you say? Am I feeling a little overwhelmed? Oh, maybe just a bit.

But I am thankful that I still have my father here on this earth and I'm happy to keep my mother company while he is in surgery. I'm glad my in-laws have invited me to join them in their Christmas celebration even though my husband will not be there. I'm overjoyed that my daughter loves a man that loves her back and that they are about to start their new life together as husband and wife.

I am a bit overwhelmed by my to-do list and by God's goodness and life's sweetness. It all brings me joy. Some things bring me more joy than others...
Like the "delete" button!

Friday, December 19, 2008

How to Get Your Christmas Shopping Done In a Hurry!

Okay, just one more post.

I know y'all are all worried about my getting all my stuff done. So I wanted to let you know that the shopping is finished as far as I'm concerned. And here's how you can get it done as quickly as I did!


It's a secret, so don't tell...

If you don't like that idea because it is not personal enough, just include a note that says, "Spend it all on green underwear!" How much more personal can you get?
Merry Christmas!
OOPS! Now if my kids read this, they will all know what they are getting for Christmas!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

My Garden Angle Is Happy...For The Moment

Thanks to all of you who had suggestion about what I should do with my gift from Fay. I bought a couple of plants and placed them and my little angel with my geranium and created a garden of sorts. Now she is happy and looks right at home.

(If you all have the time, you should go over to Proverbs 30:2 and read what "Walter" had to say about my gift. I laughed so hard.) For every one's information, I happened into Hobby Lobby the other day and saw several of these yard decorations on the shelf, so I know it is not a secondhand gift. But I appreciate every one's imagination and input.

But now I'm sad and so is my angel. Rick got notice yesterday that as of January 1 we will be "between storms" again. That means we will be heading back home for a while (which is good) but my little potted garden won't make it in the frigid temperatures and blustery winds that are characteristic of January in the Texas Panhandle. I will probably leave my potted garden here for Fay, and I'll take my angel with me, to add to another garden on another day in another place.

I will be taking a little break from blog reading and writing.

This afternoon I HAVE to finish making the corsages for Kaleena's wedding then take care of other little "wedding chores." I need to get my bags packed and then the camper packed and ready for travel. I plan to leave here on Saturday or Sunday and head for home with a stop over in Houston to see Kaleena. Rick will fly home in time for Christmas then return to Mobile to work through the end of the month. For me and my girls, the week between Christmas and the wedding will be full of flowers, cake, punch, tulle, dresses, hair appointments, etc.

Rick will hook on to our home on wheels on the eve of the new year, and he plans to arrive in Amarillo on January 1. (Long fast drive.) Wedding rehearsal is Jan. 2 and then my daughter's big day is the 3rd. Whew!

If I have any time to blog between all that and spoiling the granddaughters it will be a miracle. So feel free to peek in on me and see if a miracle has taken place, but don't be too disappointed if the place seems a little abandoned. I'll miss you all, but I bet you are going to be just as busy with the blessed holiday celebrations, food, family, gifts, parties, and such. So, if we are not able to get back together until after life slows down...

Have a very Merry Christmas and a blessed and prosperous New Year!! Stay safe, keep warm, and worship the King of Kings with your whole heart through all the celebrations!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Applause, Applause, Applause

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you very much!
I am happy to accept this award from Ida over at Losing Myself. What an honor it is to be chosen one of ten people she knows.

I mean, one of ten people she knows who tries to make the best of every one of life's challenges.

Ida has passed this blogging award on to some folks who she thinks shows gratitude or a good attitude from, "If life hands you lemons, make lemonade!"

Seriously, I'm honored and humbled. Thank you Ida!

I guess I've had a few of life's lemons, but God has been very, VERY good to me. I think about what I deserve, (which is nothing better than the fires of hell) then I try to wrap my mind around all the ways God has blessed me, and all I can do is quiver and cry.

Someday I will stand in the presence of Jesus Christ, and if I have earned any reward, if there be any crown upon my head, I will take it off and lay it at His feet, for He is the reason and the power, and the strength, and the ability...behind every good thing I have ever done, am doing or will ever do. I don't know if He accepts blogging awards, but if He does, a glass of lemonade will go at His feet as well.

Now the rules of the award say that I need to pass it along to ten other people. Humm, let me see...

I know AT LEAST ten people who deserve it, but not all of them have blogs. So here is what I'm going to do.

I'm going to start slowly and award it to a couple of bloggers I think deserve this award. Then, as I come across or think of others, I'll have a place on my sidebar where you can find links to their blogs. And I'll keep after it until I come up with ten. How dose that sound?

I don't know these people personally, but I have read their blogs and what I have seen there prompts me to pass along this award. May God bless each of them for their inspiration to us all.

First, I'd like to award Sharon over at The Old Oak Swing the Lemonade Award. This woman is in the middle of a big basket of lemons. She could use your prayers. I am amazed every day at how her attitude remains so sweet in the midst of her trials.

Secondly, I think the Lemonade Award should go to Richard and Jennifer at Surviving Life's Curveballs. Grab a box of Kleenex before you click on this link. I can't imagine (don't want to imagine) the pain this couple has experienced. Only God could put smiles back on their faces.

Thank you both for inspiring and encouraging me through your blogs. May God continue to heal and bless.
Thanks again Ida.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I'm In The Mood!

There's a song that goes, "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas..." But around here, things don't look much like Christmas. There's no dashing through the snow or Frosty the snow man. A couple of days ago balmy temperatures in the high 70s were non-conducive to the Christmas spirit. The grass is still green (it stays that way here) and though some trees have lost their leaves, most trees, bushes and shrubs are still clothed in summer colors. My geranium even put on some new blooms last week! I've not done any Christmas shopping--simply could not get in the mood.

There is something I learned a long time ago. You might want to write this down and put in on your bathroom mirror or stick it to your refrigerator. Pin it to your sun visor in the car. Engrave it upon your heart.
Attitude follows action.

We'll talk about this on a deeper, more spiritual level some other time, but for now we'll just keep with my Christmas mood--or the lack there of.
What do you do when you want to be in the mood to do something but you just can't get your mind in that place of desire? Apply the attitude follows action principle and get busy doing what you would normally do if you were in the right frame of mind or mood. So that's what I did.
I made Rick drag out our two foot tree, and I spent all day--okay--the best part of a half of an hour--decorating for Christmas. I put a spicy smelling wax tart in my little warmer and turned it on to create the aroma of spiced cider simmering on the stove. I put the rinky-dink tree on the little table by our one recliner, then hung a couple of dozen half-inch ornaments on it.
Martha Stewart I am not!
Next I hung our nativity sun catcher on our big back window, and I was done.Jesus is the reason for the season.
Rick hung some lights on the awning outside a few weeks ago, so as far as he was concerned, he had already done his decorating.
My mood was improving, but it was still not quite there.
Last night we had to go to Wal-Mart to buy a new electric heater. (The old one got to where it would not come on unless you kicked it. Then it got to the point that it would not shut off unless you kicked it. Then--finally--kicking it would not even make the thing shut off.) We moseyed around the store to see if there was anything else we needed to throw our money away on, and I decided I needed a Christmas CD or two. (I think I have some back in Texas, but it has been so long since I've been there, I'm not sure any more.) Listening to Christmas music helped my mood some more.
Today it has been cold and rainy. At one point the rain felt like it wanted to be ice crystals as badly as I want to be in the mood for Christmas.
Again, isn't God good? I think the cold rain was the finishing touch, the last thing I needed to boost my Christmas spirit! Now, I'm in the mood!
I've got some other very important things on my list of things to do that I have to get done first, but now I'm in the mood to go Christmas shopping. I'm actually excited about buying gifts for all the people I love so much. (Well not ALL of them. I can't afford that!) My goal for next week is to power shop until I get 'er done! So look out mall, here I come!
I hope you are in the mood, so that you can enjoy the anticipation of one of the most wonderful celebrations of the year. If you're not, then get busy. Remember, attitude follows action!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

It's The Thought That Counts, Right?

I have a new friend. Her name is Fay. She's a sweet lady. I think she may be about my mom's age because she has a daughter about my age. Fay manages the trailer park we currently call home, and her husband takes care of the maintenance issues.

For some reason Fay and I have hit it off. It's one of those freaky things where we've only know each other a few weeks but it seems like we've know each other all our lives. Fay is easy to talk to and--well--she's a typical southern lady, so she is hospitable.

I think what makes our relationship seem so familiar is the fact that we both have the same Holy Spirit living within us. Recently another woman who lives in the Houston area stated that though we had just met it seemed like she had known me forever. Again, she and I share one Spirit. I think that is really cool!

The other day the ladies at Fay's church had a "Secret Sister" Christmas party, and she invited me to go. I thought about it for, umm, maybe a half a second before I said, "SURE!" Do you know how long it has been since I got to go to a totally female party? Or ANY kind of party for that matter.

I knew that I might feel a little awkward since I didn't have a secret sister and all, but I'm used to awkward moments.

I got dressed up in a new outfit, fixed my hair, and put on my face--ready to have a good time. And I did! The party started with brunch--Southern style. No fruit trays and mini muffins for these gals. No sirree. We're talking egg casseroles, biscuits and gravy, thick cut bacon, butter and jelly, and grits. You KNOW we had to have grits!

The lady dishing up the lumpy mush asked if I liked grits. When I told her I had never eaten them she stepped back, (I thought she was going to faint) and asked me where in the world I was from? I think she truly believed that every culture on the face of the plant earth must LOVE grits, and if I'd not eaten them before then I must be extraterrestrial. (Awkward moment)

I was a good guest and let her plop some grits on my plate. I discovered one southern food I can live without. But that's okay, because after stuffing myself with all the good food, they served up Krispy Kream donuts for dessert!

After we ate it was time for the secret sisters' reveal and gift exchange. My sweet new friend, Fay, took a gift for me so I would not suffer that awkward moment. You know the one. Everyone but you has a gift to take home. I love Fay and I appreciate the gift she gave me. Really I do.

She had plenty on her mind and calendar--her mother went to be with Jesus just a day or two earlier--and she didn't even have to invite me to her party. But she did. And she bought me a gift to boot. I'm so blessed that she put so much thought into making me feel welcomed and comfortable. And it is the thought that counts...

Because the gift... Well..........

Can someone tell me what it is and what I should do with it?

It's as cute as can be, but what would you call it? And what would you do with it?

An angel sitting on a...humm...a...a ball? And she is holding a ladybug in her hands and there is another lady bug by her foot. So should I put her in the flower garden that I don't have? Or should she remain in the house? I can't seem to find the perfect place in the camper. She just looks lost and out of place no matter where I place her.

Suddenly I can relate.

Thanks to a sticker on the bottom of the ball I know what it is NOT. It is NOT a toy. Okay, so I won't give it to the granddaughters for Christmas.

As I stare at this funny little angel, holding her ladybug, I realize that the real gift I received is the new friendship I have with Fay. And I know exactly what to do with it. I'll cherish it for the time because I never know, from one day to the next, when I'll be packing up and moving to a new temporary home.

Fay and I plan to go to another Christmas party Friday night. I'll tell you all about it later. I can't wait to see what gift awaits me!

Again, I Hope I Win!

Well I didn't do so well with the book give-away. But, if you remember, I really didn't have much hope.

This time I'm trying to win a blog makeover. (Cross your fingers, your toes, your eyes...)

I've looked at those free blog designs, and some of them are really nice. But my problem is that I'm too unlearned when it comes to trying to install the thing, and the way I understand the instructions, trying to get my sidebar stuff into a new layout would be a real pain. And you all know how much I fret over my sidebar!

Anyway, there is a nice lady over at Rich Gifts Graphic and Blog Design that does beautiful work, and she is giving away a CUSTOM (I love that word) let me repeat, a CUSTOM blog make-over! How sweet is that?

I increase my chances of winning by putting her tag in my sidebar and posting about the give-away. So Edie, here's my post!!!

Now, you all need to rush right over there and visit her. She has a good heart, a desire for Jesus, and really pretty blog. Even if you don't have a blog, you will enjoy checking out Rick Gifts.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sunset Over The Gulf

The day before Thanksgiving we took Rick's parents to Gulf Shores to see the beach and then to eat at Lambert's (Home of the throwed rolls) on the way back. The sun sets around here about 4:30 in the after noon (it is pitch black by 5:00) and we made it to the beach just in time to catch God's handy-work. I wish you could have been here too.

I hope these pictures slow your heart rate, lower your blood pressure, make the corners of your mouth turn up, and inspire you to sing or pray, or both. I wish I knew how to make one of those YouTube videos. I'd make one with "How Great Thou Art" playing in the background! But since I'm not of the know-how, you'll just have to imagine it for yourself!

I took a few more pictures. You can see them in a slide show by clicking here. [Actually you'll see a slide show of ALL the photos I have on Flickr, but you don't have to sit and watch the whole thing. You know that, right? ;)]

Now I need to head to the gym--and it is pouring rain again. My umbrella is in the car, so maybe I'll put a Wal-Mart bag on my head and walk fast. Picture that in your mind and laugh the rest of the day!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Have You Ever Read The Phone Book?

I've been busy!

Rick's parents left this morning after spending an enjoyable week here with us in Mobile. Golden Corral did our cooking for Thanksgiving Day, so I didn't have to wash dishes. That's something to be very thankful about. There were enough sunny warm days mixed in with all the wet, windy, cold days this last week that we were able to work in some sight seeing and shopping. (I've got a few pictures to post--check back later.) Overall it was a good holiday and visit.

Rick didn't have to work on Thanksgiving Day. It was the first day off he has had since October 7th. Saturday was his birthday, and since his parents were here, he took another day off. It was nice having him around.

Now I hope to get back to my routine and find some time to get caught up on my blog reading and writing. To start, I've been tagged by a friend from way back over at Losing Myself. It's one of those "pick up the nearest book" tags. I'm supposed to turn to page 56, go to the fifth line then type the next couple of lines.

Well, the book nearest me at the moment is the Mobile phone book. Humm. Not a real interesting read if you ask me. But I turned to page 56 anyway. There are a lot of people in Mobile with the last name of Brown. Page 56 is one of the 4+ pages of Browns. Line 5 includes Donald, Franklin, and JE (across the page). I don't think I should bother letting you know the address and phone numbers--though they are public information, what's the point? Really.

Getting tagged can be fun, and it can be downright weird when you are supposed to type a paragraph out of--the phone book. I think I'm supposed to "tag" other people so they can blog about their book-at-hand. Some people hate getting forward emails and some love it. Some bloggers hate getting "tagged" and others love it. So, if you like memes and playing blog tag, consider yourself "It." And if you don't like to play blog games, then just go about your business, read your phone book, but don't worry about writing a post about it!

It's bedtime for me now, so I guess I'll get my granny glasses and my phone book and head off to bed for a short evening read before drifting off to dream of Yellow Pages and Business Listings. Maybe I'll wake inspired to--I don't know--call information!?!