Category Archives: from the heart

Observations

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Well, our country has had quite a week. I am once again having a hard time blogging about my usual nonsense when our world is in such disarray. My only solutions have been to pray and try and educate myself on the current events. I have found there is always more than meets the eye, or the ear, or what the media tells. I don’t think I am being dramatic to suggest our country is at a crossroad. I will continue to acknowledge that God is in control of all things, and remember that He works all things together for my good, no matter what that looks like in the day to day. His will be done, and I ask that He helps me to finish strong, no matter what is going on in these certainly not United States of America..

Would you now care to observe some non controversial nonsense with me?

The Ab-Cat gave me a new 11×14 aluminum cookie sheet for Christmas, I needed one to use when I make two chicken pot pies. My previous sheets could not support the burden of two glass pie dishes, size wise. Since receiving it, I can see that it will be a useful engine to make cookies, or Sinful Saltines, or most anything else I desire. I like options. But I have heard of the dangers of baking directly on aluminum, something about causing Alzheimer’s. Abby had previously given me some other sizes of aluminum cookie pans along with silicone sheets. I decided I needed an 11X14 silicone sheet as well. so I ordered from Amazon. More on Amazon in a minute.

It arrived last week in this largish box stuffed with brown paper.

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WOW. someone is not a volume control expert.

Pretty sure it could have been in a bubble envelope!

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We have been watching these Little Furlings several days a week lately. This week was all about getting safely to the “ship” for a trip to Boston, or Denmark, or Mexico! The “ship” has been the foyer rug, (bigger, more passengers 🙂 ) and also this smaller boat ❤  We were trying to figure our where the ship/Boston idea originated until Honey remembered they had read a story about Dumbo and the other circus animals trying to secure passage after their circus train broke down. And they were trying to get to Boston! Love those little monkeys!

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They had great fun fishing off the boat with dangly cat toys and staying warm when the freezing waves crashed over the side, plus spent a LOT of time industriously “packing” for their trip. Oh. the things they packed!

About that Amazon.I read that 2020 was a banner year year for them, continuing a probably stellar decade in their favor. They have become one of the most successful companies in our country, based on the very American service of supply and demand. Good on them.  Pandemics can cause people to really want to shop from home, and I can certainly understand that. It was a blessing to many folks in our country to not have to risk their health to purchase what they needed. But Amazon has shown their hand on what they think of a large percentage of their customers. Their interference in the affairs of our country and their uncheritableness to those they disagree with politically emanates mean spiritedness. And my children will tell you that I not like that quality. In people, or at businesses where I spend money..

Honey and I do not have an account but have occasionally benefitted from using Mousey’s, in ordering and also watching Amazon Prime. If I had one, I would cancel it in protest for the shenanigans they have recently pulled. I don’t feel that they should be put out of business, but it seems like the only way we can effectively show our disapproval of a company’s actions has been to take our business elsewhere. I lived a great many years without having things delivered to my doorstep in a timely fashion, and I am quite sure I can do it again. I wont’ be shopping there anymore, or watching their streaming. I’m positive they will not be concerned about my personal decision, but I know of others who have made the same choice for themselves. Free speech Y’All, it’s the American way.

Enjoy your Tuesday.

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Unexpected Treasure

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Honey and I have been discussing a move for a few years now. We would like to put the home we have lived in for the last 22 years on the market and move to a condo or ranch that has less square footage and MUCH less yard work. I have been fairly faithfully consulting Zillow for homes for us, The Ab-Cat, as well as Mousey and The Usher. Mousey also looks and we have been known to text listings to each other. If we found something we liked, we would buy it, even if we were not quite ready to vacate our current home. Someone in the family could probably keep it warm for us until we were ready for it 🙂

As you can imagine, we have about 35 years of accumulated belongings stored on both floors. We have begun the arduous task of going through, purging, setting aside for someone, throwing away, and reusing Amazon Prime boxes to take many, many things to the Salvation Army. I will say that Mousey seems to have about a houseful of stuff down in our basement, and we hope to be pleasantly surprised by how little of our junk is left when she leaves! Could be wishful thinking or a stone cold fact!

The Usher has been helping Honey list some things on a site that sells to local folks, and last weekend a gentleman from a neighboring town came and picked up a stand alone, Queen Anne style jewelry box that I have not used in years. It’s been in a closet in the guest room for over a decade, and no I do not know why I kept it because I don’t really use much jewelry anymore and it never matched our bedroom furniture. I used the drawers more than anything because I am a sentimental gal and tend to pack rat personal correspondence and apparently memorabilia. I decided to check the drawers one last time before sending it to its new home to hopefully be well used once more. I’m so glad I did! There was nothing in any compartment, but 3 things had fallen back behind and I had to remove the drawer to get them out. The first gem was a ticket stub from Pine Knob for the first ever concert The Ab-Cat and The Boy ever attended! It was their favorite childrens singer, Raffi, and we still fondly remember that day and continue to sing his sweet, gentle songs, now to Moonpie and Little Dipper 🙂  This is a treasure to no one but me ❤

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The second gem was a personal note from my dear friend Rae-Babe. I loved reading it and I’m so glad I kept it ❤

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The third gem was a hug from heaven. I don’t know how clear it is, but at the top is a line written by my Grandma Georgia, “I liked this very much”. She sent it the year after I married. I’m sure I loved it then, but I love it so much more now. Her handwriting is so familiar and beloved, the fact that she thought of me and decided to mail it, and the sure, comforting knowledge that she prayed for me after reading it. A kiss on the cheek from God. ❤

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Pure gold.

Some Thoughts on the End of 2020

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We are coming up to the end of 2020. The longest, most surreal year in recent memory. When I think about last Christmas and New Years, we were really so naive about what this year would hold. There we were celebrating and hugging all willy nilly, never imagining that we would be heading into a long drought of family, friends, activities and inundated with fast flying rumors, anarchy, unrest, disunity and disinformation. We won’t even start with the still unsolved election mess, and whichever way that eventually turns out it’s not going to be pretty for half of our country. My personal pendulum has swung all year. I have arrived at the conclusion that there is more going on than some powers that be would have us to know. What I DO know? God is still on His throne. He has not been caught unaware by this year and all of the heartache, disappointment and corruption. I posted this Charles Spurgeon quote on Facebook last week and I think it sums up a proper response for a Christian.

“Cheer up, Christian! Things are not left to chance: no blind fate rules the world. God hath purposes, and those purposes are fulfilled. God hath plans, and those plans are wise, and can never be dislocated.”

Happy New Year Friends, peace and good will to you and yours.

The 411 after the 911

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Wow, a lot has gone on since i last posted. And on many other days, not a lot. We have had an unusual lockdown. I started out thinking I would use this opportunity to get myself into the blogging habit again, but at the end of March Honey and his weakened immune system developed shingles, and then the worst bout of gout he had ever experienced. It was enormously painful for him. As he was finally making some improvement there was a horrific domestic violence incident next door that spilled over into our house and ended with an arrest after a chase and 2 victims being taken to the hospital. After the neighbor children, their uncle and grandma and about 6-8 police officers left with the written statements of our recollections, I asked the Lord to please clean our previously socially distanced home of any possible Covid-19 germs. We talked of the episode endlessly among ourselves over the next couple of weeks and there is still some lingering PTSD within our walls. Do you know what is not good for shingles? Stress. Honey’s shingles returned with a vengeance, none of the blisters, but all of the pain. He is still not 100%. As I have experienced in the past, it’s hard to blog about my usual nonsense when all is not right in our world. I do feel better getting this all off my chest. I’m sorry to have to unload it onto yours.

Add to this the continuing saga of the virus and Michigan’s near total shutdown, a loved ones diagnosis of cancer, the postponement of Mousey and The Usher’s wedding, the loss of Mousey’s job, the drama of several in the household to try and connect with the ever elusive unemployment office, some dear friends lost loved ones, and then our beloved Capri P’s house burned to the ground. There have been a lot of prayers to the Lord asking Him to comfort His children. And to protect our frontline workers and give those who govern us wisdom.

In between the heartache there has been the stuff of everyday life, purging closets, reading, the working of puzzles, finishing my 20th year of BSF online with Zoom, the every day conversation of what do you want for dinner, my unfortunately regular trips to pick up Honey’s many prescriptions, weeding, talk, talk, talking 🙂 organizing our pictures by year, along with our heavy schedule of news and Love It Or List It. It’s been a full several months. And yet, we still wonder how we have been filling our days and marveling how time goes by so quickly. Things that happened in January, February and even early March seem like a lifetime ago. It’s a strange conundrum.

On the lighter side, I can’t tell you how much joy Facetime brings! We miss our little people SO MUCH!! ❤  Honey and I have been recording ourselves reading books to them, they seem to think it’s grand 🙂 The Little Dipper has been using his quarantine time to grow his hair and practice saying Grammy!!! Oh my ❤  Moonpie continues to amaze us with her expanding vocabulary 🙂 Miss smooching their sweet cheeks. And we miss their parents too 😉

Still think the memes have been hilarious, and we have needed some humor around here. I leave you with some of my faves. Hope to see you soon. Literally and blog-ally. I miss people and I miss blogging.

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Thoughts From First Week of Lockdown

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We made it a week! Since my marathon shopping excursions a week ago Thursday and Friday, and a trip to the lab with Honey last Monday, we have not been anywhere. We are being very careful because Honey has been taking some medication that has him immune compromised at the moment. For the most part, we have been fine. I am so enormously grateful for the ability to shelter in place in peace and comfort, I know there are others who are facing uncertainty and even fear. We have food, a warm home, plenty to do and most thankfully, we have each other. The girls are with us to ward off isolation. And we are still good on the toilet paper front, although I am below my comfort zone in the butter department. 😦

On a lighter note, Guys, the memes have been on FIRE! 🙂 We need the funny right now, it makes things more bearable.

We are in full on comfort mode over here.

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Oh dear!

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Now this is funny!

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Needed perspective.

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Mousey and I finished #2. Took a little longer than the first one, but we persevered.

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Found a bag that had a couple of my Mother’s photo albums while cleaning out a closet. I posted this on the Facebook page of the church I grew up in. This was a singing group called The Choralaires. My Mom is in the top row, 5th from the left, standing next to her good friend Nancy. I was glad I posted it, there was quite a bit of conversation generated from the folks who remembered this time. I have some more to post from a church Memorial Day picnic in 1952.

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I am feeling sorry for these 2 😦 Because of Honey’s health situation and the fact that The Usher has still been required to work, he has not been able to come into the house. It was his birthday on Sunday, so he came over to go on a walk with Miss Mouse, in the street and adhering to the 6 feet away rule of course. Afterward they sat on the patio and visited for the first time in a week.

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Socially distant dating is hard. Mousey made him chocolate chip bars for a birthday treat and he brought us a box of butter and a couple packages of English muffins. He’s so good to us ❤ Mousey sent him on his way with a pulled pork sandwich and salad on a paper plate with a plastic fork, to head home to his lonely basement apartment.

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I could do more purging, I could organize our pictures, I have more cupboards, drawers and closets that could stand to be organized and rearranged, we could all go through our books and donate the ones we will most likely never read again.

There is much praying to be done, for our family, our world, our president, our state and local leaders, our AWESOME healthcare workers, farmers, truckers, warehouse workers, and anyone else doing their part to keep things from descending into chaos, the sick, the lonely and scared, those who have heard even more unimaginable bad news regarding health and employment, and the list goes on and on.

I’m thankful for God’s Word and His promises.

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An ever-present help in trouble, that’s comforting. I am thankful for that.  Our best to all of you ❤

Mama Mia

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We lost our sweet Mama Mia last September. She had a tumor growing on her face that had closed her eye and was starting to impede her nose and down her throat.  We think she was about 16 years old, but it’s hard to say because we adopted her and her 2 daughters from Humane Society foster care system and that was their best guess. Her foster mom told me that she had been found behind a dumpster in Detroit, along with her 4 babies. We took Mama and 2 kitties, another was adopted my someone else, and 1 did not make it. I can’t imagine what her life was like on the street, but I do know she was a skinny little mama when we got her.027

She weighed in at 5 pounds and promptly ate her way up to a hefty 18! I think it’s safe to say she was pretty starved out there on the mean streets! I don’t know how long she was out on her own, but I do think she started out as a pet, and unfortunately the home was not as kind to her as one would hope. She had a lifelong fear of being picked up, having her tail touched and brooms.

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I am a cat person by nature and my family would tell you that I am generally the preferred human, but I have never worked harder to gain a cats trust than I did with Mia. For a long time after we brought her home she would not stay on the bed, even if I put her there. She finally decided that she was welcome and settled in. She skittered out of the way, even if I was more than happy to go around her. She never would sit in my lap, but after many years she did occasionally sleep on me when I was napping, only if I was covered by a down throw.

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We had many conversations where I assured her that she was safe, loved, and that she was my Best Girl.

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She developed a weepy eye several years ago. The vet said it was unusual at her age, it usually presented much younger. I now wonder if that was the beginning of the tumor, and it curled her eyelid in on  itself causing the irritation. They said they could do surgery, but it didn’t always work. We decided against it because she was about 14 then and it would have been a lot for her to handle. She looked a little crusty sometimes, but all in all she was fine for two more years.

Then in the summer her cheek began to swell.The original vet thought she had an infected tooth. After an antibiotic shot did nothing to relief the situation, we took her to another vet.

She did not think it was an infected tooth. She had a bad feeling from the start. We knew we did not want to do extensive testing, we would not put her through treatment  for cancer. She said we would know when it was time when her quality of life declined.

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I don’t know if she was in pain, but she became uncomfortable. She shook her head and sneezed, trying to shake it loose. Her appetite dwindled. Her eye closed.

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I made the appointment to take her in when Honey would be able go with me. We have made this trip before and it is always grueling. Honey ended up having to work so Mousey came along.

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It was the first time she had been there when losing a beloved pet.

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Mia was so calm, such a good girl.

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We loved her up good.

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Kissed her sweet head.

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They gave her an injection that calmed her. We love cat paws, and will always remember her distinct markings.

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The vet was so kind and thoughtful, as far as things like this can go.

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We brought her home, and buried her in the backyard behind the playhouse. The Usher so thoughtfully helped out with this.

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We miss her. Her sweet presence, when her toenails sounded like high heels when she walked (click, click, click 🙂 ) the way she always crossed her paws so casually, her noble head.

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Oh that beautiful, noble head.

Goodbye Mia, our pretty blue eyed Mama. ❤

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First and Last List in January

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I went to my old blog, No Whining Allowed, this morning to look for something, as I sometimes do. It’s like a memory bank. If I can narrow down a year, try and guess a month or something else that happened around that time, I can usually track it down. It has been a useful tool 🙂

Anyway, I went to look for something that is escaping me now, and I stayed for a while and read about the goings on in a few months in 2015. I enjoyed it immensely! I really did! It all came flooding back.

I have a confession. I still have not mailed my Christmas cards out. I have written the letter, one paragraph still needs to be previewed by one child for accuracy and then can be printed,  have ordered the prints, which have not arrived yet but should any day. I have been this late on one other occasion, though February is not the preferred month to share Christmas cards. I have to hope that the people who actually care about us will be glad to get them whenever they come. So bring on the Valentine’s Day/New Year/ Christmas cards!!!

I had a productive day yesterday! Went to BSF, and all that involves, stopped at Sam’s for a few things, low on half and half and that won’t do! Headed on down the road to return 2 things at Marshall’s, looked around and purchased 2 other things before travelling further down the road to T.J. Maxx, where I was happy to get a full bag of returns out of my house, including 2 pair of booties and various rejected tops and a pair of leopard print jeggings that I decided did not fit me in a flattering way. From there I went south to the library because I had finished 3 out of the 4 books I had checked out!! That is quite a feat for me! Only 1 dud too. I very much liked 2 of the authors and the third was a mercy finish because I wanted to see how it ended. Not a great writer.

These were the 2 I liked, the first had a small amount of salty language, enjoyed them both.

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Speaking of BSF, starting next week our Wednesday leaders meeting will be very different. 2 1/2 years ago our class absorbed another class that was struggling after their teaching leader needed to step down because of a serious illness. Jip the Farm Dog was our teaching leader at the time and she and her staff graciously agreed to take their leaders on, to shepherd and train them alongside of our leaders. We became one class, in two locations. The lecture was live streamed to wherever the live lecturer was not. It was a big job for our teaching leaders, class administrator and children’s supervisor, but they all persevered, and added additional staff along the way. We grew to know and love each other, all 77 of us! The Area Team informed us earlier in the month that the time had arrived to become two separate classes once more. The Admin teams from each class gathered on Wednesday at Chip and Dip to celebrate a job well done!

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We will miss all of the Hilltop leaders on Wednesday’s because BSF knits hearts Y’All, but they will do fabulously well! Thank you Lord for the last 2 1/2 years. ❤

30 Days of Thankful- 20

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The year Mousey went to first grade was the first time in many years that I had some time to myself. Honey used to tease me that I had a part time job; going to lunch with my friends!! I still like to go to lunch with friends when available, but most Wednesdays after BSF leaders meeting, you can find me at Chip and Dip.

Some days we have a crowd, sometimes a few, occasionally just two. While all would say our love of chips and salsa bonds us, there is far more bonding going on as we talk about our families, our Bible study lessons, our struggles in life, big and small, and The One who guides us as we walk through this often difficult life.  God knits hearts Y’All!

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I am thankful for Chip and Dip, a fine place to talk, laugh, occasionally cry, and always enjoy good chips and salsa ❤