Thursday, May 30, 2013

Thursday with This 'n That

1. I might give up blogging for a little while.
2. My son moved out Saturday. I might blog about that.
3. The guest/craft room I've been making over is about finished. I might blog about that.
4. Tomorrow is the next to the last Friday of the school year.
5.  Is there any explanation for sudden hip pain in the middle of the day and feeling like I am tipsy when  I'm not? Unbalanced, not giddy.
6.  I feel like a bud about to open, but still closed up, waiting for sunshine of a kind I'm not currently experiencing.
7.  Why am I just now hearing the word 'paleo' when it seems like a concept that's been around awhile?
8.    The gluten free lemon bars I made last night came from two different recipes, plus a bit of my own tweaking, but I can't find them .They are both online . Strange.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Hodgepodge with an Eye for Flowers

Joyce has a garden full of questions every week in this fun little meme called the Wednesday Hodgepodge. Sometimes the questions are real head-scratchers, which leads me to the first question and answer this week.

1. What question do you often ask yourself?

Okay, what did I come in here for?   (and then I have to go back to where I was when I had the thought until I remember)

2. Do you grow roses? What's your favorite color of rose?  Ever been given a dozen roses?  Where was the prettiest rose or rose garden you remember seeing?

I have a beautiful rose bush that grows up around my front lamppost, a variety called Diana, Princess of Wales.  It hasn't bloomed yet this year, but here's an old picture.  

I've been given a dozen roses a few times by my husband. The first ones he ever gave me were yellow--the symbol of friendship, which was as daring as he wanted to be before finding out that I liked him in a "red rose" sort of way.

  Ever since, my favorite color rose has been yellow. I received these last week after the school art show as a thank you from my superiors. They're still beautiful. 

The prettiest rose garden I've seen might be at Ladew Topiary Gardens, right here in Maryland. 
If you decide to come visit me, let's go there if you're as crazy about  flower gardens as I am. 

These pink ones  in my daughter-in-law's wedding bouquet were also stunning. 
  But not as stunning as she herself! 

Beware when you ask me about flowers. I tend to be obviously, overtly, obsessive. Or obnoxious. 

3. Do you read the freshness dates on grocery store products?  Will you use eggs past their 'use by' date?  Take medication that's expired? Buy a dented can?

I sure do read freshness dates! I have heard that eggs are good for 2-3 weeks past their "use by" date, but we go through eggs so fast around here, I don't know if I've ever used them past date.  I will take expired medicine. I think it's just not as potent, right? Not harmful?  I won't buy a dented can, though. 

4. Should athletes be role models? 

I'm not quite sure how to read this question.  I think everyone is a role model, but the question is, what kind of model?  

5. Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay of Nepal became the first explorers to reach the top of Mt. Everest on this date (May 29) back in 1953. What's something you hope to achieve in your lifetime?

I would love to lead another person to the Lord--or several persons. Not even reaching the summit of Mt. Everest could "top" that for a high!

6. What would you do if you had twenty acres of land and the money to develop it any way you choose?

For purely selfish reasons, I would split it five ways and build five houses on it--one for my husband and me, and one for each of our kids. That would give each of us four acres apiece on which to do what we want--and I would have all my kids and future grandkids close by.  However, I think my own kids might balk at having me that close to them! 

Unselfishly, I think I might like to do something similar to what's been done at The Samaritan Women in Baltimore.  It's a Victorian mansion on 25 acres bought by Christians who had the vision to turn it into a rehab facility for female veterans suffering from PTSD, or those rescued from human trafficking and abuse.  Please watch the short video I posted yesterday that shows you this wonderful place.   I love that TSW Residence teaches women culinary skills with a seed-to-table approach.  I am still seriously praying about ministering here.

7. If I invite you to a party with a 7 PM start time, what time will I actually see you there?

Depends on the type of party. If it were a mix-and-mingle super casual, not a sit-down affair,   I would plan to arrive at 7:10 . However, if it was  like a jewelry party or a shower, I would show up at 7 or 7:05.

8.  Insert your own random thought  here. 

One of my  10th graders drew this eye.   Is it incredible or what? 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Samaritan Women - Overview Video

Beautiful ministry is taking place here. When I was on a retreat a few weeks ago, there was an option to make bracelets for the residents of this home--bracelets that remind them they are loved by God and
are being prayed for by His people.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Company Girl Coffee, Paper Chase and Yellow Roses

Last night was our big , big, BIG production of the art and music show.  Actually, compared to all the production that went into making it happen all year and THEN the non-stop work of choosing, mounting, labeling, and hanging 98 art displays,  the actual show itself was over in a flash. Like Thanksgiving prepping and eating, except with art supplies, step ladders, and enough caffeine to turn a leopard into a zebra.

Paul and I after the show. The smiles were fake. We were both BEAT!

Grandparents and older sister make mighty good members of the young artist's fan club.

Here's a sneak preview of   an art show post I'll do later (maybe) after I've recovered.    These are my son's works of art. He's a 5th grader.

  I plan to frame this barn painting.  

             He drew this Troll Face. He didn't copy it. The kid's artistic gift is amazing. I hate to brag, but he is.

I'm way beyond tired and  tomorrow my 21-year-old son moves out. Waaaa. I'm coming unglued thinking about letting my third child go. Of course, he is "ridiculously excited" (per his Facebook status) to be moving into the apartment that he and his bride-to-be will occupy when they get married next month.  I actually saw this glue, which my husband was using to fix something, sitting on the apartment brochure on the counter.  Quite the metaphor, I thought.

And I'm joining my real-live-in-person-bloggy friend Rachel, who is a brand new grandmother this week!!!, for Company Girl Coffee.  That's what she cleverly calls her linky party that happens occasionally (not every Friday). Every Monday thru Friday, Rachel chooses a Small Thing to help us make our homes a sanctuary. Today's Small Thing is called the Paper Chase. Rachel's blog is fun to read even if you don't do the Small Thing, her presentation of work is so light and funny would enjoy it without actually doing the work!

I set my time for 2 minutes and 22 seconds because I didn't want to spend any more time than that. I was hoping for a nap.

I had other crap on my table, but after viewing my pictures up close, realized I had personal info on some of the paper.



Remnants of a Michael Jordon biography poster done by my 11 year-old. 
 Due the same day as the art and music show. Lovely. 

Please...make my day by cleaning my house, not sending me to the MVA.
Basketball prop from the MJ presentation, plus a lunch box. 

My Bible study book,  One in a Million, is authored by Priscilla Shirer.
Priscilla and Rachel are neighbors and best friends. Small world, eh?

 And voila! Clear table and beautiful yellow roses.  

 Oh, and my never-ending To Do list.    


Speaking of grandparents again, stop by and congratulate Rachel. She has pictures of new brand new beauty of a granddaughter posted yesterday. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Hodgepodge 126: Bike, Blech!, and Blessings

Short and to-the point will be my answers. No need to thank me; just send flowers.  Thanks, Joyce, for hosting this little meme, now in its 126th week ! 

1. It's National Bike you own a bicycle? When did you last ride a bike? 

No, I don't.  Last time I rode a bike was in the 1900's.

2. What's something you learned in school that wasn't part of the curriculum?

That boys don't always believe a girl's "no" means "no," even if they're just 8 years old.

3. What's a food you've never tried, but want to try? What's a food you've tried and will never try again?

I've never tried Beef Wellington, but want to try it.  A food I'll never try again would be oysters.  Tried them twice and hated them both times.  Really tasted like snot. Blech!

4. Have you been more demanding on yourself lately or less? Why? Do you think that's a good trend?

More demanding. I've set more daily goals down in writing for myself,  in terms of the mundane and the creative arenas of my life. Yes, I'd say it's a good trend; I've accomplished more cleaning, organizing, and decorating than I probably would have otherwise.

5. Who is your favorite book, movie, or TV show villain? 

Scar from The Lion King. I love his voice!

6. How concerned are you about identity theft? 

On a scale of 1-10? About a 7.

7. I saw this last question on Dawn's blog a couple of week's ago and asked if I could share. Everybody hop over and say hi, but first answer this...would you rather have an ordinary home in an extraordinary place or an extraordinary home in an ordinary place? 

Oh, I'd much rather have an ordinary home in an extraordinary place.  Location, location, location!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Testimony time:  Today in Bible study, one of the women asked prayer for a woman who is new in town (from Texas),  hasn't made any friends,  and is feeling overwhelmed by that and other things in life. Another woman asked, "Could we make meals for her or something?"  Another woman said, "You're not going to believe this, but I have a meal in the car that I made last night because the Lord told me to.  I wasn't sure who it was for--maybe Kim [our Bible study leader] but I went ahead and made it anyway. I'm certain now it's for this lady you're talking about!" 

Kim asked, "What did you make? Just curious."

Maria:  Tex-Mex Enchiladas!


One art assignment for the ninth grade was to write a short explanation of the paper sculpture he or she created.  I found this one exceptionally well written, and downright funny with all of its dramatic, high school  vocabulary.  Before reading it, imagine trying to get about 100 tightly rolled pieces of paper to stick to a 12x18 sheet of construction paper. 


 This sculpture is a collection of tightly rolled strips of magazine pages arranged in a radial pattern to form a circle.  My original intent was to arrange the rolls at different lengths so that, instead of a circle, they formed a heart.

But the laws of physics, the bane of artistic freedom, intervened, leaving my envisioned artwork in tatters.  Even the title I had devised, because it had pertained to the heart, was ruined. 

So I was stuck with the exasperating task of finding a new title.  After a few days of fruitless thinking, inspiration struck. “Nescio,” a Latin word, translates to “I don’t know,” which seemed sufficient to describe my predicament.

This sculpture stands as proof that Latin class may actually be helpful in life.  

Monday, May 20, 2013

Daybook, May Edition: 5.20.13 or 5/2013

I decided I wanted to link up with...

The Simple Woman's Daybook  today.   It's a creative meme to help us capture the bits and pieces of our lives--pieces  large and small, practical and heartfelt, settled or confusing, ordinary or extraordinary.  If you're stuck in a rut or just want to convey what's going on in your here-and-now, please consider writing a Daybook of your own. Be sure to leave a comment and then link up in the neighborly  way by saying hi  to another daybooker or two.  

Because I like numbers so much, and words so much more, I will use today's date, 5/20/13, and structure my answers to have 5, 20, or 13 words each. Let's see if I can pull this off. 


Outside my window
... a lawnmower hums, a robin sings, and the sun is graces us Marylanders with 79 degrees. Love this May weather!

I am thinking... "God, please give me strength."

I am thankful... for  my beautiful, godly daughter. 

In the kitchen... the floor shines and smells of Mop & Glo,  Chicken wings await seasonings: Old Bay, teriyaki, and BBQ.  Sound good?

I am wearing... rust top, black pants, glasses.

I am creating... tab top curtains using yellow tweed with a plaid pattern which makes cutting and sewing
a breeze with built-in lines.. 

I am Joann Fabrics tomorrow with a friend who has generously offered to make my mother-of-the-groom dress--free! 

I am wondering... if you can spy what's creepy here? I nearly dialed 911 over this. 

I am reading... Child of the Holocaust.   Still. 

I am hoping... to  finish making the ringbearer pillow by tomorrow evening,  and present it to my  almost-daughter upon completion of finals. 

I am looking forward to... blogging the big reveal of my guest/craft room that I've been working on since my daughter vacated the premises.

I am learning... that pocket rod curtains are much less time-consuming to make, but lack the fun factor of tab-top ones.

Around the house...are dirty tennis balls, thanks to a certain Golden who refuses to carry them to the  basket in the garage.

I am time goes faster when blogging than when doing laundry. Or dishes. Or ...

A favorite quote for today...

"Do you pray for strippers to get saved? ? Drug addicts?  Muslims?"
  --Pastor Crawford, Freedom Church Baltimore

One of my favorite things...  WAS our  convertible, sold Saturday. Loved to ride in it on days like this. But like me...leakage issues. :(


A few plans for the rest of the week: 

Prep for school art show, attend our 11-year-old's music performance, help our  soon-married son move out.  Cry,

A peek into my day...

After school, I was craving this. But my favorite local dairy  is closed Mondays.  Call it God's grace, not self-control !

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Seaside Escape, Part 6: From Doubt to Trust, and a New Name

This part of the retreat was, by far, the most meaningful to me.  After taking this rock and throwing it into the depths of the bay, it was time to walk along the shoreline "thanking and praising God as you rest in His presence."  

Thank you, God, for the courage and grace to cast my fears on You.  I know I can trust you with 
my future. 

Thank you for taking my view of a little rock that I held with fear of the future,

and showing me bigger rocks that are each one unique. You colored each one,
textured each one, and shaped each one as only You, the Master Artist, can.

The world is Your canvas and this itty bitty strip of Chesapeake shoreline is a breathtaking

Thank You for the color blue.

Thank You for this quiet spot, for leading me beside still waters. 

Thank You for the singer who was sitting down on a bench, virtually hidden behind these trees
and outbuildings near the water. Her voice, so sweet, so pure, so clear, lifted my soul heavenward.

As I climb these steps, I am following the prompt in the Prayer Walk booklet. 
I say, "I will trust in You, Lord," emphasizing each word with 
each step. 

I will trust in You, Lord!
I will trust in You, Lord.
I will trust in You, Lord. 
I will trust in You, Lord.
I will trsut in You, Lord. 

The last stop was in the gazebo. Here we were to think about the
meaning of our name. There were baby name books available to
anyone who didn't know theirs. (I knew mine.) 
Then we were to choose any shell and write a NEW name on it

Click to enlarge this one and read the middle paragraph. It's so insightful.

"My beloved" is the name my spirit longs to hear. 
God cherishes me. I need to be reminded of that, 
so I wrote it on my shell. 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Seaside Escape, Part 5: Identify the Sand, Throw the Stone

The second  stop on our Prayer Walk  was the firepit where there was a bucket of sand. The instructions were to scoop up a handful of sand and hold it tightly.

Ask God:  What it is I'm holding on to so tightly that is keeping me from living the free and abundant life that You me to be living? I looked at my sand and thought of all the what ifs that lay ahead.  Church. Marriage. Country. House. Aging parents.  Kids. Job. Retirement. Empty nest.

Tomorrow's worries. Next year's decisions. Eventual plans. Many of mine were mostly fraught with deep-down fear.

The idea was to let them all go and then brush them off deliberately, not letting them stick to you. Open your hand to let God fill it.

Then walk down to the end of pier...

sit down...

find a Sharpie and a stone

and name that thing you were holding on to so tightly.
My many things could all be summed up in one label: "Future."

Probably more specifically fear of the future, but I wrote
the word that kept coming to me:

Pick up that stone and surrender it to God, then cast it as hard as you can

into the sea.   God can still see it. But I can't. In reality, I never could.
I was holding on tightly to something that was weighing me down.
The future I had no control over.

Now I could focus on the beauty of that which is now,

that which is beautiful up close, in all its color and brokenness.

The birds of the air had no care of the future. They thrive on the here and now, knowing instinctively that God is their provider. All they have to do is fly and watch and trust.

(to be continued)