Sunday, September 11, 2016

We Remember

This week, my sixth grade kiddos have been reading our classroom copies of Scope magazine. They love the interesting articles, and I love the fact that they are practicing their reading strategies and learning worthwhile information at the same time.

Out of all the fascinating stories to choose from in the September edition, the article they most wanted to read was the one about 9-11. Since they are only eleven and twelve years old, none of them were alive to witness the horrifying events, and a sort of morbid curiosity had taken hold of them.  They innocently asked me if I remembered.

Remember? How could I forget?
How could I forget Mr. Mulberry calling from his office as I was getting the kids ready for school and urgently telling me NOT to turn the television or radio on until after I dropped the kids off.

How could I forget picking up my mother to go to the garden center and listening to the terrifying reports on the radio as we drove. I'll never forget the silent, fearful looks we exchanged as we listened.

How could I forget taking a radio out to the yard as Mama and I put sod down, planted bushes and flowers, and worked to make her yard look pretty...a gesture that was meant as an early birthday present, but would we all still be here to celebrate her birthday on the 19th?

As I looked at the wide, innocent eyes staring up at me with hopeful curiosity, I teared up and took a deep breath. "I remember," I whispered, "and it's up to all of you to make sure that future generations never forget."

Won't you please join me in remembering those whose lives were lost or forever changed on that day?

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
John 15:13

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Home Sweet Home

Happy Sunday to those of you who randomly stop by and have been waiting to hear from us. Bless you!

We are finally moved into our new place, and it has been quite the adventure to say the least! But isn't that true of any move?

I have SO much to tell you, but I can't possibly do it all in one post, so I will have to do what they do in the movies...give you a sneak peek and hope you'll come back for more!
Field behind our apartment complex

If you don't know the hows and wherefores of our move, you'll want to start here.

Let me begin by saying that this chapter of my life could have only been written by the Lord Himself. When I look back at the events of the past year, it is amazing to me how He took seemingly unrelated strands and wove them into something beautiful. I hope you'll agree as you read my upcoming posts.

When last we visited, I shared the sad news of losing our precious Licky Lou. (Thank you all so much for your kind words and thoughts during that difficult time.) We were devastated, and I began to wonder if I had any business moving. Was this truly God's will for us? You'll find out later, as we did, that Licky was an instrumental part of finding our new home.

Until I have time to do justice to ALL of the little strands that have been woven to create our new beginning, let me show you a few snippets of our new normal.  

But let me first tell you, our new life is almost the complete opposite of our old life...and not by our choosing. The Lord works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform, and to say that I am out of my element is a serious understatement!

We moved from our worn but cozy 1960's kitchen to this...
From our little covered patio to a deck balcony...
And from our simple fenced-in backyard to a....
Swimming pool???? What? That's crazy stuff! Yes, the Lord does have a good sense of humor. 

This is not at all what I had in mind when I said I wanted to move here, but this is what He provided us and for that I am thankful.

One thing that does make me feel at home are the wide, open fields surrounding us...
It is a very welcome change after the traffic and hubbub of the downtown area in a college town.

Well, one thing that never changes no matter where I live is that I have laundry to do, groceries to buy, and papers to grade. I hope you'll forgive me in advance if I don't post in a timely manner or get to my comments right away. I feel like my head is finally above water, but I'm still learning to tread...if that makes any sense.

I just wanted you all to know that our new adventure has officially begun, and the Lord has been very good to us through it all. :-)

Many, LORD my God, 
are the wonders you have done,
the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
were I to speak and tell of your deeds, 
they would be too many to declare.
Psalm 40:5

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Licky Lou

Hello, friends! I hope you are having a fabulous summer so far.

Our summer has been flying by, and things are slowly but surely getting done. In fact, Will and I just returned home yesterday from the eastern part of the state where I had a workshop for my new job.

I also found out this morning that my application was accepted for the one beautiful pet-friendly complex in that college town. Let me tell you, that was such a relief...housing has been tough to find there.

Our joy was short-lived, however.

It became apparent at lunchtime that our sweet little ball of sass wasn't doing well...
Will first noticed that Licky was trying to "piddle" everywhere but her litter box, and that just wasn't like her. 

She also wasn't getting any piddle out. L

Things rapidly went downhill from there. She kept trying to hide from us under the furniture which was completely bizarre because that cat always craved nonstop attention.

She became lethargic and began vomiting...and we knew.
I made a call to Maggie, and she called me back during her break. (Licky Lou is Maggie's cat...she got that cute little ball of fur when she was in third grade.)

She spoke softly to Licky and told me it was okay to do whatever needed to be done.

Will and I each took turns holding her and bawling our eyes out. How do you adequately say goodbye to someone you love so much and who has brought you so much joy?
We took her to our veterinarian friend who confirmed our fears: Licky's kidneys were shutting down.

Dr. Marcy looked at me and said, "You know I'm going to tell it to you straight like I would want to be told." She then whispered, "It's time."

I nodded my head and let the tears roll.
As the vet went to get the injection ready, I held that precious baby doll against me and looked out the window. 

Licky Lou put her head against my shoulder and began to purr. I told her I loved her and that I was so thankful to have her in my life.  I told her that I would have never survived this year of empty-nesting without her and how grateful I was for her help.

The veterinarian and the vet tech came in, and I gave Licky one last kiss as I placed her on the table. The fact that Licky Lou continued to purr kind of unnerved the kind-hearted doctor. Tears sprang to Marcy's eyes, and she said, "She is definitely at peace because she has always fought me every single time I've ever tried to examine her."

(You can read about Licky Lou's numerous vet appointments here.)

We chuckled and wiped away the tears as she gave Licky the injection.

I knew that sweet soul was gone when the purring stopped.

We brought her home and buried her next to her sister and the little Yorkie doggies she used to love to torment back in the day.

And while I wasn't planning on blogging this summer, I felt the need to document this sad event...this moment of our journey. We all commented that the blog was so important to us when Pookie Bear passed on because we could have pictures of her within minutes. We could read about her silliness and her crazy antics with just a few clicks of the mouse...and just remember.

It was also therapeutic for me to write about the last precious moments with that beloved sweetheart, and I felt that Licky Lou deserved the same. 

All of you are an important part of our journey, too, and I wanted to share the sad news with all of her blog fans. She sat beside me as I wrote nearly every single post. Thank you all for the times you have asked about her and cared how she was doing.

There are also so many little things I don't want to ever forget. 


--The fact that she demanded to talk on the phone every time one of the kids called. Seriously, she would sit on my lap and meow until I held the phone to her ear. She would then intently listen for a little bit and begin "talking" to the kids. 

She would try it with other callers, but most people didn't find it nearly so charming. J

--The time the 7th graders wrote stories for me to read to her at night...yes, they worried that I was becoming the crazy cat lady. They had me take a selfie to prove that I really did read them to her. This was her reaction...
Seriously, kid?!?

We all howled about that for days!

--After Will moved out and Pookie Bear was gone, Licky began sleeping with me. Every night she would climb in bed with me and put her head on my pillow facing me. If I rolled over, she would simply get up, climb over me, and hunker down on the pillow facing me. I learned not to fight it eventually.

She slept with me like that every night until Will came home. Then, she began dividing her time between our two rooms, and eventually, she camped out in the hallway because she couldn't quite make up her mind who needed her most.

Trust me when I say the pillow will feel quite empty tonight.

However, it does bring me some comfort to think of these two pumpkins together again...
....purring happily ever after.

"How lucky I am to have something that makes saying good-bye so hard."
--Winnie the Pooh


--Where the Red Fern Grows

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Confessions of a Waffle Thinker

How's that for a title?

Have you ever read the fantastic book Men Are Like Waffles--Women Are Like Spaghetti by Bill and Pam Farrel?

Let me tell you, it's a hoot...and rather informative. It's all about embracing the differences between men and women, and the waffle and spaghetti references refer to the thinking processes of each.

Men tend to be compartmentalized thinkers, meaning they usually think only about the waffle square they are currently in.

Turns out my brain did not get the memo that I am a woman, and my thinking ability should be more spaghetti-like which would connect all the areas of my life together.

Wait a minute! Maybe that's why my attempts at multi-tasking have always been so disastrous...

Anyhoo, I have decided to not fight my waffleness any longer and just admit to myself, and all of you, that I am going to spend my summer in the waffle square of moving.

And then on to the square of getting settled and starting anew.

So as much as I will miss all of you, I'm going to hang up my blogging shoes for the summer...or perhaps longer, who knows.

Until then, we'll just say... 

Thank you so much for reading my lil' ole blog. 
I have so enjoyed your visits and your friendship. J

Monday, May 23, 2016

Patriotic Bargain

Merry Monday, beautiful people!

I thought I'd quickly pop in to share a wonderful bargain I stumbled upon at Walmart this week.

As I was headed from the cosmetic section to the cat food section, (yes, I am always shopping for Licky Lou's food, it seems) I spied with my little eye a versatile patriotic bargain...
For $1.97, this baby was coming home with me!

Normally, when I'm not packing up my life's belongings and moving, I decorate in red, white, and blue the week of Memorial Day and keep it the entire summer until Labor Day.

I'm patriotic like that.

And somewhat a thrifty, lazy decorator, but we shan't discuss that right now.

Anyhoo, I began thinking of all the marvelous possibilities!

First, I envisioned using these as placemats for a Memorial Day or Fourth of July picnic...
I also thought of how wonderful they would be as lap napkins at that same picnic.

I don't know about you, but I love a large, thick, absorbent napkin when I'm enjoying some delectable barbecue something-or-other!

Next, it could serve as a sort of table scarf in lieu of a tray when creating a vignette...
The texture gives it a rustic, woven look, and I love how it anchors my colonial inspired vignette. I thought I might go a little "Johnny Tremain" with the pewter before I packed it away...

If I had my sewing machine handy, had the inclination, and didn't have 1,046 other things to do, I might think about creating some cute little pillows...
Yeah, that's about as ambitious as I'm going to be with the pillow making this summer...draping a kitchen towel over one of the couch pillows. Ha!

Finally, I guess they could also serve their original purpose... a kitchen towel.

It certainly lends a patriotic touch to the kitchen for a sweet little price.

If you are at all inspired to do a little kitchen-towel decorating of your own, Walmart has these cute little towels in an array of colors and designs...

Aren't they just so colorful and festive?!?  Holy guacamole, some of these absolutely scream Fiesta! to me. 

BTW, this is not a sponsored post. All opinions and the $1.97 per towel were strictly my own.  I just thought I'd pass on the happy news to my fellow thrifty shoppers. J

Also, I am finally getting things somewhat in order after the hectic last days of school. I hope to get caught up with all of you dear friends this week. Thanks so much for your friendship and your patience.

Have a most marvelous Monday!

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