Sometimes lost time is lost, sometimes it is not!

As usual, I have found myself a year older and lacking blogging posts for 2017. I had such great intentions but not much follow through on things that I still find important.

I thought about blogging A LOT! Time took its toll, or I felt the topic too controversial; I found myself putting in too many hours at work.

I have a lot of excuses for not blogging, quilting, writing letters to my children or decorating my home for the numerous occasions for which I have knick knacks to put out. When it comes down to brass tacks , I have let a lot of important things go by the wayside.

The Background to this Blog

This morning, I was supposed to be going to a Show Choir event to take photos for friends. My daughter was a part of the Blair High School Show Choir when she was in high school and I was the person who took photos. I was asked this year to return to capture the bright eyes and smiles of the performers because there just haven’t been photos like I posted for the families. (but I digress!)

An ice storm canceled the school participating, so I found myself, at home, in an ice castle thinking how I was going to spend the day. Driving was out of the question. I decided that I wanted to find some inspirational words to start my day.

I got out my Kindle Fire and the first book that shows is  “40 Days with Wesley” by Reuben P. Job.  My mind immediately went to, ‘Well, even though Ash Wednesday was last week, I could read everything and get caught up to day 5 and then move forward daily.’ I mean there are 40 days in Lent. That was perfect! Then it hit me!

The Purpose of this Blog

Why did I feel compelled to get caught up? My brain was racing, thinking that if I just got caught up…But would I get anything out of the reading by quickly catching up? Was I reading to feel that time of reflection, or to just accomplish a step? I decided it was the goal, when I should have been focusing on the journey.

I thought it was great that I actually realized my error before I started reading. I didn’t even get the book opened before the lesson started forming.

I slowed my breathing. I opened the book and read the first day of my 40 day journey. It was not going to be a 40 day journey during Lent. It was going to be the 40 day journey in my life. It is going to be a time to reflect, revitalize and re-center my focus.

As I was realizing the error of my ways, my thoughts went to another job I have in working with children and youth with handchimes and handbells.  I realized I was not following my own advice.

My handchime choir is open to children starting in 2nd grade. I teach them how to use the instrument, how to read music and how to use their musical talent to be a part of music ministry in my church. One of the lessons I need to frequently remind my choir members is that if you miss playing a note, it doesn’t do any good, in fact, it is bad to try to “catch up” by playing that missed note quickly in the wrong spot. If you miss a note, just let it go and be ready when you are to play next.

I was trying to “catch up” but it would have been in the wrong spot and it would have served no purpose to read five days worth of readings, just to get to the right place. I have the luxury that I can start day one at any time. I needed to take the time and take in the words and take in the message of Job’s words.

How many times do we rush through something just to say we did it?  Sometimes you can get away with it. How many times have you said, “Wew, I made dinner; I got it done.” It may not have been made from scratch. It may have been a frozen pizza but you did it! Yes, in that case, rushing to get dinner on the table can be worth it. The ultimate purpose is to feed your body and spend time with family and friends. It is not always about the food, but it is always about the nourishment and the company.

I have fabric for a lot of quilt projects and it sits there uncut and patiently waiting for me to find the time. While I would rather be quilting, I do not have the time that needs to be put into a quilting project. I know my limitations when it  comes to quilting but it seems I lack that same discernment in other aspects of my life.

In 2016, I did not take the time to send out Christmas cards. In 2017, I spent the time and money to order cards but guess what? The cards are still in my home, no addresses, no festive words.  It was a valiant attempt and a total failure. I can’t get Christmas 2017 back. Every time I thought of taking the time to get them addressed, it was only a thought, no follow through. I can’t get that back.

I do not know how I am going to apply my mini lesson of the day to the bigger things in my life. There are only 24 hours in a day and seven days in a week.  I cannot add more time; I can only try to manage my time better. If an hour is lost, I cannot work harder to reclaim it. It is overwhelming.

As I write, I realize that I am doing something to get time back-to create memories to take me into the future.  In just over two weeks, I am taking my parents on a road trip. Coming along will be my son, who will be graduating college in May. We are heading to Savannah, Georgia. It is a fast trip, a mere five days. We’ll take a day and a half to go down and the same to get back. We will be two full days in Savannah and two partial days. It will be a whirlwind trip but a chance to spend quality time with my parents and my son. It is a trip my mom has wanted to take for years. We are all very excited. (And BTW, it took almost three years for this trip to come to fruition)

Just last week, I brought up the notion of heading to Spain to spend time with dear friends. I wrote about Jorge in a previous blog. I want to spend time listening to the stories of George and his wife, Janet and eventually write their stories and pair them with his paintings. I want to actually do something that I have wanted to do for ten years. I need to do this sooner than later because no one is getting younger. I need to act.

There are instances when you can make up for lost time. It can be a fine line. A lost note in a piece of music is lost forever. You can only work to try to not miss it the next time. That is what practice is all about. If you haven’t told someone you love them, do it while there is still time.

If your eating is unhealthy, you can change those habits and your body has some ability to rejuvenate. Sometimes, the damage is done. You can still improve yourself by looking forward and not at the mistakes of the past.

So, I need to quit fretting about those Christmas cards that are setting in my home. I cannot get the Christmas season back. It is too late to send them out now.

My 40 days started today. I cannot worry that they are not the 40 days of Lent but rejoice that I chose to start my 40 days of devotion.

I can really celebrate that I am taking time to spend with my parents and my son, and my son will be spending time with his grandparents. This is going to be an experience I will relish forever. There have been very few trips with my parents that didn’t include my siblings.

And I can move forward with my plan to spend time with dear friends in Spain, hear their stories and show them all of the love I can.

There have been times when “I missed a note” and I tried to catch up by playing it in the wrong place just to say I played all of the notes. I need to be more aware and not rush, but also to try to play all of the notes in my life.

Right now, I am going to work on a photo book that I started in November. While I missed getting it mailed out for Christmas, it is never too late to share memories and to show love to those people important to you in your life.

Ice storms, which are really bad, can also be a blessing in disguise.

Blessing to you today and I share with you, my Christmas card!



In Today’s World, Where do I fit in?

The election is done! The inauguration has happened and yet, people are still wailing and moaning and decrying that ‘This is not my president!’

This past weekend, the women’s march continued to separate our nation. If you didn’t support the march, you’re a Trump supporter (not meant to be a compliment), or against human rights, or uninformed.

Words which, at one time, were derogatory, are now a badge of honor. What has happened to us? What does our future hold when people are fighting so hard to show that they know more than you, or worse, that you know nothing?

Not that a college degree necessarily conveys intelligence, but I have a college degree, many life experiences, common sense and yet, I have had people speak AT me as if I had not a brain in my head. And generally, the people who speak that way to me are of a different political affiliation. Because I chose not to support Hillary Clinton, I am treated as if I am ignorant.

For the record, I am a strong woman, intelligent, well-informed about many things and I chose to not support Hillary Clinton because I viewed her as weak. I chose to not support Hillary Clinton because I believe she gave the sacrament of marriage a bad name when she chose to turn her head to her husband’s continued philandering. I chose not to support her because she supported a man who abused his authority and denied having sex with a White House intern.

I think there was a recent incident where a television CEO stepped down for sexual harassment, not sexual activity, but words! I am not condoning what this CEO did (it was very wrong) but he received a much harsher punishment than Bill Clinton. Some may say, ‘Well, that was years ago!’ You are correct, but Hillary Clinton remained married and publicly supported her husband when allegations were purported and his affairs continued.

I also chose not to support Hillary Clinton because I feared government would continue to brainwash people by offering them ‘the fish’, instead of teaching them to fish.

I believe government has worked to make people dependent on government support.

I believe that people should work hard to be independent of government handouts.

I believe the premise of smaller government.

I believe, that while we need immigration in this country, we need to know who is coming into the country and immigrants should be documented. AND, if you are in the country without going through the proper channels, you are illegal.

I lock my doors at night so people I don’t want in my home, don’t enter without my knowledge. And if you lock the doors to your home or your car, then you too, should want to know who enters our country. If you can honestly say you don’t mind who comes and goes from your home without regard, then maybe you can truthfully say you don’t mind not knowing who comes and goes from our borders.Think about it people!

But where do I fit in to this world? And this is maybe why people don’t think I have a brain in my head…my lifelong dream is to be the best mom, best wife, best housewife that I can be. While my life is not defined by these things, these are very important to me. And that seems to be a rare dream these days.

When I went off to college, my dad said to me, ‘I don’t care if you are going to college to get your MRS degree; one of the big reasons for college is to learn to be independent in a protected atmosphere.’ My mom said to me that it is fine if I want to be a wife and mother but I need an education to fall back on if something should happen and I never marry or my husband dies at a young age.

I met sexual harassment in my younger years when I didn’t get a promotion because I wouldn’t date the boss. I felt the stab of harassment when inappropriate comments were made about my breastfeeding by a superior. I felt betrayed when a supervisor looked at his superiors and blamed me for something that was not my fault. In private, he apologized and in his apology, he told me he wasn’t willing to take the heat, so he threw me under the bus. I left that meeting, called a friend and had another job in a different state before my lunch was over. Did I really want to work for someone like that?

So don’t think that I am uninformed or sheltered. What did I think about these experiences? First of all, I thought the men were idiots! Secondly, I was not scarred for life. I still think these men are idiots but I know that I am in control of my attitude and ultimately, I control my destiny.

In the different jobs I have had, there has not been the opportunity for me to experience unequal pay.Well, maybe, I don’t know, but I have never been unhappy with what I was paid. If I was unhappy, I took my complaint to my superior and presented my case for needing a higher salary. I feel like if you are happy with what you make, what difference does it matter, what other people make? If you were happy with your salary and then found out that someone else makes more, then all of a sudden your aren’t happy? If you were happy before you knew what someone else makes, why does knowing make you unhappy? (I know I am repeating myself. I am confused. If you feel valued and feel your salary is fair then that’s that. If you don’t feel you are getting paid what you deserve, then deal with that. What someone else makes shouldn’t matter. These days, it is pretty easy to find what the going salary is for any given career.)

I spoke with my husband about unequal pay and he has never seen that either, in his career. His career with the state and then in private manufacturing for 20+ years, had both men and women with equal pay for equal qualifications. So I am curious as to what careers, when qualifications are equal-equal, have men making more than women? In this, I can claim inexperience, because I have never seen it.

Remember…my family and home are the most important for me. So I don’t want to be married to my job. I want to look at my supervisor and tell him that my child needs me and I need to leave and take care of my child.

I need to have the flexibility, in my job, to take care of things which can only be done during regular business hours. I am the manager of my home and family. Even though my children are in college, I still schedule their doctor visits; I manage calendars, bill-paying and home cleaning. I am the one who generally handles getting vehicle maintenance done.  I manage the house and manage the family.

You can either pay someone to do those things because you are married to your job, or you have a career which offers flexibility. This may also may mean, you don’t make as much money! That is a trade-off which I am willing to have.

Remember…my family and home are the most important for me. I am married and so my situation may be different from others. I believe that, as a couple, decisions need to be made as to the roles in the home. As a couple, this is the role in which we have agreed; my husband is (kind of) married to his career, which means I take on almost all of the home responsibilities.

That meant that I was the one who stayed up with the kids when they were ill because I did not have to go to the office in the morning. It was my responsibility to get the kids to the bus stop. It was my job to do the grocery and clothing shopping. I was the children’s taxi, not my husband. His job was to make the money, so the home could run smoothly. I took over mowing the lawn until a riding lawn mower was purchased and the kids got old enough to mow. But, when I went to work full-time, outside the home, my husband started helping with household chores. That is what happens when you are married, you work together for the betterment of the family.

I do not believe I have experienced discrimination as a female, to the extent that I feel mistreated, dehumanized and/or devalued. Do I have the intelligence, stamina and ability to become a successful career person? ABSOLUTELY! Is that a goal in my life-ABSOLUTELY NOT!

I am ME! Don’t put me into some generic category and label me because you think you know who I am. I had a man tell me that, as a Republican, I did not believe in the welfare system or environmental causes and that I was all about what I could do for me! When I told him that I volunteered in the schools, and the community, and my church and that I donated money and items to numerous organizations (including my church) and that I recycled and have lived in an energy-efficient home since 1991, his only come back was that churches were awful places (with many expletives in his comments). He could only cuss at me because I was doing more to help my world than he could imagine doing himself. He was all talk and very little action.

You know, in the scheme of things, it doesn’t make much difference how I fit in this world or how other people view my life. Yes, I get frustrated when people try to peg me into their square hole, or don’t try to understand who I am. Yes, I get furious when I see people trying to see around the log in their eye to pluck out the splinter in my eye.

I try to be a good person and as I have gotten older, I have been trying to be more understanding of others and less judgmental. I think sometimes, I am more understanding and more accepting than some people who are trying to get that splinter out of my eye. (I know, that is being judgmental!)

But here is the deal, I only have to justify myself to God, not to my neighbor, the person down the street, or anyone on Facebook. I live my life as honestly and godly as I can and people are just going to have to accept it. If I don’t fit well in this world, maybe it is because I am trying to work towards an eternal life after this one is over, where we will all get along and there will be no need for protests, marches or presidential elections.


This one is for me!

2016 was not a bad year. Our daughter graduated high school and began a new adventure at college. Our son found his mojo at college and is now working towards the responsibilities of getting ready to graduate in 2018. My husband and I both stayed employed, volunteered and gave back to the community. We took a wonderful family vacation to New Mexico and we stayed healthy.

But I failed! I did not blog, which is funny because my passion is writing. I did not take time to quilt (another passion) and even though I work at a church camp, I did not do a good job in growing in my relationship with God. I also got out of touch with people who mean a whole lot to me. I created empty places in my life. In 2017, I need to change that.

In 2015, I decided I was too heavy and worked hard to lose 25% of my body weight. I was so proud when a year ago, I reached my goal. I had not felt that great in years. In 2016, I did not exercise as regularly as I should and I found weight coming back on. While I can still wear 99% of the new clothes I had to purchase, there are two skirts which are too tight. (They are one size smaller than the majority of my wardrobe.) I justified things because I could still fit in all but two things. But when will it end!

I don’t like to think I make New Year’s resolutions. But I decided before Christmas that I needed to get back on track. I started two days ago by getting up and walking in the morning. I have set out my yoga mat to work on toning exercises so I can get back into those two skirts.

But it is really not about those two skirts, it’s about filling the voids which were created in 2016. I need to start a faith study to do daily, more than praying because I have not stopped doing that. I need to make sure that I am working to keep fit and healthy because I am not getting any younger. I need to do the best in my job but not make my job my life. I need to become better organized and efficient in what I do. While I don’t want to tie these thoughts into a resolution for the New Year, 2017 is the best time to start afresh.

This may sound silly because my blog following is so small, but I am writing this to help make myself accountable for the goals which I want to set in 2017. I have already started walking , I am having dinner with a friend tonight , today I will look for a faith study (I have quite a few somewhere in my home)  and yesterday, I started cleaning up my office area and ordered some desk organizers to help me at work . I am writing this right now which will hopefully continue with more substantive topics in the future. And lastly, I started getting my fabric ready for quilting again.

Every year, I say I am going to write more and I have great intentions but intentions get you nowhere without follow through. And I honestly think that one of the reasons I have let things drop is because many of the things I do take me to another part of the house, away from my husband. Even if we are different rooms, I feel closer to him if we are on the same level. I need to make sure that I take time to be with my husband and still feel I can do things which I would like to accomplish, even if we are in different areas of the house.

I was feeling badly about the things that have slipped. As I write this, I realize that I have already begun to make my 2017 a better year. I have started making small strides to accomplish the things which are missing from my life. It wasn’t that hard! I now think of what else I could achieve! I will keep you updated and work towards being all I want to be. I know I can do it.

As I wrote before, this writing is really all about me. I don’t care about SEO or attracting a large crowd; that will be for later blogs.

Your goals are achievable! My goals are achievable! Bring on 2017, I think I am prepared!

Trying to find calm in a world of worry

I worry too much. I worry that I am not there enough for my family; I worry that I have missed something at work; I worry about how others view me. I worry that I am not a good enough wife. I worry that I hover over my children too much. It’s the worry of I woulda…shoulda…coulda…

Surprisingly, I don’t worry about my life after death. I know I am not perfect, but I believe that, even in my imperfections, I am doing what I can to be a good person. My intentions are good and I strive to be better.

My favorite Bible verse is Luke 12:48. I was not as familiar with the first sentence as I was with the last part of the verse. After I had taken in the first sentence, I felt so much better about my past. You see, there were things I did as a younger person that I felt pretty confident when I did them. As I grew older, I was not so sure that my actions would be pleasing in the eyes of God. But this sentence, the first in Luke 12:48 set my heart at ease…”But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows…” It is contrary to the statement “Ignorance of the law is no excuse for breaking the law,” which is a statement I use. What the Bible says is that doing wrong, when you don’t know it is wrong, will not receive the same punishment as someone who is intentional and knows.

The rest of the Bible verse is what I write about now; “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted much, much more will be asked.”mini chocolate chip

There are many things I like to do, and because of that, I have put the time and effort to work towards perfection in those things I like.lemon cupcakes

I enjoy cooking and baking. Growing up, my mom did the cooking of the meals AND the clean up as well. If we wanted to help, we could, but it was not required. I, too, am that way. If you come to my home for dinner, you are not expected to help with the preparation or the washing of dishes after the meal. I will generally clean up as best I can, load the dishwasher and then organize, as best I can, the remainder of the dishes for later care. I will finish up cleaning when my guests have gone home.

Strawberry glazed

Strawberry glazed

prom cupcakes

When I became an adult, I asked my mom why it was we were never expected to clear the table or wash the dishes. What I remember her saying was this, “This is what I can give. Cooking from start, and working and working until the last dish is washed, is an act of love and service.” For me, I work hard to make sure that I do my best when showing love in the kitchen.

I love to capture life in photographs. I don’t like staged shots of people; I like natural shots, of action, of stillness, of love. Some of my favorite photographs are of the skies. The sky can tell so many stories. I think clouds can convey love, joy, fear, anger. There are times I have to pull off to the side of the road and take a photo of a sunrise, or a cloud formation. I believe I have an eye for telling stories through a camera lens. There are times I miss an opportunity for a story because the image is there, and in a second, it is gone.

And I love to write. I do not take the opportunity to write as often as I would like. Maybe I don’t feel inspired, or I am too engrossed in other things, or maybe I am too exhausted and can’t think of doing anything but recovering and re-energizing.masquerade

purple velvetWhat if that recovery or re-energizing is writing, or cooking/baking or quilting? That is what I am trying to figure out now.

Maybe I should work at finishing my quilting projects when I feel tired. There are times when I know I could be productive but instead, I choose to do nothing but catch up on the TV shows on the DVR. I also know there are times when I am so tired that if I tried to accomplish something, it would resort in mistakes and re-do’s. It is finding when I should really relax and when I should work at projects and use my gifts wisely that need to be done.

I truly believe that I have been blessed with talents that need to be shared. I believe that God has given me a voice-words to share on paper and in front of people-verbally. I share that talent as a lay speaker with the United Methodist Church and as a voice for camping ministry with my job at Camp Fontanelle.graduation

It gives me great joy to feed people. While I can’t do it as much as I once could, I love to bake doughnuts for my daughter to share at school. I love to entertain and make food for people that is special, something they may not make for themselves. I have started sharing my love of cooking/baking at a different level. I have started soft selling items. I am not advertising, but how fun would it be if I could make it into a full-time business!

My love of photography will always be my personal joy, to be shared with family and friends.lightning in the night sky

I am so lucky that I am able to share my gifts with others. It is what I am directed to do In Luke 12:48.

I encourage you to find your joys and talents and develop them to share with others. I don’t know whether I am in my position because of my talents, or I have taken my talents and fit them into my life. Either way, I have so much joy in sharing. If you are able to fit your gifts into your career, do so. If you have a love or a talent that does not fit into your career, find time to share your love and talent somehow in your life.whale in the sky

1 Peter 4:10 says, “God has given each of you a gift from His great variety of spiritual gifts. Use then well to serve one another.”

Today, I worry because my brand new cell phone fell in water. Worrying will not get it fixed. Hopefully a bag of rice will take those worries away. If not, there will be another new phone. For now, I WRITE!