Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Being Grateful and My Personal Rant

It is a cold Wednesday in Northwest Louisiana but not nearly as cold as other parts of our country.  However, it is always a good day when bloggers get together with Joyce for


1. What's something you take for granted, that when you stop and think about it you feel truly grateful for?

I don't want to run this in the ground, but lately for me it has been walking or specifically using my right foot how I want to.  But, on a more serious note it is friendship and health.  Recently, we visited three older couples who are very dear to us.  Each couple is dealing with severe memory loss on the part of the husband and mackular degeneration and or ambulatory problems for the wives.  Our hearts were broken as we visited with these precious people who have previously led such vital, energetic lives.

2. The color brown-love it or no? What's your favorite shade of brown? Most loved something in your home or closet in a shade of brown?

LOVE IT!!! 
Actually, I love all shades of brown from chocolate to rust.  I recently purchased a new pair of rust-colored JAG corduroy jeans and I love them.  They not only fit superbly, but are soooo comfortable and warm.

3. What's something you're looking forward to today?

Eating the Tortilla Soup I'm making later today.  But in the meantime, I am going to photo a friends lovely home that I hope to post about next Monday.  Stay tuned!

4. The word 'feminism' is not new, but it has been generating all kinds of headlines in recent days and months. What do you think/feel when you hear the word? If you're a woman, do you want to be described as a feminist? Why or why not?

To me, the word 'feminism' initially holds a negative connotation.  It may be due to the early emphasis of women not needing a man and thereby denigrating the male species.  It may also relate back to the personalities who brought this movement to the forefront several years ago.  The relationship between 'feminism' and the LGBT movement probably also adds to the very bad taste in my mouth to this word.  That being said, I'm sure this movement has paved the way for women receiving more rights and support in the work place.

I do not want to be described as a feminist!  I want to be described as a person who accepts the worth of all persons without the exclusion of more than half of our race.

5. What's something you personally can't eat without making a mess?

That's funny because just the other night I fixed hot chocolate and toast that I absolutely loved as a child.  I dip my toast into the cup of chocolate and it is so good, but it does make a big drippy, sloppy mess while getting each bite to your mouth.

6. When did you last surprise someone with a little gift or when were you last surprised by someone with a little gift? What was it?

I recently surprised a friend with a recording a mutual friend made of herself playing the piano.  Our friend is an amazing pianist and I knew she would appreciate hearing and reflecting on our friend's beautiful gift of music.

7. Share a favorite quote, saying, song lyric or scripture relating to gratitude. 
FOR THE BEAUTY OF THE EARTH
"For the beauty of the earth, for the beauty of the skies,
For the love which from our birth over and arise us lies;
Lord of all, to Thee we raise This hymn of grateful praise.

For the wonder of each hour of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale and tree and flower, For all gentle thoughts and mild:
Lord of all to Thee we raise This hymn of grateful praise.

For the joy of human love, Brother, sister, parent, child;
Friends on earth and friends above; For all gentle thoughts and mild:
Lord of all to thee we raise This hymn of grateful praise.

For Thy Church that evermore Lifteth holy hands above,
Offering up on every shore Her pure sacrifice of love:
Lord of all to thee we raise This hymn of grateful praise.

For Thyself, best gift divine, To our race so freely given;
For that great, great love of Thine, Peace on earth and joy in heaven:
Lord of all to thee we raise This hymn of grateful praise." 

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I know this is not necessarily the forum for political rants but since this a place for random thoughts, I would like to address something that happened last week that seems to have gone virtually unnoticed and certainly unpublicized by the public media.

On the 100th anniversary of the religiously-motivated genocide of Christians, Washington D.C.’s National Cathedral was converted into a mosque as several Islamic groups, all of which have alleged connections to the Muslim Brotherhood, held their Friday Jum'ah - or day of prayer.
The National Cathedral was chartered by Congress in 1893 as a national house of prayer under the Protestant Episcopal Church Foundation. It was meant for Christian prayer.  On November 14, Islam "claimed" the National Cathedral by holding Islamic prayer in the building.

There have been those voices who have spoken out against this before and after, to little or no avail.  But, where is the Church?  Why isn't there a major outcry from our churches?

Franklin Graham had this to say:
"It’s sad to see a church open its doors to the worship of anything other than the One True God of the Bible who sent His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to earth to save us from our sins.

"Jesus was clear when He said, "I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6)."
Bill Wilson, the Daily Jot wrote this in an article regarding the claim that allah and the God of the Bible are the same:

Those who would say that allah and YHVH are the same are chief among the false prophets. Especially those who call themselves Christians and also preach that allah and YHVH are the same. The basic tenet of the Christian faith is found in John 14:6, where Jesus declares: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me.” The Koran, the holy book of allah, in many verses denies that Jesus is the Son of God.

 There was one courageous woman from Tennessee who stood up and reclaimed the place for Christ and she was quickly ushered out.
HERE is a link to a Breitbart interview with Ambassador Ebrahim Rasool, who helped organize the occasion.  In this interview he calls it "deliciously appropriate" to hold prayers in this National Episcopal Cathedral on such a tragic anniversary of the genocide of millions of Christians, after which he also calls for the elimination of all infidels.

Does it not make sense that it would have been a greater demonstration of good will and call for peace and tolerance of all faiths (I do not believe Islam to be a faith or religion but an ideology of hate) if the largest mosque in D.C. had removed its mats and installed pews and invited Christians and Jews inside to worship the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob?

Or, was this not their mission after all?

Okay, that's my rant and my random thoughts for today.  May God be praised!

Monday, November 17, 2014

To Lose The Sun

Have you ever considered what it might be like should the sun not rise to brighten your day or create amazing shadows across your path, or provide warmth on a chilly day?'

It may have been these thoughts that perhaps led my good friend and former co-worker, Don Luenser to write a novel that has now become a trilogy.


 I had an opportunity to visit with Don this past week and relive those early days when he began writing and the possibility of being a real author were very far fetched.
 When Don first started writing the story of Adentta, he had no idea of it becoming a book much less a trilogy.  But, as he wrote, the thoughts kept coming and he realized that he may actually have a novel in the works.  Also, Don's sister Mary was his greatest encourager by insisting that he send her every typed chapter.
That was the beginning.

I shall never forget those days when Don would come to my office and discuss some new thought and direction his writing was taking and the process of getting it ready to be submitted for possible publishing.  But, I especially recall one day when Don stood in my office doorway and said, "I don't know if I can send off my manuscript to strangers."

I looked at him and said, "Don, this is your child.  You conceived it; you birthed it and you don't want to risk someone not loving it as you do.  But you must be willing to run that risk or the world will be denied what you have created."

He did and after several months of repeated rejections, a publisher called and asked for permission to print.  I remember well that day and our shared excitement when he told me that the lady who called him had actually read the book in one sitting and loved it.

The rest is history.

Don, gave me the honor of reading the early manuscript and writing a review which appeared on the back cover of the first book.  I wish now I had waxed much more eloquently.

To Lose the Sun

A great book! Couldn't put it down! I fell in love with the characters. Can't wait for the next book about the people from Adentta.
--Elizabeth Lazenby Day
 
 If you enjoy reading novels that are beautifully written about characters you wish could walk off the page and into your life, who deal with impossible to imagine situations as a community, then you will love this trilogy.

Not only my grandchildren but my adult children as well have loved reading Don's books and have eagerly anticipated this third and final book.

Don will gladly autograph and personalize each book as you desire as he is doing my new and complete set.
I encourage you to go to TO LOSE THE SUN and order this set of books.  They would make a great gift for older children and adults after you read it yourself.
Thank you my friend, Don Luenser, for being willing to risk rejection so that so many can now know and love the special people of Adentta.

Don has also written a short story, "A Soul Reposessed" and is working on other projects for Kindle.

For those of you in Central Louisiana, Don will have a book signing on Saturday, November 22, 2014 at 1921 Jackson St. in Alexandria, LA from 12 noon until 2 PM.

If you would like to contact Don, you may do so at
don@tolosethesun.com
or his website
To Lose The Sun 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

When Are You Old?

It is good to have Joyce back for

1. We celebrate Veteran's Day in the US of A on November 11th. When did you last interact with a member of the armed forces (either currently serving or retired)? Have you ever written a letter to a soldier, bought a meal or coffee for a solider, said an unprompted thank you to a soldier you encountered out and about somewhere? If you're not in the US, comment on a similar holiday in your own country.

I interacted with retired veterans in our Sunday School class and at our weekly prayer group this past Sunday evening.  There are some special folks in those groups both men and women.

2. You can have fifty pounds of anything at all (except money)...what would you choose?

Cashews

3. When did you last receive an invitation in the 'real' mail? What was it for and did you attend? When it comes to RSVP-ing, are you an 'early responder' or a 'last minute, barely-under-the-wire' kind of guest?


An invitation to a wedding and I am an early responder.

4. What's something you really don't like to waste?

I can't say time because I'm retired and I've taught myself that its okay to do that now.
I can't say food because cooking for two always results in food being put down the disposal.
I can't say opportunities because that would be a big untruth.
But, I can truthfully say I really don't like wasting any of those things.  Life is short and getting shorter.

5. Cheers, Friends, MASH, Seinfeld...of the ones listed, your favorite long-running sitcom?

MASH

6. What decision are you glad you made?

Where do I start and how can I name just one?  I think the first real conscious decision that I made that has impacted my life the most is the one to answer God's call on my life to acknowledge Him as my Lord and Savior. But, I couldn't have made that decision without His Holy Spirit calling me and convicting me.

More recently, I am glad I decided to go back to Pilates this morning.  It has been a long six weeks and my body said it was time to get back with the program.  I do so hope though that my muscles and hamstrings will remember what they are supposed to do real soon.

7. In this month of 'Thanksgiving' what is one thing that's different today than it was a year ago that you're grateful for?

Relationships

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

I found this recently and thought about my dad.  He was a dreamer but also an achiever.  He was a giver, a lover of life and people.  My husband and son are like that as well.  They are always thinking forward, always dreaming of something else that can be achieved.  Some one they can help.  Some times they are successful, some times not.  None of these special men in my life settled.  They dream(ed) of bigger and better and the next big opportunity to make a difference around the corner.

“A man is not old until regrets
take the place of dreams”
John Barrymore
"Widely acclaimed as the greatest Shakespearean actor of his generation, John Barrymore married four times and passed away performing live on a radio show. He refused to give up his love of acting or his love of love. Chasing his dreams, he lived this life until his last breath.

"Mr. Barrymore refused to accept conventional wisdom that would have us believe there is a time that we should acquiesce, put up the white flag, pull up the rocking chair and accept that our best days are behind us. A time when we should sit back and watch the news rather than make the news, read about history versus making it. The proverbial golden years, a time to reflect on what could have been, or should have been."  Gary Freidman

 I'm not the dreamer that my dad, or John Barrymore were but I don't ever want regrets to determine who I am or who I could have been or how old I am.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

What I Wore

What does one wear when they haven't been out of the house in five weeks?

On Thursday, I went to my monthly women's club (PEO) meeting because I haven't been in a few months and was a co-hostess.  Besides, I was so ready to get out of the house.

But, what to wear?

Actually, it really wasn't as difficult a decision as I am implying.  You see, when we were in Breckenridge, CO back in August, I saw a top that called my name.  I had seen it in the window of a really neat little shop while walking one morning and knew I would not leave the village without it.

The rich "Autumn" colors and design shouted my name!
Also, just prior to foot surgery I bought a pair of JAG rust-colored cord jeans that were the perfect match for my new favorite top.
Yes, this was an intentional mismatch of shoes; however, the socks matched!
I completed the outfit with this beautiful necklace that I found in Breckenridge and a lovely pair of Topaz earrings.  My birthstone.
Yes, this tunic sweater will be my staple fall/winter and early spring top.
Imagine it worn with black, gray, or tan leggings.
And it is so comfortable!
I am linking to

Friday, November 7, 2014

Master Bath Additions

 My Friday is Unfolded by revealing to you some new additions to the Master Bath.

I mentioned a couple weeks ago on my blog that I intended to get out my canvas and paints again.

Well, I did and after many layers of color upon color, I ended up with this "Garden Revealed."
I text'd a picture of it to my sister and her response was
"That is something you just want to look at and ponder for a while."  Which in sister speak is,
"Interesting, but what is it?"
Well, my response was,
"Good, because it is hanging in front of the commode."
 What better place to ponder and delve into the depths of color than in the Master Water Closet?

The colors incorporate all the other colors I am using in this room.
 
We have been in our Garden Home for eight years and I had not done anything about the window treatment in the Master Bath.  Although I have had the fabric for years, the high ceilings and the corner windows posed a design problem for me.
Recently a friend told me about a lady who was willing to take on the project.  After all these years, we finally have fabric on the windows.
 I am pleased with the result.  What do you think?
The blinds will stay because I don't like the idea of shadows being seen from outside.
I love the silk sheen and the way they tie in with the other things I already have in this bath.
 
 Details are important to me, and this grouping makes me happy.
 
The final de Resistance' is my little vanity chair that I absolutely love.
Now, go HERE to visit other Friday's Unfolded.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

How Do You Walk?

 Wednesday Hodgepodge is taking a break this week so I thought I would join a new group
HERE for

 Walking with God
As I am having to be very careful where and how I walk around my yard right now, I thought about how important it is to consider how I walk with my Lord.

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8, ESV
  You shall walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land that you shall possess.
Deuteronomy 5:33, ESV
 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.  Romans 12:2, NLT
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.  Proverbs 3:5-6, ESV
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.  Isaiah 41:10, ESV
 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.  2 Corinthians 5:17, ESV
For more inspiration join

Monday, November 3, 2014

I Had a Birthday!

AGE...
"a period of human life, measured by years from birth, usually marked by a certain stage or degree of mental or physical development and involving legal responsibility and capacity:"

When I Am Old
"When I am old, I shall not care
To deck with flowers my faded hair;
'Twill be no vain desire of mine
In rich and costly dress to shine;
Bright jewels and the brightest gold
Will charm me naught - when I am old."
 Caroline Atherton Briggs Mason

  What does it mean to get older?
Every birthday is a time of reflecting back on times that played a part in making you who you are on that day.
It means recalling those special moments that at the time make being old an inconceivable notion.
Aging means changes and personal growth.
Every birthday means reviewing priorities.
It is an opportunity to pull up those treasured mental pictures that will always hold a special place.
It means taking time to remember special occasions spent with special people
Getting older is good when you remember stolen moments to share snuggles and warm little bodies.
Aging is a blessing when you share your life with others.
When you love unconditionally.
"Ere I am old, O! let me give
My life to learning how to live;"
"Then shall I meet, with willing heart,
An early summons to depart.
Or find my lengthened days consoled
By God's sweet peace - when I am old."

 I AM NOT OLD!
 but
I AM 70!
and
THAT IS A GOOD THING!