Wednesday, January 20, 2021

At the End of the Rainbow

For all of you Instagramers, let me encourage you to look up and follow

@curated_by_christy

This is a new venture my daughter is starting.  She is finding some really beautiful and unique pieces and selling them.  These are only a couple examples.



Check out her account on Instagram and give her a Follow!

Now to the topic of the day!
This will be an interesting Hodgepodge to participate in today.  How would you answer the following questions?  Hop over to Joyce's blog


to see how others answered.

1. What's something we'd find you doing most afternoons?

Until just the past couple of days, you would have found me unpacking boxes, or deciding where an accessory item or picture or dish or seasonings were to go.  Now that those things are pretty much decided and taken care of, I will need to create a whole new routine.  I have a feeling it will involve the sunroom, my glider sofa and a book.

2. Who do you take after? In what way(s)? 

I think I am a general mixture of both parents.  My dad used to tell me I favored his aunt whom I never knew.  My mother thought I might take after her grandmother's small features.  Personality wise, I am most like my dad - more introverted than out-going; more introspective and contemplative; comfortable in our own skin; and a love for writing and studying God's Word came from both of them.  I did not however inherit my dad's intelligence and perfect memory.  Both my parents passed on a legacy of living by faith, joy and hope and loving unconditionally.

3. 'After every storm comes a rainbow' or 'the calm before the storm'...which phrase do you relate to more right now? Tell us why? 

It would definitely be the rainbow!  As to why, check my blog from yesterday.

God's Big Winks

4.What are your plans for the day after tomorrow? 

As I am writing this on Tuesday, that would be Thursday.  We are having good friends who moved to this area ahead of us, Margaret and Ric, for lunch.  We haven't seen them in a while and look forward to catching up and sharing our new home with them.  At 5 PM we will watch our granddaughter, Ava Grace play a basketball game.  Oh the joys of living close to family.

The day after the day you are reading this will be Friday and we are looking forward to having dinner with one of our dearest friends, Sarabeth and her family.  She is visiting from Louisiana and we are so excited to see her again.

5. Complete this sentence - "After all is said and done__although we will be facing some dark and scary days ahead, as new policies are enforced and freedoms threatened, and we may not recognize America as we have known it, God is still in control.  "He is the light of the world and in Him there is no darkness"_."

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

This morning we reinstated our routine of going to the gym.  Our church has a very large and well equipped fitness center.  It was early enough that there were few people around and I was able to walk inside around the outer circumference of the main building on all three levels.  That meant a lot stairs which may not be the best idea.  For the time being, I will be content with staying on the ground floor to get my steps and miles in.  I then joined Dick in the gym for upper body and resistance workouts.  Again, we are so grateful for the convenience of this amazing church and the opportunities it provides.

Source


This view is inside the enormous sanctuary.


Next week I will begin showing you some scenes from our house.  In the meantime, "count it all joy"!

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

God's Big Winks

Last week in my Hodgepodge blog post, I mentioned that we have had so many opportunities to see God at work during these past three months.  We've all heard the phrase "God Works in Mysterious Ways" and normally we simply nod our head and agree that "Yes He does."  Well, let me tell you, He really does.

This lengthy account is primarily to bring glory and praise to the God who works in our lives bringing about His will in His time and way.  It is also to encourage you if you have doubted that God cares what happens to you.  Thirdly, it will be a permanent record once printed in book form as I print out my yearly posts.

A couple years ago our daughter strongly suggested that Dick and I begin thinking about moving close to either her in Dallas or John in Northern Indiana.  Both she and John have demanding jobs and families to take care of, and should something happen to one or both of us, neither of them would be in a position to take care of us.

She wasn't being cruel.  She was actually letting us know that by not being close to one of them, we were not being fair to either of them.  And yes, at that time we were not as old as we are now, 80 and 76.

Dick and I discussed the options and decided we just weren't ready to make such a drastic move and where to move loomed largely in the decision making.  Do we move to Dallas or Granger, IN.  We love both our children greatly and both were welcoming us.  So, we decided to not decide.

This past October, while in Indiana for our grandson's wedding and shortly after Dick's 80th birthday, the topic came up between him and Christy.  Again, the "you're getting old" inference was made and stressed that we really needed to make a decision.  This was done lovingly by the way.

Since Dick and I had planned a two-week road trip following the wedding, we had plenty of time to talk and pray and by the time we returned to our home in Shreveport, La., we had made a plan.  Because extreme cold is not healthy for Dick and it gets extremely cold for a good bit of the long winter in Indiana, we agreed the heat of Dallas would be the best choice.

Other major considerations in our decision was remaining close to my sisters in South La.  Being in Dallas, we have easy access to airports and direct flights to the locations we would be going.

Since Dick was a realtor, we decided to have an Open House for our gated community before he listed it on MLS.  A neighbor told his best friend and in three days we had a contract for the amount we wanted.

Christy and Chuck had been telling us about a 55+ gated community right near the church they attend in Plano.  It was about 10 minutes from their house.  These condo units do not stay on the market long because there is such a demand and because of it's perfect location.  But God had a plan!

There was one home available.  The original owner had made upgrades and following her death, her daughter had made additional improvements before listing.  After seeing the community and the house, we knew this was where God wanted us to be.  We no longer needed yard work, and all exterior care is taken care of.  There were so many advantages here for the future and it could not be a more safe place to live.  We are adjacent to multi-million dollar homes without paying for them.  Perhaps the greatest sign was that the owner dropped the price $10,000 the day we were to see it.

Our neighbors, Charlie and Glenda are from South La. and Charlie is also the HOA president and they were ready for Louisiana residents.  He also called the owner and told her she had to sell to us.  I kid you not!  By the way, Charlie was Ross Perot's right hand man for 30+ years, so evidently had acquired convincing skills.

In case you are keeping count, in less than three weeks we had decided to move, sold our home and bought a new one.  Folks, if these aren't signs of God's plan and provision I don't know what is.

As I mentioned in my last post, in the middle of packing both Dick and I had Covid19 symptoms and tested positive.  Our case was mild thankfully, and worst the worst part was the total fatigue and exhaustion.  Thankfully, our son instinctively knew the mother he talked to on the phone each night was not the one he knew.  My sisters were also very concerned so God worked it that all of them converged at the same time to rescue us needy old people.  This was such a God Wink because I had hit a wall and couldn't go forward.  Never been there before, but having help made it possible to move on.

God led us to the nicest movers who were willing to work with our ever changing closing dates right in the middle of Christmas.  Our son-in-law was able to attend the closing for us and our daughter was able to have the house clean and ready to move in.

There are too many little God Winks for me to mention them all but let me share a few, lest you think God put us here and moved on to greater concerns.

Dick was able to get a referral fee on the purchase of our house; we found the exact sofa and desk we wanted both for less than half price; our new house has a sunroom that faces the morning sun; we have a wonderful yard space for flowers and plants in the spring; God has blessed me with ever blooming irises in the middle of winter, in mine and my dad's favorite colors, purple and yellow; we have learned that the living room rug I bought several years ago for $120 originally sold for over $10,000 and is currently valued for at least $7,000.  Is that not crazy?

One of the best blessings is that God knew Dick's desire to continue serving Him in this new place and he has already been asked to consider teaching a week-day Life Group.  This doesn't happen in a church of thousands of members in less than three weeks of becoming members.  God has led us to a church where worship and missions are paramount.  The Word is taught and preached every Sunday and a Biblical World View is presented.  There is no doubt that Prestonwood Baptist Church stands on Biblical principles regarding issues of the day.

Another best blessing is being able to worship with our family for the first time in a very long time, and to enjoy visiting with them when it's convenient.

Yes, God has more than winked on this whole process.  He has blessed abundantly.  And wants to do that in your life as well.  It may not be in the same way He has blessed us or someone else, but He does desire to shower you with His blessings and make Himself known in your life.

Jesus is the light of the world and His light shines through His people.  Be His light in your world.


Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Hodgepodge Tied Up for This Week


From this Side of the Pond

I know I'm late getting in the Hodgepodge game this morning, but things just haven't been predictable this past few weeks.  It is my hope to get some things back as close to what was my "normal" pattern as possible and that includes blogging.

So thank you Joyce for keeping us going and always having a safe place to come every Wednesday.


1. When were you last a guest at an event or in someone's home? Tell us about it. Do you enjoy having guests in your own home? 

The last event would have been Sunday worship and attending a new Life Group this past Sunday where we recently moved our membership - Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano.  We felt very comfortable and welcome.  The last event in someone's home was New Years Day lunch at our daughter's.  She had her family, minus Cassidy, who had other plans, and Chuck's parents for a delicious traditional New Years Day menu.  Needless to say, we loved being part of this gathering for the first time, and look forward to many more.

We had guests in our home yesterday.  Our long-time friends, Vicki and Marvin who live in Baton Rouge, came for a nice visit before spending the remainder of the week with their son in Ft Worth.  It was wonderful having them as our first guests in our new home.

2. What has you 'tied up in knots' currently or recently? Are you any good at tying actual knots? 

MOVING!
Oh my, the knots we have experienced in the long month of December with the process of selling a house, buying a house, packing a house, unpacking and all the things that go along with title companies and getting 16,000 documents approved and signed.

In the midst of all the packing, we both had a mild case of Covid which left us completely energy-less when we most needed tons of it.  When we couldn't go any further and this "get-it-done-or-else" woman hit a wall when she couldn't make a decision and cried at the drop of the hat, family stepped in and took over.

Our son and family came from Indiana, as well as my sisters from south La., one weekend and took over.  I cannot tell you what a blessing and relief this was to us.  We just wouldn't have made it without them.  They untied my knots!

Our son-in-law took care of the closing in Plano and our daughter, who lives just 10 minutes from our new home, had the house looking like new when we finally arrived with all our worldly goods on Dec. 28.  Another huge knot untied!

We are so grateful for our family who knew exactly when and what to do when we needed them the most.

And now, most of the knots of unpacking and getting settled into a new, smaller, but perfect new home, have been untied without a single fray.

This whole moving process, though sometimes full of knots and concerns, was totally orchestrated by God and one day soon, I hope to share with you all the "God winks" along the way.  For now, I simply give Him all the praise and glory!

I do not like knots and try hard to avoid any thing or one(s) that might cause them.

3. What's something you've been wanting to do and have decided 2021 will be the year you 'take the plunge'? 

Being in a new city and church opens the door to many new opportunities. In time, I will find my niche and take the plunge into something new.

4. Something in your home that's old? Something new? Something borrowed? Something blue? 

I have so many "old" things that I treasure, but perhaps the oldest are some church song books that date back to the late 1800's.  I have quilts and crochet pieces that belonged to my grandmother and no doubt some to her mother as well.

New items would be some furniture pieces in my living room.  We sold several items before we moved and just last week got our new ones delivered.  Once everything is in place - we still need a desk for Dick's office - I will share pictures of our new abode.

There is not anything borrowed because I haven't needed anything.

The only blue in my house other than in some of my abstract paintings, would be more teal than blue.  I gave all that I had to my daughter who uses that color in her home.

5. Share a favorite quote, a verse of scripture, and/or a bit of wisdom for couples getting married in this challenging and seemingly unpredictable season we're currently/still experiencing. 

Forgive!  Be patient!  Be united in Christ in order to be united to each other!

6. Insert your own random thought here. 


Morning breaks so amazingly in our sunroom each morning.  Dick and I are treasuring this new routine of sharing this time as we do our devotionals and start the day with the Lord and each other.


Saturday, December 26, 2020

Our Christmas 2020

Wishing all of you a belated Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year ahead.

We are still in the moving process and will be for the unforeseen future.  Actually, we closed on our new home in Plano, Tx last Wednesday and delivered our first car loads when we went over for Christmas on Thursday.  The actual moving will happen Monday and then the fun of unpacking all these boxes we have labored over for weeks, will begin.

I told Dick, it will be like Christmas with every box.  They are labeled but who knows what we will actually find inside.

There may or may not be much blogging during that process.  That remains to be seen, but I will keep you informed along the way.

Now, let me share some sweet, pretty and fun highlights from our Christmas with our daughter and her family.


Christy's table was beautifully set with family Christmas china and stemware.



I rediscovered these Christmas dishes while packing and knew it was time to pass them on.  I hope Christy and her girls will enjoy them for years to come.



The buffet held these gorgeous antique pieces.



Christy uses blue and white throughout her house but especially in the kitchen.  I loved the McKenzie Child piece mixed with these beautiful vases.


The living room was bedecked with family stockings, poinsettias, and plenty of gifts under the Christmas tree filled with ornaments that each carry a special meaning.


Ava Grace had a pretty tree in her room that repeated the colors in her room.



This shows some of the gorgeous, large blue and white pieces Christy has collected to showcase in her upper, lit kitchen cabinets.



These pieces add such an elegant look to what might otherwise be just a kitchen.


Speaking of elegant!  Chandler and Brad had dinner at a fine restaurant with Brad's family on Christmas Eve.  It was a very chilly evening and a perfect time to wear her mother's long (real) mink coat.  Does she not look stunning!


Santa's elves in the kitchen getting ready for Christmas morning brunch.


It was so fun being part of the family's tradition of matching pj's on Christmas morning.



Even the guys get into the act and Dick loved his pretty jammies.



And these sum up our Christmas Joy 2020.

Christmas Day closed with Dick reading the Christmas Story from Luke to our Indiana family, which has been our tradition for many years, except it was done on Facetime this year.  So, our Christmas was complete.

We look forward to a Joy-full 2021 as we focus on the source of all joy, Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

A Giving of Thanks Post

I really do not have time to participate in the usual Wednesday Hodgepodge this week.  I actually don't foresee having much time to blog at all in the next several weeks.



I did want to give a quick update on what has transpired in our lives lately since deciding to move to the Dallas area to be near our daughter.

As my husband is a realtor, we decided to have an Open House in our gated community before we listed it.  The first person to enter, a young man engaged to be married next summer and a medical student, made an offer and we had a signed contract on the house a week later.

This past weekend we went to see our youngest granddaughter play the lead role in "Moana Jr" and also had an appointment to look at a condo in a 55+ gated community in Plano, Tx.  There was one other unit in there for sale and we saw it the next day.  We felt this was the place God had for us, so signed a contract that day and it was approved on Sunday.

We will be less than 10 minutes from our daughter and 15 from our granddaughter.  We are within walking distance of Ava Grace's school and the church we will likely attend.  There is excellent shopping, a nature preserve for walking outdoors, and gorgeous homes all around us.  And would you believe our neighbors are also from Louisiana?

We will close on our Shreveport house on Dec. 18 and on the Plano house on the 21st.  The movers will be here bright and early on that day and by midnight, we should have everything unloaded in the new house.  No Indiana white Christmas this year, but memorable nonetheless.

There are so many ways God has made our path plain and straight and it is so humbling to watch how He has and is working to bring His plan about in our lives.  We give Him all the praise and glory for blessing us so richly.

Now, the fun part begins with packing everything and hoping it all will find a place in this smaller home.  Once we are settled, I will share with you all about the move, transition and new house.  In the meantime, let me leave you with shots of our own precious Moana, who by the way, did an awesome job even in a mask.






Happy Thanksgiving!

You may enjoy reading one of my dear friend's blog on


Wednesday, November 18, 2020

A Daunting Hodgepodge

Thank you Joyce for this week's Hodgepodge questions.


1. It's Mickey Mouse's birthday (November 18)...happy birthday Mickey! He reads here, right? Have you ever been to Disney, any of the parks at all? Are you a Disney superfan or something less than that? They're open right now so tell us, would you go if you had the time/money/a free trip?

I have never been to Disney and regret not taking our children when they were small; however, I have absolutely no desire to go at this point.  I am not a Disney fan although I did enjoy watching many of their early shows/movies when my children and grandchildren were young.


Speaking of Disney, our youngest granddaughter, Ava Grace will be playing the lead role in the North Texas Performing Arts production of Moana Jr the next two weeks, in Dallas.  We can't wait to see her perform again.

2. Your favorite place to go when you want to be quiet as a church mouse? Would those who know you well describe you as more churchmouse or perhaps more like mighty mouse? 

I usually retreat to my screened back porch for solitude and quiet, even though any room in my house is usually a quiet place most of the day.  I'm thinking those who know me best would put me somewhere in between with a heavy slant toward Mighty Mouse.

3. The day before Mickey's birthday happens to be National Homemade Bread Day. Did/will you celebrate? Do you bake your own bread? Last time you had hot out-of-the-oven homemade bread? What's your favorite kind of bread?

I used to bake our own bread and it was so good right out of the oven, but I haven't done that in years.  There was nothing quite like a warm slice slathered with butter.  The last time was this past week when a neighbor brought over hot rolls right out of the oven, to go with our dinner at my sisters.  She knew we had been too busy all day painting furniture to think about cooking.  I am not a big bread eater, but would find it rather hard to pass up a hot yeast roll like our school cafeteria workers used to make  My next favorite would be a hot cinnamon roll. 

4. What's something you might say is 'the greatest thing since sliced bread'?

Facetime 

5. Let's keep the gratitude theme we started last week rolling on through November. Share with us five little things you're grateful for today. Small blessings. One catch-they all must start with the letter T. Gotta keep us thinking, right? 

Time with family - though not too small a thing
Tea - hot and sweet
Taste
Tenderness
Toothbrush

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

We will be going to Dallas this weekend to begin our search for our future just-right home.  This is a daunting task.  Then to pack up one house and move to another.  Speaking of daunting; that is a task I am not looking forward to.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Before & After for a Sister

In one of my posts last week I mentioned that we would be having a sister's get together this past weekend at our middle sis's home in rural south Louisiana.

Gin's 1,250 ft. back covered patio was in need of some freshening up, so Sarah and I were all over that idea.

Gin and Thomas's heavy solid wood patio furniture was made by skilled prisoners at the renowned Angola Prison many years ago.  There is no doubt the furniture will outlast them, but it all needed a good coat of paint.


The coffee table and doily belonged to Thomas' mother.


This old baker's rack, a catchall for plants and whatnots was serviceable but not pretty.


This old table also belonged to Gin's mother-in-law and the little rocker was used by her two now grown sons and grandsons.

Gin, my Sanguine sister loves people and color, so she chose bright, happy colors for the furniture.  It took us two and a half days to prime, paint and seal everything plus do all the little finishing touches.  It was so rewarding to sit out there and enjoy it together Saturday morning before we parted ways.

AFTER


Sarah is the artsy and crafty artist of the three of us.  She created and surprised Gin with this pretty welcome sign made from an old rescued board.  The colors introduce the color scheme for the rest of the porch.  The large rock at the bottom was also painted by Sarah several years ago.  She is so talented.



Gin chose two shades of teal and two shades of a light mauve for the furniture.  She spray painted the bakers rack a copper and it looks brand new.  I touched up the grape/leaf design on the top.


Sarah also surprised Gin by painting the little rocker and making pillows for all the rockers.


I stenciled doily patterns on this little table to compliment the real one on the coffee table.


This old owl was a piece I have had for years and was rather colorless although a beautiful piece.  Sarah decided to add some color and I think it turned out better than ever.  We all loved it!




Sarah and I added color to every available surface.


This fun ugly gargoyle was something Sarah and I gave Thomas years ago that she took and completely gave a new life to.  He is now a happy, funny, not so ugly gargoyle and Thomas loves it!





This will be Gin's happy place day and/or night.


Again, to show you how Sarah finds beauty in the most unexpected things, she took this old piece of cypress and is turning it into a work of art.


It will resemble a Hobbit house when she is finished and I can't wait to see it.



And this is the culmination of lots of planning, doing and loving on our sister.  As this will be our last visit together before I leave the state, it was a bittersweet time.  It was a lot more sweet than bitter though.


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