Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Giving Thanks

Join us for

1. Besides U.S. Thanksgiving, it's also National Game and Puzzle Week...what game have you played most recently, and who were you with? Have you worked a puzzle of any kind in the past week?

We occasionally play Mexican Train and Rummikub with friends.  I have downloaded an app onto my iPad called Magic Puzzles.  It is a collection of jigsaw puzzles and I will have to admit to an addiction.

2. What is one place you were thankful for this year?


3. Take a nap, watch football, go for an after dinner walk, or hit the stores...which ONE is on your must-do list for Thanksgiving day? For those of you playing along who aren't in the US, answer as it relates to any big holiday meal.

Watch football.  This has been a tradition in our family for as long as I can remember.  Although we will be visiting our UTexas family, I feel sure we will watch the Texas A&M vs. LSU game being played in the MetLife Dome in Dallas Thanksgiving night.  Our oldest granddaughter and future Grandson will be graduates of A&M and we are diehard LSU fans.  I feel sure we will be in the minority, but that's alright.  It is all about the SEC!

4. Besides Thanksgiving, what's your favorite home cooked meal?

Just give me a big Saturday brunch of biscuits, omelet and fruit.  My sweet hubby is good at this!
But, my real favorite meal will have to be the Christmas Day breakfast we share with our Indiana family.  It mostly consists of our DIL's family recipes and some new ones that have now become part of our tradition. 

5. What product from an infomercial would you most like to own?

I don't watch them, and can't think of a thing I need to own.

6. Christmas shopping? Have you begun? Finished? Will you shop on Black Friday? How do you feel about stores opening on Thanksgiving Day? What percentage of your Christmas shopping is done online?

I have done some of my shopping but still have a few things to do.  I do NOT plan to shop on Black Friday.  I would love for all stores to be closed on Thanksgiving Day.  I think people would adjust knowing they will either have to buy the day before or wait until Friday.  At this point the majority of my shopping has been done online.

7. What are you most grateful for that adds beauty to your everyday life?

The love and devotion of my husband.  I never want to take that for granted.
Memories of my parents and the closeness of my two sisters.
My children and their spouses who are all amazing parents and citizens of the Kingdom.
Our seven beautiful grandchildren who are all as different as day light and dark and bring so much spice and life and joy to our lives.

8. Insert your own random thought here

Today is my sister's birthday!

Gin, you are the glue that holds us as sisters together.
You are our inspiration.
You are our favorite survivor!
We love you and are so thankful for you.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Connie's Traditional Home

A few weeks ago I mentioned going to my Women's Club meeting at the beautiful home of one of the members.

This traditional home is in the Historic South Highland neighborhood of Shreveport.  It is one of the newer homes having been built in the late 1950's.  Connie and her family have lived there for 36 years.
 The beautiful seasonal decorations welcomed guests to the front door.
The minute I walked into this warm, traditional home, I felt at home. Sun was streaming through the many windows and the color scheme is lovely.
 Come inside with me.
 There are lovely antiques and comfortable furniture.
 I was drawn to the collection of pumpkins, gourds, and candles on the living room mantel.
 The oriental theme introduced by this beautiful little settee, is carried throughout the house.
 Family is very important to Connie and it is evident by the many family photos displayed in almost every room.
Connie loves to entertain and was in fact preparing for a group of Sunday School ladies on the day I photographed her home.
 Connie has been collecting her Spode Woodland China for several years and looks forward to using it every fall.  Her inherited crystal is the same pattern that my mother had.  We both love it.
My favorite room in the house is the family room.
 Again, a simple arrangement of pumpkins on the mantel speak Fall in this warm, welcoming room.  I liked the way Connie used the blue books to bring color and elevation of heights to the arrangement.
 Two of the things that I believe makes this home so pleasing to the eye and comfortable is the color scheme Connie has carried throughout and the inviting conversational areas.
The coffee table arrangement
This lovely little arrangement was on the game table behind the sofa.
To make the most of their small back yard, they created two distinct areas for entertaining.  The ground cover and carefully selected plantings mean minimum care.
The upstairs landing is a perfect example of what is important to this family - a gallery wall of family pictures.
There are three bedrooms and an office upstairs.
The Master Bedroom continues the oriental flavor and color scheme from downstairs.
 I loved this bed in the guest room.
The kitchen is the gathering place and I think you can see why.
 This lovely grouping is hung above the breakfast table which also doubles as a work space.
 Thank you Connie, for allowing me to share your lovely home.  It is as warm as your smile.

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?

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 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
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?


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?


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?


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.