Friday, January 30, 2015

Friday Loved, Liked and Learned

A few weeks ago I read a blog post that I found both interesting and fun and asked permission to repeat the theme on my own Friday blog.
willingly gave me her blessing.
For a while, at least, this will be my Friday theme.  I will recap my week by highlighting what I have loved, liked and learned. You may enjoy participating in this as well.

 Three weeks ago this past Tuesday, Hubby's only brother died during surgery.  This picture was one I took of Tom and Martha when we spent a few days together last August in Maryland.
Following the service, Martha gave one of these lovely crosses to each of their children and to us.  It was such a thoughtful thing for her to do.
I love the simplicity of this beautiful metal cross but most of all I love what it represents.
Thank you, Sis.

 I planted these ornamental cabbages before we left for our August/September month-long trip because I knew I would be having foot surgery upon return and there would be NO yard work after that.  I was right!  There hasn't been but I'm not showing that.
However, these cabbages have been beautiful and have held up their end of the agreement to provide color well into the winter.
I like the variation of color and the lacy edges of these colorful plants.  They add a pretty spot of color to an otherwise not so pretty front yard flowerbed.
Next year, I may forget the puny pansies and fill my the flowerbeds with these lovelies.
I learned that a paint brush and the right paints in the hands of a master can create a masterpiece.
  Hubby and I took a field trip this past Monday to see the exhibit of a master landscape artist who loves his home state of Arkansas and brings choice pieces of it to canvases in the most brilliant of colors.

I also learned that the eye can fool the mind into seeing what really isn't there if it perceives it could be.

If you look closely, there isn't a lot of detail, but the eye tells you there is, because you see the picture as a whole.  You see the sunlight playing through the trees and bouncing off various spots creating depth and interest.  The winding path takes you around a bend with unimaginable intrigue.

Yes, I learned that only a master painter such as Bill Garrison can pull you into a flat piece of canvas with a variety of paints and brush strokes and an eye for abstract detail and beauty.

I hope you share something you Love, Like and Learn this next week and will join me next Friday to share.

Thank you Trish for allowing me to join you.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Does God Care Who Wins the Super Deflated Bowl?

Are you a Super Bowl Watcher?

Have a favorite team?
I found this post by Janet Dennison interesting.  You might as well.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Winter + Chocolate + Heart Melt

I have missed being part of the Hodgepodge group the past couple weeks so it is good to rejoin

1. When did someone last suggest you 'chill out'? Or, when did you last tell someone (or want to tell someone) to 'chill out'? Or, when did you last tell yourself to 'chill out'?

I really can't recall a time that I experienced any of these.  However, I was being a bit critical of something the other night and had to apologize for that, so maybe that qualifies for telling myself to "chill."

2. What most recently caused your heart to melt?

Face-Time  with our youngest granddaughter the other night.  She melts my heart anyway, but just seeing her and hearing her tell about things going on in her life at eight, really melts my heart big time.  I miss being with her and all our grands.

3.  "An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered." G.K. Chesterton  

Your thoughts? When did you last experience either an adventure or an inconvenience? How did you see it at first, as an adventure or an inconvenience?  Does it feel the same in hindsight?

Last week a friend of mine and I had planned to visit a small town in another state a couple hours away and because the weather was so nasty, we decided to not go.  This change in plans was a real inconvenience because I had really looked forward to the day and she would not be able to reschedule this week.  But, Hubby helped me turn this inconvenience into an adventure by agreeing to go with me this past Monday.  We had a great day together and the "adventure" will be the topic of a future blog post.  Stay tuned!

4.  A Wendy's Frosty, root beer in a frosty mug, or a frosted chocolate cupcake...of these three, which one is your favorite 'frosty' treat?

Hands down a Wendy's Chocolate Frosty!  Love it!!!
5. Would you say your life so far this year has been more like a circus or a symphony? Explain why.

A symphony!  Life is good.  Because my foot is healing well, I've been able to go back to the gym and return to Handbell Choir and Sanctuary Choir.  We have spent time with friends.  Hubby and I have enjoyed doing things together that is important to both of us. The Lord continues to bless richly for which I am most grateful.

6. Since it's a 'snow day' here, what's your favorite song containing the word 'white'?

"White Christmas" is the first that comes to mind.

7. If you had to leave the city you currently live in, what would you find the hardest to leave behind?

I would miss most our home.  God gave us this house eight years ago and we love it.  And of course, I would miss our friends.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Hubby and I enjoy a good salad and I found this recipe the other day in a cookbook given to me by a dear friend for my birthday - The New Southern Table by Brys Stephens.  It is super quick, easy, delicious and good for you.
Kale, Apple and Pecan Salad with Black Benne Dressing
I did not make the dressing but used one of our favorites that we get from Whole Foods.
3 Tbsp. Apple cider vinegar, 1 med. shallot, Kosher salt, 2 Tbsp. honey, 3 tsp. Dijon mustard, 3 tsp. black benne seeds, 2 Tbsp. olive oil

1/2 cup toasted pecan pieces plus more for garnish
In a large bowl toss 24 ounces kale, stemmed and thinly sliced and 2 apples cut into matchsticks, (I used one large Honey Spice) with the dressing and garnish with pecans.  I also used toasted sesame seeds.  Season to taste.

I served this salad the other night for guests with Lentil Soup and cornbread and it was a perfect first course.


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

What I Wore to the Symphony

 One of the many things Hubby and I enjoy about living in the 3rd largest city in the state of Louisiana is being able to hear the Shreveport Symphony.
We decided several years ago that we would take advantage of as many cultural events in our area as possible and there are many, with access to three colleges, numerous play venues, Opera Guild, and various musical groups as well as many churches who do amazing musical performances.

Our favorite though is having season tickets to the Shreveport Symphony.  It is one of the best symphonies in the country with notable director, Michael Butterman.

Last night's performance highlighted Liadov's beautiful "The Enchanted Lake", a Bartok Concerto for Orchestra and a Dvorak Cello Concerto featuring an outstanding young Shreveport native, John-Henry Crawford as soloist.

John-Henry, though only 21 years old, has already made quite a name for himself around the world as an amazing cellist.  It was a thrill to hear him perform one of these best-loved masterpieces.

So, what did I wear to the symphony?

In the south, you will see a wide variety of clothing worn to these events.  The youngest may wear blue jeans and tee shirts or long, lovely dresses.  The middle aged will wear anything from nice dress pants to expensive suits.  The older crowd may be bedecked in their sequins and furs.

That's the beauty of living in the south.  Hospitality reigns and everyone is accepted.

Because I am still limited in my selection of shoes, I am not wearing dresses yet.

I chose a pair of black dress pants paired with a black round-neck sweater.  This combination is so basic and can be worn with just about anything to dress it up or down.

The weather was cool and dry so I selected a purple suede jacket that offered warmth and yet was not too heavy.
I wore a very simple gold choker necklace with a black drop and small black stone/diamond earrings.
I kept the look near my face down-stated, yet complimentary to my coloring because of the attention drawn to the waist of the jacket.
 I also love the detail on the back of this jacket.
Suede is not the most practical material, however for those of us who live in the south, it can be a nice compliment during the winter and fall months when it isn't raining.

I love the shade of this purple which compliments my yellow skin tone.

Now, what would you wear to the symphony in your city?

Sunday, January 25, 2015

My Word for 2015!

I have noticed that several of the bloggers I follow select a word for their new year.

I have never done this but have admired that these ladies are sensitive to God's leading in this respect.

Several weeks ago I listened to a TV preacher as I was getting ready for church one Sunday morning.  He kept mentioning the word "Increase" in his message.

It really struck a cord with me and I began to pray about it and search the scripture regarding how God might want to use this in my life.

In my study, I discovered this word is used quite frequently in the Old Testament but in most occasions, it regards the "increase of numbers" such as offspring and flocks and harvests.

Yes, the Lord promises to bless and He has most definitely blessed and multiplied in abundance in our lives.  But, this wasn't what I felt God was wanting me to relate to my life right now.  He certainly doesn't want to give us more children or herds.  Lots of great grandchildren one of these days would be wonderful though.

As I studied, I began to see a pattern emerge as the scripture used the word and promise of increase.

For example in Deuteronomy 8:1;
"You must carefully follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase, and may enter and take possession of the land the Lord swore to your fathers."

The increase promised by God is conditional to my faithfulness and obedience.

Deuteronomy 30:15-16
"See, today I have set before you life and prosperity, death and adversity.  For I am commanding you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commands, statutes, and ordinances, so that you may live and multiply (increase), and the Lord your God may bless you in the land you are entering to possess."

Oh God, increase my faith and willingness to be obedient so that I will be ready to "possess" the challenges You lead me to!
David cried out to God from the depths of despair and assurance that even in that state, God would increase his honor and bring him comfort.

God, when my heart is broken and discouraged, increase my honor and comfort for Your glory!

"The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith."  Luke 17:5

Father, without You I cannot believe. Please, increase my faith as you did for your disciples.

2 Corinthians 9:10 tells us The One who provides everything we need will also
"increase the harvest of your righteousness.  You will be enriched in every way for all generosity, which produces thanksgiving to God through us."

 Please increase Your righteousness in my life that I might be a blessing to others.

"May the Lord cause you to increase and overflow with love for one another and for everyone, just as we also do for you.  May He make your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.  Amen!"  1 Thessalonians 3:12-13

   Father God, please increase and overflow my love for others just as you love me!
is my word for

May God bring increase to your life this year as well.

Monday, January 19, 2015

A Week of Granddaughter Events

It is good to finally have time to do a blog post this Monday.

This will be a very brief posting of big events in the lives of some of our grands.

Granddaughter #2, Cassidy, set a goal to be accepted into the University of Texas for this spring semester.  SHE MADE IT!  We are so proud of her for setting such a high goal and working hard to achieve it.  Her parents moved her into her dorm room on Saturday and she begins orientation today.
Hook um big, Cassidy!

In northern Indiana, winter high school dances are a very big thing and the invitations to these are even bigger.  They really require creativity on the part of the young man and two participating families.

Clay's surprise invitation to granddaughter #3, Savannah, was so sweet and creative and yes, both mothers were very involved.

While I was up there, we went dress shopping which was so much fun.  She looked great in just about everything she tried on.  I'll reveal the dress she chose and pictures of the big night at the end.
Which one do you think she should have chosen?

 This week, Granddaughter # 5 had her braces removed and was so happy to show off that beautiful smile.  I think she must have aged too many years in the process. 

 I mentioned in a previous post that I had done some paintings for Christmas presents.
These were two of the ones I gave my Indiana family.
The "Red Dress" painting was for the girls and the ocean scene went into our son's office.
I appreciate their willingness to accept my feeble artistic attempts and abstract interpretations.

Now, the big reveal from last night!
Isn't she gorgeous?
 Did she choose your choice?
We all knew this black dress was perfect the minute she put it on.  She is so elegant and dramatic.

Happy Monday and may you have a great week as we wind down the first month of 2015.

Friday, January 2, 2015

A Christmas Vignette Wrapup

 All the Christmas decorations have been removed for another year.
 What of this Christmas will remain with us won't be the
 lovely decorations or the childhood memories that are evoked,

The memories that will carry over into 2015 will be those
 special interchanges with each other that touched a heart for some unexplained reason at the time.
 It will be remembering those who weren't here this year.
 It will be remembering how we experienced the New Born King this Christmas through worship, music or giving of ourselves to others.
 Those special times around the table sharing memories and what was important for us at that moment to share with others we can trust.
 We will remember traditions that carry us from one year to another with anticipation.
 Christmas memories that will last are those that never change.
It is the sharing and receiving of cards and letters from friends we may see every week and those our lives touch only at this special time of year.
 It is fun things that send special messages only at this time of year.
 Those little gifts that we know were chosen or made just for us because someone thought enough of us to do something personal.
 For Hubby and I it always includes a trip into Amish country even for a couple hours where my camera lens tries to find a little something different each time.
 "A Pretty Place" that wasn't so pretty except for the ice-covered pond.
 A lonesome old horse that was smart enough to get on the backside of an old barn to shield himself from the biting cold wind.
 Yes, the decorations are out of sight now, and we've put out new calendars with dates marked for new appointments and some continued events from the past year.

How long we will carry the memories of Christmas 2014 with us will be determined by how important it is to hold on to them.
I think I will be selective and look forward to the new year with only those that bring JOY and HOPE for the future.

"If you seek it like silver and search for it [wisdom] like hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and discover the knowledge of God.  For the Lord gives wisdom from the mouth come knowledge and understanding."  Prov. 2:4-6