Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Corner View: Joy!

Fresh catnip--recently cut and given as a treat to my two cats.

Scruffy loves to chew on it, but not eat it.

Then there's George--he's a 'roller'--over and over again until
the leaves are flattened and limp.

Feeling Good.
Freshly-cut catnip = Joy!

Thanks to Karyn for the topic.
Check out more corner views at Francesca's.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Barn Charm # 19

This barn and outbuildings are part of a farm that sits across the road
from the high school where I teach.
There is big farm house up the hill from the barn,
but I don't have a photo of it.

This has a fairly long driveway up to the house.
There is a section that floods and then they have to go in and out
by a rough back road through another's property.

We (at school) know when their drive-way begins to flood
that there's a good chance we will have an emergency dismissal
due to flooding conditions.
(We get as many flood days as we do snow days).

I used to have a daily view of this farm.
I remember being thrilled at the view
when I first saw my room
after being hired.

I had spent six years in a second floor class room
with no windows.

To have a window was great,
but to have this view was fabulous.

Alas, I was laid off for a year,
and a special-ed teacher got my room.
I was brought back as a replacement
for a teacher who had retired.
Now I get to look at the science rooms.
But on the bright side, I still have windows!

Joining Bluff Area Daily

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Various authors' thoughts on thankfulness, then a song

To give thanks in solitude is enough.
Thanksgiving has wings
and goes where it must go.
Your prayer knows much more about it
than you do.

Victor Hugo

There is not a more pleasing exercise
of the mind
than gratitude.

Joseph Addison

Never lose an opportunity of seeing
anything that is beautiful;
for beauty is God's handwriting - 
a wayside sacrament.
Welcome it in every fair face,
in every fair sky, in every fair flower,
and thank God for it as
a cup of blessing.

Ralph Waldo Emerson 

The question is not what man can
or disparage,
or find fault with,
but what he can
and value,
and appreciate.

John Ruskin

When you arise in the morning,
give thanks for the morning light,
for your life and strength.
Give thanks for your food,
and the joy of living.
If you see no reason for giving thanks,
the fault lies with yourself.

Tecumseh, Shawnee Chief 

This is the day that the Lord has made.
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 118:24

I am heading into a night's sleep
on a Sunday night,
facing the week ahead
with much gratefulness.
The last two days were restful and rejuvenating.

Blessings to you all as you begin your new week.

I'll leave you with this video and song.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

An interview with God

I went searching for some inspiration
and found the following 'story'.

On the day when many of us gather together
and hope to get along at least through dinner,
perhaps these are things we need to think about.


I dreamt I had an interview with God. "Come in," God said. "So, you would like to interview Me?"
"If you have the time," I said.
God smiled and said: "My time is eternity and is enough to do everything; what questions do you have in mind to ask me?"

"What surprises you most about mankind?"

God answered:

"That they get bored of being children, are in a rush to grow up, and then long to be children again.
That they lose their health to make money and then lose their money to restore their health.
That by thinking anxiously about the future, they forget the present, such that they live neither for the present nor the future.
That they live as if they will never die, and they die as if they had never lived…"

God’s hands took mine and we were silent for a while and then I asked…"As a parent, what are some of life’s lessons you want your children to learn?"

God replied with a smile:

"To learn that they cannot make anyone love them. What they can do is to let themselves be loved.
To learn that what is most valuable is not what they have in their lives, but who they have in their lives.
To learn that it is not good to compare themselves to others. All will be judged individually on their own merits, not as a group on a comparison basis!
To learn that a rich person is not the one who has the most, but is one who needs the least.
To learn that it only takes a few seconds to open profound wounds in persons we love, and that it takes many years to heal them.
To learn to forgive by practicing forgiveness.
To learn that there are persons that love them dearly, but simply do not know how to express or show their feelings.
To learn that money can buy everything but happiness.
To learn that two people can look at the same thing and see it totally differently.
To learn that a true friend is someone who knows everything about them…and likes them anyway.
To learn that it is not always enough that they be forgiven by others, but that they have to forgive themselves."

I sat there for a while enjoying the moment. I thanked Him for his time and for all that He has done for me and my family, and He replied, "Anytime. I’m here 24 hours a day. All you have to do is ask for me, and I’ll answer."

People will forget what you said.
People will forget what you did,
but people will never forget
how you made them feel.

~ Source Unknown ~

I hope you had a blessed Thanksgiving Day!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Barn Charm #18

There is a bend in Rt. 147  that has seven barns.
Four are all one farm.
The other three are two separate farms.
Alas, I have not been able to get photos of them,
because: a) it's a dangerous curve and
b) I have to pull right up to one barn to get good pictures.

However, one day I was able to slow down and take these photos.
These are two of the set of four.
They are built literally on the hill with the use of 'stilts'.
It's a busy, thriving farm with cows 'nodding hello to me every day'.

I like them because they are a good representation of southeastern Ohio farm living---
making the lay of the land work for you.

For more barns,
check out---

Sunday, November 20, 2011

. . . knock, and it shall be opened to you . . .

"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. . ."
Matthew 7:7

This verse has been on my mind ever since I saw this door in my photos. 
It was one of many I snapped one Sunday afternoon.
But my attention was recently riveted on it.

I have had many thoughts racing through my head
and wish I could take awhile and put them to type.
But I have a due date tomorrow for my principal--
more educational red tape.

So I will just share briefly.

There is a boy who has been a problem to us teachers in his three years with us.
I was hoping I would have a better year with him.
He started out decent, but then started to act up---some of it really inappropriate stuff.

One day we had a free day and I sat down next to him.
There was a sweet boy who's a good friend to him, sitting in the next seat
and two girls whom I respect.
They came into the conversation later,
chiming in on some stories.

However, in the beginning it was just L. and me talking about hunting.
I asked questions and I listened---
really listened.

I became fascinated with the boy that was emerging as he talked about
his dad and him bear hunting out in another state.
The stories shifted to training their hunting dogs 
and trapping a raccoon, but being kind to it.
It did its job and then was set free.
The "Wow!" from me was genuine.

Do you know that L. is no longer a problem for me?
And that when he got a deer with his bow and arrow,
he asked if I wanted to see it
and trustingly pulled out his cell phone to show me
after I said, yes.
(I could have taken it from him.).

I complimented him and was not grossed out.
(After seven years of teaching in a poverty-stricken area,
I no longer see the deer as 'Bambi',
but as the difference between a family going to bed hungry or not.
However, in the lens of my camera, it's still a Bambi.)

I'd been knocking my head against a door.
It would not open.

Some have pounded it or kicked at it (not literally)
and managed to split open a spot or two,
but the door itself remained shut.

And just as the leaves grew over parts of this door,
L. devised his own 'curtain'
that blocked our view of the boy who lived within.

He faced surgery on a badly injured leg (football)
and spoke to me of his fear of getting the anesthetic.
He was afraid he wouldn't fall asleep fast enough.
With my experience with surgery, I could reassure him that he would.

I checked on him through his girlfriend,
when he was absent
and have worked with him to get him caught up.
I make a point of asking about his leg.

I prayed about L. and God showed me what to do.

I used my heart and the door opened wide.

On a lighter side---
I found this when looking for the verse on the Internet,
which is quicker than thumbing through my Bible.

"A pastor went out one Saturday to visit his church members. At one house it was obvious that someone was home, but nobody came to the door even though the pastor had knocked several times. Finally, the pastor took out his card and wrote "Revelations 3:20" on the back of it, and stuck it in the door.

{Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him and him with me.}

The next day, the card turned up in the collection plate. Below the pastor's message was the notation "Genesis 3:10".

{I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.}"


                                      Blessings to you as you begin the new week!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Corner View: Where has the time gone?

On the wall in my dining room, I have three photos of little girls at age two.
One is of me,
one is of my daughter, Sara,
and the third one is of my first granddaughter, Peyton.

Peyton, from the start, had a  resemblance to me.
People would comment on it.
Then the photo was taken of her at two,
 and it was placed beside that of Sara at two---
again, a resemblance.
After Dad died, I got my photo of me at age two.
Thus emerged the photo arrangement.

Sara --- two

Me, Beth -- two

Sara -- age 35 and me -- age 57  
This was taken during a visit last summer.

Peyton -- two

Above is Peyton at age 8 last summer.  Below is Peyton, still 8, last Sunday during awards after her gymnastics meet

Where has all the time gone? 

Now my daughter has her own daughter, Abigail or Abby.  Here they are at a photo shoot this past September.

Here is Abby sitting prettily by herself.  She is 7 months in these photos. She just turned 9 months.

Although I also have three grandsons, this post is mainly about the females in the family, so I will include my third granddaughter, Addison or Addy.  (The grandsons can be featured another time).
Here Addy is being held by her Daddy, my son Doug.

Last summer I snapped this photo of Addy or Addy Jane as I call her, at age 4 with her daddy, now 33 and a father of three and stepfather of one.

My children have children.
Where has the time gone?

 Bits and pieces of our lives have been recorded over time on slides and on Kodak film glued into scrapbooks.  I have approximately 12 journals recording the small and the humongous events in our lives.  But where it all resides, together as one, is in my heart.

Some day, hopefully, we will take a family photo of us all with the grandkids grown up and possibly with children of their own.
We will look at each other and say, Where has the time gone? 
Then we will smile because we had that time together.

For more corner views, check out Francesca's Fuoriborgo

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Barn Charm #17

Beavercreek, Ohio
(a suburb of Dayton)

My sister-in-law and her husband and daughter
have owned all sorts of animals over the years.
This barn was used a long time ago for a horse they had.
It is now mostly used to store feed for the swan and chickens
and misc. equipment.
It is small but useful.
The neatly bricked sidewalk was added after they sold the horse.

The horse may be gone in acuality, but its presence is still remembered.

A bit of 'Americana ' decoration.  The stove is real and old, but now is used for decoration.  Farm equipment is used to display perennials that are now fading and preparing for the winter.

This is a back view looking up at the house.  Dooley is standing guard.

Certain bits of clutter enhances a barn, don't you think.?

This is the looking down at the pond.  I'm standing at the back of the barn.
They have a beautiful and functional cooking and eating area under that pavillion.

This is not my usual barn charm. 
But I was there this past weekend and wondered away
from the noise of loud family
to explore the grounds.
My previous post features the swan.

For more Barn Charm, click below.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Photos to make you smile and words to make you think

I have an Amplified Version Bible.
It's The Everyday Life Bible
 featuring notes and commentary by Joyce Meyers.

On a page next to verses 1 -10 of Psalm 143
J.M. wrote a "Biblical prescription  for depression."

I thought I'd share the verses and her commentary.

They will be interspersed with photos taken Saturday
at the home of my husband's older sister and her husband.
We were there for brunch,
the morning after their only child's (a daughter) wedding.

His family can be overwhelming at times.
Sometimes I flounder.
But this time, I grabbed my camera from the car
and took a walk.
(Funny how a person is not being anti-social
 when she walks away pointing a camera at nature!)

They obviously have a pond.
The houses behind the trees weren't there six years ago
when we last visited.
It was just open countryside. 

Look at the speck of white.
It will get bigger.

"Psalm 143: 3-10 gives a description of depression
and how to overcome it."

vs 3: For the enemy has pursued and persecuted my soul,
he has crushed my life down to the ground;
he has made me to dwell in dark places . . .

"Identify the nature and cause of the problem
The source of the depression described her is our enemy,
Satan, who attacks the soul."

vs 4:Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed and faints with me
[wrapped in gloom];
my heart within my bosom grows numb.

"Recognize that depression steals life and light."

vs 5: I remember the days of old;
I meditate on all Your doings;
I ponder the work of Your hands.

" Remember the good times."

"Remembering, meditating, and pondering are all functions of the mind.
David obviously knows that his thoughts will affect his feelings,
so he gets busy thinking about the kinds of things that will help overcome
the attack upon his mind.
He thinks about God and the good things He does."

vs 6: I spread forth my hands to You;
my soul thirsts after you like a thirsty land [for water].

"Praise the Lord in the midst of the problem."

"David knows the importance of praise; he lifts his hands in worship. 
He declares what his need truly is: He needs God."

vs. 7: Answer me speedily, O Lord . . .

"Ask for God's help."

vs. 8: Cause me to hear Your loving-kindness in the morning, for on You do I lean and in You do I trust. . .

"Listen to the Lord."
 vs 9: Deliver me, O lord . . .

"Pray for deliverance."

vs 10: Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; let Your good Spirit lead me into a level country and into the land of uprightness.

"Seek God's wisdom, knowledge, and leadership."

I'm not sure why I felt led to share all this.
But I've known since Thursday that I was to do so.  However, I've not been home to do it.  I hope it ministers to someone.

The last three photos were taken this afternoon (Sunday) at my granddaughter
Peyton's gymnastics meet.
The older girl is Addy Jane, Peyton's 4 year-old sister.  She is sharing hugs with the daughter of  the step-brother of my son and daughter. 

Below: Leah is tweaking Addy's nose.   
 I chose these photos because they made me smile.  I am not depressed--the opposite.
It was a tiring weekend, but a good one.   I trust this coming week will be good also.

                                   Blessings to you all as you begin the new week.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Corner View: Home Sweet Home

Every night I come home laden with a rolling office tote,
two bags of binders of bureaucratic education standards work
 and folders stuffed with papers to grade.

At school, I deal constantly with the noise of teen-agers
and their quick (sometimes sneaky) movements.
Every one of my senses are in full operational mode.

So when I come home, I need a quiet, familiar, peaceful, and comfortable setting.

I have 'carved' out several areas in this tiny home for just that.

This is one of my work areas.
It's a computer armoir that has all the essentials for
 blogging, emailing, researching, and entering grades.
On the top shelf lies my comfort:
a photo of mom and dad,
mother's Bible with an "Angels on Duty" memento,
a plague reminding me of an important aspect of living a good life--
this sits in front of the POW scrapbook I made for my father,
my father's WWII books
flanked by two precious figures--
the old-time preacher
and the sea captain.
The first represents my father
and the second represents the man who was like a father to me.
On the very top are photos of my son's family
and a container of potpouri and an electric candle.

There are also the two framed pics of dad:
one of him early in his ministry
and one taken for his 80th birthday celebration.

This is my 'grading corner':
a comfortable recliner complete with throw blanket,
a chest of drawers with essentials like stapler and staples, pens, etc.
a glimpse of outside (through the French doors which open onto a screened-in porch),
floor space for my bags full of work,
and more comfort: mom's collection of Precious Moments figurines
and Dad's POW plaque.
The flickering images of the TV in the living room can't distract me---
my eyes constantly track movement at school and can't stop at home
and due to my husband's headphone I can't hear the TV either.

This is where I lay out my clothes for the next day.
It's a tiny hallway connecting the bathroom and our bedroom
with the living and dining rooms.

More comfort reside in this cabinet: precious books and figurines
as well as a lower shelf full of favorite childhood books for the grandchildren.
To the left is a glimpse of the dining room table,
which is usually stacked with textbooks and more papers.
It's where I can spread out work if I need to.
It's also where Mike and I eat supper.

So you've gotten a glimpse of just a few spots
that make this tiny Craftsman style bungalow
home sweet home.
For more corner views
check out Francesca's fuoriborgo.