Friday, August 31, 2012


Brother's Christmas present that ended up on Addy's head.


(Grandchildren are several years older now.)

Posy vases ready to be distributed throughout the house.


Four weeks from this past Wednesday,
the annual Pumpkin Festival will once again
fill our small town with
all sorts of colors, smells, sounds, and tastes.

Celebrating a week of colors
ending with multicolor.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Color Week:Green

Francesca's Week of Colors features
the color green

For more green, head on over to Fuoriborgo.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Corner View: Countdown

This week's corner view topic is "countdown."
I chose to feature the countdown to our school starting next Tuesday.

The first three photos are of my room.
I want to redo my bulletin boards.
I have just begun to put my new supplies away
and to get other items out.
My shelves are still in 'summer storage' mode
and need to be de-cluttered and rearranged.

I will be working in my room for the next two days.
Friday will begin my last summer lake weekend
and then Tuesday I will begin my daily school routine.

The next photos are of a friend and colleague's room
She is thrilled to be teaching history this year.
She has taught special ed. for ten years and has burned out on it.

The other teacher retired after almost 40 years of teaching at our school.
My friend has been busy cleaning up, clearing out, and making the room her own.
She is sooo excited!

Her desk area is set up and ready.

One of her completed bulletin boards.
She will change the words
as she completes one unit and begins another. 

I really liked her idea of using this large jar for the jumbo clips.
I am going to try and so something similar---
---much better than having them sliding around in drawer.

She devised a handy way for reviewing for state tests.

We are all in some form of count-down.
We have our first professional eduction day and teachers' opening day
'under our belts'.
Both went well.

For more corner views,
please check out Francesca's fuoriborgo

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Week of Colors:Red and Barn Charm #53

Francesca's Week of Colors
Tricia's Barn Charm Combo
Picturesque rusted red tractor in a farm yard in Ireland.
Note the lovely red flowers in the left-hand corner.

This barn is directly across from my high school.
The sheriff had to retire due to a few bad choices,
but he is still much loved and missed by many.

Note the red 4-wheeler peeking out from the side lean-to.

I love the pop of red in the roof, the shutters, and the block foundation with yet more red in the door.
They converted this barn into a bright, lovely, functional garage with extra space below.

For more red, 'hop' on over to Francesca's Fuoriborgo

For Tricia's Barn Charm, please click below.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Week of Colors and Monday's Prayer Combo

Francesca is having A Week of Colors, Summer Edition,  this week.
Monday's color is blue
As you can see here,
there appears to be endless blue off the Cliffs of Moor in Ireland.

Also, check out the little blue house in this row of homes in a Irish town.
Someone wanted to stand out, didn't they?!

Join Francesca at Fuoriborgo for more blue representation.

Today is our first Staff Professional Day of the 2012/1013 school year.
Already there is dissension and grumbling
finding it's way to me.

With that in  mind,
here is Monday's Prayer:
Lord, You have warned me that I will be judged by the words I speak.
And, You have commanded me to choose my words carefully
so that I might be a source of encouragement and hope to all whom I meet.
Keep me mindful, Lord, that I have influence on many people . . .
make me an influence for good.
And may the words that I speak today be worthy of the One
Who has saved me forever.

Blessings to you all as you begin your new week!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Endless Love of God

And I ask Him that with both feet planted firmly on love,
you'll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus
the extravagant dimensions of Christ's love.
Reach out and experience the breadth!
Test its length!
Plumb the depths!
Rise to the heights!
Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.
 Ephesians 3: 16-19
(The Message)
"Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made;
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of god above,
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Tho' stretched from sky to sky."

What a blessing and privilege it is to know and experience God's Endless Love.

 Participating in
"Sunday Community"

Friday, August 24, 2012

Simplicity and Kindness

 A simple church out in the country.  It is no longer used, but someone maintains it.
We had gone to buy eggs from a farmer friend and then 'barn hunt'.

My husband told me we had driven past this church several times before,
but this is the first time I really saw it.

One of the many good aspects of becoming a part of the blogging world is that I have learned to slow down and really look at my surroundings--absorb them and then record them.

I then got to thinking about the simple country church and that led me to simplicity which led me to googling for quotes.

Here are a few:

"There is a certain majesty in simplicity which is far above all the quaintness of wit.”Alexander Pope  (English Poet)

“In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity.”Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Leonardo da Vinci

“I am not a genius, I am just curious. I ask many questions. and when the answer is simple, then God is answering.” Albert Einstein

I took a break from posting and picked up the July 2012 issue of Better Homes and Garden magazine.
I had left a marker in there where I had left off reading.  The next article to read was titled "simple acts of KINDNESS."  A coincidence? I think not.

The article ends up by listing 50 acts of kindness. 
Here are ten of them:
1. Leave a bouquet at the hospital--the nurses will know who needs it the most.
5.Shower the pediatric wing of a hospital with $1 coloring books and $2 boxes of new crayons.
6. Hang a sign on a bulletin board that says "Take What You Need" ---with tear-off tabs at the bottom for Love, Hope, Faith, and Courage.
10. Leave your neighbors a note that tells them how much joy you find in admiring their garden.
22. Be the bigger person: Cede the parking space.
32. Send somebody an e-card, just because. The funnier, the better.  ( I still also send hard copy cards 'just cuz'.)
35. Resolve to refrain from negative self-talk--you deserve your kindness, too!
37. Relay an overheard compliment.
42. Pause and give people the benefit of the doubt.  E-mail, especially, can cause unintentional feather-ruffling.
46. Take kindness on the road: Pay the toll for the car behind you.
and ----
50. Ask others--sincerely--what you can do to help.

 Two blogs were listed:

1. A Chicago man performing an act of kindness every day and blogging about
One of the things he did was scrub the house from top to bottom, which made his wife break down in tears!

2. A woman who rings strangers' doorbells and leaves sunflowers on their stoops

(I've not checked these blogs out yet.)

Blessings to you all!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Corner View: Emotion

I took LOTS of pictures during my five day visit
with my daughter and her family.
So I may be 'drawing' from them for awhile
for various topics.

To 'illustrate' emotion for corner view this week,
I chose to spotlight the facial expressions and body language
of my 18 month-old granddaughter Abby.

(Seeing the various kiddie and child pools and sprinklers
at an afternoon gathering of mothers and children.)

She is a swimmer already and had just showed off.
But apparently something got her upset.
Note the happy expression on the face of the girl climbing in
and the curiosity on the other girl's face.

Hungry.  She likes her food and cookie/pretzel snacks are a special treat for her.
She's really into the eating part!

This is her content, resigned, pensive passenger expression
where she sits quietly and observes the world around her.

Happy mother and daughter.

I honestly don't remember what she or I was doing at the time of this photo.
What do you think her emotion is?

And finally, I love the determination in her big brother Aaron's face here.
When he takes on a task, he is very determined to finish it.

For an eclectic collection of views on emotion,
please go to Francesca's Fuoriborgo.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Food for Thought

Saturday I drove out my favorite road west of town,
and took a side road off the main one.
I came to the above house.
There is a barn to the right and below it.
"Keep out!" signs are posted in several places and the gate was chained and locked.

Note the steps. Good stone was used and have survived the test of time.

I always wonder about places like this.
How did it become abandoned?
Why did no one sell it?
It seems a shame that there are no animals grazing in a pasture that looks good.

I did notice a hay bale across the road on another bit of land.
There was another barn there and an ice house built into the hillside.
These too had "No Trespassing" signs on them.
I stayed on the road.

This brought to mind a book I had recently read: Grapes of Wrath
by John Steinbeck.
The junior boys had complained so much of having to read it their sophomore year
that I never picked it up to read myself.

But I left the school building for summer
with a copy of Grapes of Wrath in my hand.
I loved it!
I could see why the boys who hated to read
also hated this book,
but to someone who enjoys an excellent writing style,
this is wonderful and it has a lot of lessons and food for thought.

Some points from it:
"If a bank or finance company owned the land, the owner man said,
The Bank ---or the Company---needs--insist--must have--as though
'it' were a monster, with thought and feeling, which had ensnared them.. . .
The bank--the monster has to have profits all the time.  It can't wait. It'll die.
No, taxes go on.  When the monster stops growing, it dies. It can't stay one size."
(This was the argument given the families forced off their land in the Dust Bowl.)
When argued with by the men whose land ownership went back generations,
the 'owner men' replied,
". . . The bank is something more than men, I tell you.  It's the monster.
Men made it, but they can't control it."

"The tractors came over the roads and into the fields, great crawlers moving like insects,
having the incredible strength of insects. . .
"Well, what you doing this kind of work for--against your own people?'
( farmer to the guy driving the tractor)

The driver, "Three dollars a day. . .I got a wife and kids.  We got to eat.
Three dollars a day and it comes every day."

The farmer, "But for your three dollars a day fifteen or twenty families can't eat at all.
Nearly a hundred people have to go out and wonder on the roads . . ."

The driver,"Can't think of that.  Got to think of my own kids. . . you better get out soon.
I'm going through the dooryard after dinner."

Farmer, "You filled in the well this morning."

Driver, "I know. Had to keep the line straight. . . I got orders wherever there's a family
not moved out---if I have an accident--you know, get too close and cave the house
in a little---well, I might get a couple of dollars.  And my youngest kid never had
no shoes yet."

So the Joad family loads up a Hudson cut and made into a truck and head to California.
One thing Steinbeck consistently points out is how families helped one another survive.

A former preacher goes with them and he's always thinking.
He ends up being a part of a rebellion.
One of the Joads ends up an outlaw and he goes off on his own
with the preacher's philosophy leading him.

"Two are better than one. . . For if they fall, the one will lif' up his fellow,
but woe to the him that is alone when he falleth, for he hath not another to help him up. ..
Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?
And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him,
and a three-fold cord is not quickly broken."

When Tom was telling his mom, she asked if it was scripture and he told her
"Casey said it was.  Called it the Preacher."

Tom goes on to tell his mother,
. . .Wherever they's a fight so hungry people can eat, I'll be there.
Wherever they's a cop beatin' up a guy, I'll be there.
I'll be in the way guys yell when they're mad an' --I'll be in the way kids laugh
when they're hungry an' they know supper's ready. . ."

I then read the second book in The Hunger Games series: Catching Fire.

Something really stood out to me about both books:

It was when the children ended up hungry or hurt that the adults finally made a move.
It was one thing to torture or starve an adult, but when you went after his/her kid,
he/she drew the line.

It's the kids starving that finally riles the men up in Grapes of Wrath.
It's for Prim that Katniss volunteers for the Hunger Games. She replaces her little sister.
And it's 12-year-old Rue's death and Katniss's attempt to save her
that reaches out to people in all the districts.
The people in Rue's District 11, though very poor,
go ahead and give to Katniss the bread that was supposed to be for Rue.
They could have saved their money, because Rue was dead. 
But it was Katniss' care and concern for Rue that struck a nerve in them.

We as adults can tolerate a lot, but don't mess with our kids.
I wonder if it was when men's young sons, barely 15 or 16
started getting hurt and killed in mine accidents
that the unions were finally successfully started.

We teachers take a lot of crud these days,
and we'll still willingly take a cut in pay
to keep our school district solvent.
We'll even take a change in health care
as long as it does not endanger the care for our kids.
However, when we can no longer afford to get them good health care,
then we take a stand.

(I am fortunate that our union and the school board have reached agreements
in the past.  But I do know of a local school district where this has become a huge problem.
Ironically when I made a list of five school districts to apply at
that school district was the fifth.)

School funding in Ohio is broken and has been ruled unconstitutional
by the Ohio Supreme Court three times.
Yet our governors and state legislators do not change it.
They call for more tests and more accountability for teachers.
When are we going to hold them accountable?
I guess more important is how?

I think the health insurance companies have become the monsters.
I'm not getting into the 'Obamacare' controversy;
I just see a correlation between the bank monsters in the book
and the health insurance companies.

And of course we all know the foreclosure horror stories
in this country.

So, just food for thought.
BTW I recommend both Grapes of Wrath and The Hunger Games series of three.
(However I have not yet read the third book.)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Laughter, Grandkids, and Monday's Prayer

A cheerful disposition is good for your health;
gloom and doom leave you bone-tired.
Proverbs 7:22 The Message

"Laughter is medicine for the soul,
 but sometimes amid the stresses of the day,
we forget to take our medicine.
Instead of viewing our world
with a mixture of optimism and humor,
we allow worries and distractions
 to rob us of the joy
that God intends for our lives."
100 Days of Grace for Women
Freeman-Smith LLC

My grandchildren are great teachers of joy and laughter!

"Laughter is like internal jogging--
in many ways as good as physical exercise."
Joyce Meyer


 "Wholehearted, ready laughter heals, encourages, relaxes anyone within hearing distance.
The laughter that springs from love makes wide the space around it--
gives room for the loved one to enter in.
Real laughter welcomes, and never shuts out." Eugenia Price

There was a lot of laughter that day as about a dozen kids played in a mini 'water park' set up by a friend of my daughter's. (my Texas trip)

"Laughter dulls the sharpest pain and flattens out the greatest stress.
To share it is to give a gift of health."
Barbara Johnson

Addy and Dillon
"If you could choose one characteristic that would get you through life,
choose a sense of humor."
Jennifer Jones

(Above are the Hartley family comedians.
These two are a brother and sister 'show'.
We never know what they are going to do next,
but find ourselves laughing at some point when around them.)

"There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven . . .
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance. . ."
Ecclesiastes 3:1,4 NIV
I just heard the above yet again, while watching the newest version of  Footloose.
I've watched the older version with Kevin Bacon multiple times
and now have this new one. 
 I smile every time I see the expression on the minister's face
 when the 'troublemaker' starts reading scripture
at the town meeting.

Today's Prayer of Grace
Dear Lord,
You have given me so many reasons to celebrate life.
Today, let me be a joyful Christian---
quick to smile and quick to laugh.
And, let Your love shine in me and through me,
this day and forever.

Blessings to you all as you begin this week!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Wildflowers and Us

If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers----
most of which are never even seen----
don't you think he'll attend to you,
take pride in you,
do His best for you?
Matthew 6:30
The Message

"You are God's created beauty
the focus of His affection and delight."
Janet L. Weaver Smith

Joining with the Sunday Community