Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

All of us together!

Son Doug and children.

Daugher Sara and her family up from Texas.

Blessings to you on this blessed day!
May we count our blessings, enjoy the simple moments,
and focus on Christ's Love.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Corner View: Lights

A small section of my dining room
is shown in all these photos.
I've used different options on my camera
and then in my photo program.

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season
according to your beliefs and traditions.
(and enjoy the lights of this season) :>)

Corner View won't be back until January 9, 2013.
Meanwhile, enjoy the various views

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Barn Charm #63

Awhile back, husband and I took a drive to check out
a home with ten acres and outbuildings including animal stalls
(too close to Interstate---incredibly noisy).
We drove around the area
and one point looked down from the top of a hill
to see this farm nestled below.
Of course, we had to go down and check it out!

Most of the barns and outbuildings are on one side
of the road and the house and small buildings are on the other side.--
typical of farms around here
where roads were put in right through the farmers' land.

I like this glimpse back into the wood covered hills.

Here is a quick glimpse of part of the house side.
I did not get a photo of the house.
We still had some leaves on the trees,
so there is still color rimming the farm.

For more barn views, please click below:

Monday, December 17, 2012

Kindness and Monday's Prayer

This represents one of the very few nice gestures
of my former daughter-in-law
towards me.
Her family company was making them
and she brought me one,
not wrapped up as part of my Christmas gift,
but simply handed to me.

The gesture and the gift meant a lot to me
and it's one of my better memories of her.

What I do remember most is
how she never once complemented me in any way,
whether it was my cooking, my hairstyle,
my clothes, something I did to the house, etc.

I can count on less than the fingers of one hand
 the times she said thank you,
even though every time I babysat at her home,
she came home to dishwasher emptied and running again;
laundry done and folded;
toys picked up;
and children fed
(and if supposed to be--in bed asleep).
(She did say thank you for gifts given her.)

There are other things that I will leave unsaid.
Ten years of being made to feel inferior, disliked,
and unappreciated--
no wonder I do not miss her
and am glad that my son has 50% of the children's time
to teach them things like simple kindness
among other things.

Kind words.
How could they have hurt her to say them?

Kind words.
Verbal gestures that mean a lot to me.
Verbal gestures that I try each and every day to give.

If I pray about it and really open my mind up,
I can even produce a sincere compliment to the teenager
who tries my patience not just each day,
but often the entire period I have him or her.

It always makes me feel bad to see how the student lights up at it,
because, really, how hard was it for me to do it?

Not hard at all.
So why don't I do it more,
instead of concentrating on what is annoying?
(Please understand that some things done
 are quite disruptive to the class.)
It's easier not to, I guess.

Above: me sharing a moment of smiles with Dillon and Scruffy.

Day 45 of 100 Days of Grace for Women
uses this scripture:
Indeed, it is good when you truly obey
our Lord's royal command found in the Scriptures:
"Love your neighbor as yourself."
James 2:8 NLT

Then the person (I have yet to figure out who that is,
although, believe me I've tried) goes on to write:
"In the busyness and confusion of daily life,
it is easy to lose focus,
and it is easy to become frustrated.
We are imperfect human beings
struggling to manage our lives
as best we can,
but we often fall short.

"When we are distracted or disappointed,
we may neglect to share a kind word or a kind deed."

In the case of these pictures --me spending an afternoon
scrap booking with Peyton, my 9 yr. old granddaughter.
"Kindness is a choice.
Sometimes, when we feel happy or prosperous,
we find it easy to be kind.
Other times, when we are discouraged or tired,
we can scarcely summon the energy to utter a single kind word.
But God's word is clear:
we must observe the Golden Rule 'in everything.'"
"God intends that we make the conscious choice
to treat others with kindness and respect,
no matter our circumstances,
no matter our emotions."

Son Doug's girlfriend often paints Addy's nails,
which makes Addy quite happy.
"Kindness, therefore, is a choice
that we, as Christians must make many times each day."
(Whoever compiled this book gives credit to individual sayings,
but not to herself.)

"As much as God loves to hear our worship and adoration,
surely he delights all the more
in seeing our gratitude translated
into simple kindnesses
that keep the chain of praise unbroken,
alive in others' hearts."
Evelyn Christenson

"Sometimes one little spark of kindness
is all it takes to reignite the light of hope
in a heart that's blinded by pain."
Barbara Johnson

I hope that in the days to come
(at least two of the Sandy Hook children victims' funerals are today),
I hope that not only food is brought to the homes, but---
 1) Laundry is done.
2) Gifts, piled up in a closet, are wrapped for the children
still alive in the family,
and the ones for the deceased child put aside
for the parents to deal with later,
3) The children are taken for an outing
 so that maybe the parents can just let loose their grief
in their own house without their other children hearing.
4) and countless other small acts of kindness.

Monday's Prayer
Help me Lord, to see the needs of those around me.
Today, let me show courtesy to those who cross my path.
Today, let me spread kind words
in honor of Your Son.
Today, let forgiveness rule my heart.
And every day, Lord,
let my love for Christ be demonstrated
through the acts of kindness
that I offer to those who need the healing touch
of the Master's hand.

Keeping all those who are grieving this week,
in prayers.

Blessings to you all as you go through this week.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Corner View: White

For my white post, I relied on basic snow,
in this case from last year,
as we have not received any so far this year.

Screened-in back porch on 2nd floor of our home.

A view up the back alley. 
There are lots of white houses in this small town.

Old shed behind aunt's house
and then her garage and back doors.

View from aunt's side yard looking down into alley
and up into the cemetery.

Our snowman marker.

Looking from our side yard up and across the front street.

Pristine snow coating bushes.

View of Seneca Lake from road--taken on my way to work.

One last one: cat in white tissue paper.
I was unwrapping the Christmas ornaments
and inadvertently created playtime for Scruffy.

For more corner views,
please visit Francesca.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Comfort and Joy and Monday's Prayer

This will be my son's first Christmas
as a single, divorced father.
Last year he managed to get a live tree
and some Christmas ornaments
and put together a Christmas.
(He was separated last year).

This year his girlfriend cajoled him into buying a fake tree,
so they could put it up sooner and leave it up longer.
They chose this lovely tree
and he was thrilled at the ease of setting it up.

He set up his single, divorced mom's (me) for several years,
also his elderly grandparents',
and then his own.
None were as easy as this one.

He has added some ornaments of his
that didn't fit with his wife's tree (primitive only)
and added ones that are personal and meaningful.

Although she has her own apartment
complete with two cats,
girlfriend Dani's stocking was hung with theirs this year.
In order: Smooch the lab, Doug, Dani,
then Peyton, Dillon, and Addy
(from oldest to youngest).

He is carrying on the tradition of each child
having a tree in his/her bedroom,
which thrilled me.

Addy's tree.



I was at his house to pick up the oldest, Peyton,
for our annual mother/granddaughter shopping day.
She was staying the night and then we were shopping the next day.

The youngest, Addy, had already checked out for the night.

I am comforted in knowing
that my son is now able to rebuild his life
and begin his own traditions with his children.

They had a say in the decorating of their rooms
and in choosing ornaments and decorating the tree.

It does not matter that not one of the rooms
or the tree
would be featured in a country-style decorating magazine.

Nothing has to be perfect.
Flaws are accepted here.

It's such a comfort knowing that the Doug
I helped raise was in the other Doug these past ten years;
he just needed to figure out how to let himself back out
(just as his mama did over 17 years ago).

On a slightly different note:
I was driving home last night and listening to a radio station.
A DJ was talking about Hurricane Sandy's victims.
She pointed out that many still don 't have homes
to spend Christmas in.
Humbling to one who chafes at 600 sq. feet for two people
(with a full basement underneath).

May our hearts and hands be open to all
throughout this land who are without much.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God is the Father who is full of mercy and all comfort.
He comforts us every time we have trouble,
so when others have trouble,
we can comfort them
with the same comfort God gives us."
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NCV

"But he's already made it plain how to live,
what to do,
what God is looking for in men and women.
It's quite simple:
Do what is fair and just to your neighbor,
be compassionate and loyal in your love,
and don't take yourself too seriously---
take God seriously."
Micah 6:8 MSG
(I love that next to last line!!!)

"We all go through pain and sorrow,
but the presence of God,
like a warm, comforting blanket,
can shield us and protect us,
and allow the deep inner joy to surface,
even in the most devastating circumstances."
Barbara Johnson
(I think many of Sandy's victims have exhibited this.)

Today's Prayer of Grace

Today, Lord, let me count my blessings
 with thanksgiving in my heart.
You have cared for me, Lord,
and I will give You the glory and the praise.
Let me accept Your blessings and Your gifts,
and let me share them with others,
just as You first shared them with me.
100 Days of Grace for Women

Blessings to you all as you as you make your way
through this new week!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Barn Charm #62

Back in October, we took a Sunday drive.
Here is little farm snug in a crook of a hill.
The trees were still beautiful then.
They are bare now.

For more barn views,
please click below.


Monday, December 3, 2012

The joy of cats and Monday's prayer

Just two of my many blessings and joys!
I came home the other day to this.
Usually George and Scruffy are up on top of two armoires
that have their backs up against the steps.
However, this time I walked in to no cats.
It took me a few seconds to discover their 'bed'.
I laughed and grabbed the camera.

"Joy is the heart vibrating in grateful rhythm
to the love of Almighty God
who actually chooses to make His home within us."
Susan Lenzkes

"A joyful heart is the inevitable result of a heart burning with love."
Mother Teresa

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Philippians 4:4

Monday's Prayer of Grace
Dear Lord,
You have given me so many blessings;
I will celebrate Your gifts.
Make me thankful, loving, responsible, and wise.
I praise You, Father, for the gift of Your Son
and for the priceless gift of salvation.
Make me a joyful Christian,
a worthy example to others,
and a dutiful servant to You this day and forever.