"Do not be anxious about anything but in everything through prayer and petition with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:6-7

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Anticipating 2010

As I write this we are about 10 hours away from a brand new year and new decade. I always enjoy the anticipation and excitement of a new year. I try to use this time to reflect on accomplishments and growth of the present year and see where I can make improvements in the coming year.

We have been blessed with good health this year and trusting God for more of the same. Charlie and I have had opportunities for bible study ministries at our local church and are open to what God has in store for us in that area. New friendships have been made. We have traveled and look for more of that in the new year.

I am learning that at this stage of life each and every moment is important. I do not need to miss a single day of living life to the fullest. I tend to assume that tomorrow is mine and I am not promised that. The dishes can wait and so can the house cleaning! I am reminded of how precious family is and that I don't spend near as much time as I would like with them. I have realized how important it is to nurture friendships and that you have to be a friend to have a friend.

So as the New Year steadily approaches, I pray that in 2010 I will not miss an opportunity to live, laugh and love! Blessings to you and yours!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Geocaching

We spent Sunday afternoon with Dana and Matt geocaching. For those of you who do not know what that is let me give you a brief definition. "Geocaching is a worldwide game of hiding and seeking treasure. A geocacher can place a geocache in the world, pinpoint its location using GPS technology and then share the geocache’s existence and location online. Anyone with a GPS unit can then try to locate the geocache."

It is like a treasure hunt. Using a GPS unit, you find the item based on GPS coordinates that are online on their website.  When you find the treasure, you leave your name or team name and date on a "log" that is usually in a container and place the container back where you found it. Yes, there are some rules and if you go to http://www.geocaching.com you can read all about it.

It is a wonderful opportunity to get out and enjoy the outdoors and fellowship with a group of friends or family. We did this with them in Los Angeles. There are treasures scattered all over Georgia for you to find,  We found 4 out of 5 caches that we went to. You gotta try it.

Here are some photos we took.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Blessings

As I write this there are 6 days until Christmas. Most everything has been bought and checked off the list. The house is decorated and ready for family to arrive. I look forward to spending time with Charlie's family and mine. There will be a lot of scurrying around as we make time for each of them. Our girls will come in and leave at different times but we will a couple of days to share as "family".  It is so precious. Our little Anna is so enjoying the "Santa" side of Christmas this year. She is still not so sure about getting all cuddly with him. She has enjoyed decorating the tree this year and somewhat undecorating it as she takes ornaments off to show you how pretty they are. Oh my, Christmas through the eyes of a child! Do you remember it?

I don't know that I had one Christmas being any more special than another or one gift that was the "most" special ever. What I do remember about Christmas as a child was the the excitement of all the things we did. We always went together as a family to pick out the "perfect" tree. Then, we decorated it and always put tinsel on it. We liked doing all of that except putting the tinsel on the tree. My mother wanted you to put on one piece at at time because she said it would look so much prettier. We would get tired and just get a handful of it and kinda throw it up on the tree. Needless to say my mother didn't like that. I remember helping her scrunch up all those fruits and nuts to make several fruit cakes. They were good and I didn't learn to appreciate all the work that goes into one until much later. We were allowed to open one gift on Christmas eve and it was always a new pair of pajamas. I miss my mother this time of year. She always made Christmas very, very special. She taught me lots of things that I brought into mine and Charlie's Christmas traditions. I still have my daddy and I am so very thankful for him holding us all together.

As you read this, maybe you will reflect on those things that were special to you as you grew up. And if you don't have special memories from your childhood, I pray that this Christmas you might start making memories and let them begin first with the reason that we celebrate this time of year. It is all about love - the love God has for us and the most precious gift that He has ever given us.

Blessings to you and yours this Christmas. Sharing some photos of Christmas decorations.
Our tree with the lights on.

Special Ornaments
Our Mantel


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Making a List, Checking it Twice

We officially started our Christmas shopping yesterday. The weather was just the right touch for putting us in the mood - a real chill in the air and a little misty rain. We just pretended like it was "clear" snow.

The crowds were not bad while we were out. We took our time and didn't get stressed out. That was my promise to myself this year - to enjoy Christmas. We got more than our 30 minutes of "allotted" weight bearing exercise. We didn't finish our shopping but we checked several things off our "list". It was just a really fun day - walking hand in hand through the mall, lunch in a corner of Chik-Fil-A and talking with friends as we shopped. 

So, if you are on "our list" - You better watch out. You better not cry. Better not pout. I'm telling you why, Pam and Charlie are out shopping!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Checking my list

It is a little sad that we have two very important celebrations within one month of each other. Thanksgiving and Christmas have always been very important to me. When I was growing up, Thanksgiving was all about the food and family. As a child Christmas was all about food, family and Santa. It was much later before I could truly appreciate what these celebrations really mean.

As I reflect on this Thanksgiving, we were blessed to have Kelly and her family with us and we sure missed our Dana who is in California. Our "tradition" is to celebrate Thanksgiving Day and dinner with Charlie's family. After the initial dilema about "the ham", if you read an earlier post, it was a wonderful day. I totally decided to "chill out" and enjoy the fellowship. We had a total of 18 here. No one seemed to be in a rush after the meal. We had had several cold, rainy days but on Thanksgiving the sun came out and the kids were able to be outside for part of the day. The "adults" just sat around and talked. It was a good day. We even took time to roast marshmallows over a fire pit. We have not done that in FOREVER. We have lost family members over the years as age and sickness has taken some away, but there is still a strong bond among Charlie's family and I like that. I am very glad they feel comfortable coming to our home.

Once the Thanksgiving Day was over, it became all about Christmas. We checked Thanksgiving off our list, we had said our thanks, so let's move on and get this Christmas thing done. I guess, that is where I struggle. We make it way too hard - Christmas that is. We rushed to put up the tree and now I sit looking at all the Christmas stuff to decorate with. Don't get me wrong, I am one of those who truly LOVES Christmas. I have decided this year to go slow. I plan to savor each and every moment as God would have me do. Our Christmas will be an extended one this year. The Christmas tradition is to spend Christmas Eve at home and go to my Dad's on Christmas day and be with my side of the family. We will still do that. Dana will fly in close to Christmas and be with us through New Years and we are hoping Kelly and her family will come in New Years weekend. Everybody else will have taken down their tree and checked Christmas off their list. But not us. Yes, my tree will be up New Years Day and we will celebrate again the birth of Christ and what it means to us. I have not checked Him off my Christmas "to do" list. I am thankful that He has not checked me off His list and that He is not keeping "score" with NAUGHTY OR NICE.

Have fun with Christmas this year. Slow down and enjoy it. I plan on doing that. Don't make it hard. It was meant to be a celebration!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Turkey, Almost No Ham and Hair Curlers Day

As I write this I am relaxing after a very long but very good day of food, fellowship and family. It started around 6 a.m. with me getting up to put the ham in the oven. (Another family member was bringing the turkey, I don't do well with cooking the turkey). There was a little scare about the ham so I was very thankful to have "one". Kelly and Greg had gone on Wednesday evening to take care of some Christmas items for Anna and I asked them to stop and get a ham for me. Of course, as usual, nothing is really simple for me. That's what makes life "exciting" around here. Kelly called about 5:15 p.m. to say they were at WalMart to get the ham and they were OUT of hams. Oh my, Oh my!

I began to panic. Yes, I should have gotten it earlier in the week but my refrigerator was so full that I did not have room for it and was waiting until the "last minute" to purchase it. Charlie was somewhat perturbed when I told him I had to make another run to the grocery store in another location to get a ham. After a record time to and from the store, I secured a ham.

The morning was pretty hectic as I was preparing the ham, the dressing, a squash casserole and a broccoli casserole. I took a quick shower in between getting the ham in the oven and starting the casseroles and dressing. As I was getting dressed, I put curlers in my hair (yep, I am really telling my age there). My plans were to leave them in about 15 minutes. But as I got back to the kitchen to check on things, I got so busy trying to finish up I didn't have time to go back and take them out. Well if the truth were known, I actually just slap forgot that I had them in. The next thing I knew our guests begin arriving and, yes, I greeted them at the door with the curlers in my hair. It's a good thing that all of them were family and I didn't have to worry about making a good first impression. They love me anyway and that's a good thing.

Hope you were blessed today with family who love you just the way you are!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

"Biker Babe"

One of my accomplishments is the fact that in 2003 at age 54 I got my motorcycle license. Yep, I did. Charlie had been riding for a while and I would ride with him - as in - on the back of his bike. I kept thinking "I think I would like to have my own bike." He had taught me several years before  how to "ride" on a Honda 250. I didn't keep that bike very long because I lost interest and it was small. There was another couple that would ride with us and she had her own bike. I guess that is what spiked my interest.

As always with me, there are some side stories that are way more interesting than me just telling you that I have a motorcycle license. In order to get my license I had to take a motorcycle safety course. The one I took was at Moody AFB - me and 11 other military GUYS. Should have known this was going to be very interesting. I refer to it now as the "class from Hell".  One particular maneuver involved weaving our bikes through some cones. Needless to say I was having some difficulty and the instructor (Did I mention he was an officer in the Air Force?) pulled me over to the side and said "What's wrong?" I told him that I just could not do it and I was so frustrated I wanted to cry. I literally was on the verge of tears. He shouted "CRY". Just about the time a tear rolled down my cheek, he said "That's enough! Now get back out there on that course!" And guess what? I did just as he said. It didn't get any better but I survived. I can laugh now but it wasn't funny then. The next day he had us doing figure eights - yes, all 12 of us doing one figure eight together.

I passed the course. I got my license. I got my bike - a pretty red and black Yamaha VStar 650.

 Told you it was pretty!  
(I rode it to church one Sunday.)
I rode for about  a year and a half and then decided that I really did enjoy riding on Charlie's bike with him - so much more relaxing for me and I actually think he enjoys having me back there.

This blog was almost titled "Leather, Lace and Southern Grace". I guess it would have gotten some interesting conversations but we voted and "Lace and Southern Grace" won out. More adventures on some of our rides to come later.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

From "Chat Rooms" to "Ticky Tack" Shops

In an earlier post, I shared that we had gone to the mountains and did some shopping in a place called the SASSY RABBIT. I called it a "ticky tack" shop. A "ticky tack" shop is a place you go and buy things on vacation that you would not normally buy any other time. This phrase came to us from friends of ours who live in Northern Ireland.

Now how do you get from "chat rooms" to "ticky tack" shops? With my Charlie anything is possible. When our girls were "teens" and we invited a device called a "computer" into our house, we wanted to be very protective of them and not allow them to go to websites that might not be appropriate and we sure did not want them in "chat rooms" talking to people that they did not know. That would have been in the early 90s. Obviously technology has come a long way since then and maybe we are not as afraid of cyberspace as we were. It can still be pretty scary if I am not careful as I browse, chat, twit and blog.

Back to the "chat room". Our "rule" was that the girls were not to go into "chat rooms". Now heaven only knows what they did when we went to bed at night and left them up. But that was the "rule". Charlie is a "biker" and he was checking out web sites for bike rides through an organization called Christian Motorcyle Association. He found a link that offered "ride swaps". The plan involved going to a different country and riding a bike over there and then in turn they would come to the U.S. and ride. Through this process of "chatting" he met Charles who is from Northern Ireland. In the "chat" process, Charlie invites Charles to come to our home if he is ever in the U.S. and ride. Okay. He is talking to someone he has never met and invites to our home. Now, remember the girls cannot get online and "talk" to someone they do not know. I could not believe he had done this. I figured we were probably going to be okay because who would fly across the ocean and come to someone's house that they did not know to ride a bike. Wrong. We got a message from Charles a couple of months later to tell us that he and his girlfriend were flying to "the states" and would be in Georgia.

What a surprise and yes scary. They came, we met, they stayed with us and we have had a friendship for about 10 years now. Yes, they rode bikes while they were here. They also "eloped" to Georgia and got married here 2 years after their initial visit. Oh my, Oh my! We have since been to their home in Northern Ireland. While we were there, they took us to see the sites and their "ticky tack" shops (Charles's expression for souvenir shops) - thus our expression for when we go to places and shop for souvenirs.

Precious memories. They now have two children and we still keep in touch.

We look forward to them coming back here and bringing their children. What stories we will have to tell them.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Our Fall Escape

We returned from our short trip to North Georgia and places unknown. My Charlie has such an adventurous spirit and it is fun to start out the day and not really know exactly where you will end the day.

Before we started our adventure, we spent our first day in Macon doing something that Charlie is not too crazy about but he went anyway. There was an Arts and Craft Show (Christmas in the South) and he, my sister and daddy spent the better part of the day roaming up and down aisles of people's creative works. There was a lesson in patience as we had to keep from bumping into people and baby buggies. It was a good day to be with family.

Sunday we hit the road with the intention of driving to Athens and roaming the campus to reminisce. However, we decided to head over to Commerce to go to one of my favorite "stores" - the Pottery Barn. To my dismay as we drove into the parking lot we realized sadly that it was CLOSED as in out of business. Oh well, life changes and life goes on. We found a really cute little place called the SASSY RABBIT. That was an interesting name so we had to venture in and see what it was all about.  Lots of cute little "ticky tack" items. "Ticky Tack" items are those things that you buy on vacation when you would not buy them any other time. We got that expression from a friend of ours that lives in North Ireland. (Another story for another day) 

Back in the car we continued north and decided that Blairsville would be our destination for the night. We wanted to make sure we didn't get stranded somewhere in the mountains and there be "no rooms in the Inn".  We rode along a stretch of highway that is known as Deal's Gap. This is definitely a motorcycle territory. Great curves! Charlie was wishing we were on the Harley.  The trees were pretty but had hit their peak about 2 weeks ago. Still, it was wonderful to see the splashes of color that God had left for us to look at.

Monday began our trip south. We stopped in Blue Ridge and rode around part of the Lake and looked at the dam. We had not been through that part of Blue Ridge and the trees around the lake were still splattered with oranges, yellows and reds. Had to pick me up some rocks and pine cones to add to my collection at home. Of course, we had to go through some of the shops and we found some unique items. With it being Monday there were not many people there so we could leisurely walk through town.

Moving on towards Jasper, we stopped at The Bargain Barn - Charlie's place to shop. Gotta be fair and let him do some "shopping" for his Carhart stuff. We had to be in Griffin by 4 so we had to leave a little sooner than he wanted but that was okay because we knew we were headed to pick up our precious grandbaby, Anna. God helped us out there too. We got in that hover lane and made it through Atlanta with no delays. We were right on time and Anna was standing at the door waiting on us. What joy it was to see her.

The next day involved playing with her: coloring, putting together Lego castles, Lego beds for her Barbie dolls, coloring, playing "Cinderella", coloring. Did you get the idea that she likes to color? We were confined to the inside for 24 hours because Hurricane Ida became a tropical storm and dumped about 3 inches of rain in Griffin. Of course we had to watch a little TV - only Anna calls it TB. Curious George, Dora, and Diego were among our friends for the day.

Before we knew it, it was time to say goodbye to Anna and Kelly and we made our way home. It was a great escape. Family time and fellowship is precious and for us too long between visits.

Looking forward to our next escape.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Here and There and Everywhere

We are packing our bags and heading north - north as in north Georgia. Yep, we're going to take a few days to visit family and do some sightseeing. We will visit my Daddy in Macon and then head north to ramble around for a couple of days. Right now the destination is unknown. Charlie and I like to do that. It can make life interesting however when you don't stop early enough to find a place to sleep for that night. That is a story for another day.

Macon will be having there "Christmas in the South" Arts and Crafts show on Saturday. I don't do Arts and Crafts shows every year but I do like to check in along and along to see their work. We will check it out and spend the night with Daddy. He is 87 years young and I am so very proud of him. I lost my Mom to colon cancer in 2006 and he has been a trouper. I so admire his positive outlook and how he has handled this change in his life.

We plan to go to Athens and reminisce a little. Charlie and I met at UGA - Go DAWGS! It has precious memories for us. From that point I am not sure where you will find us. How exciting! We will see if there are any leaves left on the trees or maybe we will ramble in the woods and look for rocks and pine cones. (By the way, I collect rocks and pine cones). Another story for another day.

I do know we will be in Griffin Monday evening. We will spend time with Kelly, Greg and Anna. Gran (that's me ) and Grandad (that's Charlie) have the honor and privilege of playing with our three year old granddaughter, Anna. Now how much fun is that going to be! Looking forward to some great family time there.

Heading back south on Wednesday. I know there will be lots to share when I return.

Until then -- God bless you!

Thursday, November 5, 2009


My husband planted a food plot several months ago and I asked if he would plant some sunflower seeds among the peas. He did that for me last year and I loved to go out and cut me a "bouquet" of them to put in my kitchen. He has done that for me this year and have had several bouquets already.

I had always heard that sunflowers face the east and if you go by a field of them, notice that. Their beautiful faces lift themselves up toward the sun. It seems that no one really knows why they do this. As I have been enjoying them, I have noticed that some of them that face the sun also have their blooms slightly tilted down.

I thought of this as I went out to take a picture of them. We should be like the sunflowers: Always facing the "Son", lifting our heads in praise to the "Son" and bowing our heads in prayer to the "Son".

One of my hobbies for now is making cards. So this morning, I am also posting a sunflower card that I made.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Blooms Can Be Deceiving

This past April I pruned one of our azaleas that was long over due. At the time I thought that I had destroyed it when I looked at what I had done. Now it is fall and as I look at the plant I realized that it is thriving and will produce many blooms this spring. I found something that I had written when I did that and wanted to share.

"This morning I decided to go out and do some much needed pruning on a certain azalea bush. It probably hasn't been pruned in 7-10 years so it had really spread. I am not opposed to yard work but it is just that -- work. I don't mind doing it on a nice spring day before it gets so very warm in the afternoon.

Today as I was pruning, God does what He usually does when I am in the yard working - He starts talking to me. I think He really likes it when I am in the yard and He is saying - YES she is not in front of that "darn" computer - maybe He doesn't say "darn". :-)

Anyway, as I cut and cut and cut, I got into some places that had some dead briars and they really hurt if I wasn't careful as I cut and pulled them out. They were the kind that you didn't have to guess whether it was a briar - brown, ugly thorns and really hurt if you didn't pull them just so. However, I noticed some others that looked rather prickly and removed them. They were "green" and the thorns were not as mature. They "pricked" me but did not "stab" me like the others (stay with me here, there is a point to all of this). I noticed as I continued to cut that there was this other "plant" growing amongst my precious azalea that had a little bloom on it. Interesting, I thought. Wonder what kind of plant this is? Yep, you're right - the "briar" bush in its beginning stages. Thorns no too bad at all and it had this precious little bloom on it. I could actually find the base of the "plant" and pull and tug on the root and get the whole thing out of the ground. I still had to be careful as I did it.

As I stepped back and looked at my work, I thought - my poor azalea looks pretty bad right now but I have gotten some of the "nasty" stuff out and next spring it will be beautiful.

This is what God said as I experienced all of the above:
  1. Don't wait 7 years to clean the trash out of your life. (God said 'It only makes it harder'.)
  2. Just because it has a "bloom" doesn't make it pretty. (God said: 'Look at the source - sin can look pretty right at first'.)
  3. The longer the "blooming" briar plant stays there, the nastier the thorns become and it hurts more when you remove it. (God said: 'That's what happens when a "little" sin stays in your life, it grows and when I try to get it out, it is hard to pull on it and get it out because the thorns grab hold of  me and want to stick in me - it doesn't want to let go'.)
  4. I don't need to wait until it is a nice spring day to cut back the old stuff so new buds will come next year . (God said: 'It is a daily thing to come before me and confess your sins - repent and move on'.)
  5. Those briars do start out green and hang on for a very long time, they have roots too. (God said: 'Get to the source of the "sin" and get it by its roots and pull it out!)
Just some food for thought. Happy Gardening!"

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Fall is in the air

At least for this week -- fall is in the air. Our temperatures here in the South Georgia can vary from the high 80s one week to the low 70s the next week. There is a crispness in the air, a gentle breeze and sunshine. I can feel the season changing. I love the fall of the year. It was not always my favorite time of the year. I use to think of it as being a sad time as the leaves fell from the tree and left them looking so cold and barren. I now glory in the change that takes place prior to that - the colors of the leaves sharing their beauty for all to see. Each and every one of them a different shade of gold, yellow, orange, red. We don't get the "full blown" colors that many of you do but what we do have is glorious.

I am not one much for raking leaves. I just let them do their "thing". I learned that lesson the hard way about 28 years ago when I thought I would rake our 2 acre yard and get them all in nice piles and burn them. Thought I would surprise the hubby and have the yard all nice and clean when he got home. I didn't think to have a water hose near "just in case" there were to come up a slight breeze. I guess you know where I am going with this. So I started burning the pile. Did I mention that at the time our oldest daughter was outside with me and our youngest daughter, about 8 months old, was in the house taking a nap? Can you see disaster coming? Yep, one little breeze came along and took one of those tiny leaves and carried it to another part of the yard. Did I also mention that the grass was very, very dry? Immediately it began to look like a prairie fire. I tried to do what little I knew how to do to put it out.

Thankfully two of our "neighbors" saw what was going on and came to my rescue. We live in the country so that was a miracle in itself that someone was close enough to help. Kelly, our oldest daughter, and I sat on the front steps and watched as they worked very quickly to put out the fire.

Needless to say, I do not rake and burn leaves anymore. My philosophy is this: God puts the leaves on the ground and then He very graciously sends the March winds to blow them away. I like His plan. By the way, Charlie had no clue that I nearly burned the yard and the house up that day.