Saturday, April 30, 2011

Happy Makers

1. New wall hangings in my bedroom.
2. Will be spending next weekend planting my 8 new forsythias!
3. Patio stone ordered!
4. Mac loves his new job.
5. Donny is having some quality nap time in the sunshine.
6. I am planting a pear tree.
7. The royal wedding.
8. The Mitford Bedside Companion book.
9. The sound of birdsong.
10. The greening of the trees.

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Royal Wedding

Did you get up early this morning to watch the royal wedding? I did, with the Scarf Sisters doing the same from their various homes. Actually, I started watching around 6:15 which was not the true start of the festivities. But what I saw was lovely, truly lovely. Oh sure, any royal event is sure to be eye candy and this one didn't disappoint. What truly moved me was the details of their time together at the altar. The readings and sermons were so sweetly God-centered, something I had not expected. With William and Kate's history of open co-habitation, I suppose my self righteous self assumed they had no spiritual life.
My self-righteous self seems to be wrong. Again.
In fact, Kate is reported to have said to her groom in the carriage ride, "I am so happy. Let us pray."
My self-righteous self is humbled by the royals.
So much as is possible for me to draw a conclusion on the matter, I believe they are truly in love with one another and at this moment of high emotion and ceremony, I think I will pray for them. I hope I remember that as this day fades into history and they go forward into their lives.
I was one of those millions awake and in front of the television for the wedding of Prince Charles to Princess Diana. I was too young then to draw any conclusions other than that of admiration for the beauty of the bride. From the vantage point of 30 years, I see the difference between that couple and the one married today.
And like many, I thought of Diana and how very sad that she wasn't there to see her son marry his bride. How very sad that she died so young, that her marriage was never one of love, that she pursued after personal fulfillment while her boys were still so young and that this pursuit left them motherless in the end.
Yes, I do blame Diana for her part in the end of it all.
But that isn't the focus of today. Today we were reminded that there is beauty in pomp and formality, that despite living in blue jeans we love watching pretty women wear fancy hats, that even a balding prince is sexy in military uniform.
And that if we gave as much attention to the detail of every day that we do to wedding days, we are less likely to forget the grandness of life...wherever it is we happen to live it.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The sandals

I present to you the sandals of which I spoke on Saturday, the ones that were $20 less than the Sketcher's brand I originally went shopping for. For which I went shopping that is.

I was actually prepared to spend closer to $100 for sandals as that was what I was considering last summer but this year there seem to be more options in a more reasonable price range. My mom reports having a similar pair to those pictured from K-Mart, Dr. Scholl's brand for $30 that are comfortable per her review.

I admit to having a basket full of Old Navy flip flops that you can pick up for the cheap price of $5 each and worth every cent. If you have feet that are at all sensitive, these babies are not for more than out to eating. Being available in every color though, I do think they are fine for just that kind of activity. Paired with a coordinated t-shirt they are very cute. A little higher on the scale are Kohl's flip flops which are cuter than the Old Navy and run from about $10 up to $20 per pair. More comfortable and probably great for the average person but my feet hurt pretty much all the time so again, good for short runs only for me.

Being a wearer of jeans or yoga pants and t-shirts these Croft & Barrel sandals will work well for me I do believe. They looked cute with my jeans and I wore them for about four hours around the house on Saturday and they were comfortable. I can't wear a shoe without arch support because I lack arches as well as toe-ing in which results in foot, leg and back pain if I don't wear proper shoes as well as consciously correct my pigeon toes. Which is why I was considering spending $100 on a pair of shoes that would work with my challenges.

So there you have the latest in summer footwear plans. It will be time in a few weeks to pack up my beloved brown riding boots which are my other standby. Have I told you about my boots? Ahh, a story for another day!

Monday, April 25, 2011


Yes, today's my birthday...44 years old! I generally look the other way on my birthday not because I mind another year passing so much as I am completely uncomfortable with me-centered occasions. Ditto Mother's Day. But today it is so I thought maybe it would be a fine time for a getting-to-know you/me moment for those of you who haven't been with me in the neighborhood for the last hundred years.
I am married to my high school sweetheart, the Mr., who I started dating when I was 15 years old. We will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary on October 25 this year. We have two sons, daboyz. Jay is going to be 23 in June and has a girlfriend named Paulina and Mac will be 22 in October, his girl is Lexi. They are truly great people despite having been raised by entirely under qualified people.
I am a registered nurse, a nurse manager in a psychiatric facility in Ferndale, MI that is part of the Henry Ford Health System. I've been a psych nurse since graduating from nursing school in 2004 and I love it, which is weird among nurses.
I am a healthy person and have only one Achilles heel, depression. Since 2007 I have been on an antidepressant and now wonder why I waited so long for help especially since I had been taking care of people with depression for 3 years before I sought medication. Silly! I have found a new life and a new ability to enjoy every day with the illness now in remission. If you are depressed, go see a doctor and don't tolerate one more day of a half-happy life.
In 2007 my grandmother passed away and in 2008 the Mr. and I bought the house she and my grampa had shared since 1971 and that is where we now live, & every morning I am amazed by that simple fact. It's a post WWII bungalow in Dearborn, MI and not a bit fancy although it sits on a really pretty double lot. My home is filled with more old stuff than new, from true antiques to items that have no value other than in my own heart. This was the home of my grandparents when I was a child and it will be the home of my retirement when I have grandchildren. I can't imagine life being much more wonderful than that.
I have known Jesus as my personal savior since I was four years old and healed of a heart condition when my parents had me prayed for at an old fashioned healing service. Once the Lord has sewn your heart back together, it's very difficult to deny you need him! I was raised in church as was the MR. and as were daboyz. It is one of the wonders of a childhood salvation experience to see how God becomes new and more gracious to me year after year when you'd think all of the amazingness of grace would be used up.
I am an introvert, a reader, a loner and socially inept. I am often misunderstood but don't mind most of the time unless the misunderstanding evolves into judgement of my character. Given my options, I'd be a homemaker and venture into the world as rarely as possible. In fact, I'd happily plop this bungalow on top of a mountain or in the middle of a meadow and have no neighbors if I could. I'm not one for a girl's night out or extravagant vacation. My favorite days of the year are the ones spent at home, regardless of the season. Although I love and serve Jesus, I have found that The Church and Christians are not always tolerant of my personality and I find myself occasionally in the "needs to be rescued" category. So please, if my lack of formal recognizable service concerns you, try not to worry too much. If I could get one thing across to others it would be that we are all called according to God's purpose and I know very well what my purpose is. I am a wife and a mom who clings tenaciously to tradition and values and memories and believes with my very soul that the home in balance creates a world in worship. Some of us have to tend to the home fires even if it means we live outside of the box a little bit.
I am a really good writer but a really crummy conversationalist and if I have to talk on the phone I pray for the rapture to save me from it. I'm funny and often find a reason to laugh just when other people think I shouldn't, and this I find especially funny. I like to dance, I hate high heels, I live in scrubs or jeans and believe God gave us yoga pants to prove his love for us. As soon as I get home from work I put on pajamas and then I start dinner. I like heather gray t-shirts and never wear blouses. I was really fat, I was relatively thin and now I'm medium fat-that is currently being worked on and I'm down 20 pounds.
I have highlights in my hair and hate red nail polish. I love schizophrenic people and have no problem socializing with them, let us not analyze that particular truth.
My life's verse is at the header of this blog, to everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven. I love the natural changing of the seasons and I find supreme and perfect comfort in knowing that each moment in time is ordained by God and will always usher in the next ordained season. Weeping lasts only for a moment and joy comes in the morning.
So there you have it-er, me. I'm very boring and very happy to be so.
And I'm unspeakably honored and grateful that you choose to spend time with me. Maybe the season of blogs has created a world where I'm not so very much a loner.
More importantly, I am never lonely.
My sewn together heart holds the miracle of redemption.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

He is risen!

Psalm 111:9 He provided redemption for his people; he ordained his covenant forever—holy and awesome is his name.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

9 other things and 1 Easter thing

1. Above, please note the Sketcher's sandals I intended to buy. I tried them on at Kohl's and unfortunately (fortunately?) they were uncomfortable. However, the Kohl's Croft & Barrel Brand were on sale for $31 compared to the Sketcher's sale price of $52 and seems poifect! Will keep you updated!
2. My Shellac mani did not last two weeks (second time.) The first color that chipped was a dark raisin that was really very pretty but only lasted about 10 days to the 14 expected. My manicurist was out of town so I just got a redo at another shop of a different color basically 4 days early. Most recently, French mani started pulling up at the edges after 4 days and I had a redo today at the 9 day mark after getting a few chips. Not real happy. I told the manicurist this is the last go around, next time there's a chip I'm done. She charged me half price, I think it should've been complimentary.
3. I have a monster headache, nothin's touching it. Am taking a tuna fish sandwich to see if that helps.
4. It's warmish and sunnier here!
5. Some good prices at the Kohl's, got a few cute t-shirts for under $10 each.
6. Am told Lancone mascara is the bee's knees. Thoughts?
7. The MR. and Mac are currently hanging my new plantation blinds!
8. I did hang my wall words/trading phrases in my bedroom last weekend as promised. Looks awesome, pick to come.
9. Mac starts work on Monday!
10. Have a blessed wonderful peaceful joyous Easter!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Waiting for the sound

I love good Friday. I don't have it off and unlike most of my life, I won't be in church this afternoon. Don't let that make you think that I won't be observing and celebrating what today is. It has been to me a quiet day, reflective and sober. Tears have already come this morning at the thought of what Jesus suffered for me.

Before I got out of bed this morning, I was meditating to the sound of raindrops on my roof. Have you noticed it often rains on Good Friday? The earth, I think, cries at the memory of the moment that the feet of Jesus were lifted away from its soil and onto the cross.

Today I find myself listening...for the sound of tearing fabric.

And behold, the veil of the temple was rent in two from top to bottom; and the earth did quake and the rocks rent...Matthew 27:51

In Exodus God gave instruction in the wilderness for his temple so that the people could worship during their 40 years of looking for the Promised Land. In Second Chronicles King Solomon, the son of David built the temple his father had dreamt of. It was to be a permanent dwelling place for the Spirit of God and for the ark of the covenant David had returned to Israel after generations of loss but was not permitted by the Lord to build the temple because he was a soldier and had blood on his hands. The temple of David's son followed the template of the tabernacle in that the curtain was there, a place beyond which man could not step for fear of being in the presence of God. Sacrifices were required to make worshipers clean enough to be heard. Bells were sewn to the hem of the priest's garment so that if he went beyond the veil unworthily and was struck down by God, the silence of the bells would signal those on the other side to pull his body out. All of this was a way for us to learn over hundreds and hundreds of years how holy a God we serve and how impossible it is to be completely holy ourselves despite adherence to every rule we follow.

Good Friday is the day we memorialize Christ's death on the cross and we realize this was the moment in time that our sins were taken by him allowing us a chance for heaven. For me, it is about the sound of the veil tearing.

Not the sound of the door into heaven opening.

Not the sound of the keys to hell dropping.

Not the sound of satan screaming.

The sound of God himself finally tearing down the wall between himself and us. With his own hands, he didn't invite us into heaven...he invited us into fellowship. The sound of the tearing means that during my darkest nights I have laid in my bed crying out to God and he heard me. It means this morning the Lord and I spent time together listening to the earth cry. It means my worship in the car all by myself is heard in heaven.

Wherever you happen to be this Good Friday, take a moment to listen for the sound of tearing fabric.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Before the After

Here we go again! Spring is here and with it the next round of "What do we want to do in the yard this year?"
We have been planning a patio on the north side of our yard just off of the back porch for a few years. It's kind of a nondescript part of our yard that lacks charm and purpose. Last year the Mr. had actually put a deposit on having a patio installed when we realized we had to have a sewage pipe dug out and replaced which cost us out patio money as well as dug up where the patio would have been. Good thing we hadn't installed it yet!
I have a weird specific vision for our house and yard that few understand and fewer yet think is attractive...LOL. Ours is a suburban post WWII bungalow. I love older houses in old neighborhoods and what I really love is preserving the house's character and not adding elements that are at odds to the age of it. Case in point, a new patio. I don't want a modern looking patio. I want something that looks as though it has been there for years and years and has mellowed with time.
The Mr. wants something that screams, "I WAS JUST INSTALLED AND I AM BRAND NEW AND STATE OF THE ART!!"
The very idea makes my liver dry up.
I don't even particularly like new sod. I like grass made of all different kinds and preferably with dandelions, clovers and crab grass here and there.
Here's what I want...
Yes folks, I actually want patio stones with grass growing in between. I saw them do it on the HGTV and if you ask me, it looks easier than all of that leveling and peat gravel and sand and whatnot. You just scatter your stones around in the basic form you want and then you take a knife and cut around each one, pull up that section of grass (not sod!) and lay in your stone. It's ok if the grass grows up around the edges a bit, in fact, that's the point. I found some pictures online to explain myself but they mostly pop us as a "before" with a brand spanking new poured or paver patio in the "after" column. It should come as no surprise that I like to live in the before column.
I am getting a lot of push-back from the Mr. and Daboyz and talk about wanting to eliminate the need to mow on that side of the yard and edging around the blocks and uneven legs on a patio table and and and.
To this I say, shut up.
I know what I like!
And I want a patio that looks overgrown and like it has been there for generations and doggone it,
Is that really too much to ask?

Rainy April Days

What do the rainy April days mean to you?
To me, they mean my dad's birthday and then mine.
They mean remembering my Grandma Trent always talking about bringing my dad home from the hospital on Palm Sunday and the stories about my Grandpa Trent working in the yard when my dad called from Texas to tell my grandparents, "It's a girl!"
They mean I better not get carried away with temperatures above 40 degrees and start running around in short sleeves without a jacket or I'll be sick until May.
They mean looking out the window at the rainy gray muddy yard and dreaming about what the next phase of my gardens will be...herbs & berries on the south side, two fruit trees at the north fence, salad garden in the little corner between the back porch and the neighbor's yard, trying to explain to the Mr. what kind of patio I want.
They mean sunshine peeking through more often and throwing open curtains and even windows for a few hours.
They mean Easter dinner and sunrise service do we get baskets for Daboyz (yes) and remembering how cute those boys were in their Easter outfits 20 years ago.
They mean a rolling earth turned in space toward the next ordained season of new life and new energy.
They mean Jesus loves me, this I know.

Image: Daboyz 1993, Easter Sunday

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. Genesis 2:7

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Hello Friends

1. Not much blogging lately; busier and longer hours at work for a few weeks.
2. On the bright side, a busier hospital has created jobs! Praise the Lord!

3. I have had the same sinus, muscle aches and sore throat issues for at least a week.

4. I lurv coffee.

5. I managed to forget to mail my driver's license renewal, argh.

6. I need 6 forsythias bushes.

7. On today's list, off to buy scrubs for Mac. He's one of those new hospital employees. Did I mention, praise the Lord!?

8. Ordered and received my "wall words" (actually Trading Phrases) and hope to hang it this weekend, will post a picture.

9. Thinking of planting a few fruit trees. What do you think?

10. I got a shellac French manicure. I like to keep you abreast of the important things in life.
Image: Me teaching a class at the hospital.

Friday, April 15, 2011


Hey guys, I need some advice!
I am not posting this on Facebook because I want to keep it "in the family." I have a co-worker who is a truly good guy. Caring, hard-working and would do anything for you. The problem is, his position at work is in administration but not in a supervisory role. Actually that's not the problem, the problem is that he conducts himself as though his position is one of supervision or authority and that causes lots of resentment from those working with him.
For instance, we have monthly meetings. Part of his job is to report off on data submitted to him by clinical people (he is not clinical.) During the meeting, instead of simply reporting the data, he will say things like, "I don't know what's going on with Department X. You guys are having some major issues. " Or he'll come to our morning meeting and announce that "You guys have to get such and such information to me immediately."
And my favorite, "I know you don't want me to have to come and talk to you!"
When relationships with co-workers are less than supportive and cooperative, he gets hurt and therefore, that much more demanding.
During a meeting today, he stated that he had authority over the nurse managers to require them to do things a certain way. Well guess what, he doesn't. Therefore, trying to get things done in the name of imaginary authority, he gets less cooperation than if he just learned to be one of the team.
I don't know if I'm making any sense but I need some feedback. I like this guy, I consider him a friend. But even I want to poke him in the eye most days. Because I'm his friend, I think I'd be the most gentle and supportive trying to help him improve his demeanor. In fact, the boss (who actually is the boss) wants me to have a conversation so he doesn't feel attacked but does get pointed in the right direction.
How do I tell someone they aren't the boss and so they need to stop acting like they are and start building relationships based on trust and respect? I think he wants to have a position of authority but it just isn't going to happen in a health care setting because he is not a doc or a nurse.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

One hour

Oh bother! It's back to work for me today. I will admit that I spent quite a few minutes laying in bed considering calling off but truly, I'm not that sick. Instead I will go in an hour late and give myself a few extra moments to move a little slowly and enjoy my coffee. It's cold in The Mitten this morning at 38 degrees but it's bright and crisp and so it's not all that bad. This time of year reminds me of Up North, cold bright mornings that warm into sweet afternoons. And have I ever mentioned how much I love my home? Waking up here is such a blessing and shame on me if I sometimes forget that and grump about the place. Today my heart is finely tuned and despite feeling less than great, I am happy. The Mr. and Mac are planning to put in a patio later this spring and I am planning my gardens and have decided that a cherry tree is just what I need so there is good reason to be happy as I wake up to my alarm clock that reminds me I have a good job to go to. My extra hour is slipping away and so I'd best pour another cup of coffee and head for the shower. I'll be back soon as there are many things to talk about that I just don't seem to be setting down to "paper" lately. Hoping your day is full of good reasons to get out of bed with a smile on your face! And if you're not quite sure what that might be, I'll give you the best one of all...

Jesus loves you!
Image: My partner at work, Natosha.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Checkin' in

Hi guys, Just a quick hello to check in and let everyone know I'm still out here! Very busy weekend at work, two extra long days and I'm fighting (and losing) an upper respiratory something. Today I had a bunch of errands to do with Mac because....... The Lord has blessed him with a job! So today was signing papers and getting a physical day. I went along because he's never been to the Henry Ford main campus and that's where the doin's were. He is starting on May 2 at the hospital where I work as a mental health tech. I, on the other hand, still need a day off. I'm beat! Love & Grace!

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Dinner time

Although I call them daboyz, my sons are 21 and 22 years old. Jay, my oldest, has lived on his own for a few years now. When they were growing up we made them a promise, 4 years of college and they could live here in the bargain. No school? That must mean it's time to move out and get on with life. We have made the usual promises that are the always kind. They can always count on our love, our prayer and our commitment to one another. They can always count on us welcoming the women they will one day marry and to be devoted grandparents. And they can always count on dinner. It's sometimes a joke when I tell people my son has been on his own since he was about 20 but we still see him every night for dinner. Well, of late it's not quite that often. He's been dating a very sweet young lady for a few months so we suspect he's enjoying dinner in her company. Nonetheless, he can count on dinner. Daboyz know that they need to shoot out a text or an e mail if they absolutely plan on eating with us so we can plan ahead but even failing that, there will always be scrambled eggs or a grilled cheese for them. When we go out to eat, we always pick up the bill. I don't think that's necessarily the mark of a good parent but for some reason, it's important to us. Their girls can count on dinner too. Mac and Lexi usually join us on Sundays for dinner. Sometimes I'll hear from Jay in the middle of the work day with a one line e mail..."what's for dinner?" Often my reply will be met with, "Awesome." I wonder if those are bad days at work and he's looking for a little nurturing? Or maybe he's just really hungry. Either way, he knows where to come for whatever he needs. A few weeks ago on a Saturday he texted that he and his girl would be coming by for dinner that evening. The Mr. went out in the slightly frigid back yard and grilled hamburgers and they spent just a few hours with us but it was nice. It's like touching base. It's one of the few things you can offer your kids once they are out in the world and on their own. At least, if you are of limited means it is. I can't buy you a Hummer but if you drop by, I'll be happy to make a pot of chili for you! I imagine the day will come when the dinners together are fewer and farther between as they construct more and more of their lives as men on their own. Someday I hope to have grandchildren and when that day comes, they too will always have dinner. However, I am going to need a few hours notice if they all plan on dropping in at once. :) When that day comes, I will happily open the freezer and figure out what to feed them. It's Sunday evening and the weekend is slipping away from us. Mac has just left to take Lexi home and Jay is in the family room with his dad watching television. A few hours ago Mac was wondering when his brother would be over because Sundays are the unofficial for sure day for dinner. Nothing special on the menu. Chili dogs, chips. That's about it. It time to clean up the kitchen and switch gears for Monday. I just thought I'd share that when life gets grown up or complicated or busy, it's kind of nice that daboyz know that there's dinner here. If you find your life getting a little too grown up or complicated or busy; come on by. We'll always have dinner. Image: Mac, me, Jay in the kitchen. 2008


Psalm 72:5-7

May he endure as long as the sun, as long as the moon, through all generations. May he be like rain falling on a mown field, like showers watering the earth. In his days may the righteous flourish and prosperity abound till the moon is no more.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Daydreaming in the Mitten

1. Salad garden 2. Forsythias along the fence 3. Window boxes full of geraniums 4. Fresh herbs 5. Berry garden 6. Coffee on the back porch 7. Campfires in the evening 8. Open windows 9. Donny snoozing in the sunshine 10. Putting away the coats