Thursday, August 21, 2014

My World this Week... kinda

There is a lot going on in my life with sick relatives and the return of heat and humidity causing moi' to be "under the weather".

So I will share quickly and without headers what has been going on in my world, actually in the past few weeks.  Think of it as a catch up post on the run.

Was reading...
Was re-reading
The trendy "beauty I am eating" photo.
Why my moss rose is all gone!
Victoria after we unpacked, "Do not ever go away again".
Missing... sigh.  The people and the place.

Did it seem to you that we went from the beauty of summer to summer's end overnight?  I'm not talking about the weather as it is hotter now than it was in July!  The feeling of summer.  The look of summer.  It is just gone from where I live.

The garden is in a terrible state as what is there is going to seed.  There are a few leaves turning here and there.  The squirrels are quite squirrely (as proven in the photo of the moss rose above).

In my part of the world, we are now in that in-between state where it is no longer true summer but not yet true autumn.  But I hear the pumpkin spice latte is returning sooner this year.  That is a very good thing.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Study Part Deux

The Queen
I've been tweaking the Study off and on since Christopher got married over two years ago.  It will continue until he moves the large bookshelf to his home (when their home office no longer is full of boxes!).

But I knew changes needed to be made soon to make it more user friendly.  There was not enough light for one thing.  It needed more color for another.  Just some minor changes here and there.

This past episode of moving things around and adding to them began in my usual If You Give a Mouse a Cookie sort of way when I found the perfect tea table at Goodwill for about $6.00.  It was just the type of table I've wanted for years, in very good shape, and most of all... cheap.

The $6.00-ish tea table that started it all...
The lamp was on the desk before the tweaking.
So it was placed under the window between the green chair (also from Goodwill) and the dresser that had been Christopher's since he was a little guy.  I gave him the large bookshelf but I kept the dresser.

I inherited this table from my mother so it is a favorite.
The gang doesn't seem to mind their temporary home.
The table that was once located where the tea table is now was moved to the place the Butler's shelves once held teddy bears and such.  Did you get all that?  The Butler's shelf has been temporarily abandoned to the garage while the occupants found a temporary home in another part of the Study.

Now a joy to work at this "desk".
I found the desk lamp for $1.99 at the Salvation Army store.
The votive candle holder is also from the Salvation Army store and just the reminder I need each day!
Some items over the desk and on the desk were switched out and around.  Like I said... much like the mouse being given a cookie in the book resulting in much larger ramifications... so was the addition of one small table to the Study.

The rug was brought in from my bedroom.  The cat was already there.
But I am very pleased with the results.  Once the bookshelf, which takes up a lot of room to the right of the desk, is out of here then I'm hoping to replace that area with more storage space for creative endeavors.

Not a great photo but you get the idea...
So these are the photos, some taken without a flash and others with it (those not showing the true colors or shades or anything about their objects).  But it was necessary on gloomy days.

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Healing Quilt by Wanda Brunstetter, a review


This title is the third in the series about the "Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club" and as I had not read the first two books, it took awhile to sort through the characters.  However, once I got through that I found this book immensely enjoyable.

In The Healing Quilt, Lamar and Emma Yoder Miller have left their home in Shipshewana, Indiana for the much warmer winter climate of Sarasota, Florida to help Lamar's arthritis heal.  As Emma becomes bored away from family and friends, she decides to hold another quilting class and asks God to bring those He wants to the weekly classes she and Lamar teach together.

Which is how six individuals, each with their own problems, come together thinking they are there to learn to quilt.  Of course, the reader knows God has sent them to know Emma and Lamar for reasons far more important than stitching fabric together.

If you read many of Wanda's books, you will know she creates her own universe in which there are more... shall we say... coincidences than one finds in real life.  But they come together to paint us a picture in words, that of how God is at work in each of our lives for our good and His glory.

I definitely have to read the first two books in this series and I highly recommend this book.  I love the way there are highly unlikely people coming together for the classes and just as there are some hard times they go through, there is also a great deal of humor.

Like their biker dude former student riding his motorcycle from Indiana to Florida to visit them.  Yes, you read that right.  Biker dude.  Quilting lessons.  In the same sentence.

You can find out more about The Healing Quilt... here.*

This book was provided by the publisher for review but the opinions are entirely my own.

*Amazon Associate Link

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday Afternoon Tea - What makes my home a sanctuary

I am learning it is necessary to filter just how much of the angst of the news carries through into my days.  For at times it is overwhelming how much the world has changed.

Oh, there is no sticking of ones' head in the sand or cupping the hands over the ears and humming so as to not know the grief and misery and anxiety around us.

But as there is enough to cause anxiety within the twenty-four hours that make up my own day, I've made it a goal through the years to make my home a place of sanctuary.  The one little part of the world I have some control over.

What is sanctuary to me may not be so much to you.  I have many friends whose idea of true joy is a houseful of children running in and out of the front door.  While I adore my grandchildren, my preferences these days are more... quiet.

As a young homemaker, I wasn't certain what my style was really... what surroundings caused my heart to sing.  But I began to take notice when visiting a home in which I felt warm and cozy.  I started filling a file folder full of magazine photos torn from favorite magazines and as the designers suggested, I didn't stop to note what it was exactly that I liked.  I just cut or tore and filed.

But eventually there were enough photos and I'd visited enough homes that I began to get a realization of what I liked.  What I loved about a room or a place or a porch or a garden.  That was the beginning of my home becoming my number one art project through the years, a canvas for which I have "painted" now for decades.  Mostly on a budget and while searching for thrifted treasures.

A great deal of what I liked through the years has remained.  Changes in our age, the ages of our children, circumstances, where we live, current creative endeavors, inheritance of items... all came together through the years to tweak the colors of the canvas so to speak.  But the basics were the same.

When I walk through the front door, home embraces and welcomes me.  It may not be beautiful to others.  The furniture is quite eclectic, a mixture of our purchases and thrift store finds and inherited antiques.  The artwork is a combination of my likes and my husband's likes and greatly reflects what we find lovely to look at through the years.

I like old things.  I like vintage.  I like history.  If there were enough space and time and money to spend, there would be one room of our home that is decorated completely in a Primitive American style.  As that is not possible, there are American Primitive accessories in and among the others.

I love the look of English Country so one finds the artwork is displayed all over the walls (it took awhile for Hubby to like that but now he does), beautiful china often collected for just dollars here and there and everywhere, the occasional florals among the deep browns and greens... and often a teacup with tea on the side table.

I love the look of Depression and WWII era American kitchens and thoroughly enjoy the yellow and red accents of my own.  It was the one room, before putting together the Study, that was all mine to decorate so it has more color.  I thoroughly enjoy mixing batter together in vintage bowls or the very large reproduction antique bowl I bought for the making of bread long ago.

I sift together ingredients in a quite old fashioned sifter, mix all with a wooden spoon when it does not need the strength of the Kitchen Aid, and at times wear an apron as generations before me did.  Because it makes me happy in a world full of gloom.

When I am quite down, putting a Dean Martin CD on as background and spending leisure time chopping onions and putting together a stew or making scones or any simple meal... come together to make me feel at peace and full of joy.

We were fortunate to be able to purchase a brand new sofa for the living room when we moved in well over eight years ago.  It wasn't what I had in mind when we went to the Lazy Boy store to have a look around.  But both of us kept going back to that sofa whose color is called Tobacco.  It didn't exactly match the two chairs from our former living room set but it was at least complimentary so it was to come live in our home.

Now I could not imagine the living room without it for along with the two large book shelves full of books (originally purchased to set on each side of the fireplace in a former house), it kind of reminds me of a small English study.  A look I like very much.

Then there is My Study, a work in progress but each week becoming more of a personal Sanctuary as that is where I can open a window when it is raining (without worrying about "moldy air" for my husband), read with no TV on, work at my desk with no need to take everything off to set the table for dinner, and it has cute stuff on the bulletin board... and no one cares.

As I have stated before, My Study was the solution for and gift of the Empty Nest Syndrome.  A very good thing indeed.   ;)

I recognize not everyone has an entire house as their canvas but there may be a room... or a corner of a room.  A place for at least one piece of artwork that makes you happy each time you pass it, perhaps a painting of a forest or a landscape or a mountain or a garden or a scene that reminds you of your childhood summers.  Or perhaps a framed photo from a special vacation.  Or at least a scented candle to light as you read with a cup of Earl Grey at your side.

Which reminds me... my sanctuary must always have books.  Lots of books.  Books I've read and books yet to read.  Fiction.  Nonfiction.  Books written by favorite Bible teachers.  Cookbooks with stories and pictures.  Children's books.  Grown up books.  The Russian novels I tell myself I will read.  Very old books with brown pages.  Used books with names written in the flyleaf that make me wonder who they were and if they loved the books as I did.  Brand new books that have the smell of recently coming off the presses (who needs a new car smell when new book smells are cheaper?).

My sanctuary has lots of magazines with lovely scenes and ideas and pretty rooms and stories.  Most collected through the years and some brought home from the free magazine stand at the library.  A few much beloved favorite magazines have been purchased with birthday and Christmas money saved for a particular issue.  Especially of the pricier magazines that are much more like a book with soft pages.

By collecting some favorite films and TV shows on DVD throughout the years, we have the amazing ability to get lost in a story on film at any time.  Something unheard of in previous generations.  I can't tell you how many times I have been in a stressful situation only to pop a British Period flick or a favorite episode of Last of the Summer Wine into the DVD player and find the tension ending.

I still find great joy in seeing how other people have turned their homes into a sanctuary just for their family.  This past week I perused the most recent copy of Where Women Create, propped against the grocery cart.  It contained more than a few ideas whose images I tried to remember (as the cost of the magazine was more than I had to spend on groceries at the moment!).

A few years ago I went through my quite large file folder which contained clippings of rooms and such and realized how my tastes have changed through the years.  But some things remain the same.  Quite a lot has remained the same, actually.  The basics of the canvas.  They have been there all the time.

The Word tells us there is a Carpenter preparing our real Home.  A Master Designer.  One who gifts us with more than our finite mind here on Earth can even think or imagine.  I am thoroughly convinced that when I walk through those doors, I will then know I am truly Home.

In the meantime, I would love to hear what you consider important in your home to make it a sanctuary.  Maybe I will find a new idea.  Added:  Your ideas have been wonderful.  Please keep adding them even when newer posts are added this week to the blog.  I will add a link next Sunday for people to return and read comments.

Image:  Alice Schlesinger, Illustrator

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Living the Pantry Lifestyle - Soliloquy to the ham salad sandwich and cooking at home


I was at the grocery store this week, picking up milk and cream for coffee.  Since it was close to dinner time and my husband had already said he was eating leftovers, I thought I'd see how much a pre-made sandwich would cost so I wouldn't have to cook.

Well, you probably know already that they are not cheap.   I was not going to pay up to $5.00 for one grocery store ham salad sandwich.  Thinking I could save some money and buy the ham salad already made, I went to the aisle where they sell it and found one pint was about $5.00.  I didn't buy it, either.

I started thinking later about the cost of having someone else make your dinner.  If I'm going to do that, I'm going to go all out and have a delicious Panera sandwich and good coffee for just a few dollars more than the cardboard grocery store sandwich!

But when you do stop to think of it, a nicer option like Panera can cost say $8.00 to $10.00 (especially if you are like me and have to indulge in good coffee while there). Then there is around $5.00 for the pre-made sandwich at the grocery store.

It gets a little better when you pay $5.00 for the pint at the store.  At least you will get two or three sandwiches from that, just adding your own bread and whatever else you prefer on your sandwich.

Problem with the grocery store brand is it has a little ham and a lot of mayo... which translates to not very much taste and more fat and calories.  All that for $5.00.

This line of thinking took me back to my mother working in the kitchen to make salads for the diner where she worked.   Ham was ground with the old fashioned grinder and mixed with the other ingredients in just a few minutes and it was delicious with no extra amounts of mayo added to make it cheaper.

Even more frugal was the use of leftover ham as she ground chunks of ham and turned leftovers into delicious sandwiches for the family for very little money.  She would be appalled at how much grocery stores are charging for their "watered down" ham salad, not to mention for the sandwich itself.

So, what is my point?

I think you get it since most readers are like minded in their pursuit of putting good food on the table as frugally as possible.  Knowing how to make food items yourself saves you money.  Knowing how to turn leftovers into good food saves you a heck of a lot of money.

Once again, knowledge is as important as what you have in your pantry.  Sometimes even more when the larder is lean (as mine tends to get!) and you want to make something delicious out of little.  Like grandmothers did just a generation or two past (according to how old you are at the moment).

Think of the genesis of macaroni salad, bread pudding, hash, hamburger gravy, sausage gravy and biscuits, scalloped tomatoes... just to name a few.  Past generations who had to stretch their food tended to know how to use everything.  My folks generation called it using "everything but the oink".

I'm still in the process of learning to cook more with beans, lentils, and other inexpensive but high quality sources of protein... and finding some things we like a lot and others not so much.  But those we like are being added to the menu and the pantry. 

I'm finding as I make these frugal and healthy changes, the pantry begins to look more and more like it would have a hundred years ago with basic food stuffs and a little extras here and there.  More pondering on that subject soon.

I'm sharing a link this week that I was delighted to find.   One of my favorite chocolate cake recipes is the Wacky Cake (aka: Crazy Cake, Depression Cake).  So I was happy to find a young food blogger has been playing around with the recipe to come up with more options.  I'm going to try the lemon cake later this week.  (I do not mix the cake in the pan but in a separate bowl, then add it to the pan.)

The original recipes are good for two or three people and they can be doubled if you want to bake them in a 9 x 12 pan for more people.  I send you to Sweet Little Bluebird's list of recipes with the Wacky Cakes showing up first... here.

Image:  Cookbook and Apples; allposters.com

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Study


Sooo... Let us try this Blogger App to show photos taken with the iPad.







Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Soggy Tuesdays, iPads, and "Oops!"

I need one of those Lifestyle face lifts they advertise on TV!
So... I was going to put together a My World this Week but we've had rain for the past few days and I really don't like using a flash when possible.  This house is dark enough without rain, albeit much needed showers.

So I thought I'd share about my surprise birthday gift and a surprise I received in the kitchen on Sunday.  The photo is of my precious Hobbit (David) and me when I opened the gently used iPad my family bought me for my Birthday. 

I thought the vacation was my gift (and it was enough!) but a few months ago Christopher's office was selling an iPad that had been gently used to test Apps they designed (they always have to upgrade to the latest edition) and the kids decided it would make a great gift for me.

I am now in Apple love.  I can do everything on it except when I need to type a lot... like blog posts, articles, and e-mails.  I have even been watching some You Tube videos on it.  Do you have any that are your favorites?

So that was a wonderful surprise.  But Sunday's was not and it reminded me I'm "losing it" once in awhile.

I made a small cake for our Anniversary and when it came out of the oven, took a tiny bite from the corner to see how it turned out.  Cough!  Ugh!  Blech!  It was more than a little salty and I had not added salt to this recipe.  So I wondered...

I took the sugar canister off the shelf and tasted a little of it.  Sure enough.  It was salt.  It seems when I returned from Michigan, I poured what I thought was leftover sugar in the canister but it was the leftover salt.  What can I say?  It looks the same when you are busy unpacking.

I am SO thankful the mistake showed up in a small and inexpensive dessert just for Hubby and me.  I poured out everything in the canister since a mixture of salt and sugar does no one any good and then proceeded to make another small cake with the right ingredients.  It turned out very good.  And sweet.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sunday Afternoon Tea - Ponderings on Fear, Pain, and Beauty

For the rest, brethren, whatever is true,
whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly,
whatever is just, whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely and lovable,
whatever is kind and winsome and gracious,
if there is any virtue and excellence,
if there is anything worthy of praise,
think on and weight and take account of these things
[fix your minds on them].
Philippians 4:8 (Amplified Version)

I think if I were to write a book, the title would be Living a Beautiful Life in a Difficult World. For it seems there is always a combination going on... a symmetry so to speak of the world's Beauty and that which is still in a state of Fallen-ness.

I needed South Haven.  I needed family and old friends and most of all I desperately needed the Lake and its' surroundings.  But I didn't know it until I was there.  From the time I arrived, I realized it.

As a family, we never did make it into Holland as was originally a priority.  Hubby and I traveled there to meet a dear friend (who started out as an online friend in the 90s!) for a couple of hours at Russ' but otherwise we never went back.  I'd hoped to meet with Sallie there and then show my grandchildren the town in which their mother was raised.  But it never happened as South Haven was filling my soul.

I'm reluctant to admit that I hadn't been looking forward to this vacation from the time I opened the Christmas gift with the announcement to the day before we left.  When one lives with a chronic illness, the easiest way to have some control of one's illness is by staying at home... and travel can be quite difficult as one keeps insulin chilled and meals are at all times of the day.

But, of course, we would go.  The mail was stopped while we were gone. My friend, Linda, and her husband checked on Victoria.  My new neighbor took our newspapers to her house until our return.  So I prayed and took a deep breath and we headed to the highway that would take us to the Interstate heading for Michigan.

God knew what I needed, long before He put the inspiration for the vacation into Stephanie's brain... and once something gets there it gets done!  Inside I felt much like my garden when the sky had provided no rain and I haven't gotten around to watering it.

Withered...

I prayed and there would be a brief respite and sometimes a book lifted my soul and sometimes the flowers would lift my soul and sometimes an e-mail or letter or gift from friends and family would lift my soul.

For God is everywhere and He does know that a good cup of coffee and a little pot of favorite tea... perhaps with a cookie or two... they still can lift me from the doldrums.  But I needed more.  I needed the water and the boats and the gardens and the lovely meals and my second hometown (so to speak) of Western Michigan.

I walked more that week than I have in years.  Our cottage was situated within walking distance of Lake Michigan and the quaint Downtown area.  Stephanie found one like that on purpose.  So I walked, sometimes alone and at various times with my family.  I walked until I thought I would drop and then walked some more.

The first walk was taken with four year old Anna holding my hand and as she chatted away (she is much like her mother), I showed her the beautiful flowers and we walked near the Marina and breathed in the air.  Oh, that air.  I'd forgotten how air smells and feels near large bodies of water.

I flew to San Francisco on a business trip in the 80s, when we lived in Holland.  I was shown the Pacific Ocean and knowing I was from the Midwest, my compatriots thought I'd be amazed.  They were a little disappointed when I told them it looked like Lake Michigan but with bigger waves.  People outside the area do not realize just how big the Great Lakes are up close and personal.  But I digress as usual...

Sometimes it takes a special something to remind us of just how much God loves us.  Especially when daily we live with illness or lack or pain or grief or challenges or difficult people or any other of life's uncertainties.

We tend to become our greatest challenge, even as we are trusting Him each day.

It is not a lack of faith, it is just the way we are made up as finite humans.  Much like how all we can think about is our pinkie finger if we accidentally hammer it while putting up a picture on the wall.  The rest of the body may be fine but the area with that pounding injury...  no matter how small... becomes all we think about.

So God took me back to an area that He knew would fill me with life.  To breath in the air.  To walk the beautiful sidewalks.  To sit and watch the Big Lake.  To lean against the second story landing of a Marina club that was For Members Only (but their landing was open to all) and gaze at the boats in dock.

He filled my soul with the Beauty of Michigan produce at the Farmer's Market as I walked along with my daughter and listened to the folk musician's live music in the background.  He filled my culinary delight with the best meal I have had in years (absolutely in the top five ever) when we celebrated the actual day of my birthday at a Spanish style Tapas restaurant with all the immediate family laughing and eating together.  Something we do best.

It was hard to leave at the end of a week.  I would miss my daughter and her family most of all (since Mr. & Mrs Christopher live nearby).  I would miss the quaint shops and the boats and the lighthouse.  I would miss breathing in that air.

But I also missed my cozy house.  I really missed my cat.  I knew it was time to re-enter the real world for life is not a week long vacation at the beach.  But the vacation, one that was God inspired from the beginning, would stay with me for a long time.  It sparked my creativity and gave a boost to my soul.

Since I have been home, I re-did the Study and changed the china cabinet.  I have been packing up for charity those things I know I will not use, even though I like them.  Life is too short to hang on to that which is just... clutter.  Keep the Beautiful that makes me happy.  Keep that which I use even if it is not Beautiful.  The rest is just pretty clutter.

I've been thinking about Beauty and Creativity and Music and Art and Literature and all that is Lovely.  Much like the above verse, which I have typed out and taped inside the cover of my Bible.

It turned out that the very "getting away from it all" that I had feared was just what I needed.  I think God has a way of doing that all the time in our life.  The trial we are going through with great annoyance turns out to be the very turning on the road of our journey that leads to answered prayer.

The personality attributes that drive us batty about our child in his toddler and preschool years blossom into exactly the attributes that make a young man who holds firm to his faith.  The little girl who drew on walls became the young woman that paints pictures.   The frustrating block in the path we thought we had all figured out... saved us from a bad decision down the road.

We are to "think on Him" always, to go running to God when the journey is too hard.  He knows that on this fallen planet there will be pain and suffering and illness and lack and weeds (don't even get me started on weeds).

But there is also much He created... those Echoes of Eden that I wrote about before... that makes us know without a shadow of a doubt that Beauty exists and ultimately that is where we will reside.

In the meantime we must remember this, we worship a God who wants to be a part of our everyday existence.  The Father sent the Son to redeem us who sent the Holy Spirit to help us in our journey.  He cares enough to pull us out of our comfort zones when He knows what we need is elsewhere.

I wonder if God ever smirks.  Even a little?  Or does He ever tell us "I told you so"?  Perhaps... but in a gentle manner that sounds like laughter in the wind.

Photo:  Taken with my daughter-in-law's iPhone

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Living the Pantry Lifestyle - Trusting God to provide

How can there not be a Creator... lovely.
This is the first day I am officially returning from my blog break.  I took pretty much a complete break from the computer during my birthday week with the family and last week I had some required posts and fun photos.

I also took a break from the news while away with family, at least as much as one can in today's world.   It can be quite overwhelming with all the stuff happening on the planet.  We hear of wars, rumors of wars, pestilence, earthquakes, genocide, hurricanes, economic woes, and so much more.  We feel totally out of control.

Of course, God is truly in control.  For those of us whose theology tends toward the soon return of the Lord, we see in His Word that He told us what the world would look like and we can rest assured in Him.  Even if at times we let concerns about the uncertainty of it all get to us.  We are human that way.

To me, that is when living a Pantry Lifestyle brings comfort.  When I have a full pantry then I know I can put food on the table.  By giving thought to what is purchased, there will be at least a few favorites among the beans and rice!  ;)

I get e-mails all the time from people who say they do not have the resources to stock up, they are just barely making it as it is.  Believe me, I feel your pain.  We pretty much live on miracles from God as our income is about what we need to cover expenses... except for food and gas!

We could stomp our feet.... and have... and whine before God... and we have.  We remind God that we did everything right from the world's standards in the way of education, we tithed, we gave offerings, we helped old ladies across the street.  Okay, we didn't do the latter but our works seemed to be in the right place.

Yet, we find ourselves at a stage in life when most of our friends have their houses paid for, take cruises, and have extra spending money... depending on God pretty much entirely for food on the table and much less in a pantry. 

It is not fair.  But then again, life is not fair.  My husband's illness and then my own (which together depleted our savings and our equity and all of the crutches we depended on financially)... it is not fair.

But instead of fretting about it all, I have learned to take it to prayer and watch as He answers.  I believe that He does provide... and He does.  Ask Him to deepen your pantry.  Make a list and have it ready and expect a miracle.  He may send unexpected cash your way to use for stocking up or He may provide a way for you to earn extra cash.

I've been reading through the Book of Acts and there are a few things that keep coming up.  I will ponder most in the Sunday posts from time to time but one that is essential here is that... they took care of each other and God took care of them.  This occurred when their world was falling apart.

So the very best pantry advice I can give anyone today is... Trust.  I'm doing the same thing here.  I know everyone has some area they need to Trust, even if it is not in the area of deepening the pantry.

I told my husband this morning... when as the Eeyore he tends to be he mentioned everything that needs repairing around the place... that I believe trusting God is the Jacob experience we all go through.  You know, when Jacob wrestled with the Angel all night and then came away with a limp the rest of his life.

We wrestle with God when we do not understand, when we find it hard to have faith... to believe.  I give my faith a place to land (so to speak) by praying and then making a grocery list, or praying and thinking of how the room needs a piece of furniture, or praying and asking God if He does not mind (because I truly do not need another teacup) but if there is a beauty cheap at Goodwill...

For you see, God knows you need food and water and shelter but He also knows you need a book or a teacup once in awhile.  He made you that way.  Never be afraid to ask. 

If it is something you need like food, He will answer although it may not be steak.  
If it is something frivolous like a teacup, he may answer with that or something better.  
If it is something He knows you do not need, well... you didn't need it.

A great deal of the joy in the journey is looking for the ways He is meeting every need.  Including deepening your pantry.  :)

Friday, August 08, 2014

Some more vacation photos...


I've been working on a few projects since arriving home from Michigan.  Not the least of them is re-doing the Study.  It looked lovely but was not as functional as I needed it to be, especially as autumn will soon arrive and that room can be dark.

I'll show photos of it when it gets a little more presentable.  Until then, here are more images from our week together as a family in Western Michigan.  This was the absolute best birthday gift ever!!!  Western Michigan is my second "hometown".

Boats at rest in the Marina.
The gardens were fabulous, I took many photos for ideas in my own home.
Farmer's Market
Farmer's Market
Peaceful
Delicious
Hubby (on the left) with his BFF.  He and his wife drove over to have lunch with us by the Marina.
A selfie from my daughter-in-law's camera
My much beloved New England Contingent
I think this sampling of subjects gives an idea of the week.  Many thanks to my family for making it all possible.  They are priceless.  :)