Thursday, January 26, 2023

Persistence Pays Off

I am finding that when one does not write on a regular schedule, two things can happen.  The first thing is that time goes by faster than we think so a new blog post happens later than planned.  The second is that I need to write down those things I want to write about on my planner because they tend to last about five seconds. 

I am pleased to say the insulin saga (trial) has been resolved.  I will share about it at the end of this blog post.  Like most trials, it was not fun but I learned a lot.  Not the least of which is the reminder that God really is in control. 

As I was going through it and the fear would come that I would end up back in the ER, I reminded myself that God has never let me down in the past.  I remembered His character instead of looking at my circumstances and indeed... He did not let me down this time, either.

The Study files are all either tossed or placed in their proper space.  Hallelujah!  It was so good to be able to file away the late 2022 and January 2023 papers needing to be filed and not have to find room in overstuffed file folders. The files in the "homeschool drawer" in our small office have a good start already, too.

I have had the same morning routine for a few years now but after praying for ways to accomplish this project and more later, I realized I needed to make time in the morning while my energy was higher. So now on many days, after watching my "Bible study program" while sipping morning coffee, I spend time on a project or housework.

The new morning schedule isn't written in stone and there are many days I must be flexible.  However, it is a change that can be accomplished.  So often, I think nothing can be changed but that is a lie from the father of lies.  No matter our age or physical condition, there is always something that can change.  Especially when we ask God, who says in the Book of James that He gives wisdom to all who ask.

Except for making me more organized, these file projects will ultimately not be noticed by anyone else except my family.  I often remember all the work my husband and his brother went through when their mother passed away in a car accident and every piece of paper that can be thrown out now is something our own children will not have to deal with later. 

As it is, I can imagine them rolling their eyes and wonder out loud if someone really needed that many teacups. I blame Emilie Barnes... ;)

I have not set out to choose a "word of the year" for a long time but once in awhile, a word comes to me that I believe is God-given.  While working on these files and dealing with the insulin situation, I knew it was the Lord that brought the word "persistence" to mind quite often.  It has become my anchor word for the new year.

So, what happened with the insulin?  Well, I never found out why Eli Lilly didn't send it but I did find out the things that went wrong since then.  It was the fault of both the drug company and the clinic combining to create an emergency situation.

It was finally resolved when I was given the phone number to the Eli Lilly program and called on Monday.  I talked to a very helpful woman who, while not knowing why it wasn't sent in early November, was able to tell me that it had been cancelled in January because my original prescription had lapsed.  Why the clinic employee was not told that, I have no idea.

It turned out that the day I called was the very last day that I could get a new prescription from my doctor or his nurse, have them call it in, and receive the shipment.  It took some scrambling and driving to the clinic with a paper giving all of the needed information but I did, they did, and my insulin arrived on Tuesday.

Have you ever noticed how God... at times... seems to provide answers to prayer at the very last moment?  I mean, really... the very last day?  Otherwise, I would have had to submit a new application and wait for it to process through before it could arrive in three or four weeks.  I received the vial of Lantus from the hospital and sample pens of Bassaglar from the clinic to keep from returning to the ER.

I was reminded of a lesson that I have had to relearn over and over for decades now and that is the moment I realize something is not right, I need to look into the problem. I cannot hope everything will fall into place on its own. I can't assume anyone else is taking care of it for me.  Even if it is their job.  This is especially true in a world where the employee may not be the best person for the job due to difficulties getting workers.

I receive both insulins through the MAPS program at Ely Lily and the clinic where my doctor works. This was the fourth of four shipments from my previous application.  In about a month, I will need to submit another application for the new year.  It is an excellent program when it works properly.

This particular trial took a lot more time and emotional energy than I wanted to spend but with good results.  As well as persistence!  I do hope to be back with another hello late next week.  We have another Arctic front moving in so perhaps I can chat about books I'm reading on the Kindle right now.  By that time I should have finished a couple as staying inside sipping warm beverage is the plan until at least... March?

I pray you all are having a blessed Winter (Summer south of the equator!).

Image:  This photo of my neighbor's barn is from a few years ago but the outside world looks similar today.

Friday, January 13, 2023

What I am Doing While I am Still Waiting


I have been to see my doctor and the problem with the insulin is supposed to be resolved but it still hasn't arrived from the drug company.  In the meantime, I will be going back to the clinic today to pick up sample pens.  They should get me through until the issues with getting the long term insulin that was due before Thanksgiving are resolved. 

It was mentioned in Comments that the U.S. now has a cap on insulin prices.  That is what I thought would happen when I first heard of the possibility but right now, there is only a cap on some co-pays and that is only for some insurance companies.  None of that applies to me since I get both of my insulins through a special program offered by my clinic. 

I am hearing about the breakdown in medical care here in the States all the time now.  As well as severe shortages in some medications.  I was purchasing generic Benedryl at Meijer last week and I walked by the pediatric fever and pain killer section.  It was almost completely empty.  Only a few bottles of liquid Children's Advil were on the shelf.  It is a much different world than just a few years ago.

On that same grocery run, I had to buy a few items from the back of the store to the front where produce is sold.  That gave me a good look at what was in stock.  I had heard many people who research such things say that we will see shortages again after the Holidays.  There were a lot of empty spaces on shelves.  What surprised me most was the vegetable oil aisle, it was pretty much empty.

With everything going on, I am more determined than ever to not let any food go to waste.  The Christmas ham was taking up room in my refrigerator that I needed to use for something else so I decided to make ham stock.  I don't know why I didn't think of ham stock long ago but it was while reading a book (perhaps An Everlasting Meal?) that I learned one can make and freeze ham stock just like other meats.

Even though I wasn't feeling the best, I simmered the ham bone with a little meat left on it for quite a few hours.  I added an onion, celery, and a handful of baby carrots that were showing their age.  It simmered one day and I put it in the garage after it cooled down to sit for another day so the fat could easily be skimmed off (in Winter, our garage is an extra refrigerator).  I got two quarts of ham stock with chunks of ham from it, now residing in the freezer for either bean soup or perhaps as a good base for potato soup.

Speaking of the book, An Everlasting Meal, I saw where she has a cookbook coming out in March.  That is one book I would be interested in seeing. I will include a link to it below.  You know how I love her first book.  When it became difficult to read the book, I bought it on Kindle to reread off and on for inspiration.

In cold weather, I like to make soup once a week.  It not only stretches the budget but it is so good for us.  I turned the whole chicken I bought last week into a good bone broth type of chicken stock with celery and onion.  At first I just gave the broth to my husband when he was feeling under the weather (I think literally), then I added some of the white meat and a package of jasmine rice from the freezer that I had cooked and frozen for a hearty dinner meal. 

I have been working on my usual January decluttering projects a little at a time.  They can be accomplished even when one doesn't feel the best by working a little here and there in the morning and early afternoon when my energy is highest.  I remember Laine (of Laine's Letters) saying she learned to do most of her work during her high energy hours, too.

I was able to send some more Christmas decorations to Goodwill while packing everything away for next Christmas.  Only those items I know I don't need or love went to Goodwill for others to enjoy.  For instance, I didn't need as many modern plain Christmas ornaments since I have collected more vintage ornaments over the past couple of years. Where I live, the vintage ornaments are quite inexpensive at the antique mall and I love how the tree looks with them.

This year's January decluttering project has been long overdue and that is going through all my files that I have in a basket in the Study (as well as finally emptying out the wire In-basket on my desk) and getting rid of papers I neither want nor need.  One does not need to keep medical papers as far back as 2019.  My files are now cleaned out and it will make filing away medical forms much easier this year.  All important information is now easily available.

I also filled a bag full of old newsletters and such that I won't be reading.  That cleared up a lot of room, too.  I kept all the files that I use for creating scrapbook journals mainly because they took hours (upon hours) of searching old Victoria and other beautiful magazines and such, cutting them out, and filing them to have them ready when doing any scrapbook journaling.  

Just like Christmas items I don't use now but I may someday, they still get a place in my files and on the shelves.  I have about one... or maybe two... hours of work to finish in the Study and then I will move on to the long dreaded project of going through all our homeschool files.  They fill a drawer of the file cabinet in our small home office. My end goal is to have no unnecessary papers in my files. 

To be honest, I tend to find even long dreaded decluttering projects are not all that bad when I finally start on them.  Everything can be accomplished a little at a time.  I even take file folders with me when watching a TV show or a movie and go through them at that time.  Most of the files are easy to decide... keep or throw away (or send through our small shredder).

I will feel a sense of accomplishment if February arrives having completed sorting through all the files.  I have a feeling most of the homeschool files can be tossed.  Especially if I can throw away articles that I no longer need and I am certain no one in the family has the emotional attachment to them that I do. I will keep articles that fill me with joy just looking through them.

I mean, really... it is far past time to go through these files. It seems like it was not all that long ago I was clipping these articles, saving work accomplished, etc. and we were actively in home education mode.  That child is now returning home from a business trip to his own homeschooling family.  Piper is officially an elementary school student now and her brother is in preschool. The baby (who will soon celebrate his first birthday) still has a full time job just being adorable. ;)

Thank you for your lovely comments on the last blog post.  They made me smile and I needed that in the midst of this quite frustrating trial.  I have tried to remain calm when talking to everyone concerned as I promised God not to take my frustrations out on fellow humans.  

We "wrestle not against flesh and blood".  Kindness triumphs when the enemy of our souls is tempting us to stomp our feet and yell at someone.  Nope!  Not going to play that game.  When the young woman in charge of the clinic's prescription program found out I had ended up in the hospital, she kept apologizing the next time I talked to her.  She has become very good about following up and providing temporary insulin as needed.

Even people who work in medical professions do not always understand the difference between Type 1 (Juvenile) diabetes and Type 2 diabetes.  She now knows it is not only possible for a Type 1 diabetic to end up in the hospital when missing one or two insulin shots... it is probable.

Mentioned in this Blog Post

Once again, An Everlasting Meal... here.

The Everlasting Meal Cookbook pre-order info... here. (I am intrigued by this one.)

Image:  This is one of my favorite photos of my oldest and youngest granddaughters.  Elisabeth has now graduated with an Associate's Degree from college and is married.  Piper is now in first grade and has two younger brothers.

Thursday, January 05, 2023

When the Unexpected Happens


I had planned to write on Christmas day but that was the day I ran out of long term insulin and became very sick.  I spent New Year's Day in the ER for seven hours hooked up to an IV.

To make a very long story short, I have been getting both of my insulins through a special program at my clinic.  Previous to both COVID and a change in staff at the clinic, I received my insulin like clock work.

First COVID arrived and the long term insulin I did use became unavailable because it came from another country.  So, they changed me to another insulin that was made in America and everything was fine for awhile.  Since late Summer, problems began to arise and that resulted in running out of long term insulin.

On New Year's Day, I awoke with my blood sugar over 500 and that meant I needed immediate attention.  The medical staff in the ER were wonderful and they were able to send me home with a vial of Lantus (a long term insulin I have never used) only because I had saved the syringes left over from when I switched to insulin pens. Sometimes holding on to items in case of an emergency pays off.

I had a scheduled appointment with my doctor, who is semi-retired, on Tuesday and told him everything that has been going on.  He is working on finding out why this is happening, whether it is their employees at fault or the drug company (or a combination of both).  He is also working on getting me more long term insulin.

I was so sick that I couldn't even sit at the desk to write.  So, I am sorry that I haven't checked in at all.  I'm half way through the vial of Lantus from the hospital and praying my doctor can find where that last shipment of my long term insulin was lost.

There is nothing like going through a crisis to improve your prayer life.  I am feeling sick but the Lantus has stabilized my blood sugar so it is no longer spiking. Whenever something like this happens, it reminds me that God created our bodies to work beautifully.  When one organ stops working (as in Type 1 diabetes, which affects the pancreas and then the thyroid), life becomes complicated.

Before this happened, we had the extreme cold and winds come through.  Our meteorologist reported that the system was very similar to what caused the Blizzard of 1978, only with much less snow (thank God!).

My son and his family were able to come for our Christmas Eve celebration.  I kept telling him to be safe and he reminded me his car is a 4 x 4.  We had a wonderful time together and I am so thankful we had this time together before I became so ill.

This particular trial is still waiting for an end to it.  My hope is that I get a call today or tomorrow that they have insulin for me.  I may decide to purchase prescription insurance and pay the ridiculous co-pays for insulin.  Unless one is a diabetic, they have no idea how expensive long term insulin can be.  The program at the clinic saved me a great deal.

I won't be able to write a long post about my reading last year but I can share my favorite book of 2022 and my most recent book that I enjoyed.  My favorite book was The Last Bookshop in London.  It was one of the best novels I have read in a long time.  It is such a good reminder of what people living in London went through during WWII and how books help us through hard times.

I had purchased Lilibet the Brave: The Unusual Childhood of an Unlikely Queen for Piper's Christmas but even though I had preordered it, the book would not be shipped until after Christmas.  So, I ordered her another book and I kept this for later.

I follow Katy Rose, the author and illustrator, on Instagram but she is also a friend of people I care about.  They had given the book great reviews.  It written for children so the biography of the queen as a child through when she becomes queen is very simple but informative.  The illustrations are rather old fashioned, much like the era when the queen was a child.

It is a beautiful, simple story about how a child was raised with morals and ethics in such a way that while she was not suppose to ever be the queen, she was prepared for her role and stepped into it with grace.  I'm saving the book for Piper's birthday but I will read it again prior to Summer.

I had planned to catch up on Christmas cards and thank you letters during this time but that became impossible.  I do still hope to get back in touch with friends but in the meantime, thank you to everyone who made Christmas special (and friends who have been so giving for many years).

I will be popping in now and then with new blog posts, although probably not on weekends.  Sometimes a Sunday style of post, other times a Pantry post.  I'm still writing, just not on a regular schedule now.  Think of me as your neighbor who pops in once in awhile for morning coffee or afternoon tea.  ;)

Mentioned in this Blog Post

The Last Bookshop in London is available... here.

Lilibet the Brave: The Unusual Childhood of an Unlikely Queen is available... here.

Disclaimer:  Most links to Amazon.com are Associate links.

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Sunday Afternoon Tea - Changes in the New Year


I hope you are having a blessed Christmas season.  I think for most Americans, the season runs from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day.  Some churches celebrate Advent and then the 12 Days of Christmas.  Either way, it is the only time of the year when the name of Jesus is lifted up so almost everyone can hear it.  

This time of year can bring much rejoicing and much sorrow.  Doesn't it seem like it acts like a magnifying glass on circumstances?  If it has been a year of lack or sorrow, we feel it more at Christmas.  If it was a year that brought joy and abundance, we feel it and should be very thankful. 

Most of us have known both and what I have learned over the years is when one has a thankful attitude toward what God provides and an attitude of trust for what He has allowed.. the Christmas season will always be one that helps keep our mind as well as our soul directed toward Him.

It has been a long time now since we have had a child centered Christmas season.  I am thankful that our son and his family moved back to the area so it is easier for them to spend Christmas Eve with us and Christmas Day with our daughter-in-law's family.  My family always opened gifts on Christmas Eve (which my husband thinks is akin to heresy), so celebrating on Christmas Eve comes naturally.

While I do miss the season of life when we attended Christmas Eve services, that could not happen now that we fall asleep much earlier than midnight.  Everything changes as one flows through the seasons of life.

Which kinda' brings me to the announcement regarding blog changes after this weekend.  I will publish a Christmas Day Sunday Afternoon Tea post next week but after that, there will be no scheduled weekend blog posts.

Instead, I will be popping in now and then with what I have been pondering or to respond to any big news events. I may write once a week or it may be a couple of weeks before I have anything to say.  I always have said that I will stop blogging when I no longer have anything to say.  I am not quite there, yet.  ;)

It is quite amazing that this blog, which I originally started to keep up with a small group of family and friends, has been going for over sixteen years.  We were still homeschooling high school and Christopher did not drive, yet.  I was as much chauffeur as I was a facilitator of learning (which is what we really are by the high school years).

My daughter had three preschoolers and would have two more children.  All have been (or they are currently) homeschooled.  I am amazed at what they learn through Classical Connections.  My oldest grandchild was married this year at the same age I was married... albeit long ago.

My son, whose ADHD symptoms were the reason we pulled him out of school, is now married to a lovely fellow homeschool alum and has three children.  They homeschool their first grader and pre-schooler.  My son is a Computer Architect with an IBM subsidiary.  I think quite often of the first grade teacher who told me he was a trouble maker and would never amount to much.  

My first child had a learning style that fit in well with the public schools.  Even then I kept an eye on her curriculum, for what is being taught today in the open was creeping in through back educational doors when she was in elementary school. It helped that we lived in Holland, Michigan for much of her elementary years for it was at the time quite conservative.

I went into homeschooling thinking it would be temporary but a couple things happened that kept us homeschoolers throughout his pre-college education.  First, we saw a huge improvement in him as far as personality and education.  All without him being on any drugs.

Second, I came to love homeschooling.  How could I not as a book and history nerd?  We used the Sonlight Curriculum for many years since it went along with the Charlotte Mason method of education I preferred.  It also allowed us to go through the books at our own speed.

Most of this was accomplished while writing three (and then two) times a week for this blog.  I know some blog friends who have been a part of Coffee Tea Books & Me for many years have noticed a change... although I have tried not to show my declining health.

But when I have been too tired to write thank you notes to dear friends for birthday gifts, much less to do the research needed for Saturday posts, I knew a few months ago that I was going to have to make some changes.  Instead of shutting down the blog, I decided I could still write as long as it was not on specific days.  I can write on good days, not so much when I am experiencing overwhelming fatigue.

It is nothing new, thank God.  I'm feeling the effects of over twenty years having two auto immune diseases: Juvenile Diabetes and Hashimoto's Disease.  Not to mention adding sixteen years since I first started blogging.  ;)

So, I will still be here!  God willing and the creek don't rise.  At the moment, it is freezing over.

Image:  The breakfront decorated for Christmas a few years ago.

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Living the Pantry Lifestyle - Buying this year to save in the future


I am writing late this Saturday.  I hadn't been feeling well and when I got a flu shot on Tuesday, it has brought mild flu symptoms.  Just enough to keep me feeling blah.  This is my normal reaction, which is why I don't get a flu shot every year but my doctor has said this year's flu is nothing to take a chance with.

We are now very cold and there is both colder weather and snow in the forecast so I made certain to have everything I need for our Christmas Eve meal already purchased.  This meal is pretty much the same I make for Easter, easy to make and with ham on sale... not very expensive.

Ham is definitely the cheapest protein to buy right now.  They freeze very well.  I bought a couple extra last year, the ham that has a large bone in it.  I made a ham bone broth out of it to use in bean soups last winter.  I saw that technique on a homestead blog and wondered why I had never thought of doing that before!

This year for my kid's Christmas (and their spouses), I bought a cookbook I thought each would appreciate and a various food items I didn't think they would buy for themselves.  Did you know they now have a Sasquatch brand of maple sugar?  I had to get a small bag for my New England family.

I think food will be appreciated by many people this year.  My kid's families enjoy cooking and trying different recipes (Christopher got a Japanese cookbook for his birthday) so I can try unique food items but if I was buying for some friends, I would keep the gifts to more common items... coffee, chocolate, good olive oil, etc.

I had an appointment in town early last week and my husband asked if I would stop by Hobby Lobby for Christmas cards while I was nearby.  They already have 60% off most Christmas items, 70% off of Christmas decorations.  I bought a box of cards for him and a package of treat bags for candy gifts but if I go back to town before Christmas, I want to purchase various sizes of gift bags for next year's gifts.

Usually I shop for half-price gift bags after Christmas but there have been very few left in the last two years.  It is also the time I buy Christmas cupcake liners, etc. to use next year.  I am even using Christmas Ziploc bags from last year!  All at a much reduced price than they were originally.

I think a lot has changed with COVID and the supply chain uncertainty.  Hobby Lobby had lots of stuff still available but Meijer's Christmas offerings were much less than usual at the store closest to where I live.

Oh, speaking of Ziploc bags earlier... the Ziploc bags I use in my deep freeze are the Ziploc XL bags that my store sells on the bottom shelf of the other Ziploc items.  They are often used to carry sports supplies or clothing.  They are heavy enough to hold the frozen food and the handles make it easy to bring up from the deep freeze.

I am currently making changes in my menu plans (which are very informal) to incorporate more winter vegetables and less salad ingredients.  Not only do they cost less at this time of year but some salad ingredients have not been up to their usual quality in produce sections.  

I grew up eating lots of cabbage in cold weather but my husband was never fond of it.  I have since found out that he loves it sauteed in butter instead of steamed or boiled.  Then again, I think he would eat just about anything if there was enough butter.

I did take advantage of the butter sale at Aldi, only a few boxes since I had some already.  Butter freezes so well.  I put a label with the month and year purchased on each package of butter when I put it in the freezer.  Recently, I pulled out a package of Kerrygold butter frozen last February and it was fine.  

I make certain that I stock up on Kerrygold salted butter when it goes on sale.  I keep a stick in a Pyrex butter holder on my kitchen counter.  Since it is salted, it lasts quite awhile at room temperature.  Irish butter is one of my few frugal luxuries.  I don't bake with it except for something like shortbread cookies, where the taste of the butter comes through.  But it makes even a cabbage hater a cabbage plus butter lover.  ;)

It is getting quite late and I do not have time to proofread much so please forgive any typos and strange putting together of words. 

ImageChristmas Glow

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Sunday Afternoon Tea - The Gift of Grace


I have been thoroughly enjoying listening to Christmas music these past couple of weeks.  They can be heard everywhere from the grocery store to the radio, especially on the K-Love or Moody channels.  Both of these also have an app.

For some reason this year, as I listened to music, the amazing gift of grace has been flowing through the songs.  I think perhaps God does that from time to time... to have us pick out in our hearing certain Truths He wants us to concentrate on that season.

The Bible tells us that it is by grace that we are saved (Ephesians 2:8,9).  His grace shines through from the moment Mary says yes to God, to the Cross, and on to the Resurrection.  Grace.  All because of His grace... and mercy... and love.

I continue to mostly fast political talk, only listening to a few people who have a way of speaking that does not spark the un-sanctified part of my soul.  However, I am working on treating all people with more grace.  Including those whose opinions are totally against those of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs.  Give me that old time religion kindred spirits.

I have been making an attempt to look through the lens of love for every person.  That does not indicate that I agree with them.  Not at all!  But I pray for them and ask that their spiritual eyes be opened to God's real Truth.  I know those who have had that happen and went on to live a life leading others to Christ.

There are those who will not yield to Him, people who have gone so far into darkness.  Those whom the Bible say have "hardened their hearts".  Just the thought of that gives me shivers but also a great feeling of sadness for I don't pray for them so that they do the right things, I pray for them that they truly recognize the love of God.

I think I'm doing fairly well looking through the lens of grace and of love as much as possible.  There is one group of people I still have problems with and yes, I have to repent at my dislike for what they teach others.  They are people who preach the opposite of True Grace, they teach a theology of cheap grace.

True grace redeems us from the pit, forgives our sinful ways, wipes away every tear, replaces a robe of righteous for our filthy rags we were wearing, adopts us as His own and sets our eternal address in His Kingdom.  Real Grace is also Real Love.  

God's love that came to redeem His own from their fallen state and to buy back the Keys to the Kingdom by coming as a baby... all man, all God.  He came because if anything, He is Holy.  No speck of sin can be allowed into Heaven.  His grace redeems us when we ask for His forgiveness and kneel to His Kingship.  He is our one true God.

Cheap grace is much like those filthy rags.  It tells people that God's Word doesn't really mean what it says.  It tells people this ancient of all books is not practical in a modern society.  Only the uneducated could believe such nonsense.

Cheap grace is just that... it cheapens grace.  It waters down true grace.  It is but a shadow of the real thing and the real thing... true blood bought/cross purchased grace... is what redeems our lives.  God can handle all our sinful selves if we but come to Him on His terms.  That grace is truly amazing.

So, this Christmas is definitely a season of pondering His True grace.  I know I've written it before but it is beyond my ability to imagine what Eternity must be like that the Father sent Jesus to us to redeem us back to Himself.  To think that Jesus left His perfect home to come as a helpless baby and to die in the most horrible way for you and for me.  That, my friend, is Grace and Love.

What have I been reading?

I'm still reading books mentioned last week but I also started through (late as usual) a favorite Advent book called Prepare Him Room by Susie Larson on the Kindle. I love her writing, it is both simple and deep at the same time.  I also follow her on Instagram where she provides a daily encouragement.  

I do still love Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus which is edited by Nancy Guthrie and I highly recommend it for Advent reading, too.  It has favorite writers, both old and new.  I have used this book for over ten years each Christmas season.

What have I been watching?

I forgot to mention last week that Sarah (formerly Clarkson) is reading an Advent poem on most nights again during this season.  I look forward to the poems and her commentary on Instagram.

Did you see the announcement that Sarah and her mom (Sally Clarkson) are going to be the Victoria Magazine Writers-in-Residence for 2023?  

I was able to watch one of my favorite Christmas movies, A Smoky Mountain Christmas, on the Circle Network that comes in through our antennae.  If you have access to that channel, it is being shown a couple more times this season, including Christmas Day.  John Ritter's scene as a judge is worth the entire movie but my husband and I enjoy all of it.  Very family friendly!

Mentioned in this Blog Post

Prepare Him Room by Susie Larson... here.

Come Thou Long Expected Jesus... here.

Sarah Wanders on Instagram... here.

Susie Larson on Instagram... here.

Disclaimer:  Most links to Amazon.com are Associate links.