Monday Mug Shot

This week’s mug is really more of a tea cup. I don’t think I’ve ever used it for coffee. It just has that delicate teacup feel to me so, tea is what I use it for.

I got it at one of the coolest places I’ve ever stayed! The Homestead Resort in Midway, Utah.

My husband, two young sons and I were traveling to Colorado to pick up our youngest daughter and we spent a night at this lovely resort. It’s located near hot springs and boasts the Homestead Crater where you can swim. The indoor pool is like swimming in a pleasantly warm bath. It was winter and I remember floating in that heavenly pool with a breathtaking view of snow-capped mountains.

Our room was luxurious and cozy all at the same time. The on-site restaurant was wonderful! The grounds were beautiful.

It was an unforgettable stay and I would go back in a heartbeat! There’s so much to see and do there and we barely scratched the surface. But, I have my mug to remind me of the wonderful time we had and that I’d like to go back someday. The mugs are all about the memories!

☕️😊💕

Adventures in the Dirt

I love to garden, but since moving to Texas and attempting several summer gardens with minimal success, I gave up. I realized that I was failing because I don’t like to go outside during a typical Texas summer. It’s my hibernation season. Inside with the air conditioning is where you’ll find me. I come out of my cave at the first sign of fall. Fall, winter, and early spring are when I do my vacationing, daytripping, and anything else I can find to do outside. Including fall gardening.

Things have changed in the past year, however. Due to health issues, I can no longer pursue some of the indoor hobbies I enjoyed during the summer months like crocheting and scrapbooking. I discovered I COULD still do the gardening thing. So, I decided to brave the heat and give it another go. I go out early in the morning, and I mean just after daybreak as much as possible. I don’t spend anymore than thirty minutes at a time (even though the temp. isn’t too high this time of day the humidity often is) and I focus on just one or two chores. So far it’s been manageable and fall is just around the corner. I think I’ll make it.

I actually only planted two summer crops. Baby steps and all. The first was green beans. I had some issues with them in the beginning. The leaves weren’t looking healthy and the beans would show up then immediately dry up and turn brown on the plant. After some research I realized the plant was lacking nitrogen. I cut all the unhealthy leaves off and cut the plant back quite a bit. I’ve been fertilizing it for several weeks now and this is what it looks like today.

The summers are long here in Central Texas and even though it’s September it’s basically still summer. I’m hoping for at least a small yield before it’s all said and done.
I also planted some cucumbers, a little late, so not sure what’s going to happen there. My garden this year is basically one big experiment. Next to the cucumbers I have some sweet potatoes. These were actually a couple of potatoes that were sprouting in my kitchen. Just for fun, I stuck them in the ground to see what would happen.

The other day I went digging around to see what was going on. One potato was just sprouting more leaves, buuut the second one had little baby sweet potatoes on the ends of some of the roots that had sprouted. I stuck them back in the dirt and the picture directly above this paragraph is where we are right now. I also planted some Kale seeds for the winter garden and they’re doing well so far (pictured below).

I haven’t done a whole lot of flowers in the past. Mostly herbs and veggies. I have a little seating area on my back deck that I thought could benefit from a little color though. I prefer perennials and wanted some color that would carry through at least the beginning of fall. I chose several different colors of mums and put them in pots around the deck.

Along with my already present asparagus fern, I also added a Coneflower.

I have two of these Asparagus ferns and two Fountain Grass plants on the deck as well.

As much as I love putting things in the ground and watching them flourish, my knowledge is very limited. I think that’s going to change now that gardening has taken a priority on my list of hobbies. Who knows, maybe next summer I’ll actually have enough of something to put some up for winter! Stay tuned. If I get any kind of yield from what I presently have planted, I’ll post pics. Until then, happy gardening!

😊🌱🌻

The Only Thing to Fear is . . .

“The righteous will be remembered forever. He will not fear evil tidings; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. His heart is upheld, he will not fear, . . . “-Psalm 112:6b-8a

Sometimes I feel a little guilty that I’m not freaking out with the rest of the world when something bad happens, and a lot of bad happens these days. I get outraged and sad, and deeply affected by atrocities and injustice. Especially where children are concerned. I was so upset after watching news of the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 that my husband banned me from watching the news. I’ve watched very few newscasts since then. You don’t have to watch the news anymore, just scroll your Facebook feed or jump on Twitter and there it is. Bad news can make me angry or sad, but very seldom afraid.

I know what fear feels like, don’t get me wrong. I’ve been caught in its grip many times, especially before I knew that I didn’t have to be afraid. Before I knew the Creator of the universe and His sovereignty. Before Jesus in my life there was a lot of fear and uncertainty. I had no idea what the future held and very little idea of how to successfully navigate the present. I reacted a lot. There was no anchor for my soul and I floundered all over the place. In hindsight, I really wonder where I’d be today if I hadn’t had the Lord to help me navigate the past 24-years.

We have a sort of running joke in our family. Whenever someone asks, “What is this world coming to?” someone else will answer, “An end.” My eldest son started that and while it seemed kind of funny at first, the fact is, it’s the truth. “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! . . . God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children. “But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars—their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” -Revelation‬ ‭21:1-8‬ ‭NLT‬‬

God will have His justice on the evil in the world; “Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ” VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord.” -Romans‬ ‭12:19‬ ‭NASB‬‬. He knows everything that goes on and His timetable has purpose. I know it’s hard to understand how a loving God could let such terrible things happen. I wrestle with that myself. I am convinced, however, that He sees the beginning from the end and His understanding of history is vastly different from ours, beyond our comprehension in fact. This world that we know will be replaced one day with something brand new. Sin and evil will be gone along with all those who chose separation from God.

For me, the idea of separation from God scares me more than anything. Here and now as well as for eternity. There is where any true fear lies for me. Fortunately, my soul is secure in Christ and I have nothing to fear. If I were to die today by any means, my soul would live forever with Jesus in the “everything new” that He is creating. “But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’” -Acts 2:21‬ ‭NLT‬‬. “But we are not like those who turn away from God to their own destruction. We are the faithful ones, whose souls will be saved.” -Hebrews‬ ‭10:39‬ ‭NLT‬‬. He is my Savior and the Lord of my life – forever! He is with me here and now, giving my life purpose and working all things out for my good and He will be with me forever. Not just me, but all who call on the name of Jesus!

The only thing to truly fear is God, Who can destroy body and soul in hell (Matthew 10:28 paraphrased). But those who know and love Him have nothing to fear. He is the anchor for their soul and not even death can destroy them. Their souls are secure and their lives are guided. Everything that happens to them has purpose whether it’s readily obvious or not. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” -Romans‬ ‭8:28‬ ‭NASB‬‬‬‬.

This life is fleeting, a mere breath; “Man is like a mere breath; His days are like a passing shadow.” -Psalms‬ ‭144:4‬ ‭NASB‬‬. One day none of this will exist and all the evil will be gone. The question I ask myself is how do I want to spend this breath; being afraid out of reflex and being of no use to anyone or living in the peace of God with my focus on Him and maybe help some others do the same? I choose the latter. How about you?

😊💕

Monday Mug Shot

This week’s mug is one I’ve mentioned before. It’s the original Lake Tahoe mug. The one I’ve already highlighted was acquired in 2018. Today’s mug was bought on a trip taken in 2005. The year before we moved to Texas. In the picture, you can see the little chip I mentioned in a previous blog. Not sure how it happened, but I suspect it has something to do with boys doing dishes. 😏

My youngest sister and brother-in-law, along with my nephew, came to visit us that summer. It was the first time that my brother-in-law had ever visited us in Cali. My nephew was actually born in California as was my sister. That was a fun summer! We took them all over our neck of the woods; Yosemite, Sonoma, fishing at Martinez Marina . . . Lake Tahoe. My brother-in-law fell in love with Tahoe (as do most people who visit there) and decided he might like to retire there. He has a few years to go, so we’ll see if that actually happens.

I believe my sister ended up with a bigger version of this same mug. Think soup mug. It’s the perfect size for a cup of tea or a plain cup of coffee. I don’t use it for my latte’s, but it’s one of my hubby’s favorites for tea. This little guy invokes memories of one of our favorite places, visited with some of our favorite people. It’s also one of the first of my collection and therefore has a certain extra sentimental value.

😊🛶🏔☕️💕

Monday Mug Shot

We’re baack! I halted Monday Mug Shot for awhile as I adjusted to my new normal with Cervical Dystonia. I’m still adjusting a little, but decided it was time to continue the mug shots. I thought it might be getting boring, but I’ve been told by a few that they enjoyed it. So, for those lovely souls who actually like my little stories – the return of Monday Mug Shot.

Our story continues with a new acquisition. This one, again, is from Branson. My hubs and I took a week- long trip this past April for our 25th wedding anniversary. We spent a few days on our own and a few days with our besties. On one of our solo days we found a beautiful shop called the Crystal Fish. On our first visit, I spotted a ceramic collection that included some unique and beautiful mugs that caught my eye. I resisted, however, reminding myself that I have plenty of mugs at the moment and we didn’t need to spend the money even though we could.

The next day my love decided that he wanted another of the candles that we had purchased the previous day so as to have a matching set. So, back we went to the Crystal Fish. This time we visited with the owners for quite awhile and the ceramic collection called to me again. The owner of the shop gave us a little history into the artist and her work. My hubby and I were both convinced – this mug was coming home with us.

We actually fell in love with the entire collection, but that would have been more than a pretty penny and just a little crazy. That was several months ago and this one has become a favorite to both of us. I love the design and my sweetie loves the functionality and how comfortably the handle fits his hand. Not to mention that it doesn’t get the least bit hot to the touch in the microwave. Beautiful and functional. What more could you want?

I love this mug for so many reasons; the unique and beautiful design, the fact that someone created this by hand, it’s big enough for a latte’ . . . but, more importantly than all of that. This mug reminds me of a beautiful time spent with the love of my life, celebrating 25-years of making amazing memories together by making more wonderful memories! I am a very blessed woman!

💍 2️⃣5️⃣🎊🥂😊💕

Treasures

I said goodbye to a sweet friend yesterday, with very mixed feelings. On one hand, I was happy for her that she is now with her Jesus and that, according to our pastor, she was ready. I knew from a recent conversation that she didn’t want to leave her family and she was eagerly anticipating being with her Lord. It’s that feeling of being torn that many Christians share. I could just see her sweet face being at peace in the end. On the other hand, I’m sad. On my last visit with her I told her I would be back and we even planned to get together with our husbands one weekend. Those things never happened.

I met Karen five or six years ago when we were in a small group at church together. We hit it off right away and found that we had some shared experiences. In fact, she encouraged me greatly in a situation I was experiencing at that time. We talked occasionally, mostly at small group or church. I would send her a card now and then just to let her know I was thinking of her, but it wasn’t until recently that I really got to know more about her. It was amazing to me how much we had in common; a musical background, history with and a love of horses just to name a couple things. I also found out that she was the same age my mother would be if she were still alive.

I found out too late, what a treasure I had right under my nose. I could have had several years of rich friendship with this wonderful woman instead of just a few weeks. I could have spent so much more time with her and therein lies my sadness and regret. How many people come into our lives without us taking the time to learn their stories; to bless them and be blessed by them? How much rich fellowship do we miss out on because we simply do not take the time? And why does it have to take losing them to open our eyes?

I have some family members that I dearly love, but only see at family funerals. At every funeral we declare that we won’t wait until the next funeral to get together and then I see them once or twice after that. As of this writing, I haven’t seen them in person in years. Sad humans, we are. Day-to-day life sweeps us up in its busyness and next thing we know, years have passed! It’s as though time is our master rather than the other way around.

Time management is such a big deal to us. We have calendars, day planners, reminders in our phones and watches. So, why do we not manage some time for each other? Not just our families, but our neighbors, coworkers, people we sit next to in church. Karen was a very sweet person. I know that she would not want me to feel regret, but to be thankful for the time we had together and maybe learn from the experience. I will endeavor to do just that. Like my sweet friend, there are so many wonderful people with fascinating stories – treasures – right under our noses if we would just take the time to discover them. Don’t miss out on the treasures in YOUR life.

⏰💎😊

C.D. Journals – July 18, 2019

“Physical frailties may cause you to miss earthly fun and fellowship, but spiritual resources will enable you to grow stronger on the bed of affliction.” I read this in my devotional this morning and found it very encouraging. Something I dearly needed after the events of yesterday.

I was all packed for a three-day visit at my sister’s. The car was loaded and I was heading out – in my husband Rich’s Chevy Cruze, which I have not driven in months. Normally I drive a Tahoe with great visibility and a head rest that accommodates my C.D. quite well. Unfortunately, we discovered the other day that my Tahoe had become home to a family of mice. So, my vehicle was at work with Rich (who works at a Chevy dealer) where the mice would hopefully be eradicated.

I got most of the way out of my neighborhood, unable to situate my head comfortably enough for a two-hour drive. I drove around the neighborhood a little more, trying unsuccessfully to work it out. The head rest hit me in the wrong place and actually pushed my head forward a bit. Even with my brace on, I couldn’t get it situated. I drove back home and aborted my trip. My C.D. has gotten a little worse since the last time I drove the Cruze and even then I was not entirely comfortable.

My son unloaded the car for me and helped me unpack with tears in my eyes. Yet another limitation caused by this nightmare of a disease. I was frustrated and depressed, not only about not getting to visit with my sister as scheduled, but over the entire situation. It took me hours to pack when it used to take me half that much time. By the time I was done packing I was so sore and tired that I had to rest before I faced the drive. Then, I was thwarted by my inability to get situated in the car – an obstacle I could not overcome.

I feel like anytime I get behind the wheel is even more dangerous than normal now. I even fear having my license taken away, although I’ve not heard of that happening to someone with C.D. As a result, I don’t drive nearly as much as I used to – probably how we ended up with mice in the Tahoe, it sat too much. I hate feeling limited like that. I keep trying to look on the bright side. The quote above reminded me that God has used the “bed of affliction” in my life before. We wrote a Bible study during one such season. I had to stay off my feet for three months. Talk about limiting and frustrating, but God had a purpose in that and He has a purpose now. I just need to stay focused on that and keep believing that He is in control. I love how He sends me little bits of encouragement just when I need it most. Even though very little goes the way I want it to these days, Jesus is good and He is with me. We will get through this and be stronger for it. “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him and I am helped.” -Psalm 28:7a

😊💕