An unfinished project...

How many of you start a project only to make it half way through? I am notorious for that. I'm still knitting a scarf that I started 6 years ago. And it is just straight knitting. I like to make things in plastic canvas and get so excited when I see new yarn. I have several projects that I haven't finished because I just can't seem to find the time. My good friend, Debbie, gave us instructions on her blog on how to make a rag quilt. I am starting small. I bought material to do doll quilts for the granddaughters. But haven't even cut the first square yet. I used to worry about it until it dawned on me that in God's eyes, we are all a work in progress. Philippians 1:6 says: "Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." So, if God can continually work on me without getting aggravated and giving up, then I will just continue to work on my projects until I see them through.

The mini-series....

I have a bad habit and wonder if any of you suffer from the same malady. When I go to tell someone about something that happened, my story usually involves an entire mini-series. I'm sure you know people like that. For example, a normal person would say "I went to Wal-mart the other day and they were having a great sale on picture frames." I would say, " Saturday, me and Diana were going to Wal-mart because I wanted to look for a new tablecloth. Actually, we went to Jefferson City because we were on our way home from Knoxville. It is still laid out the old way. They had the best craft department. I picked up some material for the doll quilts......" on and on and on, until I forget that the point of the story was to tell you picture frames were on sale. That's as bad as when I call to check on auto parts and they ask me what type of truck, I say "2002 Red Ford F150." Now I ask you, is a starter for a Ford F150 a different version for a red versus a blue truck. The color doesn't matter, but I will invariably tell them what color it is. And what about people trying to tell you that you remember something when you know you don't? I'll say something to Mom about "Remember the time...." and she'll say no I don't remember that. And then I proceed to say, "yes you do. Remember, such and such was there and so and so said this..". I know it must be aggravating. So if you ever catch me taking you through one of my mini-series, just say "Short version, please."


No great wisdoms to impart today.
No humorous message to send your way.
No urge to work, no urge to play.
Simply me, wishing you a great day.
Something happened this morning that blows my mind. I am at a loss for words. As you all know, there is NEVER a time when I have nothing to say. But this morning is just "blah". I'm tired. I'm hot (already). Allergies or sinuses are about to drive me crazy. My cough has turned croupy. I would just love to have a huge rain come down and wash all the bad air away. I feel lethargic. Not in a bad way, just that I don't feel anything. No urge to work or clean house. No urge to shop or play. Not sad, not happy. I just am. I just feel like turning the air to freezing and pulling the blanket up around me and snuggling in bed for a few more hours. But my day awaits. Hope you have a great one.


Just another adventure....

I have a dear friend on Facebook who was driving her car and the steering column fell out right in her lap. She is fine, but getting off the road and stopped was a harrowing experience. When she posted the details, in a humorous light I might add, on Facebook, she made a comment that just stuck with me. She said "I'm fine. It was scary, but just another adventure." She is a very strong Christian and I thought, what a way to look at things. How many times in your life do you get into a situation that is not of your making or is out of your control? How many times do you worry about things that you can do nothing about? Do you let stress get you down when you face mountains? I think from now on, instead of worrying and being all "woe is me", I'm going to look at what I go through, deal with, attend to as "just another adventure." To quote my favorite line from Steel Magnolias, "That which does not kill us, makes us stronger."


One of my all time favorite poetry writers is Helen Steiner Rice. I had a book of her poetry when I was younger and have had many bookmarks over the years that had her poems on it. Here is my all time favorite that always reminds me to be content with what I have, for it is what God wants for me. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. There is a legend that has often been told Of the boy who searched for the Windows of Gold. The beautiful windows he saw far away When he looked in the valley at sunrise each day. And he yearned to go down to the valley below But lived on a mountain covered with snow, And he knew it would be a difficult trek, But that was a journey he wanted to make. So he planned by day and he dreamed by night Of how he could reach The Great Shining Light. And one golden morning when dawn broke through And the valley sparkled with diamond of dew. He started to climb down the mountainside With the Windows of Gold as his goal and his guide. He traveled all day and, weary and worn, With bleeding feet and clothes that were torn. He entered the peaceful valley town Just as the Golden Sun went down. But he seemed to have lost his "Guiding Light," The windows were dark that had once been bright. And hungry and tired and lonely and cold He cried, "Won't You Show Me The Windows of Gold?" And a kind hand touched him and said, "Behold! High On The Mountain Are The Windows of Gold." For the sun going down in a great golden ball Had burnished the windows of his cabin so small, And the Kingdom of God with its Great Shining light, Like the Golden Windows that shone so bright. It's not a far distant place, somewhere, It's as close to you as a silent prayer, And your search for God will end and begin When you look for Him and find Him within. Author: Helen Steiner Rice


Why you don't put suds in play dishwater....

I was doing dishes yesterday and Shelby wanted to help me. When we were done, she was upset that their was nothing left to wash. So being a resourceful grandmother, I pulled out a chair and gave her a bowl of water, a dishcloth, dish towels and some of her play dishes. She had a bowl. She wash and rinse and then wash them again. It was so much fun to watch her.

When she took a drink of her dishwater, it made me glad I didn't go the bubble route by putting dishwashing liquid in it. It's gross enough to drink from a bowl you've been playing in, but if it had contained suds it would have been worse.

As I watched her play, knowing I'd have a mess when she was done, I wondered why messes do not bother us as much with our grandchildren as they did with our kids? Do we grow more patient as we grow older? Or do we finally come to realize that they are small for such a short while.

As parents, all the responsibility falls on our shoulders to raise them right, provide for them, help them grow. As grandparents, our job is so simple.... play with them and love them....and don't let them get hurt while you are the one in charge.

When I get to play with my grandkids, it's like be little again and have dolls that are interactive. Thank God for grandbabies.


How sad.....

How sad is it to reach 53 years old, work for a living since you were 18, hold down jobs where you are a manager over 10 employees, start your own business and run it successfully, but have to call your mom and say "How to you fix scrambled eggs?" That's right. I do not know how to cook. Well at least not very much stuff. I can do meatloaf and hamburgers or hotdogs. I can boil an egg and make a few "easy" items. But I have never fixed a scrambled egg. I've watched Allen many times, but never really paid much attention. I was always the one who volunteered to keep the little ones out of the kitchen while others did the cooking. I was the one who received a cook book as a wedding gift that was titled "How to Boil Water". I was the one who had the picky appetite and didn't care how it was fixed as long as I didn't have to eat it. I was the one who loved desserts and can bake anything coming and going. But, cook? Not me. When I called Mom and asked "How do you fix scramble eggs?" I can just imagine her standing their, staring at the phone and sadly shaking her head. Some things are probably better left unasked.


My life

As I sit here thinking of the life that I have led, I think of all the things I’ve done and all the things I’ve said. I think about the paths I chose that brought me to this spot. I think of all the things I am and all the things I’m not. But when it all is said and done and I journey on my way, I know it’s not about what I was, but what I am today. It’ not about the things I’ve said, or how I used to be. It’s all about the life I lived, once Jesus set me free. I’ve come to understand myself a lot better than before. I’m filled with peace and joy and hope for all the things in store. For when I reach my heavenly home and walk on streets of gold, It will be about my brand new life and not my days of old. Copyright Brenda Keefer


A Walmart Wanderer

I have taken to wandering the aisles of Wal-Mart. At the same time I am wondering "What were they thinking?" Their corporate office says: "The new layout is easier to navigate, which will save our customers time as they shop for necessities." I say: "Not so much". Now you all know I am a die-hard Wal-mart fan. However, I am having a hard time adjusting to the change. I think they need to invent a WPS (a GPS for Wal-mart's new layout). You cannot find anything. When I ask an employee where something moved to, they generally can only point me to one of the huge round signs. I was looking for a simple picture frame recently. I was told go to the big blue sign that says "Home Decor" or something like that. Well, guess what. That is EVERYTHING for the home .... plastic containers, ironing needs, vacuums, towels, dishes, pots & pans, etc. And I finally found the frames on the back side of the last aisle - directly across from the personal care section. It would be easier if she had said "across from the shampoo." So now instead of "Go to aisle 11" you get to go to a "section" that has about 15 or 20 aisles so you can find it yourself. And it seems like everything I want has been discontinued as an item they no longer carry. They dropped over 1000 items from their inventory I was told. Their craft section is pathetic compared to the past. They have a limited selection of materials and now pre-package a lot of it in kits or 2 - 3 yard packages. I recently purchased hair gel at Target and paid about 40 cents more (gasp) for it because I simply did not feel like fighting the aggravation of looking for it at Wal-mart. For someone who is a major bargain shopper and discount queen, that is making a HUGE statement. It is a sad, sad world when I prefer Target over Wal-mart....and don't even feel unfaithful about it.


My calm in the storm

With all the dark clouds and fierce storms we've had lately, I'm reminded of the word in that song "Sometimes He calms the storm, sometimes He calms me." As I was playing it in my car yesterday, I got to thinking about it and it made me wonder about the storms in our lives. How many of the storms we face are caused by the world around us and how many are of our own making? Many times, we have people who will say or do something that makes our life miserable. We give too much control over our feelings and actions. These are the times that I believe Satan is working his hardest to get at us and to chip away at our faith and beliefs. These are the times we should be dropping to our knees constantly asking for God to bring us through the storm, protected and safe. But how many times do we create our own storms? We doubt ourselves and second-guess everything we do. We worry over things we have no control over until it becomes an obsession that keeps us from moving forward the way God wants us to. We take casual remarks to heart and think that it was meant specifically for us, when it has nothing to do with us. These are the storms that we create that keep us from leading full, happy lives. Storms of our own making are self-doubt and fear. The very things we fear, in most cases, never come to be. Yet, we will let these fears rule our lives. Self-doubt is a destructive weapon that can bring grown men to their knees. As you battle the storms in your life, not only ask God to bring you through them, but ask Him to help you stop creating them. He is always there. Our fail-safe. Our protection. Our guide. We just don't always call on Him until the storms get so bad we can't handle them on our own.


Happy Father's Day

As we celebrate Father’s Day this year, I want to remember the four men in my life who have meant the most to me. First, Happy Father’s Day to My Daddy: Growing up in a loving family, Daddy played an important, but quite, role in our lives. He was always there. Providing for us, playing with us, loving us. He loved each of us and showed his love every day. He loved Mom deeply and between the two of them, home was a place of warmth and happiness. He was a hard worker and set good examples for us all. Next, Happy Father’s Day to My Husband: I met Allen when I was 25 years old. On our first date, I knew it was destiny for me to spend my life with this man. He has been my rock. No matter what happens, I can always turn to him for comfort and support. He has been a wonderful provider and a great father to our children. Not many men will take on a new wife with 3 year old twins when they have a 4 year old, 3 year old and one year old of their own? But Allen did. Thanks to him, my children were able to have a full, happy childhood. We went places and did things that I never could have done without him. He is the love of my life and I wish him a Happy Father’s Day. Also, Happy Father’s Day to My Father-in-law: When I think of my father-in-law, I think of joy, friendliness, and laughter. Joe has never met a stranger. He is one of those people who you just can’t help but love the minute you meet him. He has been there for us over the years whenever we needed him. I am so thankful to still have him in my life today. He is 81 and while he has health challenges, you would never know it to look at him. He goes and goes. He still looks the same today as he did 20 years ago. He is a rare individual and I love him dearly. I’ve saved the best for last, Happy Father’s Day to my heavenly Father. I always give thanks on Father’s day to the one who has made my life possible. He is the one who stands beside me come what may. He is the one who breathed life into me and watches over every step I take. He is the one who picks me up when I falter. He is the one who calms the storms in my life. He is the one who calms me when the storms are of my own making. He is my rock, my salvation, and my strength - my everything. He tells us over and over I AM. I love him with every ounce of my being because I know that HE IS!


Memories of Daddy

In honor of Father's Day tomorrow, I want to dedicate my blog today to my Daddy. He has been gone for 11 years and I can still hear his voice, hear his laughter, feel his love. He worked for the C & O railroad (before it was CSX). When he came home in the evenings, he always had time for us kids. He taught us how to play marbles and ball and badminton. We loved being out in the yard with him. As time passes by, my memories of Daddy never fade. Little moments stand out never to be forgotten. Memories of him taking us to Brady's hardware with him and letting us browse the paint charts and look at the tools. Memories of him taking me and Rachel to Updyke's 5 & 10 and buying us our first little new testament bibles. Memories of rubbing his feet or his back to make a quarter. Memories of him getting out his secret stash of the giant Hershey bar and breaking us each off a piece. Memories of laying out in the sun on Sunday afternoons while Daddy sat on the patio listening to the Reds on the radio. Memories of him eating off a TV tray in the living room when Marshall played basketball. Memories of buttermilk and cornbread for a late night snack or bread broken up in a cup of coffee with butter and cream. Memories of helping him mix concrete for a new sidewalk and patio. Memories of getting to flip the chalk line on lumber when he made anything. Memories of long walks in the woods on Sundays, or up to the golf course to find golf balls or simply walking up the road to see the cows (not sure why we loved to do that, but we did). Memories of him in his building where he would work for hours making us book cases, doll benches and what-not shelves. Memories of eating ice cream together and riding to town on the bus. Memories of him taking us to Merle Norman's and letting us buy Mommy a pretty pin for Mother's day. I now have those pins because Mom gave them to me a few years ago. I could fill the whole internet with all the wonderful memories of Daddy. But to sum it all up, my greatest memory of Daddy was LOVE. Always and forever. I miss you Daddy.


Forever 25

As we grow older, our bodies change. We put on weight. We have aches and pains in places where we didn't even know we had places. We start to wonder "What would it be like to get out of bed and be able to move without stiffness?" To literally "run" out to the mailbox and be able to breathe when we get there. Someone asked this question yesterday: Satchel Paige asked, “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?” So, how old would you be? I would be forever 25. Forget the aches and pains for a moment. Don't sweat how much you weigh. In your mind, how old do you act? Are you in your 50's but act like you are approaching 90? Do your actions and words label you as "old before your time". Or do you continue to enjoy life to the fullest? Do you go after the brass ring and rejoice when you grab it? Life is not about age. It is about what you do with the moments you have. I will be forever 25. Old enough to be an adult when I need to be, but young enough to play when I want. I actually bought a jump rope a few years back and would jump with the grandsons. Now the granddaughters are older, I'm going to buy another one this summer along with a set of jacks so I can teach them how to play. If I stay 25, I can still get down in the floor and get back up again, despite the aches and pains. I can still throw my head back in laughter at something I find humor in without worrying about what people will say. I can still go, go, go, go. I don't' have to stay home and become a couch potato. If I stay 25, I can find the joy in simple things. Like swinging a hula hoop around my waste or twirling a baton in the air. I can still get in the floor to play cars and truck or wonder around the room playing zoo with the grandsons. I can still have tea parties and watch cartoons with the granddaughters. If I stay 25, I'm still thin and attractive to my husband. And yes, ladies, if I stay 25, I'm still sexy. If I stay 25, I can know that I need to watch what I eat, but I can splurge occasionally. If I stay 25, I can color my hair simply because I want a new shade or some highlights. I will age gracefully. I will agree that time is drawing a road map on my face with wrinkles and crinkles. But in my mind, I will always be 25. The wrinkles are just the joy marks of the wonderful life I have lead by always being 25.


The Mighty Weeping Willow

Isaiah 44:3-5 (King James Version) For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring: And they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses.
One of my favorite items in nature is the weeping willow. I grew up playing under one in my grandmother's yard. They are a thing of beauty and of wonder.
I want to be like the weeping willow. They sway and bend as the mighty storms of life blow around them. Their roots will travel to the nearest water. Their branches may get old and gnarled. They will twist and turn. They bend with the wind, but their strength never falters.
My prayer for each of you today is that you will be like the mighty willow. May you bend with whatever life tosses your way, but may it never break you. May you stand strong through the test of time. And may you have deep roots that are forever nourished by the living water.
Have a blessed and happy day!


The Runaway Goat

Allow me to introduce you to Boomer Lloyd. Boomer is a mere 7 weeks old and is a Pygmy Goat. Adorable isn't he? My sister, Rachel, has two daughters who have no children yet so they provide her with numerous granddogs, grandcats and now yes a grandgoat. Since he is a baby, I argue that he is technically a grand"kid". But what do I know.

Well, a couple of days after Boomer went to live with his new Mom and Dad, (Darin and Amy), Amy went out to feed and water him. Being the frisky little kid he is, he proceeded to prance around Mom and was able to escape his pen. Before Amy could grab him, he took off barreling at high speed like hounds were on his tail.

Yes, high speed... over the hill, through the yard and right smack dab in the middle of the neighbors double plated window. Glass shattered everywhere, little Boomer got caught in the mini-blinds.

The lady next door said not to worry about the window, it wasn't any big deal. Of course, when her hubby came home, he informed Amy & Darin that it had been a double plated window and he expected a double plated window to be put back in. As if they would do anything other than that.

Anyway, that was just the beginning of poor Boomer's dilemma. He was cut pretty bad and bleeding. Amy and Darin doctored him as good as they could and called the vet the next morning.

Believe it or not, but most vets do not doctor goats. It was a mess. They finally got him taken care of and I'm sure he is going to be fine. I'm sure there is a moral in here somewhere, but I'm not sure what it is.

Goats are great. But at least children don't plow through the neighbors double plated windows.


A day of rest

It seems like everywhere I turn over the past month or so, people have been discussing Sunday being a day of rest. I had a discussion with a dear friend recently about the fact that we all seem to fall into the trap of using Sunday as a day of catching up on things, going to the store, out to eat, whatever we didn't get to do during the week. Yesterday on Facebook, one of my dear friends brought up the question of how many of us will actually "rest" on the Lord's day. I had made plans Saturday night that after church on Sunday, I was going to pick up the house just a little and check emails to get a jump start on next week. Then I went to church Sunday and heard an awesome sermon. Many things hit home with me and as I got to thinking about just exactly when and how often do we seek the Lord when things aren't going our way? He has set aside a special day for us to rest from all we go through and yet we find things to do to keep us busy on His day. The ONE time He has basically told us to take it easy. So I came home, had lunch and relaxed all day yesterday. I watched a little Andy Griffith reruns, read a little, and took a long nap. When I woke up I took a long bubble bath and read some more. Then we had a light supper and I headed back to the couch with my pillow and blankie to watch the Next Food Network TV Star show. Talk about restful. It was AWESOME. I got up this morning at 6:00 and can't remember the last time I started my week by feeling so refreshed. It is 6:46 and I have already cleaned house, set up my work day, checked my Facebook and wrote my blog. There really IS something beneficial about resting on Sunday's. As always, God knows what he is talking about. We just need to learn to listen.


Update on the past week

It has been a full week. My mother and sister have been down on vacation. I kept meaning to put something on my blog every day, but we have had such a full week that I just wore myself plum out as we say in the country. Mom turned 80 on Thursday and we had the best week. We went to Cades Cove, Dollywood, shopping, Apple Barn, Old Mill, and much more. We had a blast. We are going to a cookout at my daughter's tonight. My son and his family are getting home from the beach today and I can't wait to see them there. I'll get back to my regular postings tomorrow. I have missed posting and have missed your comments. Have a great day.


It's moments like these....

Life can get you down, people can get on your nerves. Things have a way of coming at us from all directions that make us just want to scream.
But in the midst of all the turmoil and toil, a little 5 year old granddaughter can hold your hand and say "This is going to be the best day." And when you ask why, she answers "Because I'm spending it with you."
Melt my heart!!! I love my grandchildren. It's moments like these that make everything we do and everything we are worthwhile.
Thank you Alexis Caroline for making my day. I love you.


What will they think of next....

Well, I bit the bullet and upgraded my cell phone yesterday. OH MY GOSH! It is one of the hottest new ones on the market with US Cellular. There are so many bells and whistles that it will probably be obsolete before I figure it all out. It is one of those touch screens and it slides open to expose a full QWERTY keyboard, just like a computer. No more hitting function to type my numbers in text messages. It is a Windows phone. So not only do I have a "My Documents" folder, I now have Outlook, Excel, Word and yes...even Power Point. ON MY PHONE! Is that not awesome. Owning my own business, it's a dream come true. I am totally mobile. I can sit at the beach and sign up new clients, check emails, type contracts, everything. And the best part about it...it was on sale if we renewed our contract AND had a $70 Visa Card rebate. You know I love a bargain. It accesses the internet just like a computer does and even has a tilt screen so it feels like a mini little laptop. Am I high tech or what? Of course, I'll have to call in the Brain, my nephew-in-law, Eli. He's our family techi and he helps us with all our modern techonology. It just amazes me that we have such technology right at our fingertips.



As we think of summer and thoughts of the beach, many turn their minds to seafood. They love the all you can eat crab legs, lobster tail, shrimp, not to mention the many varieties of fish available. I have never been a seafood lover. If we go to a Calabash style restaurant, I have chicken. If we go to Long John Silvers, I have (you guessed it) chicken. I'm sure fish and crab legs are delicious for those who can stomach the thought of eating something that lurks below the murky waters of rivers and oceans. However, I have loved Mrs. Paul's fish sticks since I was a little girl. I realize this is not considered as seafood to those who love the many creatures of the deep that are created into culinary delights. But to me, Mrs. Paul's products are the epitome of seafood for my soul. Now you might ask how I can eat those "cardboard" fish sticks when such succulint seafood is in abundance? You might wonder what makes them acceptable when other fish will not do. The answer is simple, I believe that sweet, little ole Mrs. Paul raises these fish in a cute little aquarium at home just to make fish sticks for picky eaters like me. That is my story and I'm sticking to it. Please do not burst my bubble.


Thoughts of whimsy

Do you ever like to do things just because you can? I am 53 years old and I still love to swing, jump rope and play jacks. Now, these may not be great achievements, but I have been known to get all the way to my "tensies" most of the time. I was cleaning dresser drawers, cabinets and toy boxes yesterday. I found what we knew as super balls back in the day, but are now referred to as bouncy balls. I loved when we got bouncy balls when we were little. We would take them out on the patio and see how high we could get them to bounce. We would try it in the house, but inevitably one would knock something over and we would get the old "No playing ball in the house" lecture. I remember one time, we went to our friends house and were playing jacks in the kitchen. We snuck and used a bouncy ball instead of the regular jack ball. It bounced so high it went in the pot of stew Helen had on the stove. That ended that pretty quick.
As I was doing my cleaning and I found two bouncy balls in the toy box, I had several thoughts in succession:
"I need to throw these away before somebody breaks something."
"There are only two and I have four grandkids so there will eventually be a fight over these."
"Oh, but I love bouncy balls and these have such a pretty design."
You guessed it, the bouncy balls did not get thrown away. I could not force myself to do it. However, I tucked them in a spare drawer for safe keeping and to keep my stuff safe. One of these days when we go outside to play, I'll drag them back out for the kids to enjoy. But I better buy 2 more first.