The Quarter

As we grow older, we remember fondly the days when a quarter could buy a hotdog, an ice cold Coke or a loaf of bread. In later years, a quarter could get you a candy bar, then a phone call raised to a quarter. I heard someone say recently that a quarter didn't buy you anything anymore. It depends on where you shop. I was driving down the road yesterday and there was a big pink yard sale sign. I had no intention of stopping, but my car had a mind of its own. Next thing I know, I'm at some man's house in Swaggerty Hills and he's putting things in boxes marked 25 cents. Being a sucker for a good buy, I had to jump right in and see what I could not live without. Here are my finds:
I'm don't normally do wind chimes, but I have other plans for this. I'll post it when I get it done.

I love Christmas tins. I use them all over the house when I decorate at Christmas. Was very thrilled with these.

I'm going to put a picture of Michael in his gear in this and give it to Caleb for his dresser.
My Masterbath is outdoorsy and in these colors. This was brand new in the box. Never opened. I always keep a jar candle in there so this is perfect. This was my favorite. I have one section of the living room that is done in Snowmen at Christmas. Can't wait to use it.
Well as you can see, a quarter can still buy you something.


Basket ideas-complements of my sister, Rachel

Happy birthday little princess...

Happy Birthday to my youngest granddaughter, Shelby Rayne Hayes I hope you have a fun day!



I have had this flower pot for years. I had it in my office on my old job and moved it home with me when I started my own business. However, my plant recently died and I am just not in the mood to get another plant. I was cleaning it up, washing it and thinking I guess I'll put it in the yard sale pile. But I really like it so I don't really want to get rid of it. My hallway bathroom is done in these colors with birdhouses as my theme. I looked at the pot and thought, how could I recycle this into the bathroom without putting another plant in it. I walked into the bathroom, looked around the limited counter space and had a great idea. The result isn't anything brilliant or anything that will cause oos and aahs of delight, but it now serves a new purpose and I can continue to enjoy it.
If you have recycled any of your home decor and found a new use for it, send me a photo and I'll create a new page on my post to showcase recycled home decor projects.


Watch for new basket photos on Friday

You will notice I have added a new page on my blog called Basket Showcase. I would love to see some of your wonderful baskets and the many ways you use them. Please email me photos to brendakeefer@comcast.net and I will post them on the Basket Showcase page. I will just keep a running photo of different types and styles of baskets and their many uses.

Where do the years go....

I was looking at some photos this morning and found this one of my nephew Jacob Tyler Garretson. I remember it like it was yesterday that we found out Angie was expecting. I remember them talking about naming him Jacob Tyler and he was going to be called J.T. Once he arrived, he looked more like a Jacob so we alternated between the two. I remember when he was about 2 or 3 and had started talking pretty good, they started calling him J.T. because they thought that would be cute when he started in sports. Shortly after that somebody asked him what his name was and he smilingly said "Goatee." From that day forward he has been Jake or Jacob. No more J.T. Eighteen years later, that little tyke has grown into a tall handsome young man. When I see him or look at his pictures, it seems like yesterday that he was our little "Goatee". I have to wonder where the years have gone.


For my friends......

Debbie, this one is for you!
Most of us suffer bouts of craving for chocolate....many, like myself, on a daily basis. We all know the benefits of dark chocolate. It is all the rave. That is why I eat so many Junior Mints...because of the health benefits of dark chocolate.
But did you know that the BEST and healthiest chocolate is actually unsweetened cocoa powder? Like Hershey's makes for baking. It has even more health benefits than dark chocolate. Cornell University food scientists discovered that cocoa powder has nearly twice the antioxidants of red wine, and up to three times the antioxidants found in green tea.
So in honor of Hershey's Cocoa and for all you chocolate lovers who want to have your cake and eat it too, here is my favorite quick and easy cake recipe that is delicious.
One box Duncan Hines Swiss Cake Mix. Mix as per box instructions and add 1 tsp. cinnamon. It really changes the flavor and is delicious. Once cake cools, make the frosting:
1 Box 10x sugar
5 tablespoons Hershey's Cocoa Powder
1 stick softened butter (I use Parkay, but different butters will change the flavor)
4-5 tsp of milk (mix to your desired consistency)
1 tsp vanilla
Beat until smooth, frost cake, eat, enjoy and stay healthy.

Why I love summer.....

Could somebody please remind me why I love summer. I've always loved the feel of the sun on my face. I love getting outside and enjoying the fresh air. But this summer is stifling. The heat is oppressive and their is NO breeze anywhere. Not sure how much more of this I can take. I keep thinking it will cool down, but so far...not so much. Me and Diana went to Dollywood Saturday for the first time this year with Shelby and Caleb. We picked the hottest day of the year. Whoever said women don't sweat they perspire, never went to Dollywood in the middle of July. We just took them over for a couple of hours and by the time we left, let me tell you we were sweating. I was on the verge of a heat stroke and Diana had to drive because I thought I was going to pass out. Caleb was so hot he could barely walk and it was all we could do to drag ourselves from the tram to the car. I told Diana I'm renting one of those electronic wheel chairs next time. I'm getting too old to walk that much in the heat. Caleb said he was going to ride it with me if I did. For those of you wondering how Princess Shelby did in the heat, see for yourself......
She handled it very well. Of course she was in her stroller being pushed everywhere. She was dressed in a real cool shirt and shorts until she spilled milk all over her clothes. But she still survived her first Dollywood trip better than the rest of us did.
Next week, I'm taking Garret and Alexis to Splash Country. That is walking I can handle. By the time you get hot from walking, you are at a new water adventure you can hop into and cool off.


Be prepared...

Whenever we expect company, we prepare the house for their visit. We change the sheets and put out fresh bath linens for their use. We dust, mop, and clean the house from top to bottom lest a spec of dirt they should see. We go to the store and stock up on food, pop, coffee, dessert, etc. When we think we are ready for their visit, we make one last walk through the house to make sure everything is in order. 1 Corinthians 2:9 says "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." Can you imagine the work that is going on in heaven as God prepares for us to come home?

Is your heart prepared to receive Him when He comes? Have you cleaned out the cobwebs and swept out the dirt and dust?

I challenge each of you as you go through this week. Watch your words, take note of your actions. If Jesus walked up to you today, what would you "sweep under the rug" in hopes that He would not see it.


Did you know.....

The internet is full of fun facts, trivia and totally useless information. Here are some of the things I have learned by surfing the net. DID YOU KNOW...... ...The dot over the letter 'i' is called a tittle. (What’s wrong with calling it a dot?) ...Babies are born without kneecaps. They don't appear until the child reaches 2-6 years of age. (I did not know that) ...Donald Duck comics were banned from Finland because he doesn't wear pants. (Never understood why you would invent Donald with a shirt and hat, but no pants) ...The cigarette lighter was invented before the match. (I find this very strange.) ...TYPEWRITER is the longest word that can be made using the letters only on one row of the keyboard. (Did you also know facetious is the only word in the US language to use all the vowels in order) ...Coca-Cola was originally green. (OOO, Yuck) ...If you yelled for 8 years, 7 months and 6 days, you would have produced enough sound energy to heat one cup of coffee. (I wonder if this is why so many mother’s need a morning cup of coffee after yelling at the kids all morning trying to get them up and off to school.) ...Every day more money is printed for Monopoly than the US Treasury. (Then why don’t they just make Monopoly money spendable?) ...It is impossible to lick your elbow. (It’s human nature, you WILL try this now) ...Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair. (If I take a zinc vitamin, will it make me smarter?) ...The tune for the "A-B-C" song is the same as "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." (Hmm, I thought the ABC’s sounded familiar) ...The names of Popeye's four nephews are Pipeye, Peepeye, Pupeye, and Poopeye! (So glad I know this. I can rest easy now.)


The Basket

I am a basket-aholic. I love my baskets. Whenever I go to Walmart or Dollar Tree, I gravitate to the baskets. Not because I need one or am looking for anything particular, I just love baskets. When I go to yard sales, I immediately scour the goods to see if there are any baskets. When I first started collecting baskets, I would look at one and say "I like that basket, but what in the world would I ever do with it." Well, I soon discovered that every basket has its uses....and not always for decor purposes only. I started seeing in magazines where they would even sit baskets on the floor for decoration. So I started finding reasons for my baskets. Here are just a few I'd like to share with you in case you have a wonderful basket sitting around that you would like to make useful.
This first one is just for looks. My kitchen is done in French Country theme so I had to have a basket with french bread and grapes.

I love snuggling under fleece blankets and so do the grandbabies when we watch TV so I have a basket of "blankies" that sit at the end of the couch in the floor.

Allen's Cookbooks and my Dessert Recipe books.

My magazine basket. This slides in the center section of the coffee table to keep my magazines handy but not piled on the table.

This is my wash cloth basket in the guest bathroom.
My personal care basket on one of my bathroom shelves.
One of my yarn baskets in my craft room.
I love this basket. Allen did it as my Easter basket one year. I keep a liner in it and have it under the desk for a trash basket.
I'd love to hear how you use your baskets. I'm always open to ideas.


Excuse our mess....

Please excuse the mess over the next few days since I am experimenting with new blog backgrounds. I've tried so many this morning that they all are running together in my head. Do you ever try to do something when you are in a hurry and everything looks like the right one and after several experiments, nothing looks right? That's the morning I'm having. I've found several backgrounds I love, but can't get the text colors I want. I'm just going to leave it at this for now and come back when my brain has more time to contemplate. My blog background company I normally use says the background expires tomorrow and to visit their site for details, but when I try to go there it says the site does not exist. If you blog and know of a good blog template service, I'd appreciate your help.



I recently connected on Facebook with someone I was close to and have not seen for about 40 years. I went to her photos with excitement to see how she looked now compared to when we were children. I sat there and stared for a good 5 minutes. She had on her sleeveless t-shirt, biker leather jacket, doo rag on her head, tatoos on her arm, beer in one hand and cigarette in the other. My first thought was "Train up a child in the way he(she) should go, and when he(she) is old he will not depart from it.: - Proverbs 22:6 Then my second thought was "Judge not, that ye be not judged." - Matthew 7:1. I'm not condoning her lifestyle nor am I condemning. I'm simply saying that it is amazing to me how two people, so close, from similar backgrounds can turn out so differently. The choices we make in our lives make us. They are the cornerstone of who we are; the very essence of our being. Are you making the right choices? Are you living the life God wants you to live? When others look at you what do they see? It's not just our actions but the way we dress, the way we carry ourselves that let's others see into our lives. Make sure you are setting the example you want to set.


Why women talk so much..........

My whole life, the women in our family have been more outspoken than the men. I've often wondered why. You hear many reports of women talking more than men. After pondering the situation, I have come to my own conclusions. First off, I think part of it goes back to the 50's when women stayed at home. They were there all day with the kids - listening to bickering, answering a million questions, settling arguments. They lacked for adult conversation. So the husband comes home after being at work and talking to people all day. He just wants a cup of coffee, his newspaper, his favorite slippers and a quiet evening. The wife wants to talk. She's stored it up all day and it comes gushing out. Details, details, details. We move forward in time and women start moving into the workforce. They start sharing stories with other women about kids, husbands, co-workers, etc. Women are more detail oriented than men so they have much to say. For example, a man and woman go out to a new restaurant to eat. The next day their friends ask how it was. The woman's answer: "It was so nice. The atmosphere is really good and it has a wonderful ambiance. They have everything you can imagine on the menu. We had the best potato skins I've ever eaten anywhere. They had this awesome dessert concoction with ice cream that I just had to have. It was enough for two people. I just loved it. We'll go back again for sure." The man's answer: "It was pretty good." See what I mean, women are more detail oriented. I have a sister, two aunts, my mom and six female cousins. We all love to talk. One time we were together and one of the females said "Did you all ever notice that we all married men who don't talk much?" My cousin Nancy's husband Jerry summed it up nicely, "It's because the women we married don't quit talking long enough for us to get a word in edgewise." Made sense to me.


Sweet, sweet rain.....

The rain beats on my rooftop like the pounding of a thousand little feet. I hear the thunder rolling in like the beat of a hundred horse hooves. As I lay in bed this morning, I thought about being lazy and snuggling down deep in the covers and sleeping in. But I knew I had a busy day ahead of me and decided to get up and get an early start. Once I was up and wide awake, the rain and thunder began. I love laying in bed listening to a nice storm, but it seems like it holds off until I am up and past that sleepy stage. Or, even worse, it will hit about the time I need to run errands and stop the minute I return home. If we could schedule a summer storm, I would schedule it for early morning when I'm still in the bed, but not so sound asleep that I can't lay and listen to the storm. Or I would have it arrive in the early evening before dusk sets in. At a time when my hubby and I are both home but it is still daylight enough to watch it roll in. But we cannot schedule the rain so I think I'll grab a cup of hot chocolate and sit here at the window and enjoy the show.


Walking by Faith

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." - Hebrews 11:1 I love that word. It is, for me, one of the most beautiful words in the world. Five simple letters with a world of meaning. Faith is a belief, a dream, a hope. It's a promise of things to come. It's love; it's life. It's holding on when things get tough. It's the driving force behind our goals. Without faith, how can we pray? Without faith, how can we let loved ones go without the promise to see them again some day.? Without faith, how can we exist? I cannot imagine living without faith; without the knowledge that there is One who cares for me and knows my every need before I do. Some people think they are week in faith, when in reality, we all exercise faith every day of our lives. We go to bed believing we will awake to a brand new morning. We work every day believing that pay check will be there on Friday. We place the key in our car and don't even think twice about whether it is going to start when we crank it. We do so many things without even thinking about it because we KNOW already that it will happen. Then why do so many of us have trouble placing their faith in the one who controls everything. Why is it so hard to let go and give it to God, with faith believing, that He will handle it. If you can place faith in that little car key turning that huge engine over, why not place your faith in God and let him turn over the challenges in your life.


The call

I have to share with you a funny call I received the other day. Here are the players: Diana - my daughter Shelby - my granddaughter who will 2 years old in 13 days and is pictured above. Don't let the darling little face fool you. She can be "you know what" on wheels when she wants to be Myself - Known to most as Mamaw B and occasionally shortened to Ma B The phone rings and I answer it and the following conversation occurred: Diana - "Mom, I'm sending a 2 year old little girl to stay with you." Me - "Uh oh. What did she do?" Diana - She has smacked Caleb, pushed him and now she bit him." At this point, I hear a little girl's voice yelling in the background "I tell Ma B! I tell Ma B!" So Diana hands Shebly the phone and I hear "Ma B, Caleb (jabber, jabber, jibberish) Mommy (jabber, jabber, jibberish) Soooooo I mad Mommy." Then she hands the phone back to Mommy. How funny is that. We are not quite at 2 yet and it is going to be a LOOONNNNGGG year once those terrible 2's hit for the Princess.


Getting past the hurt....

I'm sitting here this morning with a glassy eyed stare and am astounded at something that happened this week. In the overall scheme of life, it was no biggy. But in my own little world, it is unbelievable that some people can make hurtful remarks and not even realize they are being hurtful. I won't bore you with details, but suffice it to say it is true that we may forgive, but we never forget. I was hurt by words over 25 years ago and the person didn't even realize they were being hurtful. I let it go, I moved on, but I have never forgotten the incident. This week, the same person did almost the exact same thing, using almost the same words, causing the same pain. Well, let me tell you, it didn't hurt any less this time than it did 25 years ago. I guess we think we put things behind us, but we really never do. They are lurking below the surface, just waiting to sneak up and get us again. Whenever something like this happens, I have to vent and get it off my chest and stand amazed and astounded at the things people do or say to others. Then I use my normal philosophy of "Oh well" and move on. So, oh well. Thanks for letting me vent.


A celebration of life

I attended a very unique funeral yesterday. It was not the usual funeral. There was grief and there was mourning. But moreover, there was a celebration of life. Rob was a very down to earth person. He loved hunting, fishing, hiking, camping and most importantly his family. He and his wife had discussed the funeral in great detail and they had very specific ideas about how they wanted everything. The viewing room contained many side tables. Each table was covered with either picture frames or picture albums of Rob’s life. Through each and every photo, his love of his family and his country showed through. From his days in the Boy Scouts through his time in the service, from his days as a newlywed through his days as a father and grandfather, each picture, each moment is filled with his love for life. There was a viewing room sit up that had a TV which played non-stop video of pictures of him with his family. The music selected were country songs that meant something to him and his wife, such as Garth Brooks and The Dance. When it came time for the funeral, the initial song was a love song “I’ll Keep on Loving You” by Reba McEntire that his wife had played to honor the memory of their life together. That was followed by Brad Paisley singing The Old Rugged Cross. The preacher spoke a few words then his oldest son did the eulogy. It was a wonderful tribute to his father and the man he was. It gave you a great feeling of love that runs deep throughout the family. Then Rob’s best friend since his teens spoke. The preacher closed with a few more words and Amazing Grace with bagpipes was played. Though I walked away with tear-filled eyes and a deep grief in my heart for the loss of a very special brother-in-law but with the wonderful feeling of knowing he had spent every minute of those 49 short years loving his family and leaving them a living legacy of the type of person they wanted to be.


A piece of history....

Last night I was rummaging through some family albums and keepsake boxes we inherited from Allen's Papaw Keefer. It is amazing what you can learn about ancestors by doing that. For example, I found that Papaw Keefer was called to military duty in 1944 and was denied acceptance as being physically unfit. I would love to learn more as to why because the man was the picture of health and lived to be 89 years old. He was never sick a day in his life until the last 3 days. I found copies of sugar rations from the depression; copies of his first paycheck from a furniture store. I found his dry goods statement from the general store. Granny had purchased a bolt of dress material for $3.00 FOR THE WHOLE BOLT. Papaw had purchased new shoes for 25 cents. I found a list someone had written on first grade style paper. I'm guessing it was granny as it was in her album. She had written that she had $3.60 and if mom gave her $1.40 she would have $5.00. Then she listed family members and how much she would spend on them. I had to laugh. Everybody was around 80 cents or 90 cents each. But, dear old Mom, who she was going to hit up for $1.40 was listed at 25 cents for her gift. Does that crack you up or what?


In loving memory
Robert Glenn Keefer
Rob's family (l-r) Christopher (son), Rob, Sarah (daughter) Ben (son), Tami (wife) Robert (son)

Memories Build a Special Bridge

Our memories build a special bridge when loved ones have to part

To help us feel we're with them still and sooth a grieving heart.

Our memories span the years we shared, preserving ties that bind,

They build a special bridge of love and bring us peace of mind.

By Emily Matthews

Rob, you will never know how much you are missed. We love you. Rest in peace.


Cat Confidence

I woke up in the middle of the night with thoughts on my mind. I hate when that happens. I was thinking about the many things I have to do this upcoming week, the challenges I was facing. Then the fears set in. Can I get everything done? Will things work out the way I want them? Out of nowhere came the thought, "I need some cat confidence." It got me to thinking. A cat is probably the best example of confidence you will ever see. They will jump great heights, showing no fear, because they know they will land on their feet. They will hop up on your lap to enjoy a long nap because they know you will never shoo them off. They know they will get their way. They are spoiled, loved, and content. Confident in everything they do. My prayer today is for God to provide in me a confidence that will override the self-doubts and insecurities that I bring upon myself. My bible verse for today is: Isaiah 30:15a - For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.


Some alarming news....

I'm not sure how it happened or when it happened. But I just realized I'm getting older. (You notice I refuse to say OLD). I've notice the creeks and groans, the pops and crackles as I bend and move. I can't get up and down in the floor with as much ease as I did in my 20's. I can't stay up real late like I did in my teens. I remember when I went to bi-focals, I was able to say that it was okay; it was understandable. I did a lot of close up work and the bi-focals were just a precaution to protect my eyes from any strain. Then a few years back, they switched me to tri-focals. Again, I was cool with it. I worked on computers for a living; I read a lot for leisure. So it made sense to have a level for distance, a level for close up work and a middle level for normal day-to-day eye use. But when I had to go purchase a pair of reading glasses yesterday to give me a FOURTH level of viewing for reading my emails on my new phone, I realized that age has a way of sneaking up on us when we are not looking. So I popped over to Wally World and purchased me another set of eyes. I did not realize that reading glasses came in such cute frames. That is the one cool thing about them.....I can get something really fun and wild since they are not on my face all the time. The problem was there were TOO MANY to choose from. I mean, it doesn't take me that long to pick out a new car. I tried on just about every pair they had, some of them 2 and 3 times, finally choosing some I thought I loved. Then after getting them home and really checking them out, I decided I wished I had went with another style. So I had kept my receipt and I'm heading back to a different Wally World today. If they have some I like better, I'll probably exchange them. Oh lands, I'm turning into a little old lady.


Do you look back or look forward?

I find that many people spend their lives looking back on the way things used to be, the things they wished they had done. Some people like to look forward. They like to plan every moment of every day and know what is in store. They do not like surprises or spontaneity. They want to be prepared for everything. I am one of those live life in the moment people. I'm not saying I don't have plans and dreams for the days ahead. And I love when I know we have something going on that I can look forward to. But I don't get so wrapped up in the future that I forget to live for today. I think we should always grab the gold ring on the carousel, eat the cotton candy at the fair and bask in the sun on a summer day. Don't let gray clouds or doubt get you down. My favorite quote is one that I would love to have put on my headstone: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body. But rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in hand, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming “WOO-HOO what a ride!”


It's official...

Well, it's official. Shelby is going to be a lot like her brother. The sweet, little princess was playing the other day and she jumped up to run out of the room. When her grandmother asked, "Where are you going?" She turned at the door and said "On a fire call." Now, I ask you is she a Hayes or what? But not to worry, she is not getting tomboyish. She still has her princess moments. Her mommy brought her some new t-shirts at Disney. Each one has a different princess on it. Her mommy spread them out and asked "Shelby, who is your favorite princess?" Without missing a beat, she placed her hand on her chest and said "ME!"


If I had only known....

There was a song many years back that Reba sang called "If I Had Only Known" that I just loved. As you struggle through things in your life and look back on the past, how many times do you wish you had done something differently? How many times were you asked to lend a helping hand only to pass up the chance because you were too busy? How many loved ones have passed on that you had lost contact with because you assumed they would always be there? My brother-in-law is facing his last days. At best, they are giving him a couple weeks. But they don't expect him to linger that long. Being on oxygen and bedridden with cancer and fluid in his lungs, he has no choice but to spend his last days as best he can. It is to late for the I should'ves and the I could'ves. Don't let it be too late for you. As he faces what God has planned for him, he has chosen to spend his last days at home with his family. He refused a hospital bed and is sleeping and laying in his recliner. His philosophy is that if he was going to be stuck in a hospital bed, he should have just stayed in the hospital. He had spaghetti and fresh cucumber/tomato salad yesterday. He can't eat much, but he is living his last days the way he wants to live them. He said his heart was heavy so he had a preacher come by and talk with him and he is ready to go when God calls him home. It is so hard to watch a loved one slowly slip away, but so rewarding to know when he closes his eyes that last time, he will wake up wrapped securely in the arms of God. Not everyone gets the opportunity to know that death is near. Some go within the simple last beat of a heart. We should treat every moment of our lives as if it is the last breath we take. When your time comes to go, do you want to spend your last days thinking "If I had only known."


A three day weekend

I love 3 day weekends. I hate 3 day weekends. It is wonderful to have an extra day off to enjoy. You plan and get excited and think of all the things you can accomplish. Then the big weekend gets here and you forget half the stuff you wanted to get done. I was going to shop on Saturday, relax around the house on Sunday and catch up on some work on Monday. Well Saturday went well. The shopping was a great success. Got some new clothes for Baby Boy that's due in October. Had a great day. Went to church on Sunday and heard an awesome sermon from Pastor Brandon. After church, I tried to relax and did for the most part. I was restless most of the day. I read, sat out in the sun and read, laid on the couch and read, had a snack and read. (I guess you see I love to read).Allen had the day off and relaxed around the house with me (when I wasn't being restless). He fixed fried chicken, corn-on-the-cob, potato salad and baked beans for our supper. It was SOOOOO good. I ate to much so I fell asleep early on the couch. Monday, I got up early all energized to get caught up on work. I did get the house cleaned, ice trays dumped and managed to catch up on emails from the weekend. But that was the extent of it. When 9:00 rolled around, I thought of all the people enjoying their day off. I thought, why am I working on my day off? The work will be there tomorrow. So I did what I do best...I went shopping. Now, here it is back to work day and I think of all the things I wish I had done on my days off. But more importantly, I want another day off. I love days off, but hate when I have to get back to reality. Hope you each have a wonderful day today.


Thought for the day....

I had not planned to do a post today, but I heard something last night that I wanted to share. Many of us have weathered some pretty rough storms in our lives. Financial hardship, sickness & death of a loved one, personal health issues, betrayals, or just plain mean people trying to upset our world. Satan will come knocking on your door in all manners of disguise, looking to upset the wonderful life God has planned for us. You may sometimes feel like you have hit rock bottom and don't have a clue which way to turn from there. You feel like you are as low as you can go and just want to sit in a padded room and scream "Why me?". I was talking with a gentleman last night who made a random remark that really gave me one of those WOW moments. He said, "When you are down to nothing, you can be sure God is up to something." That hit me as very profound and true. Every obstacle, every trial, everything that has brought me down in my life to where I feel like there is no where to go, God has been working in the background to bring me through it and to make my life even better than it was before. I am going to strive to make the "down to nothing" times of my life into a time of celebration and anticipation, because I know that God has a plan and He will bring me through my trials into something of great joy and blessing for me.


A second post today....

Unless something really inspiring happens, I will be taking a "vacation" from blogging tomorrow and Monday to enjoy every moment of my 3 day weekend. I hope each and every one of you have a wonderful 4th of July. Amidst all the fireworks, cook-outs and picnics, take time out of your busy weekend to thank the military men and women who have dedicated their lives for centuries to insure that we have been and will always remain the land of the free and the home of the brave. Spend some quiet time with God this weekend and thank him for allowing us to live in this beautiful land where we have the freedom to worship him as we choose.


Going gray gracefully....

Am I ready to go gray? NO. I colored my hair again last night. Someone was teasing me several years ago about not being ready to go gray. They thought I was afraid to get older.But they were wrong. I love to color my hair. It is one of the perks I do when I pamper myself. I've earned every gray hair I have and I have no problem at times letting them show. However, I have had a close, personal relationship with Lady Clairol since I was 18 and colored my hair walnut brown when Waylon Jennings came to town. (Why I remember that, I'll never know.) I was naive and had never done this before. So I bought a bottle of brown because it said on brown hair it would lighten and provide highlights. WRONG! It made my hair the color of a overripe walnut. It was almost black. But I survived. The next time I tried it, someone recommend I use a golden blonde because it would simply put light highlights in brown hair. WRONG AGAIN! Since my family has the "red" gene, it simply turned it a strange shade of auburn. So I thought a few months down the road, since I had auburn genes anyway, why not use auburn coloring. It should just be a beautiful shade of brown with reddish/golden highlights. Third times a charm? WRONG! It was so orange, I could have passed for a pumpkin on Halloween. So after many aborted attempts and not willing to spend the money at a salon to do it right, I did some checking. It turns out that if you have red or auburn genes, and you are wanting to lighten brown hair, you simply use a Ash Blonde. The ash tones down the red/auburn and you end up with a variety of golds, browns and blondes that make it look like you've had some streaks placed in your hair. Now that I have the gray, when I use my ash blonde, I get variegated shades and the gray looks much better covered with browns and blonde highlights. So I can grow old gracefully. I have no problem with that. But I will fight my grays as long as I can. Not because I am ashamed or embarrassed by them, but simply because I love changing my hair color. It gives me a lift, boosts my spirits and makes me feel younger. Vanity? No, just one of my little quirks that I like to do.
To God be the glory.
How many times have you heard that phrase? Songs are written about it. Preachers do sermons on it. Sunday School lessons are prepared to teach it. If you Google that phrase, there are 32,500,000 results for those few precious words. Yet, how many times do we actually GIVE him the glory. Without him, we are nothing. Our goals are not reached; our dreams are not acheived. Our happiness and existence depend on Him and Him alone. I've always heard life is what you make it. No, life is what you make OF it with what God provides for you. Do you glorify God when He blesses you? Do you give him the praise when things are going great in your life? Or do you simply cry out to Him in the bad times? Do you just need Him when the going gets tough? There is a song that says it best: For The God On The Mountain Is Still God In The Valley when Things Go Wrong He'll Make Them Right and The God Of The Good Times, Is Still God Of The Bad Times and The God Of The Day Is Still God Of The Night So, don't wait for the dark times to call on Him. Praise His name daily for what He does for you. Look for the good and you will find it. I glorify His holy name. He has poured blessing after blessing down on me this week and I am so thankful that I am His and He is mine! My favorite prayer that I pray is so simple. I just simply close my eyes, turn my heart toward heaven and say "Dear Lord, it's me again. Help. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen." It is basic and simple, but He knows my needs before I even pray. When life gets overwhelming or I'm facing challenges, I turn to Him with that simple prayer. And He always, always, always come through for me. For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. - Romans 11:36