Friday, April 30, 2010

Miracles Happen.

Have you ever really wanted something?

Something you could almost taste.
Something that you believe is right but seems so impossible?

Something that could change the life of a young woman. Something that could totally alter the future of a young woman who once rode the "short  bus" to school.

Kayla's journey has been rocky, she "is different but not less".  This last year Kayla has matured amazingly.  She is finishing her first year of college at the local junior college. This year has shown that she CAN do it. She has done well. She likes going to college. Her peers think she is smart. Hearing that has done so much for her!

Kayla never fit in. Her development was always at a different pace. She is however a very bright and talented young lady.

This is the school that I have dreamed of for her.  It is an amazing place. The campus is gorgeous. Classical music is piped outside. There are flower gardens and gazebos with rocking chairs in them. It is the epitamy of southern grace and charm. A Christian college where the values we believe in will be taught to her. This school has a distinguished record in many areas of study, art, drama, dance, education, pre med, for some starters. The class sizes are very small 15 to 20 students in each. The teachers are excited and dedicated, they enjoy their jobs! Kayla's year this year has been very unenthusiastic, but she did well anyway. Her passion is to draw. She loves to draw costumes and her imagination is terrific. She also loves school age children and is considering teaching. What is so great, is this environment can help her to achieve not only her potential, but her dreams.

A college like this costs a lot of money. Remember , this is the impossible dream, on our meager income.


When God enters the picture,
life becomes full of delightful surprises.
God delights in His children.
His love is so bountiful,
so beautiful,
so amazing.

We went to a meeting at the school because Kayla has been accepted. We were looking into her financial aid. As we sat in the meeting the woman helping her kept telling us of all the different funds that were available to Kayla. The list just kept growing. The college has awarded Kayla a tremendous package of grants and scholarships. With just a small subsidized loan she can GO! Did you hear me?
Kayla can go!

While we were sitting there we had been told that work study was a year's waiting list.
Just that morning a senior had given up her position of tutoring kids in an under privileged area. That is a perfect match to Kayla's heart. She was offered the job--ka ching!" Oh, and it looks like someone else has decided not to accept their offer because $500 in this other fund just came into my computer, and I can give that to Kayla" - ka ching!  The basketball coach desperately needs a helper--ka ching!
We got a pile of gifts, just by sitting in the office that day. We just sat there (my mouth may have fallen open) watching as God pulled money from thin air. When it was all said and done the bottom line out of pocket expense to Kayla, is very very do-able.  Kayla is going to Bellhaven University. The girl is on cloud nine. Her feet are not touching this earth. We are praising God.

When we came home and told Pa, he started crying.
I looked at Kayla and said,
"You ain't seen nothing yet kid,
Just wait till you GRADUATE!"
I can just see us up there bawling our eyes out.
Aren't you happy?
Yes! Can't you see how happy we are?
We always bawl our eyes out when we are happy!

If you have an impossible dream, don't give up.
God is faithful. He can do it.
I can't.
You can't.
That is when--

Just believe.

His love has no limits
His grace has no measure...

Monday, April 26, 2010

Crazy Drivers

So just who is the worst anyway, a man or a woman? Considering this man's story---

A beautiful woman 

In a brand new pearl white
Cadillac Escalade  

Doing 70 mph

With her 
Face up next to her 
Rear view mirror  

Putting on her eyeliner. 
Just how did he see that?

I looked away 
for a couple seconds  ! 
Then returned to watch the lipstick, over those poofy lips.
And when I looked back she was 

Halfway over into my lane, 
Still working on the makeup. 
As a man, 

I don't scare easily.

I lost my composure, and
I dropped

My portable electric shaver  
Which knocked 

The Mac Muffin breakfast
Out of my other hand. 
In all  the confusion of trying
To straighten out the car 

Using my knees to drive 
the steering wheel, 
I knocked 

My Cell phone 
Away from my ear 
Which fell 
Into the large hot coffee  

Between my legs! 
WHICH Splashed, 
And burned 
Big Joe and the boy's,  
Ruined the phone, 
Soaked my pants, 
And disconnected a very
Important call!

Dad gum women drivers
especially when she just drove away.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Severe Storm Saturday

But not here. Again we are blessed as the storms go north of us. The fruit is still on the trees. Some of these irises are now in bouquets. We did get some much needed rain.

Just thought I'd let you know that all is well here.

Now if I can just catch my neighbor at home and do a photo shoot of his house! Ya'll need to see that bright orange fireplace mantel.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My New Son

This is my new son. He lives in Uganda. He's only 8 years old and is the oldest of seven. I don't think he has a father. His family lives on about $5 a month, when his mother can work as a laborer.

We think we have problems.

Truthfully, I get tired of all the requests for help. There isn't a day that goes by that someone doesn't call here asking for money. I'm totally sick of political parties of any kind asking me for anything. As far as I am concerned they can all get fired.

It's different sometimes when you meet someone in real life.

At the conference this weekend, we heard a man from Kenya who was saved by someone who gave to him through Compassion International. When this man was 8 years old he watched his little 8 month old baby sister die of starvation. His mothers diet was too poor to make breast milk. He was so frightened that he began to eat from dumpsters after that. Then he pulled out the letter he received from his friend in Canada. A man who wrote to him and gave him hope. He lived, he graduated from college and now he helps other people in his country. He has never let go of that first letter.

I was crying. I was thinking of how selfish I really am. I don't do without anything. Really, I don't know the first thing about giving sacrificially. Giving something that costs me something. I give from my excess. I am disgusted with my apathetic American self. The part of this program that appealed to me is that this is no quick fix. This is not about give your little gift and go away. It's adoption. It's writing to a child, and staying with them for about 10 to 20 years. It's about letting someone who feels hopeless know they have worth.

A lot of ladies that day were picking up folders of the children. It would have been great if every child would have found a sponsor that day, but they didn't.  As I looked at the table and saw the faces, lots of really cute ones; I prayed,

and I saw him. Barely a smile, burdened shoulders, wearing a girls nightie. See the sticker? That means it has already been 6 months of waiting for help. He lives in an HIV affected area. I felt that pull on my heart that said. "This one, he is your new son."

I never had a son. When I was a little girl I used to entertain myself by writing out long lists of names. First names and middle names of both boys and girls; because I was going to have LOTS of babies when I grew up.  When I grew up, I had one baby. I never used birth control ever, I only had one baby.

I thought about my new son's name Isaac. Abraham had Isaac in his old age. I am not 100 but I will be a senior citizen this year. I wrote to my son, his birthday is next month. I sent him a card and a little extra for a present. Maybe he can get some boys clothes or get something for his family. I hope more than anything that what he receives this year is the knowledge that he is worth saving. I hope to see a big smile and some pretty white teeth!

I wish I felt better. I keep thinking about all the other times these people have asked and I said no. One time Kayla came home with one of these packets and I angrily threw it in the trash. I threw a child's chance for help in the trash. I might as well have thrown the child in the trash. I was just sick of everybody's hand being out asking. "It's not like we are rich!" Aren't we?  I spend more per month for my pets, than I will for this boy.

Do you see my son? He has no pockets, he has no shoes.  Without these things he loves to sing and play with little cars.  He helps his mother, he carries water, he goes to the market to try and sell things, he plays soccer.

I can't wait to hear from him. Sometimes we just have these moments in life, when we have an opportunity for blessing. I'm just grateful that this time I didn't say, no.

If you would like to adopt a child too. or call them 1- 800- 336-7676

Monday, April 19, 2010

Monday Morning Meditations

Am I now trying to win the approval of men,
 or of God? 
Or am I trying to please men (or women)?
If I were still trying to please men,
I would not be a servant of Christ.
Galatians 1:10 NIV

God is the only being in the universe that will accept us unconditionally when we do the same to Him.
Are you struggling with pleasing others?

Above all else,
 guard your heart,
for it is the wellspring of life.
Proverbs 4:23 NIV

The Lord says,
It is not too late.
You can still return to ME
with all your heart.
Joel 2:12 CEV

For when your faith is tested,
your endurance has a chance to grow.
So let it grow,
for when our endurance is fully developed,
you will be strong in character,
and ready for anything.
James 1: 3-4

Purify me from my sins,
and I WILL BE clean;
Wash me,
and I will be whiter than snow.
Psalm 51:7

See I am coming soon
and my reward is with me
to repay all
according to their deeds.
the Alpha and the Omega,
the First and the Last,
the Beginning and the End.
Revelation 22:12-13

How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of those
who bring good news
of peace and salvation,
the news
that the God of Israel reigns!
Isaiah 52:7

Do not be anxious about ANYTHING,
but in everything,
by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God.
And the PEACE of GOD,
which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts
and your minds
in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7 NASB

and I testify to you today--
I have this truth inside the very core of my being!
 The truth that sets us free.
 Free from sorrow, regret, pain, depression, darkness, 
wishes for acceptance, 
wishes for a different life,
even wishes for death.

Jesus desires to give you a new heart,
a new mind,
a transformed life,
and the greatest treasure to me,
the PEACE of God.
I rest so easy
under grace.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Fabulous Friday.---Give Away

This is where I have been swimming.

There are two pools in this room. This one is Olympic sized. They are affiliated with the hospital I used to work at. I could have used this when I was working and I never even laid eyes on it.

Stupid is as stupid does.

This place makes me feel like I'm on vacation.

I have not seen this pool crowded but I go at off hours. Wouldn't it be great to have this in your back yard?

You can win a beautiful umbrella for your yard; for some of that vacation feeling. Lime In the Coconut is hosting a great give away. Linda's blog makes me feel like I am on vacation too.

The smaller ( it's big too)  therapy pool is where I actually have to spend most of my hour.
It's warm. The right side of the pool is deep and we cross country ski and bicycle over there. In the far upper left corner there is a TREADMILL. You can walk on a treadmill in the water. Who knew?

I definitely picked the wrong field. Physical Therapy is just great. You take care of one patient at a time.

When she lets me go over here and do a few laps I feel like a big kid. I love it. 72 laps counting every lap is one mile. She lets me do 4 to 6. We have a ways to go. In college I swam an hour a day. MY body has faint memories of that long ago time. I haven't really felt that groove yet; but shoot fire I can't even move my shoulders up and over my head yet. Elementary back stroke is easy peasy.
But the important thing is I am moving!

This skylight is so awesome. I watch the beams in the ceiling to help me stay straight in a lane. At first I was swerving off to the left like a crazy driver.

Home again looking out the kitchen window, after collecting a couple of flowers for bouquets.

I can open this window for a few more weeks.

Enjoying the beauty and that fabulous feeling one has after a good swim.

It's so great to be alive.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

If You Were Here

If you came to see me this would be by my front door.
It was an attempt by me to do something artistic.
My painting skills never progressed past the 4th grade, but that's OK you don't know really know how old I was when I painted it.

I would pour you a cup of coffee and I'd let you drink it from one of my favorite mugs. I have a crazy mug collection. Almost nothing matches.  I like this one because of the smirk. Cats are like that.

We could mozy on out to the front porch and sit for about two seconds. I am too hyper to sit very long.
Besides the yard is a bumble bee fest right now.
We would jump up and I'd give you a tour.

From the front porch I would walk over to the left and show you my "good neighbor garden."

I planted this one so that when my neighbor came outside to his porch he would have something pretty to look at.

It's also one of my rare places of shade.

I love shade gardens.

I planted one Ajuga out there a long time ago.
My lilacs died, and the azalea is a bit puny this year.

It's also a place for fun. If you are upstairs looking out of this window all you see is roses.

This is a cute little surprise hanging over the fence.

We head back around now to the front and check out the arbor. There are about 6 blooms open now, but in a few days it will be spectacular.

It's a New Dawn rose. It only blooms once but it is worth it. I have some roses like that, which only bloom once instead of the hybrids that re-bloom all season. These seem to thrive much better in our moist hot heat, less diseases.

The Lady Banks is another one time only rose.
She is thornless, and a climber that will grow to 30 ft in height. So far this one fills one entire corner of my garden and spills into my neighbors yard which he is quite happy with. I have made my peace with these once a year beauties because look at the health!!

This is my neighbors front yard. I meant to show you this earlier.
It's cute isn't it? My neighbor loves color. I need to ask him if I can do a post of the inside of his house it's amazing. He collects black art. Every wall is covered with paintings. He lives in an art gallery.
He totally freaked me out when he asked my husband to paint his fireplace mantle bright ORANGE! It looks cool.
You wanta see it don't you?

His front yard. Mississippi is the most gorgeous color of green most of the year. It really is this pretty.

When the sky is bright blue mixed with this green I could swoon.
Really, it is so beautiful.

Back to my house on the sunny side yard. I have been working over here. Clearing and weeding. Cutting back and planting seeds.

I love this spot. I have a lot of strawberries filling in.
I hope my Heavenly Blue Morning Glory seeds will sprout and share the trellis.

I love morning glories.

I usually have basil come up in here.
It helps to shade the berries in the heat of summer.
That way they don't just fry.

You would be able to step up close and admire this rose.
It's a Joseph's Coat climber.  This is the first flush and
what you can't see is the aphids.
I have been batting away lady bugs all winter.
They came in the house by the hundreds.
They died in my window sills.
So where are they now?
They could be feasting I tell you.
My thumbs are going to be green, from squishing aphids.

This is another spring fling.
I wait all year for these.
I LOVE them.

I dug up hundreds last year and gave them away.

Did you get some?

Are they blooming?

If I gave away any pretty colors you have to send me a couple back!!

I had too many of the same thing. Variety is the spice of life right?

This spot was raked smooth. I have seeds planted here. Cucumber ones. The cats like variety too. The cats have decided this is a great spot to dig in and do.... a doo doo.
Cats GAH!

Personally, I do not like knowing the source of my fertilizer.

And after all of this. We would all pile into the swing together and have a few laughs.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Snapshot Saturday

This doesn't just happen.

It takes a lot of work.

We haven't even tilled anything yet.
Just weeding and whacking and pulling and grunting and sweating.

Yeah like this much.

I am outside today.

Yep, I filled that extra tall can by myself.
Wanta see my muscles?
Yeah, that's what I thought too.
We will just forget about that.

Happy Saturday.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Embarrassing Confessions.

Do you have illusions about yourself?
I do.
Inside my head I am the same as when I was 20 or 30.
That is a definite delusion.

I recently had one of those moments of reality; in front of one the dreaded 3 way mirrors in a dressing room.
You know the kind. The same place where the lighting is bad, and you can visualize every dimple you have on your hind quarters.
I saw so much beef; I could have moo---ed!

It was Easter and we are going to go to California in June. I thought a new outfit was appropriate. I figured that I'd have some success if I went to a "good" store. I chose Chico's. The have sales ladies that can help you out. Guess what? I came out of there with a T-shirt. That's it. I'm modeling it for you in all my royal fatness.

It's OK you don't have to lie. Please don't say sweetly that I am alright. NO, I am not. I am not OK and probably you are not OK. I have never in my life been this big. This is what you call a negative epiphany. I have moved out of the category of "over weight" into "obese". That word just freaks me out! It sounds like OH BEAST or OH BEEF. It's a bad word. A horrid word.  No wonder my little bitty feet are breaking. Look at them those little tiny feet trying to peak out from under those flared jeans.

This is as bad as it gets.
The side profile shot.
Help me Jesus.

This has got to change.
I mean really, my profile could be on the funny Hallmark cards.
This is soooooo not me.
Just who is this imposter and when did she sneak in and steal the REAL Karen away?

Am I the only one who is surprised by my own self?

My husband has teased me at times.
He'll say, "water and air aren't fattening."
I used to hit him.
Now maybe I think there is some wisdom in that.
I have been reading about intermittent fasting as a way of life to maintain a healthy weight. You can eat what you want but only in a designated period of time.
I am not there yet. The goal is 5 hours of eating a day.

 The rest of the time you fast and just drink.
 Does wine count as a food group? Yeah it has calories.
 Can't stay drunk on the fasting hours--sorry about that.

I am thinking there is some real benefits to this. You really only need 2 meals in that time. Saves money-ka ching ka ching!  I spend a lot for food. It COSTS a lot of money to fatten the calf maintain this girth.
Not to mention the secret stashes of candy desserts and gourmet items. You know the stuff that tastes delicious.  So where are we now?

To start this I am quitting at 5pm. After 5 that's it. Done. Tea ok, water ok.  Whatever I'm going to have has to be eaten before the witching hour my time limit. This has me eating for about 7 to 8 hours. When this becomes easy I'll challenge myself to start later in the morning or cut back in the evening. When I was young I actually practiced this when I needed to lose. I used to quit at 3 in the afternoon. I was about a size 3 then, so it worked. I also roller skated all over Santa Cruz. My long hair blowing in the breezes. Wowza how the diva--dived!!!!

The problem has been the lack of meaningful work, restricted activity, and sitting in front of the TV at night munching on anything not nailed down snacking.

The solutions have begun.
My other little steps have been---
babyitting these little ones.

They keep me hopping and I just love them.
Aren't they cute?

My other big plus has been that I am going to
physical therapy. I love it.
It's like having a personal trainer.
Unlike the biggest loser where they don't care if
your puking your guts up, or getting injured. Yeah I know they have doctors there, they need them!
The PT therapist want you to get back in shape in a more timely manner, without injury.
I'll take some pictures of where I go, it's beautiful.
I'm in the pool and I love the water. I love to swim.

Why did I post these awful pictures and tell you?
Maybe some of you are struggling with this too.
Maybe you have had a recent traumatic encounter with the hideous 3 way mirrors.
Maybe you are wishing you could do SOMETHING to change.
 I'm sharing my plan. These are the before pictures. I am going to change. You can just watch or you can join in. I have found that the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. Now that I look like I have eaten one I can give advice.
 Making changes are most successful in the same manner, one bite step at a time.
The important thing is to start.
How about you?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Quick Tip

Harvest Essentials,  has a sale on wheat grinding mills and the one I use is the K-TEC it's on sale for $179.00.  I saw the add under my previous post and was curious as to what they had. I have had my mill now for almost 20 years.  I do grind outside in the carport and this mill is loud. But I think it does a great job. If you are thinking about making bread on a routine this mill is great. Even if you want to grind for your own flour or corn meal. When I grind popcorn the cornmeal is delicious it makes the best bread. one step at a time, first you get a mill.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


The beauty of the day fills me with joy.

Celebrations begin.
Friends that we love to join us.
The twins are so cute.
Big brother is showin out.

They barely ate because there was something exciting to do afterwards.

Kayla hid 81 eggs, some real ones and some plastic ones full of chocolate and starburst jelly beans. The starburst jelly beans were killer, I ate some. I'm glad the kids took the rest of them away.

We had a great day.