Sunday, September 30, 2012

Still blessed...

The cool mornings and nights and the changing leaves are evidence that it really is fall.
But in contrast to our usually damp autumn weather, it's as if summer is refusing to let go, 
recompense for our wet June, I guess.
Warm temperatures.
Blue skies.
The rain will inevitably come.
and with it, other kinds of blessings to count.
Fires in the fireplace.
Hot cocoa.
Warm quilts.
Beef stew.
Still blessed.
I’ve taken the Joy Dare.

I’m counting one thousand thanks in one year.

I hunt for thanksgiving using the prompts Ann gives us each month.

If you are interested in joining in, click the link above or at the bottom of this post.

I continue to count my thanks

piling up gratitude day by day

in my little black journal…

3 gifts funny-
-roller skating granddaughter who says that roller skating is her "best sport"
-youngest granddaughter "singing" a high note when I whistle in her attempt to imitate me
-my grandson on the phone answering me with an enthusiastic "EXCELLENT!" when I asked him how he's doing
3 gifts finished-
-a good deep cleaning of the kitchen cupboards and pantry
-my surprise for the Hubs came! a photo canvas of the grandkids decked out in the gear of his favorite team
-final occupancy permit granted on our new church building 
3 gifts flourishing-
-the last of the roses
-my friend's huge rosemary and thyme plants, and she shared some of the bounty with me!
a gift unexpected-
-baby granddaughter said "Nana"!
a gift uneven-
-our three daughter's (3 being an uneven number :)
a gift unpopular-
-standing up for Biblical truth in a world gone wild
3 gifts shy-
-youngest daughter
-3 year old granddaughter who says that sometimes she's "a yittle bit shy"
-timid ones stepping out and praying with others at church
3 gifts shelved-
-my white ironstone collection
-food in our pantry
3 gifts shining-
-the sun
-the Columbia River sparkling in the sun when I crossed the bridge today
-full moon

Gratefully yours,

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Ecclesiastes 9:11...

I ran my first 5K today!
I ran the Portland Color Run with 9 other gals from our church and 4 from my son-in-law and daughter's church and about 15,000 other people!
I certainly wasn't the swiftest!
But, I did run all but about a quarter mile.
 A little past the mid-way point, I power walked a bit to catch my breath.
I plan to keep running and to try again.
It feels good to stretch myself, to reach for a goal, to do something I never thought I could do.
It feels even better to do it at age 55, when the tendency would be to take it easy and to slow down.
I want to finish my earthly race, however long that may be, strong in body, soul and spirit.
Here I am at the end of the race.
 I was the oldest runner in our group of 14.
The next oldest, who's over 50 as well, was the first to cross the finish line in our group!
She has run a 1/2 marathon and a 10 K this year as well.
What an inspiration!

Still following,

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Friday's Favs...Simple Fall Decor

Sometimes the loveliest fall decorations are the easiest,
like a simple flower arrangement of fall mums I received from a friend at church.

Some stalks of wheat here and there add another simple fall touch.
Cute little felt pumpkins and acorns, (from World Market), sit in a little wood caddy.

World Market also has little packages of these cute little fall felt cut-outs.
Using a needle and some "string" used for beads, (found at Walmart for $1), I made a simple garland.

I'm keeping it simple and uncluttered this year.
Here's my simple autumn mantel and autumn table.
What about you?  Have you done any fall decorating?

Well, it's almost Friday!
Have a HAPPY, HAPPY Friday
a BLESSED weekend.

vintage inspiration button1aaadoveladygfairy006Stuff and Nonsense

I'm Lovin' It at TidyMomSeasonal-Sunday-Teapot-copy_thumb3
Shabby Art Boutique

Fall Party

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I'm perfect, just the way I am...

My oldest granddaughter is 9 years old.
Her mama and daddy have tried to verbalize to her how beautiful she is just the way she is.
One day, in some type of devotional or church lesson, she was supposed to answer the question, "what do you think needs to change about you?"
The devotional was talking about inward changes, but evidently that's not how she read it.
She wrote, "Nothing, I'm perfect the way I am."
Her Mama questioned her, "You think you're perfect?"
Without guile, she responded enthusiastically, "Yes!"
Her Mama finally realized that my granddaughter was thinking outward appearance, while the devotional was talking about inward character.
All I could think of when my daughter relayed the story to me, was "Thank God!"
I don't want her to outgrow that thinking, or overhear one of us say something that makes her feel otherwise.
I want her to grow up confident that she is, indeed, beautiful and perfect just the way she is.

I must have been only five or six years old.
I had hopped out of the bathtub and tried to run and get a toy to bring back into the tub with me.
Someone had a camera and snapped a shot of me reaching into the toy box, naked and wet.
I remember being ashamed when I saw the picture and trying to rip it up.
The reason for my shame wasn't just the fact that I was naked.
I thought my little, round tummy looked fat in the picture.

In third grade I was Dolly in our version of "Hello, Dolly".
I had long blonde hair that Mama had curled in ringlets on the night of our program.
 I felt pretty.

My third grade year ended with me home and bedridden with rheumatic fever.
I spent the whole summer between third and fourth grade in bed.
I heard Mama telling someone on the phone that I had gotten chubby from laying in bed for months.
About the time I was able to go back to school, it was discovered I needed to get glasses.
Then Mama decided to take me for a haircut.
She had it cut in what she thought was "a cute pixie style".
I just remember Daddy being very upset at Mama when he saw that she had cut off my long hair.
I felt ugly, chubby and awkward for the next several years.

The summer before my sophomore year I started dieting.
I had seen Mama's weight go up and down, up and down my whole life.
She did T.O.P.S, Weight Watchers, even took these little caramel like diet candies called AIDS, (long before a disease was given that name), that were supposed to suppress your appetite.
I had no real nutritional knowledge, but just stopped eating what I deemed were "bad foods" and cut down on the amount of food I ate.
I heard Mama on the phone boasting about how I'd lost weight and how good I looked.
I was happy that Mama was proud of me.

My senior year my grades were the third highest in my class and I was the school year book editor.
I was smart and funny and involved in lots of activities at school and church.
But, I had gained a few pounds back from my lowest high school weight.
When the photographer asked to display my senior photo in the window of his studio,
I never once thought it was because I was pretty.
I thought the only reason my photo looked good was because of the photographer's editing skills.
A friend set me up on a blind date, showing the guy my senior picture.
When we met face to face, he told my friend that I didn't look like my photo.
So, of course, I concluded that my assumptions about my senior pictures not looking like the real me were confirmed.

I went to college, got married, had babies, and like Mama, my weight went up and down, up and down.
When it would go up, I'd try some drastic diet to get it back down quickly.
I felt like I was stuck in the ugly and awkward stage that had began in fourth grade.
I tried different hair cuts, got rid of the glasses and got contacts.
 I didn't know what it felt like to feel beautiful.
 I had not been comfortable in my own skin for longer than I could remember.

About age 35 I decided to quit weighing myself and just focus on getting healthy.
I started walking, increasing my speed and endurance as time went along.
I tried to eat healthy and, I must admit, jumped on the low fat bandwagon.
At the same time, I was growing and maturing in my relationship with Christ.
I was feeling better about being me, more comfortable in my own skin.
I was feeling more confident inside and outside.
I was starting to believe that I was beautiful.

I'm 55 years old and, for the most part, I'm pretty happy and confident with who I am.
I still walk 4 to 5 days a week, and actually am jogging now in order to run my first 5K in 3 days.
With menopause, a few pounds have crept back on, right around my middle.
I try to eat a diet that includes healthy fats, (olive oil, nuts, etc.), a bit more of a balanced approach than how I ate in my thirties.
But, I notice that I can go on a good run and come home, catching a glance at myself in the mirror as I head into the shower and think, "you look pretty good for a 55 year old woman"!
Yet, if I weigh myself ten minutes later and my weight is up, or hasn't budged downward, I can look in the mirror and see something completely different.
My mood can change according to the number on the scale or according to how "bad" or "good" I've been with my eating and exercise.
I think I need to ditch the scale again and go back to just focusing on being fit and healthy and accept the fact that that may look different than it did at 35.

Mama was in her 80's.
Her doctor felt like she was at a healthy weight,
yet one day she asked me if she was as large as a seriously overweight person we know.
That person probably weighed 75 to 100 pounds more than Mama.
Her doctor,  who specialized in care for the elderly,  commented to me at one of Mama's checkups when she was fretting over being up a pound or two, that he finds the majority of women don't outgrow this obsession with their weight, no matter how old they are.

My dear blog friend, Emily, has written a book that has just been released called Chasing Silhouettes.
It's her story of hope after almost dying from anorexia.
But, I think it's our story.
I think it's the story for every little girl who grew up feeling chubby or awkward or ugly.
I think it's the story for every woman who thought a certain number on the scale or on the tag in their jeans would make them happy.
I think it's the story for every women who tried to numb their emotions with food, whether by overeating or going without it.
I think it's the story for every family who wants their children to escape this vicious cycle.

(to watch video turn off blog music at bottom of home page)

Still following,

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Corning WWII Handleless Mugs...

A year ago August, we, along with all of our children and grandchildren, rented a fabulous beach house in the lovely little town of Gearhart, Oregon for a few days of family togetherness.
We had a wonderful time.
While there, the kitchen was stocked with these unusual handleless mugs.
Oldest daughter, in particular, fell in love with the heft and the feel of these mugs as we enjoyed our morning coffee and evening hot cocoa in them.
She teased that she was going to sneak them home with her.
When we got home, we both did a little research on the mugs and found that they were WWII military mess ware, and therefore, virtually indestructibly made. 
 We occasionally found them for sale on ebay and other similar sites for $15-$35 and more apiece.
The mugs are easily recognizable by the logo and little glass blower on the bottom of the mug.
My daughter loved them so much that she frequently looked them up online, hoping to find a bargain.
Mama to the rescue!
While in Goodwill a few weeks ago, sitting amongst the vases, clay pots and ugly flower arrangements, sat 3 of the WWII Handleless mugs in pristine condition for $1.99 each.  Score!
A couple of weeks later, in the same Goodwill, again with the vases and such, another mug, this one for 99 cents!
Two for her and two for me!

Drinking my coffee out of one of the mugs, I think of my WWII Navy veteran Daddy on board ship, his hands wrapped around one of these mugs, filled with the strong, black coffee he loved.
It makes me smile.

Still following,