Christmas 2016

Christmas 2016
God Bless Our Troops

Click on the cabin below to see our family website.

Click on the cabin below to see our family website.
We love what we do!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

On the lowcarb front:
Daily stats (will be updated later)
My stats for today:
Average heart rate:
Maximum heart rate:
Calories burned:
I’m up .5 pounds from last Sunday

The good news is that I am down .4 since setting my Covey goal. There are 3 daily steps for this goal, and only 3.

I log my food (all of it, bad or good)
I drink 8 glasses of water
I get in some kind of exercise (today's will probably be a walk this afternoon)

During this goal I am not following any particular food plan. For me, it isn't what I eat, it's why and how much. Eventually I will transition back to Atkins maintenance because I feel best on that. But for right now, I am getting to the root cause of my issues. My current goal is tied in with becoming a proactive person. COEs let themselves become controlled by environment, people, food, negative thoughts etc. I am leaning more an more that what goes on in my head has a profound effect on what is going on in my life. I know that sounds like a "duh", particularly if you are a proactive person, but reactives don't think like other people. In fact, often, thinking is not involved. We are driven by our emotions. We know intellectually that what we do doesn't make sense, but we let ourselves be crippled by forces other than our own instincts. So often we get in our own way. If we watched someone else acting the way we do, we would want to shake him, but we don't see it in ourselves. Hmmmm that old log/splinter thing, hmmmm?

On the home/business front:
I am finally starting to see some progress in my workroom. It's still a mess, but I am getting there. Part of the problem was I didn't really know how I wanted to set it up. Now I have a picture in my head to work toward. Funny how that makes a difference.

Word of the day:

Matthew 16:21-27
From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, "God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you." But he turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things." Then Jesus told his disciples, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life? For the Son of Man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay everyone for what has been done."

Thoughts from the cornfield:
Now, earlier in this same story we heard about how Peter was inspired by God to declare to Jesus, "you are the Messiah, the son of the living God." If ever there was a reactive person, it would be Peter. We have to remember that here on this earth, there are opposing forces battling for our allegiance. Of course, God has won that battle, but since we operate in a time continuum and God does not, we are still here fighting the battle. Satan is a foe defeated, but he is not dead and he will take as many as he on his descent as he can. Thankfully, we have an ally in the battle - our only weapon against the foe.

God bless the troops!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

On the lowcarb front:
My stats for today:
Type: treadmill
Route: manual settings
Time: 30 minutes
Average heart rate: 120
Maximum heart rate: 131
Calories burned: 222
I’m up .6 pounds from last Saturday

In a few minutes I am heading for the treadmill. I really should go outside because it is beautiful, but there is some reading I want to do. I met my 3 daily goals yesterday: drinking my water, logging my food, and exercising. The scale was up today, but that's okay. I am only concentrating on meeting my daily goals. I went back to one of the threads at lowcarb friends that deals with the same kinds of issues that I have. I never should have left the thread in the first place, but no matter, I'm back there now. Later . . .

Word of the day:
Matthew 25:14-30
Jesus told his disciples this parable, "For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money. After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, 'Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.' His master said to him, 'Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.' And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, 'Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.' His master said to him, 'Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.' Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, 'Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.' But his master replied, 'You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents.'

Thoughts from the cornfield:
How well do we use the gifts that God has given us? And how often do we let fear keep us from being all that we can be. Laziness is part of it, but so is fear. Fear of failure, fear of what others will think of us. Feh. I've had enought of that in my life. For too many years I let what others think rule my life. I let it cripple me. No more. It took me over 5 decades to "get it", but better late than never.

God bless the troops!

On the lowcarb front:
My stats for today:
Type: walk/jog
Route: Deadend and back
Time: 20 minutes
Average heart rate: 123
Maximum heart rate: 143
Calories burned: 175
I’m down .4 pounds from last Friday
Today's walk was really nice. It is overcast and looks like rain. You can smell fall i
n the air.

In keeping with my reading of the 7 Habits, I have set a goal at the Stephen Covey website. Small goals are important because they keep us focused and eventually get us to our big goals.
I am a person who is overwhelmed by the big picture. I do much better when I break a big goal down into small chunks. So I have created a ticker for that small goal. On the Covey website there is a daily check in where I ask myself 3 questions about my the steps needed to get to my goal. For this particular goal they include logging my intake, logging my water, and logging my workouts. I set a reward for reaching this goal, but I think I am going to change it. I think my reward for reaching this small goal will be to set another goal. I would love to make a full sized bed quilt. That is another goal that will need to be broken down into small chunks because just the thought of making a big quilt like that is daunting.

On the home front/business:
Today is my last official day of vacation. I love fall. I tend to think of September as the beginning of the year - my January, as it were.

I found some really cute candle pans on closeout from one of my suppliers. I put together a Halloween tea light. I am currently testing some tea light batteries that I found at a really great price.

I am wrapping up my apple fest as far as candles and soap go. Soon it will be time to move on to pumpkin and then Christmas scents. September through January are the busiest times for our business, with the exception of the Syrup Festival. Things fall nicely because with the Christmas rush over, we can concentrate on getting ready for the Syrup Festival. And this year, when the Christmas rush is over, I am officially retired from one of my jobs.

Word of the day:
Mark 6:17-29
For Herod himself had sent men who arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, because Herod had married her. For John had been telling Herod, 'It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife.' And Herodias had a grudge against him, and wanted to kill him. But she could not, for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he protected him. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed; and yet he liked to listen to him. But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers and for the leaders of Galilee. When his daughter Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, 'Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it.' And he solemnly swore to her, 'Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom.' She went out and said to her mother, 'What should I ask for?' She replied, 'The head of John the baptizer.' Immediately she rushed back to the king and requested, 'I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.' The king was deeply grieved; yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests, he did not want to refuse her. Immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard with orders to bring John's head. He went and beheaded him in the prison, brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl. Then the girl gave it to her mother. When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.

Thoughts from the cornfield:
Today is the commemoration of the beheading of John the Baptist. It's fairly obvious why Herodias had a grudge against him. It's hard, sometimes, to hear things about ourselves that we need to hear. Thankfully, most of us don't react quite so violently. The thing that amazes me about John the Baptist is that he was steadfast in delivering the message he was sent to deliver. What could his motivation have been? I am guessing that it is the same motivation that sent Jesus to the cross. John wasn't a warm fuzzy character with his camel hair and belt, not to mention his diet of locusts. We hear about him at Christmas time, yet we never see his image gracing our Christmas cards. He preached his message of repentance, yet why should he care if we repent? Love comes in many forms. We would do well to look for it and take heed.

God bless the troops!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Daily stats:
No workout today.

Uh, yesterday I was under the impression that it was Thursday so yesterday's word of the day should have been today. Sooooooo, today the Word of the Day will be the one for Wednesday since I skipped right by it.

Word of the day:

Matthew 23:27-28

Jesus said, "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which on the outside look beautiful, but inside they are full of the bones of the dead and of all kinds of filth. So you also on the outside look righteous to others, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness."

Thoughts from the cornfield:
Here come those hypocritical Pharisees again. Seems like whenever Jesus is talking about hypocrites, there are the scribes and Pharisees. Jesus used some pretty strong visuals to describe what a hypocrite looks like on the inside. Again, that ties in so nicely with the book I'm reading because it is about change from the inside out. Anything else is just window dressing . . . or whitewashing.

God bless the troops!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Here are my stats for this morning:
Time: 30 minutes
Route: Treadmill
Average heart rate: 114
Maximum heat rate: 131
Calories burned: 202
I am using a different heart rate monitor. I don't like it as well as my PS15, but until I find that, I guess this will do. I have to cut the calorie total in half for this one because it credits me far too many for the work out - like two times too many.

I was reading the "Habits" book on the treadmill this morning. I need to go back and read again with my highlighter in hand. There is one section in the intro that says to read the book as if you were going to teach the principles to someone. Ironically enough, I skipped right over that - never saw it. In last night's reading Covey talks about setting goals. My goal for today - and only for today - is to stay in value rather than personality mode (hmmmm, kind of like my inner brat - Mary Ann) - to stick with my food program and not let "Mary Ann" sabatog me. This, to me, is the most important message in the book. Our values are the source from which personality flows, and if we are stifling or ignoring those values, we are not living authentically. We know when we violate our values - or we should, if our consciences are in working order.

I just visited the Biggest Loser site. The new season premiers on September 16. Can't wait! I just hope that there is another "Bette-Sue" type character. I just loved her!

On the home front:
I have a meeting this afternoon and then more inventory. Inventory is bearable because I use a laptop to take it and I can listen to internet radio while I am doing it.

I finally finished the choir letter I have been working on. Our choir is going to do a CD in memory of our friend John who died suddenly last October. I don't know why I have procrastinated with it. Today, I put my procrastinating personality aside and got it done. Writing the letter was the hard part. Now that it's done, I can enjoy the rest of the day.

Word of the day:

Matthew 24:42-46
Jesus said to his disciples, "Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour. Who then is the faithful and wise slave, whom his master has put in charge of his household, to give the other slaves their allowance of food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master will find at work when he arrives."

Thoughts from the cornfield:
A friend of mine has a shirt that says, "Jesus is coming, look busy." This would be hilariously funny if it weren't so true. Many of us, including me, go through life "looking busy." And what are we doing when we aren't looking busy? Often we're worrying about how busy our neighbor is and whether he is just looking busy.

This all gets back to authenticity and it ties in so well with what I am reading in the "Habits" book. If we are operating from a Character (or Value) ethic, there is no need to "look busy." We ARE busy. We are doing what we need to do. And we are doing it because there is nothing else we would rather be doing. How wonderful if we lived as if we wanted to get caught doing what we should be doing.

God bless the troops!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Here are my stats for this morning:
Time: 30 minutes
Route: Treadmill
Average heart rate: 113
Maximum heat rate: 140
Calories burned: 208

On the home/business front:
Only six more days until the Country Sampler ad comes out. I waver between nervousness that the ad will flop, and excitement at the possibility that we will be swamped with orders. I am hoping that the reality will be somewhere in between.

Update: I just got a call from Sue Koller at Country Sampler. I goofed - the ad comes out on October 1. That's good news because it gives us a little more time to get ready. Thank you to the reader who was responsible for me getting the "heads up."

In the "7 Habits" book I am still reading about the first habit, that of being proactive rather than reactive. I can see where I tend to be reactive and it doesn't work very well for me. The chapter could be summed up with the Serenity Prayer - in that it is wasted energy to to wallow in worry about things over which we have no control. This chapter in the "Habits" book really opened my eyes to what that means. I have a habit of letting worry disable me - almost as if my not worrying will bring about disaster to the person I am worrying about. It kind of speaks to what Nina once said to me about worry and prayer - I could do either, but which would do more good? Worry is definitely reactive while prayer is proactive. Ah, a paradigm shift. Or a God moment.

Word of the day:

Matthew 23:23-26
Jesus said, "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. It is these you ought to have practiced without neglecting the others. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel! Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence."

Thoughts from the cornfield:
Ah, once again those pesky Pharisees are caught in the act of being themselves. Appearances, always appearances. Takes a lot of energy to keep up appearances. One can only wonder what these people could have accomplished if they had expended their energies working from the inside out. Jesus must really have loved those Pharisees to give them so many warnings. Seems like every "woe" Jesus called them on was tied to hypocrisy. We would do well to learn from their mistakes, no?

God bless the troops!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Here are my stats for this morning:
Time: 30 minutes
Route: Treadmill
Average heart rate: Don't know, can't find my PS15
Maximum heat rate: Don't know, can't find my PS15
Calories burned: 208

I had to use a different HRM watch this morning because I can't find my other one. I need to stop today and get a tiny screwdriver so that I can change the batteries in my defunct one. My good one is hiding somewhere since coming back from vacation where I remember using it for one of our hikes. (No, Nina, I did not leave it in the bathroom at Bond Falls).

It felt good to get on the treadmill again. I watched Biggest Loser - my favorite season(3) and read the 7 Habits book. I can't wait for the new Biggest Loser season to start. I need to know that I am not on this journey alone.
In the "Habits" book, I am beginning the chapter on Habit 1 - Being proactive.

On the home front:
A few years back, this would have been the first day of school. Now we wait until after Labor Day. But still, it feels like the summer is officially over. It went by way too fast. At the beginning of the summer I had a list of things I wanted to accomplish. Most of them went by the wayside. But I did get stuff done. The girls and I have over 150 stockings waiting to be personalized and sent to their new homes. I streamlined my soap and candle making process. Worked out some bugs in both areas. Made a dent in organizing the work dungeon. Got a lot of Grandma time in. So all in all, it's been a pretty productive summer - still, it went too fast.

I have a lot to do today. I need to get a load of laundry done, and then I am meeting 2 friends for lunch. Despite the pile of other stuff that I need to do, this is a priority because last year it kept getting put off and then never happened.

After that I have to go in and do some more inventory at the school. Then I need to get some stockings done - September 1 is looming ever closer.

On the lowcarb front:
Today is the day I start get my tush back in gear regarding workouts.
As far as lowcarb plan goes, I am still finalizing a program that I can stick to. I picked up a free book at a garage sale the other day. "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People." I never paid much attention to this book because I thought it was about being a great CEO. Since it was free, I brought it home. I was wrong. It's basically about getting out of your own way - about the effectiveness of the Character Ethic vs. the Personality Ethic. The substance vs. the veneer. It's about authenticity. It's about our perspective on life and how it affects every aspect of our lives. It's about affecting change from the inside out. It's about being more than a whitewashed tomb. It's a very good book.

Word of the day:

Matthew 23:13-15
Jesus said to the Pharisees, , ‘Woe to you, blind guides, who say, “Whoever swears by the sanctuary is bound by nothing, but whoever swears by the gold of the sanctuary is bound by the oath.” You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the sanctuary that has made the gold sacred? And you say, “Whoever swears by the altar is bound by nothing, but whoever swears by the gift that is on the altar is bound by the oath.” How blind you are! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred? So whoever swears by the altar, swears by it and by everything on it; and whoever swears by the sanctuary, swears by it and by the one who dwells in it; and whoever swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by the one who is seated upon it.

Thoughts from the cornfield:
Symbolism over substance. With God, all is sacred - without Him - nothing is.
Let those who have ears hear.

God bless the troops!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

On the lowcarb front:

Be patient my pretties! LOL!

Word of the day:

Matthew 16:13-20
Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

Thoughts from the cornfield

Another "God" moment for Peter. We heard a homily yesterday at Mass in which Fr. Kevin talked about how we grow in faith. He posed a question. "How do you suppose Peter would have answered that question just before his own death?" That point struck home because when Jesus questioned Peter, Peter's answer sounded like it came off one of those sheets of 120 questions we used to have to memorize for Confirmation. God supplied Peter with the answer. Peter didn't say that on his own, but on a deeper level a seed was being planted. I suspect that when Peter faced his own crucifixion, the answer came out of his deep faith - the faith he had grown into.

God bless the troops!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

On the home front:
Today we celebrated the 50th anniversary of a couple in our parish. Now I don't know about you, but these people celebrating 50 years together seem to be younger and younger. Maybe because I am looking at them from a closer perspective with regard to age. It was nice to see Francis and Alfredo surrounded by family and friends, both in fairly good health, able to enjoy life.

But there is another thing that I am noticing these days. It has become the norm for unmarried couples to live together whether marriage is in their future or not. And they're not shy about letting you know the situation. More and more, babies before marriage are becoming the rule rather than the exception. It saddens me when I read birth announcements and more than half of the babies are being born to couples who are not married. Sometimes only the mother is listed. While I am profoundly grateful that these mothers have chosen life rather than abortion, in many instances adoption would have been the more compassionate choice.

I make no moral judgements here; I just wonder about this decline in the family. I work in a public school. Students tell me things. Shocking things. Sad things. Things that make me go home and cry. Things that make me fear for my grandchildren and the challenges they will face in this world. And now, in the schools, high school students can dual enroll - meaning they are exposed to college life and college lifestyles earlier and earlier. Academics and financial considerations aside, I'm not sure that exposing younger students to life on campus is a good thing. But what do I know? I am becoming that old lady who remembers how it was in my day, when girls had to wear dresses to school, and gym class wasn't co-ed. Yeah, I'm that old. Where's the beef!

Word of the day:

Matthew 23:1-12
Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, "The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat; therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them. They do all their deeds to be seen by others; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long. They love to have the place of honor at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have people call them rabbi. But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all students. And call no one your father on earth, for you have one Father--the one in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted."

Thoughts from the cornfield:
You know, it's easy to read this passage and think about what awful people those Pharisees were, especially since the Pharisees seemed to have bought into their own hype. But before we spend too much time looking around our logs in order to better see the splinters beneath their phylacteries, we might want to examine our own behavior. How often do we expect more from others than we ourselves are willing to give?

I've often said that if you want to see the true measure of a man, watch how he treats waitresses and dry cleaners. People in service industries could tell you tales that would curl your hair. Such snobbery is alive and well in today's world. And, sad to say, it is most rampant in the Church - particularly in ministry. I am no exception. There has been many a morning when the mouth I used to sing God's praise, was being used earlier to put someone else down - and it makes no matter whether that person was righteous or not. The shortcoming is still in my inventory. The behavior of others should not have a bearing on whether or not I act out of love.

But I digress. Those poor unlovable Pharisees. Jesus loved them too, ya know. Thank God for that.

God bless the troops!

Summer vacation is drawing to a close. The summer went so fast - probably because it was a good one. It's time to get the media center in shape for the returning students. Time to go back to work. Actually, I shouldn't sigh. In a few more months, I will not be doing this job. It's one that I have, for the most part, loved. I have been fortunate in my life to have been able to find jobs that I like. I think what I am really feeling is the unsettling realization that time moves very rapidly - more rapidly than we would like.

Last night I made peppermint soap. I smells wonderful. It looks awful. LOL! I will not be using the color combo that I used last night. I had forgotten that peachy pink is more peach than pink. I swirled the soap with that color and a deep green. It looked promising, but as the soap cools it just ain't makin' it in the looks department. The soap itself is great and my cantors will love receiving it, but I get frustrated with myself when I make color boo boos like that. Oh well, now I know what NOT to use.

I have lots to do today. I've gotten behind on housework. I have to get some retirement papers notarized, I have more work to do in my workroom. Lots of stuff.

Oh, I took some video of myself last night. Ugh. Nothing like a little video to get you movin'.

Word of the day:
Matthew 22:1-14
Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying: "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. Then he said to his slaves, 'The wedding is ready. Go therefore into the main streets, and invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet.' Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both good and bad; so the wedding hall was filled with guests. But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing a wedding robe, and he said to him, 'Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe?' And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, 'Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' For many are called, but few are chosen."

Thoughts from the cornfield:
I never understood this passage because when I was younger I thought it meant that the poor man was being discriminated against because he didn't have wedding clothes. It was explained to me that guests were provided with robes and this man chose not to wear one. So this man chose not to put on the wedding garment which is symbolic of salvation. He was offered a gift that he didn't earn - couldn't earn. He was given a choice. He made the wrong choice. Let those who have ears hear.

God bless the troops!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I'm late getting to the blog this morning. I made the mistake of going downstairs to get something and I got sidetracked with candles and stuff. I have so many ideas for the upcoming craft shows and so little time to get them implemented.

Clay just called. He and Claire are staying over tonight so I want to get my work done so that I have nothing to do but play with them. They like to gather a load of books and trap Grandma in a chair. Grandma, of course, is a willing prisoner. Harold and I continue to be amazed at how much fun grandparenting is. Harold must be suffering some serious Grandpa withdrawal because he has been in Canada for the last week. He gets home tomorrow so tonight I have the kids to myself.

Claire is learning new words every day and it's fun to listen to her. Clayton is learning to sound out words because he knows what the letters sound like. It won't be long before it all clicks and he is reading. I love being a Grandma!!!

Word of the day:

Matthew 19:23-26

Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Truly I tell you, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God." When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astounded and said, "Then who can be saved?" But Jesus looked at them and said, "For mortals it is impossible, but for God all things are possible."

Thoughts from the cornfield:
This is a continuation of yesterday's thought. Rich people are not more sinful than those who are not rich, but rich people tend to have more things. Things need maintenance. Things need attention. Things distract from God. And rich is a relative term. Middle class people appear to be rich to lower class people. (And know that I am speaking economically, not morally or anything else.) I included that disclaimer because there are people who place value on human life according to what they have or what they contribute to society. This is where the pro-life people vehemently disagree with pro-choice people. Ask someone when life begins and you will know where he or she stands on the issue of abortion. But I digress. I tend to get on my soap box about snobbery. You may have noticed that. Anyway, the more we have, the more we tend to get distracted. We need to remember that it all comes from God and we are merely stewards.

God bless the troops!

Monday, August 18, 2008

On the home/business front:
I spent most of the evening in the basement again. As a result, I have a huge pile of boxes to break down and get rid of - again. I have been looking in vain for my primitive soap molds. I can't imagine what I did with them. However, in my quest to find them, I have gotten a lot of things organized downstairs. Make no mistake - it will never make the cover of Home and Garden, but at least it's a little more pleasant to work down there.

We had a meeting about our fall craft shows yesterday. It boils down to this - I am responsible for the "smelly" stuff and the fudge. The others do everything else. A lot will depend on what the weather will be like. Warm weather will definitely limit what we take - at least for the Applefest show.

My work is cut out for me today. I have to take care of those boxes - make some stockings, get the laundry done, do some cleaning, and generally get ready for Clay and Claire who will be spending the night tomorrow. So, I'd better get to it!
(Hi Kelli, Nina, and Barbara!)

Word of the day:

Matthew 19:16-22
Then someone came to Jesus and said, "Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?" And he said to him, "Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments." He said to him, "Which ones?" And Jesus said, "You shall not murder; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; Honor your father and mother; also, you shall love your neighbor as yourself." The young man said to him, "I have kept all these; what do I still lack?" Jesus said to him, "If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me." When the young man heard this word, he went away grieving, for he had many possessions.

Thoughts from the cornfield:
Here's something to think about. Do you own possessions? Or do they own you? In another passage, Jesus simplifies the commandments further: "you shall love the Lord, your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your heart, with all your mind; and the second is like it - you shall love your neighbor as yourself." He went on to say that the entire law and the prophets were based on those commandments. It's a fine line between wealth and bondage when it comes to possessions.

I know that for me, it is very hard to get rid of stuff; my kids old school papers, their old toys, their old clothes. It isn't the stuff that I'm attached to, it's the memories they hold. I think that our possessions become so much a part of us that when we try to get rid of them, it's like getting rid of pieces of ourselves.

A few years ago I found Her basic tenet is "you can't organize clutter, you have to get rid of it." She has some criteria for deciding if something needs to go. "Do I love it and does it make me smile." If it does not meet that criteria, we are told to release it to bless someone else's life. Thinking of blessing someone makes it a little easier to part with our stuff. Flylady suggests that if the memory is our reason for holding on to something, then take a picture of the item and get rid of it.

But I digress - "stuff and things" clutter our lives and leave us unable to accept the good things that God has for us. There is freedom in letting go.

God bless the troops!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

On the home/business front:
Finally I feel halfway human - the cold is finally taking its leave. I spent most of last night working on my basement/dundgeon workroom. I sorted my potpourri ingredients and some of our products by scent. I used carts with drawers now - much easier to deal with than the stacked bins. I am beginning to see some progress, but there is lots to do yet.
I melted down some defective tarts and made a really cute flameless tealight.
I had to order more supplies - always more supplies so the tally sheet is tipping ever more steeply in the red zone. Please, let those stocking sales right the balance.

On the journey:
As I mentioned yesterday, today I start a new phase in my quest for health. Sorry to be so mysterious, but I just don't want to share the details yets. Soon, my dears, soon.

Word of the day:
Matthew 15:21-28
Jesus went away to the district of Tyre and Sidon. Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came out and started shouting, "Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is tormented by a demon." But he did not answer her at all. And his disciples came and urged him, saying, "Send her away, for she keeps shouting after us." He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." But she came and knelt before him, saying, "Lord, help me." He answered, "It is not fair to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs." She said, "Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table." Then Jesus answered her, "Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish." And her daughter was healed instantly.

Reflections from the cornfield:

Oh, Happy Fault
Matthew 15:21-28

To you, O Lord,
perfect and without sin
I offer up my sinfulness

In the light of your truth
I see my iniquities
and by this I am blessed.

For in my righteousness and self-glory
you hear me not

But in my cry for help
you draw near.

O blessed infirmity
made holy by your love.

O blessed wounds
which draw your healing touch.

O blessed emptiness
which only you can fill.

O blessed thirst
quenched by your living water.

You welcome me at table
where bread and wine
become a feast
made holy by your love.

Blessed are those who know their hunger
for on their knees
they seek but table scraps
and receive instead
a royal banquet.

(from The Tarantella Dancers - copyright 2000 - Mary A. Moeggenborg)

God bless the troops!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Sheesh, the last two days I felt like I was run over by a bus. I suspect that I caught this cold at a wedding reception we went to last week because all of us who were there have come down with it.
Thursday I brought the kids here so Melisa could get some rest because she has it too. Little Claire was sniffling and sneezing. Clay sounds like he's stuffed up. Friday I played Mass in Shepherd - I don't know how I was able to sing, but I managed it by God's grace. Afterwards I watched the kids so Melisa could run errands. I came home and slept the rest of the day. Got up for a bit and then slept the night until 10 this morning. I still feel tired.

On the weightloss front:
I am trying something new and I am going to be mysterious about it for a week. I have a tendency to go great guns on stuff and then drop it by the wayside. So I am giving this a week before I say anything about it.

On the business front:
I ordered some more oils, silicone bulbs, and other stuff. I made some more jar candles and I am just loving the new wicks that I bought. No more soot in the air or on the jars when I extinguish the candles. I also made a really cute tealight pillar that I can't wait for the girls to see. I would post a pic, but my camera is still mia and Harold has the other one in Canada. Despite feeling crappy this week, I did manage to get 20 stockings made. Only 2 more weeks until the ad comes out. I am really excited!
(Hi Nina!)

I have changed my blog template - this setup is a little more user-friendly for me. I loved the old template, but I had to keep changing the font color because the default font was hard for me to read. What do you think of the new setup?

God bless the troops!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Well, my diagnosis was correct. I have a cold. I must have woken up every hour on the hour last night. This makes for very strange dream, none of which I remember. The house still smells of apple this and apple that. I used the last of my caramel apple FO this morning making some fall pillar candles. I have finally found the wick that I like for these. I did a little more organizing in my downstairs workroom, made some room sprays, and generally tried to get some kind of order injected into the chaos. A little here, a little there and hopefully, someday, it will be presentable to the occasional customer who - despite the fact that I don't have a storefront - finds her way here.

I had to order more caramel apple oil. Every time we get a little ahead on funds, it has to get spent on something or other. I am hoping that the stocking sales will put us ahead finally. Our big dream is a commercial kitchen off the back of the house. It may never happen, but I love to have goals to work toward.

God bless the troops!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

On the lowcarb front:
Ummmm, I'm a little late with the blog today (sorry Kelli) but I got way off schedule.
I'm still struggling. Today I didn't feel well - a cold is coming on. I have absolutely no energy. At least now I know why. The last 2 days I have done wonderfully during the day and then caved at night.

On the home/business front:
It's been a totally busy day. Puttered here, puttered there. Finished up the 4 heart grubbies that a lady ordered last week. I can't believe I poured all four of them yesterday. (I have only one mold.) I love making these so I am always thrilled to get an order for them. All four of them were vanilla and my workroom smells wonderful. I tested them and then packaged them up so they are ready and waiting for when the customer comes to get them. While I was waiting for wax to melt, or cool, or whatever, I poured a batch of caramel apple jar candles for October's Applefest show.

I'm testing some new wicks and so far I really like them. They smoke a lot less when the flame is put out.

Last night I made a batch of Country Apple Soap so the upstairs smells like Country Apple. I may be sick of all things apple by the time our fall shows are done.

I was going to do a few more stockings tonight, but I am feeling nauseous so I think I'll just put my feet up and watch House. Have a great night all!

God bless the troops!

Monday, August 11, 2008

On the lowcarb front:
I have strayed badly from my lowcarb lifestyle. This isn't the first time. You would think that I would learn my lesson about it being easier to stay on track than to get back on track. Harold is gone on a fly-in trip so I have a whole week to focus on the things I need to do.

On the homefront/business front:
I have carved out this week for myself. At the moment I am making a list of everything I would like to accomplish this week. Housecleaning and decluttering is at the top of the list. Today's project will be the laundry room. I also have a set of electric grubbies that I need to make to fill an order. Then there are the ever present Christmas Stockings. Monday is also laundry day and soap making day so today has pretty much filled itself up. Oh, and I want to set some potpourri to cure for October's Applefest show.

I can feel fall lurking just around the corner. I am ready for fall. I love the smells of burning leaves and all things apple and pumpkin. My house smells like apple jack and pumpkin crunch and I just love it!!! I am off to start a batch of candles. Will update later.

God bless the troops!

August 10, 2008

I am down 1.4 from last week's all time high.
It would help if I had company on the journey, but everyone needs to do what they need to do when they are ready. I am finding it very difficult to do stay the course. I get so scattered. I know it's because I am of a certain age, but it doesn't make things any easier - especially when people get upset with me. I get frustrated with myself and am much harder on myself than anyone else could ever be.

I've mentioned before that in many things, the big picture overwhelms me. I believe it is due to the way my brain processes information. It's why I have a problem with freeways, and it's why I have a problem in other types of big projects (like getting this house in shape). has been a huge help to me in that department. Marly Cilley and company teach us that it's okay to focus on the small things that lead us to completing the big picture. Some people do this naturally. I don't. I never have.

I can remember my mother telling me to go in and clean my room. I would go in - look around - and be totally overwhelmed. She would come back an hour later and I would be sitting on my bed still trying to figure out how to "clean my room." For people like me, a better approach would be to tell me to go in and pick up all of the dirty clothes. That I can manage. That's black and white - couldn't be clearer. People who are born organized - Marla calls them BOs - simply do not get this. We drive them nuts. But I am learning, at my ripe old age of 56, that I can't be anyone but myself. And I have to deal with the fact that there are people who aren't going to like me.

The older I get, the easier it is to tune out people who have nothing better to do than tear down others. I am learning lessons now that I wish I had learned long ago - but we learn the lessons we need when God decides we are ready - and not before. This has led me to accept and celebrate the idiosyncrasies of other people in a way that I never used to.

Anyway, I started over last Sunday and am going to concentrate only on my goal for that week. My goal for next week is to be down 1.5 pounds. That is ALL I am going to focus on. Small weekly goals that will help me to complete the bigger picture.

(Hi Barbara and Nina)

God bless the troops!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Okay, I have been gently prodded by a friend and royally reamed out by my daughter, both of whom reminded me that I have not blogged since Wednesday. I don't know where the week has gone. I started out behind on Monday and I am behinder now. (DD just interrupted this post and I just set her straight - see how focused I am.) Anyway, I have not been very focused all week and I am hoping to get back into the groove starting tomorrow. I did get my desk cleaned off today so I don't get a headache just thinking about sitting at it.

Yesterday I was hornswaggled by 2 little goobies. Now tell me, would you want to be blogging when cuties like this are around?

God bless the troops!

Wednesday, August 5

I have such a hard time with transitions. It's been difficult trying to get back into the groove after being gone for a week. I am anxious to get back into some kind of routine, but with vacation bible school this week, it won't be happening this week. Next week Harold will be gone for the Canada Fly-in. I have claimed that entire week for myself to get stuff back in gear. After that I will have to go back in and do inventory at work - for some reason that is going very slowly. The food has been very bad for the last couple of weeks. That needs to be my first order of business - getting that back on track. I gained 4 pounds on vacation and that is not a good thing.

I need to set some very small attainable goals. Right now I am feeling totally overwhelmed by everything that I need to get done. Some people are automatically organized in their thinking. I am not that way and that makes these kinds of things harder. It takes a lot of discipline for me to focus on the task at hand and not get distracted by everything else. To complicate things even further, I had a call from a bride yesterday whose wedding is scheduled for the same day as one of our craft shows. I don't remember if I gave her a firm commitment. Since I only have the groom's name written in my planner, I am guessing not. But I feel responsible for finding someone for her.

Gotta go for now - will update later. (Hi Kelli)

God bless the troops!

Monday, August 4, 2008

We are back from vacation and it was a great one! Only one teeny tiny snag. I left my camera in a bathroom at the last falls we visited. Didn't notice it was missing until we got home. Now this may sound crazy, but I know that camera is going to find its way home to me.

I am really strapped for blogging time at the moment, but for today there is something I would really like you to check out, if you're of a mind to. By way of introduction, yesterday we had a surprise party for Kelli. Our niece Laura and her husband Ryan were there. They, along with our other niece, Kathlene and her husband Drew have a Christian ministry entitled "One Time Blind." Their videos may be viewed on You Tube. Here is a link which explains what they do. We are very proud of what they do! Tony, who is in the clip, is no longer with the group.

I'm not sure how much blogging time I will have this week as I am committed to helping out with vacation Bible school, and . . . I have a zillion Christmas stockings to make.

God bless the troops!