Wednesday’s Ode #42

  
I love Thanksgiving! I am so excited we have a day to celebrate thankfulness tomorrow. I have so many things of which to be thankful. I have a great husband, kids, home, extended family, church, town and nation. My heart is just overwhelmed with thankfulness, and I do try to maintain this thankfulness not just once a year, but rather, throughout the year. 

Yet, sometimes, I think we can get so caught up in the thankfulness of the “good things” that, maybe, we forget about the not so pleasant things for which we should be grateful, or, maybe even, the mundane things for which we should still carry a grateful heart. You might ask, “For what bad things could we ever be thankful? For which unanswered prayers could we possibly be grateful??” 

Well, let me share a little in a personal note…

I am thankful for the pain I experienced as a child when I grew up without a father around. Not because it was heartwrenching and left me with scars, but rather, for the joy in knowing what it’s like to have a grandfather who stepped into that role for me. I am thankful for the void that led to the fulfillment I felt when my stepdad walked me down the aisle. I am thankful for the maturity I experienced early in life and the ability to make better choices for my future than the harder lessons my mother had to learn at the same age. 

I am thankful for the pain of losing our first child through a miss carriage. Not because of the heartwrenching tears I cried, nor for the fear in wondering if we’d ever have another, but because I learned what it is to experience true loss and to have a heart-stopping doubt within my soul, wondering if God even cares, which caused me to the realize He loves me unconditionally and that love caused me to grow so much closer to my God during this time of doubt and pain. 

These are just two examples of when my pain and times of difficulty have caused a deep gratefulness within my heart for the things which I learned. So, today, as we get ready to celebrate a day of Thanksgiving tomorrow, let us be thankful for not only the “grand and glorious” things in our lives, but let’s also be thankful for those “not-so-grand-and-glorious” times when the pain of our experience elevated us toward our destiny! 😉

What surprising, and maybe painful, things have caused you to grow, learn, change and to become more grateful?

Advertisements

Wednesday’s Ode #41

  I LOVE Classic movies! Last night, I went to see The Sound of Music with a friend. One of the local movie theaters are showing several retro movies during this month and next. I haven’t actually watched this movie in several years, and I have never seen it on the big screen. My friend had never even seen the movie, only a play of it. It was simply wonderful! I had even forgotten how much I loved this movie, all of  the wonderful singing, the great story line and the beautiful scenery of the Swiss Alps. Yes, it is rather lengthy; so, don’t watch it expecting your normal hour and a half…it has an Intermission! 😂lol! There are actually a few songs, I think, they could have cut in order to shorten it a little, but it is what it is. I’m not the writer. 😉 

This movie actually was inspired from real live events. Maria Von Trapp wrote a book about her family, and Disney got the rights to it; however, there are several things that were inaccurate in the movie. Of course, the movie is for entertainment, and it never states “this is based on a true story.” You can read more about the family here. I found it quite fascinating, but I like stuff like that. 😉

Yes, it is a classic. So, obviously in parts, you can tell the backdrop isn’t real, and there are no modern computer-generated, digitally mastered, figures or locations; however, I can’t deny my love for  the simplistic and serene. Don’t get me wrong, I love movies today; however, I love the requirements of the actors back then. Those were the days you had to act, sing AND dance to be considered one of the greats. There were a few who were known for their beauty, or for their ability to simply capture the screen by their becoming character, but so many, during that era in Hollywood, had to expand their talents beyond the simple reading of lines.   

There are good merits and disadvantages alike if we began a comparison of modern vs.  classic; so, I’m not really trying to debate it. I just appreciate the multi-skill level of those actors then. 

I can’t wait until next month, for I get to see A White Christmas and It’s A Wonderful Life on the big screen as well! How fun!! 😊

Do you have any classics that are your favorite?

Wednesday’s Ode #39

  I love ORGANIZATION! When things are out of order, I start getting a little anxious and unsettled. If things get in total disarray, I actually might be able to handle it for a day or two, especially if I’m really, really busy; however, if it rolls on this way, I will set aside needed priorities simply to get things back into order. This isn’t always a good thing, but I have definitely determined this is one of my characteristics. 

It’s not really that I am overly organized either. I certainly joke about having OCD and how everything has to be “just so;” however, if you read articles and books about true OCD, I suppose, these descriptions wouldn’t quite describe my home or my office space. 

I think I might be more of an “organized piler.” I do like things in their place, and I don’t like chaos in my cabinets, drawers or closets; yet, I, also, have certain areas where I might have a basket full of things I really need to go through or maybe a small stack of papers on which I need to follow up. I’m trying to get better with these two things, because even that drives me crazy! … You know it’s bad when you’re getting on your own nerves! Haha.

I really do love being organized. I am often reading to improve some area, or space, in my life; however, I don’t want to be so crazy about the organization that I miss the point of it: to spend more time with the people I love and doing the things I enjoy! 

If your organizational skills become as such that you constantly forsake family time, or friendships, simply to organize something more, then you might want to take a step back, reassess, and determine the more important things in this life. 

You only have this moment, right now, and you may not have it again for the rest of your life! You’ll never, again, catch this memory that may be happening right now. I challenge you to set aside the need to organize today and go spend some time with those you love! Get out in nature. Go see a waterfall or watch the sky for the first constellations to appear. I promise you, you won’t be disappointed! 😊

Wednesday’s Ode #38

I love Fall flowers! You may be asking, “Well, which ones? … There are certainly more that bloom in Spring rather than Fall.” However, I am actually talking about something a little different….

I love the symmetry of this!

 
I’m talking about when you’re walking in the woods, and the forest floor is covered with leaves  all over. There is no potting soil, no planters and no mulch. There is only massive trees, fallen limbs and a blanket of underbrush all around. 

 I’m talking about those moments, when no mum, pansy or marigold can be found; yet, the most beautiful array of bouquets can be seen when you glance across the forest ground… 

Looks like Christmas is near!

 

Look closely, you might see a ❤️

 
 

I really love the Red!

  

I like to call these “fall flowers,” because they are just like flowers, bringing a burst of color and joy to all who take time to notice them. 

What fall colors have you seen lately? What’s your favorite “fall flower?” I’d love to hear from you! 😊🍁🍂

 

Wednesday’s Ode #37

Today, I would like to dedicate this Ode to a man who has always been very special in my life, and who will always hold a special place in my heart; even though, I had to say goodbye to him 13 years ago…my grandfather, aka Pa”T”.

Although, it has been 13 years ago (October 6), it feels like forever since I held his strong hands and kissed his cheek. My heart still yearns to see him again. My ears long to hear him say, “I love you, baby.”  My arms still desire to wrap around his big ol’ frame and receive a great big bear hug from him. I miss him so much. Time doesn’t erase the pain; it just makes the pain tolerable to live through.

You see, Pa”T” was not just my grandfather, he was like a Daddy to me, the only dad I really knew until my mom married my step-dad when I was 12. Pa”T” always looked out for me. He always made sure I was doing ok in school, at home, at church; wherever I was, he wanted to make sure I had everything I needed or even wanted.

He was always proud of me, and he always wanted me near. He taught me how to listen to a good story (and he could tell some great ones!), catch and clean fish (well, at least how to watch them get cleaned! ha!), how to take care of my money and even how to act around strangers. He taught me how a man should treat a woman, and how he shouldn’t. He even taught me how to pay bills by buying my first car and then sending me a check each month to deposit into my own checking account so that I could send off the payment.

He loved going on an adventure, exploring a new town, finding a new experience, and never met a stranger. Often, my grandmother and I would go in a mall or plaza to shop for a while, and we’d always come out to find he had made a new friend. He would proceed to introduce us to this person and tell you some of the most interesting things about them, as if, he had known them for a very long time. He liked meeting all sorts of people, but he had standards of character. He didn’t care for rude, hateful, lazy or user-type people. He believed in hard work and earning your own keep. He believed a man should provide for his family, and a wife should love and take care of her babies; yet, he didn’t believe so much in tradition that he would look down on a couple whose momma had to go to work either, just so long as those babies were taken care of!

IMG_3799

He sure loved his “little buddy!” (2001 – Pa”T” and JGrizz)

I’ll never forget the moment he met Joey. We were all kind of nervous, because he could “size someone up” real fast, and if he didn’t like my new love, it sure would be hard for me to continue to like him and stay with him, not because Pa”T” would be hateful to him, but because I cared so much what he would think and say. He shook Joey’s hand, looked him eye to eye, and said, “Well, he sure looks like a fine, upstanding, young man.” At that moment, I knew I had a keeper, and years later, I realized these two men are so much alike. 😉

He was a real man’s man, a “John Wayne” kind of man… Well, I won’t be redundant for those of you who might have already read my post about him last year…If you’d like, you can read more about him in Bigger than Life. I hope you enjoy…

Today is his birthday, and if I were able, I would say, “Happy Bday in heaven, Pa”T”! I know you’re having a blast, and you’re probably telling somebody a good ol’ tale today. I love you, and I miss you so much. Life just isn’t the same without you!! Thank you for all the love you gave, character you taught and wisdom you passed along. You didn’t miss much, and for that, I am so grateful. I am, also, so thankful that I’ll get to see you again one day…and I sure hope it’s sooner than later! 😉 “

IMG_3800[1]

I always felt safe and secure in his arms. (1990 – me and my little cousin)

 

Wednesday’s Ode #36…belated! 

Again, I just want to take a quick second to apologize for my delay in this weekly post! I was just, simply, a day behind in my scheduling and writing! Thank you for your gracious understanding. 😊

 My Ode this week definitely must be about Fall. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE Fall in Georgia! It is the season for beautiful fall colors, yummy dessert combinations, pumpkins, hay rides, bonfires, apple pickin’ and, all around, lots of fun! 

 I also love this season, because I get to wear all my most comfy and most favorite clothes…long sleeves, vests, overshirts, jackets, sweatshirts, boots! Fall is the season when you can add layers and layer, and make your own decisions as to when to shed a layer if the weather gets a little to warm in the middle of the day (thankfully, this only happens a in the beginning of the season!) The daytime temps start around 76-78, leveling off around 70, when the season is in full swing. The evenings begin in the low 60s, and level off around 40. Ahhh, the wonderful temperatures of Fall!

So, I hope you have a wonderful day today, and I hope, wherever you are, you’re enjoying some beautiful autumn days. “Happy Fall y’all!” 😉🍁🍂

Wednesday’s Ode #35

  I love fresh baked bread! I don’t want to be redundant, because I know I posted about my baking day on Monday; however, I just wanted to reiterate the fact that I love homemade, fresh baked bread!! My house smelled heavenly after that little baking session.

I tried my very first attempt at baking bread this past Monday, and I think I’m hooked! It is so yummy, and the kind I made is so very good for me that I don’t feel guilty pigging out a little. I had to hold myself back, ‘cuz I didn’t need to eat the whole loaf in one setting! Haha! Of course, the kind I made wouldn’t actually allow for that, because it is so filling. I made it with almost all organic ingredients, including freshly ground, authentically organic whole wheat flour and organic all-purpose flour.

Now, I have to make a note for you here: not all flour you buy in the store is good for you. Actually, unless it is organic, you can be certain it’s NOT good for you! There’s a whole lot I can share on this subject; however, I will simply give you a link to the person and company who can give all of the info so much better than I, because I learned the little I know from her, Sue Becker, at Bread Beckers.

  I cannot wait to make some more bread, and, one day soon, when I can afford to buy the materials I need (and make it one of my top priorities to do), I look forward to grinding my own wheat and attempting even more baking of breads, rolls, and maybe even pastas, among other things! 🙂

  

Wednesday’s Ode #34

  
I love my little family…even though, I am totally outnumbered!!

Yes. I am the only girl amongst all the guys: my husband, 2 adventurous boys, and, now, 2 rambunctious cats! Haha! Evenso, I wouldn’t change it for the world. I love them all. ❤️

I love that my husband is very much a manly man, totally unpredictable and adventurous; yet, he can be so tender and sweet to me. He seems to be able to read my mind at just the right moments, and sometimes even seems to know how to put my feelings into words better than I do. He can be compassionate and loving with our boys, and he can get them so excited and playful, it’s hard to wind them down! He is a man of deep integrity and strong character, and I never have to wonder if he’s telling me the truth, because he is a complete truth speaker… sometimes, even to the point of almost hurting my feelings (I’m quite a sensitive creature), but it’s always for my good not harm. I am so very proud to be his wife. 

I love that our boys are full of life, love and laughter. They’re always ready to play, and yet they enjoy their quiet, down times, as well. Our oldest is consumed with music. Rhythm and verse being what fuels his soul. He enjoys the social scene, always wanting to get with friends and go to where ever the action will find him. Our youngest finds his creativity in building, reading and searching out what nature has to offer him. He loves to learn new facts, especially those concerning dinosaurs, science or the Bible. He has a very curious and insatiable thirst for knowledge.  

  
The boys are so very different; yet, they find themselves meeting up on the same road when it comes to video games, funny videos and things of the Bible. They love to laugh together, and they love to have intriguing conversations with their daddy about the end of times, creation and so many things concerning God. They are fun-loving and oh, so fun to love! Sometimes, they run circles around me, and I need an extra nap, but I wouldn’t trade either of them for all the riches in the world! I love them so much; my heart just feels it might bust. 

Those two little kittens, who are quickly growing into full grown cats are actually little sweethearts, too. When I go to spend time with them, they are so loving and kind. They sound like little purr boxes, almost immediately, when I walk through the door, and even when they’re in a energetic, playful mood, they want me to pet them and love on them. They’re so sweet! 

I’ve always heard that when you have all boys, the mom gets to be queen of her castle. I’m not sure if I can say that, but I can definitely say, I love my little family, and most days (cuz we all have those days when we don’t feel quite queen-ish! 😜 haha!), I feel loved and cherished by them. I am truly a blessed woman, and my heart stays full to overflowing with my love for them. I am so thankful God saw fit to bless me so abundantly!!

Ps. For those of you reading this, and you know our family, I know these pics are many moons past, but I couldn’t resist sharing them. (Plus, you know, I don’t give out current pics of my not-so-little fellas!)

…Sweet, sweet memories of precious days gone past…way too fast!! ❤️

Wednesday’s Ode #33

Originally posted April 22, 2015… Now, with a few more pics. 😉

  Today, I’d like to be headed toward what I am going to give tribute: the mountains! Oh, how I love the mountains! We live near the North Georgia Mountains, and every time I get near, every time I get even a glimpse of them, I have to take a couple of really deep breaths and just close my eyes and let everything else simply slip away. 


 I am, specifically, in love with the N.GA mountains and the Smoky Mountain National Park; however, I have been to the Rockies, as well as, several other parks and mountain ranges along the East coast, and I love them all!! 
There is just something about standing at the base of an ancient hill that has withstood the test of time. Those ranges have stood strong amidst rain, blistering heat, earthquakes, snow and mankind. Their strength precedes them. Their peace hovers around them, and it can be felt with more intensity the closer you get. 

  Some fear the mountains, because they are unpredictable and unwavering in the raw elements; however, I have found my time spent hiking, walking, or simply gazing up at the trees, is always refreshing, revitalizing, and it reequips me for the days I have ahead. Some grow frustrated and restless as they draw near to the sheer size of the mound; yet, I find myself longing for moments of solitude in their midst. They are a fortress, a refuge, a high tower upon which I will lean and find rest. They bring me peace, strength, and even, wisdom, as I gaze at their majesty. They are a constant reminder to me of their Creator and mine. 

 I just love, love, love the mountains!! My heart is longing to escape to that fortress even now. …Hmmm, I wonder if I could possibly squeeze in a trip to them today…or at least, over this coming weekend! 🙂  

Wednesday’s Ode #32

I love Essential Oils! (…and NO, I’m not trying to sell you any! Lol!)         

Some of my favorites!

 

My journey with EOs began late last year, just after Thanksgiving. We had a very rampant case of a nasty stomach virus in the area, and it seemed our church nursery might be one of the culprits! (Not really, but we sure had a bunch of families who were sick!!) I just happened to      have gotten several essential oils into my little repertoire, and I started doing a little research on them. I found that a great way to combat sickness is to take a little carrier oil, a few drops of EOs and apply it to the soles of your feet, because your feet have the largest pores in your body. This allows more of the oils to be absorbed.      

So, that’s just what I did! I began a nightly ritual of rubbing oils on mine and my family’s feet and pulling on socks afterward (for the oils will ruin bedsheets and clothes if not protected). Our little family survived that month with NO sickness! I became a believer!! There had been probably close to 50-60% of our church family who had suffered from the flu and various sicknesses during that Christmas holiday, and we had visited with many of them! 

Another incident which deepened my reliance on EOs came in March when our little man caught a stomach virus. Now understand, our boys usually are over a stomach virus within about 6-8 hrs. I quarantine them, keep everything highly sanitized and they’re done, never passing it on to anyone else in the house. However, this little big was nasty! I hope I don’t gross you out, but to explain the strength of this virus: JMan threw up every 30 mins for the first 10 hours, subsiding, after that, to every hour for the next 8-12 hours, and by that time, it was simply dry heaves. His little body was just wrecked. He ran a high fever on the third day, and, finally, on the fourth morning, he was getting better. I was right there with him through it all, he laid beside me, trying to rest or watch cartoons. I helped him to the restroom, and I quarantined myself in the room with him for the duration. It was the worst he’s ever been sick!                       

I’ve acquired a nice little collection…got the box from Amazon, and it works great! Doesn’t matter the brand!

 

Well, long about the 12th hour into this, I pulled out my EOs and start application. I, also, started taking organic apple cider vinegar twice a day. With this combination, thankfully, I was able to avoid this mean virus. I was, also, able to use a little bit of peppermint and carrier oil to soothe my little man’s nausea during this time. 

I am so thankful to have discovered these natural remedies for my family! I encourage you to do the same. 

There are a couple of things you must know before you run out to the local health store:

1. If taken incorrectly, or if overdosing, EOs can be dangerous, even toxic and lethal. 

2. Not all EOs are equal. Do some research. See which brand is best for you. 

3. There will be many, especially those who are involved with marketing and recruiting for certain brand names, who will tell you theirs are the best. I suggest you refer back to #2. 😉

4. Not all EO brands are for personal use. Some are better for house cleaning and aromatherapy. Refer to #1 &2 😉

5. Not all purchases of EOs have to break the bank. Check for sales from the companies you prefer. Check Amazon. 😉

6.  EOs won’t always replace doctor visits and other medications, but they sure can help and prevent frequent trips and purchases! 😉

I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s Ode, and I hope you discover some great EOs for you! 🙂