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! 😊🍁🍂

 

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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!

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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! 😉 “

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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! 🙂

Wednesday’s Ode #31

  I love socks! I love short socks, soft socks, knee-high socks, just about any kind! I even wear socks every night when going to bed, because they keep my feet warm. 😊

Wearing socks keeps your feet soft. Wearing socks keep your feet from stinking in your shoes, too! Lol. 😂Wearing socks just makes your feet, or at least my feet, feel cozy and comfortable. 

 
(Here’s some of my “warm, cozy” socks…and yes, you can barely see my two red baskets at the top of the pic that hold ALL my socks! 😉)

One thing that’s kind of funny, however, about my love for socks, is I don’t really go crazy over designs and colors. I’ve got a few different designs, but for the most part, most of my socks are simply black, brown, cream or white. In fact, I have so many black socks (those I wear mostly with boots and tennis shoes) that I counted 19 pairs one time!! 😜 Crazy, huh?

I guess it’s a good thing I love socks so much, because I love boots, too, and boot season is just about to be upon us here in North Georgia! Now, I can wear my socks and my boots!! …but boots will have to be on another Ode. 😉

What’s something you just love?? 

Wednesday’s Ode #30

I love little things of nature. Sometimes, as I’m walking through the woods, the smallest things might catch my attention…like tiny mushrooms, a little salamander or even a miniature blossom. Often, I will deliberately look for them, and sometimes, I’m even surprised by what I find…   Today, it was a caterpillar hanging from a leafy branch by a tiny silk. He was very hard to photograph with my phone, but I think I finally captured him in the right light…even in obscurity, our beauty can be found…

  Then, I found these two white mushrooms standing as tall towers side by side…reminded me of the mighty two which once stood proud at Ground Zero. I paused for a moment of reflection and prayer…   
 As I walked along, these itty bitty blossoms of blood orange and yellow seemed to scream to me amongst the green. They reminded me that a burst of color (and light) can break up the monotony and the mundane. 

Then, there was this hole in the center of a stump where a tiny mushroom had decided to show its humble face… It confirmed for me, you can make it, even when life seems to only be a chasm over which your hopes hang…  
Finally, this guy wagged his tiny tail at me as he slithered into his home. His journey from unknown lands, slowly, but surely, brought him to his shaded place of safety…

 As you travel through this life, don’t forget to notice the small things, for often, those are the things that can bring the most beauty, the most intrigue and the most wonder… 

Wednesday’s Ode #29

I love AUTHENTICITY.

It seems, we lack so much of it today. There are those who act happy when they’re mad. Others act downtrodden when, inside, they are elated by the “gracious giving” they receive. Some pretend to choose right simply to plan an attack. Still others, rebel against peace believing they’ll, somehow, reveal it.

When we strive to live within a contrived shell, it will eventually choke the very life we seek. When we strain to paint a pretty picture, when the interior is filled with death and disease, we desecrate our own attempt of majesty. When we give the illusion of stability and grace when there is only chaos and sin,  we diminish the only integrity and character to succeed. 

This whole world benefits when we are authentic. It doesn’t mean we all agree. It doesn’t mean we all tolerate. It does mean we can breathe without fear of suffocation. It does mean we have freedom to live and speak and share without sheltering truth from those who don’t believe as we do. When we are authentic, and we allow others to be authentic, we may not live in perfect harmony; yet, we will create a beautiful symphony to be heard.