Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Simple Little Reminders

I wrote this post one day when I was feeling a little bit nostalgic.
Today, especially, is one of those days since it was on this day, four years ago,
that my precious mother went home to be with Jesus.
To honor her memory, I am sharing this again.


It's funny sometimes...what will spark a memory. The other day I was putting things away that were in the dishwasher and as I was opening up the various cabinet doors and drawers, I started my trip down Memory Lane. First it was one thing, then another and before I realized it, I was taking a mental inventory of all of the little kitchen items I have that had belonged to my mom. Some are things that I use on a regular basis...others not so much. I keep them mostly as reminders. These items are just inexpensive little kitchen accessories that would hardly bring a quarter at a yard sale.

In 2010, it became necessary to sell her home. At ninety-seven (and a half) Mom hadn't been able to live alone for the past couple of years and spent her final year between hospitals and the nursing home. In April of that year, she went home to Jesus. You can read about my last visit with her hereAll of her children—all eight of us—gathered at the house to go through it's contents and take away what we wanted to keep. Among other things, these little kitchen items just reminded me of her so I put them in my box of goodies.

I couldn't even attempt to count how many apple, black raspberry or pumpkin pies that were baked in this aluminum pie pan. It reminds me of the times Mom used to let me stand on a chair at the counter and "help" her cut up the apples, knowing I would put more in my mouth than in the bowl. I use this pan often and think of her sweet face whenever I do.

I have no idea why these two little strainers had any significance. I don't really remember them from when I was little but I know she must have used them often. They are really handy little strainers and when I use them or even open the drawer and see them I am reminded where they came from.

This egg poacher stirs up a memory or two. Back in the day, Vicks Vaporub was the cure for what was ailing you. My mom would boil water in this little "dipper" as she called it and then add a finger full of Vicks and let it melt. This created a very potent vapor to inhale as we sat with it under a tent made from a towel. I remember tears just pouring from my eyes as I would breath in those vapors right before bedtime. I remember feeling much better in the morning!

Ah yes...the measuring spoons...
...we're back to the pie making again...can you still buy these??

When we were going through things, my husband wanted this. Quite often he drinks his morning coffee from this Fire King mug. It reminds him of the mornings he sat at the breakfast table with Mom and Dad when we would be visiting for holidays or whenever.

I really don't know why Mom had these little Jello molds. She made lots of Jello but rarely if ever in a mold...I don't think she ever used them. That's okay...I probably won't either. They were hers. That's all that matters.

There are a few other random items that I retrieved from her kitchen cabinets and drawers...another small saucepan, a butter knife, a glass juicer...none of it worth anything to anyone else...anyone else but me. 

The older I become, the more precious are the memories.

What are the sweet little reminders in your life?

Saturday, April 26, 2014

An Impending Storm

"I can hear your whisper and distant mutter.
I can smell the damp on the breeze and in the sky I see the halo of your violence.
Storm, I know you are coming." ~ Robert Fanny


Yesterday when I was out and about, right before a thunder storm, 
I turned down a road I hadn't intended to so I found the closest driveway to turn around in.
The view before me nearly took my breath away.
The bright green foliage of the new growth on the trees seemed to be glowing like neon... someone had turned on a light switch.

The sky was almost navy blue in the darkest place and the sun was still shining...
...creating this fantastic contrast.
 The greens were at their greenest, in every shade on the color wheel.

After I got home and was able to see the photos on my computer screen, 
I couldn't help but be reminded about the storms that we all face in our lives.

Just like the wind, sometimes they just blow in out of nowhere it seems. 
Sometimes they are predicted...but many times they aren't.
Sometimes you can sense can almost feel them in the air.
There is no doubt... they are coming.

Storms are imminent.

God even told us this would happen.

"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. 
In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” 
~John 16:33

And if you're like me, you'd probably say you've had more than your share...
...whatever that means.
I wonder what actually is our share? 

For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock. 
~Psalm 27:5

So here's something else that came to mind...
...if it hadn't been for that ominous, dark blue stormy sky,
the leaves on the trees and the grass wouldn't have appeared so bright and beautiful,
and I would have missed the blessing of seeing it (let alone the photo-op!) :)

It was only because the sun was still shining on them.

Not unlike the thunderstorm, the SON will shine on us when we are facing dark skies,
and He will bring back the brightness once again...that is, until next time.
God wants us to keep trusting and praising Him in the midst of those storms!
We are being made stronger for weathering them!
I don't understand it...but I believe it.

Blessed be the Lord, because He has heard the voice of my supplications!
The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped;
Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him. 
~Psalm 28:6-7

We are supposed to have a stormy week ahead here in central North Carolina.
I heard somewhere that April showers bring May flowers :)

But more and more, by His grace and mercy,
 I am learning what I need to do during my own frequent storms.
I pray that you are doing the same!

Have a week full of Sonshine...whether it's raining or not!


Friday, April 18, 2014

Missing Mom: Our Last Easter Together

She was the closest thing to an angel that I ever knew or ever will know.
She was my mom...
...and yes, although I am somewhat biased in my opinion, it's true.
You can ask anyone who knew her.

April always brings to mind thoughts of flowers and all things spring... gatherings and celebrations.

Since 2010, April and Easter, in particular, hold some other very special memories.
Some sweet, some sad.
All very precious.

April 30th will mark the four year anniversary of her going on to be with her Jesus.
I wrote about my very last visit with her on my other blog,
Memories of My Childhood...and other blessings.

I am sharing it here...entitled

That little girl in the photo is still very much alive and well, living inside this aging body of mine.
Sometimes I just want to crawl up on her lap...the way I used to after I'd brush her hair.
Oh, how I wish that I could have just one more visit with more Easter.
I miss her so much.

But, thanks be to God, because of the resurrection power of Jesus,
I know that I will see her ALL of HER glory!

"But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord."

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

 Have a wonderful Easter Weekend, my friends!


Sharing at:

Spiritual Sundays

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sorry...I'm still learning...

Oh my goodness! I've been doing it all wrong!

I have been blogging for about 10 months and found this out purely by accident.
Yesterday, I read somehwere about the right way that we should respond to comments.
So...I started doing some digging...about blog etiquette.

I so appreciate every sweet comment that my blogging buddies leave me...
...and I like to respond back...and I have for nearly every one of them...
...not all, but close!

Here's the problem...
...I have been hitting the "reply" button on my blog and posting it there...
...instead of replying to the email!

I guess my confusion came when I saw a commenters with "noreply" in their email heading.
I was under the assumption that by hitting reply on my blog comment section,
that my comment would automatically go back to that person's email.

No??? I guess not.

Was I seriously directing you back to my blog to read it??
Oh, I'm so embarassed...all of those replies...
I guess I have probably replied back to about 80% or more of my commenters that way.

So, it seems I still have a few things to learn about this blogging business.
I am apologizing now if you did not receive my replies back for all of these months.

I would appreciate some input from y'all...
...and if you comment, I promise I will respond back...
...the RIGHT way!

Do you still love me????


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

An Easter Note Card Collection

Is it really possible that we will be celebrating Easter in just a few days?
Something seems to be a little "off" this wise.
Here in NC, we had 80 temps over the weekend and I planted flowers.
Tonight, it is supposed to get down to 29 degrees. Really??

Well, it IS what it IS, so the saying goes...'s all GOOD!

Jesus has risen from the dead and we are CELEBRATING this week!

Now...on to see what's going on at Vee's Note Card Party...shall we?

This opulent little egg belonged to my hubby's grandmother.
It was given to me by my mother-in-law, years ago, shortly after we married.
Isn't it beautiful? I call it the "mystery egg" because I know absolutely nothing about it.
Is it china? Ceramic?  How old is it? Is there a name for it? I have so many questions!
There are no identifying marks on it anywhere and there is no one left to ask.
I know I should have done so years ago...oh well...
...instead I put it in my china cabinet and thought no more about it.
Now that I have a bunch of blogging buds, many who are collectors,
I am hoping someone out there sees it and can offer a little information about it.

And who doesn't just adore dogwoods?
Along with the redbud, these are among my favorite sights of spring.
Many times the dogwood tree is related to the crucifiction...
...being that there is a legend that the cross was made from the dogwood.
It really doesn't matter if it's true or not in the grand scheme of things, does it?

And speaking of dogwoods, how about a pink one?
This lovely tree grows in the parking area of the medical office where I work.
It is currently in all of it's glory.
This photo doesn't quite do it justice but I thought it made a pretty backdrop for my card.
Pink dogwoods just make me smile...real big :)

And this last card...well it pretty much speaks for itself.

A few months back I posted about how I came upon this cross...
...and about how something so terrible became something so beautiful.
Three simple words—one simple sentence.
Wow...sometimes it's still difficult to take it all in...
...there is no greater love.

So...these are my cards.
And they all fit nicely into their box.

I hope everyone has a beautiful Holy Week with a marvelous Easter Sunday!
After chilly temps for a day or two, we are to be back in the 70's for the weekend!

Blessings to all!


Friday, April 11, 2014

Personal Photo Challenge: Taking a Closer Look

Greetings, friends!
I hope everyone has had a good week!

Today, I'm excited to be linking up to Donna's Personal Photo Challenge!
When I saw that her challenge this time was for macro shots, I decided to join in the fun.
Many of the photos I shoot are close-ups.
It's amazes me...the minute details unable to be seen with the naked eye...
...and how it opens up a whole new world that we may have missed otherwise.

I have had my trusty little point-and-shoot,
a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W55 7.2 megapixel camera since about 2008.

It has been (and still is) the best little camera I have ever owned.
 It only took me about 4 or 5 years to realize that it has the ability to get in really close...
...that is, after I read about macro photography on the web.
I guess I didn't read that part of the manual. :)

Of course, my dream is to one day (soon, hopefully) own a DSLR...
...with a few bells and whistles...but I have the feeling that I will keep my little Sony too!


All of the photos below were shot using the macro setting, without a flash.
I'm pretty sure that most P & S cameras have the capability to shoot in macro mode...
...look for the little flower icon on your dial.
Also, do not zoom out...keep the lens at it's widest setting.

 This photo is of a darling weed that I came across while out looking for beauty.
I think I found some.

The tiny, lavender flowers were only about 1/8" in diameter...
...and the dew drops on them were not visible to the eye when I took the shots (no tripod).

The key to macro photography is having a steady hand...or a tripod, which I do sometimes use.
Many times the camera can be set atop a steady object or even braced against your own body,
inhale, hold steady and don't exhale until you snap the photo.
 Also, always push down the shutter only halfway at first to focus,
then gently push the shutter down all the way to capture your subject.

This photo is from my post entitled September, where the goldenrod was at it's peak...
...and so were the bumble bees :)

I always take several shots of my subject and like to experiment with different angles.
Many times, you will find me lying on my tummy on the ground or the floor...
...or standing on my head taking random shots up from underneath...of maybe flowers for instance..
Sometimes, my best close-ups are discovered only after I get the pics on my computer.
Often, I just snap-snap away, randomly, not seeing what's in the view finder.

This is a photo of a vintage amulet given to me by my mother-in-law.
The intricate detail in this beautiful piece just makes my heart go all a-flutter :)

The actual size is an oval of about 2" x 3".
I noticed the tiny spot of greenish patina on it afterwards...too tiny to see normally.

Natural lighting is pretty much always the key.
Using a flash most often will create an unnatural glow to the pictures, resulting in losing the detail.
There are very few times when I use a flash...and never for macro shots.


So, there you have it!
My very first effort at posting to Donna's Personal Photo Challenge!
I'm really looking forward to seeing the photos that others will be sharing too!

Spring is nearly in full bloom here and I just might get out and get a closer look!
May your weekend be blessed!

Saturday, April 5, 2014


As long as I have even had memories of springtime, 
the redbud tree is one of things that I look forward to the most. 
I remember as a little girl, sitting and looking out my bedroom window, 
down across the vacant lot and into the neighbor's yard...
...where their gigantic redbud stood out from all of the other trees.

I love to see it's lovely purplish-pink blossoms...
...against the contrasting of shades of lime green of the other new growth.


Rides in the country are especially satisfying...
...where the forests are splashed here and there with their bright color.
Even more spectacular is when white dogwoods are also in the mix... yet another contrast.

Getting up close and personal to the redbud,
you can see what look like little pink mittens...and/or socks.
What an extraordinary God we have to have created these delicate little "buds"...
...each one unique, as you can see.

Trying to grow a redbud tree can be quite a challenge.
In fact, I have never been successful in doing so.
I'm pretty sure it had something to do with the red clay that makes up 100% of my yard :(
Now, if the Creator puts it there, that is a different story all together.

To this day, anticipating those beautiful, bright magenta blooms finally appearing,
is something that I do every year,
In fact, it is the one thing that the season's change brings that tells me without a doubt...
"Spring has arrived!"

One must enjoy this special brand of God's Eye Candy while it lasts...
...not more than a week or two...
...for each warm day brings those heart-shaped green leaves closer to the surface,
gradually replacing those brightly colored flowers.
For then and only then, the redbud is almost indistinguishable against the rest of the forest.
That is...until next year...
...same time, same place.


~Theodore Waterfield

There is a bending at the hill
where the redbud reaches to the sky,
and the earth lies silver still
and the soul breathes with a sigh.

It only comes in spring
when love and joy are new,
this lovely bending thing
that captures me and you.

Here I wish to linger
and hold you close to me,
near the bending river, 
and by the redbud tree.

What is your favorite sign of spring?
I pray my friends who are still covered with snow will soon find some!

Have a blessed Lord's Day!
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