Sunday, February 25, 2018

Rocking Chair

There is a peacefulness, an air of reflection, about a rocking chair 
that attaches to no other moving object. 
~Wallis Simpson

Rocking Chair Prayer
 ~author unknown

Back and forth…back and forth…
back and forth I go…

While staying in place, I am moving still…
 I am letting go.

In my rocking chair I am at one 
with the basic rhythms of life:
back and forth…up and down…
in and out…around and around.

I feel the thumping of my heart…
I sense my breathing in and out…

And effortlessly I find myself praying:
O God of All Time, calm me…calm me…

Reassure me of your presence…
your arms enfolding around me…

Give me a deep sense of your care for me…
and remind me of your promises:

“Everything’s going to be okay.”
Amid the rush of daily living,
when I feel splintered into little pieces,
call me back to my rocking chair…

Where, back and forth…back and forth…
I rest in your timeless love.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 
Matthew 11:28

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Foggy Morning Hodgepodge

It's looking a little like Halloween in my neck of the woods!

The past few mornings we have had a heavy blanket of fog hanging around.

I love me some fog and I was out before church on Sunday morning snapping these. has been an interesting week.
What is that they say about best laid plans?
Last Wednesday after I posted my Hodgepodge things went south pretty fast.
It seemed like everyone in the Tennessee Ray's household started getting by one.
Olivia was later actually diagnosed with the flu.
While we weren't yet certain of the degree of sickness and still contemplating going,
Jim mentioned that he was feeling a little sore throat coming on.
So good sense prevailed and we made the decision not to go...and thank goodness we didn't.
The morning (Friday) we were planning to leave, 
my dear husband woke up and felt as though he had been hit by a mack truck.
He was pretty much out of commission until Monday.
And speaking of Monday, I woke up feeling sicker than I have felt in a very long time.
Whatever it was (headache, chills, temperature, nausea, weak as a kitten)...
knocked me for a loop but left me as quickly as it hit me and was gone by Tuesday...mostly.
Needless to say, the planned vacations days became unplanned sick days.
Oh well...that's life...and we have rescheduled our visit to next month.
But, let's get to the Hodgepodge, shall we?
Joyce asks the questions and we answer them on our blogs.

1. Where do you go when you need some inspiration?

I guess it depends on what kind of inspiration that is needed at the time. My Pinterest page is chock full of inspiring ideas for vintage and/or farmhouse decor, chicken coop ideas, how to raise baby goats, yummy things to cook, holiday crafts, etc., etc. But when I need to go deeper (which is often) I get inspired by drawing near to the Lord...meditating on favorite scriptures or just getting quiet before Him, listening to a great message...or just taking a drive in the country, camera in tow.

2. What's under your bed?

Not nearly as much as there used to be, thank goodness! A year ago when we got the new floors I cleared out stuff that had been under them for years...yes, I said years. I am proud to be able to say that I have not allowed "things" to accumulate again. Under our bed, there is only one thing and that would be a flat plastic bin containing Christmas wrapping items. Under the guest bed are two items...another flat plastic bin that contains generic gifts bags and such and a mini-trampoline that I keep saying I'm going to get out and start rebounding again. Joyce, because of this question, I now consider myself you. Thanks!

3. Thursday, February 22nd is National Chili Day, National Margarita Day, and National Cook a Sweet Potato Day. Of the three which would you most like to celebrate? Is that likely?

I can with all certainty say that I will not be celebrating any of them. I do love me some chili but it's going to be near 80 degrees here on Thursday...and I don't do soup of any kind when it's that warm. I have no plans to cook any sweet potatoes, although I also love them and...well, I don't do Margaritas, period.

4. What are you 'snowed under' with right now?

Well, it's certainly not snow, that's one thing for sure. It has been a very warm February in these parts. So I suppose my best answer would be GERMS but I am praying that the Lysol I've been spraying has taken care of them. Oh...and could I forget about the fog? This morning the fog was thicker than before and even though I was still out "sick", I took the long way to the grocery store and snapped some more foggy shots.

These turkeys probably thought no one could see them...and just when I thought there were many more of them farther back into the fog, I soon realized the others weren't turkeys at all. 

They were actually Canadian geese...probably a hundred or more. I don't think they had a clue I was watching them.

And here I am on the road to nowhere...

The naked trees are so hauntingly beautiful in the fog, don't you think?

 ...just a couple more.

Did I ever tell you how much I love the fog??

5. Tell us three to five things that make you feel balanced?

Hmm...I knew you'd throw a tough one in here, Joyce. How about a little bit of work, a little bit of play, veggies with a side of dessert and being able to find the positive in every negative. I found this online and it pretty much says it all in very few words...

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Back to work tomorrow (Wednesday) and I am looking forward to it. Five days...and I am a little sick and tired of being around the sick and tired (including myself, of course). I'm ready to get back into my groove...routine. 😊

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Getting to the ♥ of the Hodgepodge

Happy Valentine's Day!

No snow here this year...dang it!
In fact, we were in the 70's over the weekend...quite balmy, actually.
This time of year, especially, you never know what you will get.
But I do know one thing about today...'s not only a day to celebrate love, it's also the day we join in for Joyce's Hodgepodge.

That's right...she asks the questions and we answer them on our blogs.
So let's do this!

1. When's the last time you had a heart to heart talk with someone? A change of heart? Experienced figurative 'heart failure?'

Joyce, have you been hiding in my closet or something? C'mon now, fess up! I mean just so happened that a certain husband and I had a long overdue heart to heart last Friday before he went off to work for the weekend. We are both guilty of using the "broom technique" when it come to dealing with issues at know...the one where you kinda sweep things under the rug...and they stay there until that rug gets kicked up somehow and then you see where all of "it" went. Sometimes that stuff stays hidden for a very l-o-n-g time. Anyway, it was actually a good thing...a "come to Jesus" moment if you will. And there was a change of heart...on both sides...and that is always good. Heart failure? Life is filled with ups and downs and the heart is always involved. I can't seem to place the last heart-stopping moment in my life, although there have certainly been quite a few. I guess it's a good thing that I can't actually recall it. 

2. Champagne, chocolates, flowers...what's your Valentine pleasure? Any special plans for the day?

No doubt about it, flowers win every time. No special plans since V-Day falls mid-week and work schedules are involved. Our road trip to Tennessee on Friday will be the highlight of the week for both of us!

3. Are you a hopeless romantic or do you fall more in the category of practical and pragmatic? What's a gesture you find romantic?

I am not a hopeless romantic but there was probably a day when I did look at love like that. I am a pretty practical gal and the last time I remember drifting through life on the "love cloud" I was probably in high school...and it wasn't with my husband. Seriously, Jim and I both fall into the latter...practical and a good, comfortable pair of loafers...maybe even bordering on the edge of boring? Not really, boring.......well, maybe so! In my mind, the most romantic gesture (which is way more than just a gesture) is to fulfill the role of the spiritual leader of the home...and that encompasses many things.

4. Do you ask a lot of questions in life or are you pretty content with what you already know?

As long as I can remember, I have been as curious as a cat. Still am in some ways. Inquiring minds want to know? Saying that, I think I can also say that the older that I have gotten, the more lessons I have learned and one of them is "What you don't know won't hurt you"....IF you can hold yourself back to keep yourself from finding certain things out. There have been too many times when I have found out more information than I ever really wanted to know and the thing is, you can't ever un-find it out...just like you can't un-see something you've seen.

5. Your favorite power ballad?

If I ever had one, it could possibly be something by the Righteous Brothers..."Unchained Melody" on the good side of love and "You've Lost That Loving Feeling" on the other end of the spectrum.  Click on the link and enjoy listening to the latter (if you like) while you read my random thought.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Can I get an amen?

Hoping your Valentine's Day is filled with lots of 

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Six More Weeks of...Hodgepodge?

So ol' Phil saw his shadow and you know what that means...
...six more weeks of winter.
But many of you already knew that you'd have six more weeks of winter anyway,
depending on where you're at on the map.
Of course, here in NC, it could go either's a coin flip to say the least!
The calendar says it's still winter until March 21st or around there,
so we might as well just let it happen.
So settle in by the fire or wherever (it's warm and rainy here today)...
...and let's get ready for another edition of Joyce's Hodgepodge.

She asks the questions and we answer them on our blogs... why not come on over and join the fun?
Gee, I sure hope we're in for more than six more weeks of the Hodgepodge!

1. February can be a little bit tricky given the weather and the winter and the whatnot. I read a list (here) of things you can do to make your February brighter which included-start planning your next trip, take more baths, make your own chocolate covered strawberries, and exercise in preparation for swimsuit season. Anything on the list you might try? Which suggestion on the list appeals to you most? Tell us something not on the list that helps make your February brighter.

This is an easy one. We are planning a trip to TN in a little over a week. Even though it is a trip we make pretty often, it's still a trip and there are always things to do to prepare for it. We will be able to watch Parker wrestle in a tournament, get a first time live look at our RV and hopefully meet with our builder to discuss plans for the creek bridge, which is the next step before anything else can happen. Although I haven't actually planned this, part of your question reminded me that I have chocolate dipping sauce AND strawberries in my fridge as we speak. Hmmm...I am thinking I see some chocolate dipped strawberries in my very near future.

UPDATE: Actually, they are in my past now...and in my tummy. Thanks for the reminder Joyce! And this may seem a little strange to some but I always look forward to February since it is the month when we normally have the most snow....yeah, you heard me right. If you'd like, you can click on the link to reminisce with me about My Snowy Valentine from a few years ago. Oh...and just so you know, I could try until either the cows come home or Jesus comes back and my body would never be swimsuit ready.

2. Tell us about something you've seen or done recently that you'd say was 'super'?

The fact that I have finally been able to lose the five pounds I gained over the holidays. Hey, slow progress is better than no progress, right? Still doesn't do much for swimsuit issue though.

3. Best thing you ate in a 'bowl' last week?

It would have to be the yummy salad that I made for myself one day for lunch last week...crispy romaine, sliced chicken breast, strawberries, feta cheese, a few crunchy pecans with balsamic vinaigrette dressing. I wish I would have taken a photo...I must be slipping...the colors were so pretty.

4. Something you're 'cheering' for right now?

Maybe the fact that I was able to put a small dent in my office/craft #1...over the weekend. Just getting started was a major reason to cheer....HIP, HIP, HOORAY! I just had to get a picture of the first box I packed...

...but as you can see below, believe me when I said it was a small dent.😉

5. The Winter Olympics begin Friday, February 9th in Pyeong Chang, South Korea. On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being all in and 1 being no interest whatsoever) how interested are you in the games? Which event do you most want to see (you'll find a list here).

I will probably watch some of the events but I will not be glued to the interest level may fall somewhere around a 3 or 4. And whether I watch or not will also depend on Jim being at home...when he's there, it's quite likely going to be on so I will no doubt be watching more than I normally would. I could possibly even tune in on my own to watch some figure skating or ice dancing. 

6. Insert your own random thought here.

As I was ready to walk out of the house for work yesterday morning, keys in hand, I turned to leave and caught the golden morning sunlight peaking through the blinds, creating this bright spot on the dining room table. I put down my keys and whipped out my phone to try to capture the moment. 

Of course this picture doesn't do it one bit of justice (it looked way better on my phone). I love it when God shows off like that. 😊

Happy Hump Day!

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