Monday, June 30

dare to blog?

It happens all the time only I usually don't have the time to blog about it. BUT I'm going to take the time right now since it's a serious problem.

My blog tends to be a mixture of light, medium, and sometimes heavier topics. What I have found is that whenever I post anything of encouragement that may have a spiritual nature, I am certain to be challenged. Most definitely. Positively. Especially on Living Well Wednesdays.

Today isn't even Wednesday, but I've been most definitely positively challenged and it happened right after I posted about being a valued treasure of God's. A household member - who shall remain nameless - has been more regularly of a cranky nature. And I seem to more regularly be the recipient of those cranky comments. And although I can more regularly let those kinds of comments bounce off me, today they didn't bounce, but instead stung. They stung enough that I had to leave the room due to tears forming in my eyes. Most definitely positively not feeling like a valued treasure at that moment.

So, I did the next thing (thank you, EE), grabbed the things I needed for my errands, and left the house. As I pulled up to the stoplights, the car ahead of me had this quote on a bumper sticker:

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Goodness, how many times have I read that exact quote and so easily agreed with the principal of it thinking that I had a handle on such a thing? Yet, how easy it can be to fall into that trap when an arrow from an enemy hits? After reading it, within moments I was replaying the earlier conversation, then my blog post. Valued treasure of God's.

Pulling up to the drive through bank window, I suddenly heard someone from the lane next to me yell over, "How are all those kids of yours doing, Tammy?" As I glanced over to the vehicle, I was greeted by a smiling face of an acquaintance and we chit chatted for a few minutes while the bank tellers did their work (yup, only in a small town, eh?). My heart was suddenly much lighter. As I pulled away from the bank, I was reminded of another blog post over at Quiet Life and the quote by Leo Buscaglia which Donna used this morning. Small acts of kindness which hold great measure in another's life.

So, yes, it does make me want to post fluff daily so I won't be most definitely positively challenged by the things I write....and yet....perhaps something I write will encourage a reader right where they are at that very moment. And it will be a reminder to them that they are a value treasure of God's!

Thanks for listening :-)

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

a big old pan lid

While I was setting up my garage sale, I had an expert garage sale friend come over to help me with the pricing part. It had been a long time since I had done a garage sale and my mom was the main pricer person back then. Plus I rarely go to a garage sale myself due to limited time and distances where I live, so I really did need some advice.

There was lots of strange items which I wasn't certain would even sell and she assured me they would....and they did! LOL! One such item was a big old pan lid. I had tried it on even my biggest pans, but it was too big, and trust me, I have some BIG pans. I had no idea who would buy such a random thing. But early on in the garage sale someone thought it would be quite valuable and purchased it...for a dollar. That big old pan lid was a hidden treasure.

You know, there are days when I can relate to that big old pan lid. As a mom to many, for many days - and now many years - I've been a covering over much activity in my household trying to keep it from boiling over and attempting to maintain the perfect simmer. It's been quite a task and isn't over yet. At times it may seem a bit monotonous, routine, and meaningless....and yet, there's great value in my job as a mother. There is purpose.

And someday all my children will be grown up and gone. There I will be....just a big old pan lid without a purpose. However, my Heavenly Father will see me through different eyes than the world who easily declares, "Worthless!" Yes, a valuable treasure to a Heavenly Father who loves me. Who will pick me up and say the words, "Well done, good and faithful servant!"

See, it's not so bad being a big old pan lid, is it?

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, June 28

a simple tip

As I enter the home stretch of my garage sale today, I have one simple tip for selling strategy. Think odd. Think random. Think weird. Think strange. Because those are the kinds of things that you never think will sell, but are the first things to sell. Go figure!

Time for me to get out there and get things opened up :-)

Have a great summer day!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, June 27

a simple sign?

YAY! The day is finally here! GARAGE SALE! As I was making the plain old simple signs, the girls decided to help. Can you tell? LOL! My simple signs are now quite colorful :-)

Hopefully the weather will cooperate and we'll have a good turnout of shoppers over the next couple of days.

Then perhaps life can return to normal....whatever THAT is?!

Have a great day in your garden!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, June 26

tend to your weeds

From my flip calendar:

"In all aspects of life, tend to your weeds. Everything worthwhile needs room to grow." ~ Author Unknown

I decided not to go out in my garden and take a picture this morning to fully explain the truth of this statement :::sigh::: Yes, while I've been busy getting ready for my garage sale, the weeds have been having a wild time growing up amidst the vegetables in my garden. I really need to get my kids out there working a bit, especially since the plants are now up well and easy to distinguish between the weeds. The weeds will definitely draw the sunlight, water, and good soil while crowding out that which needs the nourishment.

Oh yes, and let's not forget about tending to the weeds in ALL aspects of life :::sigh::: Since we've been done with schooling, life has gotten very busy. Too busy. And instead of spending more time with the Lord with all this extra time (is there such a thing as extra time? me thinks not!) I'm finding recently that I'm spending less time and allowing other things to take priority. And you know what happens? Weeds start growing in my life and they begin to crowd out the good growth that has been happening as I've been nurtured by the Lord. Suddenly bad attitudes show up. Grumbling about people who annoy me. Getting crabby at my kids. Tiring of my daily chores. Wanting to run from responsibilities and nurture the flesh. Pretty ugly stuff. And those things will just keep growing as long as I feed them with all the enemy keeps handing me. He works quite well in watering with selfishness, doesn't he?

Time to get the hoe out, I mean, the two edged sword!

"For the word of God is living and active. Sharper then any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account." ~ Hebrews 4:12-13

Yup, God's Word works quite well. And I am thankful that His Word is living and active and can impact my life in a positive way. Whenever I turn my eyes back to Him with a willing spirit, it allows Him to uncover all the ugly stuff which does not please Him and allows me an opportunity to pull the weeds that are so evident.

It makes me thankful to have a Master Gardener in my life :-)

How's your garden growing these days?

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, June 25

where's the walk?

There's just something about the season of summer which throws me off. Every year. Throughout the school year I stay on a nice regular schedule that keeps my exercising on track. Then summer comes and it's gone. I think I've taken one walk since we've been done with school. ONE. I made it to Curves today, but it will probably be the ONLY day I go this week. Not good.

It's interesting because summer tends to lend itself to very full days without a nice regular schedule in place. There's always so many things to catch up on that fell behind during our school year. Then add the flowers and garden to care for with weeding and watering. Then add baseball games. And of course, people still need to eat around here as well as wear clean clothes, so all the regular daily things also need to be done. It seems like my time is squeezed like a vise. Exercise? Where will I fit that in?

BUT....I need to fit that in. It is an essential. For all the things that are keeping me so busy and aren't part of my regular schedule tend to add stress as they squeeze on my time. And lots of stress and no exercise, well, it isn't healthy. And it makes me crabby.

SO after this week - really, walking back and forth a kazillion times to the garage to prepare for my garage sale DOES count for exercise! - I do hope to get refocused with life in general and especially with my exercise.

I hope YOU are doing better with Living Well this week than I am!

To follow the journey of other Living Well women, please go HERE

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, June 24

my attempt

Too much STUFF. Period. And in my attempt to simplify, I'm determined to have a garage sale. This weekend, as a matter of fact, since it's really the only weekend I have available this summer. I've been emptying boxes that have come from my in-laws household and going through things of my moms just to reduce STUFF. Too many boxes stored around here.

However, as time is passing quickly as this sale nears, I'm finding that once again I'm needing to spend a lot of time on other people's STUFF instead of having time to thoroughly go through my own STUFF. And in order to simplify I need to get rid of my STUFF in my household. Period.

This morning I'm meeting with a friend who has been involved in the antique world for a long time and who will be looking through some of the things I have to see if they have any value. I just wish I had the time to sort through more boxes before she gets here, but trust God has lead me to the boxes I needed to open before her arrival.

And then maybe I'll have a day or two to concentrate on my STUFF as well as encouraging my kids to go through their STUFF.

My saying is.......you can't take this STUFF with you!

Off to clean up my kitchen before my friend arrives to look through all this STUFF.

Can you tell I have an issue with STUFF lately? hee hee!

May your garden be STUFF-free!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, June 23

a bit of five

The day of excitement has arrived! My littlest has turned FIVE! And she was up early in anticipation of the day ahead :-) She's been blessed to have a little friend spend the day with her and they've already been quite busy.

And as a mom, I'm just trying to come to terms with my littlest being five. I don't know why that number has such significance, but I'm just kind of struck by it. FIVE. It seems to signal that our season of babies is over in our household. Oh, there'll still be babies around as in grandbabies, but not our babies anymore. And to think....there were years where it seemed I'd always be up to my elbows in babies and littles! How quickly that season passed!

Off to enjoy this day of sunshine with my not-a-baby anymore!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, June 21

empty the plate

There's just too much on my plate right now and I feel behind on everything. EVERYTHING! It seems impossible to make a dent in any of it no matter how much I attempt to focus on all that is before me. And it's really beginning to drive me bonkers. BONKERS!

And this is the quote I read this morning:

"Make God's will the focus of your life day by day.
If you seek to please Him and Him alone,
you'll find yourself satisfied with life."
~Kay Arthur

Nothing like turning my head back into the right direction - UPWARD - instead of continuing to be frustrated with the world around me and its demands. Time to empty my plate and focus on ONE thing....God's will for my time on this day. His will for my every moment.

May you have a bonkerfree day in your garden!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, June 20

perfect timing whenever!

This morning it seemed a bit confusing as some calendars say the first day of summer is today, some say it is tomorrow. So, I went online to research it and found the truth of the matter. The summer solstice actually occurs on June 20th at 23:59....you know, one minute before it turns June 21st! LOL!

You know, it doesn't really matter because it truly finally feels like SUMMER outside this morning! The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the temperature is around 60 degrees with the highs expected to get into the 70's today....simply perfect! And it makes me feel like our cat Scootsie....I'm purringly happy!

Much to do on this very long daylight day, so I'm off to enjoy every moment of it! Enjoy the first day of summer in your garden :-)

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, June 19

a slight interruption

I was busy typing away on my blog as one of my older sons walked into my bedroom this morning. All I had to do was look at his face to know it wasn't good. For you see, he had come home early from work yesterday not feeling well. Said he didn't feel great when he had gotten up in the morning and left for work, but the symptoms had worsened through the day. By the time he arrived home he had a nasty headache, sore throat, body aches, and chills.....temp 102.8. Off to bed he went and we didn't see much of him the rest of the day.

So, back to this morning. His throat had a cutting pain and after looking inside his mouth - yikes! - his tonsils were extremely red, swollen, and lumpy. He could hardly swallow, poor guy, and was dealing with the effects of a fever as well. Since he typically isn't one to complain of health things, off went my computer as we headed over to urgent care for a strep test. The quick strep test came back negative and we'll see what the 24 hour test brings as a conclusion, but for now the diagnosis is plain ol' tonsillitis. On the way home we stopped at the grocery store to get all the favorite bad sore throat soothers. Once home, off to bed he went and we probably won't see much of him the rest of the day.

At least I'm relieved that we won't have to worry about strep going through our family, but even the bug he has won't be much fun either if any of us catch it :::sigh:::

Anyway, I returned to the blog post I was working on and found that the slight interruption of the morning had interrupted my whole thought process. GONE. Because of the time on my clock I have only one thought at the moment.....I have to get my garage sale ad into the local newspaper before noon! LOL!

Off to the other computer to print out my ad and run it into town!

Have a great and HEALTHY day in your garden!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, June 18

stop and think before the ouch!

This morning when I started on the machines at Curves, I suddenly went "ouch!" I looked at my hand and noticed that I had two brightly colored little girl rubber bands tangled in the midst of my wedding rings. Quickly I pulled them off my finger and rubbed the area where they had tightened. In fact, four hours later there's still a red mark there. Although I will often pick up those little rubber bands and stick them on a finger until I pass by the girls room where the container is, I don't recall doing that yesterday. So, I must have been busy and just subconsciously slipped them on my finger. Never noticed them. Never felt them. Until more pressure was applied.

It's kind of like something else I caught myself doing. Although I've been food conscious and sticking to portion sizes for quite awhile, the other day I found myself eating out of a bag of cheetos with the kids while we were all talking about something in the newspaper. It was one of those subconscious old habits. Never noticed it. Never felt it. Until I went to wash all that orange gunk off my fingers. Gulp. What had I done? How many had I eaten? Certainly much more than a portion size without even thinking about it. NOT a good habit to fall back into and if I'd continue I'd soon feel the pressure on the scale and how my clothes fit.

You know what? I'm not going back there. Nope. I like where I'm at and want to continue on a healthy Living Well plan. Besides, I'm going through my closet to get rid of some more clothes that just don't fit well anymore which means I can't go back. Nope. Can't go back. Can only go forward.

And I was reminded of that this morning on our ride home from one of my son's dentist appointments as we were listening to Christian radio. The message was from Philippians chapter four - all of which is excellent! - but he ended with: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (verse 13)

Yes indeed I can! I can do all things - even watching my eating - through Christ who strengthens me!

How about you?

To follow the journey of other Living Well women, go HERE

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, June 17

my friend the sprinkler

Okay, has anyone heard this tidbit of wisdom before? It was on my flip calendar recently:

"A sprinkler is the secret to staying young. Dance in every one you come across." ~ Author Unknown

Soooo, how many of you have used this method to stay young? *wink* I can't say that I have done much sprinkler jumping since I WAS young, although the kids enjoy it in the summer.

But that doesn't mean that the sprinkler isn't my friend. In fact, with no rain in the forecast until the end of the week, it does look like I'll have to get the hoses out now and begin watering the garden as it's up and growing.

Sounds like a plan, eh? Except I really dislike my sprinklers. They never work the way I want them to and I spend way too much time moving them around to water the garden the most effectively. Perhaps I shouldn't be so hard on the sprinklers as I think part of the problem is our water pump. Someone flushes a toilet in the house and, well, the sprinkler doesn't work right :::sigh:::

Yes, it's a love/hate kind of relationship that I have with my sprinklers. I love that they help my garden grow, but I hate how funky they work. Perhaps the cure is dancing in them, eh? It would change my perspective!

Okay, off to see what condition the hoses are in this spring!

Go dance in a sprinkler, will you? :-)

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~






Monday, June 16

a five year old time warp

Tonight after I read my littlest a couple of stories before bedtime, she asked if I would lie down with her for a little bit while she fell asleep. It's becoming a rare activity as she often stays up too late (!) and ends up going to bed when an older sister does and therefore mom doesn't get to snuggle her a bit at bedtime.

After I turned off the lights and kissed fuzzababy and pinkie goodnight, she was whispering and asking how many days until her birthday. We are now in the birthday countdown mode as she nears the age of FIVE. We talked a little about what turning five will mean such as a little more school and a little more chores. And she drifted off to sleep content with all the details mom had shared.

As I watched her sweet little face in the semi-darkness, my heart marveled at the fact that she is almost five. FIVE! She doesn't seem that old to me already. Such a sweet lovey little girl full of life. And certainly not ready for school yet, right? She's too little! And then I recalled a moment in time so many years ago when I looked at my oldest who turned five in the summer as I tucked him into bed and thought about a sweet little boy so full of curiosity as he explored the world around him. And certainly not ready for school yet, right? He's too little!

Aren't they sweet and little with a wonderful innocence yet at five?

My son did go off to kindergarten that fall as we hadn't yet heard of homeschooling at that point in time. He's the only one who ever attended public school and it was for one year only.

My daughter will begin kindergarten in the fall, yet it will be in the same environment in which she has always been learning....home. It will be a barely noticeable transition for her. And my days will continue to be blessed by a sweet little five year old with a tender heart.

But I will forewarn anyone with a sweet little five year old. Blink your eyes, sweet mother, and you will suddenly see before you a sweet big adult in their 20's! Truly, it happens that quickly!

Off to bed hoping I'm not aging as quickly as my kids are! LOL!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

smile warmth

You'll find when you smile
your day will be brighter
And all of your burdens will seem
so much lighter.
For each time you smile you will find it is true
Somebody, somewhere will smile back at you,
And nothing on earth
can make life more worthwhile
Than the sunshine and warmth
of a beautiful smile.

~Helen Steiner Rice

Okay, I...GIVE...UP! Woke up to temps in the upper 40's, cloudy, damp, gray....AGAIN. High temperature today is forecasted to be :::::drumroll::::: 60 degrees. Yup, 60 whole degrees. I am so so so SO tired of this weather. I don't like gray. I don't like cold. I don't like my attitude! :::::sigh:::::

So, time to look at some alternatives and this poem seems to offer just that.....a smile! Guaranteed to make a day brighter, burdens lighter, bringer of sunshine and warmth! It's certainly worth a try, eh?

Hope it's warm, sunny, and full of smiles in your garden today!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Sunday, June 15

honoring our Father

"He will call out to me, 'You are my Father, my God, the Rock my Savior.'" ~ Psalm 89:26

May we honor our Heavenly Father with the words from our lips and the praises from our hearts on this day of worship!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, June 14

and the garden grows

"....however many years she lived she should never forget that first morning when her garden began to grow." ~ Frances Hodgson Burnett

Hey, my garden is starting to grow! It's always exciting to take a walk around the garden fence and see how many things are popping up out of the ground :-) I am amazed that it is looking so well despite the cool cloudy weather we've been having lately. Of course, not everything is looking well and we've had some little visitors spotted in our garden this spring....bunnies! We've never had a problem with them before, but they are apparently getting into the end of our garden where the old fencing never got replaced. And they've chewed off all my broccoli leaves! My husband has been alerted to the need to put some small meshed fencing along that back edge and we'll encourage our dogs to do a bit more patrolling by the garden to hopefully discourage those bunnies from their favorite restaurant.

Yesterday I started my flower pot planting which is very late in the season for me, but again, this weather has been crazy cool this year. I'm ready to start in the flowerbeds today, but have felt discouraged by my preliminary assessment of how they look this spring. Obviously the dogs have had a wild ride with their chippie and squirrel chasing as my flowerbeds have been trampled and holes have been dug. I'm wondering if it's really worth planting much. In order not to be more discouraged, I've determined it wisest not to go to the greenhouse for quality plants for those flowerbeds, but instead buy the "buck a six pak" ones at Wal-Mart.

Anyway, pictures soon....my photo card is full and I need to print out pictures so I can get back to taking pictures around here :-)

Off to my planting with an outdoor wedding to attend this afternoon! Enjoy your Saturday!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, June 13

two different ovens

As I walked into the kitchen on Monday, I turned the oven on to preheat for supper, flipped on the Chris Tomlin CD, and happily started cleaning potatoes in the sink while I sang. All of a sudden I heard a very loud buzzing coming from the oven and within moments there was a loud POOF! The potato in my hand was quickly set down as I ran over to the oven where I could see a fire! YIKES! The oven nob was immediately turned off and I called an older son upstairs to help me slide the oven out of its spot between the cabinets. By this time the smoke alarm down the hallway was going off - hey, it works! - and children gathered around to see what was happening. We got the fire out and noticed that the heating element in the oven was now missing about a three inch length where the fire had taken place. Not to fear as the son who helped me also works for the local appliance store and has ordered the necessary heating element which he'll install when the part arrives. We haven't been to use the stove/oven and I'll need to clean up the mess that occurred within the oven as we attempted to put the fire out. It's interesting because I've noticed during recent oven usage that particular area of the element glowing a bit brighter orange. I was a bit concerned, but figured that maybe something had dripped on it which would just burn off and that there was no actual problem. HA! Guess it was something bigger than that, eh?

Hmmmm.....

Reminds me of a current situation in my life. There have been certain conversations that have concerned me, but I didn't see them as a real problem. Just things that maybe I wasn't comfortable with, but which were more a difference of opinion and nothing I felt I had to personally confront. Time passed. POOF! Suddenly a fire has ignited! Something that began as a small glow has turned into something bigger. Unfortunately, others have heard the alarm going off and have come running with their own perceptions of what has taken place. Certainly makes things messier as one sorts through the emotion and facts involved. And now I will unexpectedly have to be part of a bigger discussion. Out of my comfort zone? Yes. Yet it is something that I believe in which has a firm foundation based on God's Word.

And besides, who is the best fixer-upper? God Himself. We don't have to wait for that replacement part to come in as He is readily available with our whispered prayers. As we allow Him to cleanup the messes, He'll bring healing and unity and His love to the process. Really, what could be better?

So, if there's fire in your garden right now, don't worry. God has done some pretty cool things with fire throughout the Scripture and I'm certain He can do that in your situation as well!

Enjoy this lovely spring day!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, June 12

not even close

Okay, I'm stuck on a thought from my devotional this morning. It's probably too soon to even post it here as I think I may be stuck on it for awhile. And yet, maybe it'll give others something deeper to ponder today. So, here's the line:

"And who I am is not even close to who You created me to be."

Doesn't that make you ponder what God sees as the final product of YOU? And doesn't it make you wonder what else He will be doing in your life to help you to become that final product? And doesn't it cause you to consider the potential that is yet in your life? And isn't there a fascination that there's things in your life that you haven't even yet realized as gifts and talents which He's given you and which He'll grow in the days ahead? And a curiosity about what things He needs to remove from your life?

It brings me to Philippians 1:6 - "being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."

Oh, to have a willing heart for all He wants to do to bring me closer to who He created me to be!

Off to ponder some more!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Wednesday, June 11

daily encouragement

Blech.....

I had one of those "hand over the chocolate and no one will get hurt!" kind of days yesterday. No, I wasn't in a bad mood or didn't have a bad attitude. I just couldn't stop eating my stash all day long. And all I wanted to do was nap and could have easily done so all day long. No motivation to do anything. All day long.

Guess I shouldn't be posting at Living Well this week, eh?

Could have been the freezing cold gray weather. Could have been the letdown after a busy two weeks. Could have been that I have so so SO many things to do right now that I'm overwhelmed and don't know where to begin. Could have been....

Most likely it's related to the season of life my body is in right now that I no longer have to look at a calendar to know exactly where I'm at in the month. The symptoms could be - at various times of the month - intense headache.....unexplainable BAD mood....water retention....total brain fog....a day of uncontrollable eating :::::sigh:::::

So, let's find the positives, eh? At least I got the day of uncontrollable eating out of the way for this month, right? And rather than stay in that frame of mind, I can pick myself back up today and do better, right?

This morning was a good start as I met the ladies from our women's Bible study for breakfast. We are meeting once a month for breakfast throughout the summer to catch up with one another. It was an encouragement to be together and connect with women who are dear to me. Can there really be anything more powerful than encouragement from other believers? It reminds me of the verse from Hebrews where we are told to encourage one another daily. DAILY! Powerful stuff!

May you be encouraged TODAY to continue your commitment to Living Well DAILY! To follow the journey of other sisters in Christ who are choosing to Live Well, please go HERE

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, June 10

and the pin dropped

In a sense, you could almost hear a pin drop around here yesterday. Almost. It's never quite that quiet around our house and there's typically activity found some place, but there was a different kind of quiet abounding.

For you see, when our family all got together for Memorial Day weekend, not everyone went back home that Monday. My daughter-in-law, my almost three year old granddaughter, and my three month old grandson stayed for two weeks going home this past Sunday.

Busy. Life was full and busy from the moment of our eyes waking in the morning until our eyes closing at night. The noise level and activities were changed while we adapted to having littles in the house again. And it was a good change :-) Of course, it wasn't just the littles that made life fuller, but it was having a grown up "girl" around to chit chat and giggle with throughout the days. What could be more delightful for me than such companionship!

During the two weeks, my daughter-in-law tackled a major project for me. I've had boxes and boxes of my mom's fabrics, yarns, quilts, cross-stitch, PROJECTS, odds and ends, packed into a storage building. To go through all of it was an overwhelming burden for me which I have kept avoiding. I love things organized, but just couldn't figure out the first steps to take to actually do it. But, she did it. She spent many an hour sorting it all and organizing it into rubbermaid containers. And imagine....she actually enjoyed such a project! I can now walk into this little building and everything is labeled and in its proper place. Simply amazing! Simply wonderful!

Anyway, all that to say.....sorry if my blogging was a bit non-existent or fluffy over the past two weeks. My mind was in the flexible mode from morning until night and deep thinking was beyond me *wink* And, really, that's okay! But, I'm back to pondering things again and know I have some drafts in my folder which I never got much beyond the opening statement stage because a little would follow the cat into my room and my thoughts went from what God was showing me to, well, what God was showing me :-)

May you enjoy this glorious summer day whether it's noisy or pin dropping quiet in your garden!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Monday, June 9

one of those best presents

"Cherish each day as though it was the best present you ever received." ~ Author Unknown

Yesterday was one of those best present kind of days :-)

My oldest daughter had driven the distance home after she was done with work on Wednesday to spend a few days with family. It will be her last trip home in awhile as she enters the ninth month of her pregnancy, so it was an enjoyable time for all of us.

The highlight of her time home was a baby shower held yesterday in her honor which was given by two dear friends and helpers. The luncheon was creatively and lovingly prepared by my daughter-in-law and afterwards my daughter was abundantly showered with gifts for her new baby. It was a wonderful time of fellowship and smiles with friends and family!

As we were leaving my friend's home with all the gifts carefully packed away in our van, I was handed a basket full of a variety of gifts for me! Apparently on the baby shower invitations there was also the mention to bring a small gift for this baby's special grandma :-) Talk about feeling loved and extremely blessed by the people God has placed in my life!

My hope is that you, too, have people in your garden who pamper you once in awhile with their lovingkindness!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Sunday, June 8

impossible

"It is impossible to worship God and remain unchanged." ~ Henry Blackaby

May you come away from worship today changed!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, June 6

the missing sunrise

From my flip calendar this morning:

"Joyously the morning sunrise greets us. Reflect that joy in your day." ~ Author Unknown

Hello? Where was the morning sunrise joyously greeting me? Looks like another gray gloomy rainy day with storms predicted for the afternoon and evening :::sigh::: Yet, I can't complain as we really need the rain in this area as we've been dry for so long.

So, does that mean that without the morning sunrise I can't reflect joy in my day? Nope! For my joy doesn't come from the morning sunrise, but from the Morning Sonrise. Time spent with the Lord in the early morning is what brings real joy and peace into the rest of my day.

If you are having a hard time finding that joy this morning, look up the word JOY in your Bible concordance. After looking up countless verses, it becomes much easier to capture the joy found only in the Lord!

Wishing you a joyful day in your garden no matter what the weather!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, June 5

change of plans

From my daily flip calendar:

"A day of revelling in nature's beauty, warmth, and splendor is a day well spent." ~ Author Unknown

Well, today is gray, gloomy, with a bit of rain. Not exactly the kind of day to be playing outside where the beauty seems hidden, there is no warmth, and splendor is missing. Unless you are someone who revels in this kind of weather....and I know there are some who do! And I do believe my garden revels in this damp seed-cracking weather as the moisture is so needed right now.

So, for those of us who do much better with sunshine and warm, the plans have changed. Instead of revelling in nature, we're off to do a bit of much needed shopping. I'm not a shopper, so it will probably be a short trip. And perhaps when we do get back home the sun will be shining again......

Enjoy your garden day whatever the weather!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, June 4

whoa outta shape!

Here I was thinking that I had been getting myself into half way decent shape over the last couple of years....losing weight, exercising, eating well....

HA!

It was an illusion. And this past Saturday proved that it was a painful illusion.

After years of watching my kids play soccer, I weakened at the soccer sign-up night this spring when the board members were pleading for parents to volunteer to coach a team. In other words, I signed on the dotted line while giving pertinent information for a background check as well as names as character references. Apparently everything checked out as I was promoted to the next step.

Training. It came in two parts on Saturday. The first session was the sit-down and learn all the important coach things and....take a written test....yikes! The second session in the afternoon was mainly held in the gym while we covered basic soccer skills and learned soccer drills for our age group (eight and nine year olds). Oh, we didn't just watch the instructors demonstrate these things. We had to DO these things. You know, dribble the ball. Kick the ball. Pass the ball. Try to get other person's ball. Head the ball. Play different games with the ball. It was all about *the ball* for almost two hours.

And you know what I was thinking? "WHAT WAS I THINKING WHEN I AGREED TO DO THIS?!?!? I MUST HAVE BEEN CRAZY!!!!!" For you see, the illusion I was living under was painfully brought to the forefront. I was breathless and my heart was beating as fast as a little bird. I was thirsty. I was light headed. I was tired. Did I mention how breathless I was from the running? YIKES! I shouldn't be coaching a kids soccer team....I'm a grandmother, for heaven's sake! Oh, and once we were done exhausting ourselves, we had a small classroom session to review what we had covered and had another written test....yikes!

So, now it's time to look at the facts. I am committed to being a soccer coach for the upcoming late summer/fall session AND I'm really NOT in very good shape. So, it is imperative that I come up with a conditioning plan. I need to spend time practicing with a soccer ball and I need to do some running (I think I've stepped out of the boat again, Tina!). I also need to learn the fine details of the game a bit better.

I think I can I think I can I think I can I know I can I know I can I know I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! SCORE!

To follow the journey of other Living Well women, please visit HERE

Any new challenges pop up in your life recently?

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

life on the edge?

Before we even begin the task of planting the garden, we have to take time to do some clean-up work. Our garden is situated between our lawn and a large field area so weeds and grass tend to invade our garden space in the fall and early spring. It is one of those tedious projects, but necessary if we don't want unwanted things popping into the good green growing things. Even the cat wants to get into the action!

Today I've written an article at Heart of the Matter about taking a look at the things on the edge of our life which could get into the way of our homeschooling. You can read more of my thoughts right HERE

Have a great day in your garden!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, June 3

give me a log beam

Ahhh, yes! This is a picture of one of our cats which was taken over Memorial Day weekend up at our log cabin. We had started a small fire in the woodburner on this morning to take the chill out of the cabin and the cat was quick to realize that heat rises and the log beams get nice and warm :-)

Ahhh, yes! The life of a cat! Does that cat look like he has any worries in the world?

Ahhh, yes! I'd love to climb up on a warm beam and relax, especially on this very cool morning in our house (will warm weather EVER come?). But alas, there are responsibilities to take care of which call my name. So off I go!

May you have a *warm beam* in your life to allow you some relaxation time!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, June 2

dealin' in tomatoes

Yesterday after church my husband did a good thorough spring garden tilling. While he was doing that, one of my daughters and I ran to a local greenhouse to get the plants we needed as well as a few seed packets which I realized I didn't have in my container for this year.

Ohhhh, is there anything more glorious than walking through the greenhouse?! Well, to a gardener it is pretty close to being in heaven. And I was so relieved to see such a wonderful stock of everything. Apparently I'm not the only one who has held off planting due to our cold late spring.

Our mission was to find things specifically for our vegetable garden and I had to keep pulling my daughter away from the "Look at these flowers, Mom! Aren't they beautiful?!" Ah, yes, a girl after her mother's own heart :-)

But the tomato section was disappointing. They had many large potted container tomato plants, some a bit smaller but in a variety I wasn't familiar with, and a couple cherry tomato plants. After looking over the entire selection, I decided to check another greenhouse for my tomatoes.

As we were checking out, the man said he had a great product for setting blossoms on tomato plants but noticed we didn't have any in our mix of vegetables. I explained to him that I didn't see the plants I wanted for my garden, so he walked back to that area with me to check. Yes, he agreed. And then there was a twinkle in his eye. He explained that when they had planted their tomatoes there were several flats that mistakenly hadn't been tagged. They had no idea what kind of tomatoes they were and therefore couldn't sell them. He said that *IF* I'd buy a bottle of blossom set, he'd give me the number of tomato plants I wanted from those flats. Of course, I would have no idea WHAT kind of tomatoes they would produce until later in the summer. As I'm reverting back to my adventuresome spirit of youth in my old age, I stepped out of the boat (that was for you, Tina! LOL!) and struck the deal.

Off we went to another greenhouse which was a working greenhouse. He showed me a few of the flats of tomatoes which were still on the small side and definitely hadn't had the attention of their others. But he said their plan was just to go and plant them on some property that they had since they weren't able to be sold. So he cut away four plants from one flat, four plants from another flat, and six plants from a third flat. They could all be the same or all be different. No one knows.

Fourteen tomato plants. I typically only plant four to six tomato plants as our growing season is undependable weather-wise and I may not get many ripened tomatoes before frost begins. And I really don't like the covering and uncovering of those large plants in September. We usually eat them as they ripen and if I have a lot of extras, I'll throw them in with the bushels of tomatoes I've purchased for canning.

Fourteen tomato plants. We could end up with LOTS of tomatoes this summer if we give them lots of tender loving care in the beginning. And God already began providing that with a shower during the night.

Okay, half the garden was planted yesterday and I'm off to plant the other half today!

Have a great day in your garden!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Sunday, June 1

a walk in spring

What could be nicer than the spring,
When little birds begin to sing?
When for my daily walk I go
Through fields that once were white with snow?
When in the green and open spaces
Lie baby lambs with sweet black faces?
What could be finer than to shout
That all the buds are bursting out--
And oh, at last beneath the hill,
To pick a yellow daffodil?
~K.C. Lart

Enjoy your spring day!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~
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