Saturday, October 31

a power change

Remember my post from yesterday about NOT liking such dark mornings?

Ummm, how about dark evenings?

I was able to experience both yesterday, MUCH to my dismay!

When my husband was talking about the need to go up to our cabin at the end of the week to pull all the docks for winter, after a tad bit of encouragement from me, he agreed to take the kids with him for an overnight. Imagine my immense delight! Several hours of a quiet house all to myself!

When they left home mid-afternoon yesterday, my first task was to get the kitchen in order so I could settle on my own personal cleaning tasks such as MY BEDROOM and DESK which are both overdue in getting straightened. So, with the windows open on such an unusually balmy but blustery day, the dishes were washed, the countertop clutter was put away, the kitchen floors were vacuumed and washed, the dogs were fed as well as myself eating a sandwich, and as I was starting to work on completing an article due for deadline the phone rang. After chatting with a son for a few moments, suddenly there was a loud explosive BANG! The dogs both barked and the lights went off. Complete darkness surrounded me. A nearby power line had quite evidently become a victim of the winds that had become much stronger after supper time.

:::::sigh:::::

Fumbling through the darkness to the working phone in my bedroom, I called our power company to report the outage and slowly maneuvered around the room to locate my flashlight and then candles. It didn't take long to realize that all the plans I had made for the evening were worthless. Either the plans needed electricity in order to run the vacuum or scrub down a bathroom OR they needed good light to sort through papers or work with fabric.

:::::sigh:::::

After a couple of hours of attempting this or that, I decided I may as well head to bed as there'd be no warm bubble bath available to finish my night.

During the night I was awoken by startled dogs and a loud truck coming down our driveway. Turning around by the house, the utility truck went back down our driveway stopping about halfway to the road (we have a longish driveway) and proceeded to get their spotlights and chainsaws working. About twenty or so minutes later, the house came back to life with a crackle. After making the rounds through the house to turn things back off which had been suddenly extinguished with the power outage, the realization hit me.

No one else in the neighborhood had been without power which would be why I could a scattered light here or there through the dark woods. Because of the obvious location of the problem, our house was singled out by the tree that fell on the line.

And I crawled back into bed with this verse on my mind:

"Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." ~ Proverbs 19:21

It is moments like this that I realize how selfish I can be. Yup,
having several hours of a quiet house all to myself as I made my plans were perhaps not the Lord's purpose for that time. Why would they be? He wasn't even penciled into my plans until today for an extended morning devotional time.

Talk about a reality check! It's not about God serving me. Ever. HE is the great awesome Almighty God and Creator of all things. To bring glory to Him as His child means having a servant's heart toward Him. Always. And to desire and seek relationship with Him. Continually.

Hopefully as the weather has changed with the roar of the wind as yesterday's blustery balmy has turned into today's blustery snowy, my heart attitude has also made a dramatic change.

"Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed." ~ Proverbs 16:2

Off to see what the Lord's purposes may be for me today amidst the continuing flickering lights now that I have spent time with Him, time with you, and can get busy on tasks before my family arrives back home this afternoon.

May God grab your attention in a powerful way in your garden today!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~





Friday, October 30

hurry up already!

It's not often that I'm anxiously awaiting change and even begin pleeeeeading for it to happen ....

BUT IS THIS TIME CHANGE EVER GOING TO GET HERE?!?!?!?!

Honestly, my body is beginning to go into its January hibernation. Yup, only three months early. Yikes! The heavy darkness in the morning is directly proportional to the heavy lids found on my eyes in the morning. And there is nothing harder on an early bird than when the early bird is no longer getting up early. It throws the entire day off. Kaput! Gone! And before I know it I'm yawning and thinking about a late afternoon nap! Yikes again!

Just be thankful you aren't living in my home and having to listen to my mumblings to myself about the silly clock and time and darkness and SOON and darkness and time and....

Don't forget to set your clock back an hour ON SATURDAY NIGHT before you go to bed!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, October 29

fully mine

Last night before bed I read a bit until I hit a line that was a wonderful thing to ponder as I fell asleep. It was a simple, yet profound bit of truth in my sleepy state of mind as I had been reading about our Eternal God. He is the same God today that Abraham or David or Paul encountered. Nothing about God has changed through all time to the present or into the future. He is all those wonderful *omni* words! Much too mighty and powerful and awesome for me to even comprehend at times. And yet....

"I have every right to claim all for myself, knowing that an infinite God can give all of Himself to each of His children. He does not distribute Himself that each may have a part, but to each one He gives all of Himself as fully as it there were no others." A.W. Tozer

As the mother of a large family, I find this amazing! Simply amazing! All day long I'm giving a part here and a part there and a part in another state and, well, there's lots of parts of me that go in a lot of directions. I'm definitely not fully belonging to one at any time. No matter how much I'd like to be. Not even close.

Then I consider all the people on this planet and cannot even begin to imagine how God keeps track of them all let alone gives Himself fully to each one of His children. He has no favorites. He loves each one with the same depth that He loves the next one or the one thousands of years ago or the one He'll love fifty years from now.

Wow! And cool! And how thankful I am to be reminded of God's complete and full presence in my life!

May life in your garden be a bit more full on this day as you consider God's love for just YOU!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, October 28

the hair of contentment

So, tell me. Is THIS really worth.....


.....THIS?

I'm guessing she thinks it is!

Looking back as far as my very first day of school with a fresh home perm in my hair, home perms were something I grew up with through the years. With the bit of natural wave in my hair, those home perms easily took affect. Thinking about this now I realize that I stopped getting home perms when my mom's health began declining and she could no longer roll my hair up in perm rods. Since then, I've only gone to a salon one time to have a perm put into my hair and it was an ever living disaster! YIKES! Now that my hair is a shorter style it seems that it has all those soft curls I was hoping for all those years are now mine to behold. God is good!

But then there's my girls. The two with stick straight hair have desired curls which result in pictures like above - although some have turned out worse through the years! - and then there's the daughter with the beautiful thick wavy hair who asked for a hair straightener for her recent birthday and prefers using that now.

What is it about us females and our hair?

Does anyone still use home perms besides our family?

And should I even touch the subject of coloring and highlighting?

All I can say is that I've reached a point of contentment with my hair as long as my bangs are kept trimmed....

Hope you're having a good hair day in your garden!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, October 27

a moment of prayer

Although I know that our world already abounds with prayer requests, can I share one with you today?

Last winter God brought into my life a dear woman who loves and serves the Lord wholeheartedly with a personality that shines for Him. My life has been enriched through the short time I have known her and even now when I think about her it's easy to recall her warm hugs and big smile.

For several years she has been dealing with health issues associated with the diagnosis of MS, yet this fall her health has become even more challenging as she has been hit hard by other medical concerns. A note I received today stated that she is going through a time of great discouragement.

My heart was prompted to write a note to stick in the mail to her as well as persevering in prayer. And then I thought....why not have others overwhelm her in prayer today, too? You can never receive too much prayer, can you?

So would you please take a moment right now to pray that God would overwhelm Brenda with His love clearly showing her signs of encouragement and care that could only come from Him? That His healing hand would lighten the burden of her health on this day?

Thank you for blessing my friend Brenda in this way! I KNOW she will praise God as He answers!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

better than apple pie

Some nicer autumn weather has returned for a few days promising partly cloudy skies and high temperatures in the 50's. It'll be ideal weather for prompting us to get outside to rake leaves before the snow that keeps visiting us actually STAYS...and here I thought I wouldn't be tempted to wander outside again this season. Oh well.....

There is, however, an indoor task that I need to complete and that is to finish up my apples either by making more applesauce or apple desserts before the apples begin going rotten.

Ahhhh, but what fun it was to have my granddaughter here a couple of weeks ago as she LOVES eating apples. Grandma decided she wasn't going to do the "give her little pieces at a time all day long" approach.....

.....and instead would peel a whole apple for her to wander around the kitchen to eat. That little girl was as happy as a bug in a rug as she'd plop down in the little princess chair eating her apple and watching all the activity around her.

Yup, watching her smile was better than eating apple pie any day! At least for this grandma :-)

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, October 26

simple woman's daybook for October 26

For today October 26

Outside my window.....
the skies are very gray and the cool air is a bit drizzly.

I am thinking.....about an article that I'm writing which is due the end of the week.

I am thankful for.....the warm woodburner that keeps our home a steady cozy warm.

I am wearing.....fuzzy socks, blue jeans, and a white long sleeved shirt with a wine colored old sweater thrown on top.

I am hearing.....girls talking about this and that in the kitchen instead of doing their schoolwork.

I am continuing to create.....a wreath from the vines from my pruned garden kiwi plants. It turned out to be a much more labor intensive project that I thought when I started, but it's almost finished!

I am going.....to stay home as much as possible this week and hopefully avoid the illness that is going around our community.

I am reading.....God's Pursuit of Man by A. W. Tozer

I am remembering.....principles of peace making and how complicated things can get when they aren't followed according to Scripture.

I am hoping.....
to work on my portion of the address list for our upcoming family wedding's invitation list.

On my mind.....is how important it is to be challenging junior high and senior high students on Biblical issues so they are well grounded when they leave home. Such a battle the enemy is waging on young adults to pull them away from a godly path!

From the learning rooms.....schooling will be a bit more intensified as mom is no longer called to outdoors tasks and can focus on her students better.

Noticing that.....even the cat doesn't enjoy going outside much these days with the cooler wet rainy - or snowy! - weather.

Pondering these words...."It is well that we accept the hard truth now: The man who would know God must give time to Him. He must count no time wasted which is spent in cultivation of His acquaintance. He must give himself to meditation and prayer hours on end." A. W. Tozer

From the kitchen....
is a mess as the child on kitchen duty has been remiss in accomplishing said kitchen duties.

Around the house.....are little pieces of dried leaves that the dogs have dragged in upon their paws.

One of my favorite things.....is hugging my older boys once in awhile while they do the "awwww, mom" thing.

A few plans for the rest of the week....schooling, wreath working, list making, Bible study mid-week, ironing, and letter writing to an aunt.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you.....


As I've been trimming vines for my wreath, I stick the excess vines and sticks into a basket outside on my porch as a decorative gathering next to the pumpkin. While doing that, I ran across the end of a vine that was a heart shape. Awwwwww!

Thank you for stopping and visiting my daybook today. If you'd like to read other daybooks or perhaps do one yourself, stop over to Peggy's at Simple Woman Daybook today.

Have a wonderful late autumn day!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, October 24

the write direction

A bit of follow-up about yesterday's post after pondering some more during the day, hearing from others both here and via email, and reading further last night.

Blog writing is perhaps a horse of a different color compared to book writing. Blogs can have a variety of purposes and themes which can be easily shown as you google your way through an internet search or even by looking at the recent nominating categories for the upcoming Homeschool Blog Awards. There are twenty-five unique categories that could characterize a homeschooling blog's purpose.

Perhaps the bottom line is that a blog is a daily or regular journal which has a relational and social flavor with its own style and comes forth from those of us who enjoy writing. How's that description?

What blog writers present will have the seasoning of life around them as well as what has filled their minds which typically comes from a variety of sources. A perfect example would be a word I used yesterday - twaddle. I don't know how many readers would commonly think of that word, yet in my early days of homeschooling when I read everything I could get my hands on about homeschooling, a prolific writer from that time would use that word in her writings to describe curriculum or products which were rather empty, meaningless, time fillers, etc. There can be so many sources of information we ponder within a day and gradually what goes "in" does come "out" in one way or another. And indeed, some of the writings can come from inward pressure of something pondered deeply and flowing from our hearts.

The purpose of a blog's writings will vary from writer to writer. However, when I read further last night, I did find a good description of where the overflow of my writings comes from although not in book form but instead in blog form:

"The function of a good book is to stand like a signpost directing the reader toward the Truth and the Life......The work of a good book is to incite the reader to moral action, to turn his eyes toward God and urge him forward." ~ A.W. Tozer

For my main daily source of what goes "in" is from God's Word and hopefully what comes "out" in my blog is encouragement for others to turn their eyes toward God and urge them forward in their walk of faith pointing them toward the example of Jesus Christ.

Of course, their is a bit of twaddle writing that comes out of daily living with a houseful of kids with homeschooling thrown in as well as household daily duties and dealing with pets and weather with a bit of gardening, quilting, and extracurricular activities thrown on top.

If the direction of my writing works for you, too, I'm delighted to have you walking on my garden path with me!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, October 23

writing with purpose

While I was waiting for the fire in the woodburner to get going last evening, I picked up a book that was in that room. Sitting down, I read for only a bit and then stopped to ponder this paragraph.

"The only book that should ever be written is one that flows up from the heart, forced out by the inward pressure. When such a work has gestated within a man it is almost certain that it will be written. The man who is thus charged with a message will not be turned back by any blase' consideration. His book will be to him not only imperative, it will be inevitable." A.W.Tozer

Perhaps the reason it made me stop was that one of the catalogs in my growing pile that I had been browsing through recently was from Christian Book Distributors. Their catalogs frequently have a section of "favorite authors" which provides a long listing of their books. Often these authors will have books with similar titles and themes. Many times I've wondered if these books came from a message or story that flowed from their heart and couldn't be repressed, but needed to be told by the pen in their hand? Or if these books were written by the push of publisher who demanded an author fulfill a contract deadline which caused the author to use filler and twaddle to complete the book?

It's a curious thing, isn't it? How many writers of today really write because they cannot NOT write? (I know, you aren't suppose to put two negatives in the same sentence, but I couldn't resist doing that for this sentence!)

Ahhhh, but then I took this a step further than what Tozer was thinking because his time was before the internet.

Could this same concept also be applied to blog writers? How many of us write because we have a message or a story or a craft or a tutorial or an idea that is bursting to get out of us and be shared with others? Or is it more of an implied pressure to write daily or frequently using filler and twaddle to do the task?

I know....sometimes I think too much, don't I? LOL!

Sooooo, if my blog suddenly drops off the face of the internet at least you'll know it's for one of two reasons - either I decided my writing was twaddle OR I'm spending time reading authors who wrote books that were not only imperative, but inevitable.....

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, October 22

a community builder of another kind

Those of you with young boys will think I'm crazy, but I actually miss the days of all five of the boys playing with buckets of Legos dumped out all around them. Talking, building, challenging, fighting, picking on their sister who had the Lego horse stable, building some more, and never putting them all away so mom would step on a Lego or two during the night when she'd be up with a little one. Oh, ya, it's coming back to me now! LOL!

Although the boys are all growing up, the holiday tradition of bringing out the Lego train and town will continue each December. And I hadn't really thought about it until a brand new Lego catalog arrived in the mail last week. I was going to put it into my catalog pile until I was surprised to see my littlest gazing through the pages.

She was pretty intent for quite awhile going from page to page and I found out why later when I had a chance to look as this catalog has a lot of new town sets. YAY! Now, I shouldn't even be thinking about buying more Legos because we truly do have a TON, - and it's been the best investment we ever made when I consider the hours upon hours the kids have played with them - but there's many new sets now available. A city corner with a bike shop and pizza place which includes a bus; a bunch of construction site vehicles; a winter toy shop; a movie theater, gas station, and town hall; city apartments with a cafe or a grocer; a BBQ stand....and the list goes on! Maybe I could pick just one thing to squeeze into our budget and add to this year's Christmas gift list?

Just imagine the town *I* will build someday when all my kids are grown up! Yup, forget baking cookies for the holidays as I'll be too busy attempting to read the directions with a magnifying glass in my hand in order to build these things!

Okay, I caught myself thinking about Christmas again and it's only October. I'm sure it has nothing to do with all these catalogs in my mailbox each day as well as the snow in the yard this morning.....

Whew! Back to your regularly scheduled October day.....

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~



Wednesday, October 21

naming favorites time

It's that wonderful time of the year again when The Homeschool Post has its annual awards for homeschool blogs.

For me, it really is perfect timing. The late fall is perhaps the dreariest time of the year here. The woods is gray, the skies are gray, the temperature is cool, the weather is often rainy, the days are shortening and darkening, and let's just say that for someone who loves sunny and warm it can be a very disheartening season to get through on a daily basis.

And then the Homeschool Blog Awards come along and I have something to keep me busy and distracted for a couple of weeks to quicken the passage of this season! It is so much fun when the voting begins and with 25 categories there are so many homeschool blogs to browse.

But, I'm getting way ahead of myself. First comes the nominating process which began on Monday (the 19th) and runs through Friday, October 30th. The form to nominate blogs is much simpler for both nominators and the staff at HSBA to use this year.

The main change for this year is that you can nominate a blog for only one category which keeps families like mine from their sweet children nominating their mom for almost all the categories AND it takes three nominations in a category to make it to the voting round.

And no, you don't have to be a homeschooler to nominate a blog for these awards. You just have to be a reader who enjoys reading a particular blog and would love to bless them with an award!

Soooo, what are you waiting for? Go check out all the details about the awards at The Homeschool Post with information about nominating your favorites right HERE When you're ready to nominate and have the specific information ready, hit the special button on the top of the page and it will take you right to the form where you'll need to enter the name and URL for the categories you are nominating (Example:
Tammy @ Garden Glimpes/ URL - http://agarden4tam22.blogspot.com/) It's easy to do!

Have fun!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, October 20

skipping through fabrics

Someone wake me up and tell me it isn't a dream!

Not only did I get to participate with a post about the quilt I made for my grandbaby in Amy's Fall Bloggers Quilt Festival, but I've also been selected as one of the random prize winners!

YIPPEE SKIPPEEEEE!

My prize is a $25 gift certificate to Pink Chalk Fabrics Ohhhh, do go and check it out and realize that I'll have a mighty difficult time making a choice on which fabric to pick! But ohhhh what fun I'll have browsing through Kathy's fabrics as I make that choice!

Of course, the other bonus is being able to continue browsing through all the amazing choices of those participating - almost 700 quilts! - that were displayed during the festival. So, do take a moment to click on Amy's link above or in my sidebar.

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Monday, October 19

simple woman's daybook for October 19

For today October 19

Outside my window.....
it's partly cloudy waking up this morning, but the weather is suppose to clear a bit with highs in the 50's.

I am thinking.....that I'm finally feeling ready for the colder weather to set in and to get focused on indoor things. It has helped to complete many outdoor projects this weekend, especially with the garden. It brings with it a sense of peace.

I am thankful for.....my older children who like to come home for visits!

I am wearing.....my flowered flannel bathrobe and need to jump into the shower to start my day.

I am hearing.....the dog bark out in the yard as my brother-in-law arrives for work.

I am attempting to create.....a wreath from the vines from my garden kiwi plants that we trimmed yesterday.

I am going.....to plant garlic cloves in my garden today.

I am reading.....The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis.

I am remembering.....simpler days when all my children were little and still at home. It's much harder on a mother's heart when they are away from home with prayer needs that could use a mother's hug.

I am hoping.....
to start writing in the little red with white snowflakes notebook that I bought for a dollar as I begin thinking about Christmas.

On my mind.....is how important it is to be praying praying praying for our children as life is a spiritual battle where the enemy would love to get a foothold and pull them down. May our children be strong and courageous standing firmly on their faith!

From the learning rooms.....there will be some catch-up this week.

Noticing that.....the woods is looking more bare these days as the leaves begin their falling like rain process.

Pondering these words...."Too many times we make marriage all about work and forget that God created us in marriage to experience joy and laughter. Our relationship shouldn't be just hard work. We need a good balance." ~ Ginger Kolbaba

From the kitchen.....
we will NOT be having desserts for awhile after a week of rich nightly desserts prepared by my oldest daughter which have resulted in an additional three or four pounds!

Around the house.....are little signs of a granddaughter's visit.

One of my favorite things.....is the scent of a warm fall day as you work outdoors.

A few plans for the rest of the week....birthdays for two family members, Bible study midweek, some stitchery I've been working on, garden tilling, and maybe playing with some quilting as I'd like to learn how to applique.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you.....

Here's a picture of my recent onion harvest. I should have put something next to this wire basket to indicate its size, but it's as big as a bushel basket. There are three layers - white onions, red onions, and yellow onions. Typically I put my onions into a string veggie bag and hang them in my downstairs food pantry, but there are obviously way too many onions to do that this year. I'll have to figure out something....and soon!

Thank you for stopping and visiting my daybook today. If you'd like to read other daybooks or perhaps do one yourself, stop over to Peggy's at Simple Woman's Daybook today

Have a great day!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, October 17

three times the cake

When my oldest daughter arrived, she came with her recipe box. On Tuesday morning her dessert grocery list was added to my meal grocery list as she planned a dessert for each day. Yup, you heard that right! We've had an awesome dessert every night of the week which would explain the four additional pounds I've gained by the end of this week :-p

The recipe she made for Tuesday's dessert is so easy to make with few ingredients plus it tastes incredibly moist and delicious. After having it that night, I bought the ingredients to make it again for our Wednesday evening Bible study AND as a dessert for the memorial service luncheon yesterday. She originally got the recipe years ago from a co-worker and since it's a perfect recipe for this season with pumpkin pie mix on sale, it seems appropriate to share it with all of you! Enjoy!


Pumpkin Cake

1 large can of pumpkin pie mix
3/4 cup of brown sugar
4 egg whites, beaten
1 yellow cake mix

Mix all ingredients together and poured into an oil sprayed 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 - 40 minutes. When completely cool, spread one 8 oz container of whipped topping over all and serve.

That's it!

Tonight's recipe is something like Best Chocolate Cake Ever....I hope I can fit into my clothes for church tomorrow! YIKES!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, October 16

after this?

When actually is "after this"?

I mean, I keep saying to myself, "'after this' things will slow down and I can catch my breath a bit again getting refocused" as I look at our calendar, but it seems that "after this" never comes. Or perhaps it does and I've missed it because something else fills in my time?

And I'm saying it again this morning.

My garden carrots were more abundant than anticipated and after doing four canners yesterday, I have one more to do this morning. As well as making a dessert for a luncheon following a funeral this afternoon which my husband and I will be attending. And fitting in school corrections somewhere in the day. Plus preparing for a son and his fiancee's visit home this weekend as they'll arrive this evening. Plus pulling the tomato plants and all those green tomatoes out of the garden. Plus planting that glorious garlic in my garden. Plus cooking up some more applesauce. Plus....well, you get the picture, don't you?

But, "after this" weekend things should settle down a bit and I should be able to catch my breath and refocus a bit again.

We'll see about that, won't we?

In the meantime, I'll get on that list for today right "after this" moment of catching up to my granddaughter who keeps running in here with one pink boot on her foot as she she chatters and checks on grandma.

Yup, right "after this".....

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, October 15

a grateful gardener

After I finish writing this, I'll head out to pull all the carrots out of my garden. It looks like there'll be quite a few, but I never really know until they start coming out of the ground since their growth is hidden from our vision. Hopefully they'll be of good size and not crooked. Canning all the carrots will be a long day process as it takes awhile to do all the peeling, then the cutting, then the actually steps of preparing them for the canner. Thankfully, my children know the canning routine which does lighten my load AND earns them some bonus computer time.

Canning carrots is typically one of the last garden details of the year. So as I close out another season of gardening, my heart is thankful for many reasons:

*Despite planting late and slow growth due to a unusually cool summer, my garden still produced much more abundantly than anticipated.

*My food pantry is currently full of canned and frozen vegetables that were either sunkissed in my garden or in another nearby garden.

*My garden continues to be a wonderful place of escape and refuge for this mama!

*For a husband who loves to ride his Kubota around in my garden in the early spring and the late fall to till the soil to perfection.

*My kids were once again great helpers when it came to the weeding and care of the various plants we grow. They also did a good job of nibbling away while working in the garden. Can anything be more healthy for their growing bodies than food going directly from the plant into their mouths?

*The zinnias inside my garden fence were totally glorious this summer!

*And if I type this quick enough, I should be able to get out to the garden before the flake or two of snow in the air turns into a continuous snowfall - which would make me VERY thankful - as it looks like it's almost here on the weather radar! YIKES!

Do you have a thankful heart this morning? Want to share or read about others whose hearts of thanksgiving are overflowing? Take a moment to check out Thankful Thursday which is being hosted by Lynn this week!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, October 14

the last circuit

Over seven years ago my oldest daughter and I signed up at Curves for Women in one of their two-for-one deals. It was a great start to getting back in shape and with the upcoming first wedding in our family of my oldest son the timing was perfect. Between having to pay to exercise and having my oldest daughter to go with each time, the perfect accountability was in place. I loved it!

However, the loss of weight and inches only lasted a few months before the curve went in the other direction. No fault of Curves though as I was surprised to find myself pregnant! The goal of being a healthier weight and shape for my son's wedding was dashed as I delivered my ninth baby a week AFTER his wedding.

Yet Curves was there for me after the birth of my last baby and through other major life events as well over the last seven years. Deaths, graduations, weddings, grandbaby births. The exercise has worked well to help through the stress of these major events as well as the minor details of daily life. But more importantly it has been the fellowship, support, and encouragement of a group of women who regularly exercise around the same time of day three days a week that has meant the most. Laughter truly is the best medicine of life and I've always had something to laugh about each time I've been there as these ladies have an extraordinary sense of humor. And yet just as easily our eyes can fill with tears as life becomes difficult. What a blessing!

Knowing all that, it was very hard for me to make the decision to eliminate this expense as our summer ended and my husband's business had continued to decrease since it wasn't a necessary budget item, but instead an "extra". My thirty day notice was given and this morning was my last time around the circuit.

At least I have a better handle on staying healthy and exercising at this point in my life. A walking habit has been firmly established and on my previous Curves days I can fill in with those old videos to get some aerobics and weight training as well as dragging out my old Nordic Track. And I did get the 30 Day Shred for my birthday. But but but.....the fellowship. Ahhh, the fellowship. I will miss those dear women!

:::sniff sniff:::

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, October 13

running in circles

Remember back in September when I wrote about the little black dog in the front of this picture in a post called Stella's smile?

Now can I tell you about the bigger black dog standing behind her named Cooper? He's my oldest daughter's dog and was adopted by her this summer through a dog rescue agency. A very thorough dog rescue agency who called me as a reference as I told about my daughter's growing up years of responsibility and care of her own dog Rosie to assure them she'd love this dog, too. He's a black lab - great dane mix who is estimated to be around two years old and whose happy personality around his family is witnessed by being the best pal of my little granddaughter. He came with some eating issues being unable to handle the grains found in regular dog food; some dog issues being unable to walk by other dogs without straining on the leash to gruff them in a big way; and some leaping issues as he flies high to grab crab apples off the highest branches of the tree. In other words, he's got character like most of the pets that we've had in our family through the years.

So why write about him this morning? Well, yesterday when my husband was picked up from the airport, also in the car was my youngest daughter, my oldest daughter, my granddaughter, and Cooper. The last minute plans of an airport run allowed them the opportunity to come home for a few days in advance of the weekend when some other family will be coming home which will include my daughter's husband to take them back to their home. It was indeed an interesting ride home with Cooper's antics.

But that's not what I'm writing about either.

It's about the smile that goes on my face each time Cooper comes to visit Grandma's house. As soon as he jumps out of the vehicle, off he goes to run big huge circles. Around the house. Around the yard. Around the garage. Around the field. Around anything he can go around. He is so so happy to be off his city leash and to be free to run in circles at Grandma's house! Could anything be more wonderful?

It reminds me of being a young girl and arriving at my grandma's house. Leaping out the car to run into her house. Up the stairs to the bedrooms. Into the living room by the piano. Out on the sunny porch where the little rocking chair was kept. Outside to climb the big tree in the backyard. Into the kitchen to find cookies. Running circles around her house! Could anything be more wonderful?

As Cooper already loves to come here, I'm beginning to watch my own grandchildren grow big enough to have a recognition of grandma's house when they arrive. To run to the dolls and dress-up clothes. To run out to the sandbox where the play dishes stack and dump trucks park. To run into the garden to eat fresh peas. To run out to the big garage where bikes and scooters and skates are kept. To run down to the lake to slide on the ice or swim along the dock. Running in circles at grandma's house! Could anything be more wonderful?

And someday I think we'll experience that same feeling when we reach our heavenly home. Running in circles with exhilarating JOY in the presence of God! Could anything be more wonderful?

Until then, may your earthly home be a place where those who visit love to run in circles of delight!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Monday, October 12

a daybook break

Due to the anticipated arrival of a messy mix of blustery wintery rain/snow accumulation on this day, my regular Monday morning blogging is on a mini break. Instead, I'm away from home and staying with my oldest daughter having left on Sunday to get ahead of the anticipated nasty weather with hopes that my husband will still be able to fly into a major airport on Monday afternoon. A long drive home will put us back into our own beds Monday night.

So instead of my usual Monday morning daybooking, I'll leave you with a link to follow as this month ushers in nominations for the 2009 Homeschool Blog Awards.

The nomination process will begin a week from today with twenty-five possible categories to nominate your favorite homeschool blogs with the actual voting taking place in early November. This is the fifth year that the Homeschool Post has sponsored this event and it continues to be a great way to meet a lot of wonderful homeschoolers. So do take a moment or two to read up on all the details right HERE

Have a great day and I'll see you when I get back!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, October 10

malaise maneuvering

This is the wonderful big pumpkin we've watched grow all summer and which I fortunately pulled off the vine a couple days ago since it had fully ripened because.....

.....this morning we woke up to blowin' and snowin' which means all the other pumpkins in the patch are now well covered with a layer of snow. Yes, at the moment, the ground is white. On the 10th of October.

This seems to add to my general feeling of malaise this morning.

:::sigh:::

Can we talk quilts? The motivation for completing the quilt for my grandson was so that it would be finished in time for Amy's Fall Quilt Festival
And it was. In fact, on Monday of this week I took the quilt to the post office and sent if off priority mail.signature confirmation.insurance. Those three expenses were necessary since the post office lost this sweet baby's handmade Christmas stocking as well as a bunch of other treasures for him and his sister that were sent last December. Yup, lost and never to be found. Guess what? They still haven't received the package. Only six hours away from here and they still haven't received it. At least I can track it this time and know that it's been sitting in the same post office for a few days. Grrrrrr! My daughter-in-law has speculated that the person who has the baby's Christmas stocking saw my package come through and has scored again! Okay, well it does help to have some humor to help with the frustration.

Can we talk quilts again? Last night while waiting for a phone call before bed, I was clicking on several links posted on Amy's Fall Quilt Festival and was mesmerized. Talk about detailed. Talk about intricate. Talk about fabric. Talk about piecing. Talk about amazing machine quilting like I've never seen before. Talk about complete quilt delight! WOW! If you enjoy quilts at all, please spend some time clicking through the assortment of quilts in this festival. And as I was putting my computer to sleep last night, the thought occurred to me....what in the world was I thinking to enter a quilt in this festival? Suddenly somehow simple block handmade hand quilted and tied seemed totally inadequate.

Can we stop talking about quilts? How about another topic adding to my malaise this morning? At the end of the summer I entered an article for the Oct/Nov/Dec fall magazine edition of Heart of the Matter Online which was to come out this week. Only it doesn't appear that a fall edition came out, but instead many of the articles were published this week on the main site and I was delighted to see mine! The delight has rapidly waned as the article looks a bit - or a LOT - out of place being published on its own in mid-October - although this morning it appears to be totally appropriate for anyone like myself living in snow country - because the article is about CHRISTMAS COOKIES. If you dare to think ahead to DECEMBER and need a challenge, go read my article Only One a Day

Adding to the general malaise is the general reality of being behind in everything - school corrections, business bookwork, ironing, seasonal clothes changeover, processing all the end of the garden food, housecleaning, and the list goes on.

And then this morning....I picked up a book. Let me back up a day or two. When a sudden end of the week decision was made to have my husband drive my son's vehicle down to him, I spent much time on the phone with my son as I went through a few containers of his *stuff* and he told me what he wanted brought down. The most fascinating part was going through the container of his books. He has a large collection of theology books and he picked several he desired to have back in his possession. Imagine....an Army Ranger who reads theology books in his downtime.

When I closed the container up last night, a small green older book caught my eye. The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis which was published in 1940. After glancing through it, I brought it upstairs to my bedroom with hopes of starting at the beginning when I had some reading time.

And then this morning, I picked up this book. I haven't gotten far into this small book filled with mighty words, but there is absolutely no doubt that God placed it within my vision in a storage box for such a time as this. I wouldn't even know where to begin to share a quote or two as I'd have to quote the entire book. A book that was written by a man who had handwritten the entire Bible four times and whose simple common life was devoted to being a follower of Christ.

It is quite difficult to stay in a state of malaise with feelings of frustration and inadequacy when focus is placed where it should be....OFF the world and centered ON Almighty God! Praise God for a timely glimpse of His perspective!

May your garden day be snow-free and God-full!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Friday, October 9

in grandma's sunny woods

A couple of autumns ago while I was babysitting for my only grandchild, I snatched a paint sample from her bedroom which was being painted in preparation for the arrival of a new sibling. Tucking the sample into my pocket, a brisk walk a couple of blocks away took me to one of my favorite fabric stores.

Browsing the aisles lead me to the shades of green of my paint sample and the closest softest match was the fabric on the far right. Carrying around that bolt of fabric helped me to pick out several more prints that would blend well with my main fabric pick. In the end, I ended up with only four main fabrics with the middle two in the picture having a slight shimmer to them and the far left fabric serving as my backing.

Once back home I played with block making as I mixed and matched and cut and reassembled. Yet, nothing was coming together in a way I liked. So the fabric sat in a bag while my first sweet new grandson was born.....without a handmade quilt from his grandma.

Months later while digging through some other fabric, quite by surprise I ran across eight thin fuzzy light yellow flannel squares that my mom had cut. Finding them immediately gave ME warm fuzzies!

And that was the beginning of my first untraditional type of quilt. Many blocks
in a variety of the green fabrics were cut of the same size as the yellow flannel squares and my hands were busily laying them out and rearranging them until the sun was shining through my woods.

In the very center of the quilt, a sun was designed on the yellow flannel by hand stitches that radiated out from a heart. A heart that is a remembrance of this sweet baby's great grandma who had loved quilting AND babies very much.

The yellow-green fabric shimmered out the rays of the sun with additional hand stitching coming out from the sun as the rays filter through the woods.

In the far corners of the darker woods can be found small meadows to remind this sweet baby of the maker of his baby quilt.....

.....a grandma who loves flowers and butterflies and gardens.

With relatively little hand quilting which also made this feel like an untraditional quilt to me, I needed to add a tie or two of floss to add a bit more tradition in honor of the family quilters who have gone before me.

The backing held a special cross-stitched section with names, dates, and.....

.....important stuff like "made with love by Grandma".

And on a gloomy fall day in grandma's woods, here's the final result of grandma's sunny woods quilt which will snuggle a grandson *if* he's willing to give up the quilt he's been using in the meantime which is the quilt of his daddy that was made by this baby's great grandma many years ago.

To delight in the quilting handiwork of others, please visit Amy's Fall Blogger Quilt Festival and follow the many links. Or feel free to hit the link in my sidebar which will be good until the next quilt festival.





Thank you for stopping by to see my quilt.  Your sweet comments are much appreciated!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Thursday, October 8

critter treats

Although at the end of the gardening season we only had a few non-edible cobs of corn still attempting to grow, all was not lost. Corn stalks are a wonderful outdoor decorating item and I can cut and arrange them the way I like because they are coming straight from my garden during our garden clean-up time.

The bonus was also having a variety of sunflowers to cut and stick into my corn stalk bundles to dress them up a bit.

This year I made up an extra bundle of corn stalks to dress up the end of our driveway. Recently when I pulled into the driveway, I noticed that the bundle was a little crooked looking. Hmmmm, I figured it was probably from all the wind we had recently had until yesterday when I came one step closer to the truth. Lying on the driveway were the sunflower stalks. Without the beautiful sunflowers. Apparently some critter thought they'd make a tasty treat and proceeded to eat them ALL! We've been speculating as to who would have enjoyed the sunflowers the most....squirrels? deer? raccoons? Hmmmm.....I'm not sure we'll ever find out UNLESS.....

.....whoever the critter is gets enough courage and bravery to come up to the house where this great big beauty is attached to the porch post!

Life sure is an interesting adventure, isn't it?

Enjoy your day as you consider the unexpected ways God blesses and takes care of the critters in the woods. Then consider the unexpected ways God blesses and takes care of YOU whom He loves so much! It's guaranteed to put a smile on your face :-)

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Wednesday, October 7

faint not

Way back when I was thirteen years old, I opened my eyes while lying on a doctor's exam table only to realize I had fainted immediately after having my ears pierced. It certainly wasn't from pain, but most definitely from excitement!

And so began a rite of passage for my own girls.

Isn't it amazing that as soon as girls discover jewelry, they think they need their ears pierced? And when they discover mom won't budge on that one in this household, there's a series of drawing earrings on with markers, stick-on earrings, clip-on earrings, magnetic earrings, grandma's old earrings.

Until they turn 13.

When one of my daughter's turned 13 last month, she could not wait to get her ears pierced. However, she was still in the midst of soccer season which has a rule of NO jewelry or earrings and since she couldn't take earrings out of newly pierced ears it was necessary to wait.

Until yesterday.

The appointment was made at the same salon her older sister had gone to for her ear piercing over 13 years ago. Off we went in the pouring rain for this momentous occasion which resulted in no fainting and a lot of smiling.


One sparkly earring sits in each ear.

To complete this rite of passage, she divided up all her favorite clip-on earrings and passed them on to her two younger sisters.

Now to keep my heart from growing faint as I consider how quickly this daughter is growing up!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Tuesday, October 6

the getting better part?

When I got up yesterday morning, my husband and I chatted about the saying, "You're not getting older....you're getting better!" My question to him was....how old do you have to be to finally be getting better?

This morning I was reminded of that saying again as I took my early morning walk in the high school's fieldhouse. As the youngest one walking most days, I get to observe the older than me folks. One lady typically is walking by herself since her husband has such long strides and she is also typically talking to herself, too. Louder than a whisper but softer than conversationally. It's always just a bit unnerving walking past her. Then there was a group of three ladies walking together who took a few laps and were slowing down as they made the decision to stop walking because one lady's hips were "screaming", one was worn out from walking, and the other had sore knees.

So, I've added those observances to my own which would include having a hard time threading a needle because my vision keeps changing (glasses on, glasses off, where's the magnifying glass?), my body has unfamiliar aches each morning as I get out of bed, my memory has left the premises, my endless energy from the past has ended, and technology keeps moving faster than I can figure out.

Older means better?

Ah, yes, older does mean better. But it will never be in the same terms that the world sees as better.

Can I share a few betters?

*Relationships with others have a richer meaning as they've grown and matured through the years. You learn that whatever you see on the outside is probably not even close to what is on the inside, and you can love them just they way they are.

*There really is no secret to good health. It continues to include basic and foundational principles - eat less, eat healthy, exercise more, get plenty of rest, drink water.

*The less stuff, the simpler. The drive for more "things" fades and you find that fewer essential things hold more importance in your life, although I do need to work on this principle when it comes to sentimental type items :::sigh:::

And the best better part about getting older is learning that the bottom line really is about God. Nothing else really matters except this key relationship because in the end, that's all you really have. People will come and go. Health will come and go. Stuff will come and go. All that is left is God who will never come and go. In fact, the longer He is part of your life, the richer your life will be on so many levels. And for me, that does make getting older so much better!

May life in your garden be getting better as you get to know your Heavenly Father better as each day - and year! - passes!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Monday, October 5

simple woman's dayboook for October 5


For today October 5th

Outside my window.....
it's a gray cool morning with rain in the forecast.

I am thinking.....about a quieter week ahead FINALLY!

I am thankful for.....another year of life and good health.

I am wearing.....my black exercise pants and a white t-shirt having just come back from Curves.

I am hearing.....the sound of my husband's dump truck warming up out by his garage as he prepares to head to work for the day.

I am creating.....every single recipe that I glanced through in my new Taste of Home magazine yesterday. Yes, they are still being created in my mind but they are ohhhhh, so good! LOL!

I am going.....to the post office today as hopefully I will have a package ready to go in the mail.

I am continuing to read.....through the book of John.

I am remembering.....some of the antics of my children when they were little as I listened to an older family video yesterday while I was quilting.

I am hoping.....
to get my downstairs food pantry organized this week as I've been stocking up on various dry goods.

On my mind.....is knowing that I need to finish the seasonal clothes change over with my girls as there's still piles of sorted clothes on their bedroom floor. Why is this is a difficult chore to stick with and complete?

From the learning rooms.....I'll be catching up on correcting the girls schooling as I'm way behind with them.

Noticing that.....although the woods has a lot of color, there are still a lot of pockets of green leaves yet. It's been odd how the trees have been progressing this fall. Did the dry summer or warm fall play a role in that?

Pondering these words....that came in an email this morning - "Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things." Robert Brault

From the kitchen.....
I may have to bake my favorite cake today!

Around the house.....are little snippings of thread from my quilting.

One of my favorite things.....is kissing Fuzzababy, Fluffa, and Pinkie goodnight before I kiss my littlest as I tuck them all into bed each night.

A few plans for the rest of the week....birthday celebration, Bible study midweek, downloading a boatload of pictures off my camera, finishing some stitchery I've been working on, and getting caught up on ironing.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you.....

Our crabapple tree is LOADED with crabapples this fall. I think my granddaughter and her pooch need to come back to grandma's house since they both LOVE to eat these tart treats! Anyone have any good simple recipes for these beauties?

Thank you for stopping and visiting my daybook today. If you'd like to read other daybooks or perhaps do one yourself, stop over to Peggy's at Simple Woman's Daybook today.

Have a great day!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Saturday, October 3

ohhhh, what a combooo

High temperatures in the 40's. A 60% chance of rain showers continuing from yesterday. Soccer tournament for my girls. First game of the morning. Me.

Ohhhhh, not a good combination. I confess....I'm a wimp.

Long underwear, winter boots, mittens, an umbrella, and hot coffee will all be my best friends when we arrive there in thirty minutes.

May your Saturday be a better combination than mine!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~

Friday, October 2

laughter on the wrong side

Remember when I recently wrote about waking up on the wrong side of the bed? Well, this morning I literally did wake up on the wrong side of the bed!

After spending the afternoon on garden clean-up, I was soooo tired last night and after supper my only thought was about falling into my bed to sleep. But there were a problem with that thought. The boys were watching a movie on our regular TV downstairs, so my husband and daughter set up the little TV on our bed to continue the movie series they've been watching together every night this week.

Okay, so I thought I could do some blog surfing for awhile until this part of their movie was done, but that didn't work at all. Reading was making me even more tired. I finally opted to crawl into bed on my husband's side of the bed since they had the TV/DVD set-up more on my side of the bed so my daughter could sit in my rocking chair to watch. I thought it may be hard to fall asleep because of the music and strange dialogue from the movie (Lord of the Rings), but I don't even remember closing my eyes nor hearing them put away the TV stuff and going to bed.

When I woke up during the night for a run to the bathroom, I rolled over to swing my legs out of the bed only to have my legs swiftly kick my husband! It was then that I remembered I was on the wrong side of the bed! Once back in bed, I fell right back to sleep.

When my husband woke me up early this morning as he got up for a breakfast meeting, he was exclaiming how he had gotten such an incredible night of sleep (obviously he didn't recall the swift kick!) and now knew why I was so beautiful. It was because my side of the bed provided beauty sleep!

I'm sharing this to let you know that waking up quite literally on the wrong side of the bed can provide you with abundant hearty laughter when you wake up in the morning! Laughter IS the best medicine and I truly think it can create more beauty in your life than sleeping on the right side of the bed.

Try it! Try switching sides of the bed with your mate for one night of sleeping. See if YOU wake up with laughter and if he wakes up more handsome!

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


Thursday, October 1

thankfully unchanging

Last night at Bible study our topic was on philosophy and ethics. It was interesting to consider how our own personal worldview can be swayed by the culture we live in, especially in today's world where a Biblical worldview is being rejected. Laws and rules are more easily changed by the influence of public opinion polls or surveys. He who speaks LOUDEST seems to hold the most power in changing our beliefs. It's hard to keep up with in a world that is so filled with words.

And yet.

God is unchanging. His Word is TRUTH and stands firm.

"He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a man, that he should change his mind." ~ First Samuel 15:29

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." ~ Hebrews 13:10

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." ~ James 1:17

In a world that is constantly changing, I'm ever thankful for a God who is not!

Although the trees around me are changing their colors to breathtaking brilliance, He who created them is not changing.

Although the political landscape is rapidly changing its philosophy, God will remain on the throne as King of Kings.

Although the world can rationalize sin making it look acceptable, God will not change His mind about sin.

Although I mess up on a regular basis and justify my own selfishness, God's grace and mercy toward me is as unchanging as His love for me as His child. How thankful I am that His gift of salvation does not get taken back each time I am disobedient!

Yup, I'm definitely thankful that God is an unchanging God who remains the Solid Rock in my life and whose every word I can trust no matter what is happening within me or around me!

If you'd like to share a thankful moment in your life, please stop over to see Lynn at Thankful Thursday

Blessings,
Tammy ~@~


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