Thursday, November 9, 2017

A Man Told His Wife: "You Need to go Back to Work, We Could Use More Money".

Michelle, one of our married daughters showed me a video she enjoyed today...She tells me:

You'll like this one mom!

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She was right, I did!

I hope you too enjoy this short video.  The message is so very, very needed in my book.  There are many of us who have chosen this simple path and allow me to say, it's a fulfilling one.   Yes, despite what society or present culture tries to say, despite what the pride of life tries to say, this is truth.

His yoke is easy and His burden is light.   Enjoy...

I may not garden or can but I know how to make a dollar stretch and making things out of what I already have has always been such a blessing to me, it's fun and a great outlet of creativity.  Spying nice items that are good quality but in our budget is a blessing too.  If you've read my blog for any amount of time you can see that I am careful on how I spend, we have had to be careful in our married life for my husband works on commission only.  It takes perseverance but yes Virginia it can be done.  If that meant going without a car or whatever it took...Yes, my children were more important.

As my husband shared once:

Our children are the only thing we can possibly take to Eternity with us.

Here is an excerpt from the little booklet our pediatrician, Dr. Louis Pottkotter wrote, Caring for Your Baby:
3.  "Some working mothers soon discover that when they add up the cost of weekly visits to the doctor with a sick child, plus the cost of medicine, plus the cost of daycare, they are actually LOSING more money than they make.  If this happens to YOU,  I suggest a serious reassessment of how important working is to you."

That always rang true to me.

I also knew my children needed me to care for them if at all possible.  There would be no career possibility to ever change that.  As Phyllis Schaffley once said, Some one has to rock the cradle!  As Napoleon said...Give us good mothers!     


loading ...  Recipe tip:   Do you know you can use cooked lentils for a healthy meat substitute?  I'm an ethical vegetarian, so I'm very used to cooking this way and I can see how a homemaker can save hugely by this as well.  Tonight for supper I am making my Grandma Oddo's pasta gravy.  Grandma Oddo was from Naples, Italy and she could cook!  I also made lentil patties, very similar to lentil balls, I just couldn't get them into a round sphere with no glutenfree breadcrumbs on hand today. lol.  I baked them in the oven to a perfect crisp and my family can place those over their pasta and ladle the gravy over all.  Bellissima! 

loading ...  Sewing machines?    I have found a good basic Brothers from Walmart works beautifully.  You can find them refurbished for around $50 on the Walmart site.  I ordered one for Marianna's birthday, our most recently married daughter.  It was like brand new, sealed and boxed.  Bravissimo!

I definitely taught our daughters the arts of sewing and cooking in our homeschool.

It's one of the nicest blessings ever to see our grown daughters using these gifts and budgeting lessons now in their lives at whatever stage they are in.  

If anyone has any questions on being a happy budget friendly homemaker please feel free to leave them here and we can have a friendly forum. : )

I love being an encouragement to others, we've been married for over 37 years, I'm almost 57 years of age and my husband, Jem (64) and I have brought up four daughters on one income. 

And I cannot close without pressing that God was and is our source in all things. Many of you know, it's been a very, very challenging year for me to put it lightly.  I cannot thank God enough.

All great change in America begins at the dinner table.

-Ronald Reagan

Good evening, loves, and don't forget, if you have any questions that maybe I could help with please let me know here.  Pretty much the only things I will not share are my Grandma Oddo's heirloom recipes. ; )  

*Big smile*     Amelia

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy People Give Happiness. (I Try!)

We are so preciously loved by God that we cannot even comprehend it.  No created being can ever know how much and how sweetly and tenderly God loves them.   -Julian of Norwich

Nursing home visits can be an awesome joy.   A huge joy for me, a joy for my friends there.  There is a treasure of wonderful sweethearts there.  Look at this face....Our precious friend.

If you ever want to see an attitude of excellence?  It's our friend here.  This precious fella hears out of one ear, doesn't talk well because of it and has the use of only one arm.  He is wheelchair bound.  I can't tell you what it did to my heart when I stepped into his room and spied him making his bed with that one arm one day several years ago.  ...And to think many complain about chores.

He shouts in the most precious voice imaginable...

Heeeyyyyy!  How ARE ya'll doin'!

We were overjoyed to hear him say this complete sentence, his speech is so improving and that is such a hopeful blessing.

I do not know why our precious friend is in the nursing home, what happened to him.  I do see evidence of a tracheotomy and a scar for some reason to his head. Our friend is a middle-aged man, not what we would consider elderly.  The first time we met our friend he pulled out a worn white card with his name handwritten on it and we've all been best buds ever since.

His family has seen to it that he has a photo album of his life in his room for visitors to see.  It appears his brother is a minister and comes to visit.

Here's a few chosen shots from a little photo shoot of sorts:

Do you see his bib for lunch?  He loves to make sure his pals there around him also have a bib on and helps them with his one working arm.  Yes, this is our precious friend.  Best buddy ever.  An angel.

Do you want to stand out?  Then step down.  Be a servant.  If you puff yourself up, you'll get the wind knocked out of you.  But if you're content to simply be yourself, your life will count for plenty.  -Matthew 23:11

A Few of My Favorite Things:

A Book

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A Book Suggestion:  Try Giving Yourself Away by David Dunn
This is a most uplifting book.  Timeless.

Soft Cotton Tops

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Soft Fall Tops?  White Stag cotton tops from are great and the price is right.

*  I'm wearing one in 'teal' (top photo).  They're great with skirts or whatever. I enjoy black so I can throw colored scarves on if desired.  I purchase size 'L'.   White Stag Womens Essential Crewneck Shirt.

*  I live in these turtlenecks as the weather chills.  My signature black turtlenecks.  Once again, the price is right. Size 'L'.  : White Stag Womens Turtleneck.

loading ...   I don't think we have to spend an arm and a leg to look nice do you?   I sometimes see snob appeal and I don't want to enter into that.  ...So I like to share my bargains...Once in a blue moon I'll see a gal roll their eyes or give me an insecure blank stare on a good deal I may share.  Well..... That tells me far more about that person than me.  ;)  ...chuckle.

A Great Pair of Sunglasses

Sunglasses?   Dollar Tree comes to the rescue and I love this style, and as always..Say it with me!   The price is right! 


I take care of my sunglasses if I like them no matter what the cost and they last for several years if in a case.

Taking joy in life is a woman's best cosmetic.   -Rosalind Russell  (one of my favorite actresses)

One must have their favorite sunglasses to travel to the city.  Aha!  I see the run-away skeletons are still at their antics!  Yes, they are running through the huge lawn!   So hilarious if you ask me!  Oh my goodness!   This is the craziest, most bizarre yearly display ever!  It makes us literally crack up. : D 

If you surrender completely to the moments as they pass, you live more richly those moments.    -Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Prayer is the deliberate and persevering action of the soul.  It is true and enduring, and full of grace.  Prayer fastens the soul to God and makes it one with God's will.    -Julian of Norwich

I hope and pray everyone is having a nice week so far, a week of hope.   -Amelia in the Forest

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Autumn Days, a Skeletal Escape and Total Randomness Fun

A Morning here at the Forest Cathedral. 

Do you see Howdy?   A shy ginger man.

Sometimes Jem and I like to go for an outing, a day-date of sorts.

The Museum District is a Good Place for an Outing.

Let's eat food first... 

A simple lunch.  The real genuine, delightful hole in the wall original restaurant, the area is an eclectic mix of old but posh, strange but charming, both cottages and large estates.  This little place is known for it's tamales.  The original owner, Mr. Walter Berryhill sold the tamales in this area from a little street car, the old street cart is there on display.  

 Love this old tile where our little outside table is.

   Jem reads a text from the girls...Marianna tells us we are acting like old retired people.  We stuff ourselves. I had the most delicious, chubbiest spinach and corn tamales ever..

So now what do you want to do?  Let's just drive around and see....

These guys must be escapees from the Rice University lab.  Is this display not great?  The skeletons are seeking refuge here.

The skeletons will have a nice view.

We pass the lovely fountains and onto the other side...

The hospital where Marianna was born in the distance.

Sam Houston Statue.  I remember this museum area from when I was a little girl...Deep thoughts and contemplations here since I recently lost my dad as many of you know.

...My dad and his friends climbed this statue one night in his college days, the task given was to take a plaster mold of a part of the horse.  The story goes that the police were amused and actually stood and watched.  Oh the stories I have..

Yes, those young men were full of "honesty and goodness"...their task was not detoured. eh hem.

...Fascinating area 

Well I guess it's time to go home to the Forest?  

I do hope you enjoyed the sampling of randomness and fun. : )

So do you like simple outings too?

Back home....And to all a good night...
Mo-Mo and Howdy.  Sister, brother peacefully sleeping while their naughty mi-mi and po-po are away..

*a smile*            ~Amelia

P.S.   Thank you for prayers for our little Giuseppe, he is truly a little miracle.

May the Lord of Peace Himself give you Peace at all times and in every way.  The Lord be with all of you.     2 Thessalonions 3:16

Monday, October 9, 2017

A Really, Really Good Short and a Sick Little Dog. Do you Like Fake Church?

The Crumbling of the Church  (If a tacky ad starts, please skip after seconds, I'm so sorry.)

Good Morning, I was thinking of the above video.  I have posted the greatness before and thought I would post it again.  I'll let it speak for itself.  It really tells the tale in my opinion and is pretty much how I feel on things.  The reason why I bring this kind of thing up is because it's important to me. I can't stand fake religiosity whether it's liberal or conservative.  Both stink. 

I've seen some messed up actions and thinkin', and as a young biracial pastor once said at the old downtown Methodist;  I've seen some... jacked up stuff.

I remember it like it was yesterday...The adorable young preacher named Terrence asked:

"Who likes fake church?  Who likes jacked up church?  Raise your hand if you like fake church."  

He had everyone repeat after him as he said...."Say it with me... J-a-ck-ed. Up."  He then explained that in his day it means: Messed up.

Marianna and I were up in the balcony that Sunday and almost could not contain ourselves we were laughing so hard.  You know how it is?   Something can be so hilarious because it's so true!  

I hope those of us who claim Christ *are* the church at every angle.  : )  And if you do not claim Christ I hope we can still be friends and that I will exhibit Christ-likeness. : )


I'm taking care of a sick little dog right now so please pray for me, pray for my husband and our little Guiseppe.

Guiseppe is our precious little elderly dog, almost completely blind, an angel, a little heartbeat at our feet.  He's especially close to Jem, the highlight of this little guy's day is laying next to Jem on the couch in the evenings, putting his head on Jem's lap.

As I type, he is resting on my lap, he's a sweet little angel.  

God, give us the wisdom to care for him at this time.

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Photo by Robert Stock

Take care all, may we be that Christ.  Let us not grow weary.  It's tough out there I know.

Hope everyone is having a nice week so far.      ~Amelia

"Some people think they are all that and a bag of chips."

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Show 'n Tell, Heartfelt Contemplations ...and a Most Special Song


I hope everyone is doing well and lifting our great country up to God in prayer.  I'm sickened hearing the stories of innocent people who love and respect our country innocently attending a country concert and facing such a demonic attack.  I will touch more at the end of this entry. 


A Bit of a Show 'n Tell

loading ...  As you know if you read here, designing and sewing is therapy; an art for me.  I also love the WWII era and anytime I can sew a vintage pattern it makes me happy especially if it turns out wearable!  : )

This is me above colored photo, wearing a top I have sewn from a genuine vintage pattern:  Jiffy 4438. I had found a size 14, 34 bust on ebay a while back and it works fine.  I normally would have needed a 16 but there is plenty of room on this pattern.  I have adjusted the neckline to a square neck, making my own facing.  I used navy cotton lawn cloth from amazon.  I made a matching A-line skirt and a little tie belt too.  And no, I didn't cut my hair but I do have it pulled back. : )  I tend to wear my hair back in one way or another, it just feels better that way and it's timeless and I like timeless.  Let the hair fall where it may otherwise!  *big smile*

The pattern is swell with a little tiny bit of a kimono sleeve, just a very slight kimono sleeve.  You can see the way the hem turns up a little?  It makes it a bit more flattering on the arm.  Plus I was able to squeeze the top into 1 yard since I'm on the shorter side!  Yabba dabba doo!  (Did you watch the Flintstones when you were a child?)   I remember when that program was an evening sticom! 

loading ...  Does anyone have a favorite color of lipstick?   My standby lipstick is Pacifica, color xox, not too dark and not too light, it's healthy and Pacifica doesn't test on animals.  Also it does not contain castor oil, castor oil tends to really dry my lips.  This color is a nice pink with no orange in it.  Another very economical makeup that does not test on animals is e.l.f, I like their waterproof mascara and it's around $3.  I use their foundation (sand shade in this pic) at times as well, it really covers.  You may find the e.l.f. brand at Walmart or online.  I order the Pacifica lipstick online from their site, or various online vendors. 

Where the above colored photo was taken:  Jem and I were at our one of our favorite Greek restaurants in downtown.  I love their spinach and goat cheese feta pita sandwich, plus the french fries are very much like the ones my mom used to make, delicious.  The proof is the remnants on the table!  Ha!


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-    There's a lot  going on in America right now.  I'm disappointed on players protesting during our anthem.  I disagree with it on a couple of accounts and I think it's wrong.  ...How our veterans must feel.  If it really is the main reason I am hearing....I would think many of these folks would do some research on Margaret Sanger and her evil agenda to exterminate certain races of people (there are many videos and transcripts of this woman). Her evil agenda is being carried out through her Planned Parenthood til this day. And trust me I am no proponent of any kind of prejudice at all, I despise it, and thus would stress to study up on Margaret Sanger and Planned Parenthood.  It seems the wrong thing is being protested.

-    And the commentators making cruel comments on people dying at the concert in Las Vegas because the attendees support President Trump and so that was okay that they died?   Shameful.  Shameful.  So those commentators call themselves compassionate and tolerant? 


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A Final Thought

There are things that grieve my spirit and maybe you will agree:  Just for some basics...People can smother their blogs with scriptures (nothing wrong with that if we walk the talk), churches can modernize to up the numbers.  On the modern emergent church?  God is God, and He never changes.  We mustn't forget God's truths.  Those who may understand God's truths, let's remember Love is not rude, it's polite, Love thinks of others and how they are made to feel.  Love is Kind.  Good manners is putting others first, to make guests comfortable and welcome even on our blogs and how we relate to others in reciprocation.  Love is speaking from a sweet and a kind heart.  If someone takes the time to encourage me, may I be the kind of person to encourage them too. It seems so fundamental doesn't it?

EDIT 10.5.  How do we have a kind and sweet heart?  I think it comes from spending time with God in a personal way and being keen to His Spirit.   I wonder sometimes how many are hurt by those who claim to be Christians who aren't spending time with God and are not keen to his Spirit?   It ought not be. I can say I know a very famous person and I may know who they are and much about them, but if I don't spend time with that famous person I do not know him.

I appreciate very much those who take the time to comment here from time to time.  It's a Gift.

Hoping you all will enjoy this most beautiful and heartwarming song by Louis Armstrong:

When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say, and she always says it kindly.

Proverbs 31:26

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May we lift our country and world up in prayer.

Have a sweet week dear ones, we have Joy and Peace to give, let's give a sincere, toothy smile from a sweet and kind heart.     ~Amelia

All black and white  photos by Robert Stock. 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Going to the Chapel! ...And Pics to Show it Too!

Well, this could be called The Wedding during Harvey but actually it is the wedding postponed one week after Harvey!

Wow.  The night before the wedding, Harvey came rolling in... It was the craziest thing ever.  Obviously the wedding was postponed and the next week worked and fell into place, it was interesting let me say!  : )

The florist was displaced in a hotel in the next town not even knowing if she would return to a home or not, the water from this storm was huge.  She is a precious friend of mine as I had gotten to know her during Michelle's wedding.  God bless you Sylvia.

So at the last minute, the groom's friends in his hometown made the most beautiful bouquets ever!  A precious, precious family.  And get this?   The bride who married the day before at this venue left her flower decorations so we could enjoy them too! 

Here are some pics I hope you will enjoy:

This is Marianna, our daughter and bride.   Rebecca, our youngest daughter and sister of the bride, and Lea driving, our daughter and sister of the bride as well!  Going to the chaaa-pel....!   Michelle was riding in with her husband after being displaced.  She and another bridesmaid were displaced but remembered to grab their bridesmaid dresses and accessories on the way out from being evacuated!  What a story!  It reminds me of the story of my Italian great-grandma fleeing her home in Naples, Italy with her bridal embroidery project in her hand as the volcano erupted! 


After arriving to the venue, Rebecca our artist daughter applies make-up to Marianna in the suite.  The feel of this photo that Rebecca Slater, our precious longtime friend and bridesmaid captured has such an ethereal look and feel I think...
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Sisters!   Baby sister, Rebecca and big sister Marianna.

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My 87 year old mother adjusting Michelle's corset back on the dresses as Michelle adjusts Lea's corset!  Talk about team effort!   Little Emmaline is here too, a little angel.  I recently had the pleasure of playing with this little angel in her playroom at her house, she had me take a 'nap' on the floor.  (so cute).  We also played with her stickers and I was quite honored to have stickers all over my dress, and I mean that.  God's heart is with these little ones.

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Michelle, our married daughter looking on while Lea and Rebecca are adjusting Marianna's veil.

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Pretty and sweet bride, Marianna.  Aren't the bouquets the groom's friends made beautiful?  The family is a large homeschooling family that served on the mission field.  Many of these friends drove far more then several hours away to come to James and Marianna's wedding.

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Isn't the Conservatory pretty?  The glass was shipped in from Europe.  You can see the bridesmaids: longtime friend; Rebecca Slater and sisters; Michelle, Rebecca and Lea.  The bride and groom.  After the ceremony the entire congregation there at the wedding sang:  Great is Thy Faithfulness

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Lea and Rebecca Slater.  Rebecca, now a mommy herself who I used to rock in the church nursery!  Emmaline our sweet flower girl angel is her little girl.  Rebecca took most of these beautiful photos.

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Lea, Marianna and James.  So happy!

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Presenting the bride and groom!  Marianna and James

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Our longtime friend, Cat caught this image on her way back from the wedding.  This tells the tale I think.
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I have more photos too taken by caring friends.  Perhaps I will share more in the future?

Well, everything turned out beautifully, the good Lord sure had His hand in this wedding.

We are resting now, trying to get used to a new-norm after all the whirlwinds.  Even during stressful times God is there working His hardest though we may not realize it at the time.

And by the way, if you would like to see what Harvey was LIKE in our area?  Click HERE 

I was able to see neighbor helping neighbor and it was a beautiful thing, the adversity seemed to bring out the best in people.  I learned that in our county people were told where animals were trapped that people were to cut the locks on the gates and let the creatures go.  I say Bravo on that! You can see in the link, cattle being led to safety.  Our area looked just like that.

In our daughter's subdivision, the levee was breached and people who stayed  behind got sandbags and worked night and day to repair the levee.  These people saved the entire neighborhood from flooding!   

Well I better run dear friends.  I will be fixing a pasta gravy with roasted yellow squash for supper tonight.  I am listening to the old 'Little Women' (1949)  movie, it's a sweet one.

I know that God is faithful. I know that He answers prayers, many times in ways I may not understand.   -Sheila Walsh

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Winding Down...Thoughts, Remembrance, Skirts. Yes, Skirts.

'When any church will inscribe over its altar as its sole qualification for membership the Savior's condensed statement of the substance of both the law and the Gospel, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and thy neighbor as thyself” that church will I join with all my heart and soul.' 

 -President Lincoln

I've posted the above quote before but I thought it was very timely indeed these days.  I had originally found this quote on a very old downtown church's site...

The old Episcopal church was built in 1917-20.  It's the Episcopal church my Uncle Wesley was married in.  it's very near Rice University where Uncle Wesley attended back then.

It's after the wedding festivities for Marianna and James and so it's a winding down time for me...

It's also after Harvey.  

All I can say is a big wow.  ...And thank God we are okay.  Praying for those who are not, Jem rode around today checking on neighbors seeing if they needed help.

People who have never been flooded were flooded in their homes this time.  We were surrounded by water and some still cannot return home.  The emotions with  my father's death, a week-postponed wedding due to a historic hurricane have been overwhelming at times, but now I'm feeling somewhat of a release...

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I've been sewing and having a very nice time doing so, it's a very satisfying hobby and creative outlet.

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 After Harvey had hit and sat on us, one day the electricity went out so I robotically cut out three fall skirts as I listened to the radio news.  I placed the cut out skirt pieces in a clear bag much like a ready-to-sew skirt-kit.

The other day, I had a skirt-a-palooza of sorts and I now have two plaid flannel skirts with matching belts and a beige skirt with antique beige lace on the bottom edge.  I also made a beautiful apricot, peach fall-like color calico floral maxi with matching belt as well..It will look nice with my signature black knit top.

I use Simplicity 4881 now out of print but it seems easy enough to find.  It's fantastic belted with a matching belt.  Very slenderizing skirt.  I make the simple two piece version.  

My signature black knit top with skirt.  Walmart offers a White Stag knit ladies top that fits beautifully and the price is right.  The above skirt is my Museum skirt.
This Museum skirt is made with a different skirt pattern you may see on the link.  Also a very good pattern.

I will start to close now with the Theme to 'To Kill a Mockingbird'... Marianna and I love this music and she chose the part, 'Boo Hoo' of the theme to play when I was escorted down at the ceremony.  *love*

Today I was looking at a poster of To Kill a Mockingbird to hang either in my living room or even the dining room for a totally different look that reflects my personality a bit, the seller also offers a poster of The Sound of Music.  

...So that led me to think back to when I was a very little girl, my mom and dad had taken me to the movies in LaPorte to see The Sound of Music.   Upon arriving home it was late night and I had fallen asleep, I remember so distinctly my dad carefully getting me out of the back of the old 50s green Chevrolet in our old garage and carrying me over his shoulder, I was young enough for him to place a flannel blanket over me...I can remember seeing the little yellow flowers through the blanket from the garage light...My mom and dad were a fine looking couple, I was sharing with Jem the other day that I thought my mom and dad were the most beautiful people ever.  ..Those are thoughts and remembrances in the theatre of my mind today...

I've noticed the more quiet it is here, the more I see the face of Christ...God is with us.

Hope everyone is having a peaceful evening,   Amelia 

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Vintage and cardinal photos by Robert Stock