Saturday, June 15, 2013

God Infuses Unexpected Elements of Joy

Marianna practices her court reporting in a most serene setting with Sweetie, and Daisy our new rescued baby duckling...

Why is Sweetie not with the flock you may ask?

The other evening we had quite a scare.  Mar noticed out the window our new little pup, Coffee over a clump of something playing with that something as if it were her squeaker toy.  The something was Sweetie!  The girls were hysterical because we have prayed over Sweetie and nursed Sweetie back from a most grave condition if you remember, thus we call Sweetie, our Miracle Chick. Sweetie is very docile, very sweet and we were worried about Sweetie being vulnerable.

We thought Sweetie was  perhaps gone from us this time.  Mar picked Sweetie up and Sweetie picked his little head up and closed his eyes, laying his head over on Mar's shoulder. We prayed and treated Sweetie and are keeping him in our abode until the wounds heal, and then Sweetie can go back with the flock.  God sure uses this little chicken to show His grace and mercy not to mention Healing Hand.  Jem is workng hard finishing up a bigger and better fence today for the flock. 

On a very sad note, we did lose a little chick the other week, Charlie one of our doglets, brought a new baby chick up to the porch and dropped her down, the little chick was dead.  We have no idea what happened exactly or how the chick had gotten loose.  Poor thing.

Not only do we have Sweetie inside to get well  but we have this sweet little rescued duckling too!  One of Mar's classmates rescued her from the bay.  Mar brought her here and she can eventually enjoy our pond.  She is so darling and very social too!

Her name is Daisy.

 Today, Sweetie.
Sweetie and little Daisy are getting along so well, I think the duckling thinks Sweetie is her mommy...isn't that darling?  Sweetie doesn't seem to mind. God's little creatures.

"Into all our lives, in many simple, familiar, homely ways, God infuses  this element of joy from the surprises of life, which unexpectedly brighten our days, and fill our eyes with light."


Something funny that happened today!

  Our oldest daughter, Li Li had a friend come over for an outing.  Her friend came a few minutes early and Li Li was upstairs.  Mar Mar was downstairs totally unprepared for any company-conversation or appearance whatsoever.  I put my lippystick on and came on out to say hello and offer my Southern glass of iced tea of course.  I go to the pantry to get a to-go glass for our friend and a hand comes out of the pantry with a plastic cup in it. (Mar-Mar).  She had quickly gone into the walk-in-pantry for refuge.  It was hilarious and ya know friends?  I didn't miss a beat. I just took the cup from the "hand" and went on my merry way!


This week I've given away 10 blouses and a dress.  Several of the blouses are like new, but the colors or collars weren't working for me, I would have to force myself to wear  three of the blouses.  I felt (still feel) guilty because two were gifts, and thoughtful gifts.  One I ordered on clearance and have only worn it once. But I have to remember a lady will be soooo blessed to have those blouses. Some lady out there has been praying for some very nice blouses and the colors will be perfect for her.  The dress was a nice resale shop find, a very nice dress but not the fit I thought so Mar Mar will enjoy it or she will pass it on. 

For supper:

A Lima Bean Mediterranean Soup with olive bread.

Sweet Movie:  We watched part of Kit Kittredge an American Girl last night, so darling.  It's a sweet movie, rated G and educational of the Depression.  Jem thought it was very good as well. 

Prayers:  Please pray for our doorman at Walmart in Smalltown, he is an elderly gentleman who has been working there since Mar and Li Li were little bitty girls.  He just lost his wife, and bless his heart, his head was stooped over as he grasped the bar where the carts were. I was leaving with my cart...I stopped to make sure and make eye contact, I wanted to say a little be Jesus with skin on to him.  I know what it's like to lose someone you love and the world is spinning around.  He suddenly looked up and smiled sweetly, thank God I was able to look him hard and sincerely in the eyes with a heart of compassion and say a little something to him and I know there will be other times too, but I pray others will see the burden there too.  Please God show yourself in special ways to this precious man. 


I hope you all are having a pleasant weekend, God be with you!   ~amelia

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Don't You Dare!

Oh yay for me!  I get to treat myself to a nice little blog today. So far this morning I've enjoyed reading my devotional, Be Still and Know by Millie Stamm  I am really enjoying that devotional!  I've also made my dad a Father's day card, Father's Day popped up on me!  In the card, I wrote, To the Swellest Daddy Ever!  That is so appropriate for his times when he was young, his brother, my Uncle Wesley had written that very thing on his military school portrait to my grandfather back in the 30s  My dad?  He is now 83 years young. 

I talked with my dad yesterday over the phone, I was telling him about our satellite internet here in the country and how the bandwidth was eaten last week by some glitch etc.  He tells me:  Maybe when y'all move back to America you can get regular internet!  I laughed a little hoping he was being humorous, but not sure. He quickly sensed my apprehension over the phone and then said on moving away from the country...

Don't you dare!

I laughed so hard and so did Daddy!  Yep, that's my dad!  Happy Father's Day to the swellest Dad ever!
This is my mom and dad when they were first married I'm thinking this was taken around 1953 or 54.  I just love this portrait, it's just sooooo period.  So vintage.  Those of you old blogging friends who have seen this photo please oblige.

Mother and Daddy are both 83 and look remarkably well for their age.  I just showed Mother the 'Forks Over Knives' dvd and I sent a copy to my dad.  Yep, that should help keep them on the right track healthwise, at least a little. I'm a vegetarian for humanitarian reasons, and that goes for most dairy, I cannot call myself a full vegan because I will eat eggs if they are from a humane source.  It's good to be careful on how God's creatures are treated as you probably agree and the health benefits are amazing!  We can go back to Genesis. : )

Last night Jem and I had a nice evening on datenight, so fun.  We keep it simple, nothing expensive, usually an outdoor cafe on the square etc. maybe coffee if we're up to it.  Jem and I were talking about our childhoods, Jem, he had been brought up on top of a grocery store in a poor, more humble part of town, and there was nothing wrong at all with that...and then the family moved to a larger home in one of the most snobbish areas in the world.  Vanity Fair.  The people there are about as warm as a witches broom til this day.

Poor little Jem was thrust into a school with very wealthy & rude children.  It's not that they were wealthy, I know wealthy people who are kind and remember where they came from but the particular area that I am writing about, for some reason...It's just wreaks of a very sick and synthetic lifestyle...the children were horrible to Jem, never inviting him to birthday parties, making fun of the way he talked, the way he walked.

My highschool experience was the same in many ways...I went to highschool with the most intellectual kids in the country.  I was a Seabrook girl, daughter of two founding families, one Italian, one German...and then NASA moved in.  The astronaut's kids, the scientist's kids...the cream of the crop in academia.  One could be a very smart youth but would feel very average in this circle of kids shipped in from other parts of the country. 

Many (not all) of those youth made us Seabrook youth feel second class, it's so sad, so very tragic now that I think about it.  We were the salt of the earth and these new people came in, we welcomed them and then we were treated in that horrible way. It was nothing more than a farce, an ugly farce. The grade curve was a cruel one.  I wonder how many futures were tainted because of it. There are many farces in life, all counterfeits for what is real.  May we teach our children and youth to recognize them.  It reminds me of the Twila Paris song about God speaking to her... 

When You speak to me When I take the time to listen There is more than what I think, I feel When You speak to me When I sit and still the motion There is nothing left but what is real.  ...There is an answer to every question, the answer is You...And the Heavens open when you speak to me... pouring life into my waiting heart...

But all in all, all of these experiences in our childhoods or youth, they make us a better person, a person of mercy and compassion.  A  person of.....discernment in most cases.  There is nothing left but what is real.

Medicine seems to run in the German side of my family.  In this society it's difficult, there are days when society makes you feel as you should slap a stethoscope around your neck. Ha! There are even homeschool moms who also would like to make you feel this way, they have no idea of our backgrounds or who we are, where we are from, what we are capable of, most are too busy grasping for approval, the god of academia, perhaps false religion and the ever present and juvenile-I-want-to-belong takes over any true love for the Lord with many of them...It's interesting, they forget about the Lord or perhaps think godly people are too-too or either they are into their new-found circle (whatever it may be, I've even seen new-found false theology) ... until their family gets in trouble.

And really... it really doesn't matter about those fleeting thoughts of what those in this world think  I'll be a Mary any day at all.   

We'll know them by their fruits and we'll be known by our fruits.

On academics and talents:  My art has been used with my girls soooo much in homeschool, and any medicinal knowledge or giftings I have has been used in the study of nutrition and herbology and I've used it sooo many times to treat our own family.  God is the ultimate Healer and He teaches us so many things if we ask.  He answers prayers. I can be a doctor of sunshine in my home and the nursing home ministering with my toothy grin and hugs, whispering a prayer and the name of Jesus into the resident's ears, it may be the last time they hear the sweet name of Jesus. We see the reward of grown children who have caught the vision also as we watch and observe them minister too.  Whether it be medicine or art, the love and care for animals....A love for family and real friends, not mere numbers of acquaintances mind you, I'm talking the real deal here... My Father in Heaven reigns.  He is so much bigger than any world system...just so much bigger.  It will never, never make sense to the world.  Never.  Rejoice!


We had a great Sunday, our entire family went to a little town church, the big old fashioned one that our old acquaintance pastors. It was so very nice, they even had an altar time after service.  We don't see altar time much anymore do we?

loading ...  I met two great ladies in the church restroom, it seems to be the meeting place there to meet new acquaintences.  So funny!  But so great! 

I'll close this deep thinking blog with some pics of late, I hope you enjoy them:

A little miniature tomato from our garden!  See how tiny?  This isn't a cherry tomato.  Isn't that something?

Delle & Becs cleaning out the pool. (horror movie scream!)  *big smile*  They are being rewarded now with a clean pool to float around in!

 Jem preparing for the post for the chicken fence.   All kinds of goings on at the Forest Cathedral!

  Marianna taking care of those chickens! I love the look of her in her skirt, I think it's so feminine and pretty.

Muffie watching the chickens, these little Schitzu doglets are the sweetest ever.  See Sweetie the miracle chicken in the background?  Isn't that great?

This says...Home.

Two cotton clothing items Mar picked up at the resale shop, they will be dyed navy-blue.  Dying is a great way to refurbish clothes!  Make sure and get enough (doubling) dye for dark colors!

We had quite the storm that afternoon!  Isn't this so dramatic?

And a pretty evening  the next day, sunsets are pretty in the summer here, the reflection in the pond is so hard to capture!


For supper?  I think I'll cut up some unusual looking squash from the garden and make a light pasta gravy with it.

I'm listening to:  The theme to Pride and Prejudice...I just love it...

Reading?   'Patch of Blue' by Grace Livingston Hill.  The inscription in my old book?  To Violet, Merry Christmas 1937, Love, Mother

I'm sooo loving this book.

This week holds our 33rd wedding anniversary!  We have fun together and get along better now then ever.  We're so blessed to have four sweet daughters too.  We're just little peoples here that love and take care of each other all the while tellin' it like it is; truth and boldness sprinkled with discernment but saturated with love. Yes indeed.

Take care All, We see through a glass darkly don't we? 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Riding With Miss Joycie

One of my most favorite things in the world to do is go to Smalltown with my daughters.  This photo was a day with Miss Joycie.  We have so many memories here in Smalltown, she was a little girl taking piano lessons from sweet Mrs. Blinn with big sister, Li-Li.  I miss Mrs Blinn so much, she was my friend and confidant' as many of you know. You may also know Mrs. Blinn in her younger years actually looked like Greer Garson. She was from the city, and landed in Smalltown, being her husband was a coach for the school.  She later lost her husband and I recently learned her life had been a hard one beside the fact of being left a widow with three children.  Do you know this beloved sweet Christian woman never complained to me once?

Speaking of Greer Garson...

I love this description of Greer Garson:

Actress. Greer Garson was beautiful, bright and most of all strong - strong enough to make Laurence Olivier wither in "Pride and Prejudice," and Walter Pidgeon to back down in their multiple, memorable pairings.  Yet when she joined her strength to theirs and others, she became the symbol of a nation unconquered by Adolf Hitler.   Complete bio HERE

One of my favorite old movies with Greer Garson is Mrs. Miniver (1942).
Product Details
Elements of the film have been well combined with drama, romance, light humour, and finally, tragedy. It may have been given the Hollywood and typical glossy MGM treatment, but it hasn't forgotten either humanity or the sacrifices associated with war time problems.

Showered with accolades and awards at the time, the movie won Oscars for Greer Garson, Teresa Wright, screenplay, William Wyler and Best Picture of 1942.

An agreeable screenplay and the direction of veteran William Wyler make this a forgotten treat. Few films have been as effective as this, and although its message may not ring as clear now as it did then, it has to be saluted for the war time morale it brought to movie goers around the world.

 Mrs. Blinn also lived during the WWII era during blackouts in the city, children from London were sent here for safety to relatives during the bombings.

This is sweet Mrs. Blinn's house...Oh the afternoons I would drive this way and around the corner here, a little baby or bab(ies) in the car too.  This was taken in early spring and the trees haven't bloomed yet.  This neighborhood has one car garages and is representative of the way middle America used to be when children played in the backyards.  Laundry line frames are still seen and used too.  A sweet simple life.  No water parks or complications coupled with ridiculous homeowner fees.  Driving past Mrs. Blinn's house makes us tearie eyed for sure.  Her house is a landmark of sorts for moms like me...I was in our favorite Smalltown restaurant and I hear a table of women...the conversation went something like this:   You know where, it was over near Mrs. Blinn's house...

Today Becs and I went into Smalltown and it is so delightful as always...

We were at the store, the little store where older women can shop in house shoes.  Once I saw a pair of house shoes in the produce department laying so nice in front of the tomatoes like it was someone's private closet.  I later saw the elderly lady who the shoes belonged to, apparently she always did this, those shoes bothered her and no one seemed to mind her shoes in front of the tomatoes, not a bit.  Sooo sweet.

The peaches were 25 cents a pound today!  Can you imagine?  A sweet older man was requesting an entire box and the produce man called him by name... Yes Mr. Watkins I'll have those right out for you. 

Mr. Watkins and I had a sweet little chat about peaches.  Mr. Watkins tells me with his sincere baby-blue eyes: I just wash'em with soap and I eat the whole thing ...except for the pit!

I tell him with my big toothy grin... Me too! 

He further tells me how he puts'em on cereal and with his ice cream too!  Sooooo darling!

 I watched as people would come and look at the peaches but not buy any.  *strange*  I saw a family with youthful kids and the mom said how handy the peaches would come in for smoothies...the teenaged boy just stood there looking unfazed.  *good grief*  The mom and her overgrown "children" just mindlessly trudged away. These kids are like zombies I tell you. I think people are so used to processed, junky, cutesie, lazy warm-up foods they are much like overgrown spoiled children, many adults included...or it could be they are so full of artificial sweeteners that.... their brains have been snatched?

I kept looking around for people to grab with glee these beautiful little peaches for 25 cents a pound and it was only Mr. Watkins and I at this particular time...It is so strange to me, this is the second grocery store trip that I have noticed this strange and sad phenomenon, sadly typical of the modern culture. We don't have to buy into it!  

Mr. Watkins is from that generation Mrs. Blinn was from, where my parents are from too.  I'm so glad my parents raised me simply.  Mr. Watkins has been through frugal times, he appreciates goodness, and good peaches for 25 cents a pound!   And I do too!  : )

Yes, we are also used to frugal times, I'm not only married to Jem in the country but Jem transforms to George Bailey in Oldtown at our real estate company housed in an old 40s convent. Real Estate is commission only, yes Virginia it can be done.  One income on commission only.  God is good.   I always figure any way I can be frugal, make my own, do without...I add to our family's income!  No spoil-ties (as my Italian Grandpa would say) here!

 Grace is making a peach pie for desert.   I'm making some Italian pizza bread for supper with some of Li-Li's stuffed artichokes.  Yes Indeedie.

I was in the mood to blog today and it's plum luverly to do so! 

Charlie, one of our rescued fur angels thinks so too!
God bless Y'all!  xxxooo    ~amelia

Saturday, June 1, 2013

That's a Moo-Moo and Sweet Recollections. God is Good.

We've been having a fun time moving the chicken coop. Really!  I just love being outside with Jem and our daughters...Today it was Jem, Becs and I...I love looking up at the blue sky and white fluffy clouds.  It was the sweetest thing...I asked Jem if he still needed me outside, and he looked up and smiled and said...I'll always need you.  God is good. 

Yesterday Jem and I took a walk to the back of the property and I sat on his lap like a little girl and we just talked and enjoyed the blue skies and old oaks with that great strong breeze we get on the back of the property.

Li-Li lovingly made Italian stuffed artichokes yesterday and that is a blessing, a work of love and art! She said Jem and I were being "bad parents" (instead of bad children) ; ) going off on a walk right before supper time! *big smile*

Marianna is making Jem a lunch menu so he'll be a healthy daddy.   I think. that. is. so. sweet.  Mar makes sure to make Jem daily lunches so she is further tweaking her lunch making skills. 

This morning our girls went to have coffee with a friend and I thought Mar looked soooo sweet in a yellow cotton vintage dress and pony tail.  The yellow cotton dress is sleeveless with a zipper back, cinched waist and gathered skirt.  She wore it with ballet flats because no vintage-girl should ever wear flip flops with a vintage dress!  : )

Speaking of vintage, you know what I found????? (Rather what Mar found?) Mar was shopping on Etsy, her precious friend, Sarah gave her a gift certificate for etsy for her un-birthday and Mar stumbled across a genuine 30s dress that fits my measurements perfectly and the price was half!  *Oh*  The more I prayed and thought about it the more I thought I was going to have a wonderful time wearing that dress to the old, old downtown church or dress-up occasions as well.  It reminds me of something Alice Faye would have worn in a Shirley Temple movie.  And the dress is nice and long tea length like I like them! My Italian grandma would have worn this dress when she was young, and she would have loved it. 

I sooo understand you now Grandma Oddo, how you loved lace and pretty things and didn't like the super mod things

I've decluttered four pair of shoes today!  Yay for me!  I've decluttered a pair of blue jeans that fit strangely! The waist was tight, the thighs too large, that's a new one! Now that's a moo-moo (said like Ethel & Lucy when they were space aliens) ; )  That's what we girls say here when something is strange.

 That's a moo-moo!

Yesterday Becs and I went into smalltown to the grocery store, we had a sweet time, it's our buddy time.  I love to hear her say..."That was a good crowd today at the store"  I think that is sooo sweet.  The crowd is mostly elderly and other mommies like me.  God is good.

Tonight for supper I think I will do a huge pot of kale, I made a huge pot of corn on the cob already and will probably add a potato dish of some kind along with more of Li-Li's Italian stuffed artichokes, my Italian grandma's heirlook recipe!

What do I hear now?  I hear Jem in his workshop outside the bedroom window and sweet music, Christian music of various kinds.  God is good. 

Well, I have a few things to try on to see if I should keep or donate so here goes as I close now.  So many sweet things to thank God for and notate. : )

I'll close with a little pic of our sweet new rescued doglet:   Coffee Belle 

Little Coffee has had it rough, we can tell, but she is a hilarious ball of energy at times!   Her eyes are so very expressive.  So glad Mar brought this girl home to a sanctuary of sorts. Thank God convictions and mercy have been caught in our home.  It always, always, always blesses my heart to see our girls say and do things from their own hearts because of what has been caught in our home and of course taught as well. 

Do you like the photography above?  This is one of Bec's shots! : )

You may enjoy Bec's blog for more photos of in and aournd our homestead:
See them here:

Take care all, I'm off to treat myself to some iced tea and maybe more decluttering if I get the druthers!

Love,  ~amelia
God is good