Tuesday, April 16, 2024

A Day in the Life...

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A Day in the Life...

Howdy, Sweet Friends, this will be somewhat of a newsletter since it's been a while.  Last month, surgery for Jem, he's doing great now thanking the Lord.  Yesterday one of our daughters had a minor surgery and will have follow up surgery soon.   

Yes, my mom has dementia and it is many times on the back burner and a matter of constant prayer but I must prayerfully go on in this delicate dance of Life unto the Lord, living with no regret (EDIT:4.21.24 as far as giving my mom attention and so forth)...Making sure I'm doing what I should be doing, leaving no stone unturned in the theatre of my conscience and heart.  

I hope you will enjoy this newsletter of sorts...


Little Dresses for Africa

I make  Little Dresses for Africa here and there, I try hard to make a Little Dress for Africa for every item I sew for myself.  

I made 4 of these lately, all the same.   I buy the cotton tshirts at Hobby Lobby, these little tshirt dresses are so comfy for little girls!  I added a pop of bright yellow ric-rac to the  bottom to cheer them up a bit and give a pop!  I already had the lovely bird print cotton fabric on hand.

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Hail Storms Oh my!

A Dreamy, Mysterious Evening After a Hail Storm. 

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 Let's just say, this was different. 



Maxis are Much of my Style

My style is a fusion of classics, black turtlenecks and scarves, pleated midi skirts, 40s-50s vintage and  boho, many times I wear wide legged light-cotton ankle capris or loose fitting yoga pants in the winter with tunics....But maxis are fun to wear with a cinched in waist and a gently fitted top.  I've recently found cotton sleeveless tops for the summer and cap sleeves as well at J.C. Penney from the St. Johns Bay brand.  We live in a very warm climate and in the summer we need cool clothing.

My most recent maxi makes:

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These lovely blue and white cotton fabrics are from Hobby Lobby.  These photos just don't do the pretty colors justice...

Time for Supper, One of my Favorite Times

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Time for a cozy supper and a quick peak out the window in the kitchen...Hauntingly beautiful old oak trees.



Soups are my Thing

Love to get a couple of onions, saute in a generous amount of olive oil til browned a bit.   Saute lots of fresh garlic until fragrant, no more than a minute, usually 30 seconds or so.   I never go over that, garlic gets bitter when browned at all and my Italian grandma from Naples stressed that!  At least several tablespoons of dried basil, a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.  Perhaps nutritional yeast for flavor.   I add a good no sodium pasta gravy or good Italian tomatoes, frozen spinach and asparagus.  Water.   I throw in some lentils and low sodium white beans and oh my...This is a wonderful Mediterranean delight!   I serve this with a good gluten free angel spaghetti, breaking that up into pieces before cooking.   Bellissima!

 Rest in Peace Dear Cousin, I Wish I Could Have Known You...

As many of you know I had  been on the hunt for my cousin.  I had miraculously found her seven years ago after years and years of searching for her but in the end she did not desire to communicate with me or our daughters, an unbelievable and great disappointment. I always hoped I would run into her at a restaurant in the city, I knew what she looked like through her social media.  She did communicate with Janie and Joycie for a bit through social media and then went off radar.  In one of her first communications she asked, How in the world did you find me?!  She had lived within an hour of me for years, she lamented to Joycie in writing how she missed the country where she grew up with her grandparents on a ranch riding horses not far from here.  I pictured her personality and even appearance much like Rosalind Russell in the old movie, 'Auntie Mame'.  Seven years ago when our daughter wrote how old I was (EDIT: I was in my late 50s) she quickly wrote...A mere child.  She had some salty choice words for my grandfather when told my grandfather on that German side had disowned me too, she then wrote gently...People don't have to be mean like that. She is an only child as I am also an only child, we're cousins on the German side, my father's side.  We had never met, she was not mentioned hardly ever, her mother was estranged from my German grandfather after my Uncle Wesley tragically died when my cousin was a baby.  She was a  good nineteen years older than I and she had no children and was unmarried when she passed away.  Though we had never met, we had many of the same characteristics, it's uncanny...She was an artist, majored in art history, loved animals and a conservative, she enjoyed writing, her reviews and marks are everywhere and prolific.  She actually raised butterflies in the back of her home in one of the most expensive neighborhoods if not the most expensive in the city, fed the possums in her backyard, kept colorful garden clogs by the back door, a beautiful large lush yard, loved her large dog.  Her achievements were great on this green earth, she designed and made many things, even opened up a factory in downtown where the plastics she used to design walls and ballroom floors in notable places were actually made.  She at one time was a buyer for a major department store. 

She was tall like her father, my uncle:   My dad's brother.   Uncle Wesley was ten years older than my dad and is pictured in this photo from a 1940 college yearbook.  My dad and my uncle had a very similar handsome face  but my dad was shorter than his brother, I am also shorter, and we had the same brunette features, her dad married a brunette much like my mom he met in college, she is pictured on this very same yearbook page.   

This past year I was quickened  by the Holy Spirit one evening to check on her online.   When I looked her up I saw her obituary!  Gifts were to be made to her animal foundation she created.  Now Jem and I are in search of her grave in a beautiful, beautiful historic cemetery in the city, one of the oldest if not the oldest.  Many prominent people are here, many of the old, old city families.  It's one of the most unusual old cemeteries, it's huge for one thing, you can look in one direction and see beautiful old oak trees and yet skyscrapers hovering in the distance.

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A physician's family below;  their sons, a young man in his later youth, the larger angel.  And a baby boy, the smaller little angel.  Oh my heart...

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Even though I haven't found my cousin's place of rest on the German side, I have found some of our Italian relatives who arrived here in the early 1900s.   Oh, the little children, a beautiful toddler girl's portrait...Heartbreaking.

Day to Day Here, Back to the Forest

The real joy of life is in its play.  Play is anything we do for the joy and love of doing it, apart from any profit, compulsion, or sense of duty.  

It is the real living of life with the feeling of freedom and self-expression.  Play is the business of childhood, and its continuation in later years is the prolongation of youth.  

 ~Walter Rauschenbusch



Day to day to I go about my creative job of homemaking, and lately have done much gardening as well...That is play along with designing and sewing.

This contains an image of:  Bought a few extras yesterday, I love ivy, and things that do well in heat, moss rose, succulents, etc.  I have a few miniature rose bushes and regular rose bushes as well.

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Grace is making fairy garden items for her fairy garden...All from twigs and dried flowers.

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The way I creatively and more stress-free-manage our home is in a very spirit led way...I seek the Lord and ask what to do first....First things first and He will show me what to do first.   He hears even the smallest prayer!  There is no prayer too small for God.   Don't let anyone tell you any differently!   

I ask for help and guidance from the Father what is most important and so forth...This makes for a confident and sweet homemaking experience.  We know when to stop and rest, when to go and when to play.  We may not have a perfect looking magazine or sterile home, but it will be kosher and more importantly a sweet home with a sweet cheerful spirit that honors God.  A place that says:  Peace.


Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone.  The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of nonessentials.    


A Thought From Jem and I

My husband and I were talking Sunday and we heard a favorite preacher of ours talk about the scripture about sitting at the seat of scoffers.

The Bible says not to sit at the seat of scoffers and I think many do this by allowing unsavory things that have a worldly spirit into their homes through television and so forth.  



I love to play sweet music in the background many times from the 40s, we have an old fashioned Christian radio station that will also play beautiful Christian music.  And of course I will keep tabs on events in our world from a trusted radio station that is in line with my values for the mostpart.   But not too much!  Not all day!  I hear what I need to hear, I learn and turn it off.   Although important we have knowledge of what is going on, that is wise, but too much stuff and news can bring us down and make us feel yuck. 


God is so good, He truly answers prayers if we will seek his Face.  


This contains an image of:   I love to wake up early in the morning and get my coffee and pray, I pray the Lord's prayer and I talk with the Lord about every little thing!   He answers too, in His time He answers.    He gives Grace and Mercy and Guidance.  

I will not forget you.  See, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands.   ~Isiah 49:15

Prayer is the way to open ourselves to God, and the way in which He shows us our unstable hearts and begins to strengthen them.

~Teresa of Avila

Here's a sweet little thing for you sweet friends,  it's a clip from the old 1944 movie:   Hollywood Canteen during WWII.   A time in our country where even many of our actors and actresses had a healthy fear of God and love for our country, they did what they could to serve and honor our country!    

 I Present Roy Rogers and Trigger, Hollywood Canteen (1944)  Trigger is dancing and Roy is singing...Don't Fence me In.  Enjoy!


Is this not the sweetest thing?

Some days we see that God's Creatures are kinder then humans and have more good horse sense too. ; )


It doesn't take monumental feats to make the world a better place.  It can be as simple as letting someone go ahead of you in a grocery line.

~Barbara Johnson 

Let's be Jesus with skin on to others, don't be that person talking about your wonderful church as you push others to the side to get a good deal as your grandchildren watch.   Yes, this happened to one of our married daughters recently...Two ladies talking it up about their church waiting in line far behind our daughter pushed and shoved and actually took cherished things our daughter had patiently stood in line for, (she arrived early in the morning) out of our daughter's cart at a resale shop.   Our little grandson now calls those women...those bad women.

We don't want to be known as "those bad women".   The Bible says that even a child is known by their doings.

Have a sweet day,   let's cling to the Father and talk to Him a lot, He listens.  If something doesn't register with your spirit, if it's not a pure and lovely thing, then be careful of it, there are some seducing spirits out there.  We're shocked  by how people are swayed as we sometimes overhear conversation, what people are accepting and what we are seeing people do.   (As in the days of Noah)   And it is many times people who should be old enough to know better.  People are buying into the culture without a thought.  Beware.  Beware of even what you may apologize for, we do not have to apologize or make excuses for our Faith. 

Let's keep things pure and sweet, real, insulating our homes and lives in godliness, not a cold, sterile home or life of course, but of kindness, smiles and laughter and holiness too.  If we keep things sweet and godly our children should be able to spot the counterfeit because they will know the real thing if we know the real thing and live it.  Our grown daughters still come to me and tell me little things that impacted their lives for good.  I hope to share soon.

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Closing with this beautiful song by one of my favorite true-blue Christian artists.   How Beautiful by Twila Paris

 How Beautiful is the Body of Christ.  



Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Oh my Heart...Four Generations, Lovely Sayings, Truly Precious Things, My Mom

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Four Generations

This is a photo recently taken at our little grandson, Christopher Robin's family birthday party.    You see my mom's hand at the bottom, my hand, our daughter's hand and then her little 18 month old baby girl, our little grand daughter.   I loved the way it turned out, Grace took the shot.


Christopher Robin's mommy and daddy have such wonderful writings as decor in their home also in the Forest...


This one is  handwritten with chalk on a framed chalkboard...

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We are Rich!

A pillow to lay our head

Four walls to protect us

A loving home

Love for one another

Food on our table

Clean water

And a God who loves 

us beyond measure! 

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The most important work you will ever do, will be within the walls of your home. 




If you want to bring happiness to the whole world go home and love your family    ~Mother Teresa


Aren't those beautiful?   I loved them.  Beautiful Truths. 


Christopher Robin had the sweetest little birthday party, just immediate family and his little cousins.   Vintage spider man comic book images hung from red spirals and blue and red balloons adorned everything.   Our daughter, Zuzu, Christopher Robin's mommy got his old Spider Man dress-up suit and attached it up on the wall and the little cousins played pin the web on Spider man with string.  So sweet..  Zuzu made a big zucchini pasta gravy casserole and a huge salad along with a homemade birthday cake.   So fun, and so good and so much love shared.




One of the most cherished things in the world is to be loved and respected by a child, especially when it's our own grandchild, this is from Christopher Robin, he wrote us a Valentine, drew us a picture and picked out little gifts for us:


Kazoos!    He even wrapped them for us so sweetly in construction paper...  Oh my heart!   We called him later and played our kazoos!

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Oh But This One....

"What constitutes success?  She has achieved success who has lived well;  laughed often and loved much;  who has gained the respect of intelligent people and the love of little children;  who has filled her niche and accomplished her task;  who has left the world better than she found it;...who has never lacked appreciation of earth's beauty, or failed to express it;  who has always looked for the best in others and given the best she had."   

~Bessie Stanley

Our youngest daughter, Grace had this large print (below) done for me for my birthday and I just love it, as many of you know, we lost three of our precious fur angels in 8 weeks last fall.   

We had little Muffie for many years, since 2008, when he found us.  It's a mystery to how old our little guy was when Joycie found him in the intersection one day, he was just sitting and waiting for her.

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I put the art print in a grouping with his little paw and nose print and precious card with a prayer that the vet and staff sent to us.  



Grace, our youngest adult daughter gave me this for Valentines!   It's a tiny portrait of me holding little Muffie This may contain: a small white dog sitting on top of a brown floor and precious Coffee-girl is on the left...This contains an image of:  We lost Coffee at the end of August if you recall, she was my little girlfriend and we lost Muffie in November.

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My mom.

The physical therapist said she has become much stronger and that is a blessing.  She has dementia so that can be heartbreaking but our family is trying to find good natured humor in funny little things she will do, and sometimes?   She will snap right back to her old self, doing far better as a whole.   A Gift.



As we go on to know Him better we shall find it a source of unspeakable joy that God is just what He is.  

~A.W. Tozer 


I must testify to God's faithfulness!   He has gone before us.  So many times I've been quite nervous about things (for good reason!), and Jem will reassure me, don't worry, don't be nervous, it's going to work out!   And before the day is out he will say...See?   I told you so.


The doctor who took care of her in the rehab could not see her until June. That was the Lord.   I prayed one morning...Who can we bring my mom to for a well rounded checkup and wisely remove some of the unnecessary meds?   In not much time at all, God gently put it on my heart, a doctor who is a Christian and one she had gone to 20 years before as well as me taking Janie our eldest to back when.   What a blessing!   Jem said that not only is he the nicest doctor he has met but probably one of the nicest persons he has met!   He remembered me from 20 years ago, and quickly took her off some of the things that were not necessary at all before I even had to mention it.  Hallelujah!   He even loved my son in laws natural sleep aid for her!  

Speaking of Dementia...

I would like to recommend a special program that PBS is still playing right now:   Supercharger Brain, Maximizing Your Cognitive Abilities.  This program is both fascinating and encouraging, this will help us all, I do believe.   There are two very pleasant Italian ladies, one a neuroscientist, and one an associate Professor of Neuroscience at Cornell Medicine along with others.  There are wonderful testimonies of various people in various stages of life.  EDIT 3.6.24  Please check your listings, the above program is still playing in our area on pbs on regular antenna television.


This is not a special where there is one speaker on a dark stage, far more interesting than that.  I'm so happy I dvrd it.  You will see, things like a group of nuns who love to learn, a man who was diagnosed with Alzheimers who is beating it, very nice examples, all of them,  it is highly encouraging.

Jem and I are going to learn to speak Italian together, there are so many resources we can get to learn, we purchased a cd for the car and there is an adorable youtube on it.  I've joined a poetry site, I'm still sewing Little Dresses for Africa experimenting with trims and such.  Any educational leaflet from say...Hillsdale College we receive in the mail I am carefully reading and learning from.   When reading my Bible I am learning even from that in layers.    


I'll close with this song Jem and I will hear in the car occasionally, I think it's just...so pretty.  Oh the memories, oh my heart...

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Unchained Melody (1965)



How we leave the world is more important than how we enter it.      ~Janette Oke 


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Me, (a little tot) and my Mom



Oh how I miss my dad...There are days when I say...Oh Daddy, I so need your help.  The other morning when I was at the kitchen sink though...I could hear in my dad's voice...I'm proud of you.

Oh my heart... 

Take care all, praying for you all, and I always covet your prayers.  I appreciate you all.



Thursday, February 15, 2024

Update, Prayers Coveted

 I just wanted to post an update as to why I've not blogged in a while...My mother broke her hip and it has been a nightmare.  There are many things going on with her and I just don't have the words at this time, I feel helpless, I feel scared at times and I am also trusting God who truly has gone before me.  So in that respect I can rest in the Father, He has been with me.   


I am an only child and I thank God for my precious husband who has been a huge encouragement to me and help, our four daughters as well.  Many times I don't say much about my husband, there are many widows out there and I want to be considerate, our daughters are gems as well as their husbands who are like sons to me.  Again, I try to be considerate.   I try to share my life but with a caring and sensitive heart.  I can be funny, I can be serious and I am real.  

Here is a wonderful shot of my husband in one of his elements...He loves to work in his barn, woodworking etc.  He loves music, that is what he is doing here;  he is finding some music to listen to as he works.  He plays flute, guitar and many other instruments.  He has a recording studio that he loves. 


Our precious pets, at least the dogs of the family, they are a huge joy to me.   

Even our pet hens bring us joy, they are sentient little creatures with much love to give.  They were toodling along with me on a walk one day.

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Just an update from the Forest Cathedral, your prayers are coveted.  I write this with a gentle smile and I just need some time for my thoughts to even out a bit, the theatre of my mind is quite full, I answer prompts many times, that is fun for me to do.  Sometimes I let my hair down in comments but when it comes to a totally creative blog, I'm feeling a little inadequate at this time.   I hope you will understand.  

I read this, this morning, the quote is from my blogging friend, Mrs. White.   It is from one of her books.  Homemaking for Happiness,  Wonderful Days at Home.  

There is beauty , in trust and faith in the Lord.  he knows all of our needs, in all times.  He waits for us to ask and to trust in Him.  This is what makes life so precious.   ~Mrs. Sharon White


Please enjoy the above song that ministers to Jem's and my heart many-a-day.


In closing I was just talking with my husband and he heard my blog writing here as I read it to him, he commented that it helps that we share problems that we may have because it helps others to know that we can put our trust in the Lord and He is our Helper no matter what we go through.   


Resting in the Love of Christ....Amelia 

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

New Years Show n' Tell, Sharing Thoughts, Including a Wowee Product: FurZapper!

I think I'll start backwards and chat about this neat product that WORKS. 


We saw these at Walmart last week hanging in the plastic storage box area, one aisle over from clothes pins etc.   This is a tiny Walmart, very old fashioned so your Walmart may have them in a slightly different place.


If you have pets of any kind and have a little trouble getting the fur off at times?   This is GREAT.   


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This is what it looked like hanging up in the plastic packaging.

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You get 2 in a pack. 

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Re-usable, non-toxic, fragrance free and made in the USA.


Yesterday evening, I looked at two of my doggy bed covers.  I make little removable covers for them.  Let's put it this way friends, they should have been washed before Christmas.  I'm thinking as I see literal sand on top of them along with a sea of fur that this needs to be done.  I quickly undid the diaper pins to secure them, went on the porch to shake the sand out and popped the hairy little covers in the wash with two of the FurZappers.  Put it on my normal quick 15 minute auto wash with extra rinse and my normal soap and borax.  It was so nice when I looked at my covers and hardly any fur at all on them!  Maybe several little hairs and that was it.   No fur was in my washer  barrel either!  I normally have to wash that type of thing twice and then have to clean my barrel out with a towel too!   Then popped them in the dryer with the two little FurZappers and we're pleased as punch.  They came out beautifully!


The price was $12.88.   So.  Worth.  It.  


I also purchased a pet lint roller brush but haven't tried that out yet, I thought that would be good for quick pick ups off of one of my black turtlenecks.   


No, I didn't get paid for this, but I thought it was very worth sharing!


It's New Years and I still have my Christmas Lights up, my mom always kept everything up until January 6.  Epiphany. 


I leave much of my stuff out beyond that too, perhaps later removing some icicles and putting those around cardboard because they are becoming increasingly difficult to find at normal stores!   My Wonderful Life buildings stay out year round and the white lights on the trees are a comfort to my heart.   I also leave my doggy ornaments on to look at.  They are a little more neutral and even go with cut-out Valentine hearts or vintage Valentine cards I scatter around on trees or the kitchen area.   


I Love Vintage Antique Cards... 

In our guest  bathroom I put them around...It's like a little museum in there.

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Many of the old antique cards contained New Year's Wishes too!

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Inside.....We always wonder who the people were...

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A very old Scrabble game with a Wonderful Life card, bulbs from Dollar Tree, a wonderful book on Lucy and lessons about loving God, book of beautiful photos of Shelter dogs and one of my Uncle Wesley's manners books from Rice University, probably from 1938.   ...And of course my Pitbull art, we had a loving Pitbull, a gentle giant named Buddy.

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Lessons from Lucy About Loving God, a wonderful little book. 

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Da moon.....    George Lassos Moon?


That is just a small portion of antique Christmas and New Years cards and old photos in our guest powder room.  


I hope to show more another time and my kitchen too, it's just a fun thing for me.   I love yesteryear and the joy it brings.  We can make our little parts of the country just in this same way, we can go back to the 40s if we like in different ways.   Why not?  We don't have to buy what culture tries to tell us.  Let's be like the little boy who asked Why?  : )


In this day and age where women seem to think they need to escape from some imaginary trap...Let's think a bit and ask, Why? 

I feel truly liberated to be a homemaker and mom.  If it meant I were to go without a vehicle for a time and my husband and I had to share a vehicle that was fine by me.  Our children and a peaceful and sweet home were more important.  : ) 


I read this, this morning from one of the books by Mrs. Sharon White, Homemaking for Happiness.  Her blog is The Legacy of Home.   This little paragraph speaks of mottoes and scripture and beautiful little pantings and things around our homes but I loved most what it referred to as in the spirit of the home as follows:

     A humble home is a place where materialism is not the focus.  It is a place of rest and old-time values.  It is where the simple life originates.  Filling our surroundings with old-time mottoes of comfort, and encouragement, is a precious way to build our courage and faith.  It will bring a smile of cheer, and a nod of contented peace.  


I hope everyone is doing well,  I felt led to post this most practical but important reminder and sharing today.   


I'll close with two beautiful and touching pieces that mean so much to me, the first... this beautiful song and tribute to a wife and mom, Ruth Bell Graham by one of my favorite artists:


The second by Sara Groves, He's Always Been Faithful,  a very, very special song to my heart, you will see why when you hear the song...



Take care Friends,   This contains an image of:    ~Amelia