Dear Sweet House

Original post: May 3, 2021. Written by my youngest daughter, Mattea, as she reflects on the home where she spent her first eleven years…before divorce moved us to another home. This place was gorgeous and I spent much time outdoors, planting and perfecting, or walking through the woods, dreaming and reflecting.

Sweet house, oh…dear, sweet house. You once welcomed a family of seven on Thanksgiving in 2001. A couple months later you welcomed another member of the family. Me.

Oh…dear, sweet house, your walls echo with all the voices and the sounds of those eight people. You…oh, sweet house. Your floors of which those people had walked still carry the sounds of their footsteps.

Oh, sweet house. You were once filled with warmth, laughter. But now, you stand alone and empty with nothing but the echoing voices of the children and people from years ago. From being once alive and warm, you are now cold. You are a good, sweet house. The memories of laughter and joy still run through you. The memories of a little toddler learning how to walk and to talk. The memories of the children putting on plays for their parents and grandparents. The sounds of the people’s voices still echo through you.

I once stood in your beautiful presence and felt the past. The past that was once both joyful and painful. Oh, sweet house. I feel the presence of the children that once were but now are grown. You sweet, gentle house.

It was a lovely home with twenty-six acres of land that resembled a state park. We had many good memories there. And, yes, painful memories too. But we will just focus on the good.

I appreciate my daughter’s thoughts. They are sweet. Just like her. ♥️



I’m not sure where you live, but I live in Indiana, and I’m a little tired of sunless, cold days. This morning when I took Nyx out, it felt warm. Well, warmer than it’s been. A welcome 50 degrees.

Today was my Friday. So glad. I’m home in my recliner, watching Second Hand Lions, and contemplating going to bed.

The heavy rain has arrived just as predicted. And with it, lots of springtime thunder. It sounds wonderful. Maybe the thunder will help me sleep through the night. I’d sure be grateful for that.

First though, I have to finish this movie. What a great story. And I love those two old men.



Lean not…

This is one of my most favorite verses in the Bible. Leaning on my own understanding has probably been my greatest downfall in life as I knew what was best (for me) most of the time. My history proves I’ve been wrong, a lot.

I’m aware that I would think and act on a whim. Or maybe, not think. Just act. This has caused much heartache not only for myself but also for others who happened to be in close proximity.

Learning to lean on Jesus hasn’t been easy as the very human side of me argues and fights for the number one position. But that’s really a no-win situation as I ultimately find myself running to him to fix the mess I created.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to be quiet so I can listen. Or, honestly, I should say, I am learning to listen. I think I have the quiet part down though.

Going to try my hardest not to lean on my own understanding today. ♥️


Where is God?

Work was hard on Monday. Really hard. And when I got home…well, you know…I was sad and homesick. I wrote about it here:

I felt very alone that night. I had no one to talk to and I wondered where God was. He seemed quiet…and distant. I wanted answers to the recent questions I’ve been asking about my life, my job, my purpose. And my very real loneliness.

I got into bed with my Bible. The big black Bible with my name embossed in gold on the front cover. It is a large print edition designed especially for tired, 61 year old eyes.

Sometimes I will open my Bible and read the scripture on the pages that fall open in front of me. Many times they inspire me and actually help with the situation at hand. This time it didn’t happen much to my dismay.

How am I supposed to hear You when I can’t even find You?

As I continued thumbing through that big book, I felt completely lost.

Then I ran across a little white index card tucked inside my Bible. And on that card was a list of verses that my youngest daughter had written out many years ago with a message: “I think you should look at these verses”. And a little, “I love you, Mommy” with a smiley face. I thought I’d give those verses a try.

The first verse was Matthew 18:26, which reads: So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’

Hmmmmm…..not sure why she wanted me to read that one.

So I continued.

Luke 8:15
As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.

Then, Romans 12:12
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Ahhhh…patience, the common theme.

I read the rest of the verses and patience came up a few more times, and the word hope, twice.

I concentrated on patience as I went to sleep. The next morning, my son and I talked over coffee. He also steered me in the direction of patience. He gave me some good godly insight about the situation with my job as well.

I showed the index card to my daughter and asked if she remembered writing it for me. She said I was upset with her school work so she used the concordance to look up verses that had the word patience in it and wrote a few down. Gotta love her.

My sweet Mattea, author of the index card (many short years ago)

As I moved through the day, things that had been upside down in my life (or so I thought), began to right themselves. Sometimes we get so beaten down that everything seems off. And maybe everything is slightly off kilter, but perhaps not as devastatingly as they seem at the moment. My issues aren’t solved, but I will be more patient as God leads, and I listen.

God is here and ever-present. He’s not MIA, and He certainly doesn’t play games with our heart. Clearly, He speaks to us in creative ways. This time He used my children as vessels of communication. We just have to listen. And be patient. ♥️


A Squirrel’s Tale

Yesterday, I had to make a quick trip into town. On my way back to work, I saw an animal sitting in the road. I could not tell what it was until I got near it. By then it had safely crossed the road. Still it took me a moment to realize what this little animal was. It was a squirrel with only a stump of a tail which resembled the tail of a rabbit.

Instantly I felt sadness for this little one. Squirrel tails are quite important. They are used for balance and communication with each other. And as I later found out, the tail is also very necessary to control body temperature. When I did research online, I discovered that losing a tail happens frequently. The picture below looks very similar to my squirrel, only my squirrel’s tail was a little fluffier.

A squirrel’s tail can pull right off if caught on a fence, or in tree branches, or even in a fight with another animal. The saddest part is that the tail does not grow back and the tiny animal has a much lower survival rate without one. I only wish I could have brought him home. He certainly was cute.

While I was researching my squirrel, I ran across another interesting squirrel tale. Five young squirrels’ tails were knotted tightly together in their nest. Momma squirrel had used plastic and long grasses in the construction of the nest and the babies’ tails got tied up in it.

The very agitated youngsters were rescued and separated. The link to their story is below.




I’ve written numerous posts about how time doesn’t wait on anyone. It just doesn’t.

Back in the Old Testament, God answered Joshua’s prayer for time to stand still. And it did.

Joshua 10:13
And the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, until the nation took vengeance on their enemies. Is this not written in the Book of Jashar? The sun stopped in the midst of heaven and did not hurry to set for about a whole day.

We could wish for that to happen today but it’s not going to. Sometimes we want time to stand still so we can enjoy the moment just a little longer. Then other times there are just too many hours in a day.

Everything in life revolves around time and everything is connected to each other in some way. The tides of the sea. The phases of the moon. The length of our daylight hours. The life cycle of every living thing.

I guess the most important thing is to make every moment of time meaningful.

Love like there’s no more time.

Give of yourself like you’re running out of time.

Don’t wait for a better time.

And always make time for God. ♥️


Photo credit: Jamaican wave, by my son, Jet.


Work was exceptionally tough today. I’m afraid I’ll have to search for another if things don’t turn around very quickly. Yet, I have no where to go. I seem to have this knack or special superpower for finding (and accepting) jobs that are internally messed up. And I’ve only been here since December 1st. Please do not tell me things to sweeten the deal so I accept the job. I’m so trusting…and gullible. I believe everything. I want to trust everyone.

If it seems to be too good to be true….

I came home, went into my room, cozied up into my recliner, wrapped myself in a blanket, and turned on tubi. And of course, I’m drawn to the classics. I turned on That Girl. I remember the introduction. The scenes. All of it. I love the clothes and the hairstyles. It reminds me of home.

I am homesick.

I want to go back home to my parents and siblings. Even with all the hard parts. I want to watch That Girl on our old television set. I want to smell the spaghetti sauce that Mom has been cooking on the stove since morning. I want to hear my dad call me Andrena for fun. I want my younger brother to irritate me, and to play pretend with my sister. I want to go home.

I’m really tired. I’m tired of trying so hard to make things work. To make my life work.

I share everything with you, good or bad. I admit I wear my heart on my sleeve. But I do try to be uplifting and inspiring most of the time. And maybe make you smile once in awhile. Tonight, it’s not in me. You might as well see this side of me too. Then you can see I am very much human.

Maybe for good measure, I should insert a couple of verses here:

Isaiah 40:31
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 43:2
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.



Torn Between Two Lovers

I have visited Maine on several occasions. Every time I leave I say I’m coming back. I don’t get there near as often as I’d like. I’d probably move to Maine if it wasn’t 1,200 miles from my children and their families, and the all memories we share here in west central Indiana.

I truly love Indiana. It’s a great place to raise a family. It’s quite beautiful with its farmland, hills, waterfalls, lakes, rivers, and forests. I’m quite sentimental about all the memories here with my children and also the ties I have to northeast Indiana where I lived for 13 years. My home is here in Indiana and I do know that now, but for the biggest part of my life I didn’t quite know where home felt to me. Illinois, where I grew up? Indiana? North Carolina, where my parents and siblings moved? I felt like a vagabond. And I was always restless. I couldn’t see the truth until recently when I realized the most meaningful years of my life were lived here. Indiana is my home.

From the very first time I visited Maine, I felt a great connection with every part of the state. And it warmly welcomed me. It was like I found a missing part of me. I fell in love with Maine’s rocky coastline to Moosehead Lake and everything in between. Such beauty.

The last time I was in Maine was in October 2019. Too long ago. When I was there, I went hiking with my friend, Karen. We hiked up a mountain. On the way up, and on the way down, I collected parts of the mountain. When I got home, I put my mountain into a jar. Once in a while I just have to hold it. My piece of Maine.

Every so often Maine calls to me. And if you’ve ever heard Maine call your name…well, you listen. There’s nothing quite so beautiful.

Torn between two lovers. I guess that’s the best way to describe it. I’m glad I finally realize where home is but beyond grateful that Maine claims me as one of its own. That’s how I feel anyway.

Just sharing tonight. Have a great new week. ♥️


PS I should say that at age 9, I fell in love with Montana. One day I will visit there again. I guess I need to get busy!


I read a short devotional this morning that sent a little zing through my heart. Not a good zing. A worried zing.

Am I guilty of this?

I have been striving to be closer to God. But how diligent am I?

The example in the devotional was this:

Say you were asked to please come to dinner at your friend’s home. But when you arrived, there was not a place set for you at the table. Zing. How uncomfortable would that be? Very, I’m sure. Not to mention awkward.

This is a good visual of us suggesting that we want (or, that we already have) a personal relationship with God, yet there’s no preparation. There’s zero effort on our part, and no time allotted for Him. Zing. Zing.

Do I have a place at my table for Jesus? Am I serious about a closer relationship with God, or am I just talk?

It’s so easy to verbalize, think, or even pray about our good intentions. It’s much harder to act on them. God needs us to be all in on this one. He deserves to have a welcomed place at your table, and mine. Beginning with your heart, welcome Him into every aspect of your daily walk through this life.

Just a quick thought this morning. Maybe it will help soothe the zing a little by sharing with you.

Have a blessed day! ♥️


Music: Bridging the Gap

Is there any better connection between generations than music?

My daughter, Charlie, and I were on the phone tonight sharing songs that we thought the other might like. When she called, I was listening to my Keane station on Pandora. On this station, Pandora plays similar music to Keane, like Coldplay, Louis Capaldi, and U2. I told her they play a lot of Imagine Dragons which I really like. She stated she likes them too.

Then she shared with me five YouTube videos of songs she enjoys and thought I might like. One was Show and Tell by Al Wilson. (Of course, I already had that on my phone.) The Killers, Ed Sheeran, Lindsey Buckingham, and Marshmello were the other musicians she wanted me to listen to. She also mentioned how she likes John Denver, whom I love, and Glen Campbell. Then I threw in that I like Carolina Liars.

I’m really glad my children like the music I grew up with in the 60s and 70s. Of course, some really great music came out of the 80s too. But it’s extra special when they enjoy the music from the 50s and 60s that my parents listened to. I’m really grateful to my dad for sharing his love of music with me. It definitely had a trickle effect down to my children.

Sharing music with Charlie tonight was fun. It’s definitely common ground between her at 27, and me at 61. Music finds its place in the soul and is simply ageless.

Maybe when generations can’t seem to make sense of each other, music should be used as an intervention to connect hearts.

Bridging the gap between generations. There is something about music that makes life just a little more magical. ♥️


Don’t wish….

When we were growing up, we looked so forward to certain milestones in our youth. We couldn’t wait to become a teenager! Thirteen seemed like it was going to miraculously open new “grown-up” doors for us. Then at thirteen, we looked so forward to sixteen and the ability to drive a car which, no doubt, gave us an even broader sense of independence.

Then there is the ultimate goal of turning 21. We will officially be recognized as an adult. We can now drink alcoholic beverages. Legally, that is. Life will change at 21 and we will finally garner all the respect we feel we deserve. The world will be transformed and will look at us in awe.

Ahhhhh….twenty-one. The absolute magical age. That’s what we thought anyway….

But…we never considered the responsibility that comes with twenty-one…which then continues throughout our years. We don’t consider there’s a 25, 37, 45, 59, 72, 89. Our youthful, ultimate goal was to turn twenty-one and the magic of twenty-one would last us a lifetime.

College, careers, marriage, buying a home, having babies. These fill up those twenties and thirties pretty quickly. And often even into our forties. Late forties and our fifties we seem to become a little more settled in life. We kind of have an idea of what life is about. Kind of.

Then the sixties grab us from out of nowhere and makes us look long and hard at where we’ve been, what we’ve done, and where we’re heading.

All of a sudden we start clock-watching a little more closely.

I tried to explain this to one of my offspring recently. Truth is, I’m on the downside of the hill in life; therefore, life plans/goals have changed in some respect. They have to. I can no longer plan ahead by decades or even years. I think about what I want to do, what I need to do, and how to get it all done. Before I can’t.

And the reality of it all is…life is unbelievably short.

An older friend of mine mentioned how he wants to plant more trees around his pond. Flowering trees like dogwood and such. He said they will be beautiful for someone else. It hurt to hear that. But that’s the reality we face as we age. It’s not really all that pleasant.

So my thought here is to not rush life. Don’t wish for another age or season of your life. Don’t wish for your babies to grow up because one day they are potty training and the next day they are driving away to Chicago. Or even moving to another country.

Don’t be in your thirties wishing for retirement. Plan for it, but don’t wish for it. Live and love each and every moment. Be present in the here and the now. Even if it is hard. It won’t always be hard. I know this. I’ve lived through the hard. Just live each and everyday fully and as best as you can without carrying regret with you into your sixties.

Love God most of all. Allow Him to lead. I didn’t always do that. Please take my advise.

Live today fully. Love with all your heart. Be grateful for the place you’re at. Learn from the hard. Rejoice in the good. But don’t wish your life away. ♥️



As the autumn breeze brushes against my skin,
It whispers softly to me,
Of dreams and schemes and mysteries,
And takes me to places I long to be.

Spring rain falls gently from heaven above,
With my arms outstretched I twirl around,
I raise my face to greet each drop,
And I find myself dancing in Paris town.

Dreaming a simple dream or two,
During the night or in the day,
Gives love, and hope, and inspiration,
Painting rainbows in skies of ashen gray.

I dream of a place to call my own,
Set deep within the spruce and pine,
A cabin, enclosed by drifts of snow,
Built from my heart; true love’s design.

Without my dreams what would I be?
Well…I’d only be half, of who I am,
Dreams render hope, and peace, and love,
A mirror for me, my life to exam.

So I encourage you to dream a dream,
No boundaries there to trap you within,
To experience love on a river walk,
Under the light of Saturn, the magic begins.

Or visit a castle across the seas,
Where romance never dies,
Drink ale in a pub in the emerald green,
Or ride a black stallion beneath crystal blue skies.

As for dreams, they truly release me,
From my troublesome day-to-day woes,
And take me whenever…wherever,
My yearning heart desires to go.

By Andi
December 23, 2012

Photos: autumn sunrise in my backyard; sunset during a spring rain; my lighted cabin canvas; Naperville Riverwalk:; castle: curiousireland .ie

Love Wins

Original post: May 8, 2021. Edited.

I read a heartwarming story of kindness shown to a young man with cerebral palsy. His mom stated that some days are more challenging than others. This particular day was a good day as she took her son grocery shopping. He smiled happily throughout the store. The cashier noticed how he was enjoying his shopping experience so she brought him behind the counter with her to checkout his mom’s groceries. He was so happy. He went home and told his family all about it. His mom was so grateful that this cashier took special time with her son and gave him this great experience. She said love wins.

The cashier displayed a love that would make many of us uncomfortable. She thought of this young man first over the disgruntled looks from others as they impatiently waited in line. But what an example she was to all those around. And what a positive imprint she placed upon that boy’s life. Love wins.

Love comes in an assortment of colors although they all originate from the heart. Just like that box of 64 assorted Crayola crayons all come from the same box. Our heart is that big. Even bigger.

There are so many types, and depths, of love. Loving God must be first and foremost. God says to love yourself. That’s something I’m just discovering on a deeper level. I have always thought it was selfish. But in order to truly love others you need to love yourself. Therefore, you need to become the person you can love. It takes work, compassion, forgiveness, patience, and a whole lotta love to love yourself. We often let ourselves down with the boatload of guilt we carry. (I did). We believe we are unworthy of God’s love, self love, and love from others. But don’t believe that lie as I did for many years. Love wins.

I have a scarred heart as a reminder that love often hurts. I have had to rise above great pain. Through the agonizing healing process, I discovered I didn’t love myself as I should. The softer part of my heart believed the subtle lies presented to me of my unworthiness, even to the point where I questioned my existence and purpose. But ultimately love won that battle. It was a rough road but love will win through perseverance and much prayer.

a scarred heart

Evil is powerful, yes. And it scares us. It is presented to us in numerous forms. But love is even more powerful. God sent His Son to this earth for our salvation. In life or death, love always wins. Jesus overcame the evil. His love poured out onto the ground because of us, but more importantly, for us. Love will always prevail.

When I think of love, I think of this verse.

Galatians 5:22,23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Love is the first named fruit, but love encompasses each of those attributes. Each is rooted in love. Love for others or love for self. Love is the greatest of all. Love wins.

I saw the word love written in stone last week. I should have taken a picture of it. When you think about it, love is written in stone. God designed the foundation of the earth upon love. Through the test of time it is love that has prevailed. It is strong and durable and pure like the white rock I saw it written on. Jesus was sent because of love. And love is the reason we are here.

Love. Lots to think about. It encompasses so very much in our daily life. No act of love is too small. It is greatness in God’s eyes.

Love opens doors to places you never dreamed possible. Don’t be afraid to love. Because love, true love…always wins. ♥️


Photos: internet photos except for the rock heart. That one is mine. 🙂

What are we waiting for?

I know I posted something similar to this in the past, even in the recent past, but I genuinely think it cannot be emphasized enough.

There are so many things in life that we put on the back burner. We always think that there will be a tomorrow to do these things. But honestly, there might not be a tomorrow. You simply cannot count on it.

One of my dearest friends fell very ill recently. There very well could have been a no-tomorrow. I’ve had to reflect on that possible loss. So I have become even more determined to not allow people I love to go unnoticed, or for life to move on, un-lived.

No more will things be left undone, words left unsaid, love unspoken, or life un-lived.

Why is it that we wait until a person passes away to honor them? We spend time writing the perfect thoughts for their obituary of what they meant to us. Past tense. But how did we acknowledge this person while they were here as our neighbor, a family member, our bestie, or the friendly baker around the corner?

I say…tell people how you feel about them as often as you can. Everyone needs to know they are loved and appreciated. This is something you will not ever regret doing.


Write a letter to those you care about. Pour out your heart. Tell them what they mean to you. List the good things about them. List the blessings they’ve added to your life. If you, as the writer, were to suddenly pass away, the recipient would cherish those words all the more and find closure. If the recipient passes away, you will be grateful that they knew exactly their stance in your life.

I say…share your heart.

And, while we’re at it…

Pick those flowers.

Make that phone call.

Use that holiday china.

Hug tighter, hold closer, kiss a forehead.💋

Jet and my mom

Climb that mountain!

At Acadia National Park

Surprise someone.

Denae and me

Burn those special dinner candles.

Dance in the rain!


Take that trip.

Wear that little black dress.
Or, long black dress…

What are we waiting for?

Say it. Share it. Wear it. Use it. Love it.

About twelve years ago. I took my girls to a consignment shop to find special dresses for a homeschool event. While there, I tried on dresses for fun. I fell in love with two long black dresses and bought them both. One was $15 and the one pictured below was $25. I didn’t know if I’d ever have the chance to wear either of them. I just loved them. And they were inexpensive. Sometimes you just gotta do what makes you feel pretty.

About a year later, an anonymous someone thought they’d do something nice for me and my now-ex by sending us to a nice restaurant in downtown Indianapolis. (Sweet intention was for us to rekindle our failing marriage.) We went to the restaurant which was very nice but wasn’t as fancy as my dress. Knowing that beforehand, I still chose to wear it. I would never have worn that dress otherwise if I had waited for the absolute perfect place and time.


The simplest things in life are the greatest things of your life.

Fill your days with pleasantries by being kind, thinking of others before yourself, telling someone how much you love them, sharing gratitude for one another, hugging, dancing….living and loving.

All those things we consider little…do more of those things. ♥️


The Light

John 1:5
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

my backyard

John 8:12
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Sand Beach, Acadia National Park, ME

Psalm 119:105
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

pathway near my home

Follow the Light. ♥️


pathway near my home

Daylight Savings

My family moved to Indiana in the late summer of 1977, as my father was transferred here. Then he was transferred to North Carolina in 1982, and my whole family went with him, without me, as I was married at that time.

Indiana, at that time, did not observe daylight savings except for a couple of cities nearest Chicago and maybe south near Evansville. So half the year we were eastern and the other half, central. I loved it.

But then that changed for economic reasons (insert my rolling eyes) in 2006. Thank you Mitch Daniels. Not.

I’m not a fan.

I choose health over money. There are numerous studies which prove several ill health factors are directly related to time change. These time changes disrupt the natural circadian rhythm – given to us by our Creator.

Wikipedia: Circadian cycle, is a natural, internal process that regulates the sleep–wake cycle and repeats roughly every 24 hours.

Sleep Foundation: Different systems of the body follow circadian rhythms that are synchronized with a master clock in the brain.

Andi’s Two Cents:
Where do you think the master clock in the brain originated from?

Sleep Foundation: Research is also revealing that circadian rhythms play an integral role in diverse aspects of physical and mental health.

National Institute of General Medical Sciences: Circadian rhythms are physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a 24-hour cycle.

Scientific American:
1. Standard time most closely approximates natural light, with the sun directly overhead at or near noon.

2. Morning light is essential for helping to set the body’s natural rhythms.

3. The biggest advantage of daylight savings time is that it provides an extra hour of light in the late afternoon or evening, depending on time of year, for sports, shopping, or eating outside. However, exposure to light later into the evening for almost eight months during daylight savings time comes at a price. This extended evening light delays the brain’s release of melatonin. The hormone that promotes drowsiness. Which in turn interferes with sleep and causes us to sleep less overall.

Andi’s Two Cents: I find those in congress who support daylight savings over standard time highly hypocritical after the last three years of “FOLLOW THE SCIENCE”.

Let me rinse and repeat that one.

I find those in congress who support daylight savings over standard time highly hypocritical after the last three years of “FOLLOW THE SCIENCE”.

Today was rough. I overslept by an hour and then had difficulty getting my head in the game to begin a new day, let alone a new work week. Nothing…NOTHING…was going smooth.

When I got to work, the first thing I needed to do was walk to the post office which is a mere two doors down on the other side of the fire station. Starting off…I tripped over the curb where I parked my car (almost fell to the ground). The road crew flagman saw me.

Then I dropped my keys in the fire department driveway. In front of the road crew.

Then I dropped my keys in front of the post office. In front of the road crew.

Came out of the post office and dropped my keys…again…and in front of the whole road crew.

I just wanted to stand there in the middle of the sidewalk and SCREAM:


TMI: If I was younger (and had a man), I would have run to the nearest store to buy a pregnancy test. Whenever I had the dropsies like this, I knew I was pregnant. And…I always was.

This was my rant for the day. I’m going to take a nap now.



Photo credit:

Give it to God

Matthew 6:26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

We were not designed to carry the weight of our own burdens let alone the weight of others. I have this tendency to claim your problems as my own and then pack them tightly on top of my mine in my backpack. Remember…we were not designed to even carry our own.

Give it to God.

Our Creator designed all the living creatures of this earth. He takes care of their needs. They do not work the earth yet God feeds and cloths them. Do we truly understand our value to Him? He didn’t promise heaven to the birds of the air. They were designed for the beauty of this earth. The same with all the sea creatures and land animals. Yet, God takes care of them.

Understand your value, your worth. You are precious to Him.

Continue to pray for each other. Pray for the evil that is running full throttle, near and abroad. Pray for those in leadership roles who have power to stop some of this evil. Pray without ceasing and with gratitude.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Have a blessed Sunday. ♥️


Grandpa and the Pucker String

Original post: August 17, 2021

Everyone loves Grandpa. He isn’t blood to us but closer to us than most blood relation. We claim him as our own. And we love him dearly.

Grandpa used to live in Florida until just recently. He’s getting up in age now so he moved up here to be closer to family. He misses Florida though.

Grandpa taught us to play dice and golf, a card game. So when he visited or we visited him, we’d spend hours playing these games. A game wasn’t complete without him saying, “Winner and Champ-een…” and circling the winner’s name on the tablet and adding a star.

Grandpa loves movies too. Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Indiana Jones are a few he enjoyed watching with the kids when they were still at home. He has a few of his own favorites. Silverado, I think, is the first he mentions when asked. I got him to watch Return to Me with me once, and well…he cried. It’s now one of his favorites as well.

Many years ago, in the summer of 2006, when we all lived under one roof still, Grandpa came up to visit for a couple of weeks. We had a lot of fun with that visit. And we kept him busy.

We celebrated the 4th of July, his birthday in August, and a baking day. He built a bookcase for me, drank a lot of coffee, played poker with the kids, watched a ton of movies, more card playing and dice…

…and then, he got sick.

We aren’t exactly sure what bothered his stomach so much. No one else had it. But he had nausea and the hersey squirts pretty bad. And it lasted about a week and a half. He still tried to have a good time. He never threw up but he carried a wastebasket around…just in case. The trash can become his buddy so he named it Wilson from the movie Castaway. Because of his issue on the other end he told the kids he lost his “pucker string”. Don’t make me explain that one to you.

Grandpa would set Wilson on a bar stool next to him when we played games. He’d have to leave the table several times but he’d always come back with a couple of jokes. He’s a good humored grandpa.

When Grandpa went home, it was really sad. So I decided to put this scrapbook together so he’d always remember the great time we had together.

He laughed when he received it at his home in Florida. I bet he even had some tears. That’s just the beautiful man he is. And when he got to missing us he’d pull out the book to look at and laugh all over again. Especially with that surprise ending.

Now that Grandpa is up here and getting older he asked me to keep the book. I have it now. What a wonderful keepsake.

The pucker string is a continued fun topic. It just doesn’t get old. That’s the humor in my family.

I hope you enjoyed this special memory of mine. It’s a pleasantry to recall the good times in our life. It’s also nice to share them.

Have a wonderful weekend. ♥️


I enjoyed creating the this scrapbook for Grandpa. It was a treasured visit with him. All the pics are taken from the book so please ignore the glare. I didn’t want to remove the pages.

Be the Cream

Original post: April 10, 2021.

Thank you, MH. ♥️

Things got tough when I was away in Florida. Not only was I trying to comprehend the loss of my dad, I was trying to deal with family who were also trying to comprehend the loss of him as well.

The day after my dad passed, I was frustrated. I felt left out. I felt controlled. I felt alone even in the presence of others. I shared my frustration and sadness with my friend who was far away. He said:

Life is all about hurt. You rise above it.

Think of the ocean and the big waves. If you are in the middle of the waves things can be rough and tough. But when you are riding the top of the wave, life is smooth and fun.

Same wave. Different experience.

At times we will be in the middle of a wave. That is inevitable. That is where you are now. But with your gifts and God-given talent, you will rise above.

Since I was in Florida on the Bay and Gulf, he couldn’t have used a better illustration.

Later, when I entering a situation where I knew the possibility of being hurt was relatively high, he texted me with this:

You are the cream, remember that.

I texted back a “ ? ”.

Cream always rises. It may start at the bottom.
Just like life, the good stuff rises above the bad. Try to be the cream in life.

If you are extra special, be ice cream.

I said, “I’d like to be extra special.”

Yes, you are.

I cannot even explain how the positiveness of one person, one person who truly cares, can change your hour, your day, your life. He knew exactly what I needed and it wasn’t ridicule. He knew the details of my situation and he could have told me that I’m 60 years old and to grow up. But he didn’t. This conversation will be with me forever. It was simple, yet ever so meaningful. And I so appreciate this man.

Be the cream. Rise above the chaos and let it be. Life is full of hurt. Don’t let it keep you down.

And if you are extra-special, be ice cream.♥️


Days of Old

Original post: March 7, 2021. Edited.

For Sheryl.

Yesterday, my daughter and I took a long country drive. We drove to a small farming community just for curiosity’s sake. In the middle of farmland were rows of houses, some with white picket fences, and large mature trees dotted the small town. There was a lone gas station and a small community park on the east side of town from where we entered. We slowly drove through town looking at everything but for nothing in particular. I’m assuming there was a post office although I didn’t see one. Maybe it was near the town hall which I did see. Many of the old buildings, in what would be considered downtown, were vacant. This was sad to me. Although I didn’t grow up in Indiana, I do remember small rural towns that were open for business with very few buildings vacant. Old gas stations, small town restaurants, general stores, floral shops, funeral services, machine shops, appliance stores, and mom and pops full of sweet treats. It was about everyone in the community working together to support their little hometown. I guess I grew up in the Mayberry era. And it was grand.

As we drove around we saw signs of youth in the community which I saw as a good sign. Raising children in a rural Indiana is sweet to me. The school is large (we passed it on the way into town) and I’m assuming it supports several of the rural communities. As for the parents, they would need to commute to the larger cities for work as there is nothing in this town to support them.

The railroad was on the west edge of town and there grain would be loaded into railcars. I drove out of town and into the farmland a little ways before turning around to go back through again. I wanted to take it all in. I noticed a second church which I missed on our first run through. It looked like a ghost town on the main street. We stopped at the community park to walk our dogs before heading home. That’s where I found that sparkly little brook I posted yesterday. I really wish I had taken pictures of the town to share with you here. But maybe it’s good to use your imagination with this particular post.

This morning I washed my bedding and hung it out on the line. It made me think of days long gone. No one hangs their laundry out anymore. I then thought of a home I saw yesterday in that little town. It was an old, but a very well-kept farmhouse with barns and several outbuildings. It was a very attractive property with its well-groomed yard and landscaping. The house with its large, welcoming porch, was absolutely beautiful. I can only imagine the thousands of conversations that took place on that porch over the years as friends and family rocked away in those old wooden rocking chairs while sipping on iced tea. The house and all of the buildings were white with black trim. Black iron posts held an attractive sign that told of the business that was located on the premises. A tradesman. A machine shop. Sadly, this is almost nonexistent now. And to me, it’s like losing an old friend.

I remember old farmers and mechanics working out of their own barns and garages. The smell of oil, gas, and hydraulic fluid upon entering was a good smell to me. I remember seeing the owners with their clothes, faces, and arms greasy and black from their labor. Not to mention the spittle around the corners of their mouth and sometimes dried on their chin. These old men had much to share about life. They’d tell of their worries about the younger generation while comparing them to their own youthful days of growing up. They’d share their fishing tales, talk politics, discuss the tractors and trucks and other equipment they’ve worked on, and once in awhile throw in humorous bragging on this or that. I regret that the youth of today don’t have that opportunity to sit in a garage or old barn and listen to the old men talk. Those days are mostly gone now.

As for me, I’m going to hang my laundry out until I am no longer physically able to do so. I am grateful that I grew up in the time that I did when I was not-so-far from the old days. I got in on just the tail end.

Above is a picture of when I was a teenager and I’m sitting with my siblings and our great-grandmother who was born in the late 1800’s. Not really so long after the Civil War ended. She traveled by covered wagon, mostly through Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the Dakotas. My how times have changed.

This next picture is a six generation family photo. Paul Harvey spoke of this rare event on his broadcast. My grandmother, my mom’s mother, is holding the baby, and her mother, my great-grandmother, is the oldest one in the picture, the same woman from my first picture.

Days of old…not that they were easy days by any means, but what treasures are found in them. It’s hard to keep the memories alive but it would be in our best interest to bring some of the past back into our present.

Be grateful for the days of old for they have much to teach us about life and living. ♥️


But Even If You Don’t

When we pray, our prayers are often based on our very human side which is filled with emotion. We see everything up close and very personal while God sees a much larger picture with a much greater purpose.

We know that God has all power. We acknowledge that He has the ability to pull us out, and away, from every single situation that pains us. But what if God doesn’t?

Even if God doesn’t…even when we do not understand why…and no matter how much we are hurting…our hope and our trust rest in Him. And this is because God loves us more than we could ever comprehend, and He sees the larger, complete picture.

Even If by MercyMe is one of my most favorite Christian songs, if not the favorite. I’ve listened to it a million times (well maybe not that many) and I tear up (okay, cry) every single time. The emotion Bart Millard beautifully pours into each word reaches my very soul.

But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone

I pray in a certain direction according to my heart (you know, based on my human side), but then I also pray that I accept whatever the outcome is. That is really difficult to do. And truthfully, it is sometimes prayed hesitantly and reluctantly.

But I know He hears me. And I know He feels every bit of my anguish. Yet I also know He has a reason for His decision that I often cannot see or understand. This is submission on my part. Accepting His decision regardless, and loving Him without reserve. It is quite humbling.

But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone



Photos: a big part of my heart lies 1,300 miles away in the beautiful state of Maine. These pictures are mine and were taken in 2017, 2019.


my frosty rose


Is there shame in expressing sadness, heartache, or pain,
To look through the sun and only see rain,
Is it absurd of me to feel such emotions,
Must I drink from the well of those “feel good” potions?

My feelings are genuine and very real to me,
Please don’t condemn because you can’t see,
That the positive and negative, together compose,
The very essence of people, with their highs and their lows.

Perpetual happiness is wrong to expect,
When a heart is so broken; emotions reflect,
As God in the beginning blessed all of mankind,
With many emotions, at His will He designed.

So cherish and marvel at this wonderful gift,
Knowing life isn’t always joyful and bliss,
While lifting a sad soul to a happier place,
Know that variety of emotion is worth the embrace.

By Andi
January 25, 2013

Photo credit: my son, Ezekiel

Butterfly Kisses

Before she goes bed, my lovely 6 year old granddaughter, Belle, knocks on my bedroom door. I answer and she asks to come in. I say yes, of course. I know why she’s come to visit.

She always finds me in my recliner, writing.

First she says, “I just want to hug you.” We hug tightly.

She keeps her face close to mine.

“Butterfly kiss.”

I remove my readers so my eyelashes can brush her cheek. Sometimes we get silly and I will give her butterfly kisses all over her face. We’ve even butterfly kissed our eyelashes together.

Next she says, “Eskimo kiss.” So we rub the tip of our noses together.

Last but not least, she asks for a regular kiss.

I love you’s are shared and then she’s off running to her daddy for a goodnight story. They are reading The Hobbit.

I love our little bedtime routine. One day she will no longer ask for butterfly kisses so I give them liberally now and treasure each and every one.

my sweet Belle

Treasured moments between this blessed grandma and her sweet granddaughter. 🦋


That One Friend…

Original post: September 14, 2021. Edited.

We all have one. You know…that one friend who knows the right things to say at the right time. The one who can lay it all out for you to see, and no matter what it looks like you understand because it finally makes sense. Even criticism of the worst part of you doesn’t seem so bad coming from that friend.

They don’t shame you, but shape you to be a better person. Their gentle yet firm presentation makes all the difference in how it is received by you, and their honesty is worth more to you than all the riches of this world.

That one friend…
…is a rock in your life.
…follows closer than your shadow.
…is a keeper.
…is a gift from above.

Be grateful for a friend such as this.

Pray for that friend. ♥️


The Sun

And God created the sun on the fourth day. Genesis 1: 14-19. “And God saw that it was good.”

I love the sun. Not only does it supply the vitamin D my body requires but it is good for my soul. The sun has a warmth that compares to nothing else.

The sun can make a difference between a rough day and a good day. I guess it helps me to handle things with a cheerier attitude. I know I should be able to control my attitude on my own but a little boost from the sun is sometimes just what I need.

Today I received a message. My friend whom so many have been praying for, was sitting in the sun. At the time I received the message I was also enjoying the sun from my car window. It warmed me as I was cold all day at work. I’m sure my friend found some comfort in the healing rays of the sun.

Many today talk of the ill effects of the sun. I am not a doctor or a scientist, but I am a believer. And if my God says “it is good”, then that’s what I’m running with.

My sunroom was aglow in the late afternoon sun today. The plants were loving it. I have three orchids currently blooming. I sent pictures of them to my friend.

Always be grateful. ♥️


My 1970’s

guess I was a little nervous

I graduated high school in 1979. I look back and the 70’s was a blast to grow up in. We didn’t know about politics and all the grown up stuff. We just knew how to have fun. We weren’t afraid of things back then either. We weren’t afraid to walk up and down our road with our friends, day or night, or through fields to buy candy from a mom & pop store. We walked everywhere or rode bikes. A lot of the neighborhood boys had dirt bikes and would ride on trails under the power lines all day long during the summer. Of which, I should mention…the summers would last forever in the 70’s. Juss sayin’. Out in May and back after Labor Day. I tell my kids I want to put them in the car and drive them back to the 70’s. I would if I could.

The style of clothing was pretty cool. I loved midriffs, my tube tops with bib overalls, Chucks, Levi’s, and my bell bottom jeans. The bells were so big I’d have to put a rubber band around the bottom so my pants would not get caught in the chain when I rode my bike. We’d hand embroider words on the backside of our jeans too. Since we have a crumblet (like my new word?), a crumblet amount of Kickapoo in our blood, I once embroidered Kickapoo Power on my back pocket.………back then.

I’ve noticed that the boys today sport the 70’s look with their longer hair. I certainly don’t mind it. I actually like it. Just brings back memories of the good ‘ole days.

Some of my best memories are of the car rides on our family vacations. We certainly did not fly anywhere. That wasn’t even a thought back then. We didn’t have phones or DVDS to entertain us on long rides. We had each other. We swapped Archie comic books and sang to the songs on the radio. Ra-di-o. Not stereo. And we ate snacks.

With eating in the car, we’d end up playing “Who Ate the Fluff?” (I just now made up the name, and it wasn’t really a game. It was a race, of sorts.) If you smelled something a little racey in the car (which usually originated from the area of the driver’s seat), you’d hurry to put your thumb on your forehead. The last one to do so, ate it. And the last one was usually my brother who would end up sobbing, “I don’t wanna to eat it!” We laugh about that now. Well, we did then too, but now my brother laughs with us.

Sometime along the way, we would stop to eat a wonderful lunch that Mom prepared. Usually cold fried chicken, grapes, potato salad, chips, and cheese. You get the idea. The food always seemed to taste better out of a cooler and on the road. But…more food meant more fluffs later in the car. My dear brother. Side note: the word fart was considered a swear word by my mom. She replaced it with fluff. Gotta love her.

It was great to be on road trips with my family. Lots of fun. Of course, my sister would get upset if our legs touched in the car and she’d start yelling at me but we laugh about that now too.

hiking on a family trip in Vermont

The music in the 70’s was the absolute best too. I mean…the best. Who can really give me a good argument when it comes to musicians like:
The Eagles
Fleetwood Mac
David Bowie
Led Zeppelin
Paul McCartney and Wings
Billy Preston
Pink Floyd
Bruce Springsteen
The Who
Al Green
Rolling Stones
Jethro Tull
Jimi Hendricks
Carly Simon
The Isley Brothers
John Denver
Bee Gees
Deep Purple
Rod Stewart
Elton John
Dianna Ross
Carole King

I’m just getting started, but okay, I’ll stop. Just know I’m leaving out many great artists.

The 70’s was just the best time to grow up in. That’s my opinion because I lived through it. While most memories are great, truth be told, I was a little naughty on occasion. No…nothing compared to today’s definition of naughty. But naughty, none-the-less.

You know, like sneaking out of my bedroom window at night to hang out with the neighborhood kids. Getting stuck once wasn’t too cool. Or, lady-like. Trying pot along with a little Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill or Old Style beer (🤢). That’s really the extent of my naughtiness. Well…truth be told again, not really. After we moved 3 hours away, I found new friends who partied a lot. I tried to fit in where I could, you know? That was my teenage mentality at the time. During one night of partying, I did throw up on the side of a house. I mean on the house. And not my house. Wasn’t one of my most glorious moments. That night I earned a new nickname. Al. Short for “alcoholic”. The nickname stuck with me even though I don’t believe I ever drank that much in high school again.

But I have many good memories with family and friends during that decade. No phones, video games, absolutely nothing to distract us from each other. Then I got married in 1980 and had to grow up. And I’ve been reluctantly growing up ever since.

The decades have come and gone and the 70’s seem like light years away. That is…until I hear Hotel California, Ventura Highway, You’re So Vain, Will It Go Round In Circles, or any other song from that decade, and I find myself walking down Bonnie Brook Lane with my sister and a few of our neighborhood friends.

a visit back home to Bonnie Brook Lane with one of my dearest neighborhood friends



God Listens

~ Our God is an awesome God ~

Last night, on behalf of my friend, prayers were lifted to our Father and with compassion, He honored them. My friend is here. Exhausted, but with us.

My heart is filled with love and gratitude. I cannot fully express how I feel. To know that you prayed for a complete stranger is overwhelmingly gracious and kind. And some of you do not even know me except through my blog.

God’s family is the best. His family extends to the far ends of the earth and every place in between. My friend is truly blessed this day. And I am blessed by you.

This event brought Christians together for a common goal. God heard and graciously blessed us. But our God would still be an awesome God if our prayers had been answered differently. We have to believe that no matter what the outcome, God is just. He is most loving and always works for the good of His children. We have to trust in His wisdom.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. ♥️


Praying ♥️

I believe there is power in prayer. I believe there is strength in the prayer of a single faithful person. But I also believe in leaning on others when times are exceptionally difficult. I have a group of friends who are my prayer warriors. My warrior sisters. When something urgent comes up I call on them.

I called upon my warriors tonight.

Praying for a loved one. My friend, my muse, my confidant, my rock.

Sunset. St. Pete Beach, March 2021

I know what I want. I know what I selfishly desire because I’m not ready to let go. I pray, through tears, that I will accept God’s decision, no matter what.

This is so very difficult. I don’t understand so many things in this life. All the “ifs” and “whys”. But God is all-knowing. His wisdom is beyond my comprehension. His love is great. I will trust in Him.

Praying to God the Father, Creator of all things beautiful, through His Son, Jesus. ♥️