Keeping Busy

Sometimes when life is hard I have find an outlet and keep busy. Usually it is something creative or being outside in nature. I’ve been on overload lately and doing things without thinking things through. Yesterday, I painted a wall. I chose a color that clashed with everything I have. Therefore, I ended painting two walls at the end of my hallway.

You know how you find things on Amazon and stick them in your cart, but later move them to “save for later”? Well, I have about 70 items in “save for later”. I went through the list the other day and bought a few items that have been sitting there awhile. Two items were for that wall at the end of my hallway. I never purchased them because they are so different than the Italian theme throughout my house. And different for me. But they are fun. So I finally bought them.

I painted the walls…and, of course, myself. I’m a messy cook and a messy painter. Juss sayin’. The walls look great. I could hardly wait for them to dry.

Once they were dry I wasted no time hanging the wall art. I wanted to surprise my kids by doing something out of my ordinary. My home expresses the Italian side of our heritage. I have a lot of poppy accents and paintings. Besides my skunk collection, I look for items made in Italy.

So my finished project, or almost finished project since I now have a second painted wall to work with, expresses the “hippee” side of me. Ha! Since I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s, I went with it. My kids love the 70’s. It wasn’t perfect by any means, but it was a better time than now. That’s how I feel anyway.

So my project looks like this so far:

How fun is this?

My room is to the right. Perfect place for this particular display. And it’s far enough away from my Italian decor to not be a problem. A fun corner.

Today I got up as usual and got ready for work. I went out into the kitchen and my granddaughter asked me something about Great-Grandpa coming over. I paused a second.

Grandpa coming over sounds familiar. Oh yeah, he was supposed to come over on Sunday morning. But he didn’t show up yesterday. Why?

Then I asked my six year old granddaughter what day it was. She said Sunday.

Sunday? Really? I thought it was Monday!

What a great surprise! I feel like I got an unexpected day off! Happy, happy, happy!

God is making his presence known in my life. And I am so grateful. Sometimes when there is silence, you wonder. I don’t want to be categorized as a Doubting Thomas though. Realistically, life wears a person down from time to time. And in those times of exhaustion and weakness it’s difficult not to wonder where is God when feeling so abandoned and alone.

1 Chronicles 16:34 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. ♥️



I took this picture at Big Long Lake, Indiana. My best friend had a lake house there. I always thought the center cloud resembled a heart. Tonight, I see an angel. It’s beautiful no matter what you see.

Yes, I am afraid. But that’s okay. God knows all about it and I will trust in him. ♥️


So Much

There’s so much on my mind and someone is heavy on my heart. I’m distracted. Indecisive. Worried. Feeling helpless. I find myself doing stupid stuff. I am forgetting things I never forget. I say the wrong things. I use wrong words! I even used a stapler incorrectly. A stapler! Not once. Not twice. But three times! I laughed uncontrollably once I realized. The woman working with me said she wanted whatever I had for breakfast.

I think my coping mechanism is broke.

I’m glad tonight is Friday. I planned a creative home project for tomorrow to keep my mind occupied. Well, it is already occupied. That just can’t be avoided. But maybe being creative will be a sort of relief. I would really like to get away but realistically, this brain of mine goes wherever I go. So there’s that.

Tonight I went to First Friday. Our little city has this event all through the summer. There are typically two bands playing in different areas of the square. There are venders, food, booze, and even a huge bouncy wall climb for the kids. But I felt out of place walking around by myself. Lonely in a crowd. I’m just so out of sorts. So I left and went to the Blue Store.

a music event in my town

There’s just so much, but without God, where would I be? I know how hard it is with God. I can’t even imagine.

I do know that no one is exempt from problems and decisions. But when they are your own they tend to be larger than life.

Psalm 27:7 O LORD, when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me.

Tomorrow will be better. I’m sure of it. ♥️


Prayers for my dear friend continue.

Psalm 130:5 I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope.

I Believe

Original post: July 22, 2021. Edited.

(Based on the song You Say, by Lauren Daigle. Highlighted words belong to her.)

I listened to this song twice on my way to work this morning. It hit home. When nothing seems to go right, when you just don’t measure up, and when you feel empty and alone…this song is a reminder that God sees you differently than you see yourself.

I keep fighting voices in my mind that say I’m not enough
Every single lie that tells me I will never measure up
Am I more than just the sum of every high and every low?
Remind me once again just who I am because I need to know

He is a comfort in times of trial and heartache. He supports us when we do not have the strength to support ourself.

You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
And you say I am held when I am falling short
And when I don’t belong, oh You say I am Yours

And I believe
Oh I believe
What You say of me
I believe.

The question is…do we believe? I mean really believe? I know I fall short. I doubt at times. A lot of times. I get angry sometimes too. I realize there is another power on this earth who wants me to question my belief in my God; who wants me to fail. One who wants me to selfishly live for myself and throw God to the wayside. So I need to be much stronger.

I believe

This song gave me encouragement this morning. I hope you find encouragement through it as well. ♥️


The YouTube link is below.

Lyric Source: MetroLyrics

Photo: Sunset, St. Joe, MI, 2017; my beautiful rose


Psalm 130:5
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope.

A new heart?

As you told me that you need a heart transplant, the floor dropped and the walls caved in around me. Tears stung my eyes. And my heart hurt for yours.

That was on Saturday afternoon. Since that day, the words that you need a new heart keep repeating in my mind.

A new heart. A new heart. A new heart. Almost like a beating heart.

But I know differently.

Of all the people on this planet, you need a new heart least of anyone. In fact, I want one just like yours.

My friend, your heart is amazing. There’s no doubt that your heart is filled with the love of God. And that you love and respect him in return. You strive to do good and encourage others to do the same.

You are tough and complicated, and at times, difficult to understand. Maddening, too, on occasion. Yet, everywhere you go, you gently sow seeds of kindness and gratitude. You are genuine. The real deal. And truly unique.

You have great compassion for others. We talk. You listen tirelessly, and without complaint…even when it’s getting late. Then you add wisdom to the conversation, and it’s our turn to listen. And we do.

You have a gentleness for all of God’s creation. You love nature and you share that love with others. Your little country farm is a safe haven for both animals and people.

You joyfully give. You give your time, your wisdom, your money, and most of all, your heart.

You are my teacher. You continue to teach me many valuable life lessons, like squirrel time, rising above adversity like cream rises in coffee, a greater appreciation for God and nature, about the remarkable monarch butterfly, and subtlety, how to be okay in life without a partner.

You are my muse as you fill me with inspiration on what to write. You praise my posts and delicately share your thoughts on how to improve them. Your biggest complaint is that some posts are just too long and I lose you. Maybe even like this one. I will accept that…with a smile.

You quietly walk beside me in the coolness of my shadow. You know when I need you and you appear. You are my rock, my tether. You fill my bucket. You are not perfect, yet…no one could ask for a better earthly friend.

The very essence of your heart is beautiful and I wouldn’t change a thing about it.

Remember how patient you were with me as you tried to teach me patience? I thought I had a good grip on it. But not today. I want you well…now.

Romans 8:25
But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

I have HOPE that there are better days ahead for you. I PRAY without ceasing, and am waiting with PATIENCE. ♥️


My Heart Trusts

Photos: animals and monarch were taken by me.


A post by Regie Hamm, one of my favorite bloggers. I can definitely relate to his post.

I used to visit my great-grandmother who was born maybe less than 20 after the Civil War. Her daughter, my maternal grandmother, would tell us stories of traveling through the Dakotas, Minnesota, and Wisconsin by covered wagon. Grandma was run over by the wheels of a wagon when she was young and her legs never looked quite normal but she was still able to walk. Grandpa was born in January 1900. He was a lumberjack in his early years as a young man. He had a horrific accident with a saw which he somehow survived. Grandma’s basement smelled of dill from all the canning she did. Canning was a means of survival. They knew what it was not have anything so they worked hard to have something. Listening to the elder generation speak of the depression and wars…they knew what it took to survive. And survive they did because here we are today. And now a new improved generation is dictating how life really is to those of us who know first and second hand about the fragility of life. A privileged generation here ONLY because of the survival skills and will-to-live of their grandparents before them.

I hope you take the time to read Regie’s post below. ♥️ Andi

The future is a fragile thing.  You can raise your son or daughter (or whatever the other genders are) in the best way you know how, but then …


God’s Will

I have a lot of questions concerning God’s will for my life. I know some of you may have the same questions.

How do we know when God is opening a door?

Is it even a door?

How do I know if I should step through it?

How do we know that we are making a right decision?

How do we know his plan for us?

Is this his will, or mine?

How do we know when God is leading us?

How do I know that I’ve surrendered enough to let him work in my life?

Why is all of this so difficult to understand and to know the right answers?

I am struggling with:
Do I wait longer?
Is this a door I see?
Is this the right decision?
Am I pleasing God?

Are you struggling with questions such as these? Have you found the answers you need?

Since I want to do what’s right in God’s eyes, I need some answers. But I am confused on how to know if and how God is working in my life currently. God is not the author of that confusion….so, how do I knowhow do I see…God’s will?

I am a tad bit overwhelmed with life right now.

And of course, I overthink. It’s what I do best.

Let me know your thoughts. It’d be greatly appreciated. ♥️


Making Decisions

Decision making isn’t my cup of tea. It tends to be painful. Always has been. Even if it’s a small decision like, “Where do you want to eat?” Holy cow…don’t ask me. Just take me.

I’ve been divorced for a decade now. I own a home. I work out in the often not-so-nice world. All of these have pushed me reluctantly into even more decision making. Not sure it will ever get easier to be honest.

But yesterday, I made a big decision. One I’ve been battling with since the beginning of the year. It hit me bigly in the middle of the day about which direction I should go. I officially made the decision. Even though this decision will lead to more decision-making, I needed to finalize this one. Sadly, much to the dismay of others.

But I did it for me. And I feel it is the best for me. Instead of tossing and turning another night, I made a decision.

Whether this turns out to be good, or another painful regret, remains to be seen. I have a history of making wrong decisions.

Decision making to me is kind of like poking a badger with a stick.

So I will wonder.

But the fact is…I made it. And I felt a weight lifted.

One down. One at a time.

Have a joyful day. I feel a tad lighter. ♥️


The Little Mermaid 🧜‍♀️

Original post: November 26, 2021.

The innocence of a child. Is there anything more beautiful? Such wonderment in simple things.

I bought this little mermaid for my granddaughter. The jewel is her birthstone. It was very inexpensive but this tiny treasure means a great deal to her as she loves the sea and it’s mystical mermaids.

She has a routine before bed. Her blankets have to be placed on her in order with the last one over her head. Then tuck her in tight with a snug as a bug in a rug. She turns on her little mermaid and watches the changing colors until she’s close to sleep. Then she turns it off. She’s good about that.

What does she think about as she gazes into the colorful crystal ball? I don’t want to disturb her by asking questions. Those thoughts belong to her. To me, in this moment of time, she is a little mermaid swimming happily, through a frothy sea, with other mystical creatures and friends…and without a care in the world. Grandma’s little mermaid.

I couldn’t resist taking these pictures. I treasure these quiet moments. These won’t last forever. Before you know it, she will pack away these simple things and swim off to start a life of her own.

Cherish the little things for they are often the most precious moments of your life. ♥️


What would you have done?

Today I was shopping at one of my least favorite stores, which I happen to frequent more often than I prefer. When you live in the boonies like I do, you don’t have many choices. My once young children called it the “Blue Store”.

I was heading near the pharmacy department to pick up some hydrogen peroxide. A woman older than me was in front of me with a cart. She turned into the same aisle I heading.

As she turned the corner, her right arm snapped away from her body, and she quickly grabbed a package of Claritin from the end cap display. As quick as her arm went out, it snapped back to her side. I knew what she did. So I came up beside her. She very nervously said something to me. It wasn’t audible. Her nervousness though was a blinkin’ beacon. With both hands on the cart, there was no Claritin to be seen anywhere. And I know she knew, that I knew, what she did.

Maybe I should have said something like, “I can’t use Claritin as it upsets my stomach.” Or, maybe, “My allergies are bad this year. You reminded me that I need to grab some Claritin too.” Maybe I should have just told her that I saw what she did and to put it back before I report her.

Next time maybe I’ll be brave enough to try that approach. But today I found an employee passing by and I told him. He said he’d get a manager. Whether he did or not, I do not know. But at least I reported it.

Stealing has a direct effect on the cost of everything. I’d say it’s the oldest profession out there but I think that spot is taken. I guess it would be the second oldest profession.

What would you have done? Just let it go? If you are that financially broken (which many are nowadays) let’s go about it in the right way. Tens of thousands are taking advantage of a broken system that they don’t actually need. So I’m sure she would qualify. By the way, she snatched up that item quickly and hid it in the blink of an eye…clearly, this wasn’t her first rodeo.

So what would you have done?



A Weariness

Psalm 69:3
I am weary with my crying out; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God.

With the many struggles I am currently in the midst of, I have grown weary. My eyes yet burn from the tears shed yesterday. My energy is waining. I want to hide and sleep but there is no quiet place for me.

I ask for prayers to be answered so I know. I must know where my God wants me to be. I ask for relief in my mind for all that is stirred up. Then perhaps a blanket of peace will cover me and I can sleep again.

I desire to help all who have approached me recently in their brokenness. I am a healer of sorts. I have to fix things and make them right, or at least better. I do not perform miracles. I only aid in healing when someone trusts me enough to listen, guide, and direct them. Currently, I feel I’m failing each of them as I am growing weary with my own concerns.

Today I pray for strength, wisdom, and guidance from above. I ask for clarity of mind so I can focus. My desire is to be a better helper to others, as well as to better manage my own affairs.

Deep within, my soul is in a happy place as I know my God has not abandoned me. I only ask that I might see his path more clearly. I know this is all passing and tomorrow will be brighter.

Matthew 11:28
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. ♥️


Photo: Jamaican shoreline, 2016

My Heart Trusts

Psalm 28:7
The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.

The heart is, in my opinion, the greatest organ in the human body. Granted, it cannot function without the assistance of other vital organs, but the heart is the very center of our being.

Aside from the heart performing the physical aspects of keeping the body alive, the heart is so much more than just an organ.

Our heart carries the weight of the world.

It beats.

It breaks.

It mends.

It rejoices.

It weeps.

It skips.

It melts.

It scars.

It trusts.

It hates.

It softens.

It remembers.

It thinks.

It honors.

It sings.

It feels.

It hardens.

It prays.

It loves.

And in loving, the heart miraculously always has room to love one more, although it never increases in size.

The heart reflects who we are, no matter if we are good or evil. (Proverbs 23:7a)

As he thinketh in his heart, so is he.

The word heart is used approximately 800 times in the Bible, so our heart must be pretty important to God.

He put great thought into the heart of man. He designed the heart in such a loving way that it became the very essence of man. And that essence of who we are lives for all eternity.

Note to my dear friend: This is a season to remember. It is a season to trust God and his promises. A season to pray hard, and then pray harder. It is a season to rejoice and to be grateful. It is a season of tears and of joy; of hope and of reassurance. My heart hurts, yet my heart trusts.

Proverbs 3:5
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding…



There is a Season

Original post: October 29, 3021. Edited.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (ESV)

For everything there is a season,
and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die;

a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;

a time to kill, and a time to heal;

a time to break down, and a time to build up;

a time to weep, and a time to laugh;

a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;

a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

a time to seek, and a time to lose;

a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

a time to tear, and a time to sew;

a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

a time to love, and a time to hate;

Use your time wisely. Know when it’s time to cry and when it is time to work. Remember that a season doesn’t last forever…regardless if it’s good or bad. Our lives cycle like the tides. Nothing remains the same. Well, except for God.

In all seasons, be very grateful. ♥️


Photos: sunrise at home, taken by my daughter, October 2020; St. Pete Beach, March 2021

Unicorns and Little Girls

Walk through any toy department and you will find an array of unicorns. They are usually white with pastels sprinkled about them in some fashion. I’m not a fan of pastels. Nor am I a lover of unicorns. In fact, I do not like them at all. I don’t know why. I just don’t.

I’m glad unicorns were not much of a “thing” when my three girls were growing up. They did want real horses though. I was totally good with that.

But now that my children are starting their own families, complete with little girls, unicorns are now a “thing” these days and my three granddaughters love them. Much to my dismay.

I said I’d never buy one.



I have since lost track of how many unicorns I have purchased for my new little girls. One unicorn purse is on its way to Chicago as I write this. I even bought a unicorn Christmas stocking for one of them last year.

But with the smiles, the giggles, the way these little ones tightly hug their unicorns…how can this grandma possibly say no? I can’t…even with the subtle eye twitching when a unicorn, or three, are placed in my shopping cart and pushed throughout the store.

I love my sweet littles. But I am so looking forward to the day when they ask for a real pony. Maybe a nice shiny brown one with a flowing black mane. Yeah…that’s my dream. ♥️


Oh…and never say never.

How Easy It Is To Forget

Why is it when everything goes well after a difficult time, we put Jesus back in the drawer and forget about him until the next trial brings us down?

We still have pretty much the same stuff going on in our life as when we were going through the bad time. But then, we prayed without ceasing, and God answered us in his way. How do we forget his graciousness so easily?

Are we really any different from Peter when he denied Jesus three times? He didn’t even remember the words Jesus spoke until his eyes met Jesus’s and then he did. And Peter went out and wept bitterly.

Peter physically walked this earth alongside of Jesus. How could he so easily forget?

And how could we?

I guess we are the same as Peter. Human. But still….

I’ve heard some state they are closer to God when things are on the upswing, and pull away from him during the bad times. I’m the opposite of that, for sure. When things are going good, Ms Andi is in control. She’s got this. When things go south, it is then she remembers all that Jesus has done in her life.

That’s just not how it works. If we want Jesus with us during the bad times, we must include him in our good times as well. Jesus is not a genie-in-a-drawer.

Learn to be consistent and keep Jesus close every single day. He deserves that place in our life and, actually…he wants to be there. ♥️


Blessed is the Man

JAMES 1:12
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

Just as winter fades into spring, and spring into summer, it appears to be my season of trials once again. I desire the crown of life so I must withstand the testing of my faith through this difficult time. I am no stranger to trials. I’m just tired. I long for a season of peace. Maybe that’s not meant to be here in the flesh.

Strive to remain steadfast in your journey. Be grateful for peaceful moments. And love God. ♥️


A Lover of Animals – An Update

So my sweet granddaughter lasted one day without eating meat. Yesterday, her mommy made her a non-meat meal. She was, however, upset that her parents were eating pork sandwiches.

Denae’s update:

So today we had a conversation about God creating animals and the differences between farm, pet, and exotic animals.

But the heart-crushing part came when Kota asked if the animals were okay with being food.

(Permission granted to tear up now.)

Kota said she will eat farm animals as long as they are okay with it. And she refuses to eat her pets (of course).

She still won’t eat a pork sandwich but she was 1000% okay with getting her favorite Dunkin wake-up wrap with bacon today. But she did ask if the pig was okay with being the bacon.

Denae to her husband: Mando, we are going to be vegetarians now. I can’t deal with the questions.

Note about Mando: he is a phenomenal griller of meats. He has the magic touch when it comes to grilling, frying, and roasting.

The master…grilling for my 60th birthday.

My sweet Dakota is certainly a deep thinker, and compassionate beyond measure. I just love that little girl to pieces. ♥️


A Lover of Animals

If I asked my readers who loves animals?, I bet most of you would raise your hand. We might not prefer the same type of animal, but that’s okay. My son, Jet, once had 36+ snakes of various kinds in our home along with tortoises, hissing cockroaches, scorpions, tarantulas, iguanas, and a bearded dragon named, Bob. To each his own, right?

A young, adventuring Jet. No, he did not add this pygmy rattlesnake to his collection.

Well, yesterday I received an interesting text from my daughter, Denae. She relayed a conversation between her and Kota, her four year-old daughter.

Kota: Mommy, I don’t want to eat farm animals. They have eyes. I’ll eat my veggies and that’s it, okay?

Mommy: Ok, Kota, do you still want to eat eggs?

Kota: Yes, that’s fine as long as they aren’t chicken eggs. There’s babies in there.

Mommy: Eggs are chicken eggs. But there’s no babies in there. Is that ok?

Kota: Ok, as long as there’s no animals in it.

Denae noted: If food is not an animal, she now calls it “good foods”.

Kota: I’ll eat it as long as it’s good and not bad food with eyes.

Denae noted: Kota actually hates veggies and loves chicken tenders and tacos, so she said we will see how long this will last.

It certainly is sweet how Koto loves animals and how she is starting to put life’s puzzle pieces together. It’s all a part of the learning process.

In junior high school, I announced to my family that I would no longer eat meat. That lasted until my father told me I couldn’t eat The Quonset pizza they ordered. Which, by the way, was THE best pizza on planet earth.

The Quonset, Waukegan, IL

So, my vegetarian diet lasted maybe half a day. Maybe. Today, I am 99.9% carnivore.

I love my grandchildren and all the wonderful, thoughtful things that come from the purity of their hearts. ♥️


The Imagination of a Child

I am grateful for the room I have in my basement that allows for a large play area for my grandchildren. They can easily (and happily) stay down there all day long with the many toys, books, and movies they have access to.

There’s nothing quite like the imagination of a child. When a child can take an ordinary something and create an extraordinary something else, well…that’s creativity at its finest.

Oh…I’m not referring to my grandchildren. I’m referring to their father, Ezekiel. 😄 My 29 year-old kid, who I hope never grows up. Well, not totally, anyway.

My son works for an appliance store. He brought home heavy boxes to make his kids a castle. Belle’s tower is on the left. Jack’s is on the right. They absolutely love it as they spend a lot of time in there. They’ve drawn pictures inside on the walls too like those found in a prehistoric cave or Egyptian tomb. This castle is pretty big!

The castle. It’s been well used and moved a few times so it’s looking worn and messy. But the kids still love it!

Ahhhhh….the imagination of children. Gotta love it. Not only love it, but sometimes have the room for it! ♥️


Instant Friends

Original post: Children, March 28, 2021. Edited.

I watched two young children play next to me as we waited for our flight to Florida. When these two little girls met for the first time, within 30 seconds they became best friends. It was obvious they came from very different backgrounds and heritage. Their skin was not the same but they didn’t care. These girls knew nothing of race or of color. They had no understanding of prejudice or of injustice. They were pure, loving, and gentle with one another. They were equal. And they were beautiful.

Their giggles and playfulness brought smiles to everyone around them at the loading gate, and tears to my eyes. They were genuine and innocent. They were eager to share their toys and to love on each other. We have a lot to learn from three year olds. ♥️


Blessings in Shades of Green

Original post: April 9, 2021. Edited.

My dad listened to Rod McKuen a lot when I was growing up. I have a Rod McKuen playlist on my phone. Listening to it takes me back to a good place in time and gives me peace.

There’s a particular song I really like called Blessing in Shades of Green. Today it makes me think of all of the green signs of spring.

I took pictures around my house. There are so many shades of green, and some with brilliant colors attached, like purples and yellows. And even white…if you appreciate dandelions like I do. Nature is such a gift.

As I write, I think of other shades of green that I consider to be blessings in my life. And right away I think of the eyes of two of my daughters. With six children, we have a variety of eye color. All beautiful. Today, though, we are focusing on beautiful shades of green.

Blessings in shades of green. What a lovely, happy color. 💚


Life’s Challenges

Original post: November 13, 2021. Edited.

Life’s challenges will either make you or break you. I’m teetering today.

Trying to excel in all aspects of life is probably just a little too aggressive. But where do you draw the line? How do you not try?

And when trials bombard you in a variety of ways, and from every.single.direction possible…what do you do?

And when others tell me that God won’t give me more than I can handle…well, I just don’t believe that particular thought.

I’m not handling things today. Not very well, anyway.

My sleepless mind is weary, yet it won’t rest. My body is fatigued. My heart aches. A ship without sails on a motionless sea. Yet loneliness, fear, and anxiety sweep over me in waves.

I can’t fix everyone else’s problems although I wish with all my heart that I could. My own bury me as of late.

Life’s challenges. Can you relate? I am alone in my decision-making and in my battles. I do not have a partner to help me. I am trying to pull strength from God. Am I not listening, or what?

I understand many are struggling today as our world is way off-kilter with all that has transpired over the last couple of years. It’s not a secret that more and more people are feeling fearful, anxious, and insecure. The many trials are all consuming. The burdens are just so heavy. Today, I am one of them.

Thankfully, I am able to still witness blessings in every day. And I am truly blessed beyond measure.

The scripture that comes to mind this morning is this beautiful one. This will be my focus for the day.

Psalm 46:10
Be still, and know that I am God.

I know tomorrow will be a better day. ♥️


1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

1 Corinthians 10:13 is the passage commonly used as the backbone for the concept that God won’t give you more (burdens, trials, and suffering) than you can handle. But Paul is actually referring to sin temptation in this context, not burdens, and finding a means of escape from that temptation of sin. If I am in error, please help me to see differently. ♥️

Photos all taken by me: Ferris wheel, county fair 2021; covered bridge near me; the sun; ship off the coast of Maine, 2017; chair, 2021; Lake Michigan, Pointe Betsie Lighthouse, 2009

All Things Bright and Beautiful…

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.

Each little flower that opens,
Each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colors,
He made their tiny wings.

The rich man in his castle,
The poor man at his gate,
He made them, high or lowly,
And ordered their estate.

The purple headed mountains,
The river running by,
The sunset and the morning
That brightens up the sky.

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.

The cold wind in the winter,
The pleasant summer sun,
The ripe fruits in the garden,
He made them every one.

The tall trees in the greenwood,
The meadows where we play,
The rushes by the water,
To gather every day.

He gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we might tell
How great is God Almighty,
Who has made all things well.

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.

Author: Ce­cil F. Al­ex­an­der, Hymns for Lit­tle Child­ren, 1848

This poem popped into my head today as I sat outside on this gorgeous day. I am grateful for all of nature. The sights, the sounds, the smells…it’s all so wonderful to me. It’s almost magical in how it makes me feel.

No matter what is going on all around me, nature remains the same. It is just about the bestest best friend you could ever ask for. Even a simple breeze across my face is soothing. I believe God gave this to us as a special gift. He always knows exactly what we need. ♥️


Photos: all were taken by me, a favorite pastime. 🙂

More Than We Ask For

God blesses us in both seen and unseen ways.

If we only knew of the times he protected when we didn’t even realize we were in danger…

Or, the many times he provided food, clothing, or that much needed friend at just the right time.

How many strangers have crossed our path who ultimately added something of value to our day? Maybe even our life?

His greatness shines on both the good and the evil. No one is exempt from the blessings of his graciousness and kindness.

a Jamaican sunset, 2016

Every good and perfect gift comes from him. ~James 1:17

God does far more than we ask of him. He thinks greater than we think.

Ephesians 3: 20-21
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.



My Mom

Mom with my second son, Jet. My oldest, Nathan, is behind her.

I have hesitated about writing this. I wondered if I should just keep this treasure to myself. But this morning I woke up thinking about this after a lengthy time of it being silent. This morning, I felt I needed to post it today. Why? I do not know unless someone somewhere needs a message of hope.

I rarely write about my mom. I think because at the time of her passing, I knew exactly where I stood in my mom’s life. I don’t struggle with if she loved me or not because her love was always freely given to me.

My mom was a wonderfully caring mother. We three absolutely adored her. All through life, she was loved by many because of her meek and gentle spirit.

Mom and we three at the start of the Mississippi River, mid 1960’s

Mom lived in North Carolina. My siblings and their families still live there. Many years prior to a diagnosis, I told my siblings that something was wrong with Mom. I could tell that something was off during our phone calls. My siblings brushed it off as simply aging. I understand. Sometimes when you are around someone all the time you don’t notice the subtle changes.

Mom’s 70th birthday

Eventually, Mom was diagnosed with vascular dementia. My brother apologized to me for not listening to me way back when.

Mom was poor and my siblings went through great difficulty in placing her in a facility. There were many hoops to jump through with all the court hearings, testings, and doctors’ appointments. My mom had completely changed from being known as Sweet Helen to a very angry and spiteful woman. It was difficult on my brother and sister as Mom took her anger out on them. I was the good child in her eyes but only because of the 600 miles between us. Our communication was via the phone. I wasn’t there telling her what to do, how to do it, or where to go. We understood it wasn’t really Mom. Not sure that lessened the pain much though. The three of us were her world. That never changed from our births until dementia took control over her mind. We were all she had.

During those trying couple of years, unbelievable things happened. It would take too long and is unnecessary to give you all the details. I will only summarize. Just trust me. They were unbelievable nightmares.

For one Mom came up missing prior to an official diagnosis and being placed in a facility. We had to file a missing person report with the authorities. They finally found her in Minnesota in a city near North Dakota. That’s pretty far from North Carolina. That all happened because she contacted family she hadn’t seen in decades and they believed her her story that we kids were mistreating her. So they took her far away from us. We still don’t know how she was able to manage through airports alone. I can’t even imagine what her journey was like. Or, of her interaction with others. Because she wasn’t officially diagnosed at the time, there was nothing the authorities could do once they did find her. We had to wait for her to want to come home. And she finally wanted to. The people who took her saw her dementia firsthand. They sent her back.

Then after being placed in the third and final facility, she escaped through the only window in the facility that was not secure. That window happened to be in her room. She gathered all her precious belongings and wrapped them up in a sheet. Then she took them with her…out the window. She placed the sheet next to a dumpster. I’m assuming because it was heavy. She walked freely through the front yard of the facility and crossed a street. She went to a house and knocked on the door. When the homeowner answered she stated she needed help. She explained that her kids were trying to put her away, etc. But, as it turned out, thankfully, the owner of the house also owned the facility. So they were able to get her back…and they secured her window. Sadly, the trash was picked up during her little adventure and all her belongings went with it.

After she finally started to settle in there, she kept to herself. She rarely left her room. Not even to eat in the dining room. She grew very fond of an aid named, Jerome, though. He was huge in stature but gentle as a lamb to Mom. He took good care of her.

Eventually, a woman moved into the room across the hall from Mom. She was in stage four lung cancer and Mom took an instant liking to her. This new friend brightened Mom’s days. I think she gave her purpose. Mom would even take her to the dining room to eat. Mom’s friend wouldn’t talk to anyone but Mom.

On Sunday, August 9, 2015, Jerome was walking down the hall when he noticed the friend sitting in her wheelchair in the doorway of her own room. She was waving her arms wildly in the air and speaking loudly, clearly upset. Jerome stopped and asked her what was wrong.

She said, “Don’t you see them?! The angels! They are in the hall! ANGELS! Don’t you see them?! Oh! I missed the bus again!”

Jerome quickly went into Mom’s room where she had laid down for a nap. And…she was gone.

My brother told me this story as we were driving to his home from the airport where he had just picked me up. He was sobbing.

I wrote a letter to Jerome. I thanked him for his thoughtful caring of our mom and I asked if he might write down in his own words, the events leading up to the discovery Mom’s passing, but I never heard back from him. I suppose there are rules and regulations against this kind of request.

The funeral home was very gracious in that they set up a small room so we could see Mom. None of us could afford anything more. But they treated us with such kindness as if we paid full price. The world still has good people in it.

Mom was dressed in pajamas and she looked beautiful. She had the most remarkable expression of peace on her face. It was as though she was having a most wonderful dream.

Mom had been in a place of constant turmoil within her mind. Agitation and anger conquered her beautiful spirit. I wouldn’t wish dementia on anyone. But she finally found peace, and much needed rest.

As I stated at the beginning, I’m not sure why I felt the desire to share this now. Maybe someone needs to hear it. Or, maybe I needed to reflect upon it again.

There is hope. Hope for eternal peace in Jesus. And a hope for angels in the hall. ♥️


The Artist is Exalted

Sunrise, November 16, 2021

Genesis 1:1
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

Night sky, November 20, 2021

Genesis 1:4
And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness.

Night sky, April 21, 2016
Sunrise, November 16, 2021
Sunrise, February 24, 2021

Psalm 19:1
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.

Sunrise, November 15, 2021
Sunrise, November 15, 2021
Day sky, February 24, 2021

Psalm 46:10
Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!

Sunset, November 16, 2021

Psalm 50:2
Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth.

Sunset, November 16, 2021

I am forever fascinated with the sky. It’s splendor points to the Creator, the Artist. He is exalted through His creation. His glory is magnified in the heavens and throughout all of nature. His design, perfect. His canvas, brilliant.

Praising God today. ♥️


About that brush…

A few days ago I wrote about my brush. You know, the one with missing bristles. Well, I just want to say that brush was a lifesaver today.

I have this valley in my yard. A deep valley with steep hills. It’s a pain in the arse to be honest. I had to drop four ash trees in that valley as the ash borer killed them. Needless to say the yard was damaged when the trees fell. Now it is even more tedious to mow.

Nyx and I went out to pick up sticks and limbs. There’s so much. And it was hot out. I sat on a tree stump to rest at one point and half of it crumbled beneath me as it is really decayed. That’s gonna leave a bruise.

When I did all that I absolutely could, I came in and took off my jeans. (I had worn long pants, a long sleeve shirt, and a ball cap.) That’s when I found a tick crawling up my leg. I quickly untied my hair and grabbed my beloved brush. I brushed ticks out of my hair! I had to get each one out of the brush before I ran it through again.

I instantly thought of Nyx who was lying in the grass in the valley and I knew I needed to give her a bath. After her bath, it was my turn to shower. I lost count of how many tiny ticks I had on the backs of my legs! I tell you I was close to having an anxiety attack.

When I was young there were two things that terrified me. One was a match book. We didn’t have those those long butane fire starters like we have now. Lighting a match scared me to death. The other was ticks. We called them wood ticks. Lighting a match to burn a wood tick about did me in.

Nyx and I are clean and hopefully tick free at the moment. But I am still upset about them. There were so many and, did I get them all?!

Anyway, my brush did not let me down even though it’s missing bristles. I love my brush! ♥️


A Stormy Sunset

If you’ve read my posts long enough you know that I’m quite enchanted with sunsets. I love sunrises as well, but if I have to choose, sunsets win.

Last night’s sunset did not disappoint. Ezekiel and I sat on my front porch swing. It was a most perfect evening. As we talked, I noticed the stunning clouds in the west. Their outlines glowing, emphasized by the setting sun. I had to take pictures of course. Always thinking of blog material.

Then as the sun began to sink deeper into the horizon, the sky seemed to catch on fire. It changed so quickly.

I told Ezekiel to get in the car and I was going to take him to my sunset watching spot. It’s a place where I often go by myself just to admire the sky…and think. If you are a Pooh fan you will understand it as being my Thotful Spot.

When we arrived, the sky looked both mean and promising. Very beautiful either way.

The sun was brilliant and there was a veil of heavy rain in front of it. I don’t recall ever seeing that before.

I find God in all of nature and sunsets are no exception. Nature is where I feel the closest to him. And that’s where I choose to be…as often as I can. ♥️