A Woman of Faith

If the topic of faith in God offends you, perhaps you might want to sit this post out. I hope you will endure. It is not that I have anything profound to say, it is just something I want to say.

On my “About” page, I describe myself in many ways-wife, mother, crafter, etc…and a woman of faith. I started thinking-what does this actually mean to me? Like most people I have faith that the sun will come up tomorrow, that I will get in my car and most likely make it from point A to point B, and in general that things I know to be true will likely remain that way.

This might be where we part company (although I hope not).  I believe in God, in Jesus, the Bible-yep the whole nine yards.

So what does a woman of faith mean to me? It means that I try to live my life based on loving one another, to be honest, follow the rules, be a good person, do the right thing…just like most folks-ya think? Absolutely!!  But…I also believe that Jesus was sent by God, born as man, died on a cross, and rose again on the third day. I believe in The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. I believe that He died to save mankind by showing such grace to us all if only we would ask-and believe.  I know that He guides my life, hears my prayers, and forgives me (because I am most certainly not perfect).

Whew!! How do I know this to be true? Faith. For me it is that simple. Yes, I go to church (not necessary), belong to a Bible study (not required), read my Bible (encouraged), and a daily devotional (optional). I do it because I want to, I want to learn, keep my faith strong,  live the life that I was called to live….and maybe…just maybe… be an inspiration to others.

OK…..I am not turning my blog into a platform,  but since I am so willing to share my favorite recipes, goals, projects, and any other thing that pops into my mind, I felt I wanted to share a deeper part of me.

A woman of faith-

just the biggest part of who I am.

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Waiting

Waiting for something or someone…although I do have more patience than I did when I was younger, waiting has been challenging for me at times. I guess that might be said for most of us. As kids we waited excitedly for Christmas or birthdays or summer break. Perhaps the wait was fun because these were such big events in our little lives. It must have been difficult but looking back it seems like half of the fun was the anticipation.

As we grew older we continued to wait. Summer vacation still loomed before us but perhaps in a different way. I loved school so summer vacation meant I waited for summer school to start. We would take classes during the summer so we could take more electives during the regular school year. Usually it would be a history class-which I did eagerly wait for so that I could take two choir classes in the fall. I definitely looked forward to that! I waited to be with my friends during school. Summers were long and hot in Southern California and in those days most people did not have air conditioning and we did not take many vacations. We waited to turn sixteen, getting our drivers license, dating, weekends, school football games, and dances. We waited for graduation. (Turning eighteen was not such a big deal because if you lived at home you were still under your parents rule). Getting your first apartment,  your first job, your first car-now that was something to wait for!

After high school we waited to begin college, begin a career and find a life partner (not necessarily in that order). We then waited to become a wife and mother. Some of us pursued our careers-some of use chose to stay home as full-time or working mothers. Waiting for each child…waiting for that first day of school…the cycle continued but now we were waiting for our children to reach their own milestones and we were  seeing the world (a very different world) through their eyes.

Now waiting became an entire new concept. Waiting to feed our families, waiting in line at the grocery store, waiting for bedtime (because we were so exhausted), waiting for school to be out, to pick up kids from soccer practice or other activities (because kids can’t walk anywhere now). Now I waited for them, report cards, drivers licenses, graduations, college and the world goes on.

All too soon I was waiting for them to move out, get a job,  get married,

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start a career-or both-or something! I waited to become a grandmother and to then figure out what I am doing with the rest of my life! Have I waited long enough to pursue a career-or continue an old one, will I celebrate a milestone anniversary or will marriage survive the changes?

I have waited a long time to begin my life anew. For some it might look different. For me it is retirement and spending time with those I care about (and especially Thommmee).  I don’t seem to be waiting so much these days.

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I am  actually living  and appreciating life in ways I never dreamed of. Waiting now is a time of peace. I could be a bit saddened to think of how much time was wasted waiting when I was younger but you know what? I am not. I loved the waiting. I loved the anticipation of life around the corner and while I may have not known it at the time-that was life! Now this is life. Waiting for a flower to unfold,

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the spring blossoms,

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waiting for one of the kids to call and interrupt my sewing, waiting to grab my camera to catch that magnificent sunset,

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waiting to put on my comfy slippers,

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or to sip my morning coffee,

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or to take my cake out of the oven.

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I love waiting to spend time with the grandkids.

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Do you know what…

it was worth the wait!

I forgot to mention…

I am waiting for the birth of our newest grandson who is due at any minute!

Kitchen remodel; part 2

The remodel is coming along very slowly. After clearing off the popcorn ceiling, we had to wait on the electrician to replace the lighting. This task was a bit out of Thommmee’s comfort zone.

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We went with the first guy. He and his father had their own company. I liked that. Not only could he afford to bid competitively, he was a bit of a perfectionist.

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It took him four visits to get things to his liking and he took his time to get it just right.

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Next we painted the kitchen the very pale gray we had decided upon.

(We had a little helper)

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We are pretty happy so far.

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(The antique washstand will find a new place in our home)

We then began the laborious task of scrubbing down the cabinets and switching out the hardware.

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Little did I know I would have to hold each cabinet door while Thommmee drilled holes .

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This was probably the most boring part!  The new on the left and the old above the fridge.

(very subtle but effective)

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Of course I then felt compelled to clean out each cabinet as we went along and this took some time.

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Home Depot has become our home away from home. That and many other stores as we search for just the right items!

(still searching)

Next was to replace the lighting over the kitchen sink.

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Thommmee decided to start this project while I was cleaning up breakfast dishes!

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Before you knew it the light was replaced!

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While he was busy, I worked on painting a mirror we have hanging.

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Before…

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after…

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(Now what to put in that huge space!)

There were also minor changes that needed to be made.

From this…

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We still have to decide on window coverings, what to do with the eat-in area of the kitchen, build some shelving, floor, dishwasher…

Until next time, from

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The wind…the rain…and the elements

In Southern California we get wind. I am talking some serious wind. These winds are dry. They increase the fire danger and wreak havoc on highways. They topple big rigs and RVs take cover. They knock down power lines and trees. They kick up dust and dirt.  They come roaring through canyons  This phenomenon is known as the Santa Ana  winds. They are sometimes called ‘Devil Winds.’ Santa Anas usually blow in the fall or spring but are known to pop up any time. Next to rain, the are probably the most talked about weather condition in these parts.

We recently experienced several days of Santa Ana winds with speeds of about 50 mph and wind gusts of 89 mph. Sometimes more they are worse.  Most of us don’t like the wind much. They can keep you up at night as you listen to the howling outside. Waking up the next morning you can expect a mess outside but hesitate to even attempt a clean up for most certainly they will start up again.

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We have lost awnings, a glass patio table, plants, and shingles due to the winds. Nothing quite like waking up to the sound of shattered glass as your patio table is tossed about and destroyed. You never know what to expect.

 It is a bit difficult to photograph the wind!

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Well…you get the idea

Our wind chimes were going crazy.

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The plants were getting beat up.

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But surviving.

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The nice thing about the wind is the beautiful blue skies that are left behind.

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(see the mountains in the background?)

As quickly as they started they are gone!

The winds died down and have been replaced by partly cloudy skies.

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It seems we are in for rain. WOW! The weather forecasters must been excited to have so much to talk about. (Things can get pretty dull around here when it comes to weather with all that sunshine). Nothing like a little rain on the horizon get them hopping with news about what ifs, traffic, percentages, and the morning commute.

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At least we were able to enjoy a beautiful sunset.

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That is life in Southern California!

The wind…the rain…and the elements…

aren’t those the words to a song?

Retirement-one year later

It is hard to believe that one year ago today I walked out of work for the last time. I looked at my earlier post celebrating this big event. I wanted to find out how I felt that day. I wanted to see what my expectations were, what I was thinking, planning, and to see how this year came together.

This is what I discovered.

I commented that I was free to pursue many things.  I am pleased to find that many of those dreams are being fulfilled but… some not exactly as expected!

I come and go as I please.

I did not start a sewing business. Most of my (many) hours of sewing are for gifts or simply pleasure.

I can stay up late if I want to… but… these days I really don’t make it much past 9:00PM.

I do spend time with family and friends and have worked on strengthening those relationships.

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I spend a great deal of time in the kitchen and you will often find me experimenting with new recipes. For someone who really never liked to cook this was a huge discovery.

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I cleaned out a few closets and drawers but somehow this does not seem as important to me as it once did (go figure).

We did plant a vegetable garden last year but spent so much time vacationing that the results were somewhat less than spectacular.

Oh well.

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(photo courtesy of Pinterest)

I did make several batches of strawberry jam

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and even took a crack at making lemon marmalade.

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I have not read many books this year.  Although I love to read, I really found that I don’t like to sit quietly very much.

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I have spent countless hours talking on the phone, emailing and catching up with people. When I want to. Voice mail or text messages when I don’t.

I did manage to regularly attend the gym 2-4 times a week… faithfully… until about Thanksgiving…

I do attend a weekly Bible study, occasionally keep grandkids for the weekend and do some babysitting for our newest granddaughter.

Well, you get the idea. Some success…some not so much.

But…

I am happy and loving life!

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Not for one minute have I missed working at a “real job.” I love the freedom that retirement allows.

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(courtesy: be the change tumbler.com)

I love spending time with Thommmee. I don’t miss the extra money as I had feared. More time allows for more ways to be frugal. I find I need less-in fact-I find I want less!

I did buy a much needed coat at a local thrift store… for $8.00.

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With all the time I spend in the kitchen I splurged on a glass Pyrex pie pan, loaf, pan, square pan, and glass mixing bowl for $1.00 each at an estate sale.

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I have clipped coupons, shopped sales, and made many gifts. I try not to waste and plan meals based on what is in the kitchen. We don’t eat out often. We are a do-it-yourself couple living the good life in our little house in our own little corner of the world.

I wouldn’t trade a thing!

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I’m purring a lot these days

(No intent to borrow photos without permission or misuse intended.)

Kitchen remodel; part 1

We are off and running (well, slowly walking) with our kitchen project. Poor Thommmee does not know if he is coming or going. He likes to focus on one small task at a time while I like to keep the big picture in sight.

He was anxious to paint the ceiling. After all of his hard work cleaning off the popcorn, it seemed to him the most logical next step. I thought we should select the wall color first but he was adamant that he was painting it white!

It will be a white ceiling.

Halfway through the painting, we realized we would should have the electrician out. (sigh) You have to remember we are complete novices at this. Although I am trying to research everything I can find, I expect we will have a huge learning curve.

We are getting two estimates and waiting to hear from a third. In the meantime we are faced with this mess:

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While we wait,  I decided to take some of the advice I came across and select a sample of paint to try. The  idea is get a sample, paint a part of the wall and see how it looks during various times of the day. Great idea!  I thought a buttery cream/yellow would look so nice.

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I hated it.

(I also hated to cover my lovely stencils!)

Back to the drawing board. Wow! This is harder than I thought. We decided  to try the palest gray since we have stainless steel appliances.

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Winner. We both loved it.

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We had to keep in mind the darker floor we had chosen (and even agreed upon).

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We then stopped to look at cabinet hardware and may have decided on this reasonably priced handle.

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And of course we will need to match the hinges.

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While we were exploring Home Depot we found this little item and just couldn’t help laughing (sorry if I offended anyone)

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(a lighted toilet seat???)

I think we will pass on this.

So…back to the electricians.

EXPENSIVE!!

The first  guy got it the worse. Since I had no clue of pricing, what to expect, or what questions/options were available in our budget, I was looking for a little education.  He was just not comfortable with that. He wanted us to tell him exactly what we wanted. I could not get any information on pricing or real suggestions from him. That made it difficult because of the many options out there. Tract lights, recessed lighting, pendants….I just could not tell him what I wanted until I knew  the differences in prices. He had a great review on Yelp but was not a good educator. This morning I emailed him pictures of what I think I want. Waiting to hear back.

The next guy was full of ideas. He explored many options, prices ranges, and was very creative. I liked that. I think we might use him but still waiting for the other estimate.  The third guy is supposed to come tomorrow but I may cancel him. Not sure.

So all in all things are going well. It will be a slow process. Thanks for all the support and encouragement!

Until next time…from….

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New year…new projects

 

Thommmee and I have decided to take on a huge project. We are calling it a ‘mini’ but it is…

A KITCHEN REMODEL!

This is going to be a low-budget do-it-yourself project. We have had many conversations, looked at a variety of books,  watched YouTube videos, and visited our favorite store a multitude of times.

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I am not talented in this department.  I cringe to think of what lies ahead of us. Thommmee is pretty handy so he will be doing most of the work.

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 I did what I could to help by clearing off the counters…

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…since the first job is to scrape off the popcorn ceiling.

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Bonus!

My brother is visiting and giving us a helping hand to get started.

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I call it a mini remodel since our goals are :

  • take off the popcorn ceiling
  • paint the walls and ceiling (probably some texture on the ceiling)
  • scrub down the cabinets and replace the hardware. (we decided not to paint them at this time and replacing them is not in our budget)
  • replace the counter tops (nothing super fancy)
  • replace the kitchen sink
  • replace the kitchen floors
  • hire an electrician to update the lighting
  • replace the dishwasher (budget permitting)

For us this is a pretty big project. I have no idea how long it will take. Thommmee will work at his pace and I am sure most of my “suggestions” will be met with

a look.

So…I am going to practice my patience, my fetching skills, and dust off my limited handyman abilities. I will probably have to take direction with a smile and keep up a good sense of humor because he thought the kitchen was fine…

just the way it is!

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What a mess!!

(but getting better!)

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