Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

My Birthday- 2018

Lots of fun was had at the first party/event of my birthday season- we played "Worst Case Scenario" and "Clue"... =)

 Blackberry Jam party favors =)

The second party/event of my birthday season- we went to the North Texas Irish Fest at Fair Park (in Dallas), we met Papa & Grandma over there. =)

Party number 3, we had homemade pizza, Butterscotch Beer (think root beer or cream soda) and played IOTA!  I went out, but Dad won. =)

I was surprised and blessed by 2 letters, a bunch of cards, 2 phone calls, around 70 FB greetings, lots of gifts, food, friends & family this year!

Fourth, and last party: Lunch at the Blairs!  =)

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Daffodils and me...

...go way back...and I'm happy to report that my main Daffodil beds had not the 27 flowers I thought that they would have this year, but 32!!!  I am quite happy.  =)   (I brought 14 of them inside for a nice big vase full, made me feel quite frivolous and elegant.)

Did you know:
1) There are Daffodil Festivals? Old one HERE  or new one HERE.
2) Daffodils came to the Puyallup Valley around 1925 to replace the area’s dying hop industry. 
3) Daffodils are from Spain and Portugal.
4) 1955 was the beginning of: "The American Daffodil Society" (info about daffodils here)
5) Gloucester County, Virginia held the title "Daffodil Capital of America" in the 1930s and 40s.
6) DO NOT eat daffodils. They are toxic/poisonous. (HERE)

Joshua & me  at Papa & Grandma's in spring 1988...we were allowed to have 2 each.

Language of flowers~ Daffodil: Regard, Unequaled Love, You're the Only One, The Sun is Always Shining When I'm with You

Mom and me in March 1988 at Papa and Grandma's house.

"Mount Rainier forms a backdrop for daffodil fields of the Puyallup Valley" ~1944
Click HERE for more Vintage Daffodil Postcard fun!
Hundreds of acres of bulbs in the valley around Mt. Rainier....

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Guest Post 1: thoughts from a Mother

Dear Brave Heart,
There will always be those who don't understand you or the issue. They have their own bias/assumptions/opinions/emotional baggage/wounds and maybe aren't open to another perspective and that's all they know. You weren't writing your posts for them. You were writing your posts to help your near and dear understand you better. I know you've been mulling this series of posts over for a long time and finally felt ready to share. I know it's difficult when people don't understand and pick you apart and you feel violated in some way. Keep your eyes on the purpose and those you hope to bless with your story. There are others out there like you and you want them to know they aren't alone.

You don't fit into any clear box or label and that's good. =) You aren't even trying to fit in to any particular teaching or group and that's very good. You are navigating this life the best you can. And staying true to your convictions. Would you have done some things differently? Maybe, most of us would have if we were honest. Would you have become a career woman if you'd realized you'd still be single at this point of your life? Not likely. That's just not your style or your ambition. You've always been a homemaker/care-giver/nurturing type of person and you've blessed MANY, MANY people with your talents and love through the years...whether it be church folks, extended family, friends, neighbors, strangers, political comrades, etc, etc. EVERYONE is different and not all women desire to be what the world would have them to be....many simply want to love and serve their family (and extended circles). It is the highest and noblest of callings....nothing to be ashamed of. Nothing for which to apologize to ANYONE.

Most who can't understand why you are “waiting” for a husband don't have a grasp on the Sovereignty of God. If He'd wanted you to hang out your shingle and say “looking for a husband” He'd have put that on YOUR heart...just as He has others...He obviously has a different way for you. Like you wrote, you aren't an Amber, or Marianne or Lydia, etc. Your personality IS more reserved and that is the way GOD made you. Most people don't know that there have been several possibilities that you chose not to encourage...for various reasons. They weren't right for you or (we knew) you weren't right for them in some ways or other. Most people don't know that you've had the opportunity to meet/rub shoulders/work with thousands of people and certainly hundreds of men who were all's not like you've been hiding in a closet!!!
And you certainly are not a shrinking violet trying to be invisible (well, only on occasion!)...many of those have been brother type friends and you interact with them as such...playful, open and friendly and ready for a hug. We certainly trust you to “be alone” with someone you are aren't a teenager. You are a mature young woman and you trust yourself, too. We also know that you wouldn't want to be alone with a guy until you felt comfortable with could take one hour, one day, one week, one month, etc etc....only you know how long that might be and what you'll feel comfortable with doing whether it be kissing etc. But YOU have decided that you won't be in that position or situation unless the guy is someone you are intending to marry. You aren't interested in casual dating, relationships that aren't going anywhere or whatever. When it's time it will happen. With the right guy and you'll know it. That's where you are coming from. At least right now. Who, but God, knows what tomorrow will bring?

Some naysayers are simply a variation on “sour grapes”. Deep down they are envious that you have such a life. I would have liked such a life, but my personality and situation were different and I had to get free and scramble up. But deep down I only wanted to be married as well...even though I always worked and was usually in some school or degree program up until and after I married and had children....but that's not where my heart was and I just didn't know it at the time. All those years ago.

Yes, you've been raised to be a “keeper of a home” and partly because that's where your heart lay...from a very early age. If you'd been a different personality and been an ambitious “go-getter” you probably would have gone on and “done more”. But why complain to the Potter for making you the way He did? He's obviously fitting you for some purpose, for some person somewhere yet to be seen.

Be thankful, you ARE blessed. 

What a mess. Or is it?

I keep my blog for my friends and family. I keep it for me.  I also keep it because I feel that maybe, just maybe it will be a help or encouragement someone along their way- be it friend or stranger.

I opened my heart and life to you four times over the past two months.  I did it because I felt that I had to, had to share...I think that God was leading me to.  I was not looking for pity or accolades or lectures. (At the very least NOT from perfect strangers. People who don't know or like me at all.) 

I have to admit that I was surprised/found it funny/shocked/hurt to find a thread on a dumb forum had been created just to discuss/make fun of my life, blog, family, etc....I know that these kinds of forums are often created and commented on by sad and hurting people. 

Positive thoughts:
~I did receive some sweet/nicer comments...a few people I actually thought that we could maybe like each other if we met in real life.
~I always wished that I had a slightly larger blog audience, now I have it: I have had a huge boost in numbers of folks visiting my blog (over 500!).
I pray that someone is blessed by my posts.  I pray that God will soften hearts, and that people will realize that each one of us is unique and has a different life story.

That said, I'd like to address a few of the things people seem to be "worried" about: 

~Yes, I depend on my Mom, and she depends on me. I depend on my Dad too, for that matter. We ALL depend on someone- sibling, partner, boss, roommate, friend, co-worker, etc.

~I'm not opposed to dating, in that if I knew I liked and trusted a guy enough, I'd go out with him.

~I DO have guy friends. I like guy friends. I had brothers, male cousins, and in my Sunday school, I was the only girl (nice), for 4(?)years!  It's just that I have to know someone a while before I feel comfortable enough to consider them friends, let alone family. (My highest praise of you would be for you to land a honoree relative title.)

~I don't have the happy knack of making any kind of friends- I find it very hard to find subjects of common interest, and the right questions to draw people out.

~Am I a perfect "Stay at Home Daughter"?  No, not me...just ask around.

~I don't "dwell on marriage"- If the recent number of posts suggest that, not true- I've just been writing as I feel led, hoping to be honest and maybe encourage some other life traveler.

~In my circle the number of "singles over 30" is less than a handful.

~I believe in the sovereignty of God- His plans for my life and ordering the universe.
Proverbs 21:31 "The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the LORD." Man proposes, but God disposes.  I do what I can with the life God has given me, and results are up to God.

~Sure Jane Austin wrote fiction, but there are no book/movie/play characters who don't have some truth- every character is based in some way on one or more person in real life.  Why else do movies tend to have disclaimers? 

~We don't have strange political views.  And we are not neo-cons.

~I/my family are NOT Fundamentalists. We aren't average Evangelicals.  (Reformed people & Presbyterians are not your average cup of tea.)

~We do not consider ourselves "amateur" soap makers.  Mom and I started making soap in 1997, and have been selling our soap since the early 2000's.  And Colloidal Silver is silver in water. It is not damaged by heat. Our soap is labeled properly- we believe that all products should have all ingredients listed.  How else can one make an informed decision to buy them or not?

Monday, February 26, 2018

Musical Monday: Peter, Paul & Mary's "If I Had Wings"

"If I Had Wings"

If I had wings no one would ask me should I fly
The bird sings, no one asks why.
I can see in myself wings as I feel them
If you see something else, keep your thoughts to yourself,
I'll fly free then.

Yesterday's eyes see their colors fading away
They see their sun turning to grey
You can't share in a dream, that you don't believe in
If you say that you see and pretend to be me
You won't be then.

How can you ask if I'm happy goin' my way?
You might as well ask a child at play!
There's no need to discuss or understand me
I won't ask of myself to become something else
I'll just be me!

If I had wings no one would ask me should I fly
The bird sings, and no one asks her why.
I can see in myself wings as I feel them
If you see something else, keep your thoughts to yourself,
I'll fly free then.

(embedded below or listen to it HERE.)

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Sewing Machine ads part 1

I love vintage ads, even the ones that are for products that I would never buy!
That said, I REALLY love the ads that are for things I'd have bought! =)

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Whatever Wednesday: Dreams

“I think we dream so we don’t have to be apart for so long. If we’re in each other’s dreams, we can be together all the time.”   ~A.A. Milne

I always thought that the idea of getting together in Dream Land was something invented by parents and grandparents-(possibly during war time) to make little people feel better. But now I wonder if people who dream about each other on the same night really are "together" in their dreams....if "a dream is a wish your heart makes".

~Dreams -HERE
~I've Got a Dream -HERE
~A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes -HERE
~I have a Dream -HERE
~Dream A Little Dream Of Me -HERE
~Dream -HERE
~Once Upon a Dream -HERE
~You are my Sunshine -HERE
~When You Wish Upon A Star -HERE

~Send Me The Pillow You Dream On -HERE

Monday, February 19, 2018

My Movie List (break out): Old Fashioned

Why do I like the movie "Old Fashioned" so much??? 
Hmmm...the following was hard for me to try to explain to Rik Swartzwelder in person, but maybe I can do a better job explaining to you, dear reader, in print: 
Now I'd say that I (in some ways) understand/identify Old Fashioned's characters/plots, more than most any other movie/book/show. 
And that I think of myself more as a “Clay” than an “Amber”. Not that I had a rough past, or was a crazy God-less youth, but that:
~ I love just about anything old/vintage/retro. 
~ I love all the vintage stuff in this movie- even the little grocery & diner and seeing the things that we own, like Aunt Zella's tea pot.
~ I love Aunt Zella.
~ I love Psalm 118:24
~ He (Clay) is older and so am I. (I'm enjoying movies with older main characters- don't have a lot of patience for the 'young and dumb' right now!)
~ I'm more quiet and reserved, and don't know what to do with the “Ambers” in my life. (I watch the movie and say: “I can't believe her!”)
~ Waiting for “Mr. Right”. While Clay was waiting 9 years for “Mrs. Right”, I've been waiting for 14-16 years already (or more- depending on how you count)....I understand waiting.
~ Being “old fashioned” in my ideals: including not going with someone I couldn't see myself with.  Not being alone, not kissing, etc...someone I was not married/engaged to.
~ I decided that the over all flavor of the movie is Presbyterian. I don't know if that is true, but that's what I decided. =) 
~ Probably more if I thought about it longer!

Amber amazes me- I would like to be a little like her- especially if I needed to be.   I like her no-fear, can-do attitude.

I love (and think that it is interesting and fun) to have a movie that is so similar in so many ways to me and my quiet is exciting and encouraging to me that in even just one movie the Hero and Heroine have a good, respectful, loving friendship/ things right, learn and grow (as individuals & couple) AND live happily ever after. 

Mom and I got to meet Rik at the Attic Film Festival in April 2017
 A bit about the book:
I started reading the OF book in 2016 I think, but stopped after a few chapters, because I have a hard time reading things when I can't quite see how they apply to me...but after meeting and getting to talk to Rik Swartzwelder
in April 2017, I decided that I should give it another go.
(FYI: Ric is a really neat guy, and gave me some great words of encouragement, and I'm so glad we met.)
I'm glad that I did- it's not just about Dating- it's about relationships in all of life.
I have never liked the idea of Dating, and have never in all my life been on a Date...I guess at my age, that could change, but at this time I don't see a reason to! =)
I am making myself read this book AND answer the questions (thinking in a whole of life way) - as best I can, because I really want to read and learn what I can- tucking away bits to remember later on...should I be blessed with a man of my own.

My plan:
1) read it and answer the questions.(still not done)
2) to re-read it and make notes- knowing me it could be another year before that happened!

THE BEST chapter so far is the one on Respect.
My original Movie List can be found HERE

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Clue & Dinner for Valentine's Day 2018

Again (for the second year in a row) I had SO much fun!!!  To those of you who came: thank you SO very much for coming and joining our fun! To those of you who could not- we missed you, and can't figure out why you would not want to come!  (See 2017 here) We had TWO Clue games going this year, so that meant two guilty parties!  =)

~the whole gang~

~The Table~
(we ate green salad, minestrone soup & cheese bread)
Mrs. White did it!

~The Favors~
Mr. Green

Professor Plum

Colonel Mustard

Mrs. Peacock
Miss Scarlet did it!
Professor Plum

Mr. Green
Mamie Eisenhower’s Cheesecake (here)

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

My Movie List----

Some of my current favorite movies are : Road to your Heart, Take me Home, Old Fashioned, How to Fall in Love, Miss Potter, The Holiday, and Big Stone Gap.  Why?  Because they all have so much emotion and connection, and after watching you're like "Wow"....and I'm enjoying movies with "older" main characters- don't have a lot of patience for the 'young and dumb' right now- in fact, the first 7 films listed have older main characters!  Please remember that these are not listed in order of importance, just as I thought of them.  We own all of these- except #8.  I consider them all "clean" except for #6 & #7.

1) "Take me Home"...older main characters: meet, have some drama, get their lives straight, have just enough "comic relief", fall in love and the rest is history.  One of the things that I really like about this one is that the main characters are MARRIED IN REAL LIFE!

2) "Signed, Sealed and Delivered" ...Oliver, Shane, Rita and Norman.
What's not to like???
 I was sitting with Grandma Hale, and suffering a grieving heart when the "Signed, Sealed and Delivered" Hallmark series first started...they really got me through a hard time- something to look forward to, something to watch after Grandma went to bed, and I'd just sit and watch undisturbed, crying my eyes out.  I like that they have two or more stories being woven together to make these shows.  In different ways, I could (and can) identify with the the main characters (mostly Rita), and usually I could (and can) identify with some plight or feelings of the other interwoven stories and characters.  
3) "Old Fashioned" ...I love (and think that it is interesting and fun) to have a movie that is so similar in so many ways to me and my quiet is exciting and encouraging to me that in even just one movie the Hero and Heroine have a good, respectful, loving friendship/ things right, learn and grow (as individuals & couple) AND live happily ever after. Great soundtrack, too!
(my full thoughts can be found HERE)

 4) "How to Fall in Love" ...Happy sigh, another "Pygmalion"
story!  The "un-cool" guy (who really is cool) gets a "make over"- not just looks, but learns to be social and be better at connecting with people.  (For the record, I don't think he needed a complete make-over...I think that he was pretty fine the way he was.)  Harold White was and is a nice guy.  But I completely get it- if someone would make a movie that was the other way around- I would star as the awkward old girl who NEEDS help!  

5) "Miss Potter" ...I greatly admire this young lady! Her gumption, spunk, imagination, and talent.  Her Courage.  
A well done movie, and a lovely soundtrack!
I also like that she is not opposed to marriage and, that she is often a "mess" me.  😐

6) "Big Stone Gap" ...Bright side?  I love most of the clothes- especially Ave Maria's sundress & mud boot outfits!  I also like that she has some very good friends.  Not so bright side?  Ave Maria Mulligan and I have something in common- we feel invisible.  Old and unwanted.  A strange kind of Content with our lives, yet at the same time Discontent.  How can that be??? 

7) "The Holiday"...I just LOVE Arthur/Iris/Miles.  One reason I really like to watch it is a nice reminder that love (and friendship) is out there, it will come when God says it's time. (FYI, I watch it with a filter) Another reason I like it is all the gumption and spunk that Iris has- but, that is a bit harder to explain.  (you can find my favorite quote HERE)

8) "Road to your Heart"  ...draw back: it is subtitled.  But even though I don't care a lot for reading my movies, this one is so good I/we watched it 2-3 times, and I'd watch it some more if we could.

Cocky modern boy thinks that he knows everything, meets old fashioned girl-next-door, and finds that he has a lot to learn.

This movie is not available on a DVD in our region, but Amazon has it - how shall we say it? In a cloud?