Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Exercise in praise...

I got an email today that set me to thinking......

Now you all know that can be dangerous.... but this is good....really good.

The challenge?   Make a list of praise for your husband.  I will give you my reactions to the email and all that stuff later.  I think today... that the PRAISE should come first:

My husband's exceptional qualities:

My husband is brilliant.  Not smart... brilliant.  He's the mathematical brain that thinks slide rules are fun.  (Man, I can't seem to help my smarty-pants side!  I need to work harder - and, if you don't know what a slide rule is - then do a search.... it was before computers)  If you have a mechanical issue - this is the person you want looking at it.  He can diagnose the problem and invent the part.  No kidding, I've seen him do it with old cars and heating systems.  And I've watched him grab books and manuals and LEARN a whole other discipline in order to find solutions.  When he grasps a problem, he can't stop until he fixes it.

So we add determination and persistence to that brilliance.  And laser-sharp focus.  It doesn't matter WHAT is going on around him.  When his mind is engaged, that is all that is happening in the universe.

He is unassuming.  Think Clark Kent... mild-mannered reporter :-)  You couldn't pick him out in a crowd unless you are looking closely.  But he is the one you can count on to be there for you.  I really like this about him.

And brave..... he is very brave.  When he makes a decision to do something, he has weighed all the pros and cons and decided the risk is one worth taking.  (Like marrying a woman with 3 (THREE) pre-teen daughters.)  He just stepped in and immediately became a successful husband and dad.  And once he makes a decision, he never looks back.  Ever.  I think that is very, very brave and praiseworthy.

This also makes him loyal.  He is exceptionally, unconditionally loyal.  And he has the scars to prove it.

He is kind.  He treats all creatures with respect.  He listens as carefully to a two-year-old as he does to a ninety-two-year old.  He is willing to do whatever is needed by anyone.  He will read stories and play trains and dolls or wash dishes and vacuum or drop everything and drive 200 miles to fix a flat tire. And think nothing of it.  It's what is needed.... so he does it.

He never belittles.  He has no need to make anyone else small.  I love this about him.

Did I mention that he does dishes and vacuums?

He doesn't meddle.  If it isn't his affair, it isn't his affair.  He doesn't waste brain space on things that other people do or don't do.  He isn't nosy in the least.  Where that extends to me is that he doesn't second-guess me.  He doesn't look at decisions I have made (even those that affect him) and tell me I should have done it differently.  I really (REALLY) appreciate this!


Okay, wow.... that was both harder and better than I thought!  What I found in doing this exercise was the BUTS.  the BUTS?  Yes, - when you live with someone and know their traits, you know the good and the bad side of things.  I found, as I tried to lay out my beloved's good points, that I automatically began to think of why these GOOD traits didn't serve me.   He is THIS.... BUT....   This is not praise.  This is just a nicer(?) way to tell someone their faults - handing a compliment over with a criticism.

Today I have been reminded that those GOOD traits DO serve me.... every day.  Most especially when I remember them :-)  And this is exactly the man that I love and want to spend my life with :-)

Like many people, sometimes I flounder in my marriage.  I mean, I've been married a LONG time.  The kids are grown and I'm kind of itchy... stretching and growing along with my young adult kids trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.  It's not a comfortable space because I am a DOer.  I think and I plan - but on the run!  I am a body in motion, even at rest :-)  I need a direction to move in - or I tread water and get nowhere - which frustrates me to no end!  But this is me - this is MY issue :-) 

My beloved is steady as a rock... and we are polar opposites in many ways.  In the beginning it is really attractive.... and it DOES provide for growth as people... but in day-to-day operations... it's TOUGH!  But that is exactly what makes it good...... perfect, really.  It makes it home.... and we get USED TO "home".  We take advantage of things we are accustomed to.

So like many... I grumble.

And this morning, the challenge arrived in my inbox......  Make a list of praises for your husband.  (Okay, I admit it... my knee-JERK (emphasis on JERK) first response was "why not praise for your WIFE?")  But that is mean-spirited and selfish and does not serve me at all!  (makes you wonder why we do it, doesn't it?)

But anyway - I can go about my day with a lighter step now.... and reflect on the wonderful man I share my life with.  (Not to mention he might vacuum or do the dishes :-)

I challenge YOU...... make a list of praise for your spouse.. and see how much better that feels than the usual grumble..

PS.. the email came from

I am technically challenged and can't figure out how to add their button or give them credit another way!  (YET!)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Still on God's Journey

What a journey this has been to get to my 5th annual Breast Cancer 3Day Walk!

 Last year, if you were following me, you’ll remember that I did the walk in Washington, DC.  I had planned another location and that didn’t quite work and ended up driving up to DC to save some travelling expenses. 

Last year was the first year I did the walk by myself!  My friends’ schedules did not permit them to join me – but I went anyway.  I met some fantastic people... some new friends who met me and my husband and drove me to the Opening Ceremony....  some new friends who helped me set up my tent (I ended up tenting alone too).... new friends who held my hand as I whined my way through the event.. (oh yes, I did!).. and a new friend who walked with me Sunday and helped me get all the way to the end on my own two feet!

To be honest, last year was a HORRIBLE experience for me.  It all started with the rain....  so it was HOT and MUGGY and POURING.... for 19 straight miles.  The rest stops were in lovely grassy fields (lovely if it were sunny :-)..... no opportunity to change into dry socks.... wearing glasses (that were alternately fogged or soaked).... the outdoor latrines...well... imagine a fanny pack with water bottles, a small backpack, a poncho and soaked sweaty clothes underneath it all... the gymnastics required to get the job done were daunting, to say the least.  At the end of the 19+ miles, I needed to collect my duffle (which had been sitting out in the rain – albeit on top of and underneath a tarp.. there wasn’t much anyone could do) and slog through the ankle deep mud in the camp to locate a tent and set it up.

I looked back and I am not sure I really said how much this affected me – oh yeah.... my cellphone died.  So I was really alone.... absolutely alone with the best, most supportive group of people anywhere!  BUT.... remember, I have been a mother for over 30 years.  My idea of solitude is STILL the opportunity to have 10 minutes alone in the bathroom.

Saturday, I was pretty sore (okay.. just think of the blisters from the wet socks.... not to mention the EXTRA leg/foot stress from navigating the mud).. so I didn’t walk much.  There are always a lot of people who are on the sweep vans or the buses from lunch to camp.... so we swapped stories.  I really did try to make the best of the experience because I am me and I know there is good in every situation.
I did it!!  You can't tell at this point but tears were rolling down my face.  This was one of the hardest BESTEST things I have ever done!

I did sign up for a walk in 2012.... because I had already committed to it.... but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t pretty tickled that a family life event came up as a conflict.  My walking buddy said.... let’s pick another location.... okay – I guess so.   But I dragged my feet a bit (I mean, SHE didn't walk last year and I did) ... and then ANOTHER family conflict.  (Inside my head.. YAY.. maybe God is letting me off the hook?      yeah, not so much!  I am still convinced more than ever that God has sent me on this journey.. I wrote about that last year  God Has Sent me on a Journey) 

Switch AGAIN to another  location... and then, once again, a roadblock.    Okay, I’m convinced.. and I don’t think I really want to do this anyway... while I have saved some of my own money this year, I haven’t truly asked anyone for donations.   So, phew.... I can give my tithe to somebody else and not put my body through this again.  I mean, I’m old, right? And I've done my part, right?   Why should I push that hard and end up hurting?

But then......  my friend calls again and says .... what about Philly?  We did Philly our first year but we didn’t tour anything.   I said.... but I haven’t trained.  She said – just be fit.... we’ll walk whatever you can.    I said... I want to see some sights this time.  She said – okay, I’ll take some time off and we’ll do that before the walk.  (I kind of feel a little bit like Jonah... no, No, NO, God, I don't want to go!)  Anyway, long story short.. she met my objections and I can’t gracefully NOT go.... so I guess, I have been spit up on the outskirts of Philadelphia.

The funny thing is that as soon as the decision was made.... much of my attitude cleared up.  The fog of unhappy depression I’ve been laboring under has lifted.  I have energy again.  I can’t decide if the event last year affected my spirit in a negative way (excuse me, I mean that I ALLOWED the experience to be a negative one) or if I placed MY decision back in God’s plan.  It was a growth experience.  And growth is uncomfortable... and the truth is that we NEED to keep stepping out of our comfort zones in order to stay alive.

The message I have in all of this is that life placed obstacles in my way.... but God never told me to quit.  God told me to walk.... and I guess if I want my life to keep on a happy track, I need to keep walking until God tells me not to!

If you feel led to help support me in this venture, you can send a donation to 

Or you can help me out for next year’s adventure.... I’ll tell you all about that one once I get back and can share the highlights of this year’s adventure!

Regardless, please say a little prayer for me as I stretch my wings a little farther than I am comfortable with and make a stand to cure breast cancer!  Thank you for standing with me!

Thanks :-)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Crochet Post! #287 - 290 and #291-294

More baby things to share.....

Gifts for my daughter at her shower...

LOVED the way this log cabin pattern turned out!  I will definitely make more of these

NOT happy with the sweater / hat set... this is a 'never again' pattern :-)

..and washcloths... because there are never enough!

and on to dishcloths!

#287 Rudolph Crochet Dishcloth - This cloth is absolutely adorable!  The lighting in the photo doesn't do it justice.  I am not at all sure what I will use it for - somehow it doesn't feel like a dishcloth.. Rudolph is just too cute for that...  but I enjoyed making it... even the sewing part... the antlers are a little tricky to make but once I saw what I was doing, it made sense.

#288 Poinsettia Crochet Dishcloth - pictured below on the upper right, this cloth is a variation on a granny square.  It could easily be made in a variety of colors for a pretty floral gift basket!

#289 Candy Cane Blocks Crochet Dishcloth - Pictured underneath Rudolph on the upper left.  This one was really easy, looks nice and is a sturdy cloth.  I think I would like it better in different colors - I will definitely do it again but try for a different effect!

# 290 Basketweave Crochet Dishcloth - pictured above on the bottom right....  LOVE this one - both for ease of pattern and the final product!  It looks a lot trickier than it is and has a nice thick scrubby texture to it.

The next four dishcloths are pictured below:

#291 Very Berry Crochet Dishcloth - pictured on the upper right.  This is another easy pattern that turns out really nice.  I also love the pattern for dishcloths because the texture is nubby.

#292 - Frankie Frog Crochet Dishcloth - This one is for frog lovers!  It is simple to do - but like Rudolph above, is made in several pieces that need to be sewn on.  He is adorable though - and will make one of my grandchildren really happy!

#293 Granny Spokes Crochet Dishcloth - On the lower left, this is a granny square variation with a circular pattern in the center that becomes a square as you continue.  Simpler to do than it sounds, I think it turned out really pretty.

#294 Southwestern Crochet Dishcloth - This one looks like a flower :-)  I enjoyed working it up and will definitely make it again!