FOOD FOR THOUGHT - A DEVOTIONAL
Rejoice in the Lord always.
~~ Philippians 4:4 ~~
When our hearts are surrendered totally to the will of God, then we delight in seeing Him use us in any way He pleases. Our plans and desires begin to agree with His, and we accept His direction in our lives. Our sense of joy, satisfaction, and fulfillment in life increases, no matter what the circumstances, if we are in the center of God's will.
The Christian life is a joyful life. Christianity was never meant to be something to make people miserable. The ministry of Jesus Christ was one of joy. The Bible teaches that a life of inward peace and outward victory is a Christian's birthright.
"What a witness to the world Christians would be," wrote Amy Carmichael, "if only they were more evidently very happy people." Joy is one of the marks of a true believer. Will others see the joy of Christ in your life today?
The Reverend Billy Graham in Hope for Each Day - Words of Wisdom and Faith, J. Countryman, Publisher
THE WEEK IN REVIEW
The past week was a little quieter than usual around here. Everyone, and I mean everyone, in our little family has been sick. Finally, it feels like all of us may be about to recover. Rob's still coughing a lot, but I'm coughing less now. Avery is almost well and Cameron's getting there. Krissy bounced back pretty quickly. Now let's hope we can all stay well for a while. Spring is just a lousy time for a whole family to be under the weather.
In response to several emails, here's my opinion on a couple of things. I could never in a million years tell you why, but putting Vicks on your feet and then putting on socks, just before you go to bed, works. Earlier in the week I was walking around like a zombie because I was coughing so much all night long, I was getting no sleep. Several people told me that putting Vicks on my feet would quiet the cough. I can't begin to imagine why, but it works. So this past week, we went through a lot of Big Girl Vicks and Baby Girl Vicks (it helped little Avery sleep, too).
And here's the verdict on the Loud and Clear personal sound amplifier I bought last week. It works too. But...it's not especially comfortable and takes a little getting used to, and...it greatly amplifies sound, but it's like hearing sound through a tunnel or maybe under water. And you have to remember that it amplifies ALL sound, so while you may be able to hear the TV a lot better, if the dog barks or your husband coughs, you may just jump right out of your chair. LOL So I would never wear this thing all the time, like a hearing aid, but it's great for watching TV and I'll never go see a movie again without taking it along because it's extremely aggravating to pay a fortune to see a movie and have to sit there straining to hear it.
So Vicks on your feet does quiet a cough and the Loud and Clear is worth $14.95 (in my opinion). :-)
Most of the past week felt like it was happening in slow motion. I'd been going at a pretty fast clip for more than a month, but getting sick slowed me way down. I just took it as easy as I could last week.
AND THEN THE WEEKEND ARRIVED
By Saturday, I felt like I might explode if I didn't get out of the house, so Rob and I ran all over the place. I had a long list of things I wanted to do because it's spring! I'm so, so thrilled that winter is officially over, aren't you?
I started the day by getting my hair cut, which is always refreshing. For some reason, as I'm getting older, my very straight hair has decided to start curling, but only on the sides. I was beginning to look like the Flying Nun, so we went even shorter this time. The shorter the better for the summer, I say.
I needed to go to the mall, so while I was there, I ran into Bath and Body Works and it was like hitting the jackpot - I absolutely love Coconut Lime Verbena anything, but especially the foaming hand soap, room spray and ginormous three-wick candles. I walked in on a fantastic sale, so it was a lot of fun, stocking up for the summer. This scent is perfect for spring and I was really tickled to find it in the home fragrance warming oil.
Since Rob and I quit smoking six weeks ago, I'm taking great joy in our home smelling wonderful. :-)
Rob's birthday is next Saturday, the 28th, and it's a big one - he'll be sixty-five. We were at Home Depot and he saw that leaf blower on the left there. I could tell he really liked it so I said, "Well, there you go. There's your birthday present." I'm trying to figure out why he needs a leaf blower. I think it mostly has to do with the fact that it's a boy thing that makes a loud noise. That's always a winner, gift wise, for your husband. So he got his birthday present a week early and I got my very own leaf rake, which is why we went there in the first place. I'd love to knock on my neighbor's door and tell him the rake is so he can come clean his leaves out of my back yard, but I'm pretty sure that would be tacky.
SOME SURE SIGNS OF SPRING AT CHELSEA'S HOUSE
The only place I can find this huge can of Country Time Lemonade is Sam's. This is the first of many we'll go through this spring and summer. This takes the place of Coke at our house, this time of the year.
One of our neighbors and his wife moved to Arizona last year. Before they left, they gave us these two huge ceramic patio planter pots. I didn't really want them but it was one of those things where it was easier to take them than to hurt their feelings, you know? So they've just been sitting in our garage for a year now.
I normally don't plant flowers until after Mother's Day. I've never bought anything but petunias, for my white picket fence planters. But I saw these pansies at Home Depot Saturday and I remembered that my sister Bev plants pansies in March and it still gets a lot colder at night where she lives (western Pennsylvania) than it does where I live (western Colorado). The pansies were the only annuals you could buy at Home Depot Saturday so it finally clicked - pansies are a lot hardier than petunias and it must be OK to plant them right now. So I bought six gallon containers of really pretty yellow pansies.
It's such a treat to look out my patio doors and see flowers growing, in March. And I'm glad I decided to use the big pots I never wanted in the first place. :-)
So flowers on the patio are another sure sign of spring around here.
All our sweet birds are returning, so it's time to get ready for them too. I bought a finch feeder and I brought my hummingbird feeder in to get it all cleaned up and ready to go.
It's simple enough to find finch food and I make my own hummingbird nectar. My sister told me ages ago it's simply a one to four ratio of sugar and water - one cup of sugar to four cups of water. All you do is boil it and add red food coloring. I keep it in my refrigerator all summer long.
I didn't realize that the feeder I bought was specifically for goldfinches. I didn't know that the goldfinch is the only one that eats upside down. I thought all finches eat upside down, but all the others, including the beautiful red finches we get here, eat right side up. So I hung a thistle sock for them. I guess I don't really mind if my wild birds are a touch finicky. :-)
Having all the different bird feeders hanging up there, ready for our little friends to arrive, is one of my favorite signs of spring.
And having plenty of this on hand is not only a sure sign of spring, it's absolutely necessary. You wouldn't believe how many yellow jackets I catch in my yard. My grand kids play out there, so I have to eliminate as many of them as I can. I empty my yellow jacket trap at least every couple of weeks, all summer long, because it's full. Yuck. Unbelievable how many yellow jackets we get here in Grand Junction.
READY FOR A NEW WEEK
I pretty much cleaned out my little shoppe in the past couple of weeks, so I'm beginning anew. I'm ready to make premium burp cloths in very simple baby girl and baby boy colors, and of course I'm always stocking up on sock monkeys.
Just in case you ever wondered, here's what a sock monkey looks like before it's born. LOL
And here's what almost all of them look like after they're born. The only exception is the ones that go to live with perfectly grown up women who were deprived as children and buy themselves a sock monkey now, to make up for not having one when they were this age. LOL
My two grown daughters and I got completely caught up in the Twilight series. I bought the movie yesterday and I loved watching it again last night. It amazes me that I'm so caught up in a story that's actually meant for teenagers, but I am. Seeing Edward makes the hair on my arms stand up. LOL I've read all four of the books, so of course I can't wait for the other three to be made into movies.
And there's a movie on The Hallmark Channel tonight that I've been very anxiously waiting for. It's called Bound By a Secret but the movie is based on the book written by Ginnie Siena Bivona, Ida Mae Tutweiler and the Traveling Tea Party. I read this book a couple of weeks ago because my friend Lynne, at Lynne's Little Corner of the World, contacted Ginnie (the author) and had her send me an autographed special limited edition of the book! I was so surprised - it just thrilled me to no end when that book arrived. The movie stars Meredith Baxter and Leslie Ann Warren and I can't wait to see it. The book was wonderful. And the author is 77 years old which I think is beyond cool.
Rob received a birthday package from my sister Bev and her husband yesterday, and my sister, who is the most thoughtful sister in the whole world, included this little gift for me. Knitted dishcloths are all the rage right now but Bev knows I prefer to crochet. So she sent me this little book of mostly crochet patterns and the sweetest cotton yarn. So this is what I'll be doing in the evenings when I'm watching Dancing With the Stars or Survivor or American Idol or Hell's Kitchen or Celebrity Apprentice or...any other quality television I can find. LOL I can't wait to make a ton of dishcloths. I agree with Bev that a couple of these cloths with some special soap make a lovely bridal shower gift and an even lovelier "just because" gift.
So to summarize it all, we're finally all getting well around here, we're definitely getting ready for spring and summer, and my sewing break is officially over. I'll be working on new things for the shoppe, although I always have monkeys and stars on hand.
Tonight we're grilling steaks. I think tossing a couple of potatoes in the oven to bake, making a salad and grilling steaks is one of the easiest meals in the world to make, and one of our favorite. The weather here is gorgeous. It's windy as all get out but it always is in the spring, in western Colorado.
I hope you're coming out of the winter doldrums and enjoying spring too. And I hope you have a wonderful new week.