Friday, January 31, 2014


"Oh!" I gasped, "What happened to my flowers?"  I didn't recognize my primroses!  Always so sunny and colorful with their hardy green foliage, they looked shrunken, with the wilted blossoms shriveled and the stems stretching tautly upward.  They needed water!

I remembered the day a week or so ago when I had spotted the small pots at the grocery store: gorgeous, almost Disney-esque blossoms in primary of colors red and yellow, and another pot of technicolor pink, straight out of a child's coloring book.  And they were only 98 cents!  I really didn't know what they were, but on the fancy label hidden in the leaves was scrolled the words, Primroses.

Looking up info on them when I got home, I found that they are among the earliest flowers to bloom, thus the name, "prim," as in primary.  Advice was to enjoy them as house plants, then to discard them when they finished blooming, or they could be planted outside.  Instructions were to keep the soil damp, but not soaked, further noting that wilted leaves or blossoms indicated thirst.

I must not have noticed the plant on the bookshelf for a few days, since I had moved the other one to the bedroom and watered it.  Immediately I doused it with water. Now, not more than an hour later, it has perked up! The leaves are plump and green, and the little dried out blooms are regaining their beauty!  All because of water!  H20! Or h2o, the chemical symbol for water, meaning 2 parts hydrogen and one part oxygen.

The other day I saw a symbol for Oklahoma State University on a bottle of water, I think a basketball team insignia, with a play on the chemical symbol for water.  The label said, "H2-OSU!"
A thirst quencher, for sure!

Without water, we and all living things on earth would perish.  The earth is over 70% water, and our bodies reflect that percentage, as well, with the average body 55-75% water.

Jesus talks about living water in the Bible.  When he asked the woman at the well for a drink, he said that if she had known who he was, she would have asked him for a drink, for his was living water, or the gospel of salvation.  She became the first evangelist, hurrying to the city to tell of Jesus, who told her all she had ever done.

In John 4:14 Jesus says, "But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." My plants may die, but they won't die of thirst.  And while they are living, their cheery colors will brighten their corner, even as our lives are filled with the brightness and joy of the Living Water.

Thursday, January 30, 2014


Weather! Whether or not, we have weather!  Yesterday was my granddaughter's 15th birthday, but with icy road conditions in her Atlanta area she could not get out for the customary celebratory activities. When I called with birthday wishes, she was on her way to a neighbor friend's house to go "tubing" in the snow!  Kids always find a way.  The giant tubes made for wonderful sliding down the local hilly slopes.

Her brother, at college in even more snow with classes cancelled, was finding all kinds of ways to amuse himself, from riding in a "Hummer" that could navigate the roads, to getting action shots from the camera mounted on his football helmet as he rocketed and careened around, sledding and sliding.

No snow here, but, aching and stuffy,  I braved the cold to go to the doctor.  I told him I needed an antibiotic for sinus infection, but he said my symptoms could be from a virus that was going around.  After blood work and x-ray, he concluded I had a "full-blown sinus infection," and wrote me a prescription.  And I am already feeling better!

We are used to sometimes-severe winters in Oklahoma, but people in the south and deep south were immobilized.  We had friends whose 2 1/2 hour trip stretched into 29 hours of stalled and sluggish traffic!  Some people see changing weather patterns and climate change as "global warming," and others interpret them to be signs of the times.

As proof of the latter, I have heard quoted Daniel 2:21, which says, "And he changeth the times and the seasons; he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:"  But in the previous verse, in saying, "Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his," Daniel is talking about the wisdom and attributes of God!

The Bible does say, "While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease," (Genesis 8:22), and that we are not to grow weary in well doing (Galatians 6:9).   Psalm 104:19 assures us, "He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down."

It sounds like God is in control, whether or not we have inconveniences and discomforts!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


"Can I wash the dishes?" my seven-year-old granddaughter asked when she saw me standing at the sink.  We were baby-sitting her and her big sister, and their parents were running late.

"No, I want to get these finished by the time the cake gets done," I responded.  During an episode of "The Waltons," we had been watching, their pa pa asked for cake, and suggested I make one.  I at first demurred, but then decided to whip up another half recipe of a chocolate sheet cake.

It seemed a good time to wash the supper dishes I had left.  Going to the stove to wipe it down, I turned around to see her busily washing some dishes, suds up to her elbows.

Oh well, it's a teaching moment, I thought, of which there had been many this evening.  The family-style program seemed like a good choice, but it's amazing what you notice when you look at it from a child's perspective.  "Is she in love with him?" the eight-year-old questioned when a female character seemed too friendly with John Walton.  A little later, she exclaimed, "They're too young to be married!" of a Walton boy and his bride.

Entering the kitchen earlier, she held up a magazine, and pointing to her younger sister, said, "Should she be looking at this?"  I recognized the magazine I had bought on a whim because it had a cover picture of the sextuplets so popular on a recent television series, mistaking it for a news magazine of the same color and format.  I told her the magazine wasn't bad, but it wasn't good, either, so she laid it aside and came to watch the cake proceedings.

"How do you call that making a cake?" she asked, as she watched me melt the butter and cocoa together. Then, when she saw me get a cup of sugar, she remarked, "That's a lot of sugar," to which I replied, "Well, there's a lot of sugar in cakes!"   A cake made from scratch is somewhat educational, it seems.

During a commercial break, an ad came on for a chocolate hazelnut spread, similar to the one I had in the kitchen that I was going to use for cake icing.  "Look," I said, "Someone else is making that spread."

"Little pitchers have big ears," is true, I guess, because soon I heard the smaller girl telling her sister as she pointed to the jar of hazelnut spread on the counter, "See, that's the one the people on TV copied!" she exclaimed, "The meanies!"

Looking at the clock, rule-oriented granddaughter #1 said in alarm, "It's only forty minutes to our bedtime!  We go to bed at 8:30! Can I call Dad?"  Dad said they were 15 minutes away, but they got here in ten, so I'm sure they were tucked in on time.

How much children absorb as they are trying to sort out guidelines and moral principles for themselves! Especially these children so recently adopted! And what a big job it is for parents today as the world bombards kids in all forms of media with oppositional ideas from what may be taught at home! Thank God for the church and responsible parents and other adults who have this precious charge!

Friday, January 24, 2014

"One Man's Trash is Another Man's Treasure"

My house has a new look!  Well, not the whole house, but I've added a couple of special touches. Been shopping?  No, just rediscovered a few things while helping our son move.  I ran onto some items I had left at their house when we lived with them briefly a couple of years ago.

"Oh, that's mine!" I exclaimed aloud to myself when I saw a beautiful, octagonal mirror with a gold-finished wood frame in the back of a closet. Funny, I hadn't missed it, but I had bought it at a designer store in Mississippi over 10 years ago!

A few minutes later, I spied a huge, clear glass container that I couldn't resist at an estate sale back then.  I had put it on my daughter-in-law's kitchen counter, thinking the she probably had a lid to fit, and that she might use it for storage.  I guess she never found one, because it was in the floor of the closet, too.  "Can I just have this?" I asked our son, who answered, "Take it."

A little later I almost bumped my foot against a vintage cast-iron cornbread mold that I remembered paying $7.50 for at an estate sale.  (I had thought the sticker said 75 cents!)  I must have left that there, too!

Well, the mirror looks gorgeous over a piece in my dining room, adding a whole new depth and sparkle to the space that formerly held a boring landscape.  But what to do with the glass jar?  Too big to store spaghetti or other pasta, and then there was the matter of the lid.  Wheat fronds? Flowers? Sea shells?  My mind cast about for ideas.

Then I saw a basket of miniature oranges on the table.  Perfect!  I dumped them in, filling the jar more than a third full, where they glowed jewel-like in the sparkling glass.  What a nice spot of color, especially when I placed a small pot of orange-and-yellow primroses in a huge granite mug lettered "KITCHEN" beside them.

My husband can't wait for me to use the heavy cornbread pan, looking forward to the crispy, golden sticks shaped like little ears of corn.  (If I remember right, he was the one behind the purchase in the first place!)

We're supposed to help in the moving again today, and I wonder what treasures and discards I can bring home?  I wish I could make room for an armoire they are not taking, as well as a white corner storage unit they are leaving.  My mind is whirling with with rearrangement possibilities, but I like the quote I saw in a decorating magazine once about flea market finds: "If you love it, you can always find a place for it!"  I only hope my spouse agrees!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

To Be or Not to Be

The subject for a training meeting at our pastor's house Sunday night was "Do you have a destiny?" Then the same subject surfaced Monday night at a Bible study, unrelated to our church. The scripture, "Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations," Jeremiah 1:5, was read.

"I know these words were given to Jeremiah, but we each  have a ministry, too!" the leader proclaimed.

I also thought of the promise in Jeremiah 29:11, that says, "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." Modern translations interpret the words as plans, and a hope and a future. Either way, the idea is that we are created with a purpose in mind.

David writes in Psalm 139, beginning in verse 13, "For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb," and going through verse 18 with assurance of God's awareness and thoughts of him, and even the days planned for him.

In our study, we found that both David and Saul were destined to be kings, but Saul eventually failed and was rejected by God, when David, despite failures, is remembered as being a man after God's own heart!

I think of the story of Esther in the Bible.  In the book by her name, chapter 4, verse 14, her cousin Mordecai is urging her to use her influence as queen to save the lives of her people.  "For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" (Italics mine.)

Joseph, the son of Jacob, had an insight into his destiny in dreams he had as a youth.  Much trouble came to him before those dreams materialized, when he, as prime minister of Egypt, was able to save his people from famine.  Through all his trials, Joseph stayed true to the Lord, Who was able to use him in his destiny.

The same is true for Daniel, who was carried away to Babylon as a youth, yet maintained an "excellent spirit" and continued his prayers to God three times a day, being used to interpret dreams and becoming a major prophet of the Bible.

Apparently, we are formed with a destiny in God's mind, but it is up to us and our cooperation if our destiny is to be fulfilled.  My husband is fond of telling a true story of a young woman trained in opera, yet owing to life's disappointments, never used her training, until one night, the night she died, she had surprised her fellow nursing home residents with a beautiful opera solo in a special program.  The sad footnote to the story is "Some people go to their graves with the music still in them."  Would that  we all fulfill our God-given destiny!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Food for Thought

Chocolate!  I had to have a bite of something sweet.  Maybe I could make a cake, I mused, looking through supplies in the cupboard.  A Texas sheet cake!  That would be simple, although a lot of cake to have on hand.  I would cut the recipe in half, I decided.  Then I realized I had no powdered sugar for the icing.

My eyes fell upon a jar of Nutella on the shelf.  Maybe I could use that for the frosting!  After all, it was chocolate, delicious, and nutty as well.  I opened it to give it a taste test.  What was this? I was horrified to find the contents covered with tiny white bubbles!  I'd never seen anything like it, except when I saw mold on some homemade jelly once.  I ventured a taste, and it seemed okay, but my taste is off, so I had Howard taste it. He said it was fine.

Looking on the internet, I saw where other people had asked the same question: What are those bumps on top of the Nutella? The label said it should not be refrigerated, so it shouldn't have spoiled.  Several people advised one questioner not to eat it.  Some suggested scraping it off, which I had tried, but the squishy bubbles were throughout.

I even called my son, the Nutella expert, who had first introduced me to it on his wonderful crepes. He was clueless, never having experienced that before.  (I don't think the product lasts long enough around his house to go bad!)  Checking once more on the internet, I found the original  inquirer had since contacted the manufacturer, even sending a picture of said bubbles, and including a facsimile of the reply.

Turns out the bubbles in the mixture of fat and sugar are a result of temperature changes, and perfectly harmless! The yummy spread unrefrigerated is good for a year, and for even a couple of weeks past the expiration date!  The date on my jar was several months away, so I was able to use it with wonderful results.  The cake and topping were delicious!

It occurred to me that we have a manufacturers handbook in regard to our make-up, both physical and spiritual: The Bible. How many times do we seek answers to problems from friends, family, counselors, or professionals?  And yet if we follow the directives and instructions in scripture, obeying the principles and commandments of our Maker, our dilemmas are preventable, fixable, or erased!

II Timothy 3:16--17 tells us that all scripture is is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness, "That the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work."

Our son was once given a "Knee-Owner's Manual," after surgery on an injured knee.  May we consult our Owner's manual that presents God's plan of salvation, as well as advice on healthy, happy lives on earth! The results and benefits are out of this world!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Moving Day

"So what do you think about all this, Pebbles?" my husband asked fondly, patting the grandchildren's pet as the small dog scurried around in excitement.  Our son's family was moving! Cartons were being loaded and furniture maneuvered through halls and stairway by the men of the family.  We were there trying to help out wherever we could.

"She says she travels light," I joked in response to Howard's remark at the terrier's comical antics. A bedraggled soft toy was flung across the floor and Pebbles hastily retrieved her teddy bear, giving it a shake before distractedly tossing it aside.  I don't know if she was upset by the confusion, or just enjoying the activity.  I know the grassy fields of the new place intrigued her to no end.

The kids were moving to the farm, downsizing to a new mobile home in their preparations to build a house in the country. What a lot of work moving entails!  Drawers were emptied and papers sorted and/or discarded. What to save and what to keep?  I spied a storage shelving unit crammed full of boxed games.  My daughter-in-law said she was letting the kids choose a few to keep and then her older daughter and roommate could have their pick.

We are on schedule to help with clean-up at the old place, readying it for showing by the realtor. Not all the furniture is to be moved, at least for now, in order to "stage" the house for potential buyers.  I think a garage sale is looming in view of all the extra accumulation of possessions that invariably surfaces during a move.

Howard's and my favorite hobby is to go to estate sales and pick and plunder through the remnants and discards left by a lifetime of living when someone dies or gives up their home. We always manage to find some trinket or treasure, for "one man's trash is another man's treasure."  Even bringing one thing home, though, gives me pause for accumulating so much ourselves that will have to be disposed of someday.

Jesus traveled light.  He said in Matthew 8:20, "The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head."  When our soul departs, the empty shell that is the body is like an empty house.  It can be "staged" and made pretty for the funeral service, but nobody lives there.  The real life is to be carried on somewhere else, in the elysian fields of heaven, if Jesus is trusted as Savior. Good reason to travel light!

Sunday, January 19, 2014


"I've been reading your book, and I couldn't put it down!" said a lady in church this morning as she touched my arm during greeting time.  "I got so tickled in the story about the coffee," she went on. I asked her which book that was in, and when she told me, I remembered that I had written about having to smell coffee beans when trying out perfumes.

"We do that with our soaps, too!" she exclaimed, to which I asked, "Do you make soap?"  She said she does, apparently with her daughter.  "They are perfumed, and you have to sniff the coffee beans to be able to smell the different fragrances," she explained. And to think we had gone to church with her for six months, and I had no idea she made soaps! And I still wouldn't have known if she hadn't read my book!

I had gotten an invitation to go to an area church LIFE rally from a friend who had moved to a bigger city and was now director of this women's missionary support organization.  I found out that vendors were invited to show their wares as an incentive to boost attendance.  Supposedly there were things like homemade crafts, sachets and soaps.  Well, I reasoned, my books were home made crafts, so I took them and set up a display. (That is where my friend bought a couple of the books.)

But it wasn't just about homemade crafts!  There very elaborate booths with everything from Mary Kay cosmetics, Pampered Chef products, jewelry, Mexican salsa and purses to Plexus Slim, to name a few!  Time was given for shopping before and after the program and dinner.

After deciding almost at the last minute to participate, I had to quickly gather my materials.  It had been over a year since I'd attended a book fair or had a book signing, besides which we had moved in the meantime, so some reconstructing of my supply list was necessary.  I got out about 25 books and sorted them, then I found my folded display panel.  But where were the book posters?  I accidentally ran on to them in the bottom of a drawer while looking for something else.   Thank you, Jesus!

Checking with the vendor specifications, I learned I would need a table cover.  I got out the cloth I had used on previous occasions, but it seemed a little lackluster.  If I could only find something else, like a throw or mat of some kind, I mused, looking through the linen closet.  Passing by the dining room table, my eyes fell on the velvet, chenille throw I had arranged there after removing Christmas centerpiece decor. Perfect!  Again, a grateful "thank you" heavenward!

Finally I was almost ready:  Books boxed, money envelope for making change, pen, notepad, business cards and table decor. I still needed some way to transport a professional author/publicity poster.  It was too big for any manila envelope or folder we had, and just as my husband was going out the door to get me something suitable at the stationery store, I noticed a cloth satchel that worked perfectly.  I couldn't find the easel to hold it, then I remembered a smaller walnut easel I had just re-discovered a few days ago.  Things were surely falling to place!

I was so glad I went to the event!  Not only was the evening fun and inspirational, the food, cooked and served by men of the host church, was tasty, and I enjoyed meeting the nice people who visited my book table.  I sold several books, and others took cards with the possibility of getting them online or at the bookstore, and all of them heard about it when it was introduced by the director as one of the give-away items she required.  I had prayed that the Lord would bless those reading the books. and that other avenues or venues would be available.  I can't wait to see how He answers these prayers!

Thursday, January 16, 2014


Babies!  It seems everyone is having babies!  At least a lot of my young friends on Facebook (or the daughters of friends), are welcoming little blessings into their families.  We even have a recent blessed event in our own family, with the arrival of baby Isaac to our son and daughter-in-law.  What joy heralds a baby's birth! He has been expected for nine long months, yet no one knows exactly when he will come (except in the case of the doctor's intervention.)

We have been examining the parables in our Wednesday night Bible study.  Last night we looked at the story of the 10 virgins, five wise and five foolish.  Put in the setting of ancient wedding customs, the scenario is that the bridesmaids knew the bridegroom's appearance was imminent, but they didn't know exactly when it would be.  Five stayed alert and kept their lamps trimmed so as not to miss the wedding feast, but the other five let their lights go out, went to sleep and missed the wedding.

The obvious message is to be prepared, for Jesus said in Matthew 1:13 that we do not know the day nor the hour for His return.

We also studied the parable of the talents, beginning in Matthew 1:14, where Jesus is giving another comparison to the kingdom of heaven.  He talks about a man going on a journey who put his possessions in the hands of his servants, giving them respectively one, two or five talents to invest. When he returned, two had respectable returns on their investment, but the servant with one talent was afraid and merely hid his talent in the ground. The result was that this fearful, unfaithful servant was cast into outer darkness.  The application on this illustration was faithfulness, and the fact that one will either "use it or lose it."

Our last parable was when Jesus said that when He was hungry, thirsty, and naked, those who ministered to him inherited the kingdom (Matthew 24:34.  The righteous did not remember ministering to Him, but He told them that whenever they did it to "the least of these," they did it unto Him.  Some believe this to mean how the nations treat the Jews, but the implication is that we will be judged on how we treat our fellow man.

Besides reading of all the joy in welcoming new babies into the world, I  have also been made aware of the sadness at the passing of several of my Facebook friends' loved ones.  Sometimes it was unexpected and sometimes foreseeable, but no one knew exactly when life would end for that person.  Just as we do not know the answer to the question put forth by the disciples in Matthew 24:3 as to when the end of the age and the time of His coming will be, we do not know when our days on earth will be ended.  All we can do is to make sure we are ready, our preparations have been made and it will be our turn to arrive in a new life, when Jesus will say, "Enter into the joys of the Lord, thou good and faithful servant." Matthew 25:21.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

There's an App(lication) for That!

"My friend gave me a tip on getting your children to help around the house," our son Jamie shared on Facebook.  "He said instead of saying, 'Clean up your room,' say something like, 'Each of you pick up 15 things.'" Then Jamie added a postscript. "In my case it would be, 'Each of you pick up 80 toys.'"

I had to laugh.  It was true!  I visited their third-floor playroom when we were there at Thanksgiving. It looked like a toy store!  Or a toy factory, as a miscellany of toy projects and scenarios were spread wall-to-wall in various stages of imaginative play by our granddaughters. Well, they and their baby brother, Isaac, are the only grandchildren on their mother's side, with a very indulgent Nana. (Having 21 grandchildren, my gifts, though regular, are a little more modest.)

Apparently children are more likely to be helpful if they are given specific chores, rather than being given a vague "Clean up!" I think husbands are more comfortable at doing specific chores, too (at least mine is).  He will gladly vacuum or take out the trash, but he doesn't have my vision for the big picture.

Sometimes Christians are like that, in that we think if we do certain things, such as read the Bible, go to church, give tithes and offerings, that we have fulfilled our religious duties and that is all that is required of us.  But as Jesus reminded the Pharisees in Matthew 23:23, there are "weightier" matters that matter.  He mentions things like judgment, mercy and faith.

We learn in Paul's teachings in Galatians 5:22-23 of more attributes Christians should exhibit, the fruit of the Spirit: Love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control.

The Pharisees had invented hundreds of rules to go by, but Jesus said that there only two that really matter: To love God with all your heart, soul and mind, and to love your neighbor as yourself.  These encompass the whole law, and that is the big picture.

I love getting even little pictures into the lives of our grandchildren, and the things their father shares about them invariably puts a smile on my face.  The  other day he reported that 4-year-old Maddie had told her mommy, "I like it when Daddy sings."  When Tammy asked why, Maddie said, "Because my heart sings back."  Be still, my heart!  I was smiling through tears.  The Bible says God rejoices over us with singing (Zephaniah 3:17).  May our hearts sing back!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Tooth Wisdom

Well, the fateful day had come.  My dental appointment for a wisdom tooth extraction.  We were running a little late, so I hurried out of the car as soon as my husband parked, while he seemed to dawdle with some distraction of papers.  No one was in the waiting room, but I stood at the office window several. minutes waiting patiently.  "Hell-o," I spoke inquiringly into the silence.

"May I help you?" the receptionist said quizzically as she came to the counter.  I told her I was here for my appointment, and she scanned a list in front of her.  "I think you may be in the wrong office," she mused, "I don't have you on the schedule."

What?  This is where I was on a visit a couple of weeks ago! I was starting to feel disoriented.  "There are two dentist's offices here.  You want the one at the end of the building," I was told.  How embarrassing!  I met my husband coming out the door of the other office as I was going in.  He hadn't even noticed I went the wrong direction!  What a harbinger of what was to follow!

Actually, the procedure went smoothly, in spite of my nervousness.  "Are you taking it out now?" I managed to speak shortly into the process.  The dentist answered affirmatively, saying it was almost out and it was a good sign if I had to ask.  I was briefed on aftercare and alerted to precautions against something called "dry socket."  They told me that the protective clot that would form was very important and had to be preserved.

I carefully followed instructions when I got home, but later that day, peering into my mouth, I froze.  The clot was gone!  I looked up "dry socket" on the internet and was terrified I might have what was described as a very painful condition that would require weeks of healing!  I was back at the dentist's office the next day.  They checked it and said it looked normal, much to my relief.

Still, I had read that this relatively rare condition could develop as much as 5 days later, so for the past week every twinge in the extraction site has been a pang of terror as I contemplated the unknown.  I have to admit that I have had no real problems though, and the area seems to be healing.  God has answered my prayers, so maybe now I can get past this traumatic week. I almost wish I hadn't read all the scenarios on the internet.  Like they say, "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing!"

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy Hour

We went to bed early on New Year's Eve, but I awoke at 11:30 feeling worried about our 16-year-old granddaughter.  I had no reason to feel uneasy, other than she, like a lot of  other young people, was probably out celebrating the coming of the new year.  I prayed for her to be safe, as I know she is a new driver and is sometimes over-confident.  I tried to banish negative thoughts from my mind and got up and turned on the computer.

The first thing I saw was her smiling face with her friend, published only 20 minutes before, wishing everyone a happy new year!  It was an hour later in their time zone and already 2014 there. It was like an answer to my prayer to see her safe and sound!  By then our clock was chiming the hour, and I heard the boom of fireworks and other noises of celebration here at home.

Just a few days, ago we were having milk shakes with her in Georgia.  She had driven us to town late one afternoon to pick up something Pa-Pa wanted.  "It's Happy Hour, so the shakes are half price," she said as she wheeled up to the sleek brick and glass structure.  And it was a happy hour we spent together, nibbling fries and enjoying her teen chatter.

I just had a happy hour at home this evening, going through some keepsake papers I had saved from our kids' school days.  A storage box I hadn't seen in years surfaced when we were moving some things, prompting a trip down memory lane as I dug through it.  I decided to sort the papers and put them in binders.  I just filled one with childhood drawings, certificates and school work of Jamie, our youngest.  Naturally, I had more of his. I had given the kids scrapbooks of their mementos years ago, but I think I have enough to make more.

Now that the holidays are behind us, I must be in an organizing mood.  Perhaps I'll take down my Christmas decorations tomorrow.  I had left them up a little longer since we were gone for 10 days of the Christmas season and hadn't grown tired of them.  It is snowing tonight, apropos for the first day of January.   I look forward to many more happy hours in this new year of 2014!