Thursday, July 30, 2009

Blessings !!!

As I shared in a previous post ---
my mother-in-law Elizabeth
had surgery to remove a brain hematoma
on July 15.
The surgery was successful.
However, she was very frail and
other health issues arose
and
she passed from this life to
Real Life
one week later on July 22.
As we have gone through all the things you do
when someone dies ---
making calls to family members to let them know,
putting together the plans for the funeral,
feeding the multitudes,
sleeping some of the multitudes,
smiling, laughing, crying ---
we know this: we are blessed!!!
and then
blessed some more!
We have been surrounded by friends, family,
church family, community
and lifted up and carried through
the entire past 2 weeks.
How awesome to have, not one or two people,
but literally dozens and dozens of people,
write, e-mail, call
and tell us what a grand lady Elizabeth was
and
what she meant to each of them every time
they were around her.
We have heard some sweet, sweet stories
of how they all remember her.
She taught Sunday school,
led women's classes,
taught VBS,
was a faithful choir member,
(with a beautiful alto voice),
she was a lifetime PTA member,
room mother for literally decades,
and active in everything
that happened in her community,
wherever that happened to be at
the time.
Amazing!
It's so strange to see your parents through
the eyes of others.
And that's especially true when you
see them through the eyes of those
who knew them when they were
much, much younger.
It's been quite sweet to get a glimpse of
the person Elizabeth was waaaaay
before any of us knew her.
I spent a lot of my early years
of knowing Elizabeth
kind of grieving
because she wasn't the kind of mother-in-law
I had always wanted.
I wanted someone who would call me just to visit,
ask me to go
shopping with her,
or to get a pedicure together.
Someone who would go to
"girl's night out"
with me. Or maybe to a movie.
A"let's do lunch"
kind of mother-in-law.
None of those things ever happened.
She was not that kind of woman.
And after several years, I gave up on that
"dream"
That just was not Elizabeth.
Thankfully --- many, many years ago I discovered
something absolutely phenomenally, wonderfully,
tremendously
BETTER
that Elizabeth had given me.
A way better gift
than doing any of those things together.
I discovered that she gave me
THE BEST
she had to give....
she raised a son,
took him to church,
laid a foundation of faith in him,
prayed for him faithfully
and then
handed him off to me !!!,
a silly and not so wise girl,
(at the age of 20)
and
Trusted in the LORD
to direct our paths.
Elizabeth gave to me
a loving husband,
a fantastic father to our kids,
a warrior,
a mighty man of God !
William Rosser
is who he is today
because of the kind of faithful
mother Elizabeth was to him.
For THAT and so much more !!!
I love her and I pay tribute to her..
Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
"Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all."
Charm is deceptive, and
beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD
is to be praised.
Give her the reward she has earned,
and let her works bring her praise
at the city gate.
Proverbs 31:28-31
Gwyn

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Friday Decorating

Yesterday was super hot, as most every day has been lately.
But, yesterday was unique in that it was the first day in several
when I was here at the house all alone and with
nowhere to be, nothing else to do....ahhhhhh
Soooo --- I decorated !
Honestly, a day of decorating, moving things around,
cleaning as I go -- that's almost like a
Spa Day for me !!
I LOVE IT !!!!
Here are some of the little vignettes around
the house after I got through ---
MMMMM ----- a stack of vintage tablecloths and
old faded flour sacks
Just waiting to be used for a picnic or on the table out on
the porch.
If only they could talk --- the stories they would tell......
of picnics, and lunches taken out to the fields and
dinners with the family
Just some of my plate obsession, ---- I meant to say, collection
My grandmother collected a plate from every state she
ever visited -- I have added to the collection
by way of flea market and antique store finds --
That's TEXAS on top

I love dishes -- plates especially

New countertop arrangement


The soffit area above the kitchen cabinets.
I LOVE bowls too !



Above the sink
Collection of cookie cutters--
most of them old from my grandmothers
houses


Fish Bait styrofoam cup -- one of my prized
possessions.
I was so blessed to get to travel to Baton Rouge in the week
after Hurricane Katrina to
help feed people.
There was a huge stack of these bait containers
(used to hold worms and dirt)
that we used as coffee cups.

I just loved it so much --
I brought it home and
have kept in a prominent place
in my kitchen since.
It reminds me of the sweet people
I met there
AND the sweet people
I got to work with.


My kitchen blackboard
with a favorite verse --
After the crazy and challenging week we had
it just seemed appropriate.
Gwynie Pie






Thursday, July 16, 2009

Perfect or Excellent

Hey, did you ever get something just stuck in your head?....can't get loose from it?....it just almost haunts you?
I mean, really -- from every direction and from all sorts of completely unrelated sources the same topic, same subject keeps coming at you??
That happens to me pretty often. I know God is teaching me all the time. Sometimes I listen easily and "get it". And sometimes it takes many, many more "attempts" to get me to pay attention and hear His words.
I finally have to just STOP and get still and ask,

"OK, Lord, you are trying to teach me something here?? (deep breath - exhale) Then, I will listen. Teach me what You want me to know."
Well, as we are studying in our ladies bible study Discerning the Voice of God, God can and does communicate with us in a variety of ways. He can and will get His message across to us however and whatever it takes.
Soooo - the thing that I am just stuck on is this : Perfection versus Excellence.
Specifically, in my job as a Home Engineer ....to what level do I aspire?
I have known women who aim for Perfection -- in all areas, nothing else is acceptable. Even the closets and cupboards are "perfect". Every area of the house, yard, car, kids, husband and life is piffy perfect, thank you very much !!! Things seem a little "plastic" if you know what I mean, but it looks great !!!!
I actually "did time" for a while in my life aiming for and running after this Perfection. Got really tired running. Didn't get there. Got nothing for my efforts except a boat load of frustration. I abandoned that pursuit and went on to --------
Looking' Good . This style is when everything looks good to the occasional eye but don't go diggin' anywhere in the house, closet, car, kids, husband or life. That's where the "messes" will appear. Looks good on the surface though....lookin' good. Just don't go nosin' around cause ---- whoooo---eeee --- things are a jumble. I spent a lot of years pursuing looking good and being scared to death that someone would look deeper and I would be exposed as a fraud -- in my house, closet, car, kids, husband and life !! I briefly experienced the
Hey Leave Me Alone homemaker syndrome. Everything -- absolutely every thing is a wreck -- all facets of life are in various states of falling down and coming apart. She seems somewhat upset by this but at the same time, fairly clueless as to how to fix. Therefore, she's on the defensive much of the time. And angry. And depressed. And feeling like a failure. And cries a LOT. A LOT !!! in her bathrobe while sitting on the sofa eating and watching trash on tv. In between crying fits. Sheesh -- so glad I managed to pull out of THAT time in life. Disgusting even to myself, I knew I couldn't stay there, didn't want to stay there, but had to find my way out.
Then there is the Good Enough homemaker. A swipe at cleaning here and there but if crumbs fall to the floor -- oh well. Dog will get them. (even when there isn't a dog) The same gravy stain that was accidentally slung on the wall at Thanksgiving dinner 4 years ago is still there. Any household cleaning job is attempted and quickly abandoned before truly finished with the attitude of "what do you expect from me??? I'm doing all I can do ". Been there as well.
I think these are just a few of the phases we might go through as homemakers
And I truly believe the LORD calls each of us to Excellence. He already knows we can't be perfect while we're living here in our earth suits. Sometimes --- it takes us a while to learn that we can't be perfect.
BUT -- we CAN be excellent. That is certainly my goal -- to be an excellent homemaker. To excel at my job. I hope to visit this subject every week or so.
There are so many areas in Homemaking that can be looked at with Excellence as our goal.
AND I would love to get your input and discussion on the topic.
Please tell me IF this interests you.
What are the struggles you are having in carrying out your job as a homemaker?
Is time management your problem
Is it lack of skills
No example from mom or other skilled
person in your life?
Bad attitude? -- got the "I don't want-tos"?
We can work on those together and all come up higher in our pursuit of excellence.
I truly hope you will join in.

Love you all,

Gwynie Pie










UPDATE ON ELIZABETH

It's been 24 hours since surgery was completed. The Dr. was very
optimistic and encouraging. The brain bleed had stopped on its own before the surgery began which meant the surgery did not have to be so invasive and therefore, a bit less risky.

Elizabeth was alert and knew people immediately upon arriving in ICU, a great sign. Of course, she was woozy, sleepy, thirsty and kept trying to be sneaky and slip HER watch off of her daughter's wrist.
She had given the watch to Elaine the night before to keep for her
and after I thought about it....I don't think I've EVER seen Elizabeth when she didn't have her watch on. I'm sure she feels just not right
without it....like I do when I forget my wedding ring. Of course, she still had in IV and tubes and couldn't wear it and didn't need it. But that didn't stop her in her "medically induced" state of fuzziness.....

Anyway, it got to be pretty funny there in the ICU with Elizabeth trying to weasel the watch off Elaine. Pretty cute !!

She is having another CT scan today and that will tell a lot of how successful the surgery was and what her recovery will look like from here.

Thank you so much for all your prayers !!! Much love to each of you!


God is good, All the time
All the time, God is good !

Gwynie Pie

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

PRAYER REQUEST

Hey friends !
Our family has a very urgent need
for prayer for
William's mom.
Her name is Elizabeth, or as we call her
Grammy...
Grammy had a fall in the night about a month ago
and hit her head. She was checked out and
all appeared to be okay. A follow-up dr. appointment
revealed she had 2 hematomas in her brain
(brain bleeds) probably caused
by this fall.
Yesterday, at a follow-up CAT scan
a new fresh and very large
hematoma was revealed.
She is scheduled for surgery in the early a.m.
tomorrow (Weds)
in order to reduce the pressure it is
causing on her brain and all
her functions.
They are waiting until then because
she regularly takes blood thinners
and surgery can't be done until
she is less vulnerable in this area.
She is in a very critical condition.
Just wanted you all to know about this
and thank you so much
for all your love and prayers.
Moochas Smoochas,
Gwynie Pie

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Best Sandwich EVER

This is the secret ingredient
in seriously THE BEST sandwich EVER !!
or
at least til the NEXT Best sandwich comes along.

I am a fan of a good sandwich -- and picky-er about my

sandwich fixin's than any other food I eat.

For instance ---- IF I'm having freshly baked ham in a

sandwich, then I want white bread with Miracle Whip

and nothing else -- no tomatoes, no lettuce, no cheese -- nothing!

A grilled cheese sandwich just screams for white bread.

IF I'm having pastrami, then I gotta have good, hearty

Jewish rye bread...ummmm...so good!

Cajun roast beef sandwiches are best on

bollilos with a good spicy mustard and lettuce.

Now a sliced turkey sandwich can be made on any

kind of sliced bread, but must have

jellied cranberry sauce instead

of mayo or mustard -- I love that!

I do know a good sandwich, let me tell you.

So when I say this one is the BEST EVER

(til the NEXT best comes along)

believe me !!!

Spread two slices of any kind of bread -- but good

hearty grainy bread is best -- with

about 2 Tablespoons each of

pineapple cream cheese.

Layer on very thinly sliced ham --

I bought Tyson brand Black Forest ham

and it is superb.

Then layer on thinly sliced tomatoes, cucumbers,

red onions, romaine, spinach -- just load it up

with everything you love.

I made mine with just romaine and cucumbers and
it was delicious !!
I made the same thing for dinner Thursday using
large tortillas instead of bread
and I added
tomatoes.
It was a big hit !!
What's your favorite sandwich????
Just curious....
it might be my NEXT best sandwich
EVER !!!!
Gwynie Pie


The Husband Project

OKAY Friends !! I have two websites I really want you to check out....you won't be sorry.There is a book that I really want you to check out. It's The Husband Project by Kathi Lipp.
Go to http://www.kathi@kathilipp.com and read all about it. Great stuff !!! It's a 21-Day project and no matter how long you've been married, you'll find great ideas and inspiration to make your marriage better. I've been married 37 years, almost all of them happy :)
(those first few years were a little rough)
and I see all kinds of ways I can work at
making our very happy marriage
even happier.
ALSO ----
Melanie at Bella-Mella is hosting a 5 Day Mini Project on the Husband Project, starting soon, and I'd love for you to check that out as well.
http://www.bellamella-melanie.blogspot.com/ and read all about it. Melanie is a blog friend of mine that I've been following for several months now. She is fun and creative and a woman of spiritual depth and you will love her and her blog !
OKAY then --
that's all for now.
I do have a super sandwich recipe
to share with you....
I've declared it
THE BEST sandwich EVER !!!!
Cool and summery.
I'll share it maybe later today.
Right now --- gotta go help William with the
mowing and weedeating.
Talk to you later,
Gwynie Pie

Friday, July 10, 2009

Early Friday Morning Back Porch Sittin'

What a fine Friday morning it is here in my corner of the world.
It is just now 8 a.m. and already over 80 degrees on my shady back porch.
It's gonna be a hot one !!

As I sit here rocking....

this is my view.

Notice the cotton in the field beyond the fence....we've had

just enough rain and lots!!! of HOT

and it's really lookin' pretty good.

Moving to the right----
That is the original coffee grinder from
the Mereta General Store.
Aren't you glad someone got that size thing
under control....or else we'd all have a
big ol' iron monstrosity sitting in our
kitchens right next to the coffee pot.
:)
That's also a shopping cart from the store
holding pool towels and sunscreens and
bug sprays.
And this is a screen, made from the interior
doors from my grandparents house --
it serves as a privacy screen (our
"next door neighbor" would need binoculars
to see us, but still....)
but mostly, the screen is a sound break
since the A/C unit is just beyond.
So, that's my view of the world this morning...
What's yours???
Have a very Happy Friday and
a wonderful weekend !!!
Gwynie Pie



Going Green Part 2

There are many companies who now make "green" products. That means biodegradable, natural, not toxic to you or yours ---
at least that what it should mean.
Read the labels!!! on any cleaning product
you are buying.
As with food -- if you can't pronounce it --
you might want to leave it on the shelf
or at least look it up and see for yourself what
ingredients it contains.
Nature's Source by SC Johnson
Green Works by Clorox
Method
Seventh Generation
Shaklee and others
all make a line of natural, environmentally friendly
products.
That said -- here are a few of the
oh so cheap, cheap, cheap !!!!
products you can make very, very simply
AND since the main ingredient in almost all
cleaning products - natural or otherwise -
is water, I figure I'll just do it myself, thank you.
I really thought I would have to sacrifice quality
in order to use these items BUT
really --- I am so pleased with how they work.
The quality is as good or better than those I have retired.
Here are a few of the recipes I have discovered online.
Just Google "natural cleaning products" if you are interested
in expanding your line of cleaners ---
GLASS CLEANER --
1 cup rubbing alcohol
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup water
Mix in a clean spray bottle.
(Walmart is where I got mine)
FURNITURE POLISH
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
Mix and store in a glass jar.
To use - Dip in with a cloth, reseal jar immediately
and polish furniture.
DEODERIZER
Straight vinegar
in a spray bottle.
The smell will dissipate fairly quickly.
Your house/car will not smell like a giant pickle for long.
And nothing kills odor like it!
MOLD KILLER
ALSO - did you know that straight vinegar kills 82% of all mold.
So, spray on and let it sit on any areas where you are fighting mold.
Another mold fighter is
2 teaspoons tea tree oil
2 cup water
in spray bottle. Spray on. Do Not Rinse
For CLEANING CUTTING BOARDS, COUNTERTOPS
White vinegar in one spray bottle
3% hydrogen peroxide in one spray bottle
Spray one on area, then the other
Wipe off. Germs killed !!!
FABRIC SOFTENER
Add 1/2 cup - 1 cup straight vinegar
to the rinse cycle.
There will be absolutely no vinegar smell,
just fresh clothes.
Works great !!
AND super cheap !
DEGREASER
2 cup warm water
1/2 cup Murphy's oil soap
in spray bottle.
Cuts grease on stovetops, counters, floors
ALL-PURPOSE CLEANER
2 tablespoons ammonia
1 teaspoon dish detergent
2 cups rubbing alcohol
a couple drops orange essential oil
(TOTALLY optional)
Mix in gallon jug. Fill spray bottle to use.
You get essential oils at health food stores -- all fragrances.
And a few drops can be added to any of these products.
But, I prefer no smell at all since I almost always have
a fragrance plugged in to wall plugs throughout the house.
FLOOR CLEANER
1 gallon warm water
1 cup vinegar
Mix in pail or sink.
Works on vinyl or laminate floors
Same recipe for wood floors -- just 1/2 cup vinegar instead of 1 cup
and dry floor as you go.
SCRUBBER
for dirty dishes, crusty pans, stubborn surfaces
Cut a lemon in half
Sprinkle with baking soda
Scrub away.....smells great, cuts grease and grime.
Try some of these. You might be pleasantly surprised
as I have been at the quality.
My house still smells good.
AND I get to avoid the "cleaner" aisle at the store now.
AND I'm saving significant $$$$$.
Just wanted you to know,
Gwynie Pie

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Going Green

CAST OF CHARACTERS
White vinegar
Murphy's Oil Soap
Dawn Dish liquid
Borax (and all of it's 20 mules)
Baking soda
Rubbing alcohol
Hydrogen peroxide, 3%
Today is the day ! I've been researching and experimenting and testing
different methods of natural, biodegradable cleaning
for several weeks/months actually.
Everytime I cleaned my shower with those
cute little "guys with big white brushy moustaches",
the ones that were going to remove hard water scale and make my
shower sparkly clean,
the ones in the spray can with the lemony scent ---
I would find it difficult to breathe while spraying my shower
down so I would hold my breath 'til I 'd nearly
pass out. Then I'd evacuate the bathroom until the lemony, yet noxious
fumes died down a bit. Then go back in to finish the job.
And bottom line --
nothing, but nothing !!! worked on the kind of hard water scale we have
in this part of the world. Sheeesh !
(I thought)
I started thinking that surely to goodness there had to be a better way.
I wasn't even really looking for healthier at that point.
I just wanted something that would work!
THEN, I started googling "natural home cleaning products"
and wow!!! came up with lots of great info.
I learned along the way that many of the cleaning products
I use on a daily basis are very harmful and damaging to the lungs
and the skin and the mucous membranes.
Also, the residue from many of these products
is something I'm just not comfortable having in my home.
Having a grandbaby really made me hyper-aware of it all
and so, after much research and googling and searching
other blogs for info ----
I have come to today.
I'm "going green".
I've been very skeptical about the cleaning "power" of some of these
natural products. But, I've put them to the test.
I've been researching them on my most stubborn
of stains and cleaning problems and I'm convinced !!
I have so much info to share with you and I don't want this post to just go on and on and on....
So, I'm going to break this up into a series for at least the next few days.
Here's a starter --
I have an off white laminate kitchen countertop
that is very susceptible to staining.
I was constantly using spray bleach to
brighten it up and remove the coffee and tea stains
that plagued me.
This morning I wiped the stains with a wet cloth,
sprinkled a little bit of baking soda over the stain,
then added 1 squirt of dishwashing liquid.
With the wet cloth I scrubbed the area
and in just a few seconds the stains
were completely gone.
It wasn't instant like with the spray bleach.
It actually required me to move my arm back and forth
a few times.
But, when I had rinsed the area --
it was sparkling clean, smelled great,
and I knew there was no leftover bleach
that could jeopardize my clothes.
I'm always leaning up against the still damp counter
and having to immediately change and wash my clothes
so they are not ruined.
All in all -- worked super great !!
I'm very pleased!
I'll be sharing many more
cleaning "products" the next few days.
I've also uncovered a LOT of natural health
products along the way ---
GOOD STUFF!!!
Stayed tuned !
Did I mention how much $$$$$ you
can save using this stuff?????
WOW
Safe Cleaning,
Gwynie Pie

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Cherry, Cherry Pie

For dinner last night, I made a
Southwest Shepherd's Pie.
I made it in a 9 by 13 pan and as I was telling
Dana about it, she said
"hey, that would be so fun to do in little
individual ramekins."
Well, of course, it would !
Especially for a party.
So -- for that reason (yes, I know there isn't a lot of logic here)
I made the cherry pie for tonight's dinner
in those little individual ramekins.
And they turned out great !!
I used Pillsbury Pie Crusts, the kind you find next to biscuits in the store.
And cut the right-sized circles out for the larger bottom
For the filling -- I used 1 can of pie filling and
2 large Tablespoons tapioca.
I use tapioca in all my fruit pies --
it gives them "body".
Then cut another circle of dough
the size of the top and pinch the bottom dough
and top dough together.
Then cut a couple of "breathing" holes
in the top dough,
sprinkle with sugar and dot with butter.
Bake until the dough is golden.
Be sure to place on a cookie sheet -- as you can see
What a mess !!!
It also helps to spray the ramekin with Pam.
Very yummy !! Very pretty !!
Very, very easy !!
NOW --
SOUTHWEST SHEPHERD'S PIE
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or equivalent)
cut into bite-size pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
Brown in skillet with just a tablespoon of oil.
Sprinkle 2 packets taco seasoning over chicken.
Add 1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can black beans, drained
1 flat can green chilies
1 cup salsa
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
Stir together and let heat through.
Pour into 9 by 13 pan.
In bowl, mix 2 Corn-kits (packaged cornbread mix)
2 eggs
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
enough milk to be spreadable, about 1 1/2 - 2 cups
Spread the cornbread mixture over the chicken mixture.
Bake 20-30 minutes at 350.
Garnish with chopped green onions,
sour cream, chopped black olives,
chopped tomatoes, more cheese.
That's my recipes !!
Give 'em a whirl....
Gwynie Pie

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Weekend

This was the first year Dana, Blake and Lily Kate and Colin and Ronnie
joined us for the 4th of July celebrations
on the Concho River in downtown San Angelo.
Half of us staked out our spot for the evening
while the rest of us went by
Papa John's and picked up 6 pizzas.
Also on the menu - watermelon and cherrys,
Doritos and M&M's,
and
lots of cold water
THIS is how Lily Kate watched the fireworks. She did watch for a while,
but soon had the "when you've seen one fireworks, you've seen 'em all "
attitude.
She was worn out and it was past her bedtime, so
she got comfy with Pops covering her ears and
she just took a little snooze.
The following night at Freedom Fest fireworks,
she brought her stethoscope
with her and it served as earplugs.
Then, she leaned back on her Daddy and took
a little nap.
Too cute !!!

The wait from 5:30 until fireworks begins is quite long, so we
brought along games and activities to occupy.
The girls played a little Fancy Nancy game
and then chased bubbles.
The group
Kidsitting a sweet baby goat named Winnie
for the weekend was really very fun.
Lily Kate loved !!!! the goat.
Feeding Winnie her morning bottle
THIS was too cute!! Lily Kate had already had her bath but
before we could get her into her pjs, she
decided that Baby Winnie, who was crying pitifully,
(all baby goats cry pitifully)
needed someone to sleep with.
Then she wouldn't cry and be sad.
So, Lily Kate gave her one of her own
stuffed bears so she would feel better.
Here she is -- comforting Winnie and telling her
"it be awwight."
We had a wonderful time with family this week.
We totally enjoyed every minute!!!
William and I are both moving much slower this morning,
wishing we could just sleep in a bit,
but...he's at work and I am too -- doing
laundry and dishes and floors.
Hope your 4th was blessed!
Gwynie Pie








Thursday, July 2, 2009

My daughter, granddaughter and I started the morning with a cup of coffee, some chicken biscuits and Little Einsteins. Then, I trekked into "big town" for last minute weekend groceries and such. They straightened up the house, did a load of laundry and cooked a pot of delicious beans to go with dinner later. Lily Kate took a good nap and was ready to go for a swim by the time I got home and the truck was unloaded.

Charla, Dana's best friend since they were in diapers, and her daughter, Cora came over to visit and Cora kept us entertained with her latest "water moves" since she just finished her swim lessons. Lily Kate was, at first,pretty hesitant to throw herself into it like Cora did but she finally did and we all had a splashing good time. Great fun!

After we came inside, Dana started the rest of dinner for tonight -- chicken mole, red rice, cucumbers in yogurt and dill sauce, rolled up in a big ol' flour tortilla. The little girls played and the big girls visited while Dana cooked. Something about the whole scene made me "flashback" to a time in my life that was so good, so satisfying. Just thinking back on it all made me smile.

When William and I were 33 years old and had three children ages 3, 4 and 10, we knew we were being led by the LORD to leave where we were - with the nice salary and the great benefits, nice paid for house, surrounded by both our families and lots of friends - and move to Fort Worth, 4 hours away from home, for him to attend Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary and go to graduate school. Crazy enough --- we heard the LORD and obeyed. We have so many memories -- ALL sweet ones -- from that next 6 years of our lives. We all learned so much. We have some really great stories from those years. Those stories will just have to wait til another day.

When we moved, we very fortunate to get assigned seminary housing. It was a tiny house with a total of 6 rooms, 2 bathrooms. It had been a duplex at one time and was now combined to make a single family home. The house was lacking in many things but the backyard more than made up for it. A couple of enormous trees provided lots of shade. William found a place to buy sand for the kids to play in and we had brought the kids small playhouse/fort with us. Soooo, we had a "playland" for a yard, especially compared with the other hot, dry and treeless yards in the neighborhood.

Surrounded by other little seminary houses we were also central in location, so most afternoons our house was the gathering spot for the neighborhood. There were 5 women and 16 little kids that would come over for playing and visiting.

All the women stayed home with the children, many homeschooling, while the guys went to class most of the day and worked at various jobs until late in the night. None of us had much money and we all were on very tight budgets. So even on the very hottest days, we never ran the air conditioners. Some would run the a/c window unit in one room -- which we all referred to as "the cold room". If you were just absolutely about to perish, you could duck into "the cold room" just long enough to revive so you could go about your business. Summertime in Texas is blazing hot.

I remember so many afternoons --- naptime would be over and the women and kids would start to appear. The sounds of the children playing and laughing would come through the open doors and windows. And we girls would sit where we could see the kids and visit and sweat. I remember one time my parents were coming to visit and they got there early in the day while all the neighborhood was still there. I was in the middle of mixing up and baking cookies for everyone. And someone else had brought over a box of popsicles. There were kids everywhere!!! It was pretty much flat out chaos that day. But fun chaos!! I never found out what my folks really thought of that day. I suspect they just shook their heads in amazement. It really was a three-ring circus! Such fun! Such good memories !

I'm not sure I could even do such a thing today. Of course, that's been nearly 25 years ago, so I'm much older. And, therefore, like my air conditioning more. But I really truly believe we women were all empowered by something beyond ourselves. It was a matter of pride to NOT cave and turn on the air conditioner and spend your family's money needlessly. We all lived on strict budgets. We were sacrificing for the financial good of the family. And none of us wanted the others to think us wimpy. AND almost all of the husbands worked very physically demanding jobs and we figured if they had to be out in the heat every day....then by golly, we could do it too.

Wow! I'm so thankful the LORD didn't leave us where we were all those years ago, but called us out into the unknown for His purposes. AND I am also so glad we heard and responded. We've never been the same. What a great life - then and now!

Gwynie Pie


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Garage Sale Finds

I wanted to show you some of my recent garage sale finds.

Above, a sweet little silver jewelry box,

lined with red velvet, it is perfect for

holding my favorite earrings,

my wedding ring when not on my finger,

and my charm bracelet.

I have a three shelf jewelry case,

as you can see --

full of pretties....

and I still wear basically just one pair of earrings,

my wedding ring and

my charm bracelet.

I found the unused copy of My Utmost for His Highest Journal

by Oswald Chambers. It is a beautiful devotional.

Also found the never-been-used "Leather and Lace"

scented candle....smells great !

This is the skeleton of an old lamp shade.

I've been looking for just such a shade for a while now --

I have great plans.

You'll be seeing this again soon....


And this little two-tiered metal tray just had my name

on it, ya know?

I put it in the center of my dining table

with the saucers we use as coasters,

a few forks and spoons

and some long iced tea spoons

for easy table setting.

Under the tray is a piece of a very old

cotton seed sack.

It is so soft and worn, the printing is

off center and faded

and I love it !


I just love these recent garage sale finds.

They have all been incorporated into my home

and

look quite comfortable here,

like they've been here forever.


Soooo, nothing earth-shaking --

just wanted to show you my new finds.


Happy Day!

Gwynie Pie