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December Waiting

This was my first Christmas to do a personal Advent study on the days leading up to Christmas.  I grew up in a church that followed that tradition but we don’t follow that now.  I thought I’d try it this year on my own.

I used the book: For All by Becky Kiser.  HERE is a link for it on Amazon if you are interested.  I’m not an affiliate so no connection if you use my link.  It is workbook format and the Sunday/candle days are optional or could be used alone if desired.  They are in the front of the book and not mixed in with the other days.

I even made a cluster of candles from things I already had on our coffee table in the living room.  I love candles and on the nights I was sitting in the living room, would light the appropriate number of candles for the week.  Yes, as we got closer to the celebration of the Light of the World, the room got brighter as well!


In the past, our church has set up a photo area for family Christmas photos.  I was counting on it this year but they didn’t do it.  So a tree with an outlet in the wall…. and us!  (One of us still needs to find a selfie stick that will hold my big camera and case!)

I

We agreed after last Christmas that we were ready for a smaller Christmas tree and I got one from Ambrose Christmas Tree Store the first week of November.  I was hoping to beat the rush (and they had trees at 30% off) but my order got lost and I waited until the week after Thanksgiving and called.  I was nearby the next day and they said they’d have it ready and they did!  I was so pleased I got it there.  Lifetime guarantee to fix and/or replace the lights or anything that goes wrong with it.  Yeah!   I had chosen the tree star from there and they had that in place as well.

Thankfully, Miss K loves to do the ornaments (I don’t!) and she finished the decorating when she got here.  ♥


And… if a day had sunshine, about 3:30 p.m. it would make the sparkles on the star reflect onto the ceiling.  Delightful!

Also for the first time EVER, I bought an Advent calendar of sorts.  A chocolate one!  At Aldi.  It must have been the 1st day they were out as I never saw them again.  Glad to have The Nutcracker vs only santa.  I put it away in a spare bedroom closet as I bought it before Thanksgiving!

And then forgot about it until the middle of December! So I decided to do it on the days of January to make that month a bit more tolerable!  I forgot and started on the 4th of January!  Ha!  Then had a family interruption that included an unplanned trip to Ohio on the 7th so got off track again.  I resumed maybe by the 17th or so.


I forgot some nights and finished on Feb 7.  Once I shared with my farmer.  He doesn’t savor chocolate…. so I didn’t want to waste it.  It was all good!!  ♥


I will watch Aldi next November for a new one!

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Rainy Week

We’ve had plenty of rain all summer.  Not a week has gone by that the lawn hasn’t needed mowed and it never was brown.  Usually there isn’t much growing grass in July & August to mow.
From Tuesday night, 8/28, through Monday night, 9/3, I recorded 7.59″ of rain!  We don’t really have fields that flood or stay flooded but now even the ones north of the house have standing water.  The farmer was able to mow the lawn quickly last evening but drove through standing water in lower parts of the yard.

Sunday afternoon:

Clearly some water rushed through here to flatten the tall grasses!


The creek crossing that is usually dry by now.

Monday afternoon – 3 hours after it quit raining that day.  Neither the dog nor I wanted to go through this!

Today is more rain!  It was .6″ a bit ago.

The soybeans are looking nearly ready for harvest and at this point it will take a long time to dry out the fields for equipment.

This article really spoke to me. Over the years, I’ve heard how hard it is to be a single person in the church. No one says anything. Everyone sits in groups; couples or families. Go in the door, sit alone at church, go out the door. Months and months go on and no one says anything.  On a holiday the family groups get bigger.  Still a single may be alone.  “Church hurts on holidays.”  How hard to have no place to go on Easter or July 4th but your own apartment.

ARTICLE

Thankfully in our family, one has the circumstances in place that when sick can call me and I am able to drop my job and go care for her.  I will drive a day and a half to find the other one if hospitalized or such.  Will anyone come when that one needs someone to speak up for them in an emergency?  Will you be the someone that can be on their call list?

But really, the church needs to find the single people.  NOT to play match-maker but to be a partner with them.  I like the idea from the article of 2 couples would connect with 1 single person.  If the single person needs a ride home from taking their car to the mechanic, they can text the group and see if anyone is able to pick them up.  Same with a couple, if the spouse can’t get off work or leave the children, maybe the single person could pick you up from the mechanic.   If the single person needs to have someone hold the ladder while they change the lightbulb on the 11′ ceiling, there is someone to ask when they could help.  The couple and single person could meet up for supper and the single wouldn’t have to sit in a restaurant alone like every other time.  The single person could be invited over to add another adult to your board game.  I know that a board game with 2 is only so-so.

I know I have a backup if my husband isn’t able to help in an emergency.  But what if there is no spouse?  No family near?

Will you be the person that a single person could call? 

Do you talk to a single person at your church?  Try it.  Talk this week and talk to them next week.  Sit with them.  Ask if you can trade phone numbers.  Offer that they can call you if they need a second hand or just to bounce an idea off someone.  Text them to make sure a hard task at work went OK.  Text them something funny.  Ask their advice on where to hang a collection at your home.  Ask for help on trimming a big branch.  Finish off with offering to go for a sandwich together.  Let them be a part of a family hike.

I know a couple that has a single every Monday night for supper.  Then the 2 women go to a ladies Bible Study together.  It is one of the few home cooked meals this single has ALL WEEK!  I think that is blessing someone so easily.  It is just Monday supper.  It isn’t a Christmas feast with china and silver place settings.  Just being around a table together.

Be the church.

4th of July 2018

A quiet day with just the 2 of us.  Mostly a regular work day here at home.

A favorite supper of his: sloppy joes and mac & cheese in the Instant Pot. Easy for me.

 

One of my double petunia plants.  Some blooms on the same plant are more white and some more purple.

Yearly photo of how tall the corn is on the 4th of July!


He is more than pleased that he had tassels on corn on June 30th!  The first he remembers seeing them appear in June!

 

Amazing clouds that evening!

Finally the clouds started to empty and we got a bit that day.

Both last summer and this year, we’ve been able to visit JP in Alabama.  A 10 hour drive that we have divided into 1 1/2 days but the hugs and fun times once there are wonderful!  Seeing him in person, chatting over meals, watching TV together, hiking, seeing his church, meeting friends and co-workers, his grocery, his world.  Fantastic!

Of course, photos of JP are difficult to capture!  Photos of his work or work site, not allowed!  So while I can’t highlight the big-deal fun we had, I can show you other things we did.


He is great at finding trails to explore!

I’m good at finding swings!!  🙂

The men going across the covered bridge.

How far can we lean out before mom freaks out?


Cullman County museum and another swing!



Roof of museum, the whole home, was lovely!  I wanted to get the 2 flags in the photo but no breeze that day.  Only like 102′ F!!


In case my friend or any family know this city.   This is in the museum.  The bedroom below is there as well for the man that came from Germany and bought the property for the county.  And a lovely old crazy patch quilt.


The same town had a wonderful antique store that was overflowing with antique pieces to add to your home.  Knobs, faucets, doors, fireplaces, wood planks… so much!!  So much $$ !!

 

The Crepe Myrtle trees were in bloom again on this visit.  I love them!!  And since I’m never sure there will be photos of me on a trip, I took a selfie.  The hot & humid melted look!


A visit to a Veteran’s War Museum.

The one & only store that sells what comes out of the bags lost and never claimed at the airports all over the country!  Nice quality but you had to hunt for affordable things.  I looked at the purses, but turned elsewhere at the $200 price tags!  I got 3 tunic/tops for a total of $24 so those were good deals!

Cooling off with the best popsicle ever!!  JP had been here with a church group so wanted to take us here.  So yummy!  Too bad I didn’t have a few more!  I think it was called Steel City Pops.  If you find one, stop in!

The food places he picked out to share with us were wonderful!!  Great BBQ places and southern food stops.  So much fun!

June Flowers

June 2018
As the month went on, here are my flowers.

Double clematis — a sweet friend that moved cross-country gave me this cone-shaped trellis with branches and birds.  I bought a double clematis last year for it.  This is the first year for blooms!  The stems on the clematis are so fine; less than a pencil lead.  I’m glad it survived the winter.

 

My striped iris are at the front porch. The leaves are striped.  I need to divide these after blooming.


White poppies at the front of the house.  Love them when they bloom.  They are ugly the rest of the summer.  Advice?

 

My old familiar clematis in dark purple.  I see this out my kitchen window.  Last summer it got in an accident with the weed whip! 😦  I’m thankful it came back!!

 

I have cheap trellis!!


Last year MIL gave us a double hollyhock plant.  I keep this one and one other that grows between the basement windows but pull the others.  Oh my word… weeds!

This one gets tall enough to peek in the kitchen window.  Takes me a few days to get used to it when I catch it in my peripheral vision!

Last year’s after-Easter sale on lilies!  I planted them and am THRILLED they came forth with blooms!!  (over my birthday, too!) I think they multiplied over the winter.  Yummy!! I put more out this year in another area.

 

Double Nickels 2018

June 2018

My double-nickel birthday year!  I started this jar of nickels on January 1st and besides several from the change bucket, not many more have been added from our pockets.

Before my birthday….

after my birthday!

Phil added 8 rolls of nickels for on my birthday!  He finds the funding of my own personal charity quite odd & funny!  I just thought it would be something fun.  I also got 2 (double nickels!) in Miss K’s birthday card.  🙂  No one that has visited has added to this but one has asked about it.

Supper out at my favorite – The Stone Eagle

New Orleans pizza – shrimp and hot sausage, plus onions & peppers. Yum!!

 

 

A free 5-piece serving of fresh beignets because she thought we waited a long time for my pizza. I didn’t think so but these were so yummy!!

 

But I had already want to stop at Portillo’s after supper to try their oh-so-famous chocolate cake. I brought over half of this home!! And I can make a better chocolate cake than that!  I won’t need to try that again.

 

The next night, I tried out my new microwave popcorn bowl from Miss K!  It is fantastic!! You need one of these!

It was hot & sunny which I love.
I got several cards.
A fun day!!

Have you earned your double-nickel birthday?