Encouragement Is Nourishment


Today, over at Faith Barista, we are jamming about encouragement. We are discussing the topic where we feel we could use a little (or a lot) encouragement. Truth be told, couldn’t we all use some?


I love to travel. The thought of the open road gets me all excited.

I love to meet people. I love to hear stories. I love to write.

I love vintage. Treasure finding. Flea markets. Decorating.

The Junk Gypsies are my heroes.

East coast, Maryland girl. Down home, Tennessee woman. Mid-West mama, lovin’ Ohio.

Kickin’ it up in cowboy boots in  Texas. In awe of the Tetons in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Love ’em all.

I love living in the country and the every day of small town life.

I thrill at the bright lights and diversity and interesting shops in the cities.

I am passionate about rights for the disabled. I want to help where I can.

I am constantly in awe of my Jesus. His name is above all others.

I’m not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Life has been a roller coaster. A heartache and a party.

Love. Laughter. And Mud. (nobody’s perfect)

So, that is kind of me….as best as I can describe myself.

I guess, at age 43, I pretty much know who I am. What I like. People I love.

But, where do I fit in? How do I meld together my talents with my interests?

Is anyone out there, “living the life”? Do you wake up in the morning, knowing you

are exactly where you are supposed to be? Doing what you love?

I know, no one’s life is perfect……and I wouldn’t want perfect anyway. That’s boring.

How do you live out your dreams?

Please share your advice. I read every comment.

Your words matter.

They really do.


You’ve Got Mail

Bonnie, over at Faith Barista says…. “It’s the month of classic June weddings. A reader who is single asked me how I met my husband. She said it always encourages her to hear the different ways God leads people to find true love.

In the spirit of encouragement, I’d love to hear from our community. Write on the topic: Finding “The One”. ”  


It happened on August 6, 2005.

I was totally and completely unprepared….

At the time I had been widowed for 4 and 1/2 years. (see my story here) I had a son getting ready to start 5th grade.

I had turned 37 in May.

Life was busy. Happy. Things were good.

Life was normal on that day, nothing out of the ordinary, nothing to tell me of what lay ahead…

I sat down at my computer, to check my email. I saw a response from an online dating service I had signed up for. (which I had done on a whim) Before even signing up I had decided that I was not going to date anyone unless they lived within an hour of my house.  I mean, what was the sense, otherwise?

Then HE left me a message.

He lived in Texas, in a town outside of Dallas. He had one adult daughter whom he had adopted, and two children still at home. He was also widowed. (about his late wife)

He wanted to know me. This kind of made me feel like I was 17 all over again. “Wait, just a minute”, I thought, “I am 37. I am mature. I am a mom. I am not going to get excited about an email. So there.”  At least that is what I told myself.

I wasn’t so sure about this. After all this guy lived in TEXAS for cryin’ out loud…and I lived in Tennessee. The two “T” states, but other than that, not close enough. I waited to reply.  I thought about it.  I finally decided that we could at least be friends. We could both relate to widowhood, (there was a mutual understanding between us, in a way that is difficult to explain unless one has been through the death of a spouse) , had children around the same age, and we were both Christians.


We became long distance friends. We emailed every day. Hundreds of miles apart, but close in heart. After several weeks of daily email and phone calls,he asked if he could travel to Tennessee for us to meet? Kids included. He drove hundreds of miles with a son, a daughter and a dog. They arrived at my house on a Friday afternoon in late September. This sounds hokey, but we felt as if we’d known each other for years.

After a whirlwind weekend of visiting at my home, attending my son’s soccer game, going out to eat,  meeting the family, and even some nervous reservations about how, or if, this would work, we decided that this relationship was worth pursuing.

So we did.

Five months later we were married. It was a life changing decision, but one that we are both glad we made. We will be celebrating our sixth anniversary this year. We tease that it feels like we’ve been married for fifty! We have no doubts that God led us to each other…even if our meeting and short engagement was a bit unconventional. We were both in our 30’s when we were widowed, living hundreds of miles apart, didn’t even know the other existed…until that fateful day in August. We both knew what we wanted in life, who we were interested in sharing that  life with, and that God was and is the One in control.

I love my husband and he loves me. Life has its ups and downs. We are parenting in a blended family. We’ve sold his house in Texas, and my house in Tennessee. We’ve built a house in rural Ohio. We’ve moved from Texas to Tennessee, and Tennessee to Ohio. My husband lost his job of twenty-two years right in the middle of building the house in Ohio. I resigned from my teaching job. We home school our three teens. My husband has a new job, working from home. We have three dogs, four cats, and a horse. Life is crazy and unpredictable.

But, I can’t think of a better place to be than with Scott……after all God brought us together, and HE is the ultimate match maker.

Living With The Dead

nokak thurston funeral home, n high st

In the spirit of spookiness during the month of October. ….

I have visited funeral homes, more than my fair share during my lifetime. Never a fun experience.

Well, except for THAT TIME.

1. My sister and her new husband lived in a small apartment.

2. While my brother in law worked on his Masters degree.

3. An opportunity presented itself, to live in a large (entire second floor) apartment in a beautiful old home for little or no rent.

4. Only one catch.

5. The beautiful old house was a funeral home.

6. And their job would be to help keep the downstairs clean, instead of paying a huge amount of rent.

7. Hmmmmm………

8. My sister and brother in law decided why not?

9. The work wasn’t hard.

10. And the neighbors would be quiet.

11. Right?

12. So, they found themselves vacuuming around “Mrs. Jones” as she quietly laid in the front room.

13. Or dusting the tables, where “Mr. Smith’s” flowers were setting.

14. It was peaceful. And quiet. Good neighbors.

15. While they were living there-

16. My (late) husband and I visited, with our toddler son.

17. My husband was a bit freaked out.

18. I thought it was kind of cool, but I’ve always been kind of freaky that way.

19. Just as my husband and I were getting snuggled in bed  one night…

20. My sister pops her head in the door and says—

21. “Hey, don’t worry about it if you hear the garage door opening tonight.”

22. (The guest room we were in, was right over the garage.)

23. ” That will just mean one of the guys that works here had to go pick up a body tonight.”

24. Alrighty then.

25. And yes, we did hear the garage door that night.

26. And yes, my big, strong husband was totally freaked.

27. Mu wah ha ha!

28. On this same visit my son wanted a picture taken with his aunt.

29. As she parked a hearse.

30. How many people can say that?

31. Unless your family happens to be in the biz.

32. I also got a little tour of the embalming room.

33. Very clean.

34. In a stainless steel kind of a way.

35. This satisfied my desire for a little spookiness.

36. I know. I’m weird.

37. I couldn’t be a funeral director.

38. I think it would get to me after awhile.

39. If I had to be there everyday.

40. But it was fun, to visit

41. Especially, since everyone that I loved at the funeral home…was alive.

42. That made everything so much better.

43. The fun all came to an end when my brother in law got his Masters degree.

44. Then he was off to get his PhD.

45. In another school, in another city.

46. The new apartment wasn’t nearly as interesting.

47. The complex was a lot more crowded.

48. And the neighbors were a lot noisier.

49. Oh well.

50. It was fun while it lasted.


An American Quarter Horse in winter.

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve always appreciated horses. I check them out at the fair. Love watching a good rodeo. Went on the occasional trail ride growing up. Loved watching the cowboys in westerns…who doesn’t love Trigger? Scout? Silver?  How about Black Beauty? Sea Biscuit? Secretariat?  Who doesn’t know about Belmont? Preakness? The Kentucky Derby? Hello. It’s all about the horses.

When I married Scott I sort of got a more up close and personal experience with horses. My (adult) daughter, Jessica knows all about horses. She even went to school to get educated about horses. She’s my go to girl if I have any horse questions. Well, Breanna my youngest daughter, she has Jazz. Jazz has been boarded at 3 different places since Scott and I got married almost 5 years ago. We had Jazz transported all the way from Texas to Ohio. Then she stayed with a horse trainer, and finally with some friends before settling (FINALLY!) here at our house. We brought her home on Sunday afternoon. She seems happy as a clam. I’m looking at her through the window now, as I blog. She cuts quite a beautiful country scene as she grazes in the early morning light.

1. I really don’t know much about horses.

2. But I am willing to learn.

3. Horses have really furry ears.

4. I noticed that yesterday while talking to Jazz.

5. Jazz likes to be pet.

6. She watches me with her big brown eyes.

7. Breanna brushed her.

8. She started to close her eyes.

9. I think the horse thought it was a massage.

10. She was being pampered.

11. Horses have big teeth.

12. I noticed these while she was eating.

13. Note to self: Don’t get your hands near her food. A chomp from those teeth would probably hurt.

14. If Jazz is not in the mood for you…you get “the butt”.

15. I think that is sort of like a person giving someone “the hand”. Like, whatever.

16. Hmmppppfff.

17. Also, I’ve learned in a short amount of time that one should not stand near the back of a horse.

18. Jazz hasn’t kicked.

19. But she could if she felt like it.

20. Also, horse poo is not something one wants on them.

21. Just sayin’.

22. Jazz is part Quarter horse and part Welsh pony.

23. Pretty, pretty girl.

24. Having a horse(s) will be fun.

25. The llamas across the road stand at the fence and watch Jazz.

26. The new kid on the block.

27. Let’s stare at her.

28. I still love llamas.

29. If you think about it they are sort of like long necked, sheep horses. Kinda.

30. I do love living in the the country.

School Rules For Radicals

Post-secondary educational organizations

Image via Wikipedia

I heard today that the NEA (The National Education Association) would like for Saul Alinsky‘s Rules For Radicals to become mandatory reading in this country’s high schools.

Saul Alinsky was a community organizer…..who had some very debatable rules for whether the ends justify the means. I certainly wouldn’t want MY children to be forced to read his book. Sure, his book is controversial and yes, there have always been books that people struggle with….the thing is, if they are wanting that book read, what conservative book are they also going to make mandatory? In order to keep everything fair and balanced, of course. Hmmmm……?

I believe that the NEA is a liberal group. I was a member a long time ago, until I realized that my dues money was being used towards promoting things that I had no desire to promote. It is irritating that what is supposed to be a union for teachers, has become nothing more than a sounding board for the left.  What should be used to further true learning, has been distorted into something that doesn’t even resemble a union that promotes education for the children of this country. Make no mistake about it…there is an agenda.

If that isn’t bad enough….the state of Texas is deciding what to put in or delete from their textbooks.  They are considering taking out things that pertain to Christianity in the history of our country while adding many things about Islam and Hinduism. All this in the name of cultural diversity.  I hope people in the state of Texas state their opinion on this LOUD and CLEAR!

True education is not about distorting the truth. Yes, individuals are allowed to have differing opinions on things….but there are basic truths and trying to rewrite history because it doesn’t follow along with the liberal view is absolutely ridiculous.