Twin Sisters, Serving Side-by-Side

 

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I found these twin sisters at the Elmira chapter of the VOA, Volunteers of America.

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Both Pyrex and cherry red-my favorite color. Made in the USA. Hoorah!!!

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Aren’t they sweet?!  A lil worn and dinged, but I think that makes them more charming, not less.

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$3 for the set.  I love ‘em.  One I am using for a butter dish, and the other is in reserve. Not sure how she will be put into service yet, but I’ll find a use for her.  I always do.

The table runner these beauties are sitting on was purchased at the craft fair at Appleridge Senior Living. My gal, Connie, works there.  She invited me to the craft fair, and this year I scored big time.  I bought this mini table runner, a second table runner I gifted to someone dear at Christmas, and two necklaces (one for me, one I gifted to another).  All great quality items.  I also bought a couple daisy sink scrubbers I gave to my DIL for Christmas. They were so cute. Maybe she can attach a pic of them in the comments section.  Megan’s were cuter than the one’s you can get a retail stores, and hand made.

Funny note about the holly table runner:  it has my name spelled out in the scroll work.  You can’t see it in these pictures, but its true. Must be LORI designed the fabric, at least that’s what I’m figuring.  Cool addition to a find with which I find favor.

Do you rummage sale it, or shop at places like VOA?  What has been your greatest find when you’ve gone on the hunt with nothing particular in mind?

10 Steps to Speedy Cleaning Success

We’ve all had those times when visitors stopped by unannounced.

Ouch!

Instead of screaming, pulling your hair out,  or getting into a knock down, drag out fight over hubs friends stopping by unannounced (only his, cuz you know we women don’t have friends who do such things), its better to develop a game plan and perform practice runs so you’re ready when the inevitable happens.

I ran across this article last Friday and thought it was pretty good advice for cleaning up while under the gun:  http://www.thriftyandchic.com/2014/03/how-to-fake-clean-house-for-those-last.html

Better, though, is my method. 

This is so simple, anyone can do it, but first pics of the dirty house…

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Now the solution, in ten minutes or less (It took me five minutes, with my elf helpers.

Step 1:  Get a large bed sheet, or a couple twins if you have more than one hidey hole available to you.

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Step 2.  Take that sucker, or suckers, out into the living room and lay it out on the floor.

Step 3:  Chuck as fast as you can chuck.

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Everything that is not supposed to be in that room goes on the sheet.

Remember, the most important aspect of speedy cleaning is SPEED, so throw quickly.  Don’t doubt your decision-making at this point, and don’t ask questions.  Let your gut lead. You, chuck!

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Sure, sure, you may lose some warriors along the way, and others may not understand your methods, but soldier on.

Step 4:  Pick up the four corners.  Put your back into it (or your elf’s back, as the case may be). Hey, someone had to hold the camera, right. Next, heft that satchel over your shoulder and start pulling to the closest closet or shower stall with a curtain for concealing dirty deeds.

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He looks thrilled, doesn’t he?  Note how the dog is involved in every step of the process. He can’t carry much, but he’s all in as far as morale support.

You may have a high rise bed frame with space underneath where you can put additional junk–USE IT! Also, did you fill the oven yet?  That’s where my dishes went. Hey, some of them are breakable.

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Note: Wet spot.  Yep, that’s them boots we’re working to hide. They are definitely going in the shower. No doubt about that!  Dog losing steam…

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Now, here is the hard part–shove!

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Doesn’t he look guilty? Never mind that, or the dirty, disorganized bathroom. We’re being real here, so a gal can’t hold back. That would be wrong.

Step 5:  Shove like you have never shoved before.

Step 6:  Cram, like you have never crammed before.

Step 7:  Conceal like you have never concealed before.

Step 8:  Hide, as if your life depended upon it. 

Do the same with every room in the house that your visitors are likely to “visit”.

Step 9:  Do it fast…

Step 10:  Do it furiously…

… and do it without regret.  You’ll be happy you did.

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Done!

Did you notice how quickly those towels and jammies joined the party?  Excellent!  This job may be done, but there’s more you need to know about the overreaching process of speedy cleaning.

Some additional tips:

There’s always a hole somewhere in the back yard.

There’s always room for one more lamp, bowl, or chew toy in the car trunk.

There’s always a table that can be covered with one of those sheets (you know, the one you will now have religiously stowed away for a time such as this).  That sheet pulled over an end table or cardboard box can double as the perfect place to stash more dirty dishes or play toys, once the oven is full, of course.

And while you’re at it, cram a few magazines, old newspapers, stinky socks, and used hankies in there.  You’re gonna wash the dishes later, anyway, right?  Don’t mess around sorting now, just stuff.

In times like these, you have to get creative! 

It’s time like these that make me proud of my wiley ways.

With a lil bit of practice and a whole lotta protein in your diet, you too, can perfect the speedy cleaning process. 

So go on, get out there and make a difference. The clock is tickin’ and your first.practice.session.starts.NOW!

How do you speedy clean your castle?  Does the elf prince help you fill every nook and cranny with buried treasure?  Where is your best hiding hole?

 

Buyer’s Remorse

graphic by cashy.me

graphic by cashy.me

Buyer’s Remorse: That frustrating time we go through after making a decision that didn’t turn out quite the way we hoped it would; it’s a hard time, and can be a discouraging time, which is why I want to talk about it today.  I’m sharing some examples of Buyer’s Remorse, as I know them, in this post.  Some, are my personal experiences–ie: horrible jobs I’ve had.

Buyer’s Remorse:  I bought a house, but didn’t figure on paying back the money for the rest of my life. Now I’m sad that my budget is being cut into so deeply each month to make mortgage payments and I’m dissatisfied with the lack of storage space, an additional guest room, and/or a decent sized yard.  Guess its the park we’ll be using for get-togethers this year decade.   It seemed like a good deal at the time, but now, I’m rethinking that decision.

Buyer’s Remorse:  How could I have so quickly jumped into fellowship with someone I didn’t know?  Now, I’ve told her things I’m fearful she might repeat to others when she’s angry with me.  I see her being vindictive with others and I worry, will she be the same with me when its my turn. I wish I had thought longer and harder before sharing such intimate details of my life with her.  Ugh!

Buyer’s Remorse:  That car, it was so shiny and new looking on the show room floor.  It seemed like a sweet deal.  0% interest and 36 months to pay; not that long.  We bought it without doing any research though, because we knew Madge had a similar car and hers looked great, sounded great, and ran great.  This one, not so much (eye-roll).  I wish we had looked a little more and talked to a few others about problems with this car–maybe next time.  How are we going to pay this repair bill on top of the car payment?  I hate this!

Buyer’s Remorse:  I hate this job.  It is so not me.  I’m bored.  These early morning hours suck.  Why did I ever think this was going to be fun?  This job seemed interesting when I interviewed for it and the pay was good, but the daily grind of this is killing me.  I can’t stand this.  Help!

Buyer’s Remorse:  Oh, how I wish I had not joined this church.  All these people are hypocrites and disinterested.  No one has asked us to dinner, or for coffee, or even talked to us in months.  There’s just no chemistry between us and these folks. They aren’t bad people…well, except for the hypocrisy. But really, where is the warmth? Where is the interest in our family? Where is the outreach?  Where is the love?  Where is the support?  We should have shopped on before taking those membership classes.  I wonder how long we have to attend to put in a good show, before we move on.  That’s not hypocritical, is it?  (Big sigh)…

Buyer’s Remorse:  Why, oh why, did I share that on Facebook? That was really stupid!!

As you can see from the examples above, Buyer’s Remorse happens to almost all of us at one time or another.  You might also have noticed when you read these that BR goes hand-in-hand with self-recriminations, self-doubt, self-hate, and self-destruction.  Some folks drink, smoke, overeat, and cut themselves because of BR issues.   That may seem silly to you, but trust me, it happens.

I think its safe to say that from a spiritual standpoint, Buyer’s Remorse is a devilish double whammy, as we first make a mistake and then torture ourselves for it.

What’s a Christian to do in response to Buyer’s Remorse?

We take it to the cross.

The Cross is the place provided for us to lay down all our failings.

ALL. OUR. FAILINGS.

Buyer’s Remorse is real, but it doesn’t have to eat you alive.  Realizing we all make mistakes and choose incorrectly sometimes is what humility is about, and humility is important if you hope to walk the Way of the Cross.  Recognizing BR has a choke hold on you is the first step to taking it down.

You and Jesus pushing back against Buyer’s Remorse, that’s all you need.

When has Buyer’s Remorse gotten you down?  How long did it take to forgive yourself for making a mistake?  What would you say to others who suffer the same fate, due to Buyer’s Remorse?

 

Music Monday-Classic Worship

“The answer was just as easy as asking You in.”

Wow, incredible truth; one provided by Keith Green in his original composition, Your Love Broke Through.

More than we do, we need to ask God to break through our confusion, our doubts, and our fears.  Instead, we forget to ask Him to be with us, inside the situation, taking the lead and guiding through the confusion. We do this because we’re so busy running to and fro, zigging this way and that, expressing frustration that we still don’t have our burning bush or ethereal voice to guide us. We tell every one but God about our need, hurt, discouragement, anxiety.

When we do pray, too often we are giving the Lord a laundry list, instead of simply asking Him to fill us with His Spirit of wisdom, discernment, and peace.

We live our lives without Him many times, simply because we don’t ask Him in and then wait for the door to shut behind Him before we start moving again.

Start asking questions, again.

Start fidgeting, again.

Start rationalizing, again.

Start being frantic, again.

Today, ask and believe that the answer is on the way, then wait patiently for God to come. I know it will be hard for some of you. It’s hard for me, too.  While you wait, give this classic devotional a listen.  I promise, you’ll be glad you did.

 

Snow Devils

Its Friday and I have to say I’m happy it is. Its been a long, cold week here in NEPA. Freezing temps, lots of ice, but more than that, snow devils have been dancing in the fields.

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I didn’t take this picture, but it explains what I’m talking about for those who may not know the term “snow devils”. The snow devils dancing at my house were much daintier than those pictured here, and they were legion…graceful and skidding across the snow topped hay fields like so many ballerinas. They twirled and bent in sync with the music of the ages playing in their ears, so that I could almost hear it myself as I watched them move. In their wake, they left drifts two, three, and five feet high. Gorgeous to look at, but treacherous to drive through.

Have you ever been stuck in a snow drift?

I have been stuck deep inside a snow drift and it was not fun getting out. It took one very large tractor to extricate me, and I had a bent car bumper when it was all said and done. Worst of all, the car I was driving at the time wasn’t mine. :(

Yeah, that cost me some money.

I can’t say this winter has been without its beauty, even though I regularly complain about its chilling effect on us all in NEPA. A week or so ago the neighbors five, count them, five, horses broke loose and came to visit. We were getting ready to leave the house when they ran at a full gallop across the frozen, snow-capped fields in front of our house, and around the back hillside. We felt blessed to have a front row seat for this incredible equine action.

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What a sight!

Horses are scary creatures in my opinion, so I never ride. I rarely get close to them either (despite the fact we own a horse and a donkey), but as they moved across that snowy field, with their hooves kicking up puffs of snow behind them and following one another gleefully, rejoicing in their freedom to do what God intended them to do, we all stood slack-jawed and amazed at their beauty. My son got his cell out and video taped them, but watching the tape is nothing compared to standing there in real-time watching them move. They are powerful animals.

You had to be there!

I wanted to share these reflections from life on a snowy Friday as a reminder to myself and anyone reading along with me today that God is good, that He made a beautiful world for us to enjoy, that He meant for us to stop and stare, and that His purpose has always been for us to seek Him, find Strength in Jesus, be beautiful in our own way, and dazzle the world with the grace He provides.

When has the beauty of the world captivated you? How have you used inner strength to meet a goal in your life?

Practice Hope

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Don’t you HATE it when you’re getting ready to take your first flight and someone chimes in while you’re telling your buddy about it to let you know of the ride from hell they took last year?

Come on, give me a break.

And wouldn’t you just like to punch in the face that individual who when they hear about your broken ankle have to tell you how their mother-in-law died instantly of a blood clot one day after she broke her ankle.

Still can’t figure that one out. Why do people do these things?

Don’t they know we are already concerned about the problems in our lives?

Ugh!

And how bout that well-meaning sister who spins a yarn about her divorce and how devastating it was to her womanhood and plans for the future as a response to telling her that you think your husband is stepping out on you.

Why do people do these things?

One of my favorite verses from the Bible is 1 Thessalonians 5:11;

Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

I love this verse because it presupposes that as the children of God we are using our resources, our talents, our money, and our service and conversations with others to build the kingdom of God, not tear it down.  That is exactly what we should be doing, so every minute we spend doing it is a minute well spent in God’s house.

Today, instead of distancing yourself from others, or pushing them away, or having a pity party, or worst of all, talking about all the things that are wrong with your life, balance some of that out with the good stuff.  Share your experiences, yes. We don’t want a bunch of fake Christians walking around making life seem like a no-brainer or an endlessly enjoyable carnival, but neither do we need believers putting on a dour mask and parading through town emulating those with no hope by virtue of their defeated demeanor.

We have hope!

Above all creatures of the earth, WE HAVE HOPE!!! 

Share your hope today.

Be a beacon of hope to others.

Remember your own hopeful times of the past.

Project hope into someone’s future.

Don’t be silent, but don’t moan and complain, either.

Be hopeful.

Live hopeful.

Ooze hopefulness.

Change despair into hope through your presence.

Jesus is the hope of the world, and worlds beyond our world. Focus on Him, and live in hope–then pass it on.

When have you been most in need of a little hope?  Where did you find it?  How have you shared it with others?

 

10 Reasons Why I Wanna Be a Voice, and not an Echo

Consider this:

A lot of people let others do their thinking for them and then just repeat what they’ve heard. I think these people are an echo and not a voice. —Kris Vallootton or KVMinistries.com

Wow, profound.

I have a bit to say about that.

First: I LIKE-Y!!!

Secondly:  I think far too many people are acting as echos today, and far too few are being real voices of the age:  Helpful voices. Ministering voices. Reliable voices. Calm voices that speak truth.

Third:  I want to be a voice, not an echo.

Fourth:  I hate passive aggressive echoing, even though I sometimes slip into echo mode myself.

Fifth: My kinda writing focuses on principles, not personalities, because while I want to be an accurate narrator, I’m not seeking to be a mean girl.  I want to be a voice, not a ball bat.

What’s that mean?  If you see yourself in one of my posts, you’re probably there in some way.  Nothing’s new under the sun and we all borrow extensively from life, so this shouldn’t shock any of you.   When I write, I’m  most often speaking out of experience.  Therefore, if you know me and I know you, at some point you will be featured on my blog.  However, only on those occasions when I have wonderful things to say about you, or I’m commenting on your boldness and courage, brilliance and giftedness, will I mention you by name.  Your anonymity is important to me, especially when you’re struggling.  Still, when people act out in my corner of the kingdom, yeah, I’m prolly going to talk about it.  Not them, but the behaviors I observe. This, too, is part of being a voice and not an echo.

Sixth:  As a writer, I analyze. I critique, then sort out and stack up information, and then write about what I’ve discovered or experienced.  If I don’t take a stand or express a personal opinion in my writing, I’m a mere echo of information.  I don’t want to be an echo.

Seventh: I’m almost never happy when I have allowed someone else to think for me.

Eighth: As I make connections or form conclusions that are relevant in my life, I write about them. It’s what I do.  It’s part of my spiritual gifting.  It’s me.

Ninth:  I believe repeating what I’ve heard (when it doesn’t concern me or affect my life), is gossip and I try to avoid it.  I’m not perfect, and neither are you, so why kabitz about our imperfections when there is no goal in sight or help has not been requested?  When what others are doing does concern me or affect my quality of life, however, I will most likely write about it.  That’s how this whole writing thing works…how I work.

Tenth:  If being me and speaking my mind in my writing, or on my blog means we can no longer be friends then I will be sad, because at the end of the day I want to be a voice, not an echo, and I’m hoping my friends and family share my dreams and aspirations and support me in pursuit of them.  Voices have opinions of their own, while echos share other people’s opinions.  I want to be a voice, even when my friends wish I didn’t.

This post is my declaration, and perhaps a warning to those of you who live and interact with me.  I’ll probably be talking about you in the future, or something you, or I are dealing with, struggling through, or praying against. When I do, if it’s hard stuff I’m writing about, know I will not mention you by name.  I will, however, talk about attitudes, habits, and misconstrued logic as I see it, both with a strong voice and a loving  heart.  My purpose in writing is never to harm, but to be true to my convictions and share those convictions with others.  To that end, I invite you to come back again, to find me fighting off echos and further developing my writing style, my voice, and my blog.

When were you glad to have a strong voice speaking hope to a time of conflict in your life?  How has your strong voice saved you from the flood of dissipation so prevalent today?