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Happy Father’s Day!

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Dads are getting a bad rap these days. But according to Charles Swindoll,

For the next several minutes, think about your father, okay? Meditate on what that one individual has contributed. Think about his influence over you, his investment in you, his insights to you. Feel his hand wrapped around yours . . . his strong, secure arm across your shoulders. Remember his grip that once communicated a balanced mixture of gentleness and determination . . . compassion and masculinity . . . not only his “I understand” but also his “Now, straighten up!”

Best of all, take time to recall his exemplary character. The word is “integrity.” Pause and remind yourself of just one or two choice moments in your past when he stood alone . . . when he stood by you . . . when he stood against insurmountable odds . . . when he provided that shelter in your time of storm . . . when he protected you from the bitter blast of life’s harsh consequences.

In the wake of such a legacy, which time can never erase, give God thanks. Thank the Giver of every good and perfect gift for the meaningful marks your dad has branded on the core of your character . . . the wholesome habits he has woven into the fabric of your flesh. While meandering through this forest of nostalgia, stop at the great oak named Proverbs and reflect upon the words the wise man carved into its bark long centuries ago: “A righteous man who walks in his integrity—How blessed are his sons [and daughters] after him” (20:7).

This is my dad. He wasn’t perfect; he would be the first to admit it. Nor is he infallible, much to his own disappointment. Nor altogether fair . . . nor always right. But there’s one thing he is—always—he is your dad .

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An Organized Life – Black or Blue, or Black or Blue?

Unless you’re old and need reading glasses or a flashlight to even get dressed, this post may not be for you!  I have a fairly nice walk-in closet with a pretty chandelier that gives off plenty of light….but when I get ready to get dressed, I have a really hard time telling the difference in my black and navy blue clothes. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten dressed, started to the car and ONLY in the daylight do I notice I have on navy pants with a black striped top!

I’ve tried hanging them in different places – the black on the right side of my shirts, the navy on the left. Only problem with that is I forget if it’s the right or left that has the black. Yeah, I know, it’s another of my first world problems: If I only had one pair of pants I wouldn’t have this problem!  But if you’re like me, summer brings on capris, Bermuda shorts, and dress pants in both colors.  

So, in accordance with my orderly life, I made some clip art tags. I simply googled pants and went from there. 

After I made the tags, sweet Sarah laminated them with her handy dandy laminator, and I was ready to attach them. I tried attaching with clothespins, but that seemed cumbersome – hold the hanger, unclip,  find a place for both pieces and return the hanger. 

Not all the pants have pockets, so that little idea went out the window. Finally, I decided to punch a hole in the tag, run a little ribbon through and attach it to the hanger. That way when I remove the pants, the tag stays with the hanger.  If you don’t want to go to that much trouble or if you don’t have access to a computer and printer, you can simply skip the tag and buy some small rolls of ribbon at Hobby Lobby – blue for your blue clothes – everything else dark is black!

I don’t really think I’m any more OCD than anyone else, but I sure love things in their place, plus I’ve always felt that “necessity is the mother of invention”, so these two concepts generally go hand in hand with my organization. 

So, in my way of thinking – if you have a problem you can fix, go for it!

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Decorating Dilemma Part 2

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Well, I finally got tired of whining and wondering what to do about my dark bedroom! I lived with that mistake for 3-4 years but every time I walked in the room I thought about painting it a lighter color. Now , let me explain……I’ve owned houses for around 45 years (yeah, I know I’m that old!) and I’ve always painted them myself with some exceptions. My daughter Sarah has painted a lot of rooms for me but she’s way too busy these days, and I’ve paid painters a couple of times over the years. But every time I looked at it, I thought – it’s just a plain brown box, how could it be so hard?!? So, off I went to Sherwin Williams!

Accessible Beige

Once I organized all my brushes, rollers, tape, drop cloths and ladder, I began the hard work. After a few trips up the ladder (10 feet up to the tray ceiling), I remembered why I no longer paint! Oh, my aching knees! Sitting down and trimming around the baseboard wasn’t too bad for a few minutes, but that was killing my bad back.

I persisted though, and two days later…..voila, I finished!

AFTER

A couple of tips –

  1. Start with a plan – I thought I could handle doing one wall at a time. Kinda like eating an elephant – do it one bite at a time. That made the project seem less daunting. I left the bed wall to the last day because I needed help moving it, so I made a plan that worked pretty well.
  2. It’s all in the tools – After trying an edger around the ceiling and lots of touching up my messes with ceiling paint, I bought a slant bristle brush and it was like night and day, sooo much easier and more efficient.
  3. It’s also all in the paint – I used to buy cheap but I’ve learned over the years how much better more moderately priced paint covers. Love the color I chose after looking at so many (Accessible Beige). I also really like Sherwin Williams. They have a great website where you can type in the color and it shows it in a room. It’s really pretty close to accurate.
  4. Use lots of drop cloths – With new wood floors in that room, I took extra care covering them up.
  5. Tape vs. don’t tape – I bought the tape but I trim pretty well along the baseboards and door facings. But, by the end of the second day I was taping around the doors because I had started getting a little too messy.

All in all, I’m really glad I didn’t spend the money to have it done, but would I do it again? Never say never, but I may just be a little too old to tackle such a big job. Ask me when I get tired of this color!!

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Home on a Hill – Book Reviews

This book is historical fiction and I wasn’t aware until I read the author’s notes just how based on real life the story is. The story is about a young man who is forcibly transported to a concentration camp at Auschwitz. When his captors discover he speaks several languages, he is made the tattooer of the camp. Although his role as tattooer gives him more mobility and a little more freedom, he still faces the horror and brutality of war. He also uses his influence to help others and risks his life to save others’ lives. In the midst of this terror, he meets and falls in love with a young woman that he helps survive. This story tells about true courage in the face of unbelievable acts of evil. I highly recommend it.

8

This was a book club choice and I enjoyed reading about the personal life of one of my favorite authors, C. S. Lewis. This is another fiction book based on the real life of Joy Davidman, who began a writing relationship with Lewis to discuss her spiritual questions. The story tells about their ongoing and growing relationship over the years and their brief marriage in their later years. I like this book and found the culture of the 1950s in England interesting. According the author, Patti Callahan, “This novel is written in a key of empathy for this extraordinary woman. I can only hope that I’ve captured some of her lionhearted courage, conflicted and sometimes disparaged choices, as well as her abiding love for the man we know as C. S. Lewis, but whom she knew as mentor, best friend, and in the end her lover and husband. The man she knew as Jack.” If you’re a C.S. Lewis fan, you’ll like learning more about his life beyond Shadowlands, but due to a few questionable steps Ms. Davidman took, I ended up not as empathetic as the author.

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An Organized Life – Organize Jewelry with Special Dishes

I’ve tried plastic egg cartons, little boxes with compartments, medicine boxes with flip lids, and old fashioned ice trays (the plastic ones, not the metal ones – I described them as old fashioned because most people have ice makers in their fridges).  

Better Homes and Gardens

I now use some pretty little bowls, cups and saucers to organize and store my jewelry. These days I don’t wear quite as many pieces of jewelry as I did when I was a principal. Most of my things would look a little odd these days with my current choice of  t-shirts and jeans!  But, I do keep most of my bracelets, necklaces and earrings for those rare times I dress up. 

I learned a long time ago that we shouldn’t wait for “some day” to  use our best things, but we should enjoy those things today. I inherited some pretty little dishes and bowls from my mama and was gifted some beautiful cups and saucers from a sweet grandparent over the ten years I was a principal. I love to use both of these everyday.  Using these little dishes have the extra benefit of reminding me of these special ladies every day. I’m sure they have no real financial value, but instead of keeping these little pretties for “some day”,  I use them to organize my jewelry.  

They’re a perfect size for my dresser drawer and they bring such a feminine perspective to my bedroom. I use a drawer because it’s the perfect storage solution of choice – in case you’ve never used a drawer for jewelry, it puts all of its contents on full display with just a pull of the handle. (Isn’t it kinda like watching a jeweler opening the jewelry drawer to show you something!?!).

I also use a pretty cake stand on top of the dresser to keep my “everyday” things I wear when I go out shopping, visiting, etc. That way I’m not constantly deciding what to wear because I always grab my watch, rings, earrings and bracelets.


Take a look around and see what you have tucked in a cabinet or hutch, but the best thing about using bowls for this project is that you can find them anywhere, and use any mix of color you’d like! I’m sure  that you could find a nice variety at your local Goodwill or thrift store. Maybe you have some little treasures just waiting to be rediscovered in your cabinets that would work perfectly to help organize your life!

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School’s Out for Summer!

School’s out this week and summer is virtually here! I never really think about summer as being my favorite season – you know, the extreme heat, killer mosquitoes, humidity and frizzy hair.  I’ve always considered fall as my favorite. But, as I look back at life, I’d really have to choose summer. 

When my girls were small and growing, summer was definitely our time to be together. Other than softball, there was no real schedule other than what we chose to do. I was fortunate enough to be a stay at home mom until my youngest was in school, then I went to school and became a teacher. So my schedule always revolved around theirs. I always looked forward to the last day of school and was never ready for school to start in the fall. Looking back on the summers in my past, I can honestly say that they were the best times of my life.

Summer was the season that we saw Mimi and the girls’ cousins more, had cook-outs and went to bargain movies. We slept later, stayed up later, built forts over the couch, camped, had friends over and just generally enjoyed life. (Now, if they’re asked they might also mention watching my soap operas but I seriously think their memories have diminished over the years!)

As the girls grew, their schedules became busier, their friends became more important, and our home time decreased, but we were still together for vacations.  We made our yearly sojourns to our favorite beach and some of our best conversations came in the car on those long trips. 

Now summer days for me are filled with reading, renovating, and DIY projects around the house. I suddenly have time for things I had been putting off. I have time to sit on my porch and remember summers past.

I hope y’all enjoy these sweet days of summer and find a good spot for remembering!