Showing posts from 2010

Christmas tablescape

I enjoy creating tablescapes. Whether it is for a holiday or just a special meal with family or friends, I like making the table "special". Tablescaping is another way to express my creativity. I will see a dish or piece of art (Pier 1 is my favorite place to be inspired) and just have to buy it! I can almost see a table done with one inspiration piece. My honey gave up on me a long time ago with telling me "no more dishes" or "you don't need that" and just goes with the flow now, although I still get the occasional lifted eyebrow.

I've had a few friends ask me what a tablescape is and although there is no true definition, it simply means making your table special by using props, decor and coodinated place settings to create a mood or atmosphere. If you google tablescape you'll find all sorts of wonderfully inspiring pictures from some extremely creative people who do this for fun as well as those professionals who are lucky enough to make a li…

Let it snow, and snow and snow...

Cleveland is pretty notorious for having a lot of snow. Sometimes as early as October, but for sure by November. This year we have heard of other states getting snow that typically don't get much if any during the winter let alone in November. Washington state has gotten a few good snow falls already. Even Nashville has had ground cover! But we have not had anything more than a flake or two floating in the air.

That is until this week.

I can hear it now... "I am so sorry for being late with the snow this let me make it up to you!"

In a course of 2 days we got a reported 19 inches! and over the last couple of days we've gotten more. We've gotten a few breaks with some actual sunshine peaking through the clouds. When that happens, it creates all sorts of excitement in the house. I'll yell "Oh! Sunshine!" and we (typically just me) will run to the patio door to look at it like it is a meteorite that shows itself only once every 10 years. I'…

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 30

Wow, today is the last day of the 30 days of Gratitude. I am thankful that I have been writing my gratitudes every day. Writing them down have made me very aware of my many blessings.

Blessings are, in a way, like breathing, we don't think about breathing, we just do it. It isn't until we can't breathe anymore that we realize how important taking a breath is. We all have so many blessings that we take advantage of, like breathing, we just assume we'll always have them. Things could so easily be different.

If you are reading this blog, you are blessed to have access to a computer and all the technology it brings with it. Below are a few other things I am thankful for.

There are the homeless, I have a home.
There are the starving, I have plenty.
There are the sick, I have my health.
There are the poor, I have wealth.
There are the lonely, I have family and friends
There are the persecuted, I have my freedoms
There are the tormented, I have peace of mind
There are those who are los…

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 29

Young love.. ahh, how thrilling, how exciting! I love the butterflies that I got when I was young. The first kiss, the cute boy, the attention.

After marriage I loved being in love. The expectation of seeing each other after a day at work, the fun of spending our weekends doing whatever it was we wanted to do, the excitement of having children.

Then the romance wore off, reality set in. Bills needed paid when we didn't have the money, we wanted different things in life and all I wanted was for Calgon to take me away.

That's when I went to my knees. This situation was beyond me, beyond what I could fix. I needed God to intervene. I didn't want to live the rest of my life in misery and I didn't want a failed marriage. And guess what? God stepped in once I stepped aside. When I got to the end of me, and I allowed Him to be my everything, He changed me, changed us. It didn't happen overnight, and it wasn't without drawbacks, but God intervened.

Today, after years of …

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 28

As I begin to wrap up these 30 days of gratitude, I think about all the good and bad things that have happened in my life. Of course I am grateful for the good things, but I am also grateful for the bad things. Even though those times weren't pleasant to experience, it is those times that have made me stronger.

I have had to stand up for what I believe in against all odds, which have made my convictions stronger. I have had to endure fear and pain that I thought I could never endure and realized that I am tougher than even I thought I was. I have had to fight for my marriage, which makes what we have now even sweeter. I have lost those I love which makes me appreciate those still living even more. The saying "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" is so true. None of us want to go through those hard times, but look at what we become because of them.

I am thankful for the tough things in our lives that make us stronger for having gone through them.

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 27

Have you ever noticed how the majority of the population is happy this time of year? I can't help wondering if a big part of that happiness is the fact that we are all focusing our attention on others rather than ourselves. The saying "It's better to give than receive" rings so true when you see the joy in others when they are shopping for a loved one.

I am thankful for this time of year that focuses our attention on others instead of ourselves.

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 26

I am thankful for the love hangover the day after spending wonderful time with family around a table loaded with wonderful food! There are very few things more satisfying than sharing a good meal with those you love and love to be around. The only thing missing were other members of the family who couldn't make it up.

We had so much food left over, which I am thankful for also. Leftovers must be a gift from God!

Gingered Acorn Squash stuffed with Quinoa (kween-wah), apples, celery and other goodies. Jenn's protein packed, vegetarian contribution to the feast. Yum!

Bread and Butter stuffing with fresh sage. My requested contribution to the feast. This dish is so good, but I am thankful it's only eaten once a year...there is so much butter your heart jumps inside your chest just looking at it.

Roasted veggies with pomegranate vinegar and fresh basil. My "healthy" contribution to the feast.

Desserts were plenty as usual again this year. I didn't get a picture of mi…

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 25

Thankful for family that gathered and those who couldn't join us. Miss you guys.

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 24

I Thessalonians 5:18 says "In everything give thanks for this is the will of Christ Jesus concerning you. "

Everything is a pretty broad spectrum, surely God doesn't mean that in the literal sense of the word....or does He?

George Herbert said it so perfectly when he wrote: "Thou hast given so much to me, Give one thing more, - a grateful heart; Not thankful when it pleaseth me, As if Thy blessings had spare days, But such a heart whose pulse may be Thy praise.~"

God, I thank You for the many, many blessings you have given me, too numerous to list. Sadly my prayers of thanks can be counted. Please give me a grateful heart today and everyday.

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. ~Thornton Wilder

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 23

According to the Trading Economics website, the United States unemployment from 1948 until 2010 had an average rate of 5.70% with the lowest rate in 1953 and the highest in 1982. In 2010 the lowest unemployment rate was 9.50% and the highest at 9.90%. That figure is astonishingly almost 10% of the United States population!!

I am thankful that I have a job, warts, complaints, long driving time, bad traffic and all.

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 22

Giving thanks and expressing gratitude are essential to good health and prosperity. True abundance begins with gratitude and thankfulness. Being thankful focuses our attention on blessings that we do have. In order to receive more of the blessings that God has to offer, we must truly appreciate what we already have. We ought not to focus on the problems that life throws at us, we all have those regardless of our circumstances. Look at the things that are right in your lives and be grateful for what you have. Then, pass it on! So many of us are quick to complain, but very slow to appreciate. A simple smile towards someone can bless their day. Express your gratitude with a "thank you" or an act of kindness. Send a thank you note to someone who has blessed you with a gift or a kind word or gesture. You'll find that your life grows more abundant the more you share your blessings and gratitude with others.

I am thankful that I am blessed with luxuries such as a car, …

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 21

I went shopping for the ingredients for the upcoming famous feast this weekend. I always look forward to this time of year. Not only do I enjoy preparing food for the Thanksgiving meal, but I so look forward to spending time with family around the table.

I am thankful for the holidays which gives us an excuse to spend time with family.

I am also thankful for the upcoming short work week...can't wait to start cooking!

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 20

Dave, Jenn and I went out to dinner tonight at a new restaurant. Dave and I had been shopping and called Jenn to see if she wanted to meet us as she was coming straight from school. We all met at Corkscrew in Medina (very, very good) and enjoyed a good meal and great conversation.

Jenn seems really happy now that she is back in school learning again and making new friends. She was planning a trip to Findlay this weekend, but the folks she was going to visit had sickness at the house, so she wisely opted to not go.

So... my day 20 gratitude is: I am grateful to have a healthy and happy family!

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 19

It amazes me the talents that God gives people. Some are little known talents and others are talents for the world to see. Still others have yet to discover their talents.

Tonight my brother is eating dinner with a co-worker and family friend who is finally realizing his dream of using the talent that God gave him by being able to reach many, many people. Look out for the group SuperHeRose to make it big on the pop/rock/hiphop scene as they are just now releasing their first singles. Congratulations SuperB!

Others have talents that may forever go unnoticed by the public but are just as big a blessing as those who have a public recognition.

Whatever your talent, remember the one who gave that talent to you and use it to glorify Him!

I am thankful for the talents that God gives us and pray we never take them for granted.

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 18

A decision was made today that made me question what is going on. We think we are heading down one path and in the blink of an eye we are turned a complete 180 degrees and are facing the opposite direction.

However I have to believe that when we pray and ask God to be in control, which I did just yesterday.....again.... that He does just that. He takes control.

I am thankful that God is in control. He knows the big picture and leads us where we cannot see. That is why it is so important that we don't let go of His hand! We must have faith and trust in Him.

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 17

I woke up this morning with a bad hangover. No, not from alcohol, but from the thought of how angry and upset I was yesterday. How silly of me to be so upset over something I cannot control. It is what it is, so why couldn't I just make the best of it and roll with the punches.

I gave it to God and have to trust Him to work things out in His timing and in His way. God, forgive me for not turning to You sooner. Forgive me for my anger at not being able to be in control. I only want You to be in control. Help me to step away and allow you to lead.

I am grateful that His mercies are new every morning!

30 days of Gratitude: Day 16

Today was a day of ups and downs. I started the day out on a good note. I was getting things done, news was good and I was feeling on top of things. But sometime in the day, the news turned bad and my world as I knew it was turning upside down. I was on an emotional roller coaster and was angry and upset. Thankfully before I went to bed, I breathed a small prayer asking for God to be in control. And I had peace. I slept well.

I am thankful that God is constant in a world of ups and downs.

30 days of Gratitude: Day 15

Today was a double blessing. A friend stopped me to chat for a few minutes while at the office and was gracious and complimentary. After she and I were finished chatting, I realized that, although we don't know each other that well, she touched something inside of me. I felt as though she really wanted to know how I had been and was sincere in her wishes for good things in my future. Just the fact that she spoke kind and sincere words made me feel like I had no worries in the world.

Later in the afternoon, I called a dear old friend that I've known since I was a teenager just to find out how she has been. She has been very quiet lately and I sensed something was wrong. I was right. After we chatted a bit and she was able to vent a little, I managed to coax a few laughs out of her. I hope she had a smile on her face when we hung up. I realized that I had given her some kind words and from that she knew she had a friend in me.

I am thankful for kinds words shared between frie…

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 14

I pray that God helps me start each day with a new attitude and a heart full of gratitude. Let me make the best of each and everyday and give my best in all that is put before me. Let me not whine over things I cannot control. And when this world closes in on me, let me remember Jesus' example to slip away and find a quiet place to pray.

I am grateful because God is a forgiving and understanding God!

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 13

Today is Saturday. I needed to sleep in late today due to my exhaustion from a busy schedule this week and the lateness I went to bed last night. But once the sun was up, and Jenn was up ready to go to school, my mind starting planning out what needed to be done. Although I tried to go back to sleep I could not.

However; I am grateful that I took my time to savor my coffee this morning while watching my favorite programs on HGTV and DIY. I am also grateful that I had no obligations that required me to rush through my morning to get ready to go somewhere. Once I finished my coffee, I began doing the things my mind woke me up for, but I started out doing them in my PJ's, with no worries about having to be dressed.

I am grateful for slow Saturday mornings!

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 12

I am so grateful, after a long hard week of traveling, that I did not have to come home and prepare a meal.

I am thankful that I had the foresight to prepare a couple of meals so that no one had to cook while I was out. Thankfully there was still enough left over that all I had to do tonight was to heat up my lasagna in the microwave.

And did it ever taste good.

So glad it's Friday.

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 11

I am thankful for the freedoms we have in America.

Thank you to all active and veteran military who have fought and still fight to protect our freedoms. You are fighting to keep our country free and safe from those who seek to destroy us and control us.

My deepest gratitude goes out to all of you.

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 10

I am thankful that I am healthy enough to keep up a busy schedule!

It was just a little over a year ago that I was just finishing up chemotherapy and even the smallest of tasks would take my breath away. Climbing the stairs was like hiking up a hill and a trip to the grocery store would wear me out for the rest of the day.

Today, although I don't have back 100% of my energy, I am able to work a full day at the office, run errands before I come home from work, prepare supper when I get home and tidy up the house before I go to bed.

I am grateful to have my health back.

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 9

On Nov 8th Asia Bibi was sentenced to death by a judge in Pakistan. Asia was arrested in June and charged with blasphemy after she engaged in a religious discussion with co-workers who became enraged and beat her. Asia and her family is one of three Christian families in a village of more than 1,500 families.

This is one of too many accounts where Christians are persecuted for their faith. Americans take advantage of the freedoms we have. If we are not mindful, we will allow other Americans to take away those freedoms.

I am blessed and thankful to have the freedom to practice religion. ...For now.

For more stories of persecuted Christians go to

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 8

I am thankful that my kids have chosen degrees in areas that they truly have an interest in. Jenn, a certified recreational therapist who has always enjoyed helping others, is now taking massage therapy classes to add to her hands on healing. Mike has always loved fishing and had interests in all things natural got his degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Ecology and is dreaming and planning on starting his own organic farm. And Kelly is a resident pediatrician practicing the art of healing on some very special patients. I am very proud of all my kids and am so thankful that they have had the opportunity to discover what it is they love to do and are pursuing that passion.

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 7

I am thankful for the pleasure that cooking brings to me. I am happy that I seem to have a talent for the task, and that others seem to enjoy my efforts.

I am thankful for special memories in the kitchen and around our table:
Erin, that we moved so well without bumping into each other and made wonderful, from scratch, without recipes, meals.
Dave, for being that guinea pig for all my new concoctions and liking most of what I made.
Rick, for appreciating the little things that make a meal special.
Mike, for challenging me in using new and unusual ingredients.
Jenn, for helping me look for new and yummy vegetarian dishes.
Pat and Nancy, for turning me onto Pot Stickers!
Chris, Chuck, Laura and Kazu, for sharing good memories at Chuck, Dave's and Kazu's birthday month!
Julie sugar!!
Chris T and Celia, for going with the flow and jumping in to throw together food when Pastor Rick forgot to order the main dish!
John D for suggesting I write a cookbook. (or was it just the picture…

30 Days of Gratefulness: Day 6

After you have eaten and are full, praise God for the good land He has given you. Deuteronomy 8:10

I am thankful for the food in my panty and my freezer. How many of us eat our meals without giving God thanks for the "land" He has given us? We may not grow our own food and raise our own meat anymore as a population, however I am thankful for the land that in today's age is called a job which allows me to buy my food. God has blessed my household with the ability to afford food so that we can eat until we are full. In a matter of moments, my situation could be totally different. I am blessed to be an American where our provisions are plentiful. I am blessed to have a job, I am blessed to have food on my table and a roof over my head.

Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow.

30 Days of Gratefulness: Day 5

I am truly grateful for all the wonderful friends I've met throughout my lifetime. Many have helped shape me into who I am today. I have friends today that I've known since I was a little girl, and some in my life that I met as a teenager. I've met many friends as an adult, some are my best friends! My friends are scattered all over the United States and a few are in other countries as well. Some friends are older than me and some are my kids age, but I think regardless of our age differences, we still like each other for who we are. Some friends are just fond memories, while other friends are memories that have come back to life! Some friends are still relative strangers, but I hope we'll pursue each other's friendship in a deeper, more meaningful relationship.

Thank you for being my know who you are!

30 Days of Gratefulness: Day 4

I am thankful for my family, close and far, blood relatives and relatives by law from all generations. Each one of you have a special place in my heart. It is family that has been there for me in so many different ways.

My family has put a smile on my face on a regular basis from intentional humor to a word or gesture of kindness. Sometimes I smile in my observation of your actions or when recalling a fond memory we share.

I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful extended family, and for that I am very grateful.

30 Days of Gratefulness: Day 3

I am grateful to have a car and a job that allows me to afford car payments. I am grateful that I made it through the heavy rush hour traffic safely. I am thankful that I didn't feel the need to yell at anyone today during that rush hour traffic.

30 Days of Gratefulness: Day 2

I am thankful to have a husband who loves me in spite of myself, loves God, and is a great provider for our family. I am also thankful to have 3 children (2 natural and 1 stuck with us for better or worse) who have a heart after God's perfect will for their lives and walk forward with that purpose in their path.

30 Days of Gratefulness: Day 1

November 25th is the day in which Americans express thanks on a most famous holiday called Thanksgiving...well, we used to anyway. For many, it has just become a day to overeat and watch football. I'm not saying we shouldn't do those things...well we could cut back on how much we eat..... Nah.
Anyway, the point of Thanksgiving is to give thanks to God for the many blessings that we receive each year. So many of us tend to remember the bad things that happen to us and the really good big things like a promotion or the birth of a new baby, etc. But how many of us are truly thankful for the daily blessings we receive? How many of us can give thanks for the good things that happened to us as a result of something bad happening first? For example, like when I had the opportunity to get quiet and draw closer to God because of being home during chemotherapy treatments, or how a family can bond together closely after the passing of a loved one. Hard times make the good times even sweet…

Stride & Ride 2010: Ryan's Hope

Stride & Ride 2010: Ryan's Hope

Please consider donating to Ryan's Hope in honor of my nephew Ryan. Ryan is 14 years old and has been in a wheel chair since 2 weeks before his 8th birthday. Ryan has the most severe form of a nasty disease called Duchennes Muscular Dystrophy. Ryan was diagnosed at the age of four after his parents went to the pediatrician with concerns that he was not active like his siblings and other signs that something wasn't right. The doctors referred them to a pediatric specialist in Muscular Dystrophy and was told on the first visit with the specialist about the disease that has changed all of their lives. Blood test confirmed their worst fears. Today Ryan cannot do anything for himself as the only extremity muscles left working, albeit weak, are his fingers, so he can still play his hand games.

Boys with Duchenne are typically diagnosed before the age of five. Their muscles swell and joints become restricted. They are easily fatigued and have …

Still Missing You

Six years ago, my family said good-bye to one of my closest friends, my mom. It never should have happened and possbily could have been prevented. Mom died from complications from a heart attack that was brought on by poor health. She always made sure to tell everyone to take care of themselves, yet didn't heed her own advice.

Mom was such a beautiful little girl. Times were tough for mom as a girl being raised on a farm, but her love for her brothers, and much later in her life her two little sisters, made her happy. Mom (Barbara Jean), Richard (Dick) and Lee Music

In August of 1955 my grandmother Music entered Mom into the Ross County Fair Queen's beauty pagent. Mom wasn't too pleased with this idea but went along with it anyway. What a beauty she is here at the young age of 17. By now, mom had met the love of her life, my dad.

On September 8, 1956 Barbara Jean Music married Damon Duane Shaw. I remember playing in her wedding shoes when I was a girl. Mom confided in me once…

Bloomin' Beautiful

Our summer flowers are the social butterflies of our neighborhood. They are putting on their finest attire and making theirappearances everywhere.

Below are two of our little socialites that refuse to be wall flowers. They are out front catching everyone's eye as they pass by.

Our deep pink Roses are Knock Outs!

These simple beauties are triplets from the Daisy family.

I couldn't resist taking these pretty posies pictures just after they had showered. They didn't need any make-up, their natural beauty shines through.

Flowers... are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1844

Happy Fathers Day Daddy

Like most young girls, I craved my dad's attention and reveled in it when I got it.

I remember early always knowing that I was special in his eyes. Mom used to tell me I was his princess and I always felt like a princess when I was on his lap. It felt like it was just me and him alone even with everyone else around.
He rarely told me I couldn’t do the same things the boys did, and encouraged my willingness to try anything. He recycled before recycling was popular.Dad was a man who could carry body parts to the hospital, yet turned pale white when I busted my lip on the back of my brother’s head. Things I recall with fond memories:
Painting by the window in his bedroom
Shooting guns and rifles in the back yard
His prescence in his police uniform
That stoic stance for all pictures
Pepsi and potato chips in the recliner watching TV
Being told that same Pepsi would “rust our pipes”.
Hammer, saw, sawdust, wood plane, sawhorses
Tickling sessions
Head butting sessions (when we were naughty)
One eye…

Friend of God

My brother Rick and I went down to southern Ohio for a high school alumni banquet on May 8th. We stayed with our Dad, and our sister Laurie, at their house in the same town we grew up in before our entire family moved away in 1975. After many life choices that took each of us our separate ways through out the last 35 years, all but my brother Tim have made our way back to “the Motherland” as Tim lovingly refers to the state we grew up in.

Rick wanted to visit some old friends that neither of us had seen since we moved away so long ago. We spent several hours at the home of one friend, Rick E and his mother Eva. We have fond memories of this family. Eva worked in the school cafeteria for many, many years, and was mother to all the kids she fed. Occasionally she added extra servings for those she knew didn’t eat any other time except for the school lunch. She would also discipline some of the kids as if they were her own, scolding and giving an occasional whack on the rear end if needed.…

Oatmeal Cake

The Oatmeal cake I made for Jenn’s birthday is so easy and simple to make that I thought I’d share with anyone who is interested. That would be the whole 2 or 3 of you that actually read this blog. If you make this, stop by my blog again and leave a comment telling me how you liked it.

Mix 1 cup of rolled oats and 1¼ cup boiling water together then set aside for 20 minutes so it can cool.

Cream ½ cup butter, 1 cup of white sugar and 1 cup brown sugar together. The brown sugar is thrown in to join the oats in making this a healthy “good-for-you” cake. Uh Huh. Fer sure.

Add 2 eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one.

After you get both those eggs in and make the mixture look like something you want to eat at that very moment with a big dip of your finger, blend in the cooled oatmeal mixture, providing someone didn’t mistake it for breakfast and eat it first.

Sift together 1 tsp. baking soda, ½ tsp. salt, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 2/3 cup flour, and fold it into the oatmeal batter.

Add 1 tsp. …

Happy Birthday Jenn!

Jenn's 26th birthday was celebrated quietly at home this year with no big fan fare. I think she had wanted to invite friends over for a game night, but some of her other friends had just hosted a game night the week before and she didn't think anyone would be interested in doing it again so soon. So she requested just a quiet night at home with me and her Papa.

I took her out shopping for her birthday the week before so she could pick out what she wanted. What did she want? White fabric to make pillows for her bedroom. I wasn't about to let her stop at a measly couple of yards of fabric, and white to boot, so we shopped on. It was a chore, but somebody had to do it. :)

When the weekend arrived after her Wednesday birthday, I made a completely vegetarian dinner for the 3 of us and the cake of Jenn's choice, which this year was an Oatmeal Cake. She didn't even want a decorated cake!

Much to her surprise, I had also ordered some vegetarian cookbooks I saw her eye…