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Monday, November 16, 2015

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Revelation 21:4 He will wipe away every tear ...

Attended the funeral of a baby carried 36 weeks to almost full term today.  
Our church grieves with her sweet parents and siblings.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Thought from Spurgeon

Today's thought...

May we henceforth wage constant war against doubts of our God—enemies to our peace and to His honour; and with an unstaggering faith believe that what He has promised He will also perform. “Lord, I believe, help Thou mine unbelief."
[Morning & Evening, Spurgeon] 

Friday, August 21, 2015

Day Trip: Chihuly Collection in St. Petersburg, FL

A dear friend and I spent the day together driving over to St. Petersburg to see this lovely (but small) collection of Chihuly art glass.  The art glass was beautiful and the time together talking and having lunch was an added bonus.  It's a very small collection, so don't make a special trip, but if you are in the Tampa area, it would be a nice outing for an hour or so. There are other museums in the area for a field trip as well.

Here are a few photos...

Tonya Travelstead / Chihuly

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Get thee up into the high mountain ...

I've sung this passage many times in Handel's Messiah but it took on a whole new meaning to me this morning [as God's Word often does when I stop and ponder].

“O Zion, that bringest good tidings, 
get thee up into the high mountain;
 O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, 
lift up thy voice with strength; 
lift it up, be not afraid; 
say unto the cities of Judah, 
Behold your God!”
(Isa 40:9 KJV)

Our knowledge of Christ is somewhat like climbing one of our Welsh mountains. When you are at the base you see but little: the mountain itself appears to be but one-half as high as it really is. Confined in a little valley, you discover scarcely anything but the rippling brooks as they descend into the stream at the foot of the mountain. Climb the first rising knoll, and the valley lengthens and widens beneath your feet. Go higher, and you see the country for four or five miles round, and you are delighted with the widening prospect. Mount still, and the scene enlarges; till at last, when you are on the summit, and look east, west, north, and south, you see almost all England lying before you. Yonder is a forest in some distant county, perhaps two hundred miles away, and here the sea, and there a shining river and the smoking chimneys of a manufacturing town, or the masts of the ships in a busy port. All these things please and delight you, and you say, “I could not have imagined that so much could be seen at this elevation.” Now, the Christian life is of the same order. When we first believe in Christ we see but little of Him. The higher we climb the more we discover of His beauties. But who has ever gained the summit? Who has known all the heights and depths of the love of Christ which passes knowledge? Paul, when grown old, sitting grey-haired, shivering in a dungeon in Rome, could say with greater emphasis than we can, “I know whom I have believed,” for each experience had been like the climbing of a hill, each trial had been like ascending another summit, and his death seemed like gaining the top of the mountain, from which he could see the whole of the faithfulness and the love of Him to whom he had committed his soul. Get thee up, dear friend, into the high mountain. [Spurgeon, Morning and Evening, June 25]

My son in the Tennessee mountains
Thank you, Lord, for the many experiences of my life that help me see Your faithfulness and love.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Healthy freezer batch cooking

I hate to waste food. Whenever I buy a large quantity of broccoli from Sam's Club, I like to partially cook it all at once and freeze it soon before it goes bad.

15 to 20 minutes and you have enough broccoli prepared for probably 5 to 6 meals or recipes. I partially cook batches of broccoli for three minutes in the microwave in a pampered chef steamer. One large bag of broccoli equals five steamer batches.  

Let it cool for about 20 minutes and then put in the freezer. Simple and easy and makes dinner prep another day much faster since the vegetable is already partially cooked. 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Disney Transatlantic Cruise EBTA2015 : 1st stop New York City

My husband and I took our 2nd Disney cruise in May--a 15-day Transatlantic voyage to NYC, Halifix, Nova Scotia, Stavenger and Oslo, Norway and Copenhagen, Denmark. An amazing trip on the  Disney Magic.

About 2000 photos, but here are a few from our first destination--New York City:
Guggenheim Art Museum

Taxis everywhere

Radio City Music Hall

Central Park

Statue of Liberty

Bridge entering the Manhattan harbor

9/11 Memorial Museum
9/11 Memorial Museum

Trinity Church

Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center

Friday, March 6, 2015

Water aerobics

I have been doing water aerobics for several months now. Started going twice a week in November. Our YMCA pool is heated which feels great in the winter months.

What a treat today to have the temperature in the 80s after swimming the last few weeks and 50°and 60° weather. 

Take the next step: do something more active than usual a few times each week. You'll really notice a difference!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Learn to say yes or no to the right things

From My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers

The buds on our orchid are opening!  Truly a miracle, because we live by the "survival of the fittest" rule when it comes to plants around our house.  It's been kept outside in warm, cold, freezing and hot weather and still we can't seem to kill it.  :)

Luke 12:27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 
but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Eating more vegetables Use A Spiralizer



None of us eats enough vegetables. But my Christmas toy sure helps us enjoy them now. I tried to spiralize near the beginning of the week so the vegetables are prepared for any meal. 

Here are cucumber ribbons, zucchini noodles and Jicama circles.  

I used the cucumber on sandwiches and salads; The zucchini noodles and soup and as a substitute for pasta; and the jicama  on salads. 

My husband loved it all. 

The next step? Try this handy tool and eat more vegetables. 

Do fairies live under mushrooms?

I'm waiting for the little fairies to pop out of our neighbor's mushrooms!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Come away

Mark 6:31 And He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” 

 We all need this. 

Take some time this morning or some time today and get alone...just you and God.

Monday, February 23, 2015

The suburbs ... Land of contrasts

Only in the suburbs can you find lost tennis shoes and a Rolls Royce in the same neighborhood.   

February means Girl Scout cookies

It's February which means Girl Scout cookies. These thin mints our family's favorite. For years I have gotten a box or two for our children as Valentines to gifts. Plus one or two for the freezer.

Sadly, the boxes have gotten smaller and the price has gone up. But will always be customers.  It's the simple things... And tradition. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Essential oils doTerra diffuser

So excited that my new diffuser arrived yesterday. Tried it last night with vetiver to have my husband sleep. Very relaxing smell.  

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Losing Weight - Celebrate with visual aids

Since my exercising plan began in early November, I've lost 11.8 lbs. plus 2 inches in my waist and 2 inches in my hips.

My exercises of choice?

  • 30 minutes of walking in the mornings [3-4x a week]
  • 30 minutes of walking in the late afternoons [3-4x a week]
  • 20 minutes of 13 weight machines in a FitLinxx circuit + 1 hour of water aerobics at the YMCA [2x a week]
  • 1 hour of Tai Chi [1x a week]--just added last week

I eat everything just not as much of it and limit breads to one meal a day, sometimes two.   That's it.  I even have a small dessert in the evenings.

My doctor was right... just exercise longer, not harder and it is really showing!  I need a visual aid to celebrate, so here's a picture of what I've lost so far... the equivalent of a gallon of milk plus a 3-lb. hand weight! Imagine lugging that around all day every day!   Sigh.  I can't believe that I carried these around on my body [mainly my middle] for so long...


The next step?  Just keep walking, just keep walking...  :)

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Cold winter with harbingers of spring

Chilly morning walks this week with lots of contrast. Spring is just around the corner... At least for those of us in the South. 

Gen. 8:22 While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Using your freezer-- fresh broccoli

I like to buy these large bags of broccoli florets from Sam's Club since we eat so much of it.  To keep it from spoiling, I partially cook it all at once and freeze in ziplock bags for later.  Then I can quickly grab a bag of broccoli from the freezer whenever I want it as a side dish or to add to a casserole.  Saves precious time later!  

One large bag of broccoli makes two 2-gallon zip lock bags full of frozen broccoli.

The next step?  When cooking today, cook a bit more and freeze for another meal.  When you will have a time crunch, there is something healthy ready to warm up in no time. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Walk with Leslie Sansone - lose weight and get that high blood pressure down

You really can lose weight by walking...   My doctor had told me to exercise longer, not harder and I've been doing just that the last 3 months.  I thought I had stalled with a 10 lb. weight loss but measured myself today (thanks My Fitness Pal, for reminding me) and I have lost 2 inches in my waist and 2 inches in my hips.   I feel better already.

This morning I propped my laptop on my dresser and did a 15-minute interval workout with Leslie Sansone before heading to the YMCA for weights and water aerobics.  She's great.

HERE is a link to her 2-mile walk

HERE is one for her 15-minute interval workout.

I enjoy them both at different times when I can't get outside.

The next step?  Check out one or both of these links and see if you can incorporate them into your daily routine...literally, one step at a time.  :)

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Time for new walking shoes

A few weeks ago I bought new running shoes from our favorite sports store, Track Shack.  I have had the Asics I'm wearing for almost 3 years of walking and it was time.  I kept them to putz around the house inside but how nice these new Ghost Brooks shoes are.  

Since I'm on an almost daily walking regimen, I wanted to be sure to have some new comfortable shoes this year.  A bit pricey, but hey, I'm worth it and it certainly helps to keep my feet and back from tiring out. Trying to do 4 miles each day 5x a week.  It's amazing that you can actually lose weight by walking!  My doctor was right:   Don't exercise harder, just exercise LONGER.

The next step?  Lace up your shoes and step out your front door.  Even it it's just around the block, get yourself moving.  :)

Friday, January 30, 2015

It is good to be small

Some days I wish I could snap my fingers and be sitting or walking barefoot here.  It's a bit cold in Florida this week, so not today, although we have many photos of walking on the beach all bundled up for cold weather.  

The sound of the ocean and the seeming endlessness of the sea reminds me of how constant and omnipresent God is to me every single day.  There is a calming effect about being so small in such a vast place.  It is good to be small.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

What lies within us

This card holder sets on my windowsill so I read one of these each morning and throughout the day.  It is interesting how many sayings are paraphrased are from the Bible.  Guess these famous people must have read it after all.  :)

Thought for the day:  What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.--Ralph Waldo Emerson.

The Bible puts this in a different way:
1 Sam 16:7 ... for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Make it special - surprise accessory

Check out this sweet stretch bracelet I bought from Sorta Southern Boutique online.  I discovered the shop on Instagram and bought a scarf there a few months ago.  They sent me a 50% off coupon which I just used on this cute bracelet which will be fun to wear with jeans as a surprise accessory.

The next step? Add a sparkle or unexpected surprise accessory to whatever you are wearing today.  :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Cutting out the caffeine -- nutmeg, cinnamon or vanilla in your coffee

I have often put cinnamon in my coffee grounds for a little added flavor.  I've been advised by my doctor to not drink caffeine [see post about.   I'm too lazy to wash the coffee pot 2x and brew it again, so I drink Folger's instant decaf.    By adding a little cinnamon or better yet, NUTMEG, it tastes exactly the same as regular!   I made it extra special by picking up a jar of whole nutmeg balls and I grate (using my zester) a little bit of FRESH nutmeg each morning. The aroma is wonderful and it is delicious.

The next step?  Try flavoring your coffee, whichever kind you drink, by putting cinnamon, nutmeg or even liquid vanilla in  the grounds.   You'll love it!

Monday, January 26, 2015

This saved the day / spare car key

This key in my wallet saved the day last week. I put it here two years ago and had not used it since I had not locked my keys in my car in all that time. I stopped at the grocery store to run in for  a few things and left my car keys on the seat.

I had a meeting to attend before my husband got home and I would not have been able to go. 

I fussed and fumed for about 30 seconds and then remembered I had this key tucked in my wallet which was a really good thing because everyone in my family was a long way from where I was.    

Think ahead... If you have ever locked your keys in your car, keeping a spare in your wallet might save you one day.

The next step?  Get an extra car key made and put it in your wallet.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Just take the next step - Learn something new / doTerra Essential Oils

Every now and then I like to learn about something totally new.

Recently, I've been reading and learning about essential oils which are used for health benefits.  I downloaded an eBook from Amazon titled Best Essential Oils Guide which is both inexpensive [99 cents] and interesting as a resource.

I've also also signed up with doTerra through a friend to be able to purchase and sell oils myself.  Not going full force on this yet until I learn more, but if you are interested in doTerra, let me know.  If you already know about essential oils and know what you want but just need a site from which to order, I'd appreciate your business.

HERE is a link to my doTerra store.

I started small with one or two oils in the $10-$20 range and every couple of months, I buy another one to try.  So far, they have been very helpful with digestion, healing insect bites, preventing colds and aromatherapy.

The next step?  Spend 99 cents and get the eBook.  I think you'll like it.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Which do you prefer? Curly or straight hair?

Some days I use a blow dryer and a brush and basically straighten my hair.  On cooler days like today, I just flip it over and blow it and get lots of waves and curl.  This is me in the YMCA locker room (after the FitLinxx circuit and an hour of water aerobics) ... a flip and quick blow dry. 

I've always liked my curly / wavy hair.  If it were shorter, the curls would really show.  How about you? Do you prefer straight? or curly?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Just take the next step -- when there is a bump in the road

Some days start off beautifully and then without warning there's a major bump in the road.   Don't you wish there were a sign like this when you got up in the morning so you would be prepared when that happens?  I could have sure used one today.  Maybe  that is why the Lord prompted me to take this photo. 😊

Of course, in my morning devotion I was reading Isaiah 45. I sat down to read it again this afternoon and realized I should've spent more time on it this morning. 

Is. 45:7 I form light and create darkness,
I make well-being and create calamity,
I am the LORD, who does all these things. 

If He allowed the conflict to happen, then it must be for my good. The other person is also a Christian, so it must be for her good, too. I will rest in that. 

The next step?  Pray, rest and wait.   Start again on Monday.  

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

One step at a time: tidy up one drawer

I wish I had taken a picture of what the store looked like before I organized it. They were toothpicks all over the bottom ...there were all kinds of things just thrown here and there ...flower preserver, candles, batteries, jar lids... Tidying it took a total of 12 minutes.

One step at a time for a clean, organize kitchen.
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