Tuesday, May 28, 2013

My Cousin Had a Pet Alligator

I’m not big on reptiles, but we were big buddies, my cousin and I, and since he was into that sort of thing, I joined in.  It wasn’t unusual for us kids to have a collection of frogs and lizards, sometimes turtles, and even one time, a snake.  Now, snakes is where I drew the line, and boy was I glad I wasn’t with him when he caught the thing in the woods that we played in by my grandmother’s house.

But, back to the alligator.  It was little, and cute, I suppose, for an alligator.  My cousin David kept it in an old washtub that belonged to my grandmother and she even put up with it residing in her backyard – she was patient that way.  Good thing the door everyone used was on the side of her house instead of the back - milkman
I don’t think the milkman would have appreciated the alligator there to greet him – he had enough trouble out of my grandmother’s ill tempered dog, Chester.  

comicad-minature-dog-asI guess I thought the gator would stay little.  I wonder if David thought so too.  But I don’t think there is such a thing as a tiny alligator that doesn’t grow, although,sea-monkeys I wouldn’t have been surprised if such was advertised along with the sea monkeys and other goofiness in the back of the comic books that David and I collected.

It is a wonder that his parents ever agreed to such a thing as having an alligator for a pet.  I suspect they knew that it would grow, and it certainly did.  But maybe they had to let David see for himself that it may not be the best choice for a pet.

You know, sin to us is a bit like that alligator was to David – pretty appealing at first, but then it grows.  And before we know it, we have a monster on our hands, like David did with his alligator.  Well, he and his family wanted to keep their hands…and limbs, and lives, for that matter.  So, they decided it would be best to get rid of the not so little monster, lest they get consumed…  Kinda like sin…  


Monday, May 20, 2013

When the Storm Clouds Roll In

Stormy days.  We don’t always like them. Sometimes they can be inconvenient.  If they occur consecutively, they can be depressing.  Severe storms may even be frightening.  But I think we would all agree that we can benefit from them.  

DSC_0032 (2)The greenery and blooms just beyond our doorsteps speak to the benefit of spring rains.  The beauty makes me mindful of how we stand to spiritually profit from stormy adversity in our lives. 

Some difficulty may just antagonize us, causing frustration.  A friend of ours calls annoying types of storms “the sandpaper of our lives.”  Heavy, dark storms that have no end in view may give way to a sense of helplessness and despair.  When life’s storms get severely threatening, we may find ourselves in fight or flight mode initially, and then we might become gripped with paralyzing fear and insecurity.

I was just watching the other day about what not to do during tornados.  One thing NOT to do if you see one heading your direction is jump in the car and try to outrun it.  Doing so usually doesn’t end favorably. 

In our personal lives, we tend to do just that, don’t we?  We try to escape adversity.  We may even beg God to bail us out, finding ourselves disheartened if He doesn’t answer our prayers the way that we think He ought to. 

But since God knows the big picture, He is more concerned about our long term benefit than our current state of comfort levels. 


We will never forget the beauty amongst the devastation of that perfect, fair day following the infamous tornado outbreak of April 2011.  

None of us recalled ever seeing the sky such a pure, intense shade of blue before. 

My daughter took this photo with her inexpensive point and shoot camera as she recorded some of our twister destruction.  The picture is in it’s “as is,” unaltered state, which gives you an idea of how deeply blue the sky was that day. 

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I took these, but also without filters and no adjustments were made.  I don’t know how it works, but it seems like the storms did more than strip away our trees.
My theory is that it cleared out any haze and what didn’t belong in our atmosphere, allowing us to see the sky in a purer state than what we normally see.      

Just as all of God’s creation benefits from rain, likewise we can benefit from storms in our lives.  Subsequently, other people will too, if we allow adversity to deepen our relationship with the Lord. 

Stormy periods aren’t always in our control.  But our response is our choice.  Will we allow ourselves to be refined, or will we let resentfulness and rebellion creep in?  Will we let the Lord clear out the haze, or will hostility cloud our thoughts and actions? 

With each passing storm, it is my hope that each of us will endeavor to gain ground towards being as intensely pure as that blue sky was here on April 28, 2011. 


Monday, May 13, 2013

Spring Fever, Pinterest Plague, and such…

How has your spring been?  I’m loving the sun, the rain, the blooms – there is such a sweet scent in the air of honeysuckle and jasmine right now.  Perfect for an evening walk in the woods!


We have had a lot going on and our yard is looking wild and un-kept as a result.  The whimsy in me kinda likes it – I’ll just keep telling myself it is Secret Gardenish to tame the perfectionist in me, because it is a mess!


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Nonetheless, everything is blooming up a storm.



All the rain God has blessed us with has made it a beautiful spring!


My Double Knockout roses are putting on a show.  If you don’t have any you may want to give them a try.   They are disease resistant and here in the south, they bloom profusely throughout spring, summer, and a good part of fall!  I love, love, love them!


Aren’t these little blooms sweet?  I wish I knew what they are.  This heirloom plant is from my kids great, great grandmother.  Isn’t that a treasure?!

Recently, my mom fell and fractured her lower spine.  She is in much pain so I stayed with her for a couple weeks. 

My family got sick and needed me, so now I am back home.  I thank the Lord for some sweet friends that are helping my mom as she recovers.

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My sick daughter has her best friend by her side too…that is, unless one of us is eating something.  I have never see such a hog dog love food as much as her!  Apparently though, she isn’t the only one who has an appetite for a tasty treat…

DSC_0625Who cares about romping outside in the mud,


or chewing an orange squeaky toy when there is birthday cake to be had!

My youngest is just about to get our homeschool year all wrapped up.  She is sad to finish up her beloved history book, but has found an alternative and great summer reading at a used bookstore…

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She squealed with delight, hugging me multiple times in the middle of the store when I told her that I would go in half with her for this beautiful set of history books!  Have you ever heard of such from a 15 year old? 


She made this banner for me for Mother’s Day.


A framed drawing of Queen Victoria was a special gift from her for Mother’s Day.  It works perfectly with my Victorian theme, don’t you think?  What a total sweetheart which brings much joy!

You know what I did?  I finally joined Pinterest.  If you haven’t seen me around lately, that’s why!


I haven’t done a lot with it yet, but OHHHHHH!  I caught the Pinterest Plague!  Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to quarantine myself and stay on my computer all day for entertainment… Winking smile

I have always intended to craft a little, but have been more into decorating over the years.  I guess you could say that I’m a procrastinator procraftinator.  But Pinterest has given me a “can do” attitude. 

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Although I’m afraid that I may end up setting aside my piano pursuits for the time being…

Here’s hoping that you had a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend and will have a great week ahead!


Monday, May 6, 2013

Facing Difficult Relationships

All of us at some time or another in our lives face difficult relationships.  Knowing how to respond can be challenging, to say the least.  Handling the situation prayerfully and making sure our own hearts are pure before God are the first things to do.  But you most likely know that.

Think about this for a moment - Do you or someone you know have personal regrets after losing a loved one?  “If only I had said this to them,” or “If only I had reacted better when that happened,” or “If only I had been more supportive,” or “If only I had invested in more time with them,” or “If only I had understood…”  Although it may seem like I am changing the subject here, I am actually making my point:

no regret

Now, I don’t mean tolerating sin.  It could be that God may very well want you to confront and perhaps set boundaries.  It is imperative to seek God’s direction and implement His will.

Let God do the driving1

Letting our emotions steer and control us will get us in trouble, inevitably taking us where we don’t need to go. 

Whether the Lord calls you to boldness or quietness, when you go about it His way, then you can lay your head down at each day’s end, knowing that you responded the right way; God’s way.

roses “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”   Gal. 5:22-23


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Simple Southern Peach Cobbler

“Not like that,” my son replied when I told him that I wonder how to capture a good picture of peach cobbler. Open-mouthed smile Oh well, I was way more interested in diving in than snapping again… Besides, a rainy day isn’t the best day for lighting pictures inside my kitchen, I rationalized, but it’s an excellent day to bake and eat a cobbler… 

There’s something homey and cozy about cobblers, don’t you think?  I’ve made this year after year, but it has evolved and changed over time into the way that we like it best. 

There is a secret to it turning out good - using an extra large baking dish – which makes a BIG difference with this recipe.  The dish that I use is about 15-inch by 1o-inch, which really gives the crust room to become golden yumminess.

Simple Southern Peach Cobbler

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup sugar 
1 cup milk

2 –16 oz. packages frozen peaches
cinnamon (optional and amount to taste)
3/4 cups sugar

1. Melt butter and spread evenly into large baking dish; set aside. 

2. In a bowl, mix flour, 1 cup sugar, and milk, stirring or whisking  just until blended (batter will be slightly lumpy). Spoon batter over butter, but do not stir.

3. Layer frozen peaches (no need to thaw) evenly over top of butter and batter.  Do not stir.  Sprinkle peaches with cinnamon if desired, and 3/4 cup sugar.  (Be brave with the sugar - it looks like a lot as you put it on but frozen peaches will come out too tart if you skimp.)  No stirring here, either.

Bake at 350 degrees for an hour or so (my oven takes a little longer than an hour), aiming for crust that is lightly golden.   

*This can easily be a dairy free cobbler.  I use almond milk and Blue Bonnet Light margarine, which makes batter a little thinner so I add an extra TBS or two of flour.

*If you would like a double crust cobbler (although not necessary), you can make recipe just as written and then layer a prepared pie crust over top.  Dot with a little butter, and a sprinkling of cinnamon and sugar. (Pictured is without the pie crust.)


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