Thursday, February 28, 2019
Hello, friends! Hope you are having a good week. This has not been a busy week for me, but that being said you know I have been sleeping a lot during the day. I just can't stay awake during the day. Especially when I wake up around 2:30 a.m. each morning. (Sometimes 3:00 a.m. and one day as late as 4:00 a.m.)
Monday was a windy day for us. I cleaned up my yard over and over. I finally gave up. Thank goodness we have a fence so things didn't end up in the neighbor's yard. But there were trash cans, lids, and garden furniture all over the place.
Joe, Rick and I went to the nursing home Monday also. The residents there are so sweet and so appreciative of all that you do for them. Rick led the singing and read the scripture and Joe preached the message. It was on the Rich Young Ruler from Luke 18. Three men asked Joe for a Bible. He had one and will have to order the other two for them.
Tuesday I got a new picture of Hadley. Can you believe she's 18 months old already? Her mom says she is the Cheetos monster. What do you think?
Yesterday I worked on the house. There's so much to do around here. I have no idea how it got so messy. Then in the evening we went to Bible Study. We finally got through 2 Samuel 18. It's been several weeks we've been trying to do this chapter. First Joe was sick. Then the streets were icy and we called it off. Then Joe was sick again. So now it's on to chapter 19 next week.
Also yesterday I worked on the lessons for my Ladies Bible Study which is starting up for the 2019 season next week. That means the winter is almost over and spring is on the way. I always start the study around the beginning of Lent and end it at the beginning of Advent. I love teaching the study but it sure helps to have a break for several months.
Today is going to be a busy day. We need to take the car to the garage early this morning. It has been recalled and we have to get the new part put on. Then I am taking Joe to get a haircut and we are going to go out for lunch. I still want to bake today too. Let's see what I can get done.
And with that I have to get going, take my meds and get something to eat before I take off. Hope you all have a good day.
Monday, February 25, 2019
CALL THE MIDWIFE: A MEMOIR OF BIRTH, JOY, AND HARD TIMES by Jennifer Worth
I'm sure most of you are familiar with the PBS television show "Call the Midwife." But before it was a show, it was a book. A very good book.
This is the first of a trilogy of books by Jennifer Worth describing her work as a district nurse and midwife in the East End of London during the 1950s. She wrote this book after retiring from a career as a musician which she began after she left nursing. It was originally published in July 2002. It was reissued in 2007 along with the other two volumes of this series and became a best seller. By the time of Jennifer Worth's death in June 2011 it had sold over a million copies. In 2012 the BBC made an adaptation of the books and this boosted their sales even further.
The book is set in Poplar, a neighborhood in the East End of London, where Jenny Lee (Worth's maiden name) works as a nurse and midwife attached to an Anglican convent. The story is split between chapters describing birthing mothers and their sometimes traumatic experiences and more light-hearted incidents back at the convent. The names of the convent and of the characters are all pseudonyms except for Cynthia who remained her close friend for the rest of their lives.
(Credit to Wikipedia for all this great information.)
I bought this book for my Kindle at least 2 years ago. Maybe more. I loved the show and was always going to read it someday. Well, I read it. I read it in four days. I couldn't stop reading it. The stories are so close to the show. I am currently watching season one of the show on Netflix and at one point I was almost able to read along because the dialog was word for word what was said in the book. This was one of the best books I have ever had the delight to read. Why did it take me so long to read it? I am waiting until I get paid so I can purchase volumes 2 and 3. I highly recommend this book. But be aware that there are definitely parts that if you have a weak stomach for blood and medical procedures this is not the book for you.
Sunday, February 24, 2019
Hello, friends! Happy Sunday. Today's opening hymn is one of my favorites: Praise Him, Praise Him, Jesus Our Blessed Redeemer! It's a happy piece and I can't help but smile as I sing it.
It was written by one of my favorite hymnwriters -- Fanny Crosby. Let me tell you what I found out about her on hymnary.org.
Frances Jane Crosby was born in Southeast, Putnam County, NY on March 24, 1820 to John and Mercy Crosby. She became blind at the age of six weeks from mistreatment of her eyes during an illness. When she was eight years old, she moved with her parents to Ridgefield, CT. When she was 15 years old, she entered the NY Institution for the Blind where she received a good education. She became a teacher there in 1847 and stayed until March 1, 1858. She taught English grammar, rhetoric and American history.
This was a great period of development in her life. During vacations in 1852 and 1853 that she spend in North Reading, MA, she wrote the lyrics to many songs for Dr. George F. Root, the music teacher at the blind institution. The article goes on to list a great many songs including two cantatas that I have never heard of. It says that although the songs were popular, people did not know that she wrote them.
Fanny Crosby met Presidents Van Buren and Tyler, Hon. Henry Clay, and other famous men from American history while she was a teacher at the blind institution. She was also the first woman to ever speak in front of the Senate in Washington, DC. She read a poem to them. In all Ms. Crosby wrote over 8,000 poems many of which have been set to music. Although she was famous for her poetry, it is for her hymns and Sunday School songs that she is remembered.
She was married on March 5, 1858 to Alexander Van Alstyne who was also a teacher at the blind institution.
She began to write Sunday School songs for William B. Bradbury in 1864. This became a way for her to support herself. She lived in New York City for most of her life and became employed by Bigelow and Main Company where she composed over 4,000 hymns. She had a knack of being able to compose at will without special inspiration and her most popular hymns seem to have been composed at the spur of the moment. She learned to play both the guitar and the piano at the institution and had a clear soprano voice.
Ms. Crosby always claimed that if God had not allowed her to be blind, she would not have had the good education and opportunities which she had. Instead of seeing her blindness as an affliction, she viewed it as a great blessing.
After finding so much information on Fanny Crosby, I could find so little on the composer of the tune, Chester G. Allen. He was born in Westford, NY on February 15, 1838 and died in Cooperstown, NY on October 18, 1878. He was a teacher and composer. He taught music in the Cleveland, OH public schools and was a long time editor of the New York Musical Gazette. He also edited and compiled collections of music for schools and churches containing many of his own compositions.
And here is the hymn for you to hear. I hope it puts a smile on your face as it does mine.
Saturday, February 23, 2019
Hello, friends. I want to share with you something that I find very upsetting. I just got an email from Diane at the blog Lavender Dreamer. It appears that Google decided her blog was not meeting their standards and arbitrarily shut her down and deleted her blog. No arguments, chance to change things, nothing. Fortunately she was able to start a new blog explaining what had happened. She is allowing me and others to copy her post to explain what is going on.
Please visit her new blog at lavenderdreamsnew.blogspot.com. Let's show Diane (and Google) that we still care about her and want her to continue her blog.
Thanks friends. I know I can count on you to show her some love.
Our former happy little blog (lavenderdreamstoo.blogspot.com) was suddenly terminated.
Why and how was it done? It wasn't someone reporting us. It was Google's automated piece of software (a bot) that roams the Blogger world looking for pre-programmed words of woe. Once it detects something it kills the whole blog without warning. Without any notification about these supposed offending words. Without an opportunity to fix anything. Just ZAP ... your digital life is deleted. Everything is gone!
Ten years of blogging, thousands of posts, many thousands of photos, over ten thousand comments and a hundred thousand heart-felt words all gone in an instant. Devastating! Be warned all you innocents in blogland.
The blog was actually removed twice, for "phishing". Which, as you all know, is absurd. We have never asked for your personal, private information. The Appeals process reinstated the blog the first time then the Google Bot zapped us again the next day. But the second time we were locked out of the Appeals process. We tried sending Feedback. Never got a answer. Tried to post to the Blogger Help Community. They never published the post. Located twenty phone numbers for Google. The numbers are all automated and only a couple allowed you to leave a message. We left messages. Never got a callback.
Google/Blogger pronounces you guilty using an "automated system" (their words) and gives you little or no opportunity to prove otherwise. It's been a nightmare.
Please visit her new blog at lavenderdreamsnew.blogspot.com. Let's show Diane (and Google) that we still care about her and want her to continue her blog.
Thanks friends. I know I can count on you to show her some love.
Friday, February 22, 2019
Hello, friends! Hope you are having a wonderful Friday. These weeks just seem to fly by and here it is the end of February already. I am feeling much more myself these days. I think I have finally banished the dreaded crud and I am happy to see it go.
It is very early morning here. I woke up at 2:00 a.m. and have not been able to go back to sleep. So I have written two other posts for next week and now decided to pop in and do one for now. I have a feeling that around 10:00 a.m. I am going to be very sleepy and will probably end up falling asleep in the sofa for several hours. Since there is nothing urgent to do today that is perfectly fine.
Since I subscribed to Netflix earlier this month, I have been enjoying the numerous shows they have on there. I finished watching "The Crown" and "Anne with an E" and am waiting for new episodes. I am now watching "When Calls the Heart" and "Call the Midwife." Lots of others also. I have quite the list from history, and documentaries to drama. I'm also watching several home improvement/cooking/antiques hunting/gardening/make it yourself shows.
But one of my favorites is "The Great British Baking Show." I always watch it when it comes on PBS, but now I have six complete seasons. Somehow I have found myself watching the seasons backwards. I began with season six and have watched that and season five. I am finishing up season four today. Maybe when I am done I will watch them again in the correct order. So I have been inspired to bake.
Two weeks ago I had some blueberries that I wanted to use. Joe and I love blueberry muffins, so I decided to make that. I used a mix, but used fresh blueberries instead of what was in the can they provided. They turned out wonderful.
Last week I was going to make chocolate chip cookies. Then I got sick. So Joe decided he would make them for me. I had a mix so it was pretty easy. I also had a half of a cup of water on the table and was going to use the one tablespoon the recipe called for from that cup. But Joe thought I had already measured things out and dumped the entire thing in. He did his best to salvage it, and they were good enough that we ate them, but it just wasn't right. *sigh* Now that I am well, we will have to make them again.
This week I still had some blueberries so I made lemon blueberry bread. I have the recipe on my other blog so I will link it HERE. This turned out so good. It didn't last very long either with Joe and I both coming from the kitchen to the living room with slices in our hands saying, "Just one more piece to eat while we watch this show."
Since I am now baking once a week I know I will have lots of other yummy things to show you.
Have a great day everyone and stay warm!
Thursday, February 21, 2019
Hello, friends! I am feeling much better and thank you for all of your prayers and good wishes. I really appreciate it.
Yesterday we had a pretty good snow storm. It closed the schools and even the city shut down at 1 p.m. I was thinking of how it was when I was working for the city and we heard we would have the afternoon off. How happy we were to go home to our warm homes and know we didn't have to be out on the roads when they turned to ice.
I sat at the kitchen table reading my book and looked out at the falling snow. And then I saw the robins. A huge flock of them sitting in the tree.
This is unbelievable. We don't see robins around here until the end of March or even April. And never in flocks. Here's a little video I took. The birds were flying all over the place.
And another one I took of the snow.
We got about three inches yesterday and today it is almost gone.
It is supposed to go up to the low 60s later this week. This is the craziest winter I can ever remember. But it is making my temperature blanket very interesting.
Have a good evening.
Wednesday, February 20, 2019
(I am writing this post on Saturday the 16th, but hopefully will be back in real time tomorrow.)
A few days ago I was sitting at the kitchen table making a cup of tea for this ridiculous sore throat I had. I looked out the window and saw a flock of birds sitting in my tree.
I took a second look and said to myself, "Are those robins?"
First of all, I never see robins this early. And secondly, I've never seen a FLOCK of robins let alone a flock sitting in a tree.
I also saw a pop of red and am thinking our cardinals are back. That would make me so happy!
These pictures are so bad because I took them through the window and the screen. But I was so happy to see them at all that it didn't even matter.
I am so over the cold weather and the snow even though technically we had a very mild winter this year. I want to be able to sit in the yard in the afternoon and read a book while sipping my iced tea. I want to see flowers and hear birds. *sigh* I can hardly wait.
Hope you all have a wonderful day. Spring is coming.
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
(I am writing this on Saturday the 16th while I am feeling OK but do not have the energy to do too much. Hopefully in a few days I will be back to real time.)
It is a few days after Valentine's Day but I thought I would tell you about it. It wasn't the greatest day because I was feeling so sick. I ended up spending most of the day laying on the sofa and watching TV.
On Wednesday Joe had to go to the bank. I had to drive him because he no longer drives. The bank he uses is in the Shoprite we used to go to. I drove around for awhile until I found a parking spot and then sat there reading until he came out. When he did, he had some beautiful flowers for me. He made sure it included one red rose which is what he gives me every year since we've been together. The one red rose is a very special symbol between us.
On the way home I had to stop for gas at Wawa. Joe said he was hungry and wanted to get a sandwich so we drove over to the store and again I just stayed in the car while he went in. He came out with a couple of donuts and one of them was just for me.
We had stopped at Rite Aid on the way to the bank and when we get home Joe puts a Rite Aid bag in my hands. In it are Peeps! You know I love those Peeps. The large ones are regular flavor and the small hearts are strawberry creme. Yum!
And a pair of Valentine's Day socks. So cute!
On Valentine's Day morning Joe says to me that he forgot to give me something and hands me another bag. There were two beautiful tops in it.
The first one is definitely for summer even though it has longer sleeves. It is sheer and I will have to wear a camisole with it.
I love the cord around the neckline and the tassels on the end.
The second top was even prettier. I love the Asian look to it. Joe loved it too and that is why he got it for me.
This has shorter sleeves. The sleeves have these sweet little pleats in them. So pretty!
He also gave me a beautiful card.
I gave Joe a card and some of his favorite dark chocolate Dove candy hearts and a bag of Hershey kisses with conversations printed on the bottom of them. Then I made him a dinner of hickory smoked ham, mashed sweet potatoes and mixed veggies. He had a butter pecan gelato for dessert and I had a Klondike bar.
So even though I was sick, we still had a wonderful day. Of course any day we are together is a wonderful day.
Monday, February 18, 2019
Hello friends! I am writing several posts on Saturday afternoon while I'm feeling a little better. Hopefully by the end of next week I will be back to myself. But now I will tell you about the last book I finished reading.
THE BELOVED CHRISTMAS QUILT by
Wanda E. Brunstetter, Jean Brunstetter and Richelle Brunstetter
The scripture embroidered on the back of a beloved quilt brings hope to three generations of Amish women at Christmastime.
LUELLA'S PROMISE by Wanda E. Brunstetter
Luella Ebersol has been caregiver for a dying woman and her young son. When Dena Zook gives Luella her favorite quilt, she makes Luella promise to pass it down to her future daughter. But Luella isn't sure she will ever marry if she can't find someone with maturity and faith like Dena's husband, Atlee Zook.
KAREN'S GIFT by Jean Brunstetter
Karen Allgyer and her husband moved to a slow-paced village to raise their children, but Karen longs for the closeness of family to help her through the challenges of managing three girls with one on the way. When life's pressures rise, will Karen cave to her fears?
ROSEANNA'S GROOM by Richelle Brunstetter
When the unexpected happens on the day of her wedding, Roseanna Allgyer can't help but blame herself, despite not understanding why. Then an old boyfriend returns to town, and she battles feelings for him -- while afraid of being hurt again.
I really like Wanda Brunstetter's books. So I bought this not knowing that it was in three parts with her daughter-in-law writing the second part and her granddaughter the third. Just as there are three generations of women in the stories, there are three generations of authors. That was so unique. I liked all of the stories even though I found the last one especially predictable. But seeing as this was Richelle's very first book, it was good. I did find that I liked Wanda's story the best. I thought she developed her characters more than the other two. The second story by Jean was very good too and kept my attention. The third story I was able to move through very quickly.
All in all I am glad I read it but I probably would not buy a three-in-one book again.
Sunday, February 17, 2019
Hello, friends. You know I am sick when I tell you that I am not going to church today. I am feeling some better, but I am not going to spread my germs among my friends. I will just sleep here instead. But that does not mean I let my responsibilities go. I made up the church bulletin yesterday and Joe gave it to Pastor this morning when he went to church for the bi-monthly Men's Prayer Breakfast. Eight men showed up for the breakfast which was wonderful!
So I do know what the opening hymn is today and it's a favorite of mine -- Holy, Holy, Holy. And I'll bet most of you could sing this along with me now. (If I could sing with this cold.) Let me tell you the background. Since I am not 100%, I just got all of this information from hymnary.org today instead of going around to several websites like I usually do.
The words were written by Reginald Heber. He was born in 1783 into a wealthy and educated family. He was very intelligent, translating a Latin classic into English at the age of seven. He entered Oxford University at age 17 and won several awards for his poetry while a student there. After his graduation he became the rector of his father's church in the village of Hodnet near Shrewsbury in the west of England. He was rector there for 16 years. He was appointed the bishop of Calcutta in 1823 and worked tirelessly there for three years until the weather and travel took a toll on his health and he died of a stroke. Most of the 57 hymns he wrote are still sung in churches today.
The tune is called Nicaea (Dykes) and was written by John Bacchus Dykes in 1861. He was born in Kingston-Upon-Hull in 1823 and died at St. Leonards in 1876. It was first published in the Evangelical Lutheran Hymnal in 1908.
And now let's listen to this beautiful hymn.
Have a blessed Sunday.
Thursday, February 14, 2019
First Joe got sick on Saturday. Then on Sunday afternoon I began feeling unwell. By Sunday evening it was a full blown cold with scratchy throat, fever, chills, stuffy nose, sneezing and coughing. Joe is getting better. I am not.
I went to the doctor on Tuesday and got some medication. It works for some hours after I take it, but for several hours before my next dose I am feeling awful again.
Today I see a slight improvement. This is the first day I actually got out of bed and into the shower. Boy did I need it. I feel like a human again, but a sick human.
It has been a nice Valentine's Day and Joe totally spoiled me, but I am too sick to tell you about it. Give me a couple of days and I will be visiting you again and catching you up on things.
In the meantime I hope you all have a wonderful day today.
Monday, February 11, 2019
I knew it was happening soon. And yesterday it did. The amaryllis opened. This first picture is sort of dark.
I took the above picture last night, but wanted to get better pictures this morning. And I did. How pretty it is!
What's more, there are two more buds on the plant.
My hyacinth is beginning to turn brown. It's life span is over.
But surprise! There is another bud on the plant. I have never seen a hyacinth bulb do this. It's so exciting!
I'll keep you updated with these new blooms coming.
It is very cold today and we got some snow. Not a lot, but it's supposed to be substantial tonight into tomorrow with some icing. I was going to take the car into the garage, but I think it will wait until Wednesday. I hope this is winter's last hurrah.
Sunday, February 10, 2019
Happy Sunday, friends. Hope you are doing well on this cold Sunday morning. As you go your way today, please pray for Joe who is very sick with a nasty cold. At least that is what we think it is at the moment. He is too sick to get to church this morning and I know he misses when he can't get there.
Today's opening hymn is "Before the Throne of God Above." The words were written in 1863 by Charitie Less Bancroft (1841-1923). She was born in Bloomfield, Merrion, County Dublin, and was the daughter of Rev. Sidney Smith of Drumragh County, Tyrone, Ireland. In 1869 she married Arthur E. Bancroft. She died in Oakland, California at the age of 82.
These words were originally set to the tune of "Sweet Hour of Prayer" but in 1997 Vikki Cook of Sovereign Grace Ministries wrote the music we use today and it became popular.
This beautiful hymn was to be used for communion and when studying I Peter 1 both of which were true for our service this morning. I hope you listen to the words which are so meaningful.
Have a wonderful Sunday.
Saturday, February 9, 2019
I thought I would show you how my amaryllis are doing. The one that Joe gave me never did get a flower bulb. It just has lots of leaves.
But the one Elaine gave me for Christmas is getting more beautiful each day.
Either later today or tomorrow the flowers should be opened completely. I am so excited to see them. I love these flowers.
I also bought a white hyacinth last week. It was completely closed but now is so beautiful opened.
I'll be planting it outside as soon as it gets warmer.
Hope you enjoy seeing these little bits of spring. Only 39 more days until it is officially here. I can't wait for the warmer temperatures. It has gone back into the 30s here this weekend. I'm so tired of it being below freezing.