Thursday, February 25, 2021

RUN, SPOT, RUN! SEE SPOT RUN!

I was 6 years and 2 months old when I discovered the joy of WORDS.  I was in the first grade in a very small school in a very small town, and I had the extreme blessing and joy to have for my first grade teacher MISS ROBERTA CHAMPION.  Though that was so many, many years ago I can see every detail of that classroom; I can hear the simple songs that Miss Champion taught us; and I can hear her sweet voice as she led us each day to recite...A is for Apple, B is for Ball, C is for Cat...


But the thing I remember most from that year is that....I LEARNED TO READ.  Oh, how I loved reading time.  As did most children of that era, we learned to read with DICK, JANE, SALLY, and their dog SPOT.

I can remember the excitement when we did our Round Robin Reading (which is no longer used in classrooms...and really for good reasons) and it was my turn to read.  "Run, Dick, run!  Run, Jane, run!  See Dick run.  See Jane run.  Oh, oh, oh.  Look!  See Dick and Jane run."  (Or something to that effect.)

INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT DICK & JANE

*By 1950, an estimated 80% of American 1st graders were reading Dick & Jane texts.

*Every page contained only one new word that the reader hadn't yet seen in any previous Dick & Jane collections.  On ever 3rd page, all the new words would be combined.  And not a single story introduced more than five or six new words.                                source:  www.mentalfloss.com  


Many....so many....years have passed but my love of reading has not diminished.  Many people (including myself now and then) choose to read novels via their KINDLE.  But I, for one, much prefer the feel of a real book in my hands as I turn the crisp pages.  And just as I loved learning new words at the age of 6, I still find joy in discovering words I have never seen before.  In fact, each day on my email, I receive a new word and its meaning...it’s like discovering a little treasure.



I’ve really learned some interesting new words lately.  I doubt I will use them or even remember them, but still...lots of fun just seeing them in print and thinking about how I might possibly use them in conversation.

Here are a few recent ones that have come my way, but instead of immediately telling you the meaning, I’ll let you see if you can figure them out for yourself.  We all need to brush away those mental cobwebs occasionally!  (But just in case, the answers are below.)                  



1.  I was so frumious when my hairdresser broke my much-needed haircut appointment.     (This happened to me today!)

 

2.  Knowing how to speak French, Italian, English, and German certainly makes him an amazing polyglot. 

 

3.  After he swindled me out of a lot of money, I realized what a snollygoster he is.

 

4.  His galimatias was caused by dementia.

 

5.  An exercise in omphaloskepsis is a waste of time, but my toddler seems to enjoy it.

 


Answers:

1.  angry

2.  someone who can speak many different languages

3.  an unscrupulous person

4.  unintelligible talk

5.  navel gazing

Oh, how I love WORDS!  They are magical.  My six-year-old self is far in the past, but my memories of Miss Champion, Dick & Jane, and the feel of that first basal reader will forever be with me...along with my love of reading, a gift and a blessing I will always cherish.

 

And to end on a fun note...

Although he was once a polyglot and a snollygoster, he now spends his days engaged in galimatias and omphaloskepsis; therefore, I cannot remain frumious with him.



I’m someone who likes to rub words in his hands, to turn them around and feel them, to wonder if that really is the best word possible.           (American novelist James Salter, 1993) 


Tuesday, February 16, 2021

KETCH-UP TIME

It’s KETCH-UP TIME again!  Where does my time go?  Seems impossible that we are already into the second month of a new year.  Somebody needs to slow down the clock!! 


So…what has been going on with me?


*Hubby and I had our 2nd COVID-19 vaccine a week ago, and boy oh boy!  The following 20 hours or so were not good ones for me!!!  Hubby did fine with no side effects whatsoever, but I had a bad enough reaction for the both of us.  About 6 hours after our shot, I began with a headache and 2 hours after that I was hurting from the top of my head to the tips of my toes.  Felt like a sledge hammer was hitting my head continuously.  Also, terrible chills and high fever.  

I’ve read that 50% have a reaction to some degree and 50% don’t.  Leave it up to me to be in the 50% that do!!!  And from what I’ve heard from others who have had a reaction, mine was one of the worst.  Most don’t seem to have it that bad.  What can I say?  When I do something, I do it up right.  I am still thankful for the vaccine and would do it all over again.  



We spent yesterday at our STATE COMPETITIVE CHEERLEADING meet.  We watched 32 teams perform.  Our PURPLE GIRLS were Region Champs but we didn’t win at state.  However, we were 9th in the Top Ten so we were pleased.  Our girls did great and we were so proud of our granddaughter who hit all her stunts.  And, yes, this is her wwwwaaaaaayyyyy up in the air.  My heart skips a beat every time she does this.  Guess I’m bragging, but our team was one of the few who did this stunt and she went higher in the air than anyone. 



I’ve been doing something for the last 3 weeks I haven’t done basically since 2005…making lesson plans.  However, these aren’t for school but for the GIRLS IN ACTION (GAs) I’ll be teaching beginning the 24th.  Have to admit I really didn’t want to do this but they needed a teacher and after weeks and nobody stepping up to the plate, I felt the Lord telling me I needed to do it.  Hope the Lord is planning on helping me out with all this😊

Just wanted to say to any readers who are weathering what evidently is the worst winter storm across our country in decades, that I’m praying for you.  No snow for us, but the weather has been quite rainy and cold recently.  Hope everyone is warm and safe…and stocked up on toilet paper and other supplies.


Sending Love, Hugs, & Prayers!








 












Sunday, February 7, 2021

IT'S A MIRACLE...OR IS IT?

 

Miracle: An extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

Do you believe in miracles?  A few weeks ago I taught a Sunday School lesson concerning some of the miracles performed by Jesus.  While researching for the lesson, I came across what I thought were some interesting facts about people’s belief…or disbelief…in miracles.  A national scientific survey conducted by Barna Research showed these results:

*When asked if miracles were possible today, 67% said yes, 15% said no, others had no opinion.

*Young adults (61%) were less likely to believe in miracles than Baby Boomers (73%)…this did NOT surprise me.

*Republicans (74%) were more likely to believe in modern day miracles than Democrats (61%)…that’s interesting.

*38% of those surveyed say they have had an experience that can only be described as a miracle.   (It was pointed out, however, that some of these “miracles” probably were actually coincidences rather than true supernatural miracles.)

 

These results were a little bit surprising…

*the percentage who believed in modern day miracles DECREASED with education (guess that explains a lot of today’s liberal professors)

*same was true for income level with the more wealth, the more skepticism

*In terms of ethnicity, more than half of Hispanics and African Americans affirmed modern day miracles compared to a third of whites.

 

So…is this saying if you are white, Democrat, highly educated and wealthy you probably aren’t believing in miracles?  Just asking!


I did read this and I do agree…perhaps we have used the words MIRACLE or MIRACULOUS to the point they don’t have the meaning they should have to us Christians.  Perhaps we should be more careful attributing things as being miraculous…it drains away the power and the idea of what a miracle really is.  For example…when the U.S. hockey team beat the Russian team in the 1980 Olympics.  Everyone called it MIRACLE ON ICE, but that wasn’t a miracle.  It was the result of a lot of hard work, playing hard, a good game plan, and probably some luck!

 


Albert Einstein once wrote, “ There are only two ways to live your life.  One is as though nothing is a miracle.  The other is as though everything is a miracle.    Now I certainly don’t think I’m smarter than Einstein (far, far, far from it!), but I disagree with his statement.  I do believe in modern-day miracles, but I don’t believe everything is a miracle.  I’ll try to explain.

 

Sometimes I’ll be thinking something and next thing I know my husband is saying what I’m thinking!  That’s not a miracle…that’s a coincidence.  The other day I was thinking about how I had not seen my granddaughter in several days and all of a sudden she was walking in the backdoor.  That was not a miracle, that was a coincidence.  Sorry, Mr. Einstein.  Like my research said, I think we may sometimes overuse the word MIRACLE to the extent when a real miracle comes along we don’t think much about it…and that’s a shame. 


Lee Strobel has written a book THE CASE FOR MIRACLES.  (I love Strobel’s life story…an atheist turned believer.)  For his book he interviewed many people who felt they had had a miracle performed by God/Jesus in their lives.  One of my favorites is this one:

 

Google Image

A doctor/missionary was working in Africa.  She delivered a premature baby but the mother died in childbirth.  There was no incubator, no electricity, and no way to keep the baby warm enough, but a nurse found a hot water bottle and filled it.  Unfortunately, shortly after the water bottle burst.  The doctor’s daughter was nearby playing with some orphans, and so the doctor asked them to pray for the baby.  As it came time for her daughter Ruth to pray, the little girl said, “Please, God, send us a water bottle and please send it today because the baby won’t live till tomorrow without it.”  And then she added, “And while you’re at it, God, please send the baby a dolly to show her you really love her.”  The doctor was a little surprised by her daughter’s prayer but didn’t say anything. 

 



That very afternoon a care package arrived from a group that often sent them gifts and supplies.  As the doctor and the children unpacked the box, they found food, bandages, and other supplies…and to the doctor’s great surprise one HOT WATER BOTTLE!  And when Ruth saw it, she said, “Well, if God sent the hot water bottle, I know he sent a dolly, too.”  And sure enough, at the bottom of the box was a doll!  (True story, y’all!)

Now that, ladies & gentlemen, was no coincidence…that was a MIRACLE😊

 

I wrote about another miracle Strobel wrote about in his book.  You can read that post here (see end of that post).

 

Do you believe in modern-day miracles?

Do you agree with Einstein?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.







Sunday, January 31, 2021

LIFE IS LIKE A PATCHWOORK QUILT

I am a collector of memories…I have boxes and boxes of memorabilia from my childhood, my high school years, college years, and our marriage.  I do try to be selective and not keep “everything” but I’m sure there are things I keep that many would discard. 

 

There are some things that seem to instantly bring back memories.  Maybe it’s the smell of fresh baked bread or chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven.  Or maybe it’s certain ornaments placed on the Christmas tree or a certain song that we hear.


One thing that instantly brings back many memories from my childhood is the sight of needle and thread.  You see, both my mother and grandmother were very accomplished seamstresses who didn’t go many days without picking up a dress pattern or a button or a basket of scraps and begin to stitch away.  My mother worked full time, but she also sewed for the public to help make ends meet, as well as make just about all hers and my clothes.  She also spent many, many hours making dance costumes for me and other girls in my dance group.  I honestly don’t know how she managed it all because each and every sequin and seed pearl were sewn on by hand!

My grandmother in her latter years mostly sewed quilts.  She made MANY through the years and never once did she use a sewing machine…everything was hand stitched.  I was recently going through some stored-away linens and came across the last quilt I believe my Granny ever made…and it was made especially for me.  It’s what would be called a CRAZY QUILT since there is no real pattern.  Granny wasn’t much on patterned quilts…she just sewed together what she had.  She would use leftover scraps from my mother’s many sewing projects as well as scraps from old clothes.  This quilt is not the prettiest Granny ever made…after all she was in her 90s at the time…but so many patches I recognize and could tell you the stories behind them.

My Sweet Granny

As I was looking at my Crazy Quilt and thinking about my Granny, I couldn’t help but think that life is really a lot like a patchwork quilt.  Each quilt is made up of a kaleidoscope of brightly colored fabric patches sewn together in a special way, just like our life is sewn together with our individual experiences, dreams, and memories.  And just like each patch is a unique part of the whole, each of our lives also has a special place in the scheme of God’s creation.  One patch can’t make a quilt…it takes all the patches together to make something beautiful.  If only all lives could come together in a beautiful pattern….all colors, all patterns, all shapes…working together to make a beautiful quilt of love and kindness.  Oh how beautiful the world would be!

Another memory brought to mind by quilts is also from my childhood.  Since my mother worked, I would often stay with my other grandmother (also called Granny).  She lived in a very old house that was heated with gas space heaters.  Not the best source of heat in the world!  My mother would drop me off early in the morning and on cold days Granny would quickly tuck me into her still unmade bed that she had waiting for me.  She would then smother me in homemade quilts.  Sometimes I could barely move there were so many, but oh how very warm and cozy!  I guess it’s not surprising that whenever I see a quilt I think of Grannies and love.



I’m sure some people still decorate with handmade quilts, but probably not as many as in years past.  Instead we buy lovely bedspreads or comforters that were stitched by a machine in a factory by a worker who probably was only trying to meet a quota.  Those bedcoverings might be beautiful and every stitch might be perfect, but one thing they are lacking…love in every stitch.  Snuggling with a quilt made by your Granny from scraps sometimes precious to come by and knowing that every stitch was painstakingly placed is priceless.  I no longer have my Grannies but I do have their quilts.  In fact, I think I’ll go find one now and snuggle for awhile and let the memories warm my heart and soul.  




 



Sunday, January 24, 2021

FAUX WHAT?????

 Faux fur, faux leather, faux flowers.  I even have faux grandchildren!  Yes, I really do.  The parents of these sweet twins (now 20) adopted us as an extra set of grandparents when they were born, so I've always called them my faux grandchildren, but we love them like the real thing:) 

Yes, we've all heard of faux fur & faux leather (and now faux grandchildren) but have you heard of a FAUXBONICHI?  

A what???  It's a journal that is a "fake" HOBONICHI?  A what???

OK, I'll try to explain.  The HOBONICHI is a type of planner/diary that was developed in Japan about 2002.  At first you could only get them from Japan (written in Japanese), but now you can actually order them from various places online.  However!  They can be quite expensive.

  
This one is $65!!!

So...some bright, creative woman person (these days I need to be sure to be politically correct) came up with a DIY or "faux" HOBONICHI and named it FAUXBONICHI. (Nobody seems to know exactly who this person was.)  There are many youtube videos and blog posts about this, so you can search to find more info (if you even care to).

Most journalers who use this type of journal create their own.  Many, if not most, use those hardback composition notebooks that you can get for $1 most places.  The covers are altered according to the DIY-ers choice of materials and style.  I am no artist (like some), but here are some I have created:

Anywho!  I began one last year, but with all the craziness I got way behind.  I did go back though & summarize the last few months of 2020.  Now I've begun once again for 2021.  And so far, I'm really enjoying it.  Many FAUXBONICHI-ers use their own artwork to decorate the pages, but since I can't even draw a decent stick figure I use clipart, magazine clippings, & photos.  I love to write & create with paper, so making my own journal & designing my pages is a creative outlet for me.

Some journal every single day, but I don't...for 2 reasons:

1.  there is not enough going on in my life to write about

2.  I just don't want to!

So I write about the most important things or whatever strikes my fancy at the moment.

recent pages

I have journaled off & on for years, and now that I am getting "more mature" I really wish I had written much, much more.  Going back & reading what I did write brings back many memories, but I am also hoping that someday (when I've gained my heavenly wings...and I do plan on going UP & not DOWN...Lord willing) that my grandchildren will read my journals & learn more about their CHERI as well as see what was going on in my life at the time.  I would love to be able to read journals written by my grandmother & mother.

 Another type of journal I have worked on in recent months is a QUESTION & ANSWER journal.  I found some lists of questions (via internet), printed them out, and glued them in my journal.  And I've answered each one as truthfully as I can...some are quite personal & thought provoking.  Again, I hope my grands will read it and see into the heart of their grandmother...and maybe even laugh a little:)


One of my favorite possessions (that I wrote about H E R E) is a scrapbook made by my Aunt Katy who died very young before I was even born.

I think I must have inherited her gene for wanting to preserve the past & present for the future since I love making scrapbooks, taking photos, and now writing in my FAUXBONICHI.  It also scratches my itch for the cut & paste activities I did as a child and also used in my primary classroom for over 30 years!  There's just something about paper and glue that makes me do a happy dance.

Do you journal?  If so, how often do you write & what type of journal do you use?  Wouldn't it be wonderful if we had all kept a journal from childhood until now!  Oh the memories!