Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Celebrating Christmas with... Memories, Poetry, and Good Food

Just in time for Christmas, I had an article published in an anthology of stories and recipes edited by Donna Goodrich: Celebrating Christmas with... Memories, Poetry, and Good Food. “The Abandoned Christmas Tree” is the story of our family’s first Christmas tree. I found it abandoned at the Salvation Army the first year I was married. It was covered with twisted tinsel and not very attractive. But with our beloved ornaments it grew more beautiful every year and became a part of our Christmas tradition. Finally, after 18 years we returned it to the Salvation Army so another family could find it and keep picking tinsel off it for several more years.

I also contributed a recipe for gingerbread men, also a tradition at our house. Check out the book at

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Southern Baptist Disaster Relief

Last month we volunteered with Southern Baptist Disaster Relief in Goldendale, WA. Twenty nine homes were burned, four occupied by permanent residents, rest were summer homes. We helped with clean up and feeding volunteers.

We stayed at the fairgrounds. We each got a little cubicle in the event center. Jim and I of course shared a cubicle. I actually slept on an air mattress and did just fine, arthritis and all! For three nights!

Jim and I in the kitchen

It was such a blessing to be able to serve. People lately have been complaining about getting old, complaining about arthritis, medical problems, etc. I must confess that I have too. Must be the time of the year. With fall here, the leaves turning color, days growing colder, and winter approaching. It reminds us of our own aging. Instead of complaining and lamenting what we can’t do, the increasing aches and pains, let’s be thankful for what we can do and how remarkable it is that we have so little aches and pains.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Answered Prayer -- No Rain

Sometimes it’s the little things in life that increase our faith in God’s care for us. The weather forecast called for rain and more rain for the entire weekend here in the Northwest, including all day Sunday. I prayed the rain would hold off until after the Native Plant Salvage plant sale on Sunday. We helped Sunday after church until the end of the sale at 4:00. The rain started at 4:10! Just a drizzle, then a harder rain. I guess God has a sense of humor too! Hardly a minute to spare.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Native Plant Sale, Olympia, WA

Native Plant Salvage will have their annual fall plant sale on Sunday, October 2 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at our WSU Extension offices at 4131 Mud Bay Rd. West/Harrison Ave. (formerly McLane Fire Station). This is a great sale. Not only do they feature native plants, but also non-native water wise perennials. We volunteer with Native Plant Salvage and will be helping to set up Saturday and after church Sunday.

Visit Native Plant Salvage

By the way, Native Plant Salvage donated quite a few shade-loving native plants to our church. Jim and I planted a sunny native plant garden last year and are now working on a shade garden. The great thing is they won't require water after they're established and they look great.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Temporarily Enabled

Okay, so I was eavesdropping! I overheard one woman talking to two others and using the term, “temporarily enabled” as opposed to disabled. One of the others mentioned how wonderful it is that God makes each of us special in different ways. I joined in the conversation a bit and agreed with both.

I am “temporarily enabled.” In most ways. My arthritis makes life difficult sometimes so I’m not completely enabled. For several years, OCD made life difficult in many ways. Isn’t that the way it is for all of us? God enables each of us to do what He has purposed us to do. At any point I might lose an ability. At this point, I’d be better suited for a different purpose. I think this is one of the ways God guides us.

And the other overheard comment about how God makes each of us special in different ways … how true! We all need to remind ourselves how special we are, about how God has a purpose for each of us, using the abilities and disabilities, however temporary they are.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Help -- Great Movie

We saw The Help today. It was a great movie. It was about a young white woman in Jackson, Mississippi, an aspiring writer, who got an assignment to write a book about “the help,” the black housekeepers in the white upper-class households. She interviewed the help and included their stories in the book. It was actually quite a courageous thing for these women to do. The movie was based on a novel, but I could just imagine these women telling their stories and the young writer sharing them in her book. The movie ends with one of the housekeepers inspired to write.

We all have stories to tell and we all have ears to listen. Sometimes it takes courage, sometimes just time to tell those stories. Listening takes time, patience, love, kindness. Both are rewarding.

I checked out the website for The Help and found a writing contest there. It says, “In The Help, a group of women risk everything to tell their stories. Through the process of storytelling they become empowered and, in turn, inspire and empower others. In the spirit of these bold characters, The Help Social Action Campaign wants you to share your stories. Our favorites will have the chance to win great prizes!” The deadline is September 5. Check it out at

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Healthy Dieting

So many people around me have been talking and writing about eating right and losing weight. Or maybe because I’m trying hard to eat right and exercise I’m just noticing it again. I lost 24 pounds a few years ago, but gradually gained about 10 pounds the last several months. I’m determined to eat right and exercise and get back to that ideal weight. I feel better there and look better. Mostly because I feel better. With arthritis in my back, hips, knee and ankle I can’t afford to carry around extra weight. I’ll report in later.