Life

Big for last year -

we remodeled our bathroom.  We hope to put the finishing touches on this weekend.  Phil worked so hard on the part he's doing and it all looks great.  I hope that means more entertaining here.

I finished reading through the Bible in a year.  It only took me seven years.  But I had some really good side trips along the way.

I started a business.  My goal is to be a blessing to families and a help for kids.  And let them pay me to do it.

Knee surgery - after four months I'm finally starting to feel "right" - but I've been so sedentary that I'm way far behind on fitness.

I started serving our church by scheduling volunteers for Sunday School.  Again...a blessing for families and a help for kids.

What's up for 2016 -

Grow my business.  I'm aiming at helping home school families with special needs kids, growing Barton Reading System (for people with Dyslexia) and forming summer enrichment activities.

Starting reading through the Bible again.  This time, using a two-year plan, via "ReadingPlan."

A "goal" is to keep up with reading organization - what I'm reading, what I read.

Part of this is a targeted reading plan - that will give me a structure of what sort of books to be reading, which will give me a little better diversity than I have now.  I'm using Tim Challies' "reading challenge" - who wants to join me?

Almaden Quicksilver - the goal is to hike every trail.

And the other health - use "my net diary" to track food, to lose 1.5 pounds per week - with a focus on "real food."

Work on being a better wife...

and the usual...blog more.

20140127-185107.jpgThis is the bench where Phil asked me to marry him.

This is also one of my favorite parks to hike.  But...

A few months ago, I hiked from one of the more remote parking lots and returned to find the car window broken and some things missing.  One of them was my iPad (yeah, I know.  the "Don't Leave Valuables In Your Car" sign matters.)  Anyway, we were able to track it to a part of town where I have been warned not to go because of gang activity.

A couple of weeks ago I went up for the first time - and for the first time saw gang tags up on the road.  The gangs are taking over and I resent that they have to ruin everything.

So, I avoid that part entrance and stick to the more populated ones (so I will pass that bench more often) and enjoy the day...

From the beginning...

I was born into a Christian family. My earliest years were in a very small house close to my mother's parents. I remember very little, but remember the wallpaper in my bedroom (?)

My parents were married in a church down the street from my grandparent's house and that is the house I remember best.

When I was a year and a half old, my Grandpa Brown (my dad's dad) talked my parents into moving to the farm - where I grew up. We went to a church that my dad and grandpa helped to build. Our house was built on part of the family farm only a few hundred feet from my grandparent's house. I remember the farm animals, cats galore and always a dog or two.

I remember the best of my grandparents - Grandpa was quiet and content, Grandma was sad, but always took care of us. We were in a rural farming community in the Thumb of Michigan, which meant that we frequently lost power in the winter and we were the last to get plowed out. When the power went out, sometime we went to stay with Grandma and Grandpa (the gravity feed furnace didn't need electricity so they stayed warm) and I had my favorite place to sleep on the floor Eventually we figured out that "my spot" was right on top of the gravity feed furnace. Grandma had a chair next to the dining room table...we figured out that it was right next to the chimney, so she had the warmest chair in the house.

Upstairs at my grandma's house was "the porch" - built on a roof, unheated...there was even a space between the floor and the wall where you could see outdoors. But there were a couple of beds for summer sleepover and the walls were lined with bookcases. Lots of books, so I grew up reading. There were lost of cousins around, but no girls my age. My best friends were the Bobsey twins, Trixie Beldon, and Anne of Greene Gables.

My church memories are vague. I have glimpses of VBS, little memories of Wednesday evening prayer meetings. As a child, my dad prayed for me before an oral surgery to take a tumor off of my gum line. When we went to the hospital the next day, the tumor was gone. I sat next to him while he prayed for my mom when she was in the hospital.

My dad was a deacon in that small church for most of my years at home and it never grew beyond under 100 in number (not surprising in a very small town.) The pastors came and went, another came and went.

I never knew a time when my life wasn't grounded in family Christianity, but I don't think the faith was MINE until later on. My parents gave me the foundation, but it had to be the Holy Spirit who built it.

My pastor said this morning..."A church believes what it sings." And I grew up on "Amazing Grace,"

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18 years ago, my daughter, Amanda, had a minor ear surgery. We brought her home and I had o rune out to get a prescription filled.

Our cat Blackie had gone missing and since the animal shelter was across the street com the pharmacy, I stopped there while I was waiting on the Rx. They were so short staffed that they weren't keeping animals that owners were dropping off, just putting them to sleep.

There was a couple there with a kid size shoe box, with a tiny tail hanging out. She was crying, but was so allergic...I said, "oh, I'll just take him."

The woman at the counter said, you can't do that IN HERE."

So we went outside and I took this tiny kitten home and he became Amanda's kitty...and we named him after her ear doctor...Henry.

Amanda doesn't remember a time without Henry. He held vigil with me when Amanda's daddy was dying, sitting in his lap for hours at a time.

He spent a little time with me here in the apartment, and was a great balcony cat.

Henry died today. He's had diabetes for 5 years, had eye problems, but Amanda, and her boyfriend, Mike, took good care of him.

Mike was crying, Amanda can't even talk, Tom's a mess and so am I.

Henry will be missed.

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This is so pretty I wanted to post it.

"Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being "in love" which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two."

- Captain Corelli's Mandolin