There's no place like home.

There's no place like home.
Home is where my husband and I reside; wherever that may be.

Monday, September 8, 2014

baby feet

There's something about them! When my kids were little I spent countless hours kissing and loving on their little feet.  I have to admit that even when they got old enough to walk outside bare foot or got sand in their little toes I still loved to snuggle those grungy feet.

Baby feet made me think of possibilities. The represent potential and future hopes.  Once those little soles come into contact with the floor and learn how to navigate the big world of walking there is no stopping them.

The Simple Woman's Day Book 8 September 2014

Outside my is dark! It's always dark when you wake up before the sun has had a chance to.  I don't know if it is "kid before Christmas" syndrome or the fact of our trip is finally sinking in but I didn't do a whole lot of sleeping last night. Now I am wired and haven't had any coffee yet. Let's home this energy succeeds in getting me to the end of this day in one piece!

I am lists!  Now the secret is out! This is where MK gets that tendency only I have learned how to tone it down over the years. (or I am so experienced that I really don't need that many lists anymore?)

I am thankful...for my family. Thankful that my children still care enough to share their lives and the lives of their offspring with my husband and I.  I am thankful for Face Time and Facebook Chat so that I can be a part of the lives of my grandchildren. I am truly thankful every time that I hear Savannah say, "Hi Grandma!" or see Kaycie smile and blow kisses.  I am thankful that Ian and Melissa share Christopher's first steps and Layn's first day of school.  I am thankful for the ultrasound of my soon to be newest grandchild (what a miracle that is!) and for the smiles and laughter of my soon to be new daughter-in-law.

From the kitchen...we will be scrounging for meals today in an attempt to clean odds and ends out of the refrigerator before we leave in the morning. My dear sister ReNee' is coming to care for mom and she is a full service caregiver! She will grocery shop and cook fun and nutritious meals for the two of them.

I am reading...One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp (again) I find it is a book that reveals more and more to me each time that I dig into it. At this time when family comes together to celebrate I want to be reminded to live fully every moment of our time.  I believe, as the author relates, that the concept of eucharisteo, or thanksgiving, is the key to a fuller, more meaningful, and grace filled life.

I am hearing...the crickets singing outside, the soft whirring of the ceiling fan, and the resting silence of the house before it comes awake.  It has been long in coming but this house is finally beginning to speak to me as I sit here in the early mornings. The house back on the farm was never reluctant to let me know its many moods.  Perhaps it is because this house is so new that it has little to say. The farmhouse had many decades of stories to tell and ghosts to reveal if only one takes the time to listen.

One of my favorite things...this picture of my daughter and her surrogate mother.  I thank God every day that my dear friend Mary and MK are close friends. I am thankful for the mothering that Mary gives to my daughter in my stead and for the love that she gives so freely to all the members of my family.

A few plans for the rest of the will be packed with laundry, cleaning, hopefully a dentist appointment, and packing for our trip. Tomorrow we fly out of here for the west coast to spend a week with family and new friends celebrating Adam and Maryanne's marriage.

Here is a picture thought that I am sharing with you...

Tomorrow afternoon I will get to hug, kiss and generally cuddle these two little girls. What could be better than kisses from a grandchild.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

An arachnid!

I walked out the front door this morning to take out the garbage and got myself entangled in some spider web.  Not an unusual happening since they tend to build across short spans, especially ones that don't see too much traffic. (over night must have been just enough down time for this spider!)  When I looked up to see where the culprit was (not liking to actually come into contact with said spider) this huge specimen was just hanging there not bothering anyone.

I thought that taking the high road might be the best option for me since I am not a fan of multi-legged creatures.  I backed up into the house and decided to use another form of egress.  Out of consideration and affection for some of my more bug friendly friends I did get the camera and took this shot. (Thank you Jesus for zoom!) I think my husband will be doing a little spider relocation when he be getting home!!!!!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Mrs. Amelia and the woods

I frequently mention blessings and surprises that happen to me.  Things that I encounter around the corner that take me by surprise and bring a little joy to the day I consider means of grace for myself and for others.  One such means of grace happened this past Saturday.  We visited a park near here that had a trail leading to a waterfall.  Along this trail I took this picture, which doesn't do justice to the situation.

I have a friend who has a blog called My Forest Cathedral.  That name immediately came to mind when I walked through this little tunnel of tree branches.  I was instantly reminded of my friend Mrs. Amelia.  The sense of graciousness and peace that I get from reading her words and thinking about her filled me as I stood on this part of the path.  I knew that it was the Lord prompting me to pray for Amelia and give thanks to her for the friendship that she has bestowed on me over the years.

I truly believe that if one stays open to these happenings, these moments when that still small voice is speaking, there is a wealth of grace in store for the recipient.

The Simple Woman's Day Book 1 September 2014

Outside my window...the sun is making its feeble effort to shine and light up our world.  Though there is no call for rain today it is sure cloudy and gloomy outside.  

I am thinking....about age and changes and growing closer to the one you love.  As I sit here at the table across from the man I love I see not only his face as it is now but his face as a composite of all the times that I have gazed at him in this situation.  His beard is no longer red yet is still as thick and full as it ever was.  In younger years facial hair almost made him look like a boy trying to be a man. Now, however it makes him look like a man who is himself and content in that mantle.

I am thankful for...the life that he and I have gotten to live together.  There have been many ups and down but it is strange that the happy times and the love that we have shared predominate in my mind and memories and the bad times act like a frame that enhances the beauty of our love.

From the kitchen...burgers and fixins are on the menu.  I miss the Labor Day things that we did back on the farm.  In memory and honor of all those times I will cook like I have always done to commemorate this day.

I am reading...the Master and Commander books though I have to admit that it is a struggle.  Not because there is anything lacking in the storytelling but in the reader instead.  I am totally without knowledge or understanding of all things nautical.

I am hearing...the neighbor's dog barking her morning hello to whomever she scents on the breeze.  I hear the sounds that my mother makes as she eats her breakfast and my husband as he clicks through the pages of the online article that he is reading.

One of my favorite things...the little blessings and surprises that await us around every corner.

A few plans for the rest of the week...this week will be busy with finishing little projects, cleaning the house, and preparing for our trip next week.  We are in the final days before Adam and Maryanne get married and the Kraeger clan converges on Tacoma.

Here is a picture thought that I am sharing with you...
We came across this sign when we were out on Saturday.  This is one of those little blessings and surprises that I encounter in my days.  Seeing this sign conjured up an image of my youngest grandson and prompted heartfelt prayer on his behalf.

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Simple Woman's Day Book 25 August 2014

Outside my window...there isn't much sun but oh how glorious the temperatures! It is in the 60's and dryer than it has been for many a morning.  Today looks like a good day to hang my laundry on the line and bring that wonderful outdoor scent inside.

I am thankful children and grandchildren.  Over the weekend I talked to all but one of my children and all of my grand babies!  Technology is the greatest thing next to sliced bread (though I rarely eat bread sliced or otherwise).

I am thinking...about all there is to do in the next two weeks before we fly out to Tacoma.  My granddaughter learned to count to 17 since that was the number of days until she got to be with grandma.  I feel the same anticipation about seeing her, Kaycie, and her parents.

From the kitchen...there will be salmon salad made with the leftovers from Friday on a bed of lettuce with steamed broccoli and tomato slices.  

I am reading...the Master and Commander series.  It is a challenge since I am not at all familiar with nautical language.  But the author writes a good tale and I have to say I am enjoying it far better than the movie...go figure!

I am hearing...insects chirping in the trees, the soft sound of the poplar leaves as they fall to the ground, and the skittering noise of a mockingbird as it runs back and forth in the lawn.

One of my favorite things...learning new things.  Yesterday we took a drive into Oconee County and visited the first presbyterian church built in Pickens Courthouse.  This church has been there since the 1790's and truly was built to stand the test of time.  But the most moving and touching part of the experience was the cemetery that was there. It was full of graves that were relocated when the Keowee dam project was built.  Most of the stones merely had a family name on them. Others simply said "15 graves of the"  I felt compelled to say many prayers for these people who possibly remain unremembered.

A few plans for the rest of the week...complete all my wedding sewing, ship a package to Tacoma so I don't have to pack those items, clean a much neglected house, and get ready for my sister to come visit.

Here is a picture thought that I am sharing with you...
This phone booth was in a museum that we visited on Saturday.  It is so indicative of a lot of memories and history that the younger generation will never experience.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Dressing the girls for a wedding.

Savannah's dress for the wedding.

Kaycie's dress for the wedding.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

                                                         There is a place that calls to me
                                                    white sand, dappled shade and solitude.

                                                               This place is new to me
                                                                 a weekend discovery;
                                                     stumbled upon and known in an instant.

                                                                   Grace led me here
                                                         in answer to the cry of my heart.
                                                       A cry made in silence and intensity
                                                                  both inward groan
                                                                and outward scream.

                                                                  Though alone here
                                                                      never lonely.
                                                                  The silence wraps me,
                                                                    cradling my aches
                                                         and the yearnings of my empty heart.

                                                       The answers both elusive and at hand
                                                                    dwell in this spot.

Monday, August 18, 2014


There is nothing wrong with escape.  Taking time away from the usual, mundane, ordinary, is often necessary to help the soul and mind reset.  

Sometimes the only way to assimilate and evaluate the happenings of daily life is to step back, walk away, and get a better perspective.

Perspective helps the mind to realize that angle is everything.  Incidents and insults, delivered close up grow to mountainous proportions.

But when the soul and mind can step back, view the larger vista.  That is when truth is revealed and peace can be found.

Escaping, stepping back and letting peace wash over aids in being able to see the little surprises and blessings that are bestowed "just because."

It is the little "just becauses" that inspire a stop to pause. These little gifts are more than what is seen.  They are gifts that are heard and felt as well.

The Simple Woman's Day Book 18 August 2014

Outside my window...the rain is coming down in buckets! Every time that I have ever heard or used that phrase all I can picture is buckets falling from the sky and piling up on the ground.  The rain is piling up if not the buckets.

I am thinking...about family and how relationships change as your children grow older.

I am thankful for...the visit that we had with Ryan this past weekend.  It may seem stupid but I could sit and look at any of my children for hours on end. They don't have to be talking or doing anything profound. It is the fact of their existence that makes me so very happy.

From the kitchen....something will come forth. Right now I have no plan and no real desire to make one. 

I am reading...Father Alfred Delp's prison writings. I thought it appropriate since I too am incarcerated. 

I am hearing...the rain falling.  Even that is so different than back home that I can't help but notice the difference.  I recall when they put the steel roof on the farm house.  The first few times that it rained at night it sounded like rapid gunfire.  Now that I am gone I would happily settle for the sound of machine guns while I am sleeping.  The comfort of familiar sounds, smells, and sights cannot be over rated.

One of my favorite things...being in the woods.

A few plans for the rest of the week...survive.

Here is a picture thought that I am sharing with you...
If it weren't for this man in my life this difficult situation would be unbearable.