As the name of my blog indicates, I spend a lot of time thinking about home. Of course, my Heavenly Home is the one that is eternal, so that’s where I need to lay up my treasures, and that’s the one I’m striving for. But in the meantime, I have been given this tiny piece of the here-and-now—this home on the edge of town, this family, this neighborhood—in which to serve Him. And, though this is in the earthly realm, I want the things that happen here to be investments in the Heavenly realm.

Thursday, August 31, 2023


There was one Sunday morning, much like any other, when we were running late on our way to our home fellowship meeting. I was frustrated with myself because I was (again) the cause of our tardiness. I said to Ron, "You'd think that by the time I was 52, I would have figured things out and not still be struggling with the same issues over and over again!" And Ron responded something like, "It doesn't matter how old you are; you will always be learning."

I wasn't sure whether that was the good news or the bad news, but I have often pondered that idea often over the past ten-ish years.

All through life, there are lessons to be learned. 

And in the past seven months, I have learned many. 

My pride has been broken. I thought that I knew the right plan . . . and yet it wasn't. 

I have learned that sometimes I need to let go of my ideals. 

I have learned anew the value of having His Word hidden in my heart. 

I have learned to reach out more, to be more vulnerable, to be needy. 

I have learned to appreciate (more) the wisdom of my husband.

I have learned that I have so very much left to learn. 

I have been the recipient of compassion, generosity, empathy, friendship, support, love, and many, many prayers. I pray that I will be able to pass those gifts along to others in their time of need, that I have learned the grace of receiving and giving. 

It is the Lord. Let Him do what seems good to Him.
I Samuel 3:18 

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Sixty-Five Years

Today is my parents' 65th wedding anniversary.

So much has changed since this time last year. We went to see Daddy (who is suffering from the later stages of dementia) this afternoon, Mom in her white dress because she always wears white on their anniversary. She gave him a card and some chocolate-covered cherries. She also brought a CD so that they could listen to "their song" (Moonglow/Theme from "Picnic"). She asked him if he remembered this song and the movie Picnic. He did . . . and he even volunteered the name of the leading actress, Kim Novak. Some days, he doesn't even remember my name, but I was absolutely thrilled that he remembered Kim Novak and maybe (who really knows?) some sweet moments of young love and watching this movie with my mom. Some days are hard right now, and, honestly, some days feel harder-than-hard, but I am so grateful for today, for a good visit, and for moments of grace.

"Their song" . . .

Monday, July 10, 2023



In February, I took a photo of my winter mantel. 

Now, somehow, it is July and my mantel is decidedly summery. I wonder how it can be July already . . . and yet, these months have seemed interminably long. 

As the seasons have changed this year, so have the seasons of my own small world. So many changes. So many ups and downs. Surprises and unexpected paths. In some ways, I don't even feel like the same person that I was at the beginning of the year. 

But through it all, my God has remained faithful! 
He is unchanging. He is merciful. 

"For the word of the LORD is right and true; He is faithful in all He does." Psalm 33:4

"For I am the LORD; I do not change." Malachi 3:6

"The LORD is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy. The LORD is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works." Psalm 145:8, 9

Friday, April 7, 2023

"Hast Thou No Scar?"

I shared this poem in the first year of my blog
(2009!), but it remains one of my favorites. On this day of remembering the unfathomable sacrifice of the Lord Jesus, it feels like a good time to be reminded that His followers also bear scars, like their Master. 

Hast Thou No Scar?
by Amy Carmichael

Hast thou no scar?
No hidden scar on foot, or side or hand?
I hear thee sung as mighty in the land,
I hear them hail thy bright ascendant star.
Hast thou no scar?

Hast thou no wound?
Yet I was wounded by the archers, spent,
Leaned me against a tree to die; and rent
By ravening beasts that compassed me, I swooned;
Hast thou no wound?

No wound? No scar?
Yet, as the master shall the servant be
And pierced are the feet that follow Me;
But thine are whole: can he have followed far
Who has nor wound nor scar?

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

True Love


It was our very first Valentine's Day as husband and wife . . . and I was sorely disappointed!

I had had high expectations. Surely my new hubby had some sort of romantic plan for this special day. After all, when we were dating, he had given me sweet cards, a locket, perfume, and candy. He would certainly do no less now that we were married!

Oh, but he did.


I was working that year as a teaching assistant. As I sat in the teachers' lounge on my break, all the ladies were talking about their flowers and candy and cards and plans for dinner . . . and I, the newlywed, had nothing to share. I was not a happy woman.

Over the years, we both have learned a lot about expectations and what makes the other one happy and sacrificial love. It is not always mushy-gushy, but caring and tenderness.

We have had a rough ten days. My dad fell hard twice as a result of heart "pauses," had a pacemaker put in, has some broken bones, and is very frail. As of tonight, he is here at our house where he will receive home health and therapy. Our whole family has pulled together in every way possible. Our church family and our friends have been supportive and have prayed many prayers for us. Our God has been faithful! We feel incredibly blessed!

But back to my Valentine . . .
TRUE LOVE searches for Vanilla Coke and makes sure there is a cold one in the fridge for me to take with me to the hospital.
TRUE LOVE is running the vacuum and doing the laundry while I am staying with my dad in the hospital and rehab.
TRUE LOVE is praying for me when I am beyond tired and being my sounding board and offering wise advice.
TRUE LOVE is caring for my parents as his own and opening our home to them.

So yes, the newlywed who wanted romance and roses has learned a lot.

I have learned what true love is.

I will be scarce here in Blogland for a while. It is a season that demands adjustment of priorities. Please know that I am thinking of you!  I will probably check in with my blogging friends from time to time, although I may read and sneak away without chatting. I'm sure you'll understand. ♥

Monday, January 16, 2023

Slow Decorating in the Guest Room

When Kati got married in May 2019, her room became our guest room. I called it my "consolation prize," this new room to decorate. I had purchased a pineapple post bed on Facebook Marketplace that spring, and eight days after the wedding, Bekah and I set up the bed and jumped into redecorating the room.

The bed and coverlet were new. We shopped the house for everything else.

May 26, 2019

We have been slow decorating that room ever since . . one little bit at a time, buying a few pieces, tweaking here and there. 

We found this chest of drawers at a local antique store. 

Bekah spotted this little table at another antique store, a bargain at $36.00!

The little stool was buried under stuff in another antique store. It was the perfect little landing area for a purse or a bag as you enter the room. 

Last summer, I found the the lovely matelassé coverlet and shams, also a fabulous bargain at $18.00! 

 Ron made shutters for the windows in the spring of 2021.

And then there was the succession of chairs . . . 

I bought this one on Facebook Marketplace. It had a tan slipcover which was not the right color for the room. The original fabric was a little luster that didn't fit. I could have had it reupholstered, but the chair was actually too big for the space so we moved it to the library where it became Ron's office chair while he worked from home. (When he went back to the office, I resold the chair on Marketplace for the same price I had paid.) 

This chair was another Marketplace find. Even though the fabric was faded, I liked the style and size of this chair and intended to have it reupholstered.
But, it has since moved to the library . . . 

. . . because about a month later, we drove by an antique store and saw this chair in the window display. 

Close-up view shows true color

I loved the style and I was pretty sure it was a Johnston Benchworks chair (high quality furniture maker which is no longer in business), so we went inside to check it out. It was Johnston Benchworks and it was $99!


The fabric on the arms was dingy, but the red check didn't fit my vibe for the room anyway. 

If you have a quality piece of furniture, reupholstering it makes sense, and it is usually economical. Our living room sofa is also a Johnston Benchworks piece that we purchased from a friend. When the fabric became worn, we had it reupholstered because we couldn't buy a new sofa (especially one of comparable quality) for the price that we paid. 

We planned to reupholster the guest room chair over a year ago, but there were a few obstacles. Last spring, however, I was able to order some discounted fabric through a friend from a company that was discontinuing their furniture line. So instead of ordering fabric only for my guest room chair, I also ordered fabric for the loveseat in the library (the same loveseat that was in The Farmhouse kitchen) and the wing chair that is now in the library, and we'll have those two pieces done later this year.

Are you tracking with me? Following all of those chairs around the house? 🤦🏻‍♀️😂

Back to the guest room . . .  

This is what it looks like today. 

My sister gave me the rug. I'm not sure if it will stay here because the cream colored background is bothering me a little. We'll see. 

And now this corner of the room fits with the rest, with its newly upholstered chair and the shelf that my sister also gave me.

On the list of house projects for 2023 are fishtail swags for the guest room windows, but I haven't even chosen the fabric yet. I'm also on the hunt for a small table to sit beside the chair to hold a guest's book or drink or phone. Other than that, I feel that the guest room is done! (As much as a room is ever "done.") 

We are eagerly anticipating having some special guests in this room soon!  

Sometimes it sounds like fun to decorate a space all at once, but I really think that slow decorating is better . . . collecting things over time, looking for just the right pieces, tweaking as you go. What do you think? How do you decorate? 

Friday, January 6, 2023

Christmastime | 2022

During the Christmas seasons of 2020 and 2021, I was very guarded about my excitement about our plans. Everything seemed tenuous and plans were changing from moment to moment. In spite of everything (including several delays and false alarms), we were blessed to be able to celebrate together both of those years! 

And then this year, plans were derailed by an "ordinary" sickness.  

On the day that they were to fly here for a 10-day visit, our kids were struck with a nasty tummy bug (which feels anything but "ordinary" when it hits!) and their trip was delayed . . . and then cancelled altogether when the bug hung on for dear life. 

And so, it was a Christmas of "James," as much of this year was. 

At the end of my last post, I prayed that we would all find joy in our celebrations. 

Not the joy of warm fuzzies or perfect holiday celebrations.
Not the joy of an untroubled life.

But the joy of a Savior who came to save His people from their sins!

And so, even though our celebrations did not go as planned and the disappointment was palpable at times, we continued to rejoice in the coming of our Savior and we found joy, even amid the changes. (Yes, even in "James!")


We had our traditional Christmas morning breakfast on Christmas Eve. One of us balked at this "James." ("You mean we're going to have Christmas morning breakfast on the day before Christmas and our Christmas buffet the day after Christmas?!) But Christmas was on a Sunday and in our slow-ish household, no one could imagine cooking a big breakfast, eating it leisurely, taking some over to Mom and Daddy, and being ready for church by 9:30, so Christmas Eve it was. 

The menu was traditional, the same one we have had for twenty-ish years: Christmas Morning Casserole, baked oatmeal, Mom's orange rolls
(although I made them this year for the first time), fruit salad, and sausage balls. (Oops. We forgot to get the sausage balls that Mom had made, so we ate those another day.)   

We hadn't planned to attend the Christmas Eve candlelight service because it would have been late for Kati's babies, but since they were not here, we went. I was sad, but it was a lovely service. 

Fun fashion note: Bekah has two dresses that are similar and she decided to wear the black one on Christmas Eve and the winter white one on Christmas Day. Of course, it was bitter cold so she added the red cardigan. 


Nearly everything was different about Christmas Day.

We went to church in the morning, then opened our gifts to one another and had (what?!) Wedding Beef for lunch. 

That moment when you realize that you're twinning with Lamb Chop! 😂

Our Christmas Day has always been full of people and feasting and celebrations, but this year all of that was for the next day. So we made some hot beverages, put our Christmas playlist on Spotify, and took a long drive. Very non-traditional, but we enjoyed it. 

In the evening, we visited Mom and Daddy. Mom filled us with Christmas treats and I didn't take a single photo except the one of my treat-laden plate. 🤦🏻‍♀️


(It became tedious to always say "the day after Christmas" when we were making our plans, so Ryan started calling it "Post-Christmas" and that worked.)

On Post-Christmas, we had our usual family gathering, sans Kati and family and my Daddy who does not venture out much these days. Although we missed them greatly, it was a grand day of celebration, togetherness, laughter, and good food. 

Non-alcoholic Scarlett O'Hara punch served in an antique hobnail punch bowl

Hors d'oeuvres buffet

We hadn't seen Katrina on her birthday earlier in the month,
so she began the gift-opening time with a birthday present!

Trying on Katrina's Mini Mouse hoodie, of course. 

Dessert buffet

And because some of us did not get to finish watching it on Thanksgiving Day, we replayed the old home movie that Ron's family had created over thirty years ago. So many laughs! 

Ron had the rest of the week off. But since Kati and Andrew and the babies were not here, we had to adjust our plans. 

We had planned to share meals, soak up baby time (the babies are now 2 1/2 years and 18 months old, but they're still babies to me), drink coffee from our favorite coffee shop, and have long conversations with our faraway family (who we haven't seen since May). Sigh . . . 

Instead . . .

We did a lot, but with no deadlines and no hurry.

I did almost no cooking because we had Christmas leftovers. 

We spent an evening with Kristin and family.

Ron and I went out for breakfast at a new-to-us place.

We went antiquing on three different days in three different towns. 

Bekah had friends over for games . . . twice. 

We took several drives. 

We drank eggnog lattes two more times. 

We went out for dinner on New Year's Eve and then came home and played games. 

So, although we would rather have had all of our dear ones near (and not sick!), and although we missed them so much, (and this mama confesses to some self-pity and some tears),

we experienced much joy and grace during this beautiful Christmastime of 2022! Emmanuel - God With Us!

The tree lights were off and Ron yawned BIG right in the middle of it (it was past his bedtime and he had no idea I was recording), but it was a beautiful way to usher in the new year . . . with Bekah playing "Be Thou My Vision." 

🎶 Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart
🎶 Naught be all else to me save that Thou art!

🎶  Heart of my own heart, whatever befall
🎶 Still be my vision, O Ruler of all.

May HE be your vision in 2023!

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