This Old House

I know this is crazy, but we just bought another house in North Dakota.  It's like the old houses with potential that I've been dragging my hubby to look at all these years. He looks at the houses and says, "No Way.  No How.  We are not buying this house."  So here we are, out of desperation in finding a house to buy not rent, in the house of my dreams.  We've spent 4  nights here and every night when he lays down, he says, "I love this house." and I say, " Who ARE you? What did you do with my husband?"  I love it too.

The house was built in 1910
 - our neighbor says it was a Sears Kit House -
 it came to town on a rail car and somebody put it together.. 

A realtor's ad would describe it as a two story, unfinsihed basement, two car garage, hardwood floors, some new windows, updated bathroom, appliances included, corner lot ...
with potential.

The best part of the house is that the fantastic woodwork has not been messed with.

and is clean except for cigarette smoke

which comes off best with
 vinegar and water,
 Murphy's Oil Soap,
 Scrubbing Bubbles.
and a lot of elbow grease!

This bedroom
began to reach its potential
When Fabulous Fran worked her magic.

I've wished for girlfriends advice so many times that
my man has told me to just get them up here!

The truth is, I know some of what they would say:
Paint that furniture black (or turquoise) - Jackie
Paint the door red - Julie
Paint the patched wood to look like the hardwood - Nathalie
Let Dad keep his Indian blankets - Holly
No Cowboys or Indians - Julie
Faux or stencil - Jennifer
Use colors all on the same color card - Everybody
So with all their influence and little of Fran's,
 the house is starting to reach it's potential.

 according to an online dictionary, is
 possible as opposed to actual;
capable of being or becoming.

Like the children's song,
this old house also says:
"I am a promise
I am a possibility
I am a promise with a capital "P"
I am a great big bundle of potentiality"

That's snow outside.
It's a good day to work on a house.

Stay tuned for more on
The Potential of This Old House.

Now faith,
 is confidence in what we hope for
 and assurance about what we do not see.
(Hebrew 11:1)


Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday
My Daughter!!!

You are a true Proverbs 31 woman

A good woman like her is hard to find,
and worth far more than diamonds.
Her husband trusts her without reserve,
and never has reason to regret it.
Never spiteful, she treats him generously .
She's like a trading ship that sails to faraway places
and brings back exotic surprises.
She's up before dawn, preparing breakfast
for her family and organizing her day.
First thing in the morning, she dresses for work,
rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.
She senses the worth of her work,
is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.
She's skilled in the crafts of home and hearth,
diligent in homemaking.
She's quick to assist anyone in need,
reaches out to help the poor.
She doesn't worry about her family when it snows;
their winter clothes are all ready to wear.
Her husband is greatly respected
when he deliberates with the city fathers.
Her clothes are well-made and elegant,
and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.
When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say,
and she always says it kindly.
She keeps an eye on everyone in her household.
she is a gourmet cook,
a home school mom,
a substitute teacher.
 a bargain shopper.
a business partner.
She is incredibly kind, loving and respectful
to her parents.
Many women have done wonderful things,
but you've outclassed them all!
Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.
The woman to be admired and praised
is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.
Give her everything she deserves!
Festoon her life with praises!
(Psalm 31:10-31 - The Message
Revised and Personalized by ME)

"The King’s daughter is all glorious within"
(Psalm 45:13)

She is a daughter of the KING
and she is beautiful all the way through!

Happy Birthday Sweetheart!
I love you so much.


Blessed Be the Name of the LORD

Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head;
and he fell to the ground and worshiped.
 “Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked I shall return there."

The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away.
Blessed be the name of the LORD.”
(Job 1:21-22)

Karen led the song for choir practice
and we sang it several times
to be ready to sing it Sunday.

She led it with a serious vision problem in one eye.
She read music and then played piano.
and she said and she sang,
"Blessed Be the Name of the LORD"

After practice, Karen asked for prayer.
She goes for results of an MRI next week.
The song is stuck in my head (that's a good thing)
and I keep meditating on the scripture.

What had the LORD given to Job?
7 Sons
3 Daughters
7,000 Sheep
3,000 Camels
500 Yoke of Oxen
500 Female Donkeys
A Very Large Household

But was it really the LORD that took it all away?
HE allowed it.
But did HE actually take it all away?

Satan presented himself before the LORD
after roaming around all over the earth.
The LORD asked if he had considered Job.
The LORD called Job
blameless, upright, God fearing
and allowed Satan access to everything but his life

And it was all gone.
Stolen, killed, and destroyed
by warring neighbors, fire, and wind.
And Job worshiped. 

Once again,
Was it the LORD
was it Satan,
whose plans for us are to
 "kill, steal, and destroy"?
(John 10:10a)

There's a lot of drama in the middle pages of the book,
but in the end, 
Job's faith is stronger
He is more submissive to the LORD
He goes from hearing about the LORD
to seeing Him,
 and he repents.

In the end,
what the LORD took away was Job's

And the LORD gave to Job
fortunes restored twofold
14,000 Sheep
6.000 Camels
1,000 Yoke of Oxen
1.000 female donkeys
consolation from friends and family
gold and silver gifts
7 sons
3 daughters

"I have come that they may have life,
and that they may have it more abundantly."
(John 10:10b)   
He lived to be 140 years old
and enjoyed four generations of family

So to all the Karens and Jobs out there
whose vision is clouded
whose health is failing
who have a received a bad report
who've lost fortunes
and who've lost family

May the LORD take away your pains and problems

May He give you health, healing, and peace

May you be able to say with Job and Karen

"Blessed be the Name of the LORD"


Everything I Know About Snow

Everything I know about snow,
I'm learning in North Dakota.

Wear down
Wear wool
Wear layers
Wear ugly warm boots
It takes a good 15 minutes to get layered up
I can still go walking
Snow boots and heavy clothes are hard to walk in
I still want all these layers to match
I wish I had my Carhart Coveralls
My neighbors are watching me
Shoveling the walk brings more snow

It can be beautiful

Planes can land in the snow while it is snowing
The sky and the ground look the same when snow is falling
The cold wind hurts my face
This is not going away until May

Norskies think us Southerners can't drive

They are probably right

I think I'll stay parked!


He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth
(Job 37:6)

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
  wash me, and I will be whiter than snow
(Psalm 51;7)


Airport Blog

Here we are at the Denver International Airport with a couple of hours to wait.  I think I'll try to write a blog post!

We drove to Texas last week - well actually, my man would say he drove Ms. Daisy and the trailer.  We brought it home (to Texas) for the winter and are flying back.  The 1400 mile road south was probably 90% two lane, and not all that busy.  He hunted all the way through six states.  "Look at those deer.  There are two pheasant,  Wow!  How many turkey are there?  Did you see the ducks on the pond?  There's some mule deer.  Look at the cloud of geese.  What is that hawk carrying?  I think that is prairie chicken.  Whoa - there's a coyote!  Those piles of sticks are muskrat condos.  Did you see the deer in that wheat field?"   He is amazing.  I told him that he has critter-eyes - always looking for critters while he drives.   It's what 2 Chronicles 16:9 says God does:

For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth
 that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.
(2 Chronicles 16:9)

The moon came up and went down three times.  We saw the sun rise and set twice.  It was all beautiful, but I gave up trying to take pictures - the truck was just too shaky.

 I just love a full moon!

Back at home (in Texas), daughter and granddaughter came for a visit
and the three of us

went to the pasture behind our house.

[goofy side note:
If there's three cowgirls in a four wheeler,
how do you tell the real cowgirl?
It's the one in the middle.
She doesn't have to drive.
and she doesn't have to open the gate!]

We stopped by Teribithia,
(a little neglected gathering spot in the pasture out behind our house)

We moved some tumble weeds
and replaced some bottles

 that fell off the bottle trees

It's just a place to sit and reflect and think and pray...

My thankful list:

Safe Travel
Getting to see critters
Time with family
The home in Texas
My bed there
Four Wheelers
Good Texas Food
Not far from the border Mexican Food
Texas sunrises
Texas sunsets
and a messy little place to

 “Be still, and know that I am God"
(Psalm 46:10)

I didn't make it all the way through the blog in the airport
 because I kept falling offline.

We had 80 degree temperatures in Texas and 
 came back to North Dakota snow and icy roads.

Am I ready?


I'll keep you posted.


Crazy Quilt

I started cutting out this quilt years and years ago
using a pattern someone gave me.
When I got to North Dakota with the cut out pieces and my sewing machine,
I had to get help at the local quilt shop,
because the instructions weren't all there.

The owner of the shop gave me some tips on sewing each block,
then some ideas on how to put the blocks together for an interesting quilt.

To make this quilt, I went through three sewing machines
(total through the years)
and a borrowed foot pedal
from a new friend in North Dakota.

I loved sewing for them
and I had a crazy theory that the mother
should never look better than the children.

I would put them to bed and sew
then later I would send them to school and sew.

I made baby dresses, prom dresses,
and matching doll dresses
I made clothes for play
and costumes for plays

I made a wedding dress
bridesmaid dresses
and flower girl dresses

I made one prom dress the day of the prom
now that's crazy.

The colors and fabrics were soft and sweet
and wild and crazy

Each one was stitched with love.

From the very beginning,
I saved a scrap of each outfit I made
to make a quilt someday.

Someday has finally come.

While I was sewing the quilt,
it occurred to me
that my quilting skills
were a little like my parenting skills.

I didn't have a clue what I was doing
I used someone else's pattern
I had to get outside help from experts.

I tried it different methods

I ripped it out and started over more than once

In the end,
I had to do what worked best for me and mine.

A lot of pieces make up the finished product
The quilt has a unique personality

This quilt is not at all forgiving about slipped stitches.
Close inspection shows each one.

But unlike my quilt,
This daughter has chosen to forgive her crazy raise'n
and doesn't show one sign of my mistakes.
This crazy quilt
was stitched with a lotta lotta crazy love.

There's my Lady Forget Me Not dress
from my second grade play!"


Canadian MisAdventure

We are both from Texas, both quilt a little, and both follow our nomadic husbands around in their jobs. 
We also both thought we really needed a Canadian Stamp on our passports since we are so close. 

 So with passports,  a  map, and a GPS, these two Texas gals embarked on a great Canadian adventure. 
At the border, we were told that we could only get our passports stamped if we planned to stay six months!
  We didn't pack a bag, so - no passport stamp.

It's amazing how different things can look across an invisible border.

And, no, that is not miles.

We don't see too many coal mines in Texas

Traffic signs are different
Stores are different (except Walmart, McDonald's, and Dairy Queen)
People are super friendly

In the town of Estevan, we had a sandwich at a little coffee shop.
and a hot cup of Saskatoon Cider
(Saskatoon is a berry native to the north land)

Pam was sure she needed to take some back to Houston.

We did a little shopping and sightseeing,
then headed back to our border.

That's when these two dippy Texans thought they were in trouble:

Where did you come from just now?
The Duty Free Store.

Where before that?
The Quilt Store

Did you go any where else?
Salvation Army

Please park your car over there and come inside.

(I think the correct answer was Estevan, Saskatchewan)

We were taken to a back room for separate questioning.
Pam was quizzed and searched first.
While I waited, I thought about the TV Show, Border Wars.
I remembered the drug dogs, searches, handcuffs.
I wondered why in the world they wanted us.
Maybe it's because her passport is full of stamps from all over the world.
Maybe, they hadn't filled their search quota for the day.
Maybe it's just because we are dippy.

Where are you from?
Why have you been to Thailand?
Why were you in Indonesia?
Why are you in North Dakota?
Who does your husband work for?
What does he do?
How long have you been there?
Where do you live?
You have a house in Texas?
And you have a house in North Dakota?
Did you find the last house there?
How long have you known her?
(We had only met this week)
and then
Did she rent that car when she got to the airport?
(Well, how should I know.  I didn't even know her then!)

Then, they searched the rental car
and told us to have a great day!

We had just been detained, searched and questioned
by the United States Border Patrol.
What the heck was that all about?

We were confused, relieved, and glad to be on our way south.

I think I'll keep my Texas feet planted in U.S. soil for a while


Unexpectted Blessing

Sing the praises of the LORD,
enthroned in Zion;
proclaim among the nations what he has done.
(Psalm 9:11)

The choir at Zion Free Lutheren Church has a new member. 

I was asked to join several times so I thought, "why not".
They were begging for women to join the choir, because
there were mostly men there for the first practice. 

It's been a really long time since I was in the high school Acapella Choir,
or since I have read music or harmonized.
My church back in Texas sings for an hour,
 standing, worshipping,
and inviting God to join us.
We sing the words from an overhead projector,
 with keyboard, drums, guitars, bongos and tambourines.
We are free to worship
and God shows up.
The name of the church is
Word Is Life Deliverance,
 for short.
(but it's really not all that wild!)
When I sing there,
no one knows whether I harmonize
or if I am in tune or clapping in rhythm
(which I'm probably not)

So with my WILD background, I went to choir practice
at Zion Free Lutheren Church
in North Dakota

This church of 200 or so has incredibly accomplished musicians.
Three different members led practice
and there are at least five fine pianists there.

My big surprise is that we are practicing
rocking contempary Christian music
some of the same music the WILD Church sings.

In Christ Alone
Blessed Be the Name
Days of Elijah

Only in harmony.
It is beautiful.
Absolutely beautiful.

Sometimes I can't hear my note
(blame it on hearing aids)
Sometimes I'm not on the right note
(blame it on old vocal chords)
Sometimes I lose my place
(blame that on bifocals)

But they are kind and encouraging.

And I am filled and blessed. 

I will sing the LORD’s praise, for he has been good to me.
(Psalm 13:6)

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