Decorating with JOY

Decorating with Joy ornament


Want to see what I’ve been up to?  I’ve been making deco mesh garlands to hang on our front porch.  You see, last year was the final straw for the pre-lit garlands we’d put out for years.  Every year it was the same hassle, most of it brought on by my less than logical mind.  I’d hang six garlands along our railing.  My obsessiveness would take over as to whether they each had the same amount of swag and if the lights were pointing in ways that could be seen from the street.  I’d adjust here and there and finally, not because they were perfect, but because my fingers were freezing, I’d decide enough was enough and it was time to plug them in.  That’s when I’d discover that I’d hung them all in the wrong direction and the plug prong was at the opposite end from the plug.  So, I’d have to take them all down and hang them up again in the opposite direction, my frozen brain caring a little less about how good they looked, as long as they lit.  Of course, there always were one or two that wouldn’t light up unless they were in a specific spot (still don’t understand the reasoning there).  So, at the end of last season, I chucked them!

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I am now going to say something that may shock some of you – I HATE decorating!  Despite the capital letters, I whispered that statement.  It seems almost “unChristian” to dislike decorating for Christmas.  From what I can tell by listening to others, there aren’t many who sympathize with my anti-decorating mindset.  I talked to a patient last year who confessed to having three Christmas trees.  I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I don’t even have a single one. Continue reading

Do you floss?

Floss question




Lay back, close your eyes, and imagine the following scenario with me…

You are in the dentist office. Yes, it’s that time again – your six month’s appointment to get your teeth cleaned. You try to get as comfortable as you can in a chair that is tipped back just far enough that everything in your pockets threatens to slide out. The hygienist starts scraping away at build-up that is attached like cement. Each taste of blood reminds you that you should have been better about your oral care.

Then it comes…the question that seems stuck in time, unable to evolve with advancing technology. “Do you floss?”, she asks, peering down at you with her specialty glasses that magnify everything, including your squirm. Continue reading

Take a Hike!





This Thursday, November 17th, img_1120is National Take a Hike Day.  My husband and I like to hike, although for many years regular exercise was not a part of my life.  Typically, we’d go on vacation and then my usually inert body would be shocked by the sudden increase in forward movement.  In fact, my hiking problems have become quite legendary in our family.  It all started on our honeymoon.  We set out to hike in the beautiful Muir Woods in northern California.  Although I tried to impress my new husband with my physical prowess, in truth I was dragging behind the whole way.  When I returned home, I found a doctor’s report waiting for me that said I was borderline anemic.  Aha, so there was a reason I was so slow…. Continue reading

The Love of a Neighbor





Juicy red tomato

Have you ever had a day that was so hectic that you were running around like a chicken with your head cut off?  Sometimes, when all the dust clears, you find that in the chaos you fulfilled that picture by doing something mindless.  I have found some things in pretty odd places because I absentmindedly put down what I was holding in a crazy place.  I know when I was younger I accidentally put ice cream in the refrigerator and when I later saw the pools of melted gummy ingredients, I didn’t think I could ever eat ice cream again.  Wish I could say that resolve lasted.

Anyway, a few months ago I was having one of those mornings of insanity.  I was leading a staff meeting that day which was likely to be taken as confrontational.  I decided that a home cooked luncheon might “tame the savage beast”.  As part of a meal, I threw together a simple lettuce and tomato salad.  Food in hand, I rushed off to work. Continue reading

Changing Your Batteries Could Change Your Life

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Okay, I know that getting a second blog post in one week’s span is totally out of the character of how I run my website.  Normally I wouldn’t do this, with the fear that I’d be flooding your inbox.  However, I thought this subject is just too important to address to wait for almost a whole week.

As you hopefully know, this weekend we are supposed to move our clocks back one hour.  Extra sleep – hooray!  You may also have heard that it is a good time to change your smoke detectorbatteries batteries.  Of course, there is no magic reason why this has to be done when you change your clocks.  It is just a good way to remember.  It is so easy to know it should be done, but you just don’t have the time, don’t have the batteries, and maybe don’t think it is all that important.  So, it gets put off until “next week”, which gets put off until “next month”, which gets put off indefinitely.  So, while there are a few days before our catch-up-on-sleep day,  count up how many smoke detectors you have in your house and then go out to the store (if you need to) and buy some batteries.  We had to pick up eight batteries for our house and I am thankful that my husband is faithful about replacing them right on schedule. 

You see, back in 2004 we had a fire that scared us to the core.  It was an awful week.  My husband’s father died that Monday.  The next day was my husband’s 51st birthday.  We lamely tried to do the birthday traditions, but our hearts were not in it.  The visitation was on Wednesday and being a one day deal, it was long and exhausting.  On top of that I had a cold and felt miserable.  By the time we came home, I could barely move.  I was just plain worn out.  I remember it was all I could do to crawl into my pajamas.  I decided I didn’t even have energy to brush my teeth (did I tell you that I am a dental hygienist?). Continue reading

An Attitude of Thanksgiving and a FREE GIFT




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Hello Everyone,

November is here and in just over three weeks Thanksgiving will be upon us (for those in the USA). Thanksgiving is, in my opinion, one of the few remaining holidays with a Biblical focus.  While it’s true that we could choose to get caught up in the feast mentality or even the early shopping deals, I am really going to make a conscientious effort to notice the good things that God has provided.

I will begin by telling you that I haven’t always found this to be an easy thing to do.  About five years ago, I received news that rocked my once stable world.  Do you recall falling off your bike as a child and hitting the ground so hard that your breath was knocked out of you?  Remember how one moment you were riding along free as the breeze and then suddenly you were on the ground, gasping for air, and wondering what happened?  That’s exactly how I felt.  It happened so unexpectedly that I was caught completely off guard.  The only difference was that after falling in childhood, I was able to breathe again normally after a minute or so.  This time, I waited for that suffocating feeling to subside.  Any moment now…but I continued to struggle to get back to normal.  Each night I would go to bed in tears, sometimes stifling the sobs so that no one would hear.  I would pray that when I awoke the next morning everything would be back to normal again.  However, the next day would come and the pain would still be there.  One time I even woke up on my knees in my living room.  Apparently I had walked in my sleep and had gone into my prayer position automatically because of all the times I had spent pleading with God to restore the beautiful times I barely remembered. Continue reading