Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Francis and I Made Some Spring

Josh and Francis were here for the weekend again. They have been home often since they married and settled in Nebraska. Of course, we enjoy each visit from our global children.

This time Francis was telling me about a spring door-swag she had made. Just coffee filters and some doodads and she was all set. Glue and wire, too.

 Francis says she cheated and used colored tissue paper for her pink flowers instead of a dyed coffee filter. It worked nicely. She had left over wedding burlap just for such things. A bit of ivy and a brainstorm. Her flowers are not hangydowny like mine are. I think hers is much better/nicer than is mine. But we won't need to argue about that, ok?

See what I mean? I colored coffee filters with colored chalk to get the color I wanted. You can hardly see it, but there's a lighter yellow flower in there, kind of underneath the two you can see. My burlap came from the real deal coffee bean bags we had at work. and the little wooden heart Thai pendants are from Lisl.

   Although I have projects: sewing and cleaning up to my ears around here, I stopped my ears to them and wasted a whole morning playing with this thing. I wasn't going to hang it the place of the old stale Christmas wreath because it isn't perfect. But today  I have changed my mind.
   Everyone needs a break day to create now and then. Such a good feeling. I recommend it.
    Sewing is calling, but first I am going to go take a walk with Kristine. :)

Friday, March 13, 2015

Signs of Spring at the Stonehouse

 ~ Elv just called to say that they have to shut down now. Which being interpreted is: their woods machines are cutting in too much, the frost being gone, and they  have to move out. No more logging today for sure. They'll load the machines onto trucks and move to  spring stumpage.
    Every work day is an iffy-ness of whether or not they can "go".  Besides this, if we don't soon get rain; the fire danger will "go through the roof". Such is spring breakup.
~ I want to go canoeing, soon. Anybody?
~I'm missing Elv. He has been logging almost around the clock. No time for coffee or talk. No brains for anything but logging. Sitting with our feet in the lake is a far off memory... the stuff of fantasy. I put this picture here to remind me that summer really is coming and we'll pull off Highway  61 one of these days and do this again. I'm sure.

~ There's mud and water and dirty snow and a leaf pack all over the lawn fit to cause depression.
~ We cleaned the cars. Oh my! They were so bad! Inside and out!
~ We've had two cook-outs. We had only the patio for our space due to snow banks and mud, but we made it. Fire and grilling and all. Wonderful!
~ The clothes line is full of drying, sweet smelling blankets.

Spring Is Here!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Family Collage

A day at home and a new wall word to play with! Yes! The piano wall needed some help. I have been too preoccupied with other more important things. This morning it suddenly became most important to clean up this house...and the red wax that got dumped several weeks ago on a precious doily now stuck to the piano itself. I wonder how to get that stuff out of the crochet work.
Never mind. Back to getting it off the piano. That little scraper they gave you at the last Pampered Chef party works perfectly. It took the wax off completely without fear of scratching the finish.

 We had a wall word come in at work that I couldn't resist bringing home. Here's a plug for Northwood Outdoor's gift shop. We have many new items and will be getting them on the shelves for you. Come in for wall words, framed art, rustic gifts/decor, and much more. If you're looking for just the right gift for a friend or yourself, we would love to help you find it. Located on Highway 27 in town right by the Sub-way store.
     Okay, back to the wall project. I have framed pictures of each of the married children and the currently outdated family picture. And my wall word. Putting that together on the piano wall was easy. Plus the dried roses.

      Outdated! That's the key word here, children. Send me a new file of your updated family picture and I'll print it and refill these frames. And I'm noticing that we need to get a new one of Amy and Brad each, as well. There's nothing like a new wall word for reminding us.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015



I am unpacking my suitcase today for the second time in a month having visited family in Michigan twice. I'm tired and slow today but feeling richly blest with wonderful memories of eternity-real events. I hope to unpack some of these things here so that we can remember and savor later.

 A funeral in our family is a reunion as well as saying Good-bye to a loved one. This particular funeral was extra special in many ways. Dave's life story of redemption: a sinner saved by grace, married children walking with the Lord, and grandchildren who will do that, as well. The neighbors bore witness to his life of commitment to family and quality work.
Dave cut a lot of ice with his neighbors and friends and children. And I have to say I was blown away by the generosity and love these folks shared with us, just because we are Dave's family.



These three ladies are sisters; you can tell that. When I grow up, I hope to be just like them. Such laughter and love and care they share with all of us. I'm a disciple.

The Oldies

 It's fun being with the cousins. Everyone has his story and gray hair and maybe even a few grandchildren. But we are NOT  the oldies, if you ask the oldies. And we like to hear that. At least for two days we felt like the nieces and nephews in the younger sense. It is a great feelin'.
I took this picture of my brother making breakfast for us on Sunday morning.
"That's a sick picture." He declared when I posted it on family facebook.
I think it's a great picture. Don't you? He is my brother. He is also a dad and husband to a lovely family out in Idaho. And he is a preacher in the Bonner's Ferry Mennonite church.  He does a great job wearing all those hats.
How about a little bragging on you, Daytan! Deal with it. You  have it coming!

And here's another Praise The Lord in our lives. These two wonderful peoples were there, too. And told us some of their story.
I guess that is probably the best thing I learned this weekend. Everyone has a story and often it is packed with redemption and forgiveness, making all the difference about eternity in our hearts.
Live your story so that the rest of us get to see a clear picture of God's grace. That is what family is supposed to be all about anyway, isn't it?!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

A New Workspace

 Or a peace offering. Without telling away private things unnecessarily. We had things to talk over and work on. But we had to wait. While things piled up.

I have collections: old portraits to frame, tools and projects, knitting and crocheting, writing stuff, crafts, and brainstorms. Scattered hither and thither in stashes throughout this old house. Computer under the couch. Speakers flung on the coffee table. Scrapbooking stuffed into an upstairs closet which means it wasn't happening.
And I have other collections, too. Things I need to talk about. Questions to get asked for once. Demands. And generally feeling ornery and dissatisfied. You know how it is.

We finally carved out a space of time in our crazy lives to communicate. I tried to "edit" out most of what I thought I would love to say. Shorter, single idea sentences from me say so much more to him than the convoluted verbiage spilling around and around in my head. And sometimes the waiting for the right time to talk is hard, too. You know what I mean. You keep seeing and thinking of more things you really do want to get off your chest! I managed to tell myself to keep it simple.

I discovered in our talk that Elv is afraid to build things for me. Because he hasn't the resources or time or skills to build it to the specs he believes me to deserve. Now THAT was a revelation to me, entirely. So think about that, girls, when you get in the mood to finally throw your baby fit to get him to do something around the house. Saying, Let's talk about this first, can shorten up or eliminate the frustration altogether. Perhaps your trucker or farmer or logger or carpenter man is worried that he can't deliver on what he believes you deserve. I know, this shouldn't have been news to me. But hey, I was so frustrated with "his lack of interest" in this new brainstorm that I almost missed the real reason. Fortunately,  I finally heard him. Then, he made a discovery, too. I told him, "I probably wouldn't even like what you think I deserve."  Sigh of relief on both our parts.

So he made the desk/work space I've been talking about, longing for, praying over, and setting my heart on for weeks. What with some paint and shelving and the addition of a few of my happy things like lamps and framed collages of grandbabies, and tools and paraphernalia, I'm absolutely delighted.

Through this simple communication we solved other questions between us, too. It was more about actually hearing the other person. What I think is true, is only partly so when I don't have a clue what he thinks and vise versa, of course. It is OUR story and the two halves of it should be melded so that our lives make sense again to both of us.

You would think after 30 years of marriage, we would know how to communicate without all the hoopla. I am happy for you if you do. Maybe my openness and honesty will give some one else the courage to pursue that much needed conversation.
Now if I can get this down to two or three short sentences.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Siskin Outside Your Window

A Cornell Lab of Ornithology picture

It is so very cold this morning. Even the fires didn't keep up well last night so we woke to a chilly house. But it is a still morning and the sunshine is brilliant. The pine siskin have been flocking to our feeder and emptying it every day. Brad interrupted their chirping and scrounging to fill the feeder for them this morning. I am fascinated with the beauty and individual personality of birds. So I stand at the window and watch. We have nuthatches, chickadee, purple finch and the siskins.
   What Jesus had to say about His heavenly Father noticing each sparrow, comes to mind. In that case, He must be able to track and care for each of us, too. How silly of us to worry.
    And I wonder, watching these birds just a few inches from my window, how it is that He bothered about all that lovely coloration on such a fragile and not oft noticed piece of fluff? Not many folks that I know have time or patience to watch birds. I'm sorry about that; because they're missing out on a part of God's goodness to us. He cares about seemingly frivolous details like tiny birds and flowers. Such details should shout God's love into your heart, I think. "So that they are without excuse."
    When are you going to stop your headlong rush to live life and get it all done to notice the yellows in the wings of the siskin? I promise, if you will try it just once... in the middle of your crazy day, you'll understand worship in one of the better ways. You'll be richer for it, way down inside your soul.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Crazy February Days

You asked for a blog update of pictures and news. Here it is, Lisl. It will be scattered and disorganized. I have pictures from three different cameras. Here's a slice of our rich and varied life. First, I will give you our list of accomplishments.

                                            List Of Accomplishment

~ Elv got new phones for the two of us. What really happened was that he was having no end of frustration with his phone. Insurance, replacement that still didn't work, bad label for sending phone number two back, phone number three in bad shape on the face, etc.
Besides, the day that Rosie and I reset the store I dropped a lamp on my ancient, beloved and well-known phone. Smashed it to smithereens! Very sad day.
So Elv threw up his hands and we got new phones. Up to date, unknown, NOT beloved, hard to understand, but brand spanking new phones. Mine anyway. He tried to talk me into an I-phone. I'm too old for that many new tricks. Hate new stuff. They promised me this new android would be much like my last phone which being interpreted is supposed to mean that I won't have to learn any new tricks. Wrong!  But Elv really was trying to do me a favor and provide well, so! I'm getting used to a new Galaxy 5. Folks there will be no cell phones in heaven and I'm grateful for that.
~ Went on a date with Amos and Carol in Rice Lake the other Friday evening. Elv and I said to ourselves that we were going to sit in a restaurant with no TV's with our two dear friends, uncle and auntie, and not talk about troubles or burdens or cares. Just relax and visit about the daffodils.  Oh well, it was a nice time but they had burdens and cares to spill about and so we laughed and cried together: daffodils AND difficulties. It was wonderful.
~ Drove Amos and Carol over to Detroit to visit another uncle, Dave, in the Henry Ford hospital. The Henry Ford is located in the middle of miles of rows of apparently repossessed has been upscale homes. I don't know how to describe what I saw. We were grateful that our cousin Bob Ford offered to drive us back and forth to the hospital from his home in Plymouth where we stayed. What will happen to all those communities of abandoned homes? A nurse told us to be sure to stay on campus at the hospital. "It's safe here, but don't go walking anywhere off campus around here." Anybody up for a new mission field experience? Detroit needs you.
~ Very much enjoyed a cousin visit with Janette and Wayne while we were there. Thanks so much.
This mural made of stone pieces stretches along the hall at the west entrance of the Henry Ford hospital. Nicest eagle I've seen in awhile. It stays right there and doesn't eat road kill.

~ We have Clarks house almost ready for them. We've painted and scrubbed and laid new flooring and fixed up washer and dryer hook ups and everything.


~ We had the Valentines banquet at Norske Nook. Sixteen couples came from various local churches. Interesting visit time and good food.  And Saturday evening when I walked in from working at Clark's house I found this on the table from my own Valentine. He is the best.
~ Elv and Lance traded machines and are trying an all new plan for working their logging jobs and hoping to make incomes work for both of them. We'll see. I know, most of you didn't need to know that. So forget it. Lisl will be interested though.

~Lance has found a girlfriend at last. The lovely Kristine from Northwoods from Pennsylvania. They seem happy together.  

 These two are always together. Everybody is saying, "That sure isn't going to take long, is it?" What are we supposed to say?  They're both old enough to know what they're doing, right? So all you folks out there oohing and aahing or tsk-tsking whichever, go ahead. We are saying, God Bless 'em!

                                       List Of What's Left To Do

~ Take Brad to Driver's Ed for the next 15 school days in Hayward. One hour every day. It'll be a zoo, but we are ready for him to be a driver!
~ Get Clark's moved in to their house this week. And Charlotte hopes the baby stays "in" till they're all moved.
~ Amy says and I agree, we've got messy corners in the stonehouse to get cleaned up. Lotsa trash! Again! What's with that? Spring cleaning coming right up.
~ The children's ministry youth are headed out to Pennsylvania to get all charged up again about their own kid's club here.
~ And pray for our young people and old parents. Love up the babies. Make meals and wash dishes. Listen well, laugh often, and cry with the hurting. And to stop fretting that I didn't have a clue what I was signing up for.