Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Horse Crazy

Week before last Darcie and I spent a week at a horse jamboree in Clemson, SC. This was her first show ever. All week was spent in clinics learning how to do horse stuff such as trail riding, cantering, etc. Saturday was the show. She won three ribbons and won first place in her age division on horse knowledge. I'm very proud of her.

I had an adjoining room next door to three ten year old girls. It wasn't too bad; kind of fun actually. It was like summer camp. I had a lot of free time to catch up on my e-mails, read, write, lay by the pool, and anything else I wanted to do.

I went to Wal-Mart five times! Funny how I don't mind going there when I'm out of town. I'll bet I don't darken the door of our local Hell-Mart more than 3-4 times a year. It always takes so much time. I never want to sacrifice the time when I'm in my town. Too many other things to do, I guess. But on vacation, all I have is time, so I don't mind rambling the aisles. My husband never understands why I want to go there when we're on vacation. Weird, I know.

I found a grill thingy that lays on top of two stove eyes and has marks to make paninis. I hope I spelled that right. Spell check says it's wrong, but what do they know? They also said thingy isn't a word. Sheesh!!! I love a panini with pesto!

So, I think this horse love is here to stay. She's willing to give up dancing for it. Time won't allow both as they are both labor intensive. Of course she wants a horse. Even though we have the room to pasture one, I don't want the bother and worry of a horse. The stables are five minutes away, so she'll just have to love the ones there.

I do think it's helping her to be more confident and to get outside of herself. And those of you with young girls or can remember your own girlhood, that's ALWAYS a challenge! "It's a good thing," as Martha says.

Monday, June 29, 2009

A New Goal

Starting today, I'm giving myself a new challenge. It's similar to the Push-up Challenge I did a while back. This one is called The Squat Challenge. The goal is to do 200 consecutive squats in six weeks.

Before you begin, you take a test to see how many squats you can do in a row. I did fifty, so I get to start at week 3! I've always had strong legs which I attribute to growing up in the mountains and riding a bike for hours a day and also to playing basketball for several years. After growing up, getting married, having children, and being housebound for most of the time, I've turned to yoga to keep me strong.

I mean I'm housebound because that's where my work is (not that I have some debilitating disease that keeps me in). Just wanted to clarify that. Although I guess ya'll are smart enough to figure out that if I'm doing a squat challenge, I couldn't have a debilitating disease.

Anyway....today is the first day. I'll keep you posted when I've finished the challenge. Hopefully I'll be able to do 200. I don't think this will be nearly as hard as doing 100 push-ups.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Welcoming Summer

Summer is officially here! We celebrated its arrival by having vanilla ice cream with red sugar sprinkles topped by a sparkler. The kids loved it!

It's a small way to honor the change of seasons. Much more appropriate than running naked through the field like I threatened to do in the past. Just kidding, my children. I'd never do that. Really...probably not.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Mama's Quilts


Click on the above link to see an article about my mama's quilts. She recently gave me the first quilt she made. She was probably in her 20's. The stitches are much longer than the ones she makes now. I find this endearing and it's one of the reasons this strawberry quilt is one of my favorites.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Magnifying Christ

This morning's reading from Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper: "Whenever something is of tremendous value to you, and you cherish its beauty or power or uniqueness, you want to draw others' attention to it and waken in them the same joy. That is why Paul's all-consuming goal in life was for Christ to be magnified. Christ was of infinite value to Paul, and so Paul longed for others to see and savor this value. That is what it means to magnify Christ-to show the magnitude of his value."

This book is really helping me hone in on what it means to glorify Christ. We throw those words around without realizing their true meaning. I pray that I will really know Christ in all his glory-from his taking human form, to his death, burial, resurrection, and ascension. I want to live the kind of life that when people look at me without even knowing me they think, "Something's different about her." I want to radiate with the love of Christ so that everyone around me can feel His warmth.

I have so far to go to be that way, but I have the hope of Christ in me that it will be so, in time.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Summer Fruit

Last night at twilight, I walked down to the fruit orchard to pick raspberries. As I was walking down the steps I looked up and saw a doe eating our blueberries. I got pretty close to her before she bounded away.

I don't mind a bit sharing our bounty with the local deer. She'll probably be on our dinner table this winter anyway. That's terrible to think about, but true.

I picked this bowl full of raspberries and as many apples as I could carry. The apples are Anna variety. Apples don't do very well down here, but these trees always have apples on them. Now if I can only convince my husband to spray them on time!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Welsh Cakes

I fell in love with Welsh Cakes on our trip to the British Isles a couple years ago. You could buy them in any grocery store. I brought several packs home and rationed them until they ran out. I recently tried my hand at making them. They were pretty good but not as good as the bought ones. I'll keep trying though. They are really easy to make. I got some of them too brown.

I like having a little something with my morning or afternoon tea. A graham cracker usually does the trick, but sometimes I get tired of them and want something with a little more substance like a scone or tea cake.

These cakes are perfect with tea. They're not too sweet but have currants in them, so they feel healthier than just plain cakes. Or did I use raisins? Either one is good. Try them with hot tea and see if you don't think they're just right!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Photos from Fripp

These photos are from the fabulous Fripp Island off the coast of South Carolina. This is the second year we've gone for a week in May while rates are lower, temperatures are cooler, and crowds are fewer.

I love this place! I hope we make it an annual event. I like it because there are only a few shops and no tourists. You can't even get on the island unless you're staying here. There's a gate where you stop and pick up your pass before you drive on the island. There are some fabulous houses to look at. We drive around and pick out our favorites and try and decide which one we might buy. Yeah, right!

The kids love the wildlife. The deer came up our front steps looking for food. You can even pet them. We saw two huge alligators sunning next to a lake. Scary! There are all kinds of birds and small animals. A raccoon had left green paw prints across the concrete when it walked on a freshly painted porch.

We get around on golf carts and bicycles. Last year we had a golf cart limo that would hold us all. This year we all piled on a six-seater cart and looked like the Beverly Hillbillies leaving the mountains of Tennessee. All I needed was my rocking chair to make the look complete.

Laurel and her boys are going again with a friend and her children in a few weeks. Needless to say, I'm very jealous. Maybe I'll crash their party! Laurel and Stacy...don't read this. I don't want to spoil the surprise!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Thought Life

Kathleen Norris, in her book Acedia and Me, quotes the Benedictine Mary Margaret Funk in her book Thoughts Matter: "We are not our thoughts. Thoughts come and thoughts go. Unaccompanied thoughts pass quickly. Thoughts that are thought about become desires. Desires that are thought about become passions."

Norris goes on to say, "While good thoughts have the potential to become virtues, bad thoughts are likely to become "bad passions or habits of action."

That got me thinking about the Bible verse that says, "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." I think this means that the thought has reached the desire or passion point. We become our thoughts if we allow them to go that far.

I can easily sink into depression if I allow my thoughts to go on unchecked. The best cure I've found for controllable depression is to think of things I'm grateful for, smile at myself in the mirror, and go do the next thing.

I also know that sometimes I think too much. Instead, I should just go on my merry way and LIVE. Too much thinking, for me, is self-absorption. It makes me morose and unproductive.

On the other hand, if I go day after day serving my family with no refilling of the 'living waters' of Scripture, I become angry and want to get away from everyone.

So if I'm going to be consistently happy, grateful, and content, I have to make a conscious effort to keep the balance between working and serving others and refilling my soul with Scripture and quiet. It's hard but necessary.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Back at School

This week I'm at the John  C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina to take a watercolor class with my good friend Katy.  We only have one more day.  I don't want to return to real life!  I'll write more after I get home about our experience.

This is a photo of the red barn at the school that I took on another trip.  I took a weekend course on Medicinal Herbs.  Great stuff!  

More later!