Monday, October 19, 2015

The Last Frontier

My Other Half and I watch "Alaska, the Last Frontier" on a pretty regular basis.  In case you've never seen it, it's the story of the Kilcher family who are the fourth generation to live off the land of their 600 acre homestead.

I've grown kind of weary of watching it, but there's not much else on TV, and my Other Half likes it, so, since the good viewing choices are few and far between on the vast wasteland called television, I get a snack and settle in and see what's happening.  Here's the reason I tire of it;  in my estimation, it's run it's course.   They are always surprised when the weather turns bad, even though they've been there for 70 years - and IT'S ALASKA!  They always wonder if they'll get their cattle moved to greener pasture in time, or safely.  Their homes look like something that should be demolished, even though they are all multi-millionaires.....and so on, all typical TV complaints.

Last night was a surprise.  The patriarch of the family (Atz)  needed to herd and break in some horses.  This was the one thing his adult son (Atz Lee)  had the most fear of, and this was because of bad  memories of doing it as a child.  Atz would yell and scream directions, which cause his son to lose confidence and also caused the horses to become agitated, which caused further fear in his son.  This is how Atz learned to do it from his own father.  He knew nothing else, even though he too suffered from all the cussing, yelling and forceful behavior his own father demonstrated. Harsh, confidence breaking behavior was passed down through the generations.

Last nights program featured the breaking of that harmful cycle.  Atz knew of his son's fear.  He knew Atz Lee was totally lacking confidence and not only was fearful of the horses, but of failing his father.  This 70 year old man was not to old to realize this, and implemented a change.  He gently, lovingly and with kind words showed Atz Lee how to take care of the horses. The horses responded to speaking in a normal voice, faster then the old brute force method he formerly used.  In doing so, he started the healing process between father and son, and started a new generation of kindness.

Are we a reflection of how we were raised?  Most of us are, whether that's good or bad, it's all we know.  If it's something that isn't beneficial, we can break that cycle.  It isn't always easy, but it is possible, I saw it on this program last night, and this was the last place I expected to see it!   The first step is to recognize if the words we speak are uplifting, instructional without being bossy and judgemental, kind instead of demeaning, and is the tone we use gentle or harsh.  Yes....I'm learning every day as well. Even on my frontier!   We all can.

By the way, I am once again a fan of Alaska the Last Frontier!

Proverbs 25:11
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Speaking Of Re-Locating.....

Have you been keeping up with all the politicians and their promises..."if I'm elected...".  Well, I keep up and then I step away, then I refresh and so on.  I'm  not immersed in it, but I do need to keep abreast of what's being said and done.  This post has nothing to do with the current news, aren't you happy?
I want to share two books I've recently read.  Both great reads.  They are about the White House, and the presidents, first ladies and families who have re-located to live there.  The first one is written by J.B. West, Chief Usher at the White House at one time.  Available on Amazon.
He chronicles the lives of the First Ladies from Roosevelt to Kennedy.  How they adjusted, or didn't adjust to their new home and the changes they made.  He writes with insight that only the Chief Usher and staff could witness. You may be surprised at the private personalities shared in this book!
Second is a similar book titled "The Residence:  Inside The Private World of The White House" by Kate Anderson Brower. This begins with the Kennedy's and continues right up to the Obama's. Also available on Amazon.
No one can tell the stories that actually makes live the attitudes and personalities of the First Families like those who work side by side with them.  Every one from the florist, electricians, to the plumber who actually had a breakdown after trying to please Lyndon Johnson's demand for his perfect shower.  There are soft, human moments, funny and heartbreaking moments.
If you read these books, I sincerely hope you enjoy them as much as I did!
Can you guess who came across as the easiest and approachable family?

Thursday, October 1, 2015

I Feel Like Traveling On

Scarf Sister October Blog Prompt-RELOCATING

I've lived in my present home for more then 30 years.  This is what I've always wanted - to stay in one place, a home where memories are made.  A neighborhood familiar.  We have done just that, my girls grew up here and my grand children know of no other place that is grandma and grandpa's. Even though the world has changed dramatically, my neighborhood has remained pretty much the same. For that I am thankful.

In the last few years, my mind has imagined  a different place.  One more suited to people of a "certain age" - meaning a house with no stairs!  I don't know if that will ever happen, there is an awful lot of accumulation that occurs when living in one place for so long.  I suppose on the other hand, it might be freeing to weed out what would go and what would stay, but not today.

I do have a wonderful home to look forward to one day.  I won't have to worry whether or not it has a first floor laundry because my sparkling robe will never be dirty!  Can you imagine?  My husband has a man bib he created by cutting off the neck hole and front of a sweatshirt.  He pulls it over his head and it protects his shirt while eating, especially foods like spaghetti!  No, he doesn't wear it outside the house, although at times it would have saved a nice shirt!  He won't have to worry about spots on his shirts when we're in our heavenly abode!

If I moved from this home to another I would worry and be sad if my family and friends weren't close by.  I would long for them terribly.  Not an issue in my home that Hebrews 13:14 speaks of.  There will be no sorrow or longing there.

Only God knows when my moving day will be.  I will enjoy this home that He has provided - including the stairs my young self thought would never be an issue!  They will provide cardiac exercise until I'm all exercised out!  Till the lyrics in the song Beulah Land, "I'm kind of homesick for a country to which I've never been before".

Friday, September 11, 2015

(Bad) Chip Review

This is a potato chip public service taste announcement.


Let me preface this by saying I'm a big potato chip fan. I don't even need dip to enjoy them, that's just how much I like chips.  For that reason, and the fact I can't eat just one, I don't buy them often.  

At the check-out lane in the grocery store lately, there's been a lot of buzz about the new flavored chips.  You do know that check-out buzz is accurate, right?  Every one was raving about the new Lays Biscuits and Gravy flavor.  They must be good because there was none left on the shelves.  All that was left was Reuben, Truffle and Greektown Gyro flavors.
I do love a good Gyro, so it just made sense for me to buy the Greektown Gyro chips.  I just opened that bag and shared it with my also chip loving husband.  I have been know to tell him to eat the chips one at a time, instead of a handful at a time, fearing there will be none left for me.  After the first Gyro chip....I gave  him the entire bag, telling not to worry about saving me a single one.  

We don't agree on every thing when it comes to food, but we are totally in agreement on these chips.  YUCK!  At first your think, hmmmm, this is a bit unusual.  Then you swallow it and it leaves an aftertaste that's extremely hard to describe, but it's not good.  I just read a review that describes them as tasting like bad breath.  That's pretty close, but I wouldn't be that kind.

You have been warned.  Eat at your own risk, I have an entire bag left minus the few we ate.  You're welcome to them.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Amazing Plans

A group I belong to, has each member give a blog prompt for the month.  Here's the prompt for August:

Jeremiah 29:11  ~ For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord.  They are plans for good, and not evil, to give you a future and a hope.

I admit, I've had a hard time with this one.  It's simple and straight forward and I couldn't think of a thing to say to shine a brighter light on it.  It shines brightly all on it's own.

Then....and then, I saw this picture.
This verse came alive to me.  I can't think of a better time to share with a child then when they are still in the crib.

Why do we wait until we are caught up in a way of life that is not God's perfect plan to read and apply this?   Not only do we train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6) but we should also surround that child with this wonderful promise!

All those loving and precious childhood verses we read our babies, and put on their bedroom walls, are so sweet, but I just love knowing that this could be one of the first promises a child should learn. God DOES have a plan for your life.  He knew you before your were formed in the womb, before you were born, he set you apart, (Jeremiah 1:5).  His wonderful plan for you is good, isn't that exciting!  As a new baby is held in the arms of his Mommy or Daddy...he is being told of this awesome plan God has for his life!

I love a newborn baby.  Full of promise, and miracle and gift from God.  A promise spoken by parents to love and protect....and promise by God that gives all that and more....more then we could ever give on our own.  I pray that all babies have the chance to hear and carry in their heart this promise.

Monday, August 10, 2015

A Passel of Memories

Passel.  Isn't that a funny old word?  It's not used any more, which is kind of a shame.  It means a large number of people or things.  I think it should be used again.

This past weekend my husband and I went on a 180 mile yard sale, it originated in Detroit and ended at the other side of the state near Lake Michigan.  It was along the old Sauk Trail, which was a native American Indian trail running through Indiana, Illinois and Michigan.  Once you are about 50 miles west of Detroit, the old  US Highway 12, as it is now known, becomes beautiful rolling country side. Old farms, and sweet villages take you back to a different time.  Corn fields, beans growing and fields of sunflowers make your mind and body relax.  They don't make noise, blink lights, or demand your attention;  you just give your moment in time to each beautifully planted field and it give you back an extraordinary sense of gratitude  and a  heart full of good feelings.  I was anxious for more then one reason to take this little trip.  The sales were fun and interesting, but family ties to this part of the state meant much more to me, only I didn't realize it at the time.

Many, many years ago my Mother's side of the family took interest in this beautiful farm land near US Highway 12.   My uncle was the first to buy an old farm house and acreage.  He and the family still lived here in town, but even 60 years ago he got fed up with being taxed every time he improved his home.  He quit improving it (to my Aunt's dismay) and went out and bought an old farm to visit on weekends. It was a place he could plant trees (with the help of my cousins) and enjoy what God had created.  Unfortunately he passed away not to long after he bought that place, but he paved the way for a passel (great word!)  of memories to be made on that very land.  For many in our family, it became the catalyst for the need deep down to have a place in the country.  In time,  another Uncle and Aunt and her family, as well as cousins have purchased part of his land and built homes.  This farmland and my family that lived there opened up a treasure chest of  never forgotten times spent there.

Hal and I took a slight detour off of  highway 12 that took us where the old farm is.  Where we had a family reunion and some of our children were just babies.  We sang, laughed, reminisced and ate way to much. This is my Hungarian side and the cooking and especially baking lingers still.

Tears are forming, that passel of memories are flooding over me.

To be continued...............

Friday, August 7, 2015

Putting Off Priorities

Today I have..........
Made my hair appointment.
           Reserved a hotel room for an over night trip were taking.
           Paid the monthly bills. 
           Planned next weeks meals.

I have not scheduled my appointment for a stress test.  There are no  known heart problems, this is just a routine maintenance test, you know....the kind of maintenance that come with advancing years. Sort of like extra fiber in your diet. It seems to take more effort to maintain status quo these days.  It is neither painful nor messy, yet I dread it.  I have always been able to do the test on the treadmill, and thus avoid the injection of a drug to raise my heart rate, and I hope that continues.

Why am I dragging my feet to make the call?  I would probably guess it's the fear of the unknown. For a person who is barely, hardly not at all, Lord help me.... health conscious (i.e. overweight) there is always the dread of your undisciplined health habits catching up with you, especially when confronted and tested in a medical setting!  God has been so good to me thus far.  No diabetes, or major issues other then that blasted arthritis and having to replace a few joints, which I'm so thankful went well.

My weight is my biggest, I don't even know the word to use here......I guess I would say.the biggest weight on me. It cannot be hidden, it's right there for the world to see...and often judge.   The depression, anger, sadness, embarrassment, and so on it causes should be enough for me to get a grip on it  - once and for all.  I should add....please don't give me weight loss advice.   I could write a book on the way to lose weight.  I know all the answers.  I've done all the answers.

I will make that call, I will go and have the stress test and pray every thing is OK.  I will also try for the um-teenth time to take off some weight.    If I didn't believe that through God all things are possible, I wouldn't even try, because in myself I am weak, but I am not without hope.

Monday, August 3, 2015

The Family Room

We have a room in our house we call the family room.  It's where we spend most of our time, we watch TV, get lost in our computers, listen to music, do a lot of reading - and generally do our living. Did I mention we eat dinner in there too?  We also have been know to snooze in that room, we each have our favorite spots for this; me on the leather couch with my fleece blanket in colors of rust, blue and tan.  Hal in his recliner with his fleece blanket with ducks on it. Our family has grown up, left and now have their own families, no longer filling the room with their precious presence.  Even the grands have their own places.

The Family Room has a sliding door to the deck and back yard.  In the summer the yard is filled with flowers, birds on the bird feeder and wind chimes making melody.  In the winter every thing is covered in snow.  It doesn't matter the season, we always look out that big glass door, just to check that every thing is copacetic, and it always is.

In the winter the fire will be burning in the fireplace.  In the summer the air conditioner will be blowing cold air through the vents.  It has brought us comfort and shelter for many years.  Not much changes in this room.

Today I was giving the comfy old  room a cleaning.  Hal's recliner is next to the fireplace.  His "area" is a mess. I'm just telling it like it is.  He calls it his command center, which is another way of saying, don't touch my stuff. Someone once told me to buy a basket so he can keep his stuff together.  He has 2 baskets and nothing is together.  He's a note writer, a how to video watcher, a reader, etc., and every thing he needs to address that has to be within arms reach.

I no longer tell him to thin out his collection.  His many things represent him.  Why do we try to eliminate things that bring us joy for the sake of looking spiffy? It's not's just his "collection".

Want to know the best part?  One day our kids will have to clean out that collection.  I hope they pause and see us in those things that made our life, that was so routine, yet so dear to us together in our family room.

And then they will need to rent a dumpster.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

So Thirsty

We're just coming out of a several days of some very high temperatures.  I put off leaving the house unless necessary, knowing that sooner or later, we would have a break in temps.
During this hot spell, the warning of excessive temps came across my cell phone.  I thought of all the people that weren't as fortunate as I.  Those who work on our roads, came to mind immediately.  I'm certain you've seen them.   There are out there, wearing brightly colored safety vest and hard hats, their faces red from the heat, and if you touched those red faces, it would be hot to your hand.  Perspiration soaks their clothes and drips down their heads, stinging the eyes with it's saltiness as it works it way down the face and neck.    With their mouths so dry the tongue must stick to the roof, they are longing for a drink of cold water; and their body has to have it.  The thirst is strong, the throat is parched and even the muscles ache and cramp from lack of hydration.  So Thirsty.  Have you ever had that feeling?  Please....I need a drink of water!
We were created with thirst.  It reminds us to replace what the body needs to keep alive.  In the winter the thirst is still there, it does not disappear when the weather changes.  We hydrate and the body uses it up, but  we can never say that's enough, we will always need  more.  It remains a constant, and it has to be re-supplied.
That same thirst, exists in our spirit life.  There is a thirst so deep for God, it has to be filled daily or we dry up.  If we ignore that Spiritual thirst, in time our inner soul becomes like a desert.  The soil is so dry it cracks, it's barren and nothing grows there.  We  wonder why we feel so empty, why aren't we blooming and feeling the living water flow through us?  We feel like a cactus, with pointy spines, and people may hesitate to come close, we seem that miserable.     Oh, the cactus holds a bit of water, enough to keep it alive, but we have access to so much more then the cactus!
Why just exist like a plant in the desert?  Seek the Lord, thank Him for all His goodness, let Him quench your thirst of your soul....not just once, but over and over!

Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life.  Who ever comes to me will never go hungry, and who ever believes on me will never be thirsty."
John 6:35 NIV

Thursday, July 30, 2015

DIY Dentistry

I have a headache today.  It's from grinding my teeth.  I'm never aware I'm doing it until I get TMJ pain, which thankfully is almost never. At the moment,  I can barely open my jaw without pain.

Many years ago my dentist informed me that I needed a bite guard to prevent damage to my teeth, as well as the joint in my jaw.  Remembering how well I did as a teenager wearing my retainer after my braces came off, I was hesitant  I think that retainer saw the inside of my mouth a dozen times total.....and I'm probably stretching my recall.  Reluctantly I agreed to the bite guard.

After impressions of my teeth and bite were taken, the guard was ordered and my wallet emptied. My dental insurance covered just enough to say they contributed.  In other words, very little.

I am a repeat offender.  I wore that bite guard as much as I wore my retainer.  I couldn't stand that thing in my mouth while trying to sleep.  The drooling alone was enough to make me not want to sleep with myself!

Fast forward.  Pain again. Threw the costly bite guard out years ago.  So....since it's the age of Do It Yourself, I went to the corner drugstore and bought a bite guard, actually a two for one sale!  Who could resist?!  You boil water in a cup, wait ten seconds after taking it out of the micro, then drop the guard in the hot water for 30 second.  While it is warm and malleable you place it in your mouth, take your thumbs and mold it around your teeth, all the while sucking the air out from between the roof of your mouth and guard with your tongue.  This should have been recorded for Funniest Home Videos, I'm not joking!

I put my newly made bite guard in.  Very confident am I that I have solved my problem.  It doesn't bother me at all during the night, I never woke up. I am so smart!

When I woke up it was on the pillow next to me. My jaw still hurts.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Should I Stay or Should I Go

Hello there!
I used to be on bored with my self and quit.  I went to Word Press and didn't find it as easy to use.  So....guess who's back to Blogger?  I'm going to change the name I used to have here from Living on Grace to My Slightly Imperfect Life.  Seems once you are a blogger drop out....your former blog name goes into a black hole never to be used again.  That's OK, I'm ready for a fresh start.
I dropped out of the blog world because I felt I had nothing interesting to write about.  Then after the passing of one of my dear blog friends, I realize that what she wrote about....her life....was exactly what I longed to read about.  Daily ups and downs.  Waiting for the flowers to pop up in the spring.
Enjoying the first snow and barely hanging on at the end of a long winter.  And what could be more joyful then the birth of a grandchild!
I have happily connected with several blogging friends on Face Book.  I love that our friendships have extended a bit further.  However, I find Face Book to be an appetizer, where blogging is the main course.  There is where friendships have been made and hopefully continue to be made.
If I can remember how, I will try to put a prettier face on this page.  If will be without make-up, just like me on many occasion. Even without mascara, you'll always get the real me.