Friday, September 30, 2011

Folklife Friday: Come to the Fair!

The Northwest Alabama state fair has come and gone, and not many even noticed.

The fair used to be something we waited for, longed for, all during the hot summer. The week before the fair, promoters would install a huge spotlight that would sweep across the sky to remind folks to get ready. We would sit outside and watch that light and talk about what all we were going to do once we got to that fair!

Over thirty years ago, I was attending a monthly home demonstration club, and the leaders there encouraged us to enter our food and crafts in the fair competitions. So I entered some things, helping to insure there would be no empty shelves in the exhibition hall. To my utter delight, I won a blue ribbon for my whole wheat bread and my elderberry jelly! I have been taking things to the fair since then.

I fear that the fair and its exhibits will pass away with my generation. The times, they do change. Until then, I'll continue to take things as long as I'm able.

In celebration of the fair, I am giving this handsome fellow away to one of you. All you have to do is leave a comment here or where it is linked to my Facebook page. You can enter once a day until next Thursday, when I will draw for and announce the winner.

Is this fun or what?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Lunch Time Walks

I rarely leave campus on my lunch break. Going to a restaurant for lunch requires a lot of rushing around, and of course, there might not be a parking place when I return.

A short walk around campus provides fresh air and stress relief.

A couple of friends are always ready for a lunch time visit." style="display: block; height: 314px; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; width: 400px;" />
And didn't He tell us to fill our minds with what is good and beautiful?
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br /> This is much, much better than staying in a windowless office.

You're only here for a short visit. Don't hurry. Don't worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way. ~Walter Hagen

For the rest, my brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things have honour, whatever things are upright, whatever things are holy, whatever things are beautiful, whatever things are of value, if there is any virtue and if there is any praise, give thought to these things. Philippians 4:8

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wrapping Up Hope

We came together on a Thursday night, nine tired, very different women, with a single goal in mind. With hands that had spent the day on keyboards, wiping noses, grading papers, comforting the sick, and peeling potatoes, we began wrapping empty shoe boxes.

The smallest deed done is better than the greatest intention never carried out.

The wrapped shoe boxes will be distributed and filled with appropriate items for Operation Christmas Child.

They will travel all over the world to pastors that are praying to be included,

mothers anxious for the day the gifts arrive,

and children that are hoping, just hoping.

Hoping that this year, they will get a toothbrush or washcloth.

Little girls hoping for a doll or a book to read.

Little boys hoping for a flash light or some new flip flops.

Hoping for items that we throw away every day without thinking.

Compared to evangelistic campaigns, bible conferences, and mission trips to far off places, this might not seem like much of a ministry. Is it possible that a group of women wrapping and praying over shoe boxes can change the world?

Yes. It can change some one's world.
And the greatest change may be for us. . .

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me. ~Matthew 25:34-40

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign

Signs are ubiquitous, and that is a good thing. I can't imagine a world without them.

Some are intended for information only.

Some make us feel safe.

Some are helpful and needed.

Some make us happy.

Others can be a little confusing....

Some are just totally annoying.

Some are a matter of life or death.

Keep watching for signs....

Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. ~Matthew 25: 1-10

Monday, September 26, 2011

Fall and Fire and Fun Times

It was a peaceful, perfect Sunday evening.

We were laughing and singing silly songs

gathered around the fire as the ribs cooked.

Sharing time and good food with people you love--

Life is GOOD!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Celebrate Saturday: Open some Doors

This might be the best day to find some new doors and walk through them, ready for what waits on the other side.

Sad will be the day for any man when he becomes contented with the thoughts he is thinking and the deeds he is doing -

where there is not forever beating at the doors of his soul some great desire to do something larger;

which he knows he was meant and made to do. Phillips Brooks

Friday, September 23, 2011

Autumnal Equinox

Smoke hangs like haze over harvested fields,

The gold of stubble, the brown of turned earth

And you walk under the red light of fall

The scent of fallen apples, the dust of threshed grain

The sharp, gentle chill of fall.

Here as we move into the shadows of autumn

The night that brings the morning of spring

Come to us, Lord of Harvest

Teach us to be thankful for the gifts you bring us ...
- Autumn Equinox Ritual

Thursday, September 22, 2011

On Being Alone

Have you ever been in a crowd, surrounded by people, and felt like you were totally alone?

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. Isaiah 43:2-3

The Word is full of promises that we will never be left alone.
Promises hard to remember when the night is long and friends can't be found.
Promises we must remember with spiritual hearts.
He knew we couldn't make it without His strength.

No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you or forsake you. Joshua 1:5

What if we foolishly choose to be alone? Who hasn't wanted to run away from everything that hurts?

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
Psalm 139:7-10

Thank you, Father, for wrapping us with loving arms when the world is heavy and we can't find our way.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Storage Auctions

Last Saturday was a perfect day for a storage auction.

The people running the auctions don't always sell the whole unit. When opened, if there is furniture or something obviously expensive, they sell if by the piece or in lots. Sometimes, if all you can see is boxes, they will sell the whole unit.

I like the way they do it because I probably would never buy a whole unit; there is just too much stuff to deal with. People who buy whole units have antique stores or go to flea markets regularly.

Hub and I spent a fun day and came home with five quilts and a box full of assorted dishes, including three plates like my little sister collects. The rest of the dishes will go in the next yard sale.

Can you find me in the crowd?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Unwrap your Gift

Every day is a gift, time to try again, another chance to do it right.

We wake up and decide. Twenty-four empty hours that we fill up, knowing after they are spent, they will never come again.

Before we let the dog out or the aroma of coffee fills the kitchen, we can choose to make this good day. There may be speed bumps to avoid, some so enormous that we scramble to find an alternate road. Mistakes made yesterday, or the day before, or the year before, will rise up, seeking to influence our thinking, but they are powerless, gone, forgiven, a part of the past, not a part of this new day.

All of us have regrets of time and opportunities wasted, sometimes simply because it was easier not to try; fear of failure can be so frightening.

Determine to make this day special! Fill it with things that will bring good memories, smiles when we remember it. If we make a small difference in some one's life today, we will make a huge difference in our own.

This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24