New News!

Hey, this blog is moving to http://bagnitall.blogspot.com. Come see me there for new posts.

There will be photos at the new blog! I’m so excited to learn more about blogging and make this new site much, much better!

See you there!

beth

Embracing the Mall-walker In Me

I’ve been very tired lately. I know why, but I don’t want to admit it. But here goes. It’s a lack of exercise. The less I do, the less I feel up to doing.

So….
today I went to the mall and walked. The Mall! Uggh! All by myself, like an old lady. I wanted to walk around, or jog around, the middle school track, but it was raining. So I got over myself and admitted that I belonged with the mall walkers, just for today. I’m okay walking there if I’m with my friend. But alone? It just seemed so pitiful.

But I have to admit that I feel better now. Maybe tomorrow it will be sunny so I can exercise outside and attempt to look like jogging is something I do everyday.

Here’s to hoping!

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!

Today is my middle daughter, Kelsey’s, birthday. She is 14 today! I must have married an old man to have a daughter that mature.

I especially love her right now because she told me I don’t look my age. She thought I was six years younger! That’s right, I am young. I had her when I was six.

But really, I’m asking what happened to my baby? She was my little red-headed, bubbly ball of joy. She’s still our family’s ball of joy, but the red hair turned blond. Now she’s my blond, blue-eyed beauty.

And she’s the life of the party. She makes us laugh, everyone of us. Kelsey is a natural comedian. I’m surprised we haven’t been kicked out of restaurants for laughing too loudly.

She’s a girly girl disguised as an athlete. Once upon a time, she only wore cute little dresses and played with little fairies. Now she won’t admit that. But she still spends an enormous amount to time on makeup, perfume and clothes, only to pull her hair up in a ponytail and run up and down a basketball court.

Last week she got her birthday present. Her basketball team won the county championship! Her picture was in the paper the next day. So today on her actual birthday, she’s getting a manicure. Her dad commented that she’ll just mess it all up at softball practice Saturday and Sunday.

She doesn’t care. She wants to look like a girl for a day or two.  But it made her smile when her teacher told the boy next to her, to be “very scared” if he every had to defend himself against her in a battle of strength.

We women want to be treated as equals and cherished as beauties all at the same time. And it’s the truth. We are smart, strong, wise, beautiful, emotional, fragile. I think that’s a good thing. I don’t want to be “equal” to a man. And I don’t want Kelsey to feel the need to deny her feminine side. We are different than men and that’s a very, very good thing!

So on Kelsey’s 14th birthday she’s receiving a manicure and a book about Frank Lloyd Wright architecture so she can look like a girl, yet dream about a future.

Happy Birthday, baby girl!

Broken Angel

My latest great read was the fictional novel, Broken Angel by Sigmund Brouwer. It’s set in a future USA, a startlingly eery nation, yet a setting that seems an entirely possible future. What will our nation look like if we continue treading the current path? What advances will science make? And how far will the Biblically illiterate allow leaders to lead them off of the true path of Christ?

If you like suspensful and somewhat violent scenes, you will love this book. But be warned. It is not a book for the faint of heart or the lover of sweet romance. I found I couldn’t put it down until done. I almost read it in one setting.

Chix One Day

The last several months of my life have been consumed with planning the Chix One Day. It’s amazing to me how quickly something is over. It’s like a meal. You can cook for hours and find the food consumed in minutes. That’s the way the Chix One Day was for me. Honestly, I don’t remember “tasting much of the meal.” Really it wasn’t for me anyway. So it’s okay that the day was a blur.

It didn’t start out well, since my alarm didn’t go off. I woke up three minutes before I was supposed to be there. (I live thirty minutes away.) Oops! But when I arrived everyone was busy with their jobs and hadn’t even noticed my absence. Whew!

I think that for most everyone else attending that day, it was good. I saw a lot of women smiling, laughing, sharing, snacking, creating, and most importantly worshipping God. The best part of the day for me was watching the women spend time alone with God. It made me very happy, made the day worth it all. We gave them a chance to communicate with their Creator.

I was glad I was a part of making it happen. You must know that there were many others who worked hard too. I’m so glad I was able to serve with them. It’s encouraging to know you can trust others to be willing and dependable. What’s that old saying? “Many hands make light work.”

So, the Chix One Day is over for another year. But guess what? Before the day was even over, Jody and I were planning next year’s retreat. In fact, we’ve already met and decided on a theme. We want to get a head start. Twelve months isn’t too soon, is it? We must be a little insane.

A Month in the Dark Ages

After nearly a month, I finally have a computer with an internet connection. I went through withdraw, but secretly enjoyed the freedom. I didn’t waste time surfing the web. But I also couldn’t print out files sent to me that needed printing. It’s been a curse and a blessing.

But honestly, it’s been such a crazy month that I needed something cut out of the schedule. In a way, February feels like the beginning of the year for me. January was such a whirlwind month.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s been a great month. I spent five days in Seattle, Washington. Seattle in January? Not the normal idea of a warm winter vacation spot. But actually it was one of the warmest areas in the United States that week. It rained half the time, but that’s Seattle. I enjoyed walking in the rain instead of trudging through the snow and ice.

I was in Seattle for the American Farm Bureau Farmers and Ranchers’ National Convention. It was a good convention. I could go on and on about farm related facts, but honestly the best part was getting carded in front of the booth handing out free samples of Washington State wine. I felt so young. I think it may have been because when asked what kind I wanted I said, “Uhh, I don’t know.” (Maybe I should have said, “the purple one.” I’m sure that would have helped.)

Well, there was one better moment. When the flight attendent asked me if Jeff, my husband, was my father. Ha! That was a great one!

Seattle was a wonderful get away! I took the ferry across to Bainbridge Island. Beautiful! I could move there today. I visited the Pikes Market…a few times, ate some delicious food, visited with some friends, read a little and, of course, knitted a lot.

The one thing I did not do while there was work on the Chix One Day. And boy did I pay for it when I got home! But that’s for another blog. Maybe tomorrow. I have a computer! Yeah!

Harvest is Over!

Woo, hoo! The crops are all in, except for a small 15 acre plot that will have to wait until the combine is fixed or we borrow a relative’s. It’s been a long, difficult season. The crops weren’t ready until much later than usual. When they were ready, they had a high moisture count which meant drying the grain and that slows down the picking. (It’s like having a newborn. Feed the dryer at 12a, 2a, 4a, etc.) Needless to say, it’s time for the husband to get some much needed sleep! Thank you to all who prayed for his safety. Exhaustion and large machinery are a dangerous mix. I never really breathe deeply until harvest is over for the year. So now we can get back to being a family. Yeah! I forgot what he looks like!

I Won!

It was my lucky day Thursday! I won a free skein of yarn and a pattern, a really beautiful pattern, from Never Not Knitting! Check out the pattern on the Never Not Knitting blog. It’s the Cedar Leaf Shawlette. Thank you very, very much, Alana.

A Birthday Weekend Away

Jeff and I got to go away for my birthday last week. We attended the annual Indiana State Farm Bureau Convention in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Fort Wayne is quite a nice city. I was impressed. The best thing about Fort Wayne was that the LYS (local yarn shop) was within walking distance of the convention center and attached hotel where we were staying. (And a Starbucks was in between the two locations.) It was as if I had died and gone to heaven. Yarn, coffee, hotel, catered dinner, and a concert with the symphony.

A policeman stopped traffic so that I could cross the street for the concert! Well, actually it was that hundreds of people were trying to cross the street to attend the concert too. It wasn’t just for me, but I do like to pretend.

I would recommend the Fort Wayne PhilHarmonic Orchestra. But then I’m listening to YoYo Ma while writing this blog. The cello must be the most beautiful instrument created. And who isn’t amazed by twelve violin’s bow strokes all in a perfect unison?

I would also suggest you visit the Knitting Off Broadway Yarn Shop if you are ever in Fort Wayne. It recently moved to a new location in a beautiful old home. Honesly, the woodwork floors are really the only thing that caught my eye because I was too busy smelling wool. I bought my birthday and Christmas gift while there. They have Spud and Chloe yarn! I couldn’t resist. I now have the pattern and required yarn for making the Trifecta Scarf. Yeah!

All in all, it was a superb birthday. I couldn’t have asked for anything more!

Rejoicing in All Things

I am ending my Thanksgiving holiday at my childhood home. The actual Thanksgiving Day was spent at my brother’s. There was more food there than two of our families could eat, and there were sixteen of us around the table. (11 were missing) After filling my plate, I looked down at it in astonishment. It was the equivalent of a day’s worth of food. I had heard several times in the last few days about how much we Americans overeat on Thanksgiving and had made a vow to not be one of the statistics. I failed miserably.

I felt a little off kilter to be honest. First, my husband couldn’t come. Second, neither could my sister and brother and their families. Third and most importantly, on the way to my brother’s, I had received a text that a close friend’s home had burned. I was too far away by the time the call came to get back in time to help. So I continued to my brother’s. But it didn’t feel right to be feasting. Yet here I was loading up my plate and laughing at all the jokes around the table.

My sister-in-law’s sister, Lynette, joined us for the day. I wrote about her in a previous blog, “Two Hats.” I wanted her day to be joyful, perfect. Yet here I sat across from her, talking to my husband as he hauled the one and only truckload that could be salvaged from our friend’s home to her parent’s. I felt so conflicted.

The Bible tells us to rejoice in all things. But rejoicing felt equal to making light of tragedies surrounding me. I was so thankful to be with family, celebrating our love for God and each other. But what I really wanted was to be back home holding my newly homeless friend in my arms. I wanted to be able to confidently proclaim that Lynette would join us next year. I wanted the crops to be all harvested so my husband could be beside me. And most of all I wanted my mom to look at me and know it was me.

I ended my visit putting up my parent’s tree with my youngest daughter’s help and visiting a high school friend. But the most special time I spent today was giving my mom a manicure. I thought back to all the years she took care of me and how it’s my turn to help take care of her. I don’t get enough time here to do that. And a lot of the time I’m unsure how to even help. But this visit I felt like I had been able to do somehing that made a difference. It didn’t matter that a few hours latter she asked if her nails needed cut. It just mattered that I was able to cut them for her.

This has been a strange, stretching Thanksgiving. It was a deeper one than ever before. It was about being joyful when you feel like crying. It was about being thankful for what you have, with all it’s flaws, realizing you may never have it again, realizing there are harder times yet to come. It’s about acknowledging we have to rejoice in the middle because we’ve been given a middle to rejoice in. It’s about preparing ourselves to rejoice in the end so that when the end comes we will be strong enough and wise enough to rejoice.

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