Saturday, September 27, 2008

K-K-K-Kate, Beautiful Kate...Happy Birthday!

Today is my "baby" granddaughter's 5th birthday. Kate is the last-born grandchild and will always be our "baby." Kate is the most loving little girl. She loves to give kisses and hugs, loves to sit on my lap and be loved on in return, and loves to have her back tickled! One of her joys is to hear a goodnight story that I sometimes tell her about her mother when she was a little girl.

This summer when we were at Surfside Beach with the whole family, Kate learned to swim. At first, she was fearful of my "letting go" but then as she realized that I would always be there to get her, she became braver and braver. Kate finally got to the point that she could swim the length of the little pool at our rental house. Before week's end, Kate was doing really well with her swimming.

Not long ago I was on the phone with Kristy when she noticed that someone had drawn with magic marker on the dining room and hallway walls. Kate readily admitted that it was her and that she just "wanted to make it look prettier." How can you scold too badly someone who just wants to make things prettier?

Kate is my very very favorite 5 year old. I love you Kate and hope you have a great birthday. I wish I could be in Belo Horizonte, Brazil to celebrate with you. Save me a piece of cake, ok. Happy birthday, Kate! I love you MORE MOST!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Nice Giveaway

I met Kelly Maria at Beautiful Soul - Belle âme on the bulletin board. She is celebrating her 50th blog post with a great autumn give away. Go leave a comment and you'll be registered to win an array of autumnal goodies. Go check it out.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Some Ram Dumb Things About Me

Just saw on one of my favorite websites,, that somebody had begun a thread so people could list random things about themselves. It gave me an idea. Now most of you who read this are my kin and/or bosom buddies so I'm going to try to come up with things that you won't already know.

  • I love being by myself. Maybe that's because I rarely am!
  • I'd rather listen than talk.
  • My favorite color is red; my least favorite color is blue.
  • I love word games. OK, ok, you already knew that.
  • I always thought when we were growing up that I was adopted and my "real" mother lived in Hawaii and feared she would come to get me to live with her.
  • When I was a child, I dreamed (many times) that I was on a zip line of the power lines and being chased by flying witches. What in the world is the deep meaning of that dream?
  • My favorite author is Karen Kingsbury and I'm so excited about "Sunset" coming out next week. OK, you already knew that too.
  • I have gone the entire summer through 106 degree weather with no AC in my car AND the automatic window "roller-downer" on both sides is broken. Yep, I'm cooked well-done.
  • I love our church family.
  • I eat my bananas over-ripe.
  • I like Pepsi better than Coke...drink only Diet Pepsi...Love Diet Pepsi MAX...think Coke tastes like a medicine I had to take as a child.
  • In my mind I am organized. In reality, I am not.
  • I love summer because I love to wear sandals. Hasn't always been this way though. I once wouldn't wear sandals because I thought my toes were ugly. They still are ugly but I've gotten over it.
  • I would love to become a minimalist. I hate clutter.
  • I can change a flat tire, change the oil on a car, change out electrical sockets, install light fixtures, and fix leaky faucets...all because I had to do it when Don couldn't see to do it.
  • I never drove in the mountains or drove in snow until I had to do it for the same reason.
  • If I'm shopping with someone else, I have to be the buggy pusher.
  • I collect angels, especially Willow Tree and Jim Shore.
  • I love fall mornings with the faint scent of woodsmoke in the air.
  • I get really really angry when window shopping.
  • This one will be long...for years and years and years, I have had hard, dry, cracked, drive-me-crazy heels. I have used every over-the-counter remedy and even a prescription (Keralac) that the dermatologist gave me, all to no avail. This spring we were at the flower festival in Hendersonville and a family from Stone Mtn, GA were there selling pure shea butter. Now, I've used shea products like lotion and cream before (they didn't work), but never pure shea butter. I'm here to tell you that it is a miracle product. I first went for a pedicure where Erin removed as much as she could of the dry dead skin. Then for about 2-3 weeks, morning and night, I would rub my feet with the shea butter. Now, I only use the butter at night and my feet are as soft as a baby's bottom. About every 2 weeks, I also use one of those sander things when I'm in the shower in the morning. Ah, blessed relief!
  • In my mind, I'm still 40 years old but my body is screaming otherwise.
  • Mama thought when I was a child, that I wouldn't live to adulthood. I was a puny, sickly child. She said that once when they drew blood from me that it looked like orange kool-aid.
  • The waist of my wedding dress in 1963 was 22"!
  • I hate grocery shopping. I hate putting groceries away when I get home more.
  • I'm really really grateful for a husband who does most of the grocery shopping.
  • I'd rather drive than ride.
  • I love long trips.

That's all I can think of for now...if I come up with more, look for Ram Dumb Part II.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I'm Blown Away!

Have you ever "met" someone online and you just knew from the start that you were kindred spirits? I "met" Schotzy whose blog is "Wings of Eagles," several years ago on Schotzy is one of those people that exemplifies I Peter 3: 15-17 15 But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17It is better, if it is God's will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. Always, on the Mitford porch and on her "Wings of Eagles" blog, Schotzy sifts everything she says through the Word of her Lord. I have come to love her and am addicted to her blog.

Yesterday Schotzy surprised me by awarding me and my blog the "Autumn Friends Award." I am shocked but that is so like her...such an encourager and pure blessing to me. Thank you, Carolyn.

In return, I am passing on the award and Carolyn's sweet words posted on "Wings of Eagles":

and I am passing the award on to:
To each of you, some related by birth
but to all of you to whom I am related
through the shed blood of our Savior,
I pray that today and this autumn season
is one of blessing, peace, and thanksgiving for
who we are because of Him. I love you!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Bristol Palin Deserves Privacy, published 9/11/08, The Greenville News

Ever since Sarah Palin announced that her 17-year-old daughter, Bristol, was pregnant, the news media have made this the topic of articles and reports any time Palin's name is mentioned.

May I ask and answer the question, what does Bristol's pregnancy have to do with whether Sarah will be a great vice president? Absolutely nothing. This teenager has enough on her shoulders without seeing her name, her boyfriend's name and the fact that a wedding is being planned every time she (and he) turns on the TV or picks up a newspaper.

I think it is disgusting for the networks and print media to continue to bring this into this campaign. Please stop! We know she is an unmarried, pregnant 17-year-old who is planning a wedding. We know her mother is a running mate to John McCain. Enough said! Every American, whether Republican or Democrat should be livid. ~Martha Vaughan

Monday, September 8, 2008

Snakes, Snails and Puppy Dog Tails, Happy Birthday, Duncan

Today is Duncan’s 8th birthday! It’s hard for me to believe that it was 8 years ago that I sat in an airport in Newark, NJ on my way to Brazil and Tim told me that we already had another grandson.

What a joy Duncan has always been. He’s also scared the life out of me a time or two. One day when Kristy and Tim were training for their marathon and out on one of their long runs, Duncan and his sisters were staying with me on a Saturday morning. This is when he was about 4 years old. We’d just moved into our house and Duncan was exploring. I missed him and began calling his name; No answer. I called and called and looked all through the house; No answer. I went outside and called; walked down the street and called; No answer. I began to get a little panicked. I realized the golf course nearby was an enticing area for a little boy but how in the world would I find him if he had walked down to the golf course and was chasing a ball. Now I was frantic. I began to cry and Meg and Kate didn’t know what to think. They didn’t know where Duncan was either.

In our bathroom, is a tiny little-just-four-year-old-sized area with the commode in it. I went into the bathroom and that door was closed so I opened it and there sat Duncan, on the floor, just looking up at me with those beautiful eyes. He didn’t know he was lost; didn’t know I had been frantically calling him all over the neighborhood. He was fine…just playing.

Duncan loves anything army and says he wants to be an army guy when he grows up. He loves playing on the zip line at his Ma-ma and Pa-pa’s house. He is a good swimmer and his little tanned brown back is so precious. He is also a great karate student. We got to watch a karate class when we were in Brazil and it was so much fun to watch. He loves Brazilian fútbol, especially Atlético Galos(roosters), his favorite team in Belo Horizonte. Duncan is a good student and has lots of friends at his school.

We are so proud and happy to be Duncan’s mema and pe-pop. Happy birthday, Duncan; we love you.

Editor's Note: I know that Duncan's birthday is actually 9/9/08 and not today. I got this written and hit "publish" and so here it is. I'm acting older and older :(.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I Have Selective Memory

A few months ago, I wrote a blog entry about worry and included the quote, “when I look back on these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.” Why can't I remember that? Why do I take back the same old worries, knowing in all probability that they aren't even going to happen.

Let me start at the very beginning of the story. Almost 4 years ago, Tim and I were empty-nesters and living in a way-too-big-for-two-people house. We began to look around for a smaller house. Well, we found what we wanted and moved. Surely it wouldn't take long with a booming housing market to sell the way-too-big-for-two-people house. In February of 2005, we moved and about the same time, the housing market began going south...way south. To make a long story short, our way-too-big-for-two-people house still has not sold and for almost 4 years, we have had two mortgages. Honestly, it's been tough; it's sometimes a struggle, but we've managed to muddle through.

About two weeks ago, we finally received an offer on the way-too-big-for-two-people house. Two sisters wanted to buy it, move in and bring their ailing, elderly parents to live with them. The ladies dad was bucking the idea of moving in with his daughters but finally made an offer and we accepted. Fast forward to last Friday when they were having home inspections done. The dad who didn't want to move in the first place, went under the crawl space WITH the termite inspector. (This is illegal, by the way). Well, dad used a FALSEFIED termite inspection report to renige on the contract. We were told that they found termites AND high moisture content in the wood. So, Monday we signed a "Release of Contract" form with the potential buyers and they received their earnest money back. Since then, I have been sick with worry...yep, that word again. Trying in my own mind to make things work out. What to do about the high moisture in the wood? What to do about the termites?

Fast forward again to yesterday when I had our pest control company come out to checkd the way-too-big-for-two-people house. The man crawled over every inch of the black plastic moisture barrier. He checked every joist; he inspected every inch for termites. There was NO TERMITE ACTIVITY FOUND AND there was WITHIN NORMAL LIMITS WOOD MOISTURE CONTENT. Verification that the report the buyers had done was falsefied. It is too late now to go back to the buyers and say wait a minute since we've signed the release of contract. We probably wouldn't want to do that anyway but we are angry, hurt and disappointed.

We've re-listed with the realtor at a GREATLY reduced price, hoping that some family needs a way-too-big-for-two-people house. If you know anybody looking in the rural Greenville area, please send them our way. We'd love to sell them a worth-way-more-than-we're-asking-way-too-big-for-two-people house.

This is the new listing: LESS THAN $61PSF AND LOWER THAN TAX VALUE! Yes, there still is a place that feels safe and a place that makes you happy to come home to...Large cozy home in a very nice country community in sought after Travelers Rest. Located not far from the mountains, this home features living room, separate den/sunroom, 3 bedrooms but can easily be 5 bedrooms if needed (there are 2 bonus/craft/hobby rooms). Privacy on back deck for parties and cookouts too. 3/4 acre lot gives you room to stretch out. Property line goes into woods in back. Deer and turkey spotted all around. LAND ACROSS FROM HOUSE WILL NEVER BE DEVELOPED DUE TO ENDANGERED SPECIES OF PLANT LIVING THERE. Dryer and stove hookups can be gas or elec. for your convenience. Do you need room for hobbies, play areas or crafts? This home is for you! Located not far from hwy 25, Travelers Rest town and only 15 minutes to Greenville, 25 Minutes to Hendersonville too. THIS HOME HAS JUST BEEN REDUCED TO SELL! This listing is brokered by: SUNSHINE HOMES & PROPERTIES Office (864)331-5620

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

"We're Just Friends" or otherwise titled Happy Birthday, Demps

“But, Mom, we’re just friends.”

This is a quote I heard from my daughter, Kristy, for months and months about 17 years ago. And, it was true. Kristy and Demps had been friends, in the same youth group at church, went to high school together and went to youth camps together. They had, in fact, been friends and our families had been friends, since Kristy and Demps were about 10 or 11 years old. Never thinking they would even date, they were content just to “be friends.”

Then, as they saw each other more and more and they saw in each other, a heart for missions, Demps and Kristy gradually became more than friends. We (Don & Mary; Tim and I) couldn’t have been happier. We had loved Demps for a long time and then to have him as a part of our family was absolutely wonderful.

Demps (along with our other son-in-law) have become “other sons” to us. We are so proud of the ministry Demps has had such a huge part in developing in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. What a joy it is to see him interact with his staff, with his students and with members of their church plant. God is truly blessing Demps and his ministry there.

As if that weren’t enough, Demps (and Kris) have blessed us with three of our five grandchildren. Of course, we don’t get to see them as often as we would like because he has them living in Brazil with him.

Demps, we are proud of you and love having you as a son-in-law. We pray that God would bless you particularly today. Happy 40th birthday!