Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Time Out

I'll be gone for a few days to Southern California for my mother-in-law's memorial service.

When I get back i will touch base and we'll start off the new year together.

Until then, I hope all of you have a wonderful Christmas.
Give lots of hugs to family and friends and tell them how much you love and appreciate them.
Give a smile to a stranger, do a good deed, talk to the Lord.
It's His birthday you know. =0)

smiles and blessings coming your way.

Barbara Jean

Monday, December 22, 2008

Being Thankful

I just read a blog on Contentment, and how the key to that is being thankful.
I totally agree with that.

It's easy to be thankful when wonderful things happen in your life, like having a new grand baby, and that your family lives close and you get to see them all the time.

But what about when you have lost someone? Can you be thankful?

My husband's Mom, and my Mom for 40 years, went to be with the Lord earlier this month.
This is a very sad and hard time for us, and, mixed with the joy of a new grand daughter, very confusing too. We are happy one minute, and sad the next. Under the joy is always the feeling of sorrow, and the loss sometimes lessened a bit with the joy of new life.

So, what can we be thankful for?

We can thank the Lord she lived to be 91, and for most of those years was in good health.
We are thankful for Scott's brother and his wife who have had Mom live in their home for 15 years, and have cared for her so lovingly the past couple of years since she began to decline.
We are grateful she was able to have her last days in her own room, her own surroundings, with family near, even though it did not seem she knew who they were or where she was at times.
We are thankful that she did not suffer long with the fear, anxiety, and paranoia that the dementia caused in her, and that her passing was peaceful and in her sleep.

I'm glad my husband saw her at Thanksgiving. He walked with her, sat with her, fed her, and was able to give Ron and Kathy a break they really needed.

I am grateful that I have grown to understand Scott enough to know how to support him through this period of grieving. To give him space to process, but be available when he needs me.
That he needs time to be alone, and time to be together. That sometimes he needs to fill his mind with busyness to get through that moment. And that those moments may come and go for a long time.
I'm grateful that he is including me in his grief, and not shutting me out, which he might have done a few years ago, and that he holds me and lets me cry when i feel overwhelmed by it all.

Most of all I'm grateful for a God who knows us and understands us, better than we know ourselves. A God who hears us when we cry out to Him, and even hears us when we don't.
A God who sustains us through our grief, and promises to turn our sadness into dancing again.
And a God who has welcomed Mom into His loving arms, and has given her peace.

Thank you for letting me share with you, my friends and family, and for all your prayers and support through this time.

We leave Christmas Day for the drive to San Diego for the Memorial planned for Mom.
Please pray for safety, and that the Lord will use us to share His love and message with others.

Blessings on your day.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Family Photos

Here is the whole happy family.
Three girls and little Remy.
Boy are those guys outnumbered now!!

Ben and Angie, the proud parents, and little baby Rowan.

Mama and baby doing great!

Dad's holding up well too.

Here's Grandpa and his girls.

Grandma and her girls.

Baby Rowan.

Isn't she a cutie!!!

We are surely blessed with a wonderful family.

PS Thanks for your prayers for brother Remy. He was much better today, but not quite sure what to think of little baby sister. He saw her and said "baby!" with a big smile, but then wouldn't go over to see her for a minute. He soon warmed up to her, and was taking turns holding her and kissing her like everyone else.
Blessing to you all.

Friday, December 19, 2008

It's a Girl!!!

It's a girl!!
Arrived this morning.

Rowan Zeve. 6 lbs. 13 oz 19 1/2" long.

beautiful little girl, and we all love her already.
You should have seen her sisters with her.

Mama and baby doing great!

I'll post photos tomorrow.

Thank you all for praying.

Have a wonderful weekend!

It's Snowing! Prayer Please!

I love the snow, but this morning our 5th grandchild is being delivered, and the roads are slick.
We all live in Eugene, but some further out than others.
Please pray for safety for those traveling to be there, especially the other grandparents.
They come from further out, and over hills, and they have the other Gkids with them.
Thank you.
Blessings on your day!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Stocking done, and oranments too.

Well, it's done! And I can't believe how many things can go wrong on one project. Good thing it was a labor of love!

If you missed the blog before this one, it was a photo of a wool stocking i was making for our new grandchild (to be tomorrow morning!)

Each time a new GC came along, I made them a wool stocking. That is the more simple style my kids like, as opposed to the Victorian I made for the store.

I had a call out for help, because i was stumped with what to do with it.

My friend Lynn made a couple of suggestions. Just couldn't quite get it all together.
So today, I just had to jump in and do it. I was running out of time. (Angie, my daughter, wanted to have it at the hospital to decorate the room while she was there). Cute idea I thought.

Anyway, long story shorter, I ended up changing it several time, smeared black paint across the face, and then smeared the bright red paint where it shouldn't have been. I did manage to get all that cleaned off quickly and saved it. Then I sprayed it with the wrong finishing spray. =0/

All that said, it is done, and OK. They will probably all love it, and I will try not to tell them all the mistakes I made.

Then the ornaments. I needed to paint one for our 14 year old granddaughter. She is so sweet, and loves the tradition of me painting them all an ornament every year. It does get harder as they get older though. I settled on what I wanted to do for her, and it turned out fine.

Then the new babies ornament. You know, baby's first Christmas, even though the little one will never even know it is on the tree, and will only care about being full and dry for awhile. It all went exceptionally well, until.... I sprayed it with the same wrong spray as the stocking.

Then I noted i had "baby's 1st Chistmas". See anything wrong with that?

Fixable, but not before tomorrow. Maybe everyone will just think it's cute and I'll leave it. =0)

All are done and all will love them. They were a a labor of love for me, and that's what it's all about.


Oh, I just posted new photos of the store on the other blog.
How many shopping days till Chistmas? (I did that on purpose) =0)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Stocking Help!!

OK my creative friends, I need help.
This is the stocking I am making for our new grand child due to arrive on Friday. I have made each one of the kids a wool stocking out of the same fabric, (wool coats from Goodwill).
I am having trouble with this one, and thought maybe some new eyes would help.
It is obvious at this point that the problem is the gingerbread person is too small for the stocking.
(the lesson there is get away from your work before you go on, and not go by what it looks like when you are sitting a foot from it).
I do not want to start all over, and don't have enough of the deep red trim fabric anyway.
So, what do I fill in all that space with?
I've thought of hearts (wood or stenciled), buttons, more very small ginger people, but nothing seems quite right.
The ginger person still needs eyes, nose, and mouth, but that will not effect that huge blank space. After the baby is born, I will add a bow to the top for a girl, or a bow tie for a boy.

So put on your creative thinking caps and get back to me.

thanks friends. =0)

Blessings on your day.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

More Decorating

OK. I've been decorating a bit again.

The beautiful white and silver trees are from my store,
and made by a local family. Eight in the family and all
participate in making craft items for the Christmas season.
We still have some at the store for $8.00 each.
I'll try to put some new Christmas photos of the store up on the other blog.

I also added the doilies and mini-wreaths to the doors.
I saw this sweet idea on another blog. (sorry, I don't remember which one).
She had hung wreaths on her kitchen cupboard doors.
(no doilies, that was my own idea). =0)
The little wreaths are 6" candle rings that I made into hanging mini-wreaths
for the store.
This is the centerpiece i made for the store.
It is large, cream colored, ceramic casserole dish.
The Christmas balls, beads and other trim are just sitting in the bowl,
so after Christmas you can just pop them out and use your dish again. =0)
You can use this idea with anything, birdcages, plant stands,
wire baskets, and change it for the seasons.

This is the crocheted table cloth I mentioned yesterday that
my Mom made us several years ago.
I could never bring myself to use it. It is so beautiful, and I
didn't want it to get ruined. Well, out it comes!
Why have it hidden in a drawer?
We even ate dinner there the other night.
(we used place mats of course.) =0)

This is just one of my little Teddies I collect.
Didn't have the heart to put him in the cold back bedroom,
so here he is on a side table.
The drape on the table is a curtain,
and the "doily" is a vintage crocheted collar.
I have just basically scrounged around here and
found things i could use that I had on hand.
Nothing too fancy (hard for me not to compare to
all the gorgeous things on the Internet, but it's what I can do for now,
and I'm learning.) =0)

This is another of those "put together" decorations like the centerpiece.
It is actually an upside down hose hanger.
You know, the fancy kind that hangs outside your house?
I got it at a garage sale for 50 cents.
It hangs there all year with ivy in it to cover
our thermostat. (since we heat with wood we don't need it.)
I just love to re purpose things! OK. That's the little tour for now with a couple of ideas thrown in.
I'm excited to get even this little bit of decorating done.
Blessings to you this 16th day of December, and as my husband said this morning, the first day of our 41st year together! =0)
Have a sunshine day.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Decor

To those of you who have requested photos of our Christmas decor, and have been for warned that we don't do much even on a good year, here we go.
(for those of you who don't know, my wonderful mother-in-law went home to be with the Lord last Wednesday, so not our best Christmas. However, good news to follow!)

This is our tree.
We weren't even going to get one because we did not know when we would be going to California for Mom's services. It just kind of seemed like a lot of extra work right now, and our hearts weren't in it.
But, I came home from the store Saturday, and there were pine needles all over the kitchen floor, and our two old boxes of decor sitting in the kitchen. I turned the corner, and there it was, the tree we weren't going to get.
Scott had it already in the stand and trying to decide whether to cut another foot off or not as it was kind of scraggly on the bottom. I tired not to let on my true feelings, feelings of just another thing to do when i felt so far behind already. So, I said to him "i thought we weren't getting a tree".
His response was that he thought it might lift our spirits a bit, and brighten things up. Still less than enthused, i helped him put on the lights, then went in to check emails.
When i came out he was ever so precisely putting little bits of those really tiny tinsel strips on it.
He was doing such a fine job, i told him i would let him finish that part and i went to finish emails.

Well, he did finish that, and sat down, and said he thought the tree looked nice just like that.
(we usually have a lot of old ornaments we've made or bought over the years).
We added the heart ornaments he has received from the local hospital the last 17 years (he is a volunteer cuddler), and the creative twist angel i made 15 years ago, and the tree is done.
Then I looked over at the buffet which is usually a conglomeration of things, some ttht belong there and some that don't. Some of you cluttery people probably know what i am talking about.
I thougt if i just cleaned off the top i could put a garland and lights up there and that would look decorated too.
Well, I ended up cleaning off the whole thing, went to the shop and got some extra lights and trim, and came back and decorated it too. It's not done, but here is what we have so far.
Nothing earth shattering, but a bit more lights and glitter to brighten things up around here.
There are a couple of the cream pitchers, and tea pots i "collect", (I collect collections ).
Some of my Teddy Bears are there and seem to really be enjoying the change in surroundings too. The painting on the bottom right is something i did years ago. The two pretty serving dishes i treated myself to last year at 70% at a local drug store. I absolutely love the design on them but never entertain so have no clue what i will use them for. But, they are sure pretty to look at. =0) I know, I'll just use them for us! I took photos of the lovely crocheted tablecloth my Mom did for us years ago, but don't have them on here yet. It's another thing we don't use because i treasure it and don't want it to get ruined.
But, out of the drawer it came! It is on the table. No centerpiece yet, but it's coming.
I am inspired by all the beautiful things you all do. Thank you for your encouragement to share.
In doing this it made me realize just how much we have.
Not only has the Lord provided us with a lovely home, food to eat, and clothes to wear, but I have been blessed with good friends and a close family.
I had a mother-in-law who always loved and accepted me the way I was.
She gave me the wonderful man i am married to, and because of that we have beautiful children, and, our 4 grandchildren.
The good news i mentioned at the beginning of this post:
Another grandchild to be born Dec. 19th!!!!
Blessings to you and your families this Holy Season.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Thank You

First of all, thank you friends for your words of hope and encouragement. We are doing OK off and on.

I was just thinking this morning, how grateful i am that God doesn't dump all our "sad" on us at once. Even in grieving, it does not hit us all at once, but there are waves of it that come and go, and they are interspersed with encouragement and life's little joys.

For instance, we were not going to get a Christmas tree this year. We didn't know when we might have to go down for Mom's memorial, our daughter will be at the hospital with our newest family addition, and the kids will be at the other grandmas for the time she is in the hospital. So a Christmas tree and decorations just seemed like one more thing to do and who would even see it.

Last night though, when i got home from the shop, Scott had bought a tree, and had our two boxes of Christmas decorations down. My first thought was " oh, my, this is just one more thing to think about and do". Fortunately my outward response was one of pleasantness. He thought it would lift our spirits to have a tree and some lights and cheerfulness at home. As my heart was not really in it at the start and I was tired, Scott started decorating right after dinner, starting with the lights. You have to know this is the guy who usually sits there while the grand kids and I decorate. I helped with the lights, and then while i answered email, he started carefully placing tinsel on the tree. He was doing such a wonderful job that i let him finish. It looks wonderful with just the lights and tinsel, so we have decided not to put the other ornaments on.
In the midst of this, I started to get more excited about decorating and thought some greenery and lights on top of the buffet would be nice. I ended up cleaning off most of the shelves, and decided if nothing else we would have two rooms that resembled a Christmas celebration. Today I will bring some extra garlands and lights home for the shop, and will enjoy decorating the buffet.

It has brought a spark of excitement back, and since we are getting a late start we will probably just leave the tree up till Valentines Day! =0))

Seriously, amazing what a few words from friends, even ones you've never met, and few twinkle lights can do to brighten your spirits.

So, Happy Birthday Jesus. Thank you for all your blessings, for calm, and a smile in the midst of the storm, and thank you, that you only give us life's 'sad' in little bits at a time.

"Your love, O Lord, reaches to the Heavens, your faithfulness to the skies."
Ps 36:5

Blessings and peace as you celebrate the birthday of our King.


This is an interesting month for us.
well, maybe interesting isn't the word, but not quite sure what to call it. Maybe confusing.

This is usually a wonderful time of year with all the celebrations, beautiful lights, and decorations, and especially our Saviors birth. All this, and this year our 40th anniversary the 15th, AND a new grand baby arriving the 19th, should all be reason to celebrate.

But this year is different.
We have just lost my husband's Mom to a battle with dementia. She was a wonderful woman, and after her 91 years here, and much suffering at the end, she is at home with our Lord.

We are left with an empty spot in our hearts and a need to grieve the loss.

It is a confusing time, because a part of us feels sad at losing her, and yet we have these other
joyous things to celebrate. So we bounce back and forth, sad one moment, celebrating, as much as we can, the next.

The Lord is good, and promises He will see us through.

We would appreciate your prayers, for ourselves, and for my husband's brother and his family, who cared so faithfully for Mom over the years.

Thank you.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Today was a good day.

I had more customers than usual on a Thursday, my first day of the week. I got 2 out of 3 ornaments done for my youngest grandchildren. And, I found a bit of my falalalala, as Lynne (http://www.lynnesgiftsfromtheheart.blogspot.com/) had hoped for me. =0)
Thanks Lynn.
(Keep praying, pain still there, and yes, I am trying to take it easy)

It has been suggested that i put first things first, and that is good advice. In other words, do my chores first, then play. I actually did that one day, but it was short-lived. =0)
Maybe I'll try again. =0)

Better go post some new photos for the store blog.

Blessings and hope you have your falala......

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Learning from Mistakes

This is a subject change from the past couple of posts.

I've made a mistake. Not my first mistake, but I certainly hope I will learn and not do this again.

Being a creative person I'm sure some of you will relate to this.
I always have a gillion ideas going through my mind at once. You know, craft ideas you want to do? Often I will get an idea for something I want to do, and then go on a frenzy in accomplishing it. (present example is the Victorian stockings I made a week ago.) This has gotten worse since I opened my store in May, and have a place to put these creations.

Well, I did it again, and now I am paying the price, suffering the consequences, reaping what I've sown.
I got on a frenzy doing those stockings . I spent days at the sewing machine at the cost of other things I should have been doing. I'm not just talking about the house work, grocery shopping, or other everyday things, although those did suffer. I'm talking about other commitments and responsibilities that should have come first. Like orders from other people, and my own grand children's Christmas ornaments. (I make them an ornament every year.)
On top of that, I set off the herniated discs in my neck. Now I am having constant discomfort and numbness that was part of the problem this last summer, and a bit of fear that the extreme pain I had then will come back. This is all keeping me from doing the things I should have been doing to start with, the gifts for my grandchildren, taking care of my home, and taking care of the things at the store. All this because I could not control my creative urges and I let the "tyranny of the urgent" excitement control me.

So I hope this time I have learned something, and hope not to make this mistake again.
It is not worth the price I'm paying now in pain, pressure, and guilt.
And those stockings, as beautiful as they are, were certainly not more important than keeping my commitments, and creating ornaments from my heart for my grand children.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Many Thanks

Many thanks to all those who have written with words of encouragement and scripture since my last blog.

We are still facing the same trials, but our load is lighter because of all your prayers and support.

Thank you.


Barbara Jean

Monday, December 8, 2008

Peace in the Midst of the Storm

I mentioned yesterday taking a bit of time for myself. It helped.

But, as life would have it, today we are back to reality, at least the reality of this world.
It is hard to look around and see those we love suffering.

I know how much God loves us all, and that He can see the whole picture, and that He works all things out for good for His children.
I also know the word says that in this world we will have trials. We will suffer. So why should it surprise me when we do? Or maybe it's not that I'm surprised, but that I just get comfortable when things are going well. I sort of think it will always be that way. Or, really I don't think about it at all. I'm just busy enjoying the good life, and I'm grateful to Him for it.

So, when God is busy doing His thing to help us all grow, I don't much like it. So today I am fluctuating between sadness for my friends and family who are going through hard things, and a little upset that God isn't fixing it all according to how I think it should be. =0/

I know God understands how I feel, and His love for me doesn't change. He is a gracious and merciful God. Nothing we do or say changes His love for us, including how we respond to adversity, or others adversity.

Now I'm going to thank the Lord for who He is, and the good things in our lives. And I'll thank Him that He is with us in the middle of all life's other circumstances, and that He knows what He is doing. And I will try to trust Him.
I know it will help others have strength and peace , and will lift my heart too.

Thank you for letting me share with you.

Blessings on your day.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Rat Race? or Peace?

OK, how many of you are in a frenzy of getting things done for the Holidays?
And how many are having trouble keeping your priorities straight and having any peace and joy?

I've decided this morning to slow down a bit, and instead of racing to get to Sunday school, I will slow down and just go to church.

So you are probably thinking, "why is she sitting here writing on her blog when there is so much to do? And why skip Sunday school to relax?"
You know, I'm not sure. Just seemed like the right thing to do this morning.
And I thought maybe someone else was in the same boat I am in and could use a word of encouragement.

So this verse came to mind to share:
"Come unto me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest".
Matt 12
I think that means spiritual rest, not necessarily physical, but maybe we need both.

So I'm taking a deep breath, asking for the peace that only Jesus can give,and for the filling of the Holy Spirit, and His fruit. "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control."
If you are missing any of these, like I've been lately, take a deep breath with me,ask the Lord for His direction, His priorities, and enjoy today.

"This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it."

Blessings as you celebrate this day.

Barbara Jean

Friday, December 5, 2008

Another Birthday Idea

Here is another idea for a fun and different way to celebrate your birthday.

Several years ago, instead of waiting to see what everyone did, or did not, get me for my birthday, I decided i would get everyone else a gift. It was a very fun way to take the focus off myself, and surprise everyone else.

Needless to say, they were all surprised, and thought i should do that every year!!

Must be time to do it again. I have till September to think about it.

Right now, on with Christmas.

Some ideas about that next time.

Have a wonderful weekend and be sure to tell someone you love them, and why.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Special Gifts

Have you ever received a gift from someone that blessed you over and over and over again?

Well, I have that kind of gift from my daughter.
For my 60th birthday in September she gave me a small, decorated file box with a tag that said "60 Good Things".

Inside that box are 60 assorted hand-made cards, notes, photos, scriptures, and sayings.

There were no specific instructions for the gift. I could open and look at them all at once if I wanted. Or open 1 each day for 60 days. However I wanted to use it was up to me.

I decided to just periodically pull one out and look at it, and enjoy it for a few days, then put it in the back in the box. I pull out whichever one catches my eye that day, and when I am done with it I file it in the back of the box.

Some of the cards have said, "Dream Big", "Praise the Lord", "Never forget to pray" (that one was done by Isabel, our 8 year old granddaughter), and "I hate housework!" (so true).
There have been sweet pictures of family members, and some crazy pictures of family.

So, once in awhile I pull a card out, and it is amazing when it is just what I needed for that day, whether it triggers a memory, encourages me, reminds me, makes me laugh, or sometimes even cry.
What I love about this present is the time and thought and love that went into it, and the wonderful example to our grandchildren about what giving is all about.

It is a gift I will always treasure..

Thank you, Angie, for your gift of love.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Well, I had a long story all written out, and decided what was important was to ask for prayer from all of you.

Scott's Mom is 91, and is not in good health. She has dementia, and her world right now is one of fear, anxiety, and not knowing those around her.

She is in the tender, loving care of Scott's brother and his wife in California.

We are so grateful to them for the home they have given her for years, and for their care for her.

Please join us in praying for Scott and Ron's Mom (Margaret) for a peacefulness beyond understanding.
And for strength from above for Ron and Kathy as they care for her.
Give us all wisdom and help us to keep our eyes on our Creator and Savior.

Thank you.

Monday, December 1, 2008


Most of you know I'm a new blogger. My wonderful daughter set this whole thing up for me, and i have been learning to use it, but i am stuck on something.

I usually get an email that let's me moderate comments that have been sent.

problem: They are just being posted (spam) and i don't know how to get rid of them!
I receive lovely comments from people, and want to enjoy reading those without having to go through the spam first.

Any ideas how to either get rid of them, or get back to having them go through my email to moderate them?

Thanks for helping.

Have a wonderful day.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Still having fun!!

Victorian stockings:
Here's where i started.
A pile of fabric, buttons, making
a pattern, lace, trim, and jewelry. And this is one of the finished products.

And two more.

You may have noticed that I have had no deep, soul searching things to write about lately.
Guess that's because I'm just too busy having fun!!

Yes, I'm still working on the Victorian stockings. I think i have 7 done now! I've been spending as much time as I can on them. I did find enough trims at home that i did not have to wait for a trip to the shop, or fabric store, to get some done. (although i will make a trip out tomorrow if i have time). I guess I could get them done a lot faster if i just made them all the same, but where's the fun in that. Besides, one of the things i want at the shop is to have unique one of a kind items, thus my 'tag line' as they call it: A unique collection of old and new.
More fun to come!!
Have a wonderful weekend.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Restful Day

I had a great day today.
I stayed home all day! Didn't even get duded up or put on make-up or anything.
Just stayed home. It was wonderful.

Now you have to know i did not just lay around. Anyone who knows me knows i don't know how to do that. I have a hard time even sitting still to eat something.

What i did do was make a pattern for some new stockings for the store.
Below is the first one.
The thing i love about creating is that the more you do the better they usually get. You kind of get those creative cells going and things just get cuter and cuter.

Right now I'm working on the Victorian stockings.
I have to say I get a little frustrated when part of my supplies are here at home, and part are at the shop. Seems like what i need is always at the other place.
Know what i mean? Or worse yet, it's still at the store!!

Today i made due with what i had for this one. It turned out pretty good.

I have my basic pattern down now so it's just a matter of picking out which material i want to do first. Then I'll sew up two or three basic stockings, and take them to the shop (where most of my trim is) and add the cuteness to them.
(Awful lot of 'cute' going on here). =0)

Hope you all had a wonnderful day.
Give someone a smile. They might have lost theirs. =0))


Friday, November 21, 2008

Changed perspective

As many of you know I opened a gift shop last May. In doing this i have spent a lot of hours cleaning, sorting, putting together displays, and learning all kinds of new things. (This blog being one of them). Although many of these things have been overwhelming and frustrating, I have learned a lot and it has overall been a wonderful experience.

Right now we are in the middle of our "Holiday Faire". That is our big holiday sales time of the year, and we have all worked hard to have a nice variety of top quality inventory on hand.
We have spent long hours putting up displays, painting, crafting, arranging and rearranging things. That is an ongoing process with a store.

Time to time i am concerned about whether i will have enough to put in the store, then will i have enough room to put all the things i've found to put in there, and does anyone even know we are here, and will they like what we have when they find us.

The selling issue became more important when i took in consigners. I can be pretty laid back about selling my own things, since this is all a fun adventure for me, but when it involved others my perspective changed. It became more important to me that my vendors sell things than any need for me to sell my own things. I want them to feel successful in their endeavors.

It also changed my perspective when i decided to give 15% of my sales to the "Support our Troops Campaign" at our church.

It's interesting to me that at the end of the day I am not thinking about how much i have sold, but how my vendors did, and how much did we make to give to the troops.

So I have concluded that my changed perspective is a good thing.
It is surely true that it is more blessed to give than to receive,
whether it is your time, or your money.

Blessings to you as you give freely of yourself to others.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hi. How are you?

"Hi. How are you?"
"I'm fine."

That exchange has become America's way of greeting people, of acknowledging them as we pass them by going our own way. That greeting is OK on a certain level, like passing people you barely know in the store or at the bank.

But what about the days you greet a friend that way, or they greet you, and you are not fine?
Have you ever out of habit just said "Fine", and life did not seem fine? And what about the other person? Do you take time to see their face? To see if things looked like they were fine or not? You can tell a lot by looking into someones eyes for a moment.
But, do we take a moment? Do we take the time out of our own busy lives to look, or listen, really listen, for an answer? Maybe they say "fine" because they know you aren't going to take the time to listen, or care about their world, which may at that moment seem like a world of hurt.
Do you say "fine" because if you say anything else they may see that your world is falling apart, and you won't be able to maintain if you let them look you in the eye?

Are we so afraid of falling apart or letting someone else in that we will just carry whatever weight is on our shoulders by ourselves? Are we so busy that we can't help carry someone elses weight with them?

I know there is a time and place for everything, but maybe when you're passing the next person you know, and giving the traditional "Hi. How are you?" and walking on by, you look them in the eye to see how they are really doing? You touch them on the shoulder so that even in passing they will know you care even a bit, and, if you can make time, share their load, or let them share yours.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Just a thought

God never intended for us to make a "to-do" list the purpose for our lives.
We can never get it all done.

We have to take time to prioritize, and only you can do that for your self.
What are the most important things in your life?
Or maybe better, who are the most important 0nes in your life?

Are you taking the time needed with them? Quality time? Or just rushing them from one activity to another time, while your mind is already doing the next thing or going to the next place.

It won't just happen. It takes a conscious effort on your part. And it takes your heart, not just your day planner.

There will always be a list of things to do, but the people you love won't always be there.

Now, I'm going to call my grand kids and see if they can play.

Have a wonderful day as you take time for those you love.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Holiday Faire

We have been busy, busy with the Holiday Faire and loving every minute of it. So many nice people have come into the shop. I love visiting with them all, and just seeing what they like.
We have wonderful brainstorming sessions sharing ideas.

We have decided to give 15% of our sales this year to the "support our troops campaign" through our church. We have a wonderful couple there who have been organizing this for several years.
It seemed with Veterans Day right before our sale started it was such an appropriate way to say "thanks" to our guys and gals who are serving our country.

So, if you want to get some nice Christmas gifts made by local crafters, and support our troops, this is the place to come.

Photos of some of the store on my other blog.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


This is the unnamed blog. Maybe you can help me name it.
Pondering? Sharing my Heart? This is the real thing? Part of me? Consistency, or Feeling?
or, pick your own name.

Have you ever been so busy with life, you forgot to live?
Going through the motions of life, but there is not as much emotional attachment?
Today I am pondering these things: thinking, checking in with myself, re-evaluating, hoping I can re-connect, and maybe help someone else in the process.

I realize that maintaining a certain level of "consistency" in life is a good thing. We continue the process that is every day life. We get up, get dressed, do our chores, help others.
I choose to give thanks to the Lord, read, and pray, serve Him, even when my heart isn't fully in it.

But I am a feeling person!! I want to, maybe even 'need' to," feeeel " life! And I'm not just asking for HAPPY, I would even settle for tears! (Maybe 'cleansing' tears, not sad tears). Just more feeling than i am having lately!

I don't want to make this too long, just doing my 'soul searching' with you this morning.
I have gone through this process before, and come out on the other side just fine, smiling, or crying, glad to feel like my old self again, and realizing that is all part of who i am. All part of the process. Just remembering that, has given me a smile from deep inside.

And speaking of smiles, thank you to all those who encourage and help me, who share my joys and my sorrows, and love me right where I'm at.
And thank you to my God, the Creator of the heavens and earth, that you care about every little detail of my life, you know my heart, accept my prayers and praises, and always hear me when i call. WOW!!

Have a wonderful day. Share your heart with someone. Listen to a friend. and know God hears you when you call.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Little Darlings in the Pumpkin Patch

I have been having so much fun making these stuffed pumpkins, but the "Cream of the Crop' are these three sweet grandchildren of ours. There they are piled on the couch with the 15 pumpkins i took to sell today. The little guy helped count them with his sisters, and was celebrating the fun when i took this photo.
I love the way kids celebrate life every day, and the smallest thing can make them smile.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Try, Try Again

Well, as insightful as I may seem to some of you, I do have a hard time following my own advice.
That is to say, these past few days I have not sat and had a cup of tea, or read a magazine yet.
(previous post).
I have been racing around making pumpkins, arranging and cleaning, getting evergreens and flowers out and ready to make up into gifts and decor, and just plain too busy.
And boy can I tell.
My body is complaining! Who would have thought that spending hours using the glue gun, spray cans, and a paper cutter would make a person sore?! Well, I guess when you had 2 herniated discs few months ago, your body is quick to tell you when you are doing too much.

So, I took today off, at least as much off as I have had for awhile.
The problem with a day off, at least for me, is that my mind just keeps on going, and going, and going. (yes, like the EverReady battery bunny). And sometimes I feel like he looks, just beating his drum and going around in circles to nowhere. =0))

Well, I'm not going to dwell on that, but will say, I'm having a cup of tea, and I'm going to sew a new bird. That sounds restful, don't you think?? And what will this new bird do? He'll add a little charm to an almost finished project. He may even make someone smile. And don't we all want someone to add a smile to our day?

Here's smilin' at ya',

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Many of you have probably figured out that my last post on this site was a little different than all the others.
That is because I accidentally posted the store pictures here.
So, if you enjoyed that, you can check my other blog for more. =0)

In the mean time, another note about marriage.
I've heard it said that the very things you love about your spouse can also be the things that bug you the most. So true.
My husband is a perfectionist in many ways. He gives 100% (plus) to anything he does. If
he builds something I've asked him to, he takes a long time, and does it the very best he can. ( It didn't have to be perfect for me, and I wanted it yesterday!). =0)
But he took pride in knowing he had done the best job he could.

Years ago he was in school. He was always reading, writing, and sitting at the computer. That usually resulted in straight A's.
I felt like I shouldn't interrupt him. I resented the time he spent studying. I spent a lot of time feeling sorry for myself and my self esteem went downhill. I was a very needy person, so of course I wanted ALL his attention. I felt alone, especially since our kids had grown up and left home.

Needless to say I survived.

Well, the very thing I resented then is now an area I admire in him. I understand it is part of who he is to give his best. It is how God made him. And, it is certainly a different story now that the time he is spending 'away' from me, is actually 'for' me, and for others. He is reading books on marriage in preparation for whatever 'classes' we get to lead in hopes of helping others NOT have to go though what we went through. I am so blessed to see him reading, and knowing he is praying for us and others.

I won't make this any less important by saying I am not as needy a person as I used to be. That I have grown too. We have both grown, and at this point of almost 40 years of marriage, our life together is wonderful. I wonder if I would really appreciate that if we had not had such hard years?

In closing, if you're having a hard time, try to think of the good things about your spouse.
The things you loved about him when you met. I'm sure there are many and they are still there, we just lose sight of what they are sometimes.

Blessings on your day.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Cleaning House

We'll be moving some things around shortly, adding more Fall, and then in November adding Christmas decor and gifts.
These cute kitchen things, and the adorable little table and chairs will be finding a new home shortly. Last chance to have a look!!
The Iron table and two chairs is $85. It is very heavy iron, with cute upholstered chairs in pink fabric. We may keep this out if we can find a place for it over the Holidays. It would make a nice gift for some special little girl. The tea set is complete with sugar, creamer, tea pot, and plates and saucers. A 4 piece place setting. $25. We'll try to leave it out for Holiday Gift giving.
Please click on photo to see everything a little better. Oh, Teddy is for sale too.

These are photos of the kitchen area. Mainly blue and red here, although i did find these wonderful yellow shabby folding chairs. There are 6 of them, and only $15 each.
In the stand on the left is tinware, and more of that around too. In the corner is a vintage snack set. It is clear glass with a unique design. We also have old magazines, and cookbooks.
On the right is a child's ironing board, and a teddy tea set. The melon dishes are gone, but canisters still available.
Hope you enjoyed another look at the store. Be sure to come by and check out the new Fall decor, and there are new arrivals every day.

Marriage Research

I must tell you my husband is taking this class on marriage very seriously. He has been reading the marriage books we have here, has picked up a book on his own, and is even thinking about a marriage conference in Colorado next Spring!!

I must say it is exciting to see him doing all this research, and I know it will greatly benefit us, as well as those we will be having in classes, and small groups. If I had known this would happen, I would have prayed we'd be group facilitators long ago!!

OK, now I know it is all in God's timing, and it seems like it would have been really nice a number of years ago, but it was obviously not the right time then, and it is now.
I'm so grateful He sees the whole picture, and that we can trust His timing is perfect.

I guess I'd better quit sewing so much for our Holiday Faire, and not blog quite so much, so I can try to catch up with him. (that will be a problem no matter how many other things i put aside. He is a fast reader, and I am slow). =0) I will plug along anyway, and in the mean time he has promised he would share any outstanding things he learns.

Blessing on your week.
And remember, God's timing is perfect!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Waffles and Spaghetti

I've made reference to this briefly before, but want to tell you a little more about it.

Scott and I have been married almost 40 years. We have had our good years, bad years, and now seems to be the best of all. We have learned a lot over the years.

We have had marriage ministry on our hearts and minds for some time. As a matter of fact, we feel that no matter how well, (or poorly) things seem to be going for you and your spouse, there is always more to learn and apply. If you aren't growing, in both your relationship with your spouse, and the Lord, you become stagnant. Marriage is a full time commitment, and it takes a lot of work.

We read a little book a couple of years ago, "Men are like Waffles, Women are like Spaghetti" by Bill and Pam Ferrel. That book gave us a better understanding of how men's and women's brains work, and it helped us learn to communicate better. We have the video series now, and will have a small group in our home, and later teach the series at our church.

In light of all this, we have been reviewing it all, and discovering, again, a lot of good material to put into practice. (we read it all before, but sometimes need a reminder of the little things that make such a big difference in a relationship).

In preparing we are also realizing what a huge responsibility we are taking on. It is not just getting ready for meetings, but realizing how much thought and prayer needs to go into this. Realizing the need for prayer support from others and more time on our knees together. Knowing that we are offering ourselves up, not as an example of a perfect marriage, or a couple who knows everything and has it all together, but of real and honest people, who are willing to share their hearts. We have been through a lot together, and grown through it, and want to continue to grow.
We know that as we trust the Lord to do this, He will be exalted. We also know that Satan would love for this whole thing to fall apart. I'm sure a battle is in store for all of us.

So, to any of you who feel lead to pray or be involved, please let us know.
Looking forward to partnering together in God's work,

Barb and Scott

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Weekend trip/mindrest

It just occurred to me, that this day and half away was also a good "mind rest". (from previous blog).

I guess that would fall into the category of "time with God". Nice thing about being away in our time with Him, is that you can't do anything about all the things you think about that need to be done every day, and you're too busy to think about them anyway. So I guess the best two parts of the whole conference was seeing friends, and spending time with Him. Thus, the peace of mind that comes only from Him. =0))

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Weekend Trip

I went to my first "Women of Faith" conference this weekend. A group from our church went, along with several other groups from churches around Oregon and neighboring states. There were about 11,000 ladies there, (and a few gents).
I've heard about Women of Faith in the past, but had never gone because of the anxiety i get in large groups of people.
I went this year because I think the Lord 'arranged' it, and i didn't want to miss out on anything He had planned for me. I want to be obedient when He calls me to do something, even when it is uncomfortable to do it, and once on the road to the conference i was fine.

I'm not going to write in detail about our 'adventures' of getting lost, (or as a friend said "temporarily on a different path"), or details about speakers and singers. There were some good insights from speakers, and some good praise music, and that is enough.

What i would like to write about is what i came away with, or maybe, didn't come away with.
I didn't come away with a mountain top experience, or a high that has me bouncing off the walls, and wanting for more, and not wanting to come down from the mountain. That would be the norm, and that's what made me examine what was different this time from the times I have ventured out before.

What I did come away with is an appreciation for getting to know some of the women from my church family; a realization of how much I enjoy the quiet of my home and every day life and how much I enjoy being with my husband, doing anything.
How much i appreciate that my walk with the Lord is a steadfast, day in and day out, can trust Him in anything walk. It's not dependent on my feelings, high or low. It's not dependant on outside influences or sources of music or people to lead me in worship. I can do that in my own heart, anytime, anywhere. It's not dependent on other peoples teachings, (though there's always much to learn), but on dependence on Him, searching His word, and knowing Him better.

So, I would say i came away with a lot. In the midst of 11,000 women singing and praising, worship teams, flashing lights, professional singers, comedians, speakers, and writers, I was able to settle into the presence of the Lord.
I was refreshed by the Spirit in the quietness of my own soul, and feel the calm of His peace in me.
Thank you Lord, for a day away, but even more for every day with You.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Mind Rest

We have all heard that we should give our bodies a rest, lest we wear them out.
Well did you ever think about your mind needing a rest?
Mine certainly does, and often!

I get so many things going on in my head i can't even think straight. Everything gets to be major, confusing, and frustrating because i can't get past square one. Everything is so attached to everything else.
In a book Scott and I read called "Men are Like Waffles, Women are Like Spaghetti", by Bill and Pam Farrel, it says a man's brain is like a waffle. It is all these little compartments where they keep everything separately. They can't be in more than 1 'box' at a time. There is a box for sports, one for work, a separate one for mowing the yard, for Bible study and so on. They have a 'listen to your wife' box (ever wonder why when he's watching sports he doesn't listen to what you are saying? It's because he isn't in his 'listen to his wife" box). And, they have a "NOTHING" box!!!!

Now, a woman's mind is like a spaghetti noodle. Everything is attached to everything else. So, we can't just simply chose one problem to work on, but we think about how it is going to affect everything else along the line. They are all attached together. Now men don't understand this, any more than women understand how they can have a "nothing" box.

OK, I got a little off track here.
What i started out to say is how we need to rest our minds. I have several ways i do this.
I have grandchildren. Wonderful grandchildren!! When i need a break from all the things that are going through my mind, i hang out with them. You can't think about life's problems and decisions when you are reading a story, drawing, playing Polly Pocket, or playing hide and seek.
Works every time.
Another thing that works is helping someone else. Sometimes i go help prepare the church dinner on Wednesday. If I don't concentrate on chopping those onions, it might be my thumb in the soup instead!
You can help someone else by listening to their problems. Kind of puts your aside for awhile and helps them all at once. Or you could even have a friend listen to yours. Sometimes a fresh perspective helps clear your mind.

Have you noticed a pattern here? All these ways of clearing my mind involved other people.
And most of them involve helping others.
WOW! Isn't that great? We can help others, and end up helping ourselves at the same time!
We are blessed, and we have blessed others!

One more thing. You must take time to do it.
Taking time to be with the Lord brings the best peace of all.
I know you don't feel like you have any time. But you won't have more time by worrying either.

So, give it a try.
Hang out, help people, listen, spend time with God, and let your mind rest.

Hope you have a peaceful day.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Well, with a lot of perseverance, and a lot of help from my new 'on-line' friends, I have a banner on my blogs!!

I know it's not one of life's more important endeavors, but certainly something I have been working on a lot lately.

It is so exciting, and such a feeling of accomplishment. I kept at it. I continued on. That's what perseverance is, to keep going even when it is frustrating, confusing,
and we can't figure the whole thing out. I was 'steadfast' in purpose, in spite of difficulty or opposition.

Sounds pretty deep for just putting a banner on my blog. But as usual, God has used it to help me grow. It is such a feeling of accomplishment to work at something new, and learn it. Certainly worth the struggle in the midst of it. Then we move on to the next new thing and work on it.

And that's the way our walk with the Lord is. We struggle through something, learn it (whether it be a computer program, or a life lesson) then move on to the next experience.

He can use all these little, every day, seemingly unimportant things in our lives, to help us grow. We become closer, and more like Him, and it prepares us more for the hard times.

So, here's to more challenges, and more life's lessons!

God's Blessings as you grow in Him.

PS: To Mary at Isabellascloset- Thank you for the beautiful banner, and all your help to get it on my site. You're the best!!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Beautiful Treasures

tea cozie made from vintage pillow case.

I am having so much fun with my new camera.

First of all, a little story.

My birthday was 2 weeks ago, and Scott took me to the coast for a couple of days.
I guess you know, that as a small gift shop owner, I am always checking out other stores to see what's 'in', how their prices are, displays, and anything else I can glean in the visit.
And I did just that.
There were a couple of cute stores, but nothing over the top exciting.
Then we came home.
The next day when I walked into the store, "This is soos cute!" were my first words. It's so nice to do something you really love, and makes you smile when you see it.
I'll ad more store photos and things for sale on teh store blog.
Have a fun day!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Tears, and Joy

OK, this is a bit of a sad time for me.

My folks, who come up every summer from Arizona, are getting ready to go home.
They stay over at my business property, so while they are here I am over there almost every day to hang out. We get a lot of work done, and just hang out and have time together.
We go to garage sales every Friday and Saturday, and not only enjoy the bargains we find, but love the time with other people.
We work together on the store, both moving things around, and brainstorming on new ideas. Mom finds more places to put all the things i buy. (out of necessity, and because she is a highly energetic person and keeps herself busy with whatever needs to be done). Dad helps where he can, not being as active as Mom any more.

Every summer they come our time together gets sweeter and sweeter. We become closer, and share our hearts more with each other. We laugh more, and cry more.

So, you can probably imagine, that every year their leaving becomes harder. That day is here.

So, the tears.
I will miss having Mom and Dad's hugs each morning when I go over. I will miss their presence at garage sales, and my Dad singing to whoever will listen. (and some who don't but he sings anyway because he loves to sing). I will miss Wednesday night dinners at church with them. I will miss working with my Mom. We laugh to tears sometimes at the way things go (like assembling shelves and it doesn't go right). Times when, by myself, I might become frustrated. As a matter of fact, we laugh a lot!! I know we will both miss that! And the work always seems to go faster when you have a 'friend' to do it with.

Hmmm. I just thought. I bet they will miss all that too. My Mom will miss having someone to work with, and someone who makes her laugh, and a friend to talk to. My Dad will still sing. (They have lots of jams where they live,) but he will miss his 'paper girl' bringing him the paper each morning. And they will miss their 'chauffeur'.

OK, all that to say, yes, I'm crying now, and I will miss them so much wehn they go.

The good side is:
I have had all summer with them! I am grateful for and cherish that!
We have had more family gatherings because they were here.
I know now to just let myself feel sad they are leaving instead of busying myself so I don't think about it.
I see my husband, who tenderly held me this morning and asked if he should take this afternoon off to be with me.
And I have a Lord, who I know holds us all in the hollow of His hand, and is with us each day, wherever we go.

WOW! I guess sometimes it takes the sad things to really see how much we have , and to truly appreciate and cherish our loved ones.

Blessings and Love to all my friends and family.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Going the extra mile

YAY!!! I finally finished my business card decisions!!

I have to say, those people at Office Max are wonderful. I can't count how many times I've been in there, and from the first day they have been awesome!!

I wrote a bit already about the two who first helped me, and many thanks to them.
But this last gal, she was the best!!! She was so patient with me. Time and time again I made changes, and time after time she made them and each time it was better than the last.
This morning when she called to say she had another proof for me, I got a little anxious. (that was the norm every time I talked to them, mainly because I know what a pain I can be) This time, however, I said to myself, "this is a process, this is a process". So wherever we were in the 'process' it was another step toward completion and I chose ahead of time to be OK with that step.

Allison told me something a week ago that I find to be true. She said you have to chose between price, quality, and time. You can choose 2 out of 3, but you can't have all three.
Once I quit being in such a hurry for it to be finished, and quit expecting perfection, things fell into place. So I got a great price, and great cards, and learned one more step about the "process" of life.

So, Allison, thanks for going the extra mile.
You're the greatest!!

God Bless you all as you walk in His ways.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Birthday Friend

I told you about our new friend at my birthday breakfast at the coast.

You know, the quiet guy, who smiled the whole time, and never even said 1 word?

Well, here is his photo. Rather nice looking, don't you think?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Yes, It was my birthday yesterday!!

My sweet husband took 2 days off work and we left Sunday night for the coast, visiting our friends in Hillsboro first.

The weather at the coast was perfect the first day, and it was so much fun just hanging out together, and getting away from all the daily responsibilities of life.
Of course we can't go anywhere unless I check out gift shops and second hand stores.
So we came back with some good 'loot', and another look at what crazy prices other stores are charging!

We had breakfast with the nicest fellow Tuesday morning at our motel. He joined us at our table, (well, actually we joined him at his), and he didn't seem to mind sharing it with us at all.
Scott thought I should write about him.

All the time we were there he just sat quietly as Scott and I talked. I know he was glad we were there because he smiled the whole time. As a matter of fact, he was smiling when we sat down, and never stopped, even after we got up and left him sitting there alone again.
He was dressed a little odd, but we try not to ever judge a book by it's cover.
He had kind of raggedy pants on, with patches on them (normal by some standards today). He wore a hat, and his hair was pretty scraggly too. But he just seemed so glad we sat at his table.
Scott said we should take his picture, so I will put it on the blog next time.

Our trip home was uneventful, and the whole 2 1/2 days were a wonderful gift from him. (I also got some new leather gloves to replace the ones I lost last year, and a rain check for a dinner out). Thanks hon.

To all of you who are joining me at 60 this year, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Love being 60, and feeling 35. We have so much to be grateful for.

Have a super day, and remember to keep smiling. =0)) And be a good listener like our new friend.

Friday, September 12, 2008


This week I have been working on new business cards. It wouldn't be too bad if I didn't already have a picture in my mind of what I wanted. Trying to communicate that to another person, and hoping they are patient while you work together is hard to do. Especially when the designer is a creative person herself, and has her own ideas too.
I will say, we do almost have it done. The girl is off till next week, but we will pick it back up then.

There are so many more decisions about this whole busniness thing than I ever knew. Guess that is the way it is with anything. You never quite know what you are getting into, until you get into it. Ever wonder if you knew how much work something would be, would you do it??

I'm not saying I'm sorry mind you, just that it is a lot of work. Somehow I thought it would all be like playing store. You go out and get things, or you make things, and you set it up all cute, and you dress up pretty, and people come in and visit, and buy something, and you do it all over again. Sounds like fun, right?

Well, that certainly does happen, and it is fun. But either no one warned me, (or I didn't listen),
about things like keeping the place clean, getting set up with credit cards (talk about making decisions!), getting blog banners (still trying to figure that one out), getting a web site set up,
and bookkeeping.
Wow. I'm tired just thinking about it! =0)

Seriously, there really is a lot of work to it, but I am learning so much, and we are making progress. It's a very rewarding feeling.

After all, isn't' all of life just making decisions, learning and growing from them, then sharing what you have learned with others?
It certainly is.

So, let's make the best decisions we can, determine to learn from them, and be willing to share with others in the hope they won't have to make the same ones.

God Bless your decision making today. And remember, life isn't perfect, roll with the punches, and give a smile to everyone you meet. =0)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Helping People Help You

I'm in the middle of a project right now that is somewhat frustrating, but I am also learning from it. (as should always be the case). =0)

I am trying to get new business cards made.
Now, for those who are computer skilled, and make decisions easily, this would probably be no hard task, but for me, well, I need lots of help.

I had somewhat drug my feet on this, as I was trying to get my blog changes made and still trying to get that kitchen/ girly pink area done at the store, but the 1/2 off business card sale at Office Max has put me headlong into it.
I knew about what I wanted to say on them, and some fonts I like, and that I want it soft and romantic sort of rosy Victorian looking, but deciding exactly on any of those things is the challenge. (there's that perfectionism again.)

So, I went to office Max an hour before it closed last night, and happened to catch a young man working there who was not very busy, (not many customers that time of night) and he was willing to help me. I showed him kind of what I wanted, and we sat down at the computer together to try to figure out the details.

Although this can be a very frustrating and confusing thing for me, I was determined to be pleasant no matter how it was going. And, having the peace of the Lord helps incredibly.
We plugged away for 20 minutes, then 30, and 45. It was getting close to closing time, and he was still patiently siting there with me, with a few interruptions by other people needing things. I sat patiently and waited till he was done and got back to me. There was that marvelous peace again. I was so grateful for his time and pleasant manner in helping me.

I overheard him make a call to his girlfriend a few minutes till 8 (closing time), that he would be a little late as he had not even started to close up yet. I felt so bad, and told him how grateful I was for all his time and help and patience, and that we could stop so he could close up and not be late getting out of there. He was so nice!!! He said it was OK, he would stay and finish, and that he was grateful for how nice I had been, and patient when he needed to help others. He said usually people are very impatient, and think they are the only ones there that need help, and don't like waiting for it. We were thanking each other for being so helpful and nice.

Sooo, I'm sure you have already figured out how I came up with the title of this blog:
"Helping people help you".

Our good attitude, and pleasant manner, with some patience, and a kind word thrown in, can do wonders for everyones day.

Thank you Lord, for the peace and patience only you can give, and thank you for James, the kind and knowledgeable Office Max employee who went the extra mile.
And thank you Angie, Sue, and Pam, for your patience and help on all these projects.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Too Tired

I just wrote a great post, then somehow deleted it instead of posting it. =0/
I'm sure it's in here somehwere, but have no clue how to find it.
So, you get the condensed version:

Even when you feel too tired, grumpy, or emotional to go to Bible Study, GO!

Even if you sniff and sneeze and blow with allergies all the way through it, STAY!

When you feel like crying or sleeping, take hands with a friend, and PRAY!

The Lord will renew your strength, and fill your heart with joy.

You will also be winning a battle (one of the many the enemy is constantly waging against us), and will be taking a foothold that will help give victory in times to come.

Ps 28:7 "The Lord is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped.
My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanksto him in song."

Monday, September 1, 2008

Perfect? Or Process?

I'm sure, like myself, a lot of you have "visions" for particular things in your life.

Right now, a lot of my visions are for the store. I get a certain picture in my mind of what I want an area to look like, and I set to work "creating" it. Several things happen while I am doing that.

One, is that I never seem to have just the "perfect piece" to go in just the "perfect place" I want it to be, to look just the "perfect way"I want it to look. I spend a lot of time going through all the inventory I have stacked everywhere to try to find that "perfect" piece.
Another thing that happens, is sometimes I experience a 'very slight frustration' that I cannot get things done when I want, how I want.

I guess you can tell, that because of my search for "perfection", I get little done in the "perfect" amount of time and looking the "perfect" way I want it to be done.

Well, such is the curse of "perfectionism".
I say I am a recovering "perfectionist", which usually gets a chuckle from the person that I am saying it to. (Often it is to a new student that I recognize has the same disease I do). =0)

Just when I think I have put the little guy (the curse, not the student) in it's place, it rears it's head again.

So, what is the answer? What do I do with this problem?
Well this morning, (while I was walking of course) , I realized I've fallen back into "the perfectionist zone" with the new room at the shop. The "Pretty in Pink" area that we have already worked on a month, and it is still not "perfect".

Then I remembered what I said in the Country Register article about the store. "When asked what she's learned...Barbara responded "I've learned to ask for help, and that everything takes longer than you think. I'm learning to be content each day, whatever comes, and to enjoy the process as much as the result." ZING! OUCH!
I have to eat my own words!

So, the long sought after solution, and reminder from the Lord? Step back, take a deep breath, make sure you have your priorities straight (for me, God, family, friends, everything else), and keep plugging away. Remember that there is no "perfect". Life, (and the store display) can change in an instant. So enjoy every moment of the process while we are here, and thank the Lord for a healthy mind and body that can even think "Pretty in Pink". =0)

Hope you enjoy the process of this day. Blessings.