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Sunday Afternoon in the Park

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My eight year old granddaughter saves her money.  During my last visit, I noticed three full piggy banks in her room.  Recently, she invested her money in a tablet and now the rest of us had to get the AP for our phones so we could chat with her.  Her father scrutinizes her contacts so it’s safe and fun.
In the past week I received a photo she took of her three year old sister sticking her tongue out, a drawing for me telling me how much she missed me and lots of answers to my questions about school.
A chat that touched me deeply described last Sunday when their family went to Balboa Park after church.  They ate a picnic lunch and then visited the International Cottages.  I’ve been to the cottages on prior trips to San Diego and enjoyed my granddaughter's perspective about them.  
I’ll showcase some of their photos along with some of my memories to explain the International Cottages that the park features.

This first photo is a collage of Sookie now compared to my first visit to the …

Wishing Mother’s Day Looked Different

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This Mother’s Day doesn’t look exactly like I want it to.  We’ve been told that my sis has just weeks to live.She’s still in a Chicago hospital and has survived a blood clot, infection, seizure and mini stroke this week.

My daughter, Amy, came over for breakfast during the week and we searched my stash for just the right tablecloth for her mother-in-law’s memorial scheduled for this Mother’s Day Weekend.  We were both sad.
I decided to serve our scrambled eggs on my mom’s Franciscan dishes that morning complete with my lace tablecloth and inherited silverware.  I am learning that creative centerpieces are a springboard to interesting conversation, hence the old photos.  That’s when our breakthrough came.  As we held each photo, we realized how blessed we are with the moms, grandmas and aunties that have sprinkled our lives.  We belong to a loving family and God has also blessed us with loving friends.
We are thankful people.  My pastor said it well when she reminded me that a garment of …

Family Tree Surprise

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Ancestral studies rarely enticed me, that is until now!  My granddaughter, Sookie, created a family tree for her classroom assignment.   Emails between our families flew back and forth this week as she gathered information to complete her homework.   That’s when we discovered a surprise.
Eight years ago, my daughter, Sookie’s mom, declared during her pregnancy that if she delivers a girl, her name will be Susanna and we’ll call her Sookie for fun.   We learned this week that my husband’s great grandmother’s name was Susanna, spelled like our Susanna’s with an “s”, the Hebrew version.  I wish I knew more about her!   Why such a strong urge on my daughter’s part for that particular name?
But that’s not all.
When my daughter expected her second baby, she declared:  “If it’s a boy, I really think we should name him Samuel.”
Now I Have the Chills We learned this week that great grandmother Susanna married great grandfather, Samuel!  We remarked that these inclinations are too weird!  We never k…

The Six Minute Storm

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The local weatherman gave us the heads up on the 30 mile-per-hour winds that hit northern Arizona yesterday.  We tackled outside chores in the morning.Once the high winds picked up, we hunkered down for an afternoon date with homemade chicken soup and a Tom Hanks movie.We expected the windy weather, not like two weeks ago!

I Remember that Night! I still remember that evening and reaching up into the cabinet and placing the last dish away after dinner.  Without warning, the power went off.  I had an eerie feeling.
My husband came in the back door telling me about the six-minute wind gust that bent the posture of our sturdy pines.  I heard it, too!  We exchanged surprised expressions because the weather turned severe for only minutes.  The evening started out calm and the sun began to set when those dark dramatic clouds came out of nowhere. 
As I grabbed flashlights and candles for an evening of total quiet, he immediately addressed his respiratory issues.  His backup breathing equipment w…

My Sister's Guest Room

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My sister’s guest room ranks favorite when I think of best places to stay in Chicago. It’s a cross between a resort and a family guest chamber and I smile when I think of  it.

No one grows African Violets like my sister.  A half dozen of the delicate plants sit proudly in the guest room on racks in front of the room’s north window.   A recliner chair sits alongside them with a small table topped with the kind of books I like to read.  Oh, the delight to rest there!
A large comfy queen bed with a white comforter and pillows galore provide wonderful sleep.  End tables on both sides of the bed hold lovely lamps and delicate collector items.  She makes it personal for me with small framed photos of my family.
A bookcase lines one wall with frames of happy family times as well as photo albums that date back to when we were kids.  Besides a TV, she displays artifacts of trips as well as her accumulated Willow Tree collection.  Next to that, stands a coat rack with a variety of plush bathrobes.…

The Good Friday Journey

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My first visit to Israel landed me smack in the middle of Holy Week.  An unexpected surprise literally swept me off my feet in Jerusalem on Good Friday.  I invite you join me at Truth Rejoices today where my friend, Jeannie, encouraged me to share my story.  I hope you like it!   Click here where you can read about my adventure and feel free to leave a comment.  I’ll be sure to read them.  Happy Easter, friends.

Finding the Hidden Things

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Once in a while I pick up interesting lessons from my blog friends.  I feel surprised at times when I put them into practice.   
My friend, Dianna, recently shared a way to spruce up her table centerpieces.  She wrote about it at her blog, Forgiven...  Her theory explains that centerpieces for our tables can be the catalyst for good dinner conversation.  I felt motivated to think outside the box of flowers or fruit which make beautiful centerpieces, but would I be clever enough to try something new? 

My eight-year old granddaughter asked her biological father to call me and hint for an invite when she arrived in Arizona for spring break.  Last week they drove up for a day and had dinner with us.  What an opportunity to explore and satisfy my decorating appetite!  I thought about the ceramics my mom made for me years ago hiding way up on the top shelf of my clothes closet and I quickly unpacked them.  I placed some pink flowers in the base circling a white ceramic basket filled with col…