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God gave you a giftIt takes just a moment!

DO. IT.

You will be more at peace.

You will feel good.

It will make someone’s day.

It’s worth the tiny little effort.

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Weed? One of God’s flowers? Find beauty in everything! (c) Lisa Cudd

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Here are 10 projects I’ve started but didn’t finish before moving on to the next thing I got excited about:

  1. DIY headboard: at least it’s now put together, but needs to be painted
  2. Jewelry: making a bracelet for a friend and repairing another
  3. Crocheted afghan: started this years ago, but arthritis in my hands and fingers caused a lot of starts and stops
  4. Several counted cross stitch projects: I used to do this pretty much non-stop, but haven’t touched them in years
  5. Reprinting my childhood bedroom furniture and repairing some of the dresser drawers: I have the paint … That’s about it
  6. Building shelves and organizing the bathroom closet: I have some of the supplies
  7. Digitizing old photos: I bought a converter in December … It’s not been taken out of the box
  8. Artwork for our bedroom: have the supplies and the artwork is drawn, just need to add the mixed media and frame them
  9. Scanning paperwork in the home office: probably one of the more frustrating projects; the hubster gave me an awesome Neat scanner 3 Christmases ago!
  10. Repainting the dining room table and chairs: painted about a year ago … But needs to be redone because I really just went at it without researching how to do it properly … And the table legs aren’t even completely painted!

So why can’t I get these projects done? I’m not lazy. I’m just tired. I do work a lot of hours and when I’m home I often times just crash after getting the bare minimal done.

I get excited about something I see or read about. I gather and buy supplies right away, even if I know I’m not going to get right to it. Perhaps in the back of my mind, I think that if I invest in the supplies I’ll be sure to get it done … and quickly. That’s obviously not always true.

It stresses me out to even think about it.

And since 2015 is about me de-stressing and de-cluttering … here’s my plan!

  • Determine which of the above projects I can let go and remove from the list. Is it worth my time?
    For instance, I’m never going to finish that afghan with the arthritis in my hands and fingers, so why stress about it? Why look at it sitting in the yarn basket? Let. It. Go. Those incomplete counted cross stitch projects? I’d really love to get back to those, but then there’s that damn arthritis again. I put a lot of work into those items. Just give it up? For now I’ll just put them in a storage box and put them out of sight. When it’s time to pack up the house to move south, I’ll revisit them. (Hmmm…cop out, I know!)
  • Prioritize what’s left on the list.
    Do I want to complete difficult projects first or quicker/easier ones?
    Is there something I want done within a certain time frame?
    I think I’ll do a combination of both easier/needing by a certain time.
  • Set deadlines.
    I host card club at our home on April 9th. Therefore I really want the table and those chairs painted by then. Yes, card club has seen the current condition … but it’s a good deadline to set and will make one project get off that list. I’m going to set two deadlines: 1) remove the horrible paint job, put on the bonding primer, and paint by the end of the day this coming Sunday, and 2) apply the poly on the table top by the following weekend. That will give it a week to cure.
  • Conquer … One. Job. At. A. Time!
  • Post about each one as they are completed.
    Hold me accountable, people! LOL

So here’s my prioritized list:

  1. Head board – there isn’t a specific time frame this is needed, but I just really want to get it out of my dining room. Therefore – deadline March 29th.
  2. Dining table/chairs – deadline April 5th in order to be ready/cured by card club.
  3. Jewelry – I can honestly say that I fixed the one bracelet and gave it back to my friend yesterday. Just thinking about this post gave me the gumption to get that easy-peasy project off the list! Making the other bracelet has to be done before card club on April 9th. Well, it doesn’t have to be done by then, but I think 6 months is long enough for LT to wait for it.
  4. Artwork for the bedroom – I’m actually doing three of these (two for the bedroom and one for a friend). I need to have the one completed by the time I leave for Florida for a mini-vacation, but it will be just as easy to do all three at once – deadline April 19th.
  5. Childhood guest room bedroom furniture – I would like to have this done before my sister comes to visit at the end of June. Deadline – June 14th.
  6. Bathroom closet – also want to have this done before my sister visits in July. Deadline – June 21st.
  7. Digitized photos – Not sure the deadline on this … not a huge priority right now.
  8. Scanned documents – Same as #7. Once I can get through #6, then I can set a time frame on that.
  9. Counted cross-stitch (several) – Stored away for possible retirement projects :0)
  10. Afghan – Off. The. List.

Can I do it?

Yes I Can!

Yes I Can!

Keep your fingers crossed!

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imageThis is my plan … Read about it in tomorrow’s post 🙂

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Photo taken by Lisa Cudd 6/2013

I refer to my “hubster” a lot – especially when talking about blessings in my life. I thought perhaps you’d like to know how this good soul came into my life.

 It all started – and almost ended – on a Friday night in September 1977. O – M – G!

That is SO long ago!! We were together for 2 years after that before walking down the aisle and we’ve been married for 35 years.

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But that is the END of this post – I get ahead of myself.

Rewind . . .

It was the one and only blind date of my life. My roommate and the hubster’s co-worker (they were a couple at the time) were the culprits.

 I was in the process of ending a 3-year relationship/marriage and putting that nightmare behind me.

I had no business going on a date. I was not in a good place emotionally. I needed to find myself, not risk my heart.

But for whatever reason I let her wear me down.

 So off we go to a pub to dance. I don’t think we uttered more than a “hi” the entire 20-minute drive.

I thought he was boring.

I didn’t think he was cute. (Let me say … he’s aged VERY well )

I didn’t know that he didn’t know my divorce wasn’t final yet. When THAT came out in conversation, the look on his face was priceless!

I thought – Oh well, this is going nowhere. Oh well!

 We danced a few dances.

 Was this night EVER going to end?

 What do you mean; we’re going to stop for pizza before going home? OMG

I ate a few bites. He ate 1 slice. (We both can eat MORE pizza than that!)

Finally! We say goodnight.

 The door closes and I look at my roommate. Don’t you EVER do that to me again!

Worst. Date. Ever!

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I was content to just go to work, to pay my bills, to get out of the distressing marriage, and to be alone for a while.

 He had a different plan.

 A few days later I’m having a nice quiet evening alone. The roommate was working. I had NO plans.

 There’s a knock at the door. Geeze! It’s HIM!

 I stand with the door partially open.

 Yes, I was rude. I didn’t let him in.

 He’s asking for a date the next weekend? Seriously? Was this the same guy from the other night?

Nope, I didn’t want to. If we couldn’t talk with two other people at the table, what would it be like with just the two of us?

 Puppy dog eyes.

 That’s not fair play!

Hesitation. Silence.

 Oh. Okay.

 Yes, that’s exactly what I said. Oh. Okay. (Add a resigned sigh as you repeat that.)

 Those damn puppy dog eyes!

The roommate was definitely more excited about this news than I was.

 Four days to think about it – to beat myself up for agreeing to something I really didn’t want to do.

What the hell! Wasn’t I ever going to learn to stand up for myself?

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The Pity Date

Yes, that’s what we jokingly still call the second date. I gave him the pity date.

How could I say no to those damn puppy dog eyes? LOL

We ended up at the same pub. We even sat at the same wobbly table. (What we would refer to later as OUR wobbly table!)

We danced.

We talked. (Well, we HAD to talk – we were a group of two!)

We danced.

We learned about each other. We shared our stories.

We danced some more.

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And then he did it!

He sang into my ear on the dance floor with me in his arms.

He sang to ME.

No one had ever sung to ME.

You Light Up My Life by Debby Boone.

We’ve Only just Begun by the Carpenters.

What a voice!

I melted.

Best. Date. Ever.

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Every Day After

We literally spent every day together after that.

He was my strength through the final stages of the divorce that finally came through 1½ months later.

He was my strength and my protector when I was afraid.

He was my best friend. And still is!

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If nothing ever came out of that second date, at least I wasn’t alone during those months ahead – both literally and figuratively.

This had to be too good to be true, right?

These two men were like night and day. The devil and an angel. But that’s for another post. Maybe someday I’ll write about that. Maybe. 

Move forward five months.

Valentine’s Day 1978. Top of the hill at Lincoln Park. Bitter cold. Tons of kids sledding.

Down on one knee … and the rest is history.

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What a difference puppy dog eyes and a second “pity” date can make.

Lost soul – to Blessed soul.

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That’s my gorgeous son … someday I’ll tell you about our journey of fertility treatments
and how we finally were blessed to have him in our life!

Girls … he’s single!

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I’m feeling kind of “wonky” today, so a good day to be “wordless”

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As I was sitting in Mass this weekend I was thinking about all the people I know who have pre-conceived notions about my faith. Some of them have never stepped foot inside a Catholic church, or if they did it was for a funeral or wedding only.

Over the years I’ve heard some of the craziest ideas people have about Catholics. Some are funny, some are just ignorant. I would never claim to be the most knowledgeable Catholic out there. I did go to parochial school through the 8th grade, but I am always open to learning more.

One idea that is the most absurd to me is that we have to pay our way into heaven financially. How ridiculous! Does that mean the homeless Catholic who lives on the street has no chance whatsoever of getting into heaven, but the successful Catholic businessman does? Really? REALLY??

No, we don’t worship or pray to statues. That would be no different than idolatry. Crucifixes and statues of Mary and Joseph are just focal points that help us focus on our prayers. They are no different than the picture of my own mother sitting in my home. Do we need to be in front of a statue or crucifix to pray? Of course not. I pray and talk to my mother all the time. That doesn’t mean I worship her. I am honoring her.  Just as I honor the mother of our God. We pray to Mary and saints for intercession, not worship. I pray to my mother for intercession as well. And yes, we pray directly to God too. We can’t have too many souls in our corner, can we?

I’ve also been told that Catholics don’t’ read the Bible or base our church services on the Bible. Another “Really?” moment here. In fact, there are at least 3 Bible readings at each Mass and the priest’s sermon is based on those readings. Did you know that the first Bible was produced by the Catholic church? Did you know that the first printed Bible was produced by the Catholic inventor of the printing press, Johannes Gutenberg? I’ve never had a home where there wasn’t a Bible in it. And yes, I read the Bible. I even have the Bible app on my iPad.

Catholics are Christians. Our practices reflect those of the original apostles. And the Catholic Church was the first Christian church … as verified in ancient texts.

All priests are not gay or pedophiles. Yes, some are, but then so are some ministers, teachers, lawyers, and law enforcement officers. But because priests are celibate and don’t marry (with some exceptions), when a priest is involved in these heinous situations, it seems to be more news-worthy. I’m not saying it’s not news-worthy, just not more news-worthy.

I’ve been told to my face that I am going to hell because of my Catholic faith. Right along with my Lutheran and Methodist friends. How ignorant is it for people to believe that because they belong to one specific church that they are the only chosen ones whom God will take into heaven? Show me in the Bible where it states Catholics can’t get there, but any other specific church will. Yes, there are some holier-than-though Catholics, but I personally know many non-Catholics who talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk. We don’t get to heaven by just talking the talk or walking the walk. It takes both.

The Catholic Church did not add books to the Bible. Actually Martin Luther removed seven of the original books back in the 1500s because he didn’t agree with them.

I’m happy being a Catholic. I have always felt at home in a Catholic church. If you’re happy attending a different church, or no physical church at all, that’s your choice. I know and love people in all sorts of faiths. I have never pushed my own faith onto others, and I only ask that they provide me the same courtesy.

I will end by saying I’m not perfect. We are all sinners. But please, don’t judge me by my faith alone. Judge me by the person I am and the person I try to be.

God bless.

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Smiling is contagious.

It takes fewer muscles and energy to smile than it does to frown.

It makes other people happy.

I smile a lot. I have a lot of reasons to make me smile. Here are just ten … in no particular order!

  1. Daily morning text from the hubster telling me he loves me.
  2. Hearing my son say “I love you momma” even in his 30s.
  3. Watching the hubster on stage.
  4. Knowing I’ve got a lunch or dinner scheduled with a girlfriend.
  5. Having my kitty snuggle up next to me on the sofa.
  6. Hubster … just the thought of him
  7. Jeremy … just the thought of him, too
  8. Lighthouses
  9. Bluebirds
  10. Covered bridges

What makes YOU smile?

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The title of this blog says it all. Blessings. My life is full of them.

February 28 and March 1 – when how truly blessed I am was validated.

My hubster has been involved with our local theater (www.marionpalace.org) since the late 90s. If you haven’t heard him sing in church, you’ve only heard him on the stage in character voice from all the different shows he’s been part of, from the Cowardly Lion to Daddy Warbucks.

This week our community had the wonderful privilege of getting to know the real guy, along with 9 other members of his theater family. Each of them wrote, produced and performed their “story” of how they came to be part of the Palace family.

To say that the hubster “got me good” is an understatement. The whole concept of his story was how he was “tricked” and “coerced” into participating in theater.

Here he was … giving ME all the credit for being who he is on the stage. Telling the world how much he loves me. Praising ME. This was supposed to be about HIM.

I personally take very little credit for myself. It’s his wonderful personality and beautiful voice that has made him the local “star” that he is. Yes, I tricked him by getting him to help with the construction of a production set all those years ago. Yes, I told the director that he had a great voice and should be in the show itself. Yes, I told our choir director at church that he needed to be in the choir. But without being HIM, none of that would have happened.

I am so happy that his mom got to see him on stage before we lost her, and I wish his dad had that opportunity. But I know they are watching, smiling, and clapping – as proud of him as Jeremy and I are.

If you know us as a couple, you know that we are soul mates. We were placed on this earth to be in each other’s life. We were meant to be!

Photos of his various character roles were projected on the screen (“cyclorama, as we learned this weekend! LOL) throughout the show.

And then there it was – this photo – my favorite photo of the two of us up on that huge screen.

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And what does he do next? He dedicates to me and sings Elvis’s “I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You.”

Throughout the entire song he was looking directly at me – singing it to me and only me. It was as if there wasn’t another soul in the theater.

And, yes … I cried (at both performances!)

Here’s a photo of us after the Sunday performance.

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I AM blessed!

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