Friday, December 28, 2012

Reality Hiatus

hi·a·tus noun \hī-ˈā-təs\

1a : a break in or as if in a material object : gap b : a gap or passage in an anatomical part or organ

2a : an interruption in time or continuity : break; especially : a period when something (as a program or activity) is suspended or interrupted  
I'm taking a break.  

As I prepare for the arrival of my sisters and their families today, and all the fun, laughter, madness, and chaos they will bring to my household for the following days - I realize that writing for my blog will be very low on the priority list.  As a result, I have decided to break until the new year arrives.  

No fears.  I will be back as 2013 begins.  With just as much to say as ever.   

Happy New Year.  Be safe.  Be blessed.  See you soon!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Spirit of Gratitude: Twas The Day After Christmas

  • Christmas Eve candlelight service
  • Relaxing morning
  • Watching the offspring and grand baby open presents
  • Eggnog Coffee
  • Snuggling on the couch with the Man of  the House
  • A house full of relatives
  • Laughter
  • Holiday ham
  • Brownies with peppermint frosting
  • Christmas songs
  • Dr. Who Christmas Special
Photo Credit:

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Still Here...

As most of you are perfectly aware by this point - the world did not end yesterday.  There was no massive polar switch, no rogue planets or asteroids colliding with our little planet. 

In the words of Robert Browning: "God is in His heaven and all is right with the world".

Which for me means... cookies to bake, presents to wrap, and cleaning still to be done!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Spirit of Gratitude: December 20

  • Seeing the living room DIY project finally coming together
  • New fudge recipe
  • Emails from family
  • The way my dad always gives a weather report when he writes or texts
  • Dog getting into the Christmas spirit

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Spirit of Gratitude: December 19

  • New living room furniture
  • Guitar recitals
  • Celebrating a friend's birthday with him
  • Ice packs
  • Muscle relaxers
  • Picture texts of the grandbaby while waiting at the doctor's office
  • Being able to hug my children and grand baby and tell them I love them

    photo courtesy:

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Big Pain in My Behind

IT all started Friday morning.  I woke up feeling a little achy, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Until I stood up and tried to walk.  Whoa!!!  

Pain in my lower back and hips.  Serious pain.  Pain that sent me scrambling... ok... hobbling... back to bed with some ibuprofen and a heating pad.  Wondering how in the world I had hurt my back. 

I once heard a comedian joke that you knew you had reached a certain age when you could hurt yourself in your sleep.  Apparently that wasn't a joke.  It's a very real phenomenon.

Once the over the counter pain meds kicked in, the pain was at a tolerable (?) level.  At least enough for me to do something that resembles functioning. 

It was Saturday at the male offspring's guitar recital that I learned sitting for over 30 minutes caused my right leg to start tingling - as if it were falling asleep - all the way down to my foot.  And also increased the pain level in the back and right hip.

Ok, this was not fun.  Not that it was fun in the first place, but now it was really really not fun. 

After 3 days of discomfort, pain, and numbness/tingling  and very little sleep - it was time to call the doctor's office on Monday morning.  The last thing you want to do when you're experiencing what I was going through is a long, long wait in those uncomfortable waiting room chairs, surrounded by people who may or may not be carrying the flu.  But I was just desperate enough for some relief to brave it.

Finally... finally... I was shown to an exam room.  A million questions, and some testing of my reflexes, range of motion and to determine that there was no loss of strength on the right side - I had a diagnosis of sciatica (possibly caused by a slipped disc or a strained back muscle) and a prescription for Prednisone and a muscle relaxer.  Accompanied by orders to limit activity and not to lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk for about a week to rest my back.

So... yeh...

Mrs Grinch's Small Heart Grew Three Sizes That Day

All you Christmas Elf type bloggy friends can relax.  Mrs Grinch and family have a tree.

Yes, I realize it's not decorated yet.  That is on the calendar for Wednesday night. 
Don't Worry - it was not obtained by shoving it up the chimney of some poor unsuspecting Who down in Who-ville.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Wisdom from Oma

Very few sounds are quite as irritating as that of a 14 year old boy sighing deeply in response to being asked to do some chore.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Spirit of Gratitude: December 13

  • Christmas Crafts
  • English muffins
  • Strawberry preserves
  • Hot tea with honey
  • Furniture shopping with the man of the house
  • Finding out my sister is having my first nephew!

A Little Off

It's just one of those mornings when things seem, well... a little... off.

The dog is pacing and whining to go out.  Despite the face that he has already been out - for a good long time! 

The dog also won't eat his food.

The cats will eat the dog food, and are trying their very best to do just that!

I'm feeling a little ADD this morning.  My mind is bouncing in a dozen different directions.  I feel like there's something I should be doing, but I have no clue what it is.

Because of the bouncing brain syndrome - I can't seem to get anything accomplished.  That's what happens when you can't seem to focus on one thing for longer than 2 minutes!

I am very hungry, but nothing - absolutely nothing - I can think of to eat sounds good.  (maybe the cats are on to something?)

Wait... what was I talking about?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

i Can't Do it

I keep thinking (and writing) about what I need to do.

I need to change.  I need to be kinder.  I need to watch my tongue.  I need to...
I...  I... I...

Until the day came in my journey recently when a sudden clarity stopped me in my tracks.

You know what?  I can't do it!!

Don't you think if I could have done it on my own it would have happened by now?

Anyone who reads my blog is likely aware that I love a To Do list - probably a little too much. So it probably comes as no surprise that I feel like I should be in control.  I can't shake the feeling that there is a list of things I should be marking off one by one.

But that's not how it works, is it?

What I really need to do is to get out of God's way and let Him do His work in me.  I need to admit I need Him if any of those changes are going to take place.

I have to acknowledge His greatness, and my smallness.  I have to realize His strength in my weakness.

That's what I need to do

That's not to say I can just be idle.  Sitting back and waiting for miracles to happen.  There are steps I have to take myself.  But I have to recognize God is in control.  I can't do it alone. 

Scripture doesn't just tell me I can do some things, but that "I  can do all things through him who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13 ESV - emphasis mine)

Wisdom from Oma

An English muffin with strawberry preserves accompanied by a cup of hot tea may not be a healthy lunch - but it sure is yummy!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Spirit of Gratitude: December 11


  • Waking up to the coffee having already been made
  • Christmas cards
  • This picture!                                                                                         
  • Christmas shopping
  • Getting great deals while doing that Christmas shopping
  • Spending time with the female offspring
  • The grand baby saying "Oma"

Monday, December 10, 2012

They call me - Mrs. Grinch

I am having a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit this year.  I'm just not feeling it.

Maybe it's because the weather has been so warm.

Maybe it's because my sisters won't be visiting this year until after Christmas.

Or maybe it's because our house is still in the throes of the living room renovation and not looking very Christmas-y at all yet.

I am starting to stress about whether enough of it is going to be done in time to make our home at least reasonably settled for Christmas.  It feels like there is still a lot of work to be done. 

And because of the renovations to the living room, the rest of the house is starting to look like something deserving of it's own episode of "Hoarders".  (Is that a sofa under all that stuff in the dining room?  Why, yet it is!)

I had to inform the family last night that based on the way the schedule to get things done is looking, there may not be a tree this year. 

That's right... sing it with me....  "You're a mean one, Mrs Grinch"

I'm really not trying to be a Scrooge.  It's just that we can't pull a tree in right now.  The baseboards and trim have to be done first.  The curtain hardware and the curtains themselves need to hung.  Having the tree in would just complicate the entire process.

And I can't imagine going through all the work and difficulty of getting and putting up a tree for just  a few days.  (Go ahead, sing another verse... I'll sit here quietly until you're done)

As you can imagine, I'm not incredibly popular around here right now. 

I sincerely hope I'm proved wrong and things are at a point by next weekend where putting up the tree can happen. And if it doesn't... well, we all know how the Grinch's story ended... even without all the wrappings.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Follow Friday Four Fill-in Blog Hop!

TGIF! Which means it's time again for the Follow Friday Four Fill In Blog Hop! Each week, Feeling Beachie gives us four statements with a blank for you to fill in on your own blogs.

I get the honor of being this week's co-host!  Want to be featured as a Co-Host to the hop? Come up with four fill in’s of your own and email them to her at If she uses them, you get a nice little mention in that weeks hop! Please help her out and email some statements!

Please help spread the word about the Follow Friday Four Fill-in! Just tweet, facebook, etc about the Follow Friday blog hop. If you tweet, please use #f5-bloghop . And add the little linky tool there at the bottom to your own blog if you participate.
The statements are:
1.         ___in the ___ is the ___
2.       __is my____  
3.       I like to think ____; but I know _____.
4.       If I just ______, then I could ______.

My Responses:

1.  Coffee first thing in the morning is the only thing that gets me moving
2.  The Man of the House is my best friend 
3.  I like to think I'm very funny; but I know I am often the only person who thinks so.
4.  If I just find the time and energy to work out, then I could probably lose the extra 25 to 30 lbs I'm carrying around.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Christmas Cut

It's that time of year again.  Yes... the Christmas season.  But that's not what I am referring to right now. 

This season rolls around once or twice a year.  I hear the scissors calling me.  It's that time of year when I start getting the urge to cut my hair.

Of course, then the big question starts.  What sort of haircut should I get?  How short?  Do I change completely or just trim up what I've got going on here already? I start dreaming of how I would look with a long bob. Or with a bunch of layers. Or if I keep it long and start using hot rollers. Or... well, you get the picture.

It's gotten soooo long!  It's almost to the middle of my back.  Which makes for easy braiding and ponytails when I want it out of the way.  But it seems I'm always pulling it out of the way. 

Leaving it curly seems to result in frizz.  But straightening it takes forever. 

So, what's a curl... er, a girl.... to do?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Lean Not On Your Own Understanding

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; ~ Proverbs 3:5

I've been thinking about this verse a lot.   

You see, I'm a bit of a control freak.  I like things to go the way I think they should.  The way I expect them too.  And I get more than a little flustered when they don't.  When I'm faced with something I don't feel I can control, I tend to get discouraged and doubt whether I am up to the challenge at all.  As a matter of fact - when that happens it's entirely possible that I might even talk myself into just walking away from that particular mountain rather than risk failing to climb it.  

This aspect of my personality makes trusting God and His Word - really leaning on Him and relying on Him - a bit of a challenge.   

I was pondering all of this in the car the other day when this thought occurred to me:  

When you find yourself thinking "I can't do this!"; God is right beside you whispering, "You're right - you can't.  But I can."

I can do all this through him who gives me strength. ~ Philippians 4:13

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. ~ Isaiah 41:10
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” ~ Deuteronomy 31:6 

for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. ~ 2 Timothy 1:7

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Spirit of Gratitude - December 4, 2012

  • A Charlie Brown Christmas
  • Cookie dough Blizzards
  • Sunlight peeking through curtains
  • Sunday afternoon football
  • New curtains
  • A great deal on those curtains
  • Frozen egg rolls (for egg roll yumminess whenever you want!)
  • The breeze from the ceiling fan
  • The Man of the House making an early morning errand run and bringing home biscuits
  • French fries
  • donuts

Living Room: Time for Floors!

The new floors are finally going in! Yippee!! The end is actually in sight!

FYI - when you see all these DIY shows and they tell you how very simple it is to put in laminate flooring - don't believe it!

OK, that might be a little strong. You can believe them. Maybe it is simple if the floor you are installing over is pretty much pristine. Ours was not. We were pulling up 30-something year old carpet. Which meant 30-something year old padding. Padding which had been walked on, spilt on, walked on some more, cleaned numerous times, and who knows what else. In other words, it was a little compressed... matted down... compacted. As a matter of fact- in some spots in no longer resembled padding at all. But more of a hard rubber which was now part of the particle board underneath.

Thank heavens for all the hard work by The Man of the House and the female offspring who spent hours (and hours and hours) scraping that mess up and replacing areas of particle board which were not salvageable!

Finally, the floors were prepped. The new flooring was purchased. Installation is ready to begin!

Look!  Boxes of flooring!

First row is done!

Moving right along!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Remind You of Someone?

I have always loved this quote: "Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy."

It recently occured to me, that sounds a lot like Someone else I know...

Yes, there is a God. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Living Room: Painting

The living room is finally painted!  Whew... that's a lot of work!  Even the dog got a little paint.  ;0)

Loving the pale gray walls and the darker accent on the wall with the fireplace!

A Continuing Spirit of Gratitude

After much thought and consideration, I have decided to continue my "30 Days of Gratitude & Thanksgiving" series under the Header "A Spirit of Gratitude".  It may not be (probably won't be) a daily feature as it was through out November.  But it will be a regular post - appearing at least once a week for Thankful Thursday and probably more often than that.

I am crazy grateful for everyone who reads this little blog!! Thank You!

Friday, November 30, 2012

30 Days of Gratitude & Thanksgiving: Day 30

“A life contemplating the blessings of Christ becomes a life acting the love of Christ.” ~ Ann Voskamp

161.  The grand baby "singing"
162.  Watching "How The Grinch Stole Christmas"

163.  Assistance linking up to Into The Word Wednesday (when I just can't figure out why my link won't take)
164.  Blog comments (and the people making the comments)
165.  Grand baby belly

Who Are You Calling "Dummies"?

We seem to have quite a lot of these "for Dummies" books around the house. 
Not sure what that's saying about us...

Thursday, November 29, 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving & Gratitude: Day 29 (Thankful Thursday)

“Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough” ~ Oprah Winfrey

156.  Monday Night Football (especially when the Panthers win!)
157.  Goat cheese
158.  Flirting with The Man of the House
159.  Getting a flat tire fixed at no charge
160.  Open window days in late November


I've got it pretty good.  We've got it pretty good.  And we don't even realize it.

This thought first started brewing as I stood in line to vote early in November.  The line was long for that last Saturday of early voting.  As I watched person after person get out of their car, check out the length of the wait, shake their head, and get back in the car.  Person after person grumble that they didn't have time to wait and get out of line to leave.

I began pondering what exactly this said about us as a nation.  There are people in the world who would give anything for the chance to vote.  People who walk miles and miles. People who stand in line for hours and hours and hours.  People who willingly risk their lives for the chance to vote.  Meanwhile, I watched literally dozens of people who couldn't be bothered to stand in line for one hour on a beautiful Saturday morning in order to exercise their right to vote.

Ungrateful.  Seeing as an inconvenience what others risk everything to grasp. 

Once the thought was there, I began to see examples of it everywhere.

My 14 years old son grumbles about having to go to school.  Meanwhile, a Pakistani girl his own age fights for her life after being shot in the head for simply wanting the same thing he complained about. 

I dread having to make a grocery list and do the shopping.  While so many in the world go hungry, wishing they were able to make a list and go to the store to purchase whatever they need or wanted to eat. 

How many other blessings do we fail to recognize?  Things we take for granted, which so many others in the world would view as a luxury.  Have we become so spoiled that we see things we should be grateful for as a bother?  

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Still Grateful. What Now?

As November begins to draw to a close, I find myself in a bit of a conundrum. 

You see, I have enjoyed sharing the blessings in my daily life very much with the series "30 Days of Gratitude".  So much so, that I'm not ready to see it end. 

In the past I had the "Thankful Thursday" posts.  But somehow I'm not sure that just once a week is enough. 

Or is it? 

Should I simply consolidate all those daily blessings into one weekly post?  Or does my growing sense of thankfulness and my slowly filling gratitude journal deserve more than a little weekly blurb?

Do I start a new thankfulness series every month?

Do I just do "30 More Days of Gratitude & Thanksgiving?

Do I scrap the whole thing and just stick to my private gratitude journal? 

Or continue sharing in the hope that my experience will encourage others to explore the blessings in their own lives?

So, where do I go from here?

30 Days of Gratitude & Thanksgiving: Day 28

151.  Making bracelets
152.  Perfectly roasted turkey
153.  Sweet potatoes
154.  Pumpkin pie... for breakfast!
155.  Leftover turkey sandwiches

What I Deserve

Ever thought about how you really deserve something?  Maybe you've worked hard for it.  Maybe you've been having a rough time.  Maybe you've accomplished some big goal you set for yourself. 

Ever found yourself saying some form of this prayer - "God, please do this for me.  I deserve it because..."?

But do we really want God to give us what we deserve?

Oh, the nice things... sure.  But what about all the punishment for the sins against Him?  Everything that was heaped onto Jesus at the time of His crucifixion and death? That's what we really "deserve".  But instead, He took everything we deserve onto Himself so that we could receive the gifts: 

Grace, Love, Eternal life

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." ~ Romans 5:8

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

His Love Endures Forever

For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations. ~ Psalm 100:5

30 Days of Gratitude & Thanksgiving: Day 27

146.  The man of the house coming home early
147.  Cats pretending they adore me - hoping it will earn them food
148.  Grand baby enjoying his first cookie
149. Picking out new flooring
150.  New bird feeder outside kitchen window

Monday, November 26, 2012

Pssst... I've Got A Secret!

Here's the scoop... there are three easy steps to extra savings:

1) Follow Queen B's Busy Work on Twitter. @QueenBsBusyWork

2) Tweet about the 10% off CYBERMONDAY coupon code using hash tag #QueenBsBusyWork

3) I'll send you a coupon code for 20% OFF your order at Queen B's!

It's as simple as that! Get buzzing! Offer ends November 30, 2012.

30 Days of Gratitude & Thanksgiving: Day 26

141.  Salt water taffy
142.  Grandbaby learning to clap
143.  Being able to laugh at myself
144.  Male offspring practicing guitar
145.  Birds singing a morning song

Sunday, November 25, 2012

30 Days of Gratitude & Thanksgiving: Day 25

“We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction.” ~ Harry A. Ironside

136.  Christmas music
137.  Breakfast buffet
138.  Sunlight reflecting through the last of red autumn leaves
139.  A safe trip home
140.  Sleeping in my own bed again

Sunday Spotlight: Upward Not Inward

Each Sunday in November I will be spotlighting guest posts written by women who have blogs which inspire and encourage me. This week's Guest Blogger is Falen from:

Confession time: I wanted a break from reality this weekend. I just wanted to run far away, a brief escape, forget about responsibilities, and rest my mind. So much to do, so much waiting, so much persevering, so much...

So, what did I do? I called in back-up and talked two girlfriends into a 7:00 a.m. Saturday morning hike! Two of us had been to this place before, and knew it would be a good ole time. We pull up, and there it is:

Do you see it? Here’s a closer pic:

First, how cool, right?! Second, it reminded me of this:

"Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
my hope comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God;
he is my mighty rock, my refuge."
Psalm 62:5-7

While I wanted this mental mini-vacation, there was this more than obvious reminder that God’s got this! It’s okay. This scripture is like God whispering to me:

Find rest.
Remember where your hope comes from.
You are not your own rock.
You don’t do the saving, I do.
You are protected and safe, sturdy and firm.
I’ve got this!

Whatever you are going through right now, be encouraged...

God’s got this. Keep going. Don’t give up.
One day at a time. One battle at a time. One step at a time. One prayer at a time.
One victory at a time.

Friday, November 23, 2012

30 Days of Gratitude & Thanksgiving: Day 23

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. ~ Colossians 4:2

126. Titanic museum
127.  Delicious southern cooking
128.  Sight seeing in Pigeon Forge
129.  French Toast
130.  Silliness at the wax museum


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