A Belated Hymn for You

So sorry I forgot to put this up yesterday . . .

Near the Cross

Fanny Crosby

Jesus, keep me near the cross,
There a precious fountain
Free to all, a healing stream
Flows from Calvary’s mountain.

In the cross, in the cross,
Be my glory ever;
Till my raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river.

Near the cross, a trembling soul,
Love and mercy found me;
There the bright and morning star
Sheds its beams around me.


Near the cross! O Lamb of God,
Bring its scenes before me;
Help me walk from day to day,
With its shadows o’er me.


Near the cross I’ll watch and wait
Hoping, trusting ever,
Till I reach the golden strand,
Just beyond the river.


Fairy Headquarters

Sorry about yesterday’s silence. I am trying to place a little more priority on sleep than I have been doing lately. If it’s late at night and I’m exhausted, I will try to pick sleep over blogging.

This morning when Jasper and I went out to get in the car and go to Walmart, guess what happened? You guessed that the car didn’t start, didn’t you? Yes. For at least the fourth time on a Saturday morning, the car did not start. I had to go back in the house to get the van keys so we could still go grocery shopping. We don’t understand what the car has against going out first thing on Saturday morning, but it’s been a consistent pattern. Thank goodness my husband was able to get it going again when he got home from work. After also fixing our hot water heater.

Today was a pretty productive day in terms of making things for our booth. Lucy got her earrings packaged for sale and I put the finishing touches on the muff I’ve been knitting. Then this afternoon I decided the time had come for Lucy and me to tackle making flower fairies.

All we had for inspiration was a little leaf fairy that Lina made many years ago. After taking apart a lot of silk flowers and experimenting with toothpicks, I finally came up with a basic design that worked. It was a very tedious and time-consuming job making 40 little fairies, but when we finally finished this evening we had some really cute creations! I also had a new appreciation for hot glue.

Oh, and I just now remembered I have an instrument to tune . . .

Rain on Two Continents

Today started out rather stressfully. I had a class to prepare for and a potluck to cook for at the same time. Today was the first day this school year for the homeschool lunch at the church where Lucy has youth group, and I really felt like we ought to go.

I alternated between class preparations and cooking but unfortunately I committed one of the classic kitchen blunders–I chose to make a recipe I had never tried before to take to the potluck. The recipe called for uncooked rice, which would absorb liquid and get cooked while the rest of the casserole was cooking. Except it didn’t. I took the casserole anyway, but the rice was, shall we say, crunchy. It was embarrassing. We had it again for supper, after more than an hour in the oven, and the rice was a lot better but still not as done as I had hoped. Note to self: next time use cooked rice, no matter what the recipe says!

We had to rush home from the potluck to get ready for class. One of my students was sick and unable to attend. I missed him of course, but was glad he wasn’t here spreading a virus! During class it started pouring with rain, which we desperately needed. Shortly after the rain started, I got a text from Lina saying, “It’s raining!” My first thought was, “how on earth could she know?”

Then I realized. Duh. It was also raining in Zambia. Why would she text me about that? Because it was the first rain of the rainy season. Imagine no rain at all from May through September, October, or even November. That first rain of the rainy season is such a thrill. The scent of the thirsty soil soaking up the rain, the cool breeze, the red clay turning to red mud. The new leaves coming out on the trees even before there was any rain to encourage them.

Where Lina is, rainy season comes earlier and stays later than in other parts of Zambia, but even so this is a great early start. Wish I could have been there.

The rest of the day has been filled with knitting, sewing, and cutting Spencer’s hair. It seems like I have to cut hair more often than I used to. It’s not my favorite thing but after over thirty years I am pretty skilled and I love thinking about how much money I’ve saved us by just doing this one thing!

I also spent some time practicing my autoharp. One thing I feel I need a lot of practice on is the various types of strumming. I have an autoharp lesson DVD that I got when I first got my instrument over a year ago. At the time, I tried to follow along with the guy on the DVD but it was so stressful and overwhelming I gave up. Today I tried again and guess what? It was easy. At least the first few lessons were. I’ll do some more tomorrow, but right now I feel pretty encouraged because obviously I have succeeded in learning something.

I have also been obsessively checking for news on the vote in Scotland all day. I’m not sure what I want the outcome to be, but I’m very interested!

The Polka Dots of Pain

Today, something triggered a memory of an event that happened some 29 years ago. It was the summer of 1985. My Esteemed Spouse of only four years was in Zambia for the whole summer on a mission trip. I stayed here in Texas and spent my summer getting pneumonia, having to sleep bolt upright, and coughing and puking a lot. It was a rough, rough summer spent alone in our little house.

So, you can imagine how excited I was as the time for my husband’s return came closer. I couldn’t wait to go pick him up at the airport, and naturally I wanted to look my best. For some reason that is lost in the mists of time, I decided that merely shaving my legs would not make them attractive enough, so I shelled out the dough for some of that fancy hair-remover cream that was always being advertised on television.

According to the commercials, this cream would painlessly remove my leg hairs, leaving behind silky smooth skin that would not sprout any new hair for a period of weeks. Doesn’t that sound nice?

My husband’s plane was not due to arrive in Dallas until the evening, so before I left for my three-hour drive, I slathered that lotion all over my legs. I waited for the prescribed ten minutes, and then tested a little area to see if the hair had dissolved. (I kind of wonder why I had no qualms about covering my skin with a chemical that dissolves hair!)

There was no sign that the cream was doing anything at all, so I left it on for another ten minutes. And then another ten. By then my skin was tingling a little, but I hated to waste the money I’d spent! After about 40 minutes I got in the shower and rinsed that stuff off. The good news was that at least some of the hair was gone. The bad news was that I now had an open bleeding wound in place of every single hair follicle. And I STILL had to shave to get the rest of the hair removed.

Desperately, I blotted my bleeding legs with paper towels and tissues over and over. Picture pale white legs covered with hundreds of little bleeding polka-dots. It was not a pretty sight, and it really, really hurt.

I was running out of time. I did not at that time own any jeans or long pants that I could cover my legs with, and it was time to leave for the airport, so I had to wear a skirt. I stopped at a drugstore on the way thinking maybe I could find some opaque nylons to cover up my wounded legs. The only opaque nylons they had were white–presumably for nurses. I bought them, and then put them on in the bathroom.

Guess what? They weren’t really opaque. With a sinking heart, I drove to the airport to meet my husband. His plane was late. Really late. Several hours late. And there I sat in the airport waiting with my reddish skirt and my white nylons and my hundreds upon hundreds of bright red open sores. I’m sure anyone who saw me must have thought I was suffering from some horrific skin disease. I still cringe every time I think of it.

Of course, eventually my husband did arrive, and after giving me a big hug, the first thing he said was, “What did you do to your legs?”

I have never touched that hair removal stuff again, and I never will.

Today was a pretty good school and crafting day. I started knitting a new muff during the kids’ piano lessons and have made some headway. I am hoping to have a few muffs done in hopes that people might want to buy them.

I’ve already hung out here too long–I have a ton of class prep and grading to do. Not to mention making some icing.

Time to Get Serious About Making Stuff

Today we got school done and I worked on hymns for Sunday. I also went over to the university library to pick up some books that I’d been offered by one of the librarians who used to be a homeschool mom. I happened to encounter my husband while on the campus and got a brief ride in his golf cart.

This afternoon Lucy and I took off to run a series of errands. We had to pick up laundry detergent (4 very heavy buckets for Walter’s business), then it was on to Walmart for a few items. We decided to check out the $1 jewelry store to see if it offered anything we could use as raw material for making stuff with. In a word: no. Not really.

Then it was on to the hobby store to pick up more materials for our booth. I was very happy to see that many of the beads were half price!

The rest of the evening included supper, practice, and more crafting.

Oh, and I made some pretty awesome pumpkin pudding in my slow cooker on Sunday, so I have added the recipe to my recipe page. Just scroll down to it.


I am trying to get to bed before midnight, so I will make this quick. I did a lot better at playing in church yesterday after really practicing a LOT last week. That was a relief.

We had a full house for supper with three extra college students and that was a lot of fun. College students are very appreciative of my cooking.

Today I had my middle school class and my paragraph class. It was great to see those kids again. I do love my students and am always happy to see them.

Now I’m working on next Sunday’s hymns and doing sewing as usual. I think I passed the 200 mark on my fairy pockets, though I haven’t counted yet. We got our booth application in at the last possible moment, so that means we are now committed. It’s going to be a grueling 18 days!

And yes, at some point I will take photos!

The Banner of the Cross

This is one of the hymns we sang at the hymn sing on Friday. It was printed on an insert in the program because it has been removed from the Baptist hymnal. I hadn’t sung it in years!

The Banner of the Cross

Daniel W. Whittle

There’s a royal banner given for display
To the soldiers of the King;
As an ensign fair we lift it up today,
While as ransomed ones we sing.

Marching on, marching on,
For Christ count everything but loss!
And to crown Him King, we’ll toil and sing,
’Neath the banner of the cross!

Though the foe may rage and gather as the flood,
Let the standard be displayed;
And beneath its folds, as soldiers of the Lord,
For the truth be not dismayed!


Over land and sea, wherever man may dwell,
Make the glorious tidings known;
Of the crimson banner now the story tell,
While the Lord shall claim His own!


When the glory dawns—’tis drawing very near,
It is hastening day by day—
Then before our King the foe shall disappear,
And the cross the world shall sway!