A Quiet Day

Today has been a day of school. I spent the morning preparing for my classes and doing school with Jasper, and my afternoon teaching.

I talked to Flynn and got his report on his first day on the new job. Apparently due to someone’s unexpected absence, he got to spend the whole day reading manuals. Let’s hope tomorrow is more interesting!

O, the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus

This is the hymn I was working so hard on this week. It is one of my all-time favorite hymns–in fact it was the processional at my wedding. (I am the only person I know who used a hymn in a minor key for a processional.) I had never tried to play a minor key on my autoharp before. Finding the chords wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, but the fingering was so much more difficult than playing a major chord. So I played it rather badly for church this morning, but I’ll keep practicing until I’ve got it down, because I love it so much.

O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus

by Samuel T. Francis

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward to Thy glorious rest above!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, spread His praise from shore to shore!
How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth never, nevermore!
How He watches o’er His loved ones, died to call them all His own;
How for them He intercedeth, watcheth o’er them from the throne!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, love of every love the best!
’Tis an ocean full of blessing, ’tis a haven giving rest!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, ’tis a heaven of heavens to me;
And it lifts me up to glory, for it lifts me up to Thee!



Chai Party Day

Like most days, today had its ups and downs. Lucy came with me to Walmart this morning and helped with the chai party shopping. Then, after coming home and putting away food, we left again for another errand as we both had some things we needed at the drug store.

By the time we returned home again, the guys were all out working and my poor arthritic ankles and knees were in agony. John came over to help Mercy with the cleaning and Lucy did the baking, while I took pain meds and a nap.

I didn’t get to sewing, but I did get some other stuff done. I had to spend a fair amount of time practicing because one of the hymns I’m playing tomorrow is quite challenging to play. Well, at least for a greenhorn like me.

This is the first sunny weekend we’ve had, and the first that Walter was able to work at the lake properties. He took both boys with him as he knew it would be a lot of work. After that they still had to mow the jungle-like lawn at the church.

One of the things I did was to make a massive batch of my special spiced chai mix and package up to sell at the chai party as a fundraiser for Lucy’s mission trip. Lucy also baked cakes in mugs to sell. (We have a seemingly infinite supply of mugs.) There weren’t many takers at first, but we did end up selling several bags of chai mix and mugs. And of course the rest of the chai mix will keep until Lucy and Emma finally have their garage sale.

Sticker Shock

Well, since the garage sale got postponed (poor Emma actually ended up in the hospital), today was a lot more leisurely than I had expected, and it’s a good thing, because my allergies and arthritis have both really been getting me down. We did school and I practiced autoharp quite a bit because I’ve been so busy trying to get caught up on other things.

This afternoon Lucy and I ran an errand. I had one of those $10 coupons from Kohl’s, so I dropped her off there to look for a blouse while I went to the health food store to pick up a few things. When I went back to Kohl’s to find Lucy, I felt kind of bad for leaving her there. That store is way, way out of our league. I never, ever darken the doors except to spend one of those coupons and I always make a beeline for the kitchen section.

So there was poor Lucy, looking at clothes that were far beyond our budget even with the $10 off. Some of the prices were almost comical to me. I wear a lot of infinity scarves, so I checked them out there and they were $28–and no nicer than the ones that I paid $5 for. Tops that I mentally priced at $15 cost $60. Lucy ended up getting something that she did really need but I’m not sure it was worth it even with the $10 off. I realized there’s a reason I do almost all of my shopping at Walmart!

It’s going to be a busy weekend so maybe I should get some sleep!

It’s That Pollen Time of Year

It rained pollen last night. It must have been quite a downpour. When I went outside to run an errand this morning, the car was covered in a layer of yellowish-green pollen–which also explains why I’ve been feeling so poorly the last couple of days. Anyway, I got in the car and turned on the wipers to remove the pollen. About 30 seconds later, as I pulled out of the driveway, it started misting and the dry pollen on the windscreen turned into a sticky sludge that made it very difficult to see where I was going. It was a good 10 minutes before enough drizzle had hit the windshield to clean that goop away. I hate spring so much.

The two main things on my mind today were my class and getting ready for Lucy’s garage sale. Two of my students were unable to make it today, so class felt very under-attended. Then right afterwards, Lucy found out that the garage sale is going to have to be postponed because her friend Emma is sick. Lucy had just finished making a big batch of mug-cakes to sell! We will see if we can sell them at the chai party, which we can now have this weekend since we won’t be having a garage sale!

Meanwhile, Flynn signed a lease for an apartment in Colorado and hopefully has his stuff moved in by now. He still has a few days to get settled in before he starts work on Monday, and Mary is there to help him too. Her trip was planned before Flynn knew how soon he’d be moving there!

Tomorrow, maybe I’ll get some sewing done on my own dresses for the orphanage in Africa!

Germany or Bust!

I thought I’d share this here since I know there are people who will be interested and who aren’t on Facebook. I believe I’ve mentioned that three of the four offspring who are currently living at home are planning to go on mission trips this summer. Today I am focusing on Lucy, since she is most limited in her efforts to raise money for her trip to Frankfurt, Germany this summer.

She and her friend Emma will be going for three weeks to work with a church in Frankfurt. They will be helping as needed with church programs but as yet the pastor hasn’t given them many details except that they might be involved in teaching conversational English. I know Lucy is hoping they will also have a chance to be involved with homeless and disadvantaged people, because that’s where her heart is.

One of the things the girls are doing to raise money is having a garage sale this weekend, so if you’re local and have anything to contribute, they’d be very grateful! The sale will be on Friday and Saturday.

Lucy has also designed a T-Shirt which she is selling as a fundraiser, but it only will be produced if there are enough orders.

 Germany shirt

You can check it out here:


We are getting shirts for our family because we are proud of our German heritage! Some of you may not know that Walter’s paternal grandparents were German missionaries to China. His dad, born and raised in China, came to seminary here in the USA and returned to Germany with his American wife, where they served as missionaries at a Bible School until their semi-retirement. Walter, obviously grew up in Germany and went through the German school system. So we are all thrilled that Lucy felt drawn to serve in Germany this summer.

She does have a site where people can contribute directly to her trip, and that link is here:  http://www.gofundme.com/oohgoo

She is also offering her services for odd jobs from cleaning to babysitting so she can earn more money for her trip. She doesn’t have transportation, but if you want to hire her I’m sure we can work something out!

Not Excelling

Several years ago now, I knew a lady who was about the age that I am presently. One thing that she said repeatedly was that she didn’t want to participate in any activity that required her to learn a new skill. She figured she had enough skills to last her the rest of her life.

At the time, I thought it was funny. I couldn’t imagine the day would ever come when I would not want to learn a new skill.

Today: “Oh, hello, Day when I do not want to learn a new skill!”

The fact is that I had to learn not one but three new skills in order to do what I had committed myself to do this evening. Several months ago, I rashly mentioned to our writers’ group leader that I had attended a class at Realm Makers featuring a method of evaluating fiction that I thought was very helpful. She in turn asked me to give a presentation on it at this month’s meeting (tonight).

The first thing I had to do was get permission from the originator of the material. That was easy. I already had that skill.

Then I had to learn how to create a graph using Excel. It was a little scary, but there is plenty of help on the internet and I at least was able to create something that could pass for a graph from a distance if need be, and ta da! I had a new skill.

Recently (like maybe Sunday or yesterday) I realized that I should probably use Power Point to present the material. The only problem was that I have successfully avoided learning anything at all about Power Point for as long as Power Point has been in existence. And suddenly, here I was being forced to learn something! Again, Google was my friend. I hate to brag, but I actually created a 36-slide Power Point presentation on my first try. I had yet another new skill, and I was pretty smug about it.

I asked to borrow our church’s projector so I could present my Power Point slideshow at the meeting tonight, and a fine young man dropped it off at my house yesterday. That’s when I realized that I had no idea how to operate the projector and hook it up to my computer and all that stuff. I’ll admit, at that point I felt a little beleaguered. I was tired of learning stuff.

Then there was the whole part where my grandiose plans of having multiple examples to show fell through because I just did not have time.

Walter showed me how to operate the projector on his lunch break today and I worked on my presentation until about 10 minutes before I had to leave for the library. I got there and the room was empty, but to my delight the screen was down and the library’s projector was already set up so I didn’t even have to use the one I had brought!

Vickie is sick and was unable to come, so Bill came and he called in a library employee to show us how to turn on the lights, and I asked her to show me how to work the projector and it was actually pretty easy.

For a long time Bill and I just sat there. Then Barbara came. I was thinking it was a big mistake to print 15 copies of the handout I had created. Eventually I think we had 12 people.

I totally botched the presentation. I don’t know what got into me. I talked too fast, I didn’t say all the clever things I had planned to say, and I rushed through everything. I was afraid it would take too long to go through 36 slides. Not with me at the wheel! I zoomed through in something ridiculous like 20 minutes. Everybody got to go home early, even though Bill stalled for me both before and after I spoke! I have no idea if anyone cared at all about my topic or if they were just being very polite.

There’s a really good reason why I don’t take myself too seriously. You can’t take yourself too seriously if you keep humiliating yourself in public.  I handle it a lot better than I used to. After all, I worked really, really hard on this presentation. I got the information out there even if I did it poorly. Tomorrow I’ll have a ton of other stuff to do, so there’s no point in beating myself up over what happened tonight!

Oh, I guess I should mention the good thing that happened. The one example that I actually got done was using Edgar Allen Poe’s masterful short story, “The Cask of Amontillado.” No one else in the room was familiar with it. I’m pretty sure that several of them went home determined to find it and read it. Yay me.


I didn’t post last night because I actually forgot. And it’s a pity too, because yesterday contained three significant events, which I am recording here for future reference, because this blog is our primary repository of information.

The first thing that happened is that Flynn completed his epic journey to Colorado Springs, driving a U-Haul and pulling his car. He is staying with a friend while apartment hunting. Please pray that he finds a place soon because he wants to settle in before he starts his new job on Monday.

The second thing that happened is that a guy from AT&T actually showed up and actually found the break in our phone line and actually fixed it. So, we have phone service again for the first time in nearly a month!

The third thing was that Walter went to pick up our new fridge, got it home, and discovered that it would not fit through the kitchen door! He ended up having to remove the fridge doors and then Lucy and Jasper helped him get it up the stairs and into the kitchen, where he reassembled it. It is bigger than our old fridge and seems to be keeping things pretty cold.

So, between that excitement and the fact that I was busy trying to prepare for a presentation I’m doing today, I forgot to blog.

O Happy Day

O Happy Day, That Fixed My Choice

Philip Doddridge

O happy day, that fixed my choice
On Thee, my Savior and my God!
Well may this glowing heart rejoice,
And tell its raptures all abroad.


Happy day, happy day, when Jesus washed my sins away!
He taught me how to watch and pray, and live rejoicing every day
Happy day, happy day, when Jesus washed my sins away.

O happy bond, that seals my vows
To Him Who merits all my love!
Let cheerful anthems fill His house,
While to that sacred shrine I move.


’Tis done: the great transaction’s done!
I am the Lord’s and He is mine;
He drew me, and I followed on;
Charmed to confess the voice divine.


Now rest, my long divided heart,
Fixed on this blissful center, rest.
Here have I found a nobler part;
Here heavenly pleasures fill my breast.


High heaven, that heard the solemn vow,
That vow renewed shall daily hear,
Till in life’s latest hour I bow
And bless in death a bond so dear.



A Bee Class Museum New Fridge RAINY Kind of Day

Today had an interesting start. Jasper and I were up at 6:00, getting ready and eating breakfast before leaving for his bee keeping class. The only problem (and it was a big problem) was that we didn’t know where the class was. Last week, I had emailed the man who teaches it and asked for directions, but since the class was canceled he never sent the directions. Yesterday, I asked again, but I had still not received an answer by 7:00 this morning, and I knew we had to just leave, in faith believing that either the man would text or email me, or that I’d be able to get him on the phone at some point.

When we were about halfway to the town that I knew the man lived near, I pulled over and called him. He gave me directions and I followed them through a very rural area and we ended up at the right place at the right time. The class was in a shed, so I walked up with Jasper and got him situated. I had intended on sitting there with him, but the shed appeared to be full of adult students, so I slunk back to the car and rested for a while. It was raining steadily and had been all morning. When I saw action around the shed, I got out to see what was going on, only to find that I really should have stayed. Oh well.

The exciting part was that everyone was getting at least some of their bee equipment. Jasper got a super with 10 frames and now we need to paint the outside. He also got gloves, a smoker, and a hive tool. At the next class he will get bees! Yikes! We have a lot to do and get ready for before then.

While he was in the class. I was checking Facebook on my phone (as one does) and I saw that our blacksmith friend would be demonstrating at a museum today. This is the smith whom we normally see every spring weekend at the faire, but of course there is no faire this year. The museum in question is one that I’ve known about and wanted to go to for years, and we were more than halfway there.

When the bee class ended before lunch, I decided that Jasper and I would have a lunch and museum date. We had a nice lunch and then drove to the museum in the steady downpour. From the road, the museum doesn’t look like much–two or three buildings maybe, and they seem to be themed on farm machinery. Well, it turned out there were quite a few buildings.

We made a beeline for the blacksmith shed and stood with our umbrella’s in the pouring rain watching Shadowhawk and his female apprentices work the forges.

3-21-15 Shadowhawk at mill

Then we wandered around from building to building. Because of my arthritis, we didn’t get to all of them, but we did see a barn full of horse paraphernalia.

3-21-15 saddles

There was also a lovely little chapel with a bell you can ring for peace.

3-21-15 chapel

Inside the chapel was a relative of the autoharp, a “mandolin harp” from 1900.

3-21-15 Mandolin harp

We went through a couple more buildings before finally going to the “main” building that we were supposed to go through first. There were rooms full of laundry equipment, kitchen supplies and then . . . my heart skipped a beat. The next room was all musical instruments, mostly of the folk variety and many, many of them were antique zithers and autoharp precursors.

3-21-15 more instruments

3-21-15 stringed instruments

I wish I had been able to get closer to them! And afterwards I had a nice little chat with the docents about folk music and instruments. For a moment there they thought I was a famous autoharpist, but I soon set them straight. I think they must have heard of my teacher!

Anyway, it was a fascinating visit and I can’t wait to take the whole family back when the weather is nice. My only criticism of the museum is that there is very little labeling or explanation of what things are and how they are used. I have no idea if we guessed correctly on some of those things!

While all this was going on, Flynn and his two buddies were busy loading his U-Haul truck without our help. He ended up deciding not to leave for Colorado until tomorrow morning.

After supper Walter and I went refrigerator shopping after doing plenty of research online in the last week. The poor salesman found himself stuck with a couple who did not want anything fancy. No stainless steel, no “French doors,” not even an icemaker! We also didn’t want to pay for delivery, so Walter will be picking it up himself with our trailer on Monday. It will be nice to have our first new refrigerator. I really hope it lasts a long time.

Parting Shot:

 3-21-15 zither

One of the prettier instruments at the museum.