Thunderstorms

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Thunderstorms

It starts with a low rumble
As the sun shines brightly
Off in the distance clouds gather
First white, and then gray turning black
Ominous and foreboding
Rain pours down from the heavens
Darkness sets in
Wind blows and hail begins
Trees bent cowering in the storm
The clouds begin to scatter
First black, then gray then white
Foreboding replaced with stillness
Light shows the way
Rain turns to  mist as the rumble fades
Trees stand tall no longer afraid
As the thunderstorm goes its way
 
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Before and After

Patty B:

Here are my pictures before and after the painting. As you can see it looks like a different house all together. I am enjoying the new colors and the new lay out.

Originally posted on A Photo Journal Of Special Moments:

Our painting is done and everything is put back.  I wanted something totally different and neutral.

After much work I have a new color and new rooms.  Now I can rest and enjoy the new look. Until the next project that is.

The first set is the den and now my home office / sewing room.

Before

After

GE DIGITAL CAMERA

My living room.

Before

After

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Fresh Color ~ Fresh Start

house_paint_sI decided to have my living room and den painted and to rearrange those rooms into a different look.  It has been years since my house had a make over and I decided this would be the year.

I need a fresh start.  I am unable to  move nor do I want to at this time. This became the opportunity for me change my life, starting with my home.

“There is a time to grieve and a time to dance” {Ecclesiastes 3:4}  There is indeed a time under each season for us to grow.  A time to grieve, a time to heal and a time to begin again.

Now is the time for me to dance ~ to heal ~ to begin again as I take that giant leap, moving ahead with my memories kept lovingly tucked in my heart while I lay the past to rest ~ tearing the past down and building up a new life.  {“A time to tear down and a time to build up” Ecclesiastes 3:3}

The problem is I am no longer 3o and definitely not 20! What was I thinking??!!

It all started with the decision to plant a few shrubs, a new picture or two and the rearranging of the upstairs so my daughter can have a “living room”.

Tom and I did most of the work ourselves over the years but then we were younger and more energetic.  So I decided to hire someone to do the painting for me. 

Sounded like a good idea until I realized I still needed to pack everything up and move furniture and boxes to the kitchen, my bedroom and upstairs.  

Since I had plenty of time from when I made the arrangements I kept putting it off and as most will laugh as you know the time is here before we know it.  I had procrastinated long enough, P-day is near (Paint Day!)

p2So for the next week or two I may be AWOL.  The painter comes Monday and since I am going a bit lighter it may take up to three 3 days to get enough coats to cover my nice deep country colors, not to mention patching up 20 years of holes from new pictures, rearranging and dogs eating my walls – yes you read right! 

And of coarse I need to put everything back.  Thankfully I do have help, my good friend will be stopping by to  help today or tomorrow and as my daughter said, we will end up talking and laughing while she does all the work!

During all my “projects” from my honey do list I have had many people help me out either doing it for me or by teaching me how to become a Mrs. Fix It.  My sister and brother in law have really stepped in and words cannot express how much I appreciate their help during this past year.

With mixed emotions I look forward to the day when I am done and have rearranged not only my living room and den but my life to be fresh and new.

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Swamp Ghosts by Marcia Meara – book review

Swamp GhostSwamp Ghosts by Marcia Meara

I would like to introduce Marcia Meara. She is a native Floridian and lives in the Orlando area. She enjoys reading, writing, and the great outdoors which she includes in her writing. She also has 2 dachshunds which is something else we have in common.

Marcia has two other books under her wing, “Wake-Robin Ridge”, which is available on amazon.com and her book of poetry Summer Magic: Poems of Life and Love”.  Marcia will soon be working on “Hunter”, the sequel to Swamp Ghosts, but is currently focusing on the sequel to Wake-Robin Ridge, which features a ten-year old boy making his way alone through the wilderness of the North Carolina mountains.

Marcia has two blogs Who’s Your Granny, primarily focusing on gardening & wildlife, or Bookin’ It, which is all about books…  “reviews, cover art, authors, literary quotes, and anything else related to the world of readin’ and writin”. Personally I can tell you I have learned quite a bit from Bookin’ It.

We have become friends through the wonderful world of blogging. I had the privilege to be one of her beta readers, giving her feedback as the story of Maggie Devlin and Gunnar Wolfe progressed.   Actually I was captivated when I first read the prologue:

“The car bumped and rocked as he drove down the rutted dirt road, steering by a wash of silver light from the gibbous moon. Only a few more days until it was full, making the road nearly as bright as it would be by day, but not tonight. Tonight, there was just enough light to see that the way ahead was clear—except for the tall grasses and weeds, indicating no one had driven this way in a long time—and that was all the visibility he needed. There was little chance of meeting anyone out here along such a remote stretch of river, but he wasn’t going to tempt fate by turning on his headlights. Not with what he was carrying in his trunk on this summer night.”

Swamp Ghost is full of suspense and romance which takes you deep into the swamps of Florida. If you like CSI, Agatha Christie and Mary Higgins Clark you are sure to enjoy Swamp Ghost.

Maggie Devlin is the owner of Eco Tours who meets Gunnar Wolfe a wildlife photographer whose newest project is to shot the rarest birds of Florida’s wetlands. He hires Maggie to take him into the remote rivers of Central Florida in search of that one photo opportunity that will make his name known in the photography world. Little did they know when they first met they would not only find romance but a serial killer on the loose.

Marcia’s book is balanced by the right imagery of suspense and romance to keep us interested and on the edge of our seat. Marcia sticks to the facts to get her point across and encourages us to use our imagination that puts us right into the book along with Maggie, Gunner and the true to life characters of Riverbend

A Serial Killer, Mystery, Suspense and Romance is what you get when you read Swamp Ghosts. Just when you think you have figured it out there is another twist and a surprise turn that will lead you down a different path into solving the crime. The book will keep the most ardent CSI fan guessing.

If you are looking for a book to keep you on the edge of your seat then this would be it for your summer reading pleasure.

 

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Remembering Dad

Dad and PattyFather’s Day ~ 2014

Before I was born my father had wanted to name me Patrick,  assuming I would be boy.  Since my brother and sister were already named for his father and closest sister, he wanted to give his next child a name he always liked.

After I was born there was a uproar about my name though. My father decided Patricia would be just as good a name as Patrick. Besides he had always liked the nick name Patsy. But my grandmother had wanted to name me Elizabeth Grace after her little girl who died in infancy.

We all know who won the argument and I was called Patricia. The story goes that my grandmother had come up to help my mother before and after I was born. After it was decided on what my name would be she got so mad at my mother and not only refusing to talk to her, she would not even hold me. Actually I have a picture somewhere of her holding me with a scowl on her face.

My mother told me that she was alright with the name Elizabeth, it was the middle name that had her in a tizzy. Grace…such a pretty name right?

My mother just in this country for a little over 1 year, was still learning the English language, thought my grandmother wanted to name me Elizabeth “Crazy”. She thought Grace was the word for crazy! Of coarse my father loved to tell the story and would add, “little did we know the name would have fit Patty perfectly”! Once my mother understood she told me she always regretted the misunderstanding of not realizing why the name meant so much to my grandmother.

My poor mother, although she was blamed for me not being Elizabeth Grace, it was in fact my dad who put his foot down and wanted his Patricia. I quickly became Patty, although I was never told why I was never called Patsy.  On occasion he would call me Patsy, and I might add he was the only one who was allowed to do so. He did not call me that often, but when he did it was always with a joke, a smile and a twinkle in his eyes.

He died suddenly when I was 14, four days after his birthday. I never had the chance to speak with him adult to adult, or ask him about his life as a young boy leaving home to help support his mother and sisters. When I started to learn about World War II in school he would fill in the gaps from the history books, teaching me “what the history books would not”. Those were some of the best talks I had with him.

Dad saw things during his tour in Europe in 1944-1945 that we will never be able to comprehend. Those things had haunted him all of his life. He never again found the peace in his life that was lost on the battlefields of Belgium and the Rhineland.

Growing up we had good times and bad times. Through it all we knew we were loved. I had the privilege of having him for my father, although I only knew him for such a short time.

He was far from perfect; he was a man who lived through many difficulties, being a young boy during the Depression, he had left home to support his family. He also witnessed the horrors of the brutality of what one man was capable of doing. Some of the problems and trials were of his own choosing, yet he was a gentle man, a caring man, and a man of courage. Dad was just a troubled soul – trying to find his place in this world.

Dad held many jobs one of his first jobs as a young boy was with the CCC.  After that he also worked a short time with the Ringling Brothers and Bailey Circus, if memory serves me right he told me his job was to help set up the tents.  He was a diesel mechanic and a draftsman. But his most memorable career would be his service to his country for 25 years, with the United States Army.

And that is how I like to think of him. As a soldier and a father who loved and cared for his family the best way he knew how.

Happy Father’s Day Dad ~ “Sarge”!

dad 1

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Sing Sing Sing by Benny Goodman

I grew up listening to the great Big Bands of the 30′s and 40′s.  My father had them on the old 38′s and on his reel to reel recorder similar to the picture I found on google.

My fondest memories are Sunday afternoons coming in from playing outside all morning to the tunes of the greatest musicians; Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller and Harry James just to name a few.

Sing, Sing, Sing is one of my favorites and to jump start the week, turn your volume up and enjoy the fantastic sounds of yesteryear when music was music!

Later on in the afternoon with the music turned off and we would watch John Wayne defeat the German or Japanese army single handed! ;)

 

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It’s Time For Christians to Get “Back to the Basics”

Patty B:

I am in the midst of three writing projects right now and have not had much time to write for my blog, so I am a bit behind at the moment, which for many of you who know me, know this is nothing new!! :) As I was reading my blog subscriptions this morning, Ellie did a review on “Back to the Basics, A Guide for Christian Living”. I have not read it yet but I do follow Joe’s blog. I trust his book is full of the same insights he puts into his blog articles. So another book for your summer reading pleasure that I am sure will be used all year long. ENJOY!

Originally posted on New Creations Ministries:

Have you ever opened a brand new box of Godiva chocolates and after tasting the first one thought, “Oooo, this is so good!”  Then after tasting another professed, “And this one’s even better!” and yet another . . .  “Actually, this one’s the best,” eventually deciding each was actually your favorite?  Well that’s what I  experienced after opening and reviewing each chapter of Back to the Basics: A Guide for Christian Living by Pastor Joe Quatrone, Jr. It truly is as addictive as chocolate. Each chapter captured my attention, drawing me in, becoming my favorite. I found it to be a hard book to put down once I began reading it.COVER

Compiled in an easy-to-read format with short chapters, it is chocked full of thought-provoking questions typically asked by Believers and non-Believers alike: Why  must there be consequences to my actions? What are the benefits of waiting for God’s Will and how would I even know what that is?  How can I  stand strong in the faith…

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Busy Busy Busy

 Hello everyone!  I have had a “good” busy month.  I had a brilliant idea to plant some shrubs and plants in the front of my house after my boss and his wife gave me a hydrangea bush. 

First I had to dig out all the grass and weeds, get rid of the stones and rocks, lay top soil and then plant and put in more top soil and mulch.  For a city gal who likes the great indoors this was a large job. If you click on the picture to enlarge you can  see what I have done.

So one morning in the beginning of May after I received the Hydrangea I thought oh why not fix up the front of the house, it doesn’t look to hard!! That should have been my first warning.  What started out to be a weekend job turned into a month-long job.  But I am finished now and the shrubs and plants are now planted.  Next is to decide what flowers to put in.

Instead of laying wood or timber for a border I decided to plant Hostas plants to use as my border.  Now when I purchased the bulbs I assumed they would have some growth and was disappointed that they were only bulbs and lots and lots of roots.  I pray that they come up. I am not good with starting plants and they usually die.  So in the front eventually will be full, healthy looking Hostas that I posted here.

In a perfect garden they should look like this: This weekend I will add some more ferns to the side of the house and the Lily of the Valleys I purchased this past week, along with a few flowers to bring some color to the front of the house. I guess what they say is true, you are never finished with your garden once you get it planted!

I will admit that all of this hard work was good therapy and for the first time in a year I actually feel energetic and clear minded.  Hard work is indeed the best medicine for what troubles you.

So although far from finished I think I am off to a good start.

Now I am ready to get back to blogging and writing – and my next project with the  help of my brother in law is to seal around the stone blocks that the winter snow and salt damaged. I am becoming a Mrs Fix It – Tom would be surprised but pleased!

The Hydrangea Bush my boss and his wife gave me for Administrative Day and what started it all!!

The Hydrangea Bush my boss and his wife gave me for Administrative Day and what started it all!!

The new table and chairs my daughter put together with a little help from mom. She did a pretty a good job!

The new table and chairs my daughter put together with a little help from mom. She did a pretty a good job! A nice place to relax after all that hard work.

The start of my ferns, I have two more plants to transplant this weekend.

The start of my ferns, I have two more plants to transplant this weekend.

The left side of the front of my house.

The left side of my front steps.  Imagine 4 hostas plants creating a beautiful border. ;)

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I’d Like Teach The World To Sing

hands-on-world1Remember the song from the old Coke commercials in the 1970′s?  I have always enjoyed the song, “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing” that is was based on and as I thought what to write about Bloggers for Peace for this month that song kept popping up in my head.

What if we would teach the world to sing?  Instead of shouting angry words we would share songs that touch our hearts.  And instead of fighting we would dance together.  How about replacing living in fear of strangers, to living in perfect harmony with our neighbors?

So what can we do? We can put away our hatred, our anger and our prejudices and instead reach out and teach the world to sing in perfect harmony. What is your song to teach? Is it love, compassion or respect?  Whatever your “song” is, show it to others and watch the world begin to sing together.  Remember it starts with one person, it can also start with one song!

 

peace-banner-bloggers4peace

 

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The Bond by Paula McCoy Williams

The Bond

The Bond by Paula McCoy Williams  also available on kindle

The Bond by Paula McCoy Williams ~
Although based a true story of courage through cancer, it is a fictional story about a young lady named Adele. This story can be about you, your mother or friend. Many of us either know someone who has had cancer or we have ourselves are survivors of cancer. Each one of us has a story to tell. Each story will make us cry and laugh. Each story will bring back our own memories of what we or our loved ones had or is going through. Each story will also bring us hope.

“The Bond”  is a novella about a young woman Adele who had everything going for her when she hears those words, “you have cancer”. The story is about her journey through hearing those dreadful words and about her struggles after she is diagnosed to eventually the end of her journey when she finds hope.

Whether you or someone you love is going through cancer or you are in a difficult situation, I hope by reading “The Bond” you will find the strength you need to get through the difficult days and find the hope to build a new life as a survivor.

I met Paula through Chemo Angels (click on the link for more information on this wonderful organization that serves cancer patients around the world) and we have become fast friends. I asked her to write a little something about the book and about what gave her the inspiration to write it.

“The Bond is a story about a substitute teacher, Adele that enjoys a strong bond with her students and her life with her husband and her dreams. It is about her struggles through a lot of illness before she is finally diagnosed with breast cancer.

I drew my inspiration for the character Adele from my own experience while I was working as a substitute teacher and the strong bond I developed with the students with learning disabilities. It was my experience I put into Adele who could understand her students, like I did mine.

The character is based loosely on my husband and my own experience with breast cancer. I did have a bit of trouble being diagnosed with breast cancer after going through a great deal before finally getting diagnosed. I also went through a rough time with treatment.

The idea about helping others with a gift box of things that they need while they are going through cancer is something that I have been thinking about for a long time. It is something that I long to do as I long to find a way to help others going through cancer and the little things along the way mean so much. I don’t have a way to take on that kind of project yet but it is on my list of something that I want to be able to do.

Writing verses for cards is another thing that I long to do. I love to write and have loved the written word since I was a kid. I dream of being able to craft something that will bring sunshine to someone’s day whether you are going through cancer or just going through a difficult time.

It is my hope that the readers will be able to understand how important it is for kids to bond with their teachers and also how important it is to keep seeking medical attention if you feel that something is not right with your body. Time is of the essence and it could mean that you will get diagnosed at an earlier stage if you listen to your body.

One final thought, cancer does change a person but that doesn’t mean that just because someone is going through cancer, they don’t need their friends. Adele found out just what true friendship is when she needed her friends close to her during this time. Both Adele and her husband found that their good support system would be essential for Adele to become a cancer survivor.” By Paula McCoy Williams

 

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