Monday, February 26


This post is in memory of my Gram. Her name is Hilda, and she would have been 79 today.

Gram fought a long battle with emphysema, brought on by her 50+ years of smoking. She never beat around the bush when it came to speaking her mind. And while this cost her many relationships, it was one of the things that endeared her to me. She swore like a sailor, but had a heart for as big as the universe for me & my kids.

Gram was my best friend, and my biggest supporter. This meant she actually would hold her tongue and let me mess up & learn a life lesson for myself. I don't ever remember hearing, "I told you so," and there was plenty of opportunity, let me tell you.

I spent her last 5 days in the hospital with her, only coming home to shower, change, and head back again. I was blessed to be able to pray with her, for her, and over her. I watched good & evil duke it out over her in the ICU room, and it made the hair on my neck stand up. I led her in the sinners prayer, while she was unresponsive, because I didn't know if I'd ever get the chance again. I can only hope she was hearing me, and calling on Jesus for herself.

Gram died a day later, in the very early morning hours, when the sun was peeking over the horizon. I was home in time to shower & dress for church. I suppose I was on auto-pilot. I don't remember anything else about that day, except getting a huge, crushing hug from Geri Duffy. Apparently I looked like I needed a hug, because I hadn't told a soul.

I could write an infinite number of posts about Gram, and I hope I can bring myself to someday. There was never a time that Gram wasn't intricately involved in my life, much to the chagrin of my parents, I'm sure.

Gram meant the world to me, and I still try to do things in such a way that would make her proud. I can still hear her saying, "be still, Tammy Lynn," during our shared naptime when I was a kid. I'd toss & turn, just about drive her nuts on the bed beside me, and she'd say that one short sentence. I'd fall right off to sleep, and wake later to the smell of her cooking dinner.

Those, and so many others, are such precious memories. I hope they never fade.

I miss you Gram.

Friday, February 23

Cool Ride! Take 2

Again, I'm trying to post pics in Blogger.
This is the "cool ride" I posted about earlier, but readers were unable to view.

My grandpa had a Bug like this when I was a kid. I remember sitting on his lap and steering as he worked the gas & brakes. I also remember curling up in the little cubby hole behind the rear seat and napping, while he drove us home from a fishing trip.

Thursday, February 22

Trouble with Pictures

Please comment if you are having trouble viewing the pictures from the previous posts. I'm not sure what the problem is. I don't remember having trouble like this before blogger beta.

Monday, February 19


Would you head over to the new blog, and let Jodi & I know what you think of our new venture? Comments are always exciting (hint-hint)!

Now what?!

what in the world has happened to my blog? there must be little gremlins running around blogger tonight!

Tuesday, February 13

Retreat Pics

The yurt greeted me on Friday.

A beautiful sunset Saturday night.

The sauna (left), and massage studio (right).

No cooking, all weekend. Just fresh fruits & veggies, almonds, and cheese for every meal.

Just me and my woodstove, and my coffee, and my endless supply of firewood.

Y is for Yurt.

Some of you may know of the chaos that my family has endured since late last fall. While I won't go into detail here, let me just say that in retrospect I'm not so sure why I was stressed out.

Throughout it all I was watching God work. Quite often it's a "hind sight is 20/20" thing, but not this time. I was totally aware of Him throughout it all, watching, in awe of His presence. Thankful for His provision of wisdom, patience, and comfort.

So why the stress? It's just what we do, isn't it. The waters get choppy & we tense up, question motives, jump to conclusions, etc. We feel sorry for ourselves & want to bail.

Well, I stuck it out (I think). I hung in there, saw it through, and then bailed. I am so thankful for a husband who respects my need to vanish. While he held down the fort, I retreated north. Not far, but distance enough to feel secluded & disconnected.

I envisioned a weekend away, quiet, carefree, relaxed. It was all of those things & more. I hiked when the notion hit me. I ate if I was hungry, not because the clock said it was mealtime. I read, I listened to cd's, I enjoyed the sauna (twice), I nearly fell asleep during a deep-tissue massage (the owner is a masseuse), I worked 3 crossword puzzles!

My constant companion was the wind. Even the slightest breeze tickled the canvas of the yurt, and I wished I could record the sound. It would make for an ambient soundtrack for my everyday life at home. For now I will have to settle for hearing it in my memory.

I found that the yurt even offered me its own version of mothering. I awoke every two to three hours to feed the woodstove. Before dawn on Saturday, I woke to find it was 42 degrees along the west wall! So I stuffed the stove, pulled on a stocking hat, and cocooned in the down comforter. I slept like a rock! Not once did I resent that stove. I appreciated the warmth it offered and the attention that it required. I loved hauling wood in from the pile and stacking it, just so. I think a woodstove in my kitchen would be a nice addition!

Sunday afternoon came quickly, and while I was missing my family, I found it difficult to leave the yurt. I lingered, tidying up, loading my gear, shutting down the woodstove. Then it occurred to me that I was feeling sadness over nothing. The yurt will be there for future visits, and I had many hours of enjoyment there. I knew I'd be back, with Steve and by myself, there was no doubt. So I took one last look, hiked back to the Jeep, and drove away, knowing that I had just been blessed.