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Monthly Archives: July 2011

Encouragement for Times Like These…

The world is a scary place. So much happening that’s beyond my control. Our country’s debt. Numerous wars. Natural disasters. Even the places that have always been considered safe are not, as evidenced by the murder this past week of the young boy in NYC.

In these days of bad news and turmoil, I find myself turning more often to The Psalms for comfort and encouragement. Here is my Life Application Bible’s description of  the book of Psalms: ‘This great collection of songs and prayers expresses the heart and soul of humanity.” That’s why I love the Psalms. They not only give voice to my moments of celebration when I rejoice and praise God for all He has done for me, but they also help me express my doubts and fears. The Psalms offer comfort and reassurance that no matter what is happening around me, God the Creator is still in control. He has not forgotten me.

Psalm 9:9 – The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.  Those who know Your name will trust in You, for You, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek You

Psalm 32:7 – You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.

Psalm 34:4 – I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.

Psalm 46:1-2a – God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear…

Psalm 54:4 – Surely God is my help; the Lord is the One who sustains me.

Psalm 55:22 – Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall.

May your week be blessed as you rest in the knowledge that God loves you.

The Game of Life

The game of life is a game of boomerangs.
Our thoughts, deeds and words return to us sooner or later with astounding accuracy.
Forence Scovel Shinn, writer, artist and teacher (1871-1940)

Rockin’ Robin – tweet tweet tweet

In the Social Media realm (a very real place so I’ve decided capital letters are required), I’ve gotten comfortable with Facebook, so now I’m trying to get over my fear of Twitter. I’ve had an account for a couple of months and even downloaded a TweetDeck onto my computer. But I think I’ve tweeted a total of 10 times.

Part of my problem is identifying what I think others would find interesting about my life. ‘Got out of bed this morning’ seems a bit of a bore. ‘Had lunch. Salad and a Fiber One bar.’ I could have tweeted that every day for nine months, much to the dismay of my Weight Watcher leader who encourages variety. ‘Eww SNAKE’ would be exciting. But in the garden on my knees fighting weeds, ticks and, evidently, garter snakes, isn’t the time or place I’d think to send a tweet.

I suppose tweeting would be easier if I had a Smart phone. My fear is that the phone will always be smarter than me. Please. I just got my first phone with a camera. Not because that’s what I wanted, but because that’s all that was available. Every time I pick the thing up, I see my fingers pictured on the led display. Still not sure what button makes that happen. I need to read the instruction booklet. You see? Even my not-Smart phone is smarter than me!

The other thing about Twitter is the hashtags. I haven’t quite figured out the code imbedded in that symbol. What does it mean? How do I use it? It’s all a mystery to me. Actually, how the whole internet does what it does seems mysterious and other-worldly to me. But that’s okay. I don’t have to understand the internet to use it. Unfortunately that isn’t the case with Twitter. To navigate that avenue of communication, I need to be able to read the signs and follow the rules of the road.

So for now, I’m not much of a Rockin’ Robin tweeter. Actually I’m more or less mute. Which, I suppose would make me a Dumb Cluck tweeter. Never fear. I conquered FaceBook… Okay, let me rephrase that. What I need to know about FaceBook, I’ve managed to learn. I can do the same with Twitter. Eventually…         @anitakgreene

Zentangle Gallery

Zentangle Adventure

This past weekend I took a Zentangle class from Certified Zentangle teacher, Jeanne Paglio and found a new love! I didn’t have to worry about whether or not I was ‘doing it right’. With Jeanne’s guidance, I put pen to paper and let the design flow.

Here is the first tile I created. Since Zentangle is a new adventure for me and this one reminded me of the sail on a Chinese boat called a junk, I titled it Junket.

The second is titled Jungle. I thought this was the perfect photo op for Ruby, so included several of her blossoms with the 3 1/2 inch tile.

If you would like to know more about this relaxing and fun art form, be sure and visit the official Zentangle website. The gallery there is phenomenal!

Filling the Golden Bowls of Heaven

…the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
Revelation 5:8 

This bowl made of maple is one of my special treasures. Its value lies in the memories represented by the tree from which it was fashioned. As kids, we named all the natural features of the backyard. There were several rocks, but only one ‘Big Rock’. We had several hills, the Green Hill, the Black Hill, the Side Hill and several special trees. This gave us a map of the four acres that was our world and reference points for telling stories .

My bowl came from the Big Maple. A huge tree that sat in the middle of the backyard. I passed many summer days in the cool shade beneath it playing school, dressing dollies, reading books or just dreaming up the next adventure with my siblings and cousins. The tree was a huge benevolent presence seen from every window at the back of the house, including the one above the kitchen sink where Mommy spent many hours cooking and monitoring what was taking place in the backyard. In the spring, we would find pale blue shells tossed from the robin’s nest after the chicks hatched. In the fall, the colors of that maple tree were stunning yellows, oranges and reds.

An old tree, it was a sad day when it started losing branches. Soon, Daddy had no choice but to take the tree down. It was as though the heart of the backyard had been removed, leaving a hole in the skyline, allowing the sun to shine on a grassy knoll that had always been shady. An old friend was lost forever.

At Christmas that year, what a wonderful surprise to find out Mommy had saved wood from the tree and a woodworker had turned bowls for each of us. So many memories are wrapped up in that treasured bowl. From time to time I fill it with different things, but always take them out, never able to settle on what is worthy to be kept in that bowl.

How wonderful to know that God doesn’t have this problem. He knows what treasure He choses to keep in the golden bowls the Apostle John mentions in the Book of Revelation. He stores the prayers of the saints. Your prayers and my prayers. Whether they are the brief whispers uttered while on the run, the deeper intercessions and praises from morning quiet time or the prayers said aloud in unison in worship – all of them are stored in Heaven in golden bowls. Fragrant like incense, God keeps every one. Even those that remain unanswered are not lost. Not one. They are treasured and held in bowls made of gold.

Happy to keep my maple bowl empty, I want to help fill the bowls of Heaven to overflowing. I want the scent of my prayers and the prayers of all the saints, to be so sweet and powerful, I’ll be able to inhale the heady fragrance here on this earth and be blessed. Helping to fill God’s golden bowls – that is my goal. Will you join me?

Slinging Mud

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He who throws mud only loses ground.

Fat Albert, fictional character

Hedgehog Inchie

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My little hedgehog was supposed to be on a card made at Stamp Camp, but my inky fingers left smudges – on both sides. So I didn’t put the card together, I brought the bits and pieces home to create something different. That’s how my little Stampin’ Up hedgehog ended up on an inchie. The butterfly wings are accented with Stickles.

The second inchie was stamped with gold pigment ink and decorated with a die cut flourish and a Dew Drop. 

War Bride

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I have Mommy’s bridal shower scrapbook to look at before I pass it to my youngest sister for her safekeeping. She will be the keeper of the book and the Haviland china bought with the money Mommy’s groom sent his future mother-in-law. He wanted her to buy his ‘honey’ something for the shower. He was in the Army.

I’ve always thought of bridal shower games as fun and a bit silly. From word jumbles to designing toilet paper wedding gowns, the object is to have fun. No one has ever handed me a slip of paper and said, “Write a poem.” My brain would go blank – and I’m a writer. But within the pages of Mommy’s scrapbook are little slips of paper with poems written by the guests at her bridal shower. Actually, she wrote one, as well. Each of her sisters contributed as well as her close friends. They had five or ten minutes to come up with a poem. I’d say they did a super job.

Some of the poems are quite good.

Aurelia met Manley at a hotdog roast;
their friendship bloomed to romance they are now proud to boast…
Her mother gave consent
and they’re going to make a start,
to love honor and cherish
to death do them part.”

They reflect the times.

Said she’d not be a W.A.A.C. or a W.A.V. E.
A S.P.A.R and neither a WOW
She’d rather feed chickens and hens
Or farm it behind her dad’s plough
When that soldier came out of the South
Oh oh should I shut my big mouth?
She forgot farm and family
And sings vow with Manley
“We’re in the army now.
I’m not behind the plough”.

(S.P.A.R. -US Coast Guard women’s reserve disbanded in 1946. W.O.W – I have no idea, neither does Mommy).

And a few were funny.

Aurelia and Manley are going to wed-
“I bet they’ll be nervous” her mother said.
They’ll shake and they’ll shiver
Or get red as liver
And tremble from head to foot.
But as soon as it’s over-
They’ll be ‘sitting in clover’
When Manley gives her
— the – kiss!

My Aunt Yvonne wrote this last one.

These personal snippets of family history are windows into another time and place, shedding light on the lives of women celebrating a momentous occasion as they cope with the changes war brings to the home front.

 (The shower was held April 30, 1943. Mommy and Manley married May 19, 1943. He was killed September 1944 in France. Mommy married again and had five kids. I’m one of them.)

Denim Coaster

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My guys wear out jeans at an alarming rate. I iron on patches to extend the life of the jeans, but still I have a stack that I’d like to recycle into useful items. I found this easy craft on Polka Dot Pineapple and set about creating a coaster for my desk.

Cut the long thick seams from the legs of the jeans. Using fabric glue, roll the seam in a tight spiral applying glue as you go.

From a cork tile, I cut a circle of the same size and glued it to the bottom. It adds another layer of protection and keeps the coaster from slipping.

My coaster is 3 3/4″ diameter. The size for a mug. A much larger size could be rolled to use as a trivet.







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