Monday, March 30, 2009

Guess Who I Met???

Happy Monday morning! Life is GOOOD!!! I have been given the OK to run again! I had my third round of rabies shots this morning...and that precious little doctor gave me a darlin' pink Barbie bandaid!!! I LOVE pink and grew up playing with Barbies! I have just a minute to post before I'm out again! This time to the gym for strength training. I've got a lot of ground to make up before my race in May! Last week sorta put a damper on things...but all is well!

This weekend, the Extraordinary Women's Conference can to town! Woohoo! Just wonderful! I heard Chonda Pierce, Newsong, Angela Thomas, Charles Billingley, Stormie O'Martian, and Michelle McKinney Hammond...and one of my most favorite fiction Christian writers....Karen Kingbury!!! Y'all....she was so sweet! She stood in line for hours signing autographs and taking pictures with crazy people like me! Of course, I had no camera, just the one in my cell phone! Hmm...two weekends in a row with using those cell phone cameras!! Anyway, my friends snapped this to prove that I met her!

(And yes, it was pouring down rain, and my hair was as frizzy as could be!) But, I got to meet the author of the Baxter family! And the gal who wrote the Tuesday Morning series after 9-11. Karen was as down to earth as she could be! Her husband and all 6 kids were with her. She had us laughing one minute and crying the next. It was really cool the way that she encouraged us to love the cast of characters that God places in our lives. There will always be the antagonist--satan--that we must deal with. But God has a plan that will complete our story with a "happily ever after" if only we will give our hearts to Him. Love this girl! Check out her website when you get a chance! It's

The theme this weekend was free to be real. (2 Corinthians 3:12-18) Free to show off the real glory of God--free to call on Him at any time. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. Until we give our burdens to Christ--whether it's depression, abuse, no job, becoming a single mom, pridefulness, etc., we will not reflect the glory of God. There is a veil over our face--just as it was the face of Moses--that hides God's glory. Moses wouldn't take off his veil. We cannot see God until we remove ours. Our spiritual wisdom is blurry (Angela Thomas)! I don't know about y'all, but I want to see clearly at all times...especially God!! God desires for us to remove that veil so others can see Him in us! We must lay those burdens down, and only then will we be able to lift the veil so that others see Christ in us. Powerful weekend, y'all!

I thought about some you all out in bloggyland as well. Those of you aspiring to become writers in order to fulfill God's calling on your hearts. One day, it might be you up there at one of these conferences signing books and giving hugs! So....that being said, I'm asking in advance,"Would you please sign my book?" And on that note, my roomie from She Speaks last year emailed me last night. She said that her book that she presented there last year is going to be published in April! I am so excited for her! I will be sure to have her website up and running at the end of next month!! Way to go, Mary Singer Wick!! God is SO good!!

Many Blessings,

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Decorating Dilemma Wednesday--$11.00 Bargain!

I just want to thank you all for your sweet comments and prayers after reading my post on Monday. I had the second of five treatments this morning, and it went well. I still have not shared this with many folks....waiting to see how God wants me to us this to His Glory!

I actually solved this Wednesday's decorating dilemma! I saw a darling lamp at Marshall's Home Goods store and had a cow over it! Big, beautiful, and white! It probably would not have stayed that clean in this house full of boys! Simply lovely...huge lamp shade to boot! And the price tag was just as lovely. Y'all, it was 65.00!!! I am sorry, but there is no money in the bu-jay to purchase such a lamp! But it was still very pretty!

I went by our Thrift store on Monday and saw the 5.00 price tag on this ugly relic from the 1980's. Then, I pondered. Hmm....I remembered a post from Kari and Kijsa on spray painting tons of stuff either black or goes with just about everything. Wouldn't hurt to give it a try! The price was right! I made sure that the lamp DID work before I dragged it out of the store! That thing was heavy as lead!

Then the search began for the perfect lampshade. Since I cannot run or cycle this week, I have had a little extra shopping time to scope out some deals. I went to one of my favs--Tar-Jay, and found a lovely bell shaped one in white for 15.00. Hmm....(again!)..the grand total would be 20.00 which is still a whole lot less than the beautiful one for 65.00. I bought it, and then I proceeded to Ross and TJ Maxx. Y'all, I do not like our's never organized, and it's junky. But, guess what I found amongst the lamps? A lovely BLACK shade which was shorter, and it was only 4.99! Woohoo! I took them both home and tried them out. The white one was too large, and the black one was perfect! At least for me! A can of white spray paint for 98 cents at Lowes, and I was in business! Take a look and see what you think. I think it's great for what we needed, it fit the bu-jay, and it color coordinates with the rest of the room. Even Hubby was impressed with the outcome and how much it actually cost!

Speaking of cha-ching...I finally posted a canvas painting that I did on Etsy!! But...I can't maneuver my way to my shop! I am very computer illiterate! I am still working on it with the nice etsy people and will let you know how it goes. Here's the item that I painted. I plan on having a few listed on my blog...that way I can personalize scriptures and coordinate colors. I also do monogram canvases for baby gifts, etc. It's not's handmade!(and I borrowed that quote!) But I am enjoying painting so much. Please let me know if I can ever do anything for y'all. All items are 20.00, and the s/h is 6.00. The sizes are either 8x10 or 10x10. I just need a couple of weeks notice!

Do ya think I got a little carried away with the zebra ribbon? This canvas will have a home in the study with the other zebra print I've used until someone else falls in love with it and takes it home! Here is the etsy address....let me know if y'all can get to this because I cannot! It's It's actually Sweet 'Tater Designs, but I couldn't add spaces or stick the hyphen in there!! Oh, well!! Hugs!!

Many Blessings!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Up Close and Personal

Happy Sunday, y'all! It is just absolutely gorgeous here today! The sun is out. The temps are rising, and the flowers are starting to bloom. The lovely SC weather that we look forward to! And where am I? Inside with my leg propped up on several pillows for elevation. I would rather be running.

Yesterday started out as a typical Saturday around our house. I got ready to go for a run on the trails with some friends. Hubby got ready to cycle, and the boys were sound asleep! I was out the door first. We live near a beautiful park with mountains where we enjoy running trails. Cheri and I have run these trails for years. Heather, a newbie trail runner, was with us on our long run for the week.

Thirty minutes into the run, we had completed the toughest part of the trail--mostly rocky and not very runnable. We connected with another trail toward the ridge. We had been running this trail maybe five or so minutes when we spotted movement out of the corner of our eyes. We quickly stopped and were very quiet. It appeared to be a dog that had gotten ahead of his owner. Then we realized there was no one behind him. The dog went down the embankment and out of view for a minute. We all blurted out about the same time, "What is that?" We knew it wasn't a fox, and then it clicked...a coyote! In South Carolina!!!!! Well, it hopped back on the trail, and Cheri took a picture of it because we knew that no one would believe us! Snakes, deer, turtles, and skunks, yes! But a coyote?? No way! We were up close and personal with wildlife!

Then, Mr. or Mrs. Coyote started toward us! We were frozen in our tracks not uttering a sound. I did say a quick prayer out loud! "Oh Lord, put a hedge of protection around us!" The coyote went to Cheri--who was in the front, and smelled her. Then, he/she went to Heather and smelled her. Then, it was my turn. It smelled my legs. Then, the coyote licked my legs. Y'all, I was trying so hard to remain calm in all of this! Next, it did open its mouth and gently closed it on my leg. My eyes were closed, but I felt it It stepped back and so did I--only one step. I was so so trying not to be fearful because I knew that it could smell the fear. Cheri was quietly telling me to relax....and I really was trying to! Pinky promise! The next thing I knew, the coyote grabbed my leg's muzzle spread over the front of my calf area. I felt the teeth pierce my skin! It released my leg, and the emotions set in!!!! I took the same leg that it had bitten and kicked that animal in the chest area as hard as I could. Then, Heather came to life (ya'll, she is only 24, and this was just her 2nd trail run!! She was so scared, but she was also very brave at the same time!). She started yelling at the coyote, as did I, to get it to go away. Then, Cheri picked up a rock and began throwing it at the animal. Heather and I followed suit. Obviously, NONE of us played softball growing up because none of us could hit the animal!! It got the message, and ran down the trail away from us! Praise God!

It was over. I did not cry. I did not get hysterical. I think I was simply shocked! It happened SO incredibly fast! Cheri and Heather and I assessed my leg, and Cheri pulled out her handy dandy cell phone and called her hubby. He in turn, called the park ranger station. There would be a car at the top of the trail waiting for us...a road to a watershed was on the other side of a locked gate at the lake on top of the mountain. So, we began to walk at a fast pace away from where this entire incident occurred. I didn't run, but I wanted to! The calf was throbbing with pain, but it did subside. We had no other options. So, we walked a few more miles and waited for the ranger. And waited for the ranger...and did I mention that it was still pretty cold?? Y'all we were freezing! We had stopped running so our body temp had dropped. Our clothes were wet from sweat, and the wind was quite brisk.

Hours later in the ER (yes, I had to go there!!!) I was told that I would need a tetanus shot and the rabies shots!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Rabies is extremely dangerous, and even though this coyote was probably not rabid, I couldn't take a chance. The symptoms don't show up in humans until months afterwards. Even though the shots were not pleasant, it had to be done. Y'all, the folks in charge of all of this --from the park rangers, DHEC, DNR, Home Health, ER, and my own family doctor were wonderful!!!! (As were Cheri and Heather) They showed compassion and GRACE. Within 24 hours, I had everything that I needed medical wise to begin treatments. I have taken the first ones...the ones where you say "owie!!" I will go back on Wednesday for round 2 out of 5. They are not as bad as they used to be. I now know more about rabies than I ever wanted to know!! Just ask me a question!! Just NO jokes about werewolves or foaming at the mouth or howling at the moon! Those have already been done...thank you very much!! :) My hubby and boys were great and very sweet about the entire episode. Hubby accompanied me to the ER and the doctor's office today--he is a precious man!

I really want to keep this quiet...I told no one at church today. Just you all! Eventually, it will come out. I'm terrified that the local news will drive up in my yard and start taking pictures and ask all kinds of crazy stuff! This is what they feed on! (And if I offend anyone, I am sorry! That is my personal opinion!) Apparently, there are more coyotes roaming around closer to home than we realize. A child in the next county was attacked by a coyote at a bus stop in January. It was a really ugly attack, and the coyote was rabid. I did nothing to provoke the incident except to run on a trail made for people. But this trail belongs in the habitat of wild animals. What did I learn? To yell at the animal and scare it away next time. To buy mace to spray in the animal's face. To still enjoy the mountains and woods that God created. I will go back. I don't know when, but I always go back to the trails where I am closer to God.

Yesterday was so wild, that I didn't have time to sit down and pray after the fact. I was simply exhausted by the time my head hit the pillow. This morning, though, I really thought about what had happened. I questioned my awesome God. Why did He not answer my quick prayer for protection? Where was He during all of this? Then, He suddenly answered me. I had to be still and listen which I had not yet done! I did not believe Him on Saturday after the incident. I know now that He sent His angels to protect us. They covered Cheri, and Heather, and me. The bite could have been more severe. The coyote could have jumped us. The animal could have continued to attack over and over. But our God was there. I talked with Cheri this afternoon, and we both came to the same conclusion. His Grace and Mercy were surrounding us in the midst of the mountain. I just didn't see it yesterday because of the drama around me. Oh, I asked His forgiveness today...of my lack of trust and belief! Then, a verse came to me from Him. I've shared this with you all before. It's Philippians 4:7 "And the peace of God which transcends all understanding....." All understanding. That's who gave me the peace when my friends asked me how I could be so calm. That's why the ER doctor kept saying what a great attitude I had. It was not me. It was my God! My awesome God who does answer prayer in a timely and perfect manner which will bring Him honor and glory! I might not understand it, but that's not my always understand Him. I simply have to trust and obey.

I would rather be running this beautiful afternoon, but, I am praising God for His mercies instead! I would so appreciate your prayers for healing and for my sanity...I cannot run for an entire week!!!!

Many Blessings!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Decorating Delimma Wednesday--3 Down, 567 To Go!

One project completed!
Two projects completed!

And three projects finished! Woohoo! I am slap worn out! I LOVE doing these fun projects to spice up my home while on a budget, but finding the time to start and complete them with life thrown in the middle is not an easy thing to do! Having you all waiting patiently for me to show you the finished job is my motivation, and I so appreciate that! The encouragement that you give me is such a blessing! I want to share with you a scripture that is just perfect for you all today! "May our lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word." 2 Thess. 2:16-17
My next project began yesterday with a trip to the Post Office--to learn about shipping and handling! I now have gathered all of the info to set up my etsy shop! Woohoo! I'm excited! But....I need to finish a little painting to put in the esty shop! That's my goal! I would so appreciate your prayers as I venture into the world of selling stuff! I've sold a few pieces to friends, and it has been a joy to see the looks on their faces at the finished pieces. I am not a "'fine" artist at all...simply a fun and whimsical type of painting Mama! When I finish the first piece, I'll let y'all know! I'll have some on my sidebar as well.
Project number 4 is waiting patiently for me to finish it! Only a gazillion more to go!
Enjoy this gorgeous day that the Lord has given us, my sweet friends!
Many Blessings,

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sew On, Lisa!

Happy Monday, y'all! I want to introduce you to my darlin' friend, Lisa! Lisa and I have known each other forever! We go to church together, and our kids do swim team together. I know I drive her crazy! Several years ago (maybe 7??), Lisa decided to give a home based business a try. Her husband encouraged her, she researched, and she prayed! I think of this verse from Jeremiah 29 when folks step out in faith to give something like this a try! "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." If we truly seek His face to give us His wisdom and not ours, He tells us that He will prosper us. He is there to listen to us. Even with these tough economic times, Lisa's business is doing well...He is prospering her!! He is faithful and keeps His promises...yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Let's hold fast to that one, friends!

Take a look at this humongous machine that she uses to create some of the coolest stuff! It's amazing!

Here are just a couple of her precious little goodies that she makes!

If you get a chance today, I would love for y'all to pop over to her website and take a look around! If you can, leave her a happy note!!! Tell her Susan sent you!! You can simply go to

Do you see what she has on her work table?? Yes, sirree Bob! It's my funky little stool! I promised y'all that it will be finished soon! I will show you the final project on my Decorating Dilemma blog this Wednesday!! (If there were more hours in the day, you'd see it sooner!)

Many Blessings!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Decorating Dilemma Wednesday

Just have a minute for a quick post before dashing off to my Bible Study! Take a look at this decorating syndrome!! Do any of you all have this??? How does one get rid of this?It looks like I've been finger painting with the kids!! Actually, I was spray painting the little chair from my post last week! Nice weather equals outside painting! Then, I ran out of paint! Mercy me! Another trip to Wal-Mart! Seriously, I scrubbed and scrubbed and even used nail polish remover, but my finger doesn't look a whole lot better this morning!! Any tips for cleaning up? (And this is the main reason I don't get manicures!)

Last week, I asked you all for your decorating tips with this little stool. Y'all had some marvelous suggestions! I couldn't use them all at this time....I'll use some of the other tips on my various projects that I've started over the years and haven't completed!!

I found this solid black fabric and this darlin' fringey tasseley stuff at Hancock Fabric--all on sale! I have not had time to put it all together! Just too many things happening at home! But I have a weekend approaching with no where to go...I hope! Use your on top and fru fru on the sides to cover the staples. Does that sound like a plan? I also have an idea that Kari and Kijsa suggested...a monogram on top of the black. They mentioned painting it, but I'm thinking about getting my precious friend, Lisa, to put one on with her handy dandy embroidery machine. Just wonder if it will get too dirty?? Remember, I have boys!
I'll make y'all a promise...I will finish the chair and the stool before next Wednesday's post! Still thinking about the magazine rack...almost have a plan for that one too.

I would love to invite y'all to visit my precious friend Sharon at her blog! She is celebrating her 100th post! Woohoo! She has prizes!! Go visit her, you sweet little things! Just remember to drop me a line and let me know how to make my fingers look normal again! Please!!

Many Blessings,

Monday, March 9, 2009

Can You Spell "Acclimation?"

The past 72 hours have been a whirlwind in which the Holy Spirit gently kept spinning and spinning and spinning! I want to thank all of you who lifted up our Women's Retreat on Saturday. Y'all, God was everywhere!!!!Praise Him! And let me tell you, He loves to have a good time just like His children! The weather was perfect, the food was delicious, the location was beautiful, and the WORD was awesome! Here are a couple of would you like to have your Quiet Time here everyday?
My precious friend, Lori, led the worship in song! I could just listen to her sing all day long! And she does a great Mandisa!!! (BTW, Do you see those scrumptious croissants on the table? That was snack number 1!)Another friend took some great pics that she emailed me this morning, but I haven't had time to add them to my collection!! I'll share more later!

Coming off of retreats and other "mountain top" experiences can leave you a little wiped out. I had planned on a nice little nap Sunday after church....didn't happen! Long story short, we --Hubby and I --wound up cooking supper for the youth last night. And what did we feed those middle and senior high kids? Breakfast! Have you ever fixed 8 dozen eggs and pounds of grits and a dozen packages of bacon...all at once? It was quite an experience let me tell you!

This morning, I planned on getting my run in for the day...not a long one, but at a strong pace. The weather here has done a 360 since last Monday--snow, ice, no electricity! I started with the temps at 65. (An hour later, it's 74!). My little body was in shock!!! I felt dehydrated and out of sorts! My body is not acclimated to the warmer temps yet!

Do we get so used to being in our comfort zone that when changes occur, our body, soul and mind go bananas? We struggle with things that we don't have on our agendas. It wasn't in our plan for the day. Not on my checklist. This scripture from my devotional this morning really jumped out at me. It's Matthew 6:33" first his--not Susan's--kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."

We need to realize that becoming acclimated to God's plans, timing, and outcomes is simply trusting Him completely. We have to let go and let God!

I'll be back on Wednesday for my Decorating Dilemma! Y'all gave some of the cutest ideas for me last week. I haven't had a minute to decorate though! If it's God's will, I'll get some errands run today! Maybe some fun fabric, ribbon, etc.!! I just love to make stuff--just not cook!

Many Blessings,

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Decorating Dilemma Wednesday

Oh, what can you do with a yard of lovely zebra print upholstery fabric from Hobby Lobby? Well, you can take the 1970's golden fabric that your Mama redid for the 1940's red print that your Grandmama did and turn it into a fashionable and fun 2010 chair! We don't throw anything away here! Simply measure the "Susan way" and cut to your little heart's content!
Get out your handy dandy staple gun--that you received for a birthday present one year and go at it!

How fun is this? I still need to paint the chair black. With all of the snow outside, spray painting is a little tricky this week! I'll get to it! Cute and funky!

Now, I still have a lovely strip of fabric left over. I am a pack-rat! It comes from saving things for kindergarten centers--buttons, bottle caps,anything to sort! I know my weaknesses, y'all! This little step stool has followed Hubby and me around for almost 19 years. It was my Grandmama's too! She used to stack a ton of newspapers on it. I remember climbing on that stack when I was a little girl. I tried to delicately balance on those papers....and kerplop! I slipped off and landed on my bottom! My precious Grandmama didn't fuss or say"I told you so!" She quietly and gently helped me stack them back up. Proverbs 19:11 says that "A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense." I had a wonderful Grandmama! The era in which she lived--the 20's and then the depression--encouraged her to save everything and not be wasteful. So, this darlin' little stool is going to be brought back to life! With zebra and ?????

Well, child #2 has started to use the stool already! It still needs a pop of color and some fun fringey stuff on the side to cover the seams. Glue gun is getting hot! Let me know your thoughts and suggestions for the finishing touches for the little stool!! I'd love to hear what you would do!
BTW, your ideas from last week were awesome! But, with sick children and snow and power outages, I haven't worked on the magazine rack yet! Just about figured out what I'm going to do.
The kids have a 2 hour delay before school. I have 3 dozen picture frames to paint before our ladies' retreat this Saturday! I will post about that on Friday--hopefully. Please keep this retreat in your prayers that hearts will be touched, and God's presence will be experienced by all! Thank you so much! Happy Wednesday!
BTW, Kimm over at Reinvented has a giveaway!! Check it out!

Many Blessings,

Monday, March 2, 2009

24 Hours Later

Sitting in the dark, I listened to the trees in the nearby woods snapping as the snow grew heavier and heavier on their branches. Hmm....that could be a great opening line for a suspense novel. In reality, it HAPPENED last night!!! Y'all! We've had snow and sleet and cold in the deep south! Yuck! This has been an adventure, but not the adventures that I enjoy! Wet clothes on the floor with with wet gloves and wet shoes and wet socks and a wet stinky dog! Not the way I envisioned my Sunday evening!

By 4:00 yesterday afternoon, the rain and sleet turned into snow. The Weather Channel got it right! My boys were ecstatic! Yes!! No school tomorrow! They went flying outside to play! Airsoft guns and goggles were in place and over into the woods the tramped. Like a good Mama, I had the camera out, and the chicken soup on the stove. Yes, m'am, I was ready for this snow!! I was prepared! As dusk set in, I heard child #1 yell, "Oh, Man!" Then, I heard a terrible crash! I flew to the door and out into the snow to see what happened. Child # 1 was saying that it had fallen on the fence. I knew immediately that he was referring to one of our giant 20 year old pine trees in the back of the side yard. It had been tilting for a while--due to the electric company's sporadic trimming of branches --toward our backyard. Well, the snow had capsized the tree onto our split rail fence! The fence was down as well. All I could think of was where child #2 was!! Years ago, a runner had been killed while on a lunchtime run due to a falling tree. Panic almost set in until I heard him say, "Here I am , Mama!" Sweet relief!
About that time, there was another pop and an eerie green glow across the street. Out went all of the lights on our street! No problem, I had supper ready! Instead of the cornbread that I was going to make, we ate those cute mini saltine crackers! All by candlelight! Of course, we had NO batteries for any of the flashlights in the house! After all of the candle parties I've been to, I had enough wax that we could last a couple of weeks!! I was prepared! We found the reading clip lights and used those as well as the candles to play a couple of rounds of "Rack-O," and then it was time for bed. We had quilt upon quilt upon big 'ol sleeping bag! We were prepared!

This morning found us in the yard assessing the damage of the tree in the light. Hmm....we sorta needed a chainsaw! Our little handheld one was puny compared to the mess in front of us. We were not prepared! Our wonderful neighbors came over with a rake, chainsaw and lots of energy! Several hours later, the tree was off the fence, and the fence was rigged into place so that the backyard was again a safe place for our dog, Scarlette O'Hara Hood!

The power, thankfully, came back on this evening while we were out for supper (at a nice warm restaurant that served hot food!). Praise Him! This southern belle would be happy if she never had to deal with the snow or its side-effects again! Sorry! I can't drive in the stuff--we actually have ice under the snow! We slide all over the roads! I can't run in the stuff--my shoes aren't waterproof. I can't handle the power outages from the stuff! I am spoiled! See, I admit it! Spoiled rotten! really made me think about a lot of stuff!

Stuff like...those who are homeless and have to sleep in the cold temperatures on a regular basis. Stuff like...those who don't have the luxury of a washing machine or even yet, decent clothes to wear. Stuff like...those whose homes are not up to speed in that they have drafts, or maybe the owners don't have enough money to even pay their power bill. Stuff like that. It reminded me of Brandon Heath's song, "Give Me Your Eyes." We need God's eyes--His perception-- to see things that we someimes overlook or take for granted. I also thought about the folks in Kentucky who recently were without power for so long. I thought about the folks in the really deep south who suffered and survived Katrina. I had to be a little uncomfortable for just a day--only 24 hours. I am truly blessed in so many ways! God showed me a lot in a short amount of time! "But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." (1 Peter 3:15) I was not prepared for a winter storm. It taught me a valuable lesson in that it parallels this question...Am I prepared spiritually for the unknown? Something to devote my Quiet Time to in the morning! Good night, y'all! I pray that you all sleep warmly!

Many blessings!