Just a glimpse of me...

My photo
Do you ever feel STUCK? In 2000, I began looking for answers to some tough questions in my life. I'd searched high & low and finally conceded to search the promises found in the Bible. Those promises have sustained & guided me through the loss of a parent, the struggle with anxiety & depression, the loss of a valued relationship and so much more! I've found joy amid the pain. And, I want to share it with you!

28 July 2014

Just Because You Don't SEE...

Today is Monday... and, this Saturday we move out of here... to a place yet not known.

Today is rainy and cold (really cold - 57 degrees at 3pm). Those are not conducive conditions for going out with an 18-month old (who's napping now - praise God) to look for a place to stay here for our last 10 days. As I said to a friend earlier, I'm glad that when I can't actively work on something... God is still at work. The weather (or any of our other obstacles) are no match for His abilities!

Today others might look out the windows of our tiny tree-top Chautauqua apartment & see only rain drops clinging to the tall fir tree branches & gray clouds through the lacy limbs. But, I look out and, I know that a small piece of beautiful Lake Chautauqua is there, as well!

Just because you don't see something... doesn't mean it's not there!

When I was 15 years old, I lost one of my contact lenses while having a practice for the upcoming "powder puff" football game. Friends & I searched for hours to no avail. That evening I returned to the field alone & looked again. I got totally discouraged, slumped down on the ground sitting with my legs folded. I closed my eyes and prayed. As I was praying I was fingering the grass and... you probably guessed it... the contact was in my fingers. A contact lense that had been lost over 5-6 hours before was found with my eyes closed. It was somewhat like finding a needle in a haystack. 

So, that's my prayer for this situation We are so blessed that Jessica is able to take advantage of this awesome opportunity to study, work & learn as a VACI student. And, I'm praying that something great works out for this situation. 

Today, I am praying with expectation for another "needle in a haystack" miracle from the One who holds the future and holds my hand!

#JoyDare No. 2797. 57 degrees & rain... why?

23 July 2014

10 Days To 10 Days

ATTENTION: You... yes, YOU!
I posted this picture earlier today on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. The caption read:

ATTENTION: You... yes, YOU! 10 days to 10 days without a place to stay!!! If worse comes to worse, we found a room with a sink, a ceiling fan & a twin bed We are praying for a little miracle  Surely, there's an empty guest house or guest suite in this place! Keep those prayers & positive thoughts going!!!

I recently posted a plea for help about housing for the girls & I here inside Chautauqua Institution for our last 10 nights. Most of the places here on the inside are booked about a year in advance. My daughter didn't know she'd been accepted into the Visual Arts program until early May. Due to the special guest during that week, Ken Burns, Week 7 was pretty much sold out, as far as housing goes. We secured a place through Friday night, August 1st. However, we need to be here through the night of August 11th.

I continue to pray and ask God to part the Red Sea for us on this housing issue. We need to be ON THE INSIDE of Chautauqua -- not in Mayville or Jamestown. I know it sounds a bit mean, but... I really wish that the couple who booked our little apartment a year ahead for week 7 would decide not to come or to rent another place. I also wish that a resident who might have an empty guest suite or guest house for the week would be inclined to allow us to use it.

As I said on my social media note earlier today, I know of one place that has a room with a double bed, sink & ceiling fan available for that week. I have no idea if there's room to set up a Pack N Play though. This is certainly not ideal for our situation with an 18-month toddler. But, it's better than trying to live out of our car in the Main Parking Lot -- pretty sure that's against their Rules & Reg's :)

Today marks 10 days until we need a place to stay for 10 days. Whisper a prayer for us, if you would :) I am believing that God will provide for this need!

Help us, O God of our salvation!
Help us for the glory of your name.
Save us and forgive our sins
for the honor of your name.

20 July 2014

OPENING DAY - So excited...

Sunday, 20 July 2014, 2:50pm and...
I just can't contain my excitement over the OPENING of the Visual Arts of Chautauqua Institution Students Exhibit that I just had to create a little pic for it. I'm on my way and will post more later. In the meantime...

Monday, 21 July 2014, 8:50am and...
The show was GREAT. It opened at 3pm with a line out the door. Within 15 minutes all three of the oil paintings our daughter did were SOLD. How exciting!! The money she will make from those sales will really help with the costs of these 7 weeks for her :) The exhibit will be open to the public for a few more weeks. The individual work continues for 3 more weeks for the VACI students --as they create more art in their studios. 

Here are a few collages of our daughters work thus far at Chautauqua Institution... 

In my opinion... she's holding her BEST piece of ART :)

18 July 2014


Future CHQ Student?
UPDATE: Monday, 8/10/14, 11am... Today is our last FULL day in Chautauqua - as we will be leaving for stuckinindiana land before noon tomorrow. We are staying these last 3 nights in a very nice hotel just minutes from the gates of CHQ. Our 7 nights on the porch at the DOC Graybiel House were filled with some interesting experiences & wonderful people. God remained faithful & blessed us by providing that place to stay...

UPDATE: Thursday, 7/31, 11:15pm... 7 of the last 10 nights have been set up :) I heard back from the Disciples of Christ denominational house around 11pm. I need to pay them & fill out paperwork. But, it looks like... on Saturday morning before noon, we will move out of the Mardelle (boo for the creepy landlord) and Saturday afternoon after 3pm, we will move in to a PORCH on the second floor with the Disciples of Christ!! No windows - just screens & mini-blinds. Never a dull moment in our #chautauqua adventure!!

UPDATE: Thursday, 7/31, 1pm... I'm trusting & praying as I wait to hear back from TWO places this afternoon... 
* One is a 2nd-floor porch apartment (with only screens & mini-blinds for windows) at a denominational house here on-site (shared kitchen & bath; no AC); priced VERY reasonably - but, ONLY available for 7 of the 10 days
* One is a close, but off-site, hotel suite (with a free daily shuttle to/from CHQ; but, no cooking facilities at all); reasonably priced for what it is... still a bit much for 10 nights.

UPDATE: Tuesday, 7/29... and still looking with a possible place outside of the gates with a shuttle to/from the property but, NO COOKING privileges :/ Not discouraged... I have an army of Christian brothers & sisters agreeing with me in this prayer :) God ROCKS!!!

UPDATE: Sunday, 7/27... and still looking for a place on the inside. Not discouraged... because... I serve a mighty God.

7/18/14 This is a crazy unusual post for me. But, I've felt led to post it for a few days now. 

Some of the people who read my posts are family members. Others are friends. And, some are people not yet personally known to me :) Many of my blog readers believe in the power of PRAYER. So, I'm asking for PRAYER & POSITIVE THOUGHTS from anyone who reads this post.

We (my daughter, her 18-month old daughter & I) need ACCEPTABLE & AFFORDABLE housing for 10 nights.... INSIDE THE CHAUTAUQUA INSTITUTION GROUNDS!
mommy & daughter at the Art Quad

If you are familiar with CHQ, you understand that the going rate per night and per week inside the gates & fences of Chautauqua is not small. The rent charged for our first 6 weeks here was enough to feed a small family for a year! I'm praying for a MIRACLE... FREE housing would be ideal! Being the crazy person that I am... I believe that God can do that. SO, join me in my prayers.

My daughter is a full-time student in the VISUAL ARTS AT CHAUTAUQUA INSTITUTION this summer. Since she came with her toddler & a care-giver (that's me), she could not get in the student housing. The three of us have been here since August 19th and living in a modest efficiency apartment behind Bestor Plaza. The landlord told us that he only had the apartment available for the first 6 weeks but, was pretty certain he could move people around to keep us in the same apartment for the final 10 days (wk 7 and 3 nights into wk 8). Week 7 is a big deal around here & almost everything is SOLD OUT for that week! However, when the landlord learned that neither of us was willing to work for him every single day, 4:45-7:45pm, while we were here (for no pay - just a gate pass for me), his tune changed. SO, we are now needing housing for the nights of Saturday, August 2, through Monday night, August 11th. It must be ON SITE here at CHQ due to the crazy art schedule of my Visual Arts daughter. We need full kitchen access to prepare our meals. (Babies can't survive on restaurant food & our wallet couldn't survive 10 days of restaurant food!) We would LOVE to have WiFi access too since being trapped inside for g'baby's 2-hour naps is a great time to catch up socially, read & write. We only need 1 bedroom with sleeping for two. We have a Pack N Play for the little one with us :) A private bathroom with a tub & shower would be great!!
I would LOVE to find somewhere to stay those 10 nights but, cost is a factor. 
CHQ residents...  I'm wondering, do you know of any friends or neighbors who might have a guest house or guest suite where we could stay those last 10 nights - Saturday night, August 2nd through Monday night, August 11th. Perhaps a resident of CHQ would not be here that week & I could water plants or feed the fish (ha ha!) or clean their house or... something in exchange for a place for the 3 of us to sleep & cook our own meals for that time. (I'd BUY all my food & clean up any messes, of course.) FYI, we only need ONE bedroom, we are sharing about 200 sq ft here :) We are fine being close.
Friends outside of these gates... please send your prayers & positive thoughts this way. There has to be a perfect place out there for us!!
the bridge directly behind the Amphitheater

And, thus concludes my unusual plea for help :)  If you know of anything, you may send a note to stuckinindiana@hotmail.com  If you want to know more about me personally, check out the other posts on this blog. I'm an open book on this thing! It tells my WHOLE story - LOL! 

chillin' under the big tree outside the Art Quad
pic taken from University Beach
a favorite place down by Miller Bell Tower

evening walkabouts along the lake
making friends at the 4th of July concert
supporting young artists
We are blessed to be here. We are grateful for the opportunity for our daughter at CHQ. Please agree with me in prayer that God provides for our needs for housing for the last 10 nights. Thanks so much!

#JoyDare No. 2767. Beds Made Before Noon

... and then there are those mornings when the caregiver of a little one, whether that caregiver be Mommy, Daddy, G'Parent or someone else, just pushes things aside on the kitchen table for their own breakfast plate :) I post a lot of pictures via Twitter and on my blog & my Facebook page that might give the appearance that I have it all together. Let's just keep it real... I don't. 

Our "Castle TreeHouse" for the first 44 of our 54 days here at Chautauqua is small... VERY SMALL!  And, taking care of a toddler full-time (while mommy takes classes) is something that takes a LOT of time & energy. This morning I found myself preparing her breakfast & then pushing things aside to carve out a place for my own plate. I had to chuckle over the things I was dining beside.

I glanced up from my seat at the table & caught a glimpse of our bedroom. I smiled as I saw the two single beds (aka a trundle bed!) all made up & ready to serve as a place for changing diapers and changing clothes. That will be our place to sit to read a book or play a game. If we get a chance, we'll watch a portion of a movie (a KIDS MOVIE, of course) sitting there. The upper bed is my writing spot while the baby plays with toys, puzzles & baby dolls in her Pack N Play. Writing time is quite limited these days too :)

When I caught the view in front of me, I said...
Celebrate the little things & don't get stressed by something that seems to be a big thing today!
So, one of my "JoyDares" for the day is having the beds made before noon! 

16 July 2014

PAIRINGS - Chautauqua... Building Bridges, Not Walls

My home for 54 days this summer is NOT "stuckinindiana" :) During these 54 days I am living inside the gates of Chautauqua Institution on the banks of Lake Chautauqua in New York. My daughter is participating in 7 weeks of intensive art study through Visual Arts at Chautauqua Institution. I'm care-giver to her ADORABLE & LOVABLE little 18 month old girl. The three of us share a small one-bedroom apartment on the top floor of an old apartment building which was built in the 1880's. That building is perched on the top of a steep slope leading down to the lakefront. I've chosen to call our 200 +/- square foot apartment our "tree top castle" :)

I spend a lot of time "strollering" our sweet little one around. We walk along the gated community from one end to another almost daily. We walk early in the day & late into the night. We walk the small roads & the main roads... and EVERY PATH I can find :) I've made it a goal to try to find every single (public) hidden garden, path and alcove. Truth be told, I'd love to get a glimpse of a few private ones - but, despite the great temptation have decided not to trespass on private property :)

If you're familiar with my blog, I love words... and the power of words. So, my attention is captured when I read a great quote or song lyric or writing. I love pictures... the lighting, the composition... the story each picture tells. When I read an Isaac Newton quote early yesterday morning, I knew exactly what I wanted to pair with it... a picture of the bridge directly behind the Chautauqua Amphitheater.

We build too many walls and not enough bridges. ~ Isaac Newton

I miss my husband (aka the LOML), my home, my cat, my friends, my church, my cornfields & garden... BUT, I'm enjoying my 54 days in Chautauqua. It will be even more enjoyable when we nail down the last 10 days!! Through it all, I've especially enjoyed seeing how many "bridges" this community has built & will continue to build in our world. It's a great environment which celebrates love, life, laughter...and bridges to join all of us together. 

Build bridges friends and look into taking down a few of the "walls" you've put up in the past. I'm planning to be more proactive about doing the same thing!

the stuckinindiana crazy footnote: I seem to be on a HUGE kick lately... being a bit over-the-edge at matching photos I've taken with quotes, lyrics, scriptures, etc. I can't get enough of it. I keep asking God... why am I so compelled to do this?? For someone who was certain she was going to die before she was of 35 and has declared over & over that she's just not quite right, I always seem to wonder... " Am I doing this because I'm going to die soon & God needs me to get it done before going home to be with Him??" Yes... I'm an open book & not afraid to say I'm not normal :)

14 July 2014

PAIRINGS - A Place of Quiet Rest

I don't know about you... but, some days I really need a place of quiet rest. Today is one of those days for me. And, on such days, I'm reminded of the lyrics of an old beloved hymn. "Near To the Heart of God" was written by Cleland B. McAfee in 1903!!! I looked it up & it says that the inspiration for the lyrics came from the following promise -- one of my favorites:
Those who trust in the lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.  Isaiah 40:11

I'm trusting that God will draw near to my spirit today & give me assurance that He is working on my behalf even on the rough days!!


There is a place of quiet rest,
Near to the heart of God;
A place where sin cannot molest,
Near to the heart of God.

O Jesus, blest Redeemer,
Sent from the heart of God;
Hold us, who wait before Thee,
Near to the heart of God.

There is a place of comfort sweet,
Near to the heart of God;
A place where we our Savior meet,
Near to the heart of God.

O Jesus, blest Redeemer,
Sent from the heart of God;
Hold us, who wait before Thee,
Near to the heart of God.

There is a place of full release,
Near to the heart of God;
A place where all is joy and peace,
Near to the heart of God.

O Jesus, blest Redeemer,
Sent from the heart of God;
Hold us, who wait before Thee,
Near to the heart of God.

08 July 2014

Rainy Days Call For...

Rainy days call for an afternoon nap for some... and writing for others... as they listen to the pouring rain & watch water drops roll of the top branches of a tall fir tree probably older than Grandma Moses :)

It's raining hard this afternoon (as was predicted). I should have ventured out before the noon hour. Instead, my mind & body craved a bit of quiet time after a flurry of wonderfully busy days with loved ones. Little Miss A was quite content having a tea party in her Pack N Play with all her dolls & animals. Aside from meal & snack breaks and some reading/cuddle time, we tended to keep ourselves pretty content. 

Looking at the calendar, I realized I'd failed to post my most recent month's #JoyDare list over a week ago! I added a few pics to the words already written, very quickly proofed the text & published it. Looking back on that one month of reminders of God's loving-kindness & faithfulness filled my heart with gratitude. Seeing some of the thoughts that God placed on my heart... seeing some of the pictures of moments that had brought joy...  knowing that on most days I could have listed more than three... reminded me that every day GOD IS ABUNDANTLY FAITHFUL & LOVING!

The rain has let up. The baby still sleeps. Quiet jazz plays on the iPod player which I brought along to play familiar music to make this place seem more like home for all of us. The sky's still gray. But, the clouds have lifted a bit & I can faintly catch a glimpse of Lake Chautauqua through the trees in our sky-top efficiency here within the gates. The view of the distant shore brings new feelings after spending time with my friend last week over there while she was home to visit family at the home of her childhood. 

Some rainy afternoons are great for naps for me. Today was not one of those afternoons. It was one where I needed to capture my thoughts and count my blessings... with words that flooded my mind & heart. And, I am claiming the promise... 
The LORD will work out his plans for my life—for your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever. Psalm 38:8

 #JoyDare No. 2737 -  writing on rainy days & remembering... 


JUNE 2014 
One Thousand Gifts (by Ann Voskamp)
#1000Gifts #JoyDare

Buy book here...      

I took the 1,000 Gifts Dare for the year of 2012...
I continued in 2013...
I'm now into 2014! 

Today I find JOY in...

6/1/14 Sun
2626. how much better today is than ONE YEAR AGO... oh my!
2627. family time outside

2628. the laugh of the LOML - still makes me smile :)

6/2/14 Mon
2629. lunch with a movie star - okay just a local friend who dresses like a movie star
2630. promises written on the sky

2631. rolling with the punches... we have just about 2 weeks until we are heading out for the summer... and EVERYONE in Baby A's class gets sent home with hand, foot & mouth for a WEEK!!! DeeDee is going to be BUSY this week!

6/3/14 Tues
2632. coffee in bed - thank you LOML
2633. doing dishes
If I have to wash dishes.. these are my favorites
2634. bubble baths with LAVENDAR scented bath soap & lotion

6/4/14 Wed
2635. pairings

2636. fresh field greens anyone?

2637. posting on a FREE site that I wanted a FREE Little Tikes swing... and making pick up arrangements before dinner time... I LIKE FREE!

6/5/14 Thurs
2638. the color green - especially when it's paired with the color pink :)
2639. sunglasses say so much about a girl

2640. pine needles

6/6/14 Fri
2641. new FREE baby swing

2642. reunited... niece & uncle :)

2643. the love in a family

6/7/14 Sat
2644. getting CRAZY excited for my kids for the summer
Brevard Music Center Festival & Visual Arts at Chautauqua Institute 
2645. "a bridge job"
managing a young, struggling artist...

2646. shade & a breeze with family

6/8/14 Sun
2647. good-bye kisses
2648. checking out new places

2649. an evening concert over the mountains

6/9/14 Mon
2650. waking up with the birds
2651. God's beautiful Appalachian Mountains

2652. best shower this side of the Mississippi

6/10/14 Tues
2653. sunrise, hummingbirds & morning walks

2654. hugging my son goodbye for 10 weeks :/
so glad we have a great relationship!!
2655. home early enough to actually catch our breath before falling into bed (and kiss our favorite sleeping baby)

6/11/14 Wed
2656. WOAH... seriously... a week from tomorrow!!!

2657. property walk-about
2658. fresh greens from the garden
just to show the perspective...
those little dark ovals at the top are HUGE AVOCADOS!!
6/12/14 Thurs
2659. aggressively attacking the TO DO LIST :)
2660. seeing the closet floor again
2661. legs that ache - which means I am strong enough to be on my legs for the day working - it's a blessing in disguise

6/13/14 Fri
Friday the 13th - holds no power over me :)
2662. warm sun & cool breezes for brunch

2663. 15 minutes of weeding
aka 90 minutes of weeding after resetting my phone alarm 5 more times!!
2664. church softball teams
(our church teams ranges from 16 to 60 in age!!)

6/14/14 Sat

2666. drive thru banking in #SmallTownUSA

2667. evening with the LOML

6/15/14 Sun Father's Day 
2668. my church family... is like family!!
2669. Cracker Barrel & crayons

2670. my bed - so comfy :)

6/16/14 Mon
2671. sister-friend lunch w/Kimberly at Panera :)
2672. fresh field greens... lots of fresh field greens!

2673. nightfall sitting outside with the LOML

6/17/14 Tues
2674. swinging outside & talking with a dear friend who has recently found her way home... home to "stuckinindiana" land
2675. train up a child... just kidding
2676. veggie comparisons
radishes are yummy...
their leaves - not so much!
6/18/14 Wed
the root of all evil is... ?
2677. quiet time with PapaBear before leaving tomorrow

2678. friends through the years... sister friends!!

2679. my backyard

6/19/14 Thurs
beginning of a BIG ADVENTURE - nervous anticipation
2680. buried alive

2681. fun along the way... 
watch out... baby driver!!!!

2682. the apartment for our summer...
facing SHOCK with LAUGHTER...
sometimes the only way to survive & thrive :)

6/20/14 Fri
Immense blessings often come when you are willing to make sacrifices
2683. a long walk-about with J & A
a special spot
that fits perfectly
2684. meeting the Ceramics Guys!!!
2685. Wegman's brand foods

6/21/14 Sat 
2686. picking up K... and our little Fashion Diva :)

2687. University Beach & thoughts of the future

2688. meeting new friends at the ABBA concert - real God-send!

6/22/14 Sun
2689. blown away by CHURCH in an open-air ampitheater
with a couple 1000 other people

2690. afternoon walk while A napped...then woke up & chilled :)

2691. a very cool bathtub
blow-up duckie tub (that quacks)
sitting in a beautiful claw-foot tub
6/23/14 Mon
2692. my crazy good organization skillz

2693. all I need...

2694. dusk walkabout

6/24/14 Tues
2695. "Bestor Plaza Fountain and The Missing Shoe" 
That could make an interesting blog post!

2696. ME... tears (gate guard)... no tears (creepy landlord)
2697. J's magic touch at AIR CONDITIONING on our first hot night

6/25/14 Wed
2698. new way to do my meals
Fix A's food; let her eat all she will; finish her leftovers

2699. new acquaintances - Wednesday Meet & Greet on the Porch
2700. 2 hour evening walk

6/26/14 Thurs
2701. Childproofing 101

2702. a big turtle... a little girl
2703. almost 4 hours of strolling outside today
last walk of the day - took this pic of K to send to T
they miss each other :(
6/27/14 Fri
2705. fingerpainting... bubbles.. and fashioning a diaper from a woman's minipad

2706. yummy supper I made -- kinda REAL food

6/28/14 Sat
2707. being awakened at 4am & not going back to sleep - 
got to see a great sunrise - well... thru a screen

2708. getting used to turkey bologna
2709. great leftovers

6/29/14 Sun
2710. great sermon... had to sit still for about 45 minutes to polish up my notes
2711. Atlanta representing...

2712. my favorite pew

6/30/14 Mon
2713. celebrating my marriage to the LOML & counting down the days until his visit!!
2714. COUSINS visiting J & A
love these kids... every one of them!
2715. walking, walking, walking... and 30-minute passes