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!

01 August 2014


JULY 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...

7/1/14 Tues
2716. adapting my plans to meet her needs :)

2717. praise God... I'm legal now!
It was a CRAZY LONG PROCESS... but, I finally got to the right person & am no longer "illegal" at Chautauqua... and, it did NOT cost me $4000 - like so many had told me it would!
2718. taking after her MOMMY

2718-BONUS. first outing OFF the property & then getting help putting away the groceries

7/2/14 Wed
2719. visiting with my friend from "stuckinindiana" at her homestead in Maple Springs, NY

2720. seeing places I've heard about for years - being a part of my friend's story for a day

2721. an evening walkabout with BOTH of my girls

7/3/14 Thurs
2722. visiting Debbie on Gebbie - possibly our home for week 7 of CHQ

2723. hugging the LOML - after 14 days of being away with him
2724. talking into the wee hours of the night & enjoying a top floor balcony to ourselves - which I rearranged before he got into town :)

7/4/14 Fri
****4th of July****
2725. passing out American flags to people we don't know
Here, Mister Man Whom We Do Not Know...
take this American flag & wave it like you mean it!
2726. experiencing special moments that God planned for me ages ago...
today that was celebrating the 4th of July with my accountability partner
& friend of 19 years
I like to call this photo "Heads on Fire"
since the LOML could NOT figure out how to
step to the side before taking the pic
so the fire would NOT be coming out of our heads
2727. fireworks on the dock by the Athenaeum w/the LOML & our sweet little g-baby

7/5/14 Sat
2728. turtle rides

2729. spending all day with the LOML
This is Packard Manor in CHQ - 2 Packards sitting right outside it
when the LOML & I walked by today
2730. Madame Butterfly from the 3rd floor balcony of The Vera...

7/6/14 Sun
2731. loving our son's girlfriend... like she's our own daughter

2732. art in the park

2733. dinner with the Rosenthals & safe travels for the LOML

7/7/14 Mon
2734. clean laundry!!!!!!!
1st time in over 2 weeks :O
2735. Hey Squirrel! Hey Squirrel! Come here!! Come here!! 

She pronounces it more like "sgirl" though :)
2736. good music - Tchaik 5 by the Chautauqua Festival Orchestra

7/8/14 Tues
2738. reminders that God's promises (ALL OF THEM) are faithful & true

2739. a wonderful meal from the care package that the LOML brought us

7/9/14 Wed
2740. comfort foods - black bean combo

2741. boxes, bags & baskets = hours of fun for little ones!

2742. juggling PEOPLE

7/10/14 Thurs
2743. a lazy start to the morning for all THREE of us -- rare, indeed
2744. good books

2745. night concerts followed by long walks under the moon with our little sweet blessing

7/11/14 Fri
2746. just a workin' on my fitness...
by carrying a sleeping 22lb baby & an arm FULL of laundry from the basement laundry room to our 3rd floor tree-top apartment
2747. getting to experience so many fun things with my sweet g'baby!
A putting her feet up & enjoying Jennifer Nettles  at Chautauqua Institution.
2748. clean sheets!!!! these 2 beds might be the cleanest they have been in YEARS!

7/12/14 Sat
2749. little pieces of HOME

2750. reminder to set my sights on things above

2751. reminders written on stone
Don't Postpone Joy

7/13/14 Sun
2752. the sound of pouring rain through open windows as I woke 
2753. strollering along sides streets & drinking in the sights

2754. not being a TV addict...
because, trust me these 54 days in CHQ could have killed me

7/14/14 Mon
2755. calling upon friends for prayer
2756. baby wipes & disinfectant wipes!
poor Baby A got sick today while we were out shopping :/
2757. bubble bath, sleeping baby & Bach
after a rough day... she fell asleep to Bach
7/15/14 Tues
2758. something borrowed

2759. strollering around a sleeping baby
2760. NOT building walls

7/16/14 Wed
2761. morning snuggles from my favorite 18-month old & blankets

2762. adventures throughout the day

2763. eating OUT!!

7/17/14 Thurs
2764. getting a "happy" ...Glam Gloves!!

2765. meeting up with an artist by the Miller Bell Tower

2766. walking & talking w/Aunt K

7/18/14 Fri
2767. having the beds made before noon

2768. strollering by secret gardens
2769. an entire concert w/J, K & A 
Wilson Phillips
7/19/14 Sat
a hard day - stuck inside due to rain :(
2770. oatmeal for breakfast
it reminds me of home & normality
2771. droplets of rain in the lacy pine outside our TreeTop Castle
2772. a breakthrough in painting for J

7/20/14 Sun
2773. almonds & Black Spice Chai :)
2775. overwhelming feeling of the presence of God
selections of Handel's MESSIAH for
the Sunday Night Vespers

7/21/14 Mon
2776. bathing in the joy from yesterday

2777. great quotes
"The doorstep to the temple of wisdom
is the knowledge of our own ignorance."
~ C. H. Spurgeon
2778. a pitch-in dinner with strangers... who can become friends - even if only for their 1 week here in CHQ :) 

7/22/14 Tues
2779. a clean kitchen

Once you find a spot for everything you need to last you for 54 days in your tiny 8x8 kitchen
(aka living room, family room, parlor)...
it's not too hard to keep it clean...

2780. making memories & getting to LOVE ON my g'baby like I did my own children

2781. being brought up on left-overs
has made me a lot easier to please as an adult at mealtime

7/23/14 Wed
2782. reflections
"A little reflection does wonders for the soul."
I'm reflecting today on the faithfulness of God.
In times of waiting, it's good to remember the answered prayers :)
2783. 2 washers & 2 dryers
makes doing 6 loads of laundry SO MUCH easier
- even if they are in the basement
My office today as I wait for laundry to cycle.
Thank you Lord that the second washer is back in use!!
2784. making a meal with a twist
black bean combo w/saffron rice & slow cooked chicken w/tomatoes

7/24/14 Thurs
2785. days when you get to go back to sleep when you're tired
2786. overhearing the voice of a loving mom guiding her young son back into shore after a sailing lesson - reminded me of God's lovingkindness all of for His children

2787. pondering life
outside the Hall of Philosophy
7/25/14 Fri
2788. entering The Danger Zone
The times... they are a'changin!
We've entered THE DANGER ZONE!!! 
The Pack N Play is no longer secure!
She crawled OUT yesterday to get a toy that had fallen &tried to crawl IN today to watch Peg+Cat!!

2789. a providential meeting with Caroline?
this will be a blog post soon, I'm thinking!!
2790. a sing-a-long concert
had to walk outside the gates of the Vince Gill & The Time Jumpers concert
when A. decided to SING-A-LONG with the steel guitar!!
who me - singing too loudly?

7/26/14 Sat
2791. hidden talents

2792. afternoon naps
I decided to take one when the baby did. How refreshing!
2793. beans, rice, cheese & tomatoes

7/27/14 Sun
2794. double church

Protestant then Catholic :)
2795. artist in the forest :)

2796. Christmas in July - "Ding Dong Merrily on High" Sunday Sacred Song Service

7/28/14 Mon
2797. 57 degrees & rain... why?
because I know that the weather doesn't slow down the work of MY LORD!

2798. being created to be resourceful & relentless at times
(emailed almost every "church" contact I could find here at CHQ)
2799. evening walkabout - just me :)
walking, water & wild flowers!

7/29/14 Tues
2800. the community of faith
(see No. 2798... I got such support!)
2801. dinner at a new friend's home
we felt at home

and had ice cream for dessert!
2802. walking so much that my legs ache for hours after I'm done

7/30/14 Wed
2803. a gift from a new friend...
a yummy, fresh, juicy MANGO with breakfast!!!

2804. caregiver instincts at an early age

2805. a 2-3-hour prayer walk over the entire property

7/31/14 Thurs
2806. The Disciples of Christ :)
HOUSING UPDATE: 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.

2807. classical music in the open air

2808. God's crazy timing :)
UPDATE: Thursday, 7/31, 11:15pm... 7 of the last 10 nights have been set up... 


  1. Hi Stuck in Indiana girl,

    So, is Chataqua a region, or a city? I'm feeling naive right now, sorry. :) Congratulations on the new card now though!

    Smiling along with you as you count gifts here, skimming them... ahh sweet baby sleeping moments, mmm, comfort sweet potato food, and times with family and friends. Precious, huh? I have picked up my list and started counting again too this year after a slight pause. My notebook pages climb and my peace mounts too.

    Nice to be here again,
    Jennifer Dougan

  2. Thanks for the visit Jennifer :) Chautauqua is a city, a region (since there's a big LAKE CHAUTAUQUA in western New York), a school, a school of thought, etc. It's VERY HARD to describe. We were at the Chautauqua Institute in Chautuaqua, NY for the 8 weeks so that my daughter could participate in their summer program.

    Counting & keeping track of 3 gifts a day is a life changer. It makes the sweet times sweeter & the tough times less tough :) God is always working on our behalf - in the good & not so good times!!

    Love getting your notes in my inbox!!