Just a glimpse of me...

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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!

30 September 2014


       Writing Challenge Accepted:
Wednesday, October 1, 2014 

with the nesting place!

I don't know about you... but, I love PUTTING THINGS TOGETHER...
  • finding ways to use my old clothing items with the latest trends
  • inventing new ways to prepare meals
  • matching inspirational thoughts, quotes, scriptures & lyrics with pics I've taken
  • doing a DIY project here & there
  • introducing people who have things in common (although I am not that big on match-making)
  • making correlations between nature & principles in life
This October 1st will mark my 3rd October to participate in a daily writing challenge posed annually by the nesting place. Their slogan attracted me years ago. I read those words and knew I could pair up with this girl...

"It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful."

The 31 days of PUTTING THINGS TOGETHER posts will be short & sweet. Afterall, there's a lot of great writing out there for all of us to read. 

Thanks for stopping by & sharing life with me :)

PS  Take a quick look at my new Facebook page  If you enjoy it, LIKE it and SHARE it with others. 

Perfecting the Fake Smile

I'm good at faking a smile. Are you? I learned it at a very young age. My father was the pastor of a small church in a little town in the hills of North Carolina. He was very out-going. He made it a point to hop in & get involved in the community when we first moved there. I had just completed kindergarten. That little town was our home until I was in 8th grade. And, there didn't seem to be a place where I could go that people didn't now who my father was. I was proud of him. But, it wasn't always fun to be known as one of the "preacher's kids".

I didn't want to make things bad for my family. So, I learned at a very young age to hide any feelings I had that might be seen as negative... more accurately, any feelings that might be seen as less-than-perfect.

22 September 2014

PUTTING THINGS TOGETHER - Home Page for write31days2014

October of 2014 is my third October to participate in a daily writing challenge posed annually by the nesting placeTheir slogan attracted me years ago. I read those words and knew I could pair up with this girl...

"It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful."

I don't know about you... but, I love PUTTING THINGS TOGETHER... ways to use old clothing items with the latest trends; different ways to prepare meals; matching inspirational thoughts/quotes/scriptures/song lyrics with photos I've taken; doing a DIY project here & there; introducing people who have things in common (although I am not that big on match-making)making correlations between nature & life; and so much more!

The direct links to individual posts are being added daily right here: 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014
     Taking Care of What the Good Lord Gave You  
Thursday, October 2, 2014
     Annoying Someone for Life 
Friday, October 3, 2014

     PUTTING THINGS TOGETHER - Atlantic Ocean Sunrise + A Broken Metatarsal 
Saturday, October 4, 2014

     The Smallest Gestures
Sunday, October 5, 2014
A Chapter Closed Today - Paradise by the Sea     
Monday, October 6, 2014
     The Clutter of Life 
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
     I'll Show You Mine If... 
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
     Autumn - A Time of Sowing

Thursday, October 9, 2014
     Making Memories - A Moment At A Time
Friday, October 10, 2014
     Love + A Big Piece of Chocolate Cake
Saturday, October 11, 2014

     No Mountains... No Ocean... Where's the beauty?
Sunday, October 12, 2014
     Moving Mountains
Monday, October 13, 2014
     Moving Mountains 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014
     Making Daily Deposits 
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
     A Living Legacy
Thursday, October 16, 2014
     The Value of FREE Things
Friday, October 17, 2014
     All You Need Is Love
Saturday, October 18, 2014
     Dealing With Sleepless Nights 
Sunday, October 19, 2014
     Honoring the Memory of My Sister
Monday, October 20, 2014
     A Kiss & A Goodbye
Tuesday, October 21, 2014

     Living Fully & Letting Go of Expectations
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
     Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
Thursday, October 23, 2014
     Struggling To Do It All
Friday, October 24, 2014
     Cancer + Coincidences + Peaceful Sleep
Saturday, October 25, 2014
     Rainy Day Recipes - Country Cemeteries
Sunday, October 26, 2014
     Dream On
Monday, October 27, 2014
     A Woman's Most Perfect Curve
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
     Seasons of Life - Stretching, Learning & Growing
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
     The Grass is Greener
Thursday, October 30, 2014
     How To Love The UnLIKEable
Friday, October 31, 2014
     The Best Way Out
The entire collection of posts can be seen by clicking on the "31 days of PUTTING THINGS TOGETHER" picture on the right sidebar of my blog.

19 September 2014

Talk Like a Pirate Day

My FAVORITE little pirate!
September 19th is Talk Like a Pirate Day And, we wouldn't want any of our mateys out there to miss out on the fun. Face the fact, you'd be an addlepate not to participate in the celebrations. So... ALL HANDS ON DECK! 

And for ye landlubbers, here's a little help from The Pirate Dictionary:

To start with, of course, say "ye" for you, "me" for my or mine, and don't skimp on the "ahoy" and "arrrrr!"

Addled - Mad, insane, or just stupid. An "addlepate" is a fool.

17 September 2014

Quiet Yourself & Listen to Your Heart

It was early January and a cold snowy day -- not much different than what we'd been experiencing for the past few months. My winter blues were turned on "HIGH" that year. My desire for warm sun & hidden beaches was intense. Through a few years of experience, I'd finally figured out that those desires could be fed when I was out in nature observing the wonders of God. The dusk light on a snow covered pond brought peace to my restless soul. The sound of the snow crunching under my feet as I wondered through a nearby woods lifted my spirits. Even as I shivered from the cold air, I felt

13 September 2014

It's Not Rocket Science

After returning home from 54 days away, I was talking with my sister on the phone & telling her of all my troubles. You know, the really BIG troubles. And, the words spewed out of my mouth: 
It's Not Rocket Science. You know, Jesus Loves the Simple Minded!
I was dealing with some really BIG troubles like...

12 September 2014

Don't Postpone Joy

Don't Postpone Joy
My home for summer 2014... the gated grounds of Chautauqua Institution. My daughter, her sweet toddler & I shared a TINY tree-top efficiency apartment for the first 6+ weeks, a screened porch for 7 nights & a hotel room for 3 nights. While my daughter took classes, attended lectures & painted/painted/painted, I cared for the baby. 
It was a great experience... BUT IT WAS HARD WORK! 
I continue to believe my investment in their lives during that season was by the appointment of God. Although the summer was one of sacrifice (missing... my husband, my home, my friends, my cat, my flowers, my veggies, my cement pond, my husband's grilling skills, my church & a healthy portion of my bank account which I'd thought had been saved for a future family vacation), the summer proved to be a full of joy. It could have easily been a time when I put JOY on hold.

05 September 2014

Do You Like Your Life Ruthann?

It's a little past seven in the evening and, I'm sitting here on the patio beside our cement pond eating leftovers for dinner. The rest of the family won't be home for several hours. The day has finally cooled down enough to be able to enjoy being outside. Beside me is a pool that has an eerie yellow-green tint to it thanks to the mustard algae we've been battling all summer. Earlier today I brushed down the sides of the pool to try to get the cleaning process started again. I'm surrounded by a wooden fence that's rotten and falling down in many places. A big portion of it is now replaced with staked up chicken wire. There's mismatched patio furniture all around me - many of the pieces held together, no doubt, by rust. Assorted hand-me-downs: play sets, swings and slides, that I vowed would never clutter up my yard, abound.

#JoyDare No. 2911. Calling Out My Friends & Family Members

Pictures related to 9 people who were a
blessing to me in the month of August 2014
I prayed last night for God to order my steps* today. I have so many things that need to be done around my house and in my yard - 3.5 acres! This morning I woke up & asked God again to help me set my agenda for the day - so that I would be productive around here but more really, so that I would be effective

03 September 2014

2014 August ONE THOUSAND GIFTS #JoyDare

AUGUST 2014 
Today I find JOY in...

8/1/14 Fri
2809. waking up & knowing where I will sleep tomorrow night
BONUS - taking time to add pics & publish my July JoyDare
2810. an afternoon walk to clear my head

2811. help packing - pic of Ayla in suitcases Access to 2 washers & 2 dryers

8/2/14 Sat
2812. helpers Sarah & Maggie AND an early check in at the DOC house!!

2813. 2 hours nap for Baby A

2814. dinner with the Rosenthals & show tunes at the amp - Sweeney Todd

02 September 2014

#JoyDare No. 2891. Iced Coffee by the Cement Pond

A friend asked for my recipe the other day when I shared the following picture and #JoyDare: 

 #JoyDare No. 2891. Iced Coffee by the Cement Pond

Iced Coffee with stuckinindiana
2 cups cold coffee
3 heaping spoons of sugar
1/4 cup (approx) of half & half OR heavy whipping cream (yummiest)
One "booze drink shaker thingie with a lid & strainer cap in the lid"-  full of ice
One tall glass with a straw - full of ice
Canister of whipped cream for topping if you are feeling especially fancy that day
And, if you are feeling extra fancy-schmancy that day, put in a drop of your favorite flavoring extract (e.g. vanilla, almond, hazelnut, pumpkin pie spice, cocoa, pecan, peppermint, etc.)

1. Heat the coffee in the microwave for 2-3 minutes (or on the stove to a boil)
2. Fill the booze drink shaker thingie with ice
3. Put the sugar on that ice
4. Pour the cream over the sugar & ice
5. Pour the hot coffee over that
6. Close the lid completely and SHAKE VIGOROUSLY 
          I sometimes think about what I am going to do to the LOML if he keeps leaving his dirty socks under the bed skirt!
7. Remove the little cap on the booze drink shaker thingier to strain the iced coffee from the shaker into your glass full of ice
8. Garnish if you wish with whipped cream :)

2-3 glasses of delicious iced coffee

PS  I always make sure the refill glasses have plenty of ice!

8/28/14 #JoyDare No. 2891. iced coffee by the cement pond
WHY? Because God is fun :)

PAIRINGS - The Hubris of Success

It was getting close to 1am as I began to tire. I quickly asked God to rest me well in the night & wake me up with an agenda which came from Him. (My natural tendencies would be to relax after such a crazy weekend & wait until tomorrow to start up any good habits!) The morning came fast but, I was ready to go. My waking thoughts reminded me of the conversation with God the night before...