The Recess

Dear highly esteemed and most valued Reader,

Due to an unplanned and highly chaotic state of being, I have been unable to post my weekly musings of mundane suburbanite domesticity.  I had fully intended to post said writings but the days came and I found myself unwittingly the victim of a severe case of new-puppy-love-itis and of the equally centrifugal force of summer sunshine pulling me into the vortex of languid days filled with relaxed schedules, no deadlines, and a beckoning bedside book stack enticing me to stop and gorge upon the written word.  I have attempted feebly to withstand these coaxing charms but alas to no avail I have failed.  So, dear reader, please do not depart for I will return on occasion during these dog days of summer to tantalize you with my view of life as I know it from the humid, sultry south.



“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.”  Romans 12:2  NIV Bible


Busy Times and Yard Visitors


This week has been C-R-A-Z-Y!  I’ll be back next week with more details and life happenings.  In the meantime, I had a few visitors in my yard this week.

garden snake indigo buntings

Aren’t the indigo buntings pretty? Hard to catch a picture of them, they’re skittish.



“He is your praise, he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes.”  Deuteronomy 10:21  NIV Bible

Ugh, Jury Duty…


Have you ever received a summons for jury duty? Do you dread it?  I received one a couple of weeks ago to serve for this week.  When I told people I was summoned, almost without fail, everyone said {with a grimaced face, I might add} something along the lines of “Ugh, jury duty“.  Maybe, the system needs a revamp if they want happy jurors serving.

Raymond_Courthouse {photo from Wikipedia — Hinds County Courthouse, National Historic Register}

I’ve been summoned 7 times for jury duty since I was eligible and I DREAD IT!  How is 7 times a random drawing when my husband has never been summoned once, I ask?

The more I thought about jury duty, the more anxious and stressed I became. One of the major reasons for my stress was that my daughter’s graduation from college is this Friday and I was afraid I would not be excused from duty.

Why do we dislike it so much?  I’ve listed my reasons below.

My Reasons for Disliking Jury Duty

  1. Jury duty is an interruption to my schedule.
  2. It’s boring.  I sit for a l-o-n-g time while the sorting of people takes place.
  3. I don’t get paid at least minimum wage for my time.
  4. I can’t take in my phone, a magazine, a book, or snacks to help pass the time.
  5. I have to sit in really uncomfortable chairs in tight spaces which makes my knees ache because of my arthritis.
  6. Small talk is required, in order to pass the time, with the other jurors, who are just as miserable as I am.
  7. I feel like I’m made to do it instead of choosing to do it.
  8. I don’t want to have to decide the fate of others.
  9. Comfy clothing is not an option. I’m required to trade in my jeans and flip flops for something stiff but fancy.
  10. My family suffers because I suffer. Happy Mommy = Happy Family; Miserable Mommy = Miserable Family
  11. You have to act interested…it’s not even the good gossip (not that you can share it anyway).
  12. Parking is notoriously awful; if you’re not the judge…you’re parking way in the back.

How do you feel about jury duty? Relish your civic duty or fear the jury dirge?



“There is only one Law-giver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy.  But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?” James 4:12 NIV Bible

April 2014 Viewpoint


“The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year”  Mark Twain

louisiana iris


As I looked back over my posts for this month, the common thread was renovation.  We have a week left to wrap up this bonus room renovation before our daughter and her husband move in.   Would you like to see where it all began? You can find it here.

In April, I also was invited to write my first guest post for Cara at be,  I wrote about a little parenting wisdom I learned.  If you’d like to check it out, you can find it here.

I also wrote a couple of memoir pieces centered around nature.  A tribute to my grandmother and a piece about tending the garden, tending the soul.

purple iris


I didn’t read much this month.  I had started most of these before the month of April but finished them during the month.

  • Sycamore Row by John Grisham — 3/5 stars
  • A Touch of Wonder by Arthur Gordon — 5/5 stars
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare —5/5 stars
  • The Memoir Project A Thoroughly Non-standardized Text for Writing and Life by Marion Roach Smith —5/5 stars
  • I also read my daughter’s thesis a couple of times but I don’t think that counts…


Nothing new downloaded this month.  I love the mix of this instrumental piece so I thought I’d share and let it be the benediction.

I’m joining in with others who have shared their April month stories.  Come join us at Leigh Kramer’s: What I’m Into.



“…let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 NIV Bible

Tending the Garden,Tending the Soul


I’ve done a little garden tending this week.  The birds were chirping, the wind whispered in the trees as I pulled up weeds, raked, and moved dirt around with my hands. I like this task of caring and tending to the garden.  My mind wanders and begins to soul tend, too.

fleabaneI found weeds blossoming. Pretty, but a nuisance.  I work diligently to keep them away.  Sometimes, poison is required.

I have weeds deep in my soul.  I fool myself into thinking they’re pretty.   As I yanked and pulled those weeds in my garden, the roots held firm into the ground while they broke easily at the base of the stem.  I know that I need a spade to get the remainders out.  Like those in my soul, I know they’re going to require some muscle to remove and if I don’t take care of them, they’ll once again produce and choke out the good I want.

With a little effort and nurturing, the blossoming begins.

clematis 2I removed debris and the suffocating weeds so the plant had the space to freely thrive and bloom.  I tilled at things buried deep inside as I puttered about the yard while persuading attributes of joy, hope, kindness and love to sow in their space within me to bloom like my garden: fresh, clean, and well-tended.

clematisHow does your garden grow?



“The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame.  You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”  Isaiah 58:11 NIV Bible

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words but Only if You Can Find It


I was working on a post yesterday and I wanted to add the finishing touch of a picture.  I was certain I had one.  I pulled out the first box of pictures then, 5 boxes and 3 albums later, I conceded.  I didn’t have one.  I knew the picture had to exist.  I had it in my mind.  When I close my eyes, I can see the scene so clearly.  But, the reality is I don’t have a picture.  Disappointed and astonished, I chalked it up to one more instance of “ where are the pictures? “.

wheres the picture 1

Does this situation ever happen to you?  You think you have the pictures only to discover you don’t?  This instance was not the first time I haven’t had the image I was wanting.  I realized this cycle had to end so I’ve put together a list of things to remember in order to stop the cycle.

wheres the picture 2

Stopping the “Where are the pictures? ” Cycle List

  1. Make/Keep a list of pictures you’d like to take. By doing this small step, you’ll be sure to have the ones you want.
  2. Take more pictures than you think you need because you can always pare down later.
  3. Don’t assume someone else took pictures for you or the ones you wanted.
  4. Keep a camera close at hand.
  5. Capture images that will trigger memories like signs, favorite places or things, flowers in a yard, etc…
  6. Organize your photos to make them easier to find when searching for the one you want.
  7. Take pictures of everything.  If you’re a blogger who likes to include pictures in your posts, you never know what you will write about and wish you had a picture.
  8. Bonus: All these images are good for insurance purposes.

wheres the picture 3I’m not giving up my search. I’ve called in reinforcements!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!



“But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again’ he was lost and is found.”  Luke 15:32 NIV Bible



Snow Days


Do you know the phrase, “once in a blue moon“?  Happening only every two or three years, a blue moon is a full moon occurring twice in a month.  Snow in the South is about as common.  It’s rare and a treat.  When the news gives a prediction of snow in the forecast, we wait with eager anticipation, along with the giddy school children, hoping against hope that the snow will come.  We scurry to the grocery store preparing for a snowmageddon and buy every junk food delight that can be purchased.

Snow is an enigma.  We don’t know how to deal with it.  We don’t have snow plows, snow tires, snow shoes, snow shovels, or coats designed for cold weather.  Cars piled up, commutes that should’ve taken minutes took hours and in some areas, little children had to spend the night at school because they couldn’t get home.   Snow perplexes us and catches us off guard.

snow on log in woods

We only had a light dusting, maybe an inch /inch and a half.  For some of y’all, that amount hardly counts as spit as Southerners say but for us; it’s magical and FRIGID.  Snow never lasts long when it does fall.  In fact, the weather prediction is high 60’s for Saturday.

bench in snow

I’m not a fan of cold weather but I am a fan of snow.  I love watching the flakes come down.  I love the quietness and the stillness that begins to happen outside.  Nature seems to command attention by using the softest of whispers.  I watch in amazement knowing that each snowflake is unique and different; each testifying to the amazing, creative ability of God.

heart in snow

Snow days bless us with free days that are really unplanned holidays to be relished and treasured.  A day open to any possibility I can imagine or conceive: a true luxury and gift.  What have I done?   Very little : )

What do you do with your snow days?



“Be still before the LORD, all mankind, because he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.”  Zechariah 2:13 NIV Bible