Saturday, October 18, 2008


TRULY IT IS!!!I looked out my back slider at precisely the right moment -- just as a colorful Maple had decided to shed its coat for another season. Off came its leaves, drifting down by the thousands like feather-light snowflakes, blanketing the ground in red and gold. We were baby sitting our grandkids, Dylan and Lexi, at the time, so Cecil decided to take Dylan out for a bit of raking. Well, as you know, you don't rake with a two-year-old and expect the pile to stay intact. In fact, the pile became a "bed" of sorts.





There is NOTHING on earth like Grandpa/Grandson time. SEIZE THE MOMENT!

Friday, October 10, 2008


Let me tell you, Cecil and I packed in a whopping lot in the eleven or so days we spent in London and Paris. And I dare say every delicious calorie consumed was almost immediately walked off! In London, we experienced every mode of transportation from the trains and buses to the taxis and the underground. We snapped pictures of beautiful Regent Street, Westminster Abbey, Parliament, Piccadilly Circus, Big Ben, and the Thames River. We visited Hampton Manor, a castle built for King Henry VIII. We shopped at Harrods Department Store and Hamley's Toy Store--oh, and we breezed through the amazing Liberty Department Store, a castle onto itself. In Paris, we visited the Eiffel Tower, crossed the Seine River, walked the grounds of the Louvre Museum, sipped on coffee at one of the many outdoor cafes, enjoyed a lovely, romantic dinner at a wonderful restaurant, and kissed on a few street corners. Oh, there was so much to see I can barely even put it all into words. I mean, how do you write about an experience like that in a few short paragraphs?

Well, let me say the sights were amazing, yes, even enthralling and spectacular, but far more exciting to me was meeting my precious Shoutlife friend, Maria Cristina, and her ADORABLE fiance, Simone, face to face! To know them is to love them and Cecil and I are BLESSED BEYOND MEASURE BY THE EXPERIENCE!

People and relationships are so much more important than things, and meeting my precious Maria on this trip reminded me of that truth over and over. I can't tell you how many times throughout our time together I whispered up a prayer of thanks to my Heavenly Father for orchestrating this beautiful friendship, which shall take us into eternity. Of that I am CERTAIN.

I've said it before -- we serve a generous, loving God who wants to give us gifts. And the precious gift of friendship is the best one of all!

If I had the choice to revisit the Eiffel Tower or Maria's backyard gate, which do you think I'd pick?

Simone, Maria, Cecil, and me enjoying dinner at a restaurant--our last night together...

Maria and Shar

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


I am deathly, I mean deathly--and that is not an exaggeration--afraid of mice. I HATE THEM, I DETEST THEM, I CRINGE AT THE SIGHT OF THEM, I REFUSE TO WALK DOWN THE STORE AISLE OF THE PET SECTION IF I THINK THERE MIGHT BE ONE IN A CAGE, I CAN'T LOOK AT ONE ON A TV OR MOVIE SCREEN--AND I CERTAINLY CANNOT TOLERATE seeing one in my own house!!! Well, today -- yup! -- for the first time in the 26 years we've lived in this house I saw one run across my floor!!!!!! Lord, help me!

I was sitting in my office chair, holding my sleeping 7-month-old grandson, when my dog suddenly leaped up. (If you know my lazy, 100#, 10-year-old collie, you know he NEVER leaps up.) My big ol' cat, who'd been sleeping on the big pet pillow nearby, also, hmm, stirred. Meaning he sat up and stared in the same direction Dakota was staring. I then heard the tiniest little noise and looked down. There, I saw a little dark thing peeking around the corner OF MY OFFICE DOOR. YOW!!! I shocked myself by not screaming. I did, however, sprint out of my chair and run the opposite way, out through the bathroom, the guest bedroom, and into the laundry room. Then I took a dare, a GIANT dare, and peeked around the corner, where I'd seen the...eeeooouuuu...mouse. Guess what. The cat was still sitting on the pillow and WATCHING the thing run across the floor. At least my dog appeared mildly interested, as he followed it with his nose--somewhat.

From there, I ran up the stairs, breathless, into Cecil's office--(THANK GOD HE IS CURRENTLY UNEMPLOYED!!!!!) "I-I-just saw--a--mouse!" I managed to get out. He swiveled around, all nonchalant. Oh, I hate that.

"You did?"

"Yes! Go get it!" (Oh, by the way, the baby, of course, is no longer sleeping due to all the bobbling up and down, and I feel somewhat guilty for my childish reaction, and for not putting him in his crib before my world crashed in on me.)

I stayed hovered in a corner of Cecil's office, hugging the baby close, while he went to get a broom. A broom! And then I listened to a bit of a scuffle going on underneath me, and then a lot of pounding. UGH. The sound shall remain in my head for days, maybe months, to come.

I thought I lived in a mouse-free environment. Now, all I can think about is, does this thing have a family? If so, are they lurking about looking for him? Yes, my hubby set traps, four of them, all slathered with peanut butter. And every half-hour for the last seven hours I've made him check them. So far nothing--so maybe there's hope that he was just a fluke? But then just tonight at small group Bible study one of the guys there had the nerve to say that where there's one there's ten. HUH???? What kind of friend would say such a thing? Now, I have to sit at my desk with my feet up for at least the next two months--at least until I can feel reasonably certain there are no more yucky little gray things running around. And by the way, I asked my hubby what the cat did when he went after the mouse with a broom and he said he just sat on his pillow and watched. Grrrrrrr. I'm so mad at my cat! What good is he?

Okay, well, thank you for allowing me to vent. And let me just say, IF YOU READ THIS TO THE END, YOU ARE A TRUE, TRUE FRIEND.

Oh dear, writing deadlines loom, and now I have to think about the possibility of something crawling across my foot?????? Pray for me. And I don't say that in a trite manner. I AM SERIOUS AS A DEAD LOON!

Sometime this week I shall tell you about our trip to Europe--and add pictures!

Unless I see another one of those ucky things in my office.

Then it could be a while.