Wednesday, February 28, 2007


My sister-in-law and I were talking the other day. Her husband is a pastor like mine, and she was saying a Christian camp invited her husband to conduct a marriage seminar for couples. Her husband asked her if she'd like to speak also. She was laughing as she told me about the incident, saying how in the world could they teach a marriage seminar?, and wonder why that camp invited them?, that they didn't have any credentials.
I said, "How long have you and Rick been married, Tricia?"
"Twenty-one years," she said.
"Then you definitely have qualifications to teach marriage seminars. You're a success story because you've stayed together." I went on to tell her she could share things she'd learned along the way and things that had helped her in her marriage.
She finally admitted that maybe I was right, that that sounded reasonable.
If you were called on to speak about marriage, what would you say?

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


The first two pictures are of my writing space. We call it the office or the study. You enter it through French doors opening off the foyer. My husband bought me dark cherry wood office furniture, and it's a wonderful place to write and create my novels. Inspirations...
The double windows face the front of the house with pleasant views of neighbors' homes and the three-headed pygmy palm trees in a stone planter in our front yard.

There's a comfy chair in the corner to read in. The unusual curvey lamp in the corner, over near my printer, is a Jane Seymour lamp. She creates home decor items for Parisian stores nationwide. A dear friend gave this to me. On the top shelf are all my published books, both novels and the nonfiction collections I have chapters or short articles in.

I know. I'm ending sentences with prepositions. But I like Sir Winston Churchill's exclamation when someone corrected him about this: "My dear madam, that is something I will not up with put!" GRIN

Also on the top shelf is a picture of Pulitzer Prize-winning Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings's typewriter, an old upright. I've seen it in person. Her house is in Florida at Cross Creek. With one of her advance checks from a novel, she installed an indoor bathroom and threw a party for her neighbors so they could see it. She put ice and cold drinks in the bathtub and a bouquet of red roses in the commode. To this day, a bouquet is in the commode, though it's silk. Read a few tidbits about Rawlings here.

Surrounding me are pictures of my beloved family--daughters, their children, etc. There's also a picture of Milton and me on our wedding day in an embrace. Adjacent to it is a picture of Rhett and Scarlett in a similar pose. Between these two pictures is a framed letter Milton wrote me one year on Valentine's Day. You can read it here.

Milton has a workstation in the study with a computer, even though he has a beautiful office at the church (he's a pastor). He pays the bills here, and he writes. He's a great writer. I've turned every Monday on my blog into Milton Monday, and he'll be posting regularly. A couple of weeks ago, I was writing my WIP (work in progress) and started crying at a certain scene in the novel. Milton rolled his chair over to mine, put his hand on my shoulder, and patted me over and over, bringing sweet comfort to my soul.

On my desk is an engraved wood-grain plaque with gold lettering that says, "Lord, help me to remember that nothing is going to happen to me today that You and I together can't handle." --An old preacher's greeting to each new day.

I can't describe my whole office--and all the things that inspire me--because it would take up too much space.

Oh, I must describe this: on the wall is a framed painting of a rainbow trout swimming furiously through a mountain stream. My brother painted it, and it won the 1988 Nevada Trout Stamp Contest. It's actually a signed print. Bubba's (we're from the South) rainbow trout was on every fisherman's license in the state of Nevada that entire year. Bubba entered the Federal Duck Stamp Contest several times with his paintings of ducks and even placed in the contest. If you win, you can become a millionaire through print sales. We like to think that had he lived, he would've won. He died of liver cancer.

The bottom picture is of my ebony Yamaha piano in the living room. I sometimes go there to take a break from the tedium of writing. I might play How Great Thou Art or Edelweiss or other songs that inspire me. Above the piano is Renoir's Girl Playing the Piano. It's a print, of course.

Monday, February 26, 2007


By Milton Dykes

True friends are not easy to come by. I lost one of my best friends this week. His name is Hubert Wilder. I knew him as a neighboring pastor, denominational official, preacher, administrator, leader, teacher, and, in many other spiritual and meaningful capacities. However, the relationship I enjoyed with him the most was as a friend.

He was my friend—plain and simple.

A friend is one who comes in when others go out. A friend will listen and not judge. A friend will speak the truth in love. A friend is someone who will be there no matter what. A friend is a pal, a buddy, a comrade. A friend is a helper, supporter, a companion. Jesus put it this way: “Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

Hubert often called and asked, “How are you doing pal?” or “Hey partner, what’s happening?” or “Hey friend, let’s get a cup of coffee.” And then we’d get together and talk shop or discuss family, church, preaching, and a lot of other stuff. We drank a lot of coffee and made lots of trips—ministry trips and fun trips. We traveled thousands of miles together. We had a good time.

Hubert was a friend to many people. God only knows how many times he “laid it on the line” for others. I watched him many times stick his neck out to help someone through a rough spot. That is what friends do—they are there when the chips are down and help pull you up.

Hubert is in heaven now. He has won the prize. He is with Jesus and that is all that matters. It is just sad that I have lost a friend—not forever mind you. I’ll see him again one day.

I’ll try to be a better friend to others because of Hubert Wilder. Maybe you can too.


These pictures were taken in the Virgin Islands. The bottom picture is of Hubert and his wife Sherry with a pastor's daughter from the British Virgin Islands.

Friday, February 23, 2007


This is the mannequin in my neighbor's window (down the street from my house). He stands there day and night, like he's on guard or something. He wears an orange shirt. Viewing it from the street, I thought it was a poncho, but I can now see that it's not. He also wears a big straw hat and sunglasses. It looks like his arms might be folded across his chest.

I read Brandilyn Collins's blog every day, and she occasionally posts a picture of GG, her name for a "gray gorilla" which sits on her neighbor's porch. When I saw her picture, I thought about this mannequin and decided to take his picture and post it.

So yesterday, I stopped my car in front of the house and snapped a picture from my rolled-down window. But I wasn't close enough to get a good picture. So like a burglar on the stealth, I eased out of my car and made my way up to the house. I snapped two or three pictures and fled back to my car, hoping no one would see me.

Two questions:

1. Does anybody have any suggestions as to why this mannequin is in this person's window?

2. Does anybody have a nifty name for him? I've already thought of one. See if you can guess it. Clue #1: Remember, I write fiction. Which leans me to, Clue #2: Think, Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


Yesterday, I ate lunch with my Aunt Jo, pictured at left with me. Joining us were 21 other church women (plus Milton) at the beautiful new community she's just moved into. She moved from a lovely home into a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment overlooking a lake in a seniors' community.
I organized the luncheon and open house so her church lady friends could celebrate her and her new home. We laughed, and we ate, and we chatted in the luxuriously-appointed private dining room with its crystal chandeliers and swagged windows, and then we rode elevators up to her third-floor apartment, and everybody got to see her place. Her daughters decorated it like a show home in the latest decorator colors. With her elegant furnishings, it's pure eye candy.
Milton led us in a prayer of dedication, and it was a touching moment.
Later, everybody hugged goodbye, saying what a great time they'd had.
Not long after Milton and I arrived home, we received a phone call that a dear minister friend had just died. We rushed down to the hospital, and moments later, we were standing by his bed, hugging his widow and daughter-in-law. He was cold in death, and we were all bawling our eyes out. We stayed there for quite some time, and he looked so natural, as if he were sleeping, that I thought, Surely, he's going to open his eyes and say hello to us.
But he didn't.
Come Saturday, he'll be lying in a casket in front of a churchfull of mourners.
Life and thrills and excitement at noon.
Death and crying and mourning at three.
Sure sobers you.
Last night, I gathered Milton in my arms and said, "I'm so glad I have you. I love you with all my heart. I want you to be around a long, long time." I just held him, overcome with emotion and with gratefulness.
Have you told your spouse you love him/her in the last day or so?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


The photo at left reminds me of a true story about a couple and another heart shape.
It seems this couple--we'll call them Dan and Sarah--have a big white heart painted on their concrete patio floor. Inscribed in the heart are these words:
The heart of this house is my darling wife Sarah.
They said it's a reminder to them that life together requires adjustments--continually!
How did the heart get there, and why does it remind them of this?
It happened this way: Dan decided to paint the patio area one day. "I'm going to be painting out here, so don't come out," he told her.
A little later, Sarah forgot and flung the door open. It knocked a gallon of white paint across the patio floor.
Dan had a decision to make, a quick one: am I going to get upset? After all, I'm the one doing the work, and now she's made more work for me. And, I clearly told her not to come out here yet she couldn't even follow that simple instruction.
But then he remembered something they'd always striven for in their marriage: to never punish (get upset) for accidents. "Our philosophy is that a mate should be very, very understanding when it comes to accidents."
"He could've yelled at me," Sarah says, "and he would've been justified because he told me exactly what he was doing and asked me not to come outside. That would've hurt my feelings, had he yelled. I'm glad he didn't. Instead, he built a memory."
It seems Dan looked down and realized the paint had spread into an almost-heart shape. With a few quick swipes of the brush, he made it a perfect heart and later inscribed it with the beautiful saying.
That was 15 years ago.
"We've learned that if you have a problem in marriage, it's not a problem marriage," Sarah says.
Kristy, here: Wait a minute. That's a profound statement: If you have a problem in marriage, it's not a problem marriage.
Sarah calls the problems in marriage "work areas." "That means we both can work at making it better," she says.
Interestingly, their four children presented them with a plaque engraved with the words Beth Shalom. It means "House of Peace."
They hung it over their front door.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Saturday, Milton conducted a wedding. The groom is the grandson of a parishioner. As always, it was very touching to me to sit there and watch Milton read the vows to a naive-about-marriage, head-over-heels-in-love couple.
For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness, in health...
Man, they don't have a clue!
None of us did!
One standard feature of the ceremonies he performs comes near the end and always brings loads of laughter from the audience. He asks the groom to repeat the most important thing he'll ever come to learn (WINK!): "Happy wife...happy life!"
Milton requires the couples he marries to go through premarital counseling. He gives them tips and advice and information, and then books on marriage including The Act of Marriage by Tim LaHaye and Intended for Pleasure by Dr. Ed Wheat. He's currently counseling two more couples.
This couple's wedding was beautiful, sweet, tender: The stained-glassed military chapel was quaint and pretty. The bride was glowing. The groom cried as the bride walked down the aisle. The six or seven bridesmaids looked pretty in their blue gowns. The formal reception at the officers' club overlooked the river. Looking out the wall of glass, I saw swaying-in-the-breeze oak trees bedecked with moss, a fitting frame for the huge sailboats lined up in the harbor (before darkness fell). The food was delish, and we met new people, a regular happening when we attend weddings and receptions.
Ah, weddings!

Monday, February 19, 2007


A People of Destiny
By Milton Dykes
Someone said that destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not something to be waited for; it is something to be achieved. The Apostle Paul put it this way: "I press toward the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:4, NKJV). Two words stand out in obtaining destiny. They are press and achieve. Too many people have the notion that great destinies are without effort and determination. That is just not so. God's Word does not support such an idea.
What can you do to achieve God's best--His highest destiny?
1. Be focused on His plan.
2. Be faithful to His assignment.
3. Be fearless to risk according to His challenge.
4. Be fervent with holy passion.
5. Be forceful and firm in your determination.
Denis Waitley says in his book, The Double Win:
"Losers live in the past, for the future. They see a problem in every solution.
Winners learn from the past, live in the present, and set goals for the future. They seek a solution in every problem.
Double winners learn from the past and work in the present to accomplish goals that benefit everyone's future. They help others solve their problems."
Milton, here: Be a double winner. That is God's plan for you. We are a people of destiny by both His choice and our decision.

Friday, February 16, 2007



Do you want a sure-fire way to catch people off-guard? Then keep a smile on your face. You'll get all kinds of responses such as "What are you smiling at?" "Why are you so happy?" It will drive the pessimist wild. It will melt the mood of the sullen. You will receive smiles in return. If you haven't smiled for a while, practice in the mirror. That'll be good for a few laughs!

Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.

Laughing 100 times a day is equivalent to 10 minutes of exercise on a rowing machine.

The average 4-year-old engages in laughter 400 times a day.

The average adult laughs only 15 times a day.

There are many psychological and physiological benefits of laughter. Called internal jogging, laughter is a great stress reducer

Humor can rescue you from embarrassing situations, according to a study conducted at Michigan State University and Florida State University. It serves as a face-saving device.

Humor can play an important role in recovery from physical illnesses.

The Bible says, "A merry heart does good like a medicine."


Make it a habit to laugh more with your spouse. Before my uncle died, he and my aunt used to sit in the evenings reading joke books aloud to each other and laughing like hyennas. How healthy for a marriage!


The picture, above, is to make you laugh. Practice laughing.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


This past weekend we had our annual marriage seminar at our church. It was informative and entertaining. We learned, and we had fun doing it. My brother and his wife, who are ministers, conducted it for us. It was a great lead-in to the week of Valentine's. My husband and I believe in enriching our marriage, and we want our congregation to do this too. That's why we put on these annual seminars.

There's an old saying, "Practice makes perfect," which can apply to piano playing. When I was a child and later, a teenager, I took piano lessons and had to practice. If I didn't practice that week, my performance in front of my teacher revealed it. I can still remember the embarrassment of not knowing my music. Oh, man, the sour notes I'd hit at times like that. Thankfully, those times were infrequent. My mother encouraged my practising, and it paid off.

When I became a pastor's wife in my early twenties, our music director gave me some tips on organ playing and asked me to play occasionally in church. I wasn't that good, but with his encouragement, I made a fairly decent stab at it, and parishioners enjoyed my playing. Then I located a pro organist and took lessons and practised diligently. I loved playing the base pedals with my left foot while my right foot operated the volume pedal and my hands danced across the ivories. Boomp, boomp, boomp, boomp, I'd go in four-four time, alternating the F and C pedals for F chords, or the E flat and B flat pedals for E flat chords, or the C and G pedals for C chords. Or, I might play boomp, boomp, boomp in three-four time, ad infinitum. Those base notes added rhythm and verve to songs and hymns.

Years passed by as I played the organ for congregational singing. I loved it. Milton even bought me a Hammond organ, and having one in my home brought me lots of joy.

Then he became an official for our denomination during the 1990s which meant we traveled every weekend to churches all over the state, which meant no more organ playing. Then, a few years ago, we accepted the pastorate of our present church, and their music program was so wonderful, there wasn't a need for an organist.

This story is going somewhere. It's about marriage. Trust me.

Can you see the pattern of my organ playing? Except for a few times here or there, I haven't played the organ in a long time. (I donated my Hammond to a struggling church a long time ago.) I have played the piano, however. I enjoy playing my shiny ebony Yahama, which is in my living room. But the organ? Almost never. With piano playing, your feet are basically still, except for light pumping on the volume pedal.

What does all this have to do with marriage? I'm getting there.

This past Sunday afternoon, we were invited to dinner at a parishioner's home. There was a group of us. After dinner, we gathered in their living room to sing and play. They have a piano and organ, and my brother and his wife and Milton and I enjoy singing together, and also with groups. One person sat down at the piano, a gifted pianist, and they asked me to play the organ. So I did. Off we go, playing and singing. I'm leaning to my far right on the organ bench to give my left leg plenty of room to fly over those base pedals: boomp, boomp, boomp, boomp; boomp, boomp, boomp, boomp; ad infinitum. We sang fast song after fast song (the faster the song, the more your left leg flies).

After a little while, I feel a slight twinge in my right hip, but I'm enjoying the singing and playing so much, I ignore it. On I play.

Monday morning, I get up and start my routine. About an hour later, MY BACK GOES OUT! If you don't know what it feels like to have YOUR BACK GO OUT, well, I can't really describe what it feels like to have YOUR BACK GO OUT. I never had MY BACK GO OUT. Every time I turned, every time I sat down, every time I moved, it was agony. The only thing I could think of that caused it guessed it. The organ playing.

For two days, I had to move very carefully to keep the pain down, plus spend some time on a heating pad. I'm happy to say I'm back to normal.

If I'd kept up my organ playing, this wouldn't have happened. The muscles I used to play the base pedals would've been limber and receptive. Instead, I hadn't used them in so long, I must've damaged them.

What does this have to do with marriage? I'm glad you asked.

The saying, "Practice makes perfect" can apply to marriage. We have to keep the "muscles" of communication working, and the "muscles" of commitment, and the "muscles" of understanding, and the "muscles" get the picture. We have to work at our marriages. If we let them stagnate, well, that's not a pleasant place. Going to seminars and learning or reinforcing what we already know is healthy. It'll bring wholeness and completeness.

"Practice makes perfect." Have you done some "practising" in your marriage lately? Learned something new? Or reinforced something you already knew? Want to tell us about it?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


According to, Valentine's Day is the traditional day on which lovers express their love for each other by giving candy, flowers, jewelry, etc. The day is most closely associated with the mutual exchange of love notes in the form of "valentines."

Of all the gifts from my husband, the ones I treasure the most are his love letters--written tributes--to me. I've framed one and have it on display where I can see it every day. It gives me a thrill every time I read it. It says:

You are indeed a very special person. Smart, talented, creative, industrious, pure, beautiful, faithful, generous, kind are only a few words that describe you. I am very fortunate to have you as my wife, friend, helper, and lover. I do love you now more than ever.

When we were engaged, we were separated for three months and wrote almost-daily letters to each other. After we married, I decoupaged excerpts of those letters on top of my antique cedar chest. I kept the chest in a guest bedroom, and we got lots of ribbing from guests!

I, in turn, have written tributes and love letter to him through the years.Here's a brand new love letter to my sweetie, fresh from my heart on this, Valentine's Day:

Dear Milton,
As a teenager, I prayed earnestly that God would send His choice of a mate into my life. When you came along, I knew you were the one for me. God put a love so vibrant in my heart for you, a desire so strong to be your helpmate, that this love and desire continue to this day and not only that, grow by leaps and bounds with each passing year. Milton, you are my tower of strength. You are my guiding light. You are the lover of my soul. I know. As Christians, we say the same things about the Lord. But I don't think Jesus minds if I say those things about you, for the Bible tells us the marriage relationship is a replica of the relationship between Christ and His bride, the Church. And the Bible tells us God wants husbands and wives to love each other with His kind of love. Thank you for all you do to make our marriage strong. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for taking care of me. I know that's an old-fashioned term, but that's how I feel. With all my heart, soul, mind, and body, I love you now and forever. Kristy


Anybody else want to write a love letter or a tribute to your spouse?

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


It's the day before Valentine's Day.

It's the week of Valentine's Day.

It's a time for love, a time of reflection about love.

It's also a time to ask forgiveness for the things you've done wrong all year, according to a newspaper article I read. It said husbands can apologize for leaving the toilet seat up or for burping, and wives can apologize for letting their hair clog the drain in the shower or for nagging. This article said, "Husbands and wives, what 'heinous' behavior should you be forgiven for? And--more importantly--what do you think your partner should say he or she is sorry for?"

There are six words in the English language that are hard to utter. "I'm sorry. Will you forgive me?" Some people have never said those words. It would break their jaw. The best person in the marriage, however, is the one who will say them, in my opinion.

Maybe you've never said them. Now's your chance.

What do you need to ask forgiveness for?

For starters, if you're the one who has a difficult time saying these words, then say, "I'm sorry that I never say I'm sorry. I'll try to do better this year."

Maybe the writer of this newspaper article is all washed up. Maybe you don't need to say you're sorry because you work at your marriage, and you tend to your faux pas when they happen and don't let them fester.

I hope that's the way it is at your house.

Happy Valentine's Day Eve.

Monday, February 12, 2007


Married couples who have been married for years and say they have never had an argument either have poor memories or a very dull life. Happy marriages are not made by the absence of issues. Issues are inevitable. The question is, how do you deal with them?

I read a news report this week about a man who was arrested for pushing a cell phone down the throat of his girlfriend. He told the judge she swallowed the phone herself to keep him from being able to retrieve phone numbers from calls from a suspected boyfriend. That is not how you handle differences.

Someone said marriages are made in heaven—so are thunder and lighting. So the question is, how can you improve your marriage? There are many things we can do to enhance relationships, but here are four good ways to improve your marriage:

Use the Golden Rule. Treat your spouse as you desire to be treated.

Learn the art of a fair fight. That doesn’t include pushing a cell phone down your spouse’s throat.

Focus more on the positives of your spouse rather than the negatives.

Keep putting effort into your marriage. Your marriage is worth the investment.

Here is the most important way you can improve your marriage: pray for your spouse and especially pray that God will help you to be the spouse you should be. Prayer is the great difference maker in marriages. Families that pray together stay together. The implication for pray in marriages is obvious.

Friday, February 09, 2007


The Bible says, "Marriage is honorable, and the bed undefiled" (Hebrews 13:4). That means sexual relations in marriage are good and proper and fitting. God created man and woman, and He created sex, and when He brought man and woman together, He said, "It is good."

The Bible says right before He created woman, He looked at Adam who was alone and said, "This is not good."


God knew Adam needed help! In fact, the very next words God speaks are, "I will make him an helper comparable to him" (Genesis 2:18, NKJV).

This is a fitting subject, seeing as how Valentine's Day will soon be upon us.

In one of our homes, I painted a frieze on the cantilevered ceiling of our dining room. I painted Psalm 91:1, 10, 11 in gold on two steps of the ceiling. People oohed and ahed over it. In that same home, I thought about painting The Bed Verse (Hebrews 13:4) over our bed but I never did. Maybe I will in this house, over our bed, above.

Some of our friends built a house a few years ago, and they did a unique thing. They had a party and asked all of their friends to come over and write scriptures on the 2 x 4s before the builder installed the sheetrock. We were all carrying our Bibles throughout the house and writing the scriptures here and there. I wrote The Bed Verse directly over the spot where their bed would later be. They got a kick out of it, and everybody laughed.


Tonight, we start our annual marriage seminar at our church. It goes through Saturday afternoon. The Bed Verse will be covered, along with lots of other topics. It'll be an enlightening, encouraging, and entertaining event. Hey, that's how I describe the fiction I write, too. Tonight, for our break, we're having a chocolate fountain complete with fresh fruit and cake that will be dipped beneath the flowing chocolate. That alone is worth coming for! :)

Two books Milton and I highly recommend to couples are: The Act of Marriage by Tim LaHaye and Intended for Pleasure by Dr. Ed Wheat. Milton gives these books to every couple he marries (performs ceremonies for), and we're giving away some copies for door prizes.


I blog every Monday through Friday. This past Wednesday and Thursday, however, I had a computer glitch. Hope that doesn't happen again.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


I received my galleys for The Heart of the Matter, my novel that will be published by Heartsong presents in April, 2007. The galleys are (is?) the typeset version of a novel, exactly as it will appear in the printed book. It has two pages per piece of paper, laid out landscape style.

It's thrilling to hold your galleys in your hand. I held it and said, "Thank You, Lord, for this writing opportunity."

I also asked God to let this novel touch someone's heart in a special way.

Over the weekend, I sat down and read it indepth to find any errors and to make requested changes. Three hours went by, and I didn't even know it until I happened to look at the clock. I couldn't believe it.
I took a short break and then went at it again. It was enjoyable reading it. I haven't seen the novel since last May when I turned it in. The story is based on the scripture, 1 Samuel 16:7: "Man looks at the outward apearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." The premise is,

A woman with a problem...
A man with a prejudice...
A child with the answer.

As I read it--again, I haven't seen it since last May--I thought, This reminds me of Pride and Prejudice slightly. I'd say that's a good thing.

My requested changes are minor but will clarify or add continuity. Going through your galleys, of course, is the last leg of the editing process. The novel has already gone through editors and proofreaders. Editorial changes make your story better, in my opinion. I'm thankful for good editors.

One requested change I'm making is interesting. Backdrop: This is a novel set in the South (Florida). The characters are Southern through and through. In the original version, I said they were drinking "Cokes." In the South, we say a generic "Coke" for all soft drinks. We never say "sodas." Well, we used to never. We're getting influenced by Northerners lately, I've noticed. :)

Anway, we'll say, "You want a Coke?" meaning "You want a soft drink?" So the editor replaced my original "Coke" with "soda." Twice.

I'm requesting "soda" be replaced with "drinks." It's not a big deal. It's just a Southern thing.
I can't wait to go through my next set of galleys.

Monday, February 05, 2007


My friend, author Rachel Hauck, to your left (hiya, Rachel!)tagged me to "name six weird things about myself and then to tag six others."

Six weird things about myself?

The following aren't "weird," but they're things about me that most people don't know. Eegads. I'm embarrassed. I don't like revealing things about myself...

1) I've drawn two sets of dream house plans and then built them with my husband Milton which included manual labor such as painting inside and out, wallpapering, installing underground sprinklers, laying sod, and more.

2) I've written church plays, made the backdrops and costumes, and starred in them.

3) I've refinished antique furniture.

4) I've sewn my own outfits as well as my daughters, and I've made bedspreads and curtains. Recently, I upholstered a headboard.

5) I've painted murals and friezes on the walls of my homes and various churches.

6) I've been a secretary at a prestigious law firm and a preschool teacher before that.

7) I've designed custom kitchens for clients at a specialty cabinet shop, turning 1/4” scale plans into 1/2” by hand. Oh, such fun!

8) I've done almost every kind of church work there is, such as serving as pianist/organist, youth pastor, children’s church director, women’s leader, youth choir director, Sunday school teacher, nursery director, church secretary, choir member, events coordinator, and I've cleaned enough commodes to last a lifetime! I've also helped my husband manually build three churches.
Oh, sorry. That's eight. :)

Friday, February 02, 2007


A short article in the newspaper is titled "Forget Claritin, Let's Smooch." It seems a Japanese study reported by the Journal of Psychosomatic Research suggests kissing can help your allergies. Subjects had a significant decrease in allergic reaction after thirty minutes of kissing, compared to kiss-free trials!



I found this comment on my blog yesterday, written by my husband:

How Do I Love Thee?

Let me count the ways...

With joy and thanksgiving,

Through good times and bad times,

By His love and His strength,

For all time and eternity

During laughter and light moments,

Including dreams, desire, and destiny

As best friend and life partner,

Forever my sweetheart.

These are a few ways I love thee.

--- Milton


Made me tear up, reading it. I've been married to him this long, and I didn't even know he was a poet! Oh, but come to think of it, I did know. He's written many beautiful things to me on cards. One of them, I framed and put in my study where I can see it every day.

Oh, how I love that man!

Thursday, February 01, 2007


How Do I Love Thee?

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints!---I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!---and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
---Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Since today is the first day of February, and since I saw the most gorgeous full moon last night on my way to and from church, it's put me in the mood for some Elizabeth Barrett Browning poetry, "How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways."

My challenge: think of all the ways you love your spouse (or reasons why).