Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Happy Fall!!!!!!

Today is it!!! It is the first day of FALLLLLLLLLL!  Yes, even in Florida there is a slight change to the weather.  I'm sure even more so in other parts of the country.  I have my home totally transformed to fall and I am pretending there are mountains and cold air outside. :)

Why do I love fall so much.  It started as a little girl who was raised in Pennsylvania.  After a hot summer of July and August you would begin to feel the slight change in the air and you could almost smell fall coming.  My mom would begin her canning during that time and we would buy buckets of apples from a local market to make pies.  We would also go out into the woods and country areas to gather black walnuts.  These are walnuts that fall on the ground in the fall, you dry them out and in the drying process they have a tar like coating on them that eventually drys off.  They have the most unique taste of all the nuts.   My mom would make black walnut cake and put them on ice cream and sometime we would just eat them by themselves. Oh the wonderful memories of fall!  Of course, in Pa the leaves would change and it was so beautiful to see all the colors, the reds, yellows and oranges.  The pumpkins would begin to pop up everywhere and of course my mom would make homemade pumpkin pie!  It was many times during the fall that my brother and sister would occasionally let me go on a hike with them.  :)   One of my best memories of fall was walking home from school on a crisp cool day and seeing the windows of our house all foggy - I knew my mom was making homemade soup and bread for dinner.  Yum.  (have you noticed how much food is involved in my fall memories?)  As I got older and moved to Florida - most years we have vacationed in North Carolina in the fall just to get a hint of "real" fall each year. 

So I just wanted to dedicate this blog post to my favorite time of the year - FALL

Friday, September 17, 2010

How Our Culture Influences Us

Today we will go to a more serious subject than vacations. As I noted in a previous blog, after I came back from my vacation I then had the opportunity to do a breakout session at my church's ladies retreat. Well, normally I choose my own topic but they asked me to specifically speak on a subject so I thought I would blog about some of my findings as I prepared for this talk.

It was not a talk that everyone flocked to, in fact I was expecting about 2 people, as the first two ladies came in I told them they may be the only ones. :) I ended up with 20 ladies. God took over as He has to anytime I do anything because he and I both know I do not have the ability in myself to pull these things off.

The topic I was asked to speak on was, Sexual Healing. For anyone that has abuse, trauma or misuse in their past or present. There is so much to that subject but the thing I wanted to share today was an article I found that I felt so describes and confirmed how controlled we are by our culture.

I knew the majority of ladies that would come to my talk would be probably in their 20 and 30s so I learned a long time ago just telling them what the bible says and listing a bunch of rules doesn't work so I wanted to find a way to help them understand that the sexual choices they are making are not their own, they are not more current and relevant than previous generations - they have just grown up in a culture that has influenced them more in this area. And in fact it has not been their choice - they have been controlled.

We really can look at this in many areas of our lives and as Christians may need to ask some hard questions - such as I am being controlled by the culture in this area (whatever that may be for you) of my life or I am following God's Word.

So here is the article - it is from the August 2010 Psychology Today - (not a christian magazine)

"If you don't think our culture controls you, try to break it's unwritten rules: At the crowded restaurant, eat a banana horizontally, as if it were corn on the cob; or join the nice couple in the booth at Wendy's --it's not illegal! The booth is a public place and there is room for 4. But you wont's do it. Why? Because society says so.

Society has its prints all over your sexual script. The idea of a boyfriend, for starters is a cultural invention. What you find attractive is culturally taught. Americans like deodorant. But the French may prefer body odor. Napoleon famously wrote to Josephine: "Coming home soon. Don't bath"

How, where, when, and with whom you have sex are culturally shaped decisions. Culture made them for you while you thought you made them yourself. Around the world today there are cultures that frown on kissing, and cultures that kiss constantly. There are cultures where you get married at 12; cultures where marriage is almost and afterthought; cultures where young people select their won mates through the ritual of dating and cultures where nobody is allowed to see a naked female, ever; and cultures where females walk around half naked as a matter of course.

The things you take to be natural are in fact mostly cultural. The things you take as your own tastes are to a large measure cultural tastes."

I think this is a good way to help young women really examine what they are going to allow to control them. To realize that choices they think they are making are really not their choices at all but the control of the culture. If you know of anyone that is struggling with these issues you may share this with them. The main point being that we need to have a guide for right and wrong or what is best for us as women or people and the culture is not going to do that for us.

"And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free." John 8:32

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Yes, if you guessed Alaska from the picture on my last post, you are right. We went on an Alaskan Cruise and spent a couple days in Seattle with our family in WA State.

I have always wanted to go to Alaska, in fact I wanted to live there. You can ask my sister Betsy, when we were both at home in Pennsylvania I always hated the summers and she loved them. I always loved the winters and she hated them. So we would always say that she would move to Florida and I would move to Alaska. Well, at least one of us met our goal. :-) I really try not to complain, but really, for a Pennsylvania girl whose favorite season is fall first and winter second and wanted to live in Alaska it does seem a little cruel that I ended up in one of the hottest states in the country - FLORIDA.

Anyway, back to the vacation - I will share some pictures but some of the best parts were when we arrived at Tracey Arm Fjord. It is basically a melted glacier and big chunks of ice are everywhere. The other was just being with our family during the trip that really made it even better and last but not least was having the opportunity to reconnect with some of our family in WA state. they were so gracious and hospitable and we just had a great time with them. So here are a few pictures:
Me and My Sweet Brother George (this is at the Fjord)
this huge boat was going in the narrow passageway of mountains and glaciers
Ice chunks from the glacier

You can't go to Alaska without saying hello to Sarah!
Skagway, Alaska - everything grows so beautifully there
Some great traveling companions :)
Me and my hubby in front of a glacier in Juneau, AK
You can't show cruise pics without one of a towel animal!

Ketichikan, AK
Hubby and his mom.
My brother George, sister Pat, niece Ginger and me - Oh and of course STARBUCKS!!
(We missed you Betsy!)
Brother George, Hubby, Brian (Gingers hubby) Nephew Larry and Great nephew Jacob
Wild Salmon from Washington State!

"For the Lord is good, His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation." Psalm 100:5

Monday, September 13, 2010

I'm Back!!

Guess where I was......

Yes, I am finally back and I know all my 2 readers are so excited about that! :) I know I said I would be taking a 2 week break that turned into a 3 week break but there have been a few complications.

My first 2 weeks were because I was on a wonderful vacation that was such a blessing in so many ways. Then I came back last Thursday - had jet lag for 2 or 3 days then needed to prepare for a ladies retreat breakout session. That took my all of the next week. The ladies retreat was this last weekend and it was also a great blessing. We then had some our family over for dinner on Sunday which continued to keep me busy but it was nice busy, fun busy - we had a great time.

So today is my catch up day. I have so many things I want to get done that I am getting nothing done. :) Have you ever done that - just have so much to do that you seem to be running in circles. Well, I am determined to at least write a few words on my blog today so here I am!

Because I must get some other stuff done I am just saying hello but tomorrow I do plan to start to do a few blogs about the vacation, the retreat and the fact that my very favorite season is almost here!!!!!

FALLLLLLLL - I already have my fall decorations down from the attic and hope to tackle some of that today....I LOVE FALL - I am already feeling happier!!!! I don't care if it is 95 degrees outside we are only 9 days away from the first day of fall and I am going to pretend that on that day it will be cooler!

So til tomorrow - be blessed and get you fall decorations out!!