Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving -

Happy Thanksgiving.  We sure do have a lot to be thankful for.  For me, especially today, I'm thankful for my Mom.  This is a picture of her and Anna.  I have many blog posts about her or in reference to her.  This is one with a lot of photos from her 80th birthday party last year.
read here:

My mom entered eternity on Wednesday, November 27, 2013 at around 4:50 a.m.  She was surrounded by love, prayers, worship and praise.  It was a blessing to hold her hand till the end.  After she took her last breath, I actually felt lead to clap my hands - applauding her on a life well lived - "good job mom!"  and in praise to our savior "thank you Jesus for your salvation."  Those in the room joined in - we had a wonderful experience.  My sister said, "this is what we believe, this is how we should be - happy for mom and thankful for Jesus."  I truly am!  

I don't know what a world without her will be.  I have relied on her for so much over the years.  I will miss her deeply - beyond words.  However, I am also happy - no more pain, no more wheel chair and no more worries.  She is at rest and peace, in the company of loved ones that passed on before and in the arms of Jesus.  This is the foundation of my faith.

My mom only went to school until the 8th grade.  She always belittled her education - however, she was the wisest person I knew.

My mom struggled with her weight, always saying she was too fat or not pretty anymore - however, she was just as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside.  Expressing her spirit and letting her light shine - true beauty.

My mom wasn't wealthy, had no money to invest in the stock market - yet, she invested her everything into her family - she was rich in love.

My mom spent her last few days in the hospital.  She never was alone - at times the hallway was crowded with family.  My nephew played his guitar, her room was full of song and praise.  We lifted her up in voices of open prayer - her room overflowing with the presence of the holy ghost.  There were others in this hallway without family - not knowing the love and support my mom had.  We did pray for the lady in the room next to us as well.  My mom was blessed by all of this, I know because she squeezed our hands, wiggled her feet to the music - maybe not able to express all that she felt - but we knew she was happy.  In the emergency room, she told us to tell everyone that she loved us all the same and that she wanted to kiss each one of her kids, grand kids, great and great, great grand kids before she passed.  Thankfully, family from hours away - made it in time to do so.  My last nephew arrived around 12:30 a.m. and visited and prayed with her - she passed at 4:50 a.m.  I feel she was waiting for him, as my sister kept saying..."Ben is on his way mama..."  

I know that some of you who read this won't understand this or our expression of emotion.  Death isn't the end - for us - it is only the beginning.  I am the woman I am today, because of my mom and all the time she put into me.  I hope to not only respect her by how I live - but, let my life be a testimony to the saving grace of Jesus Christ!

Blessings and Blessed in Ringle, Wisconsin.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Motivation Monday - Speaking Honestly

I have always been the type of person who speaks my mind - openly and honestly.  I attribute this to my being the youngest of 6 kids.  I feel that birth order does play a role in how you learn to fit in with your family.  This then applies in how you navigate throughout all aspects of your personal and social life.   I also love taking personality tests.  I have tested myself in magazines, at seminars and in books.  I just like seeing what my answers reveal about me.   In most cases I feel that my tests are very accurate.

Speaking your mind, having a voice might be a challenge for some of you.  My purpose in this post is to encourage you to learn how and put into practice this "art" of speaking.   Truthfully, this post is to also encourage the past, I know things I've said have been offensive.  The bible tells us to "But speaking the truth in love...Ephesians 4:15"  This isn't always easy - but, it is our guide to how we need to speak.  

I have been lucky, I guess, that I always let people know how I feel when I am feeling it.  I always compliment people when warranted as well as the alternative...(hence, the offences).   I "have" to live with me - I have learned to encourage honest speech - so, I have no regrets and can let things go.  

I know no other way to encourage us than by using this past few weeks of my life as an example.  My mom has been sick, facing end of life choices.  This stage of life, brings about a clarity like no other.  When faced with, "this might be the last time I see you..." - brings about honest speech.  It is emotional, yes - embrace it.  I have been so blessed with things my mom and I have shared over the past few days.  These will be mine and her secrets and I will treasure them forever.  I have been so blessed!  Yes, end of life decisions and blessed.  The reason for this is that we are speaking honestly with each other.   Mom has shared with each of us, I am sure, special moments like I have shared with her.  She is speaking honestly and with love.  This is how she raised us, mothered us, even in her discomfort - thinking of us.  

You don't have to wait, rather don't wait till the end...if this seems hard for you to do, take baby steps.  Start with small things, thank the waitress, compliment a stranger, finally tell your neighbor you don't appreciate their dog pooping in your yard....whatever it is...just start.  I can tell you that by doing this, you will build up your self-confidence and in turn make you a stronger person.  You don't have to be mean, just speak honestly.  I can tell you from personal experience - people appreciate honesty!  Just remember to do it in "love."  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.    

Friday, November 22, 2013

Estate Sale Service Wisdom

Most of you know that my Mom had a rummage sale in September.  We had an opportunity, as family, to buy a few things we liked.  We had to buy them, as that is the only way to be fair when dealing with almost 90 immediate family members.  

My oldest brother, Henry, is a missionary.  He lives on the island of Martinique.  He wasn't here at the time of the sale.  His children now live in Texas.  He had some medical appointments in Texas this past week.   When he heard our Mom was sick, he flew up here.  

My Mom is at a nursing home right now, until she hopefully can get stronger.  We asked her if Henry could go over to the house and take a few things he wanted.  I met him and Frank over there.  As we walked around, I could see he was getting sad.  Over the years, as a part of my job, I've dealt with going through MANY estates.  It is easier, when you don't have a personal connection to the client or the "junk."  

He looked at Frank and I and said..."well, this is the culmination of 81 years, wrapped up in a few hours of looking at this stuff."  I quickly said - "this is NOT the culmination of Mom's 81 years - WE ARE."  "Our children, grandchildren are Mom's greatest work - this stuff is just stuff."  

I've used that statement to many a family that has called on my services.  When a client tells me that his family is fighting over something - I always say, it is only stuff, your relationship with your family is most important, let it go.

Not too many families of almost 90 - have the unity we do!  No one fights, we all love each other, we talk to one another, enjoy seeing each other - a culmination of 81 years of Christal (Kincaid) Ritchie's efforts!  My Mom is an excellent Mother!

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thrifty Thursday - Save on Grocery Bill

This isn't a new idea, however, a good one.  Clean out your pantry and freezer - save on your grocery budget.

So, I have been very busy the past few weeks - look at previous posts.  I have neglected a few domestic duties, one of which has been cooking.  I'm blessed to have a husband who actually helps me!  He goes shopping, cooks, cleans, does laundry and dishes.  The key is...we married young and learned to help each other from the beginning.  He also wasn't "trained" not to do these things - Thanks Marlene (my Mother-in-law).

I take advantage of the 10 or $10 deals and other in store specials when I grocery shop.  We have/had a well stocked pantry.  This past month, because we were so busy, we used items from our pantry instead of shopping.  I've even dug to the bottom of the freezer - it helps to have a well stocked freezer of home raised pork, lamb, beef and chicken.  We have been coming up with some pretty creative meals.

It has now become a game for me; what to make with...1 can of, 2 jars of, a bag of...get the picture.   When I finally caught up with paying my bills yesterday, I was shocked with the extra money from not grocery shopping.  This savings has been applied to another bill we have been chipping away at.  Awesome!  

So, I would like to challenge you to "shop" your pantry and freezer.  Try creating some great new homemade meals.  Take the money saved from your grocery budget and apply to another bill or put in your savings.  This really has awakened my "thrifty genes."  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Motivation Monday - Hold Your Hands Up and Say "WEEEEE"

My mom has been in the hospital this past week.  She is still there.  I started writing this from her room.  We will find out more today on the "game" plan for her care.  It has been a stressful week or so... 

Taylor, one of my 4-Hrs and my girls' friend, was in a terrible accident.  She flipped her truck trying to avoid hitting a deer.  She had a skull fracture, 38 staples in her head and in ICU for a few days.  Some of those days were spent just down the hall from my mom.   Thankfully, she is home recovering.

Jodi, a classmate of mine and one of my 4-H moms, has been battling cancer on and off for several years.  She lost her battle this past Thursday, leaving her husband and 2 daughters.  Her funeral was Sunday.  Thankfully, Jodi is healed now - in her Heavenly home.

My mom, has a lot of things wrong with her.  She has been and we have been through many a hospital stay, nursing home rehab and living back home.  "We" have taken care of her, in her own home, despite financial, emotional and physical difficulty since her stroke - 11 years ago.  It has become our life.   

We have been blessed with the additional time with our Mom.  Had she passed from her stroke 11 years ago, my children would not have had the same relationship with her.  She has an optimistic spirit and this is what has kept her going despite all of her limitations.  Thankfully she is getting the care she needs and we will accept whatever the "game" plan is.

I messaged my friend and said I feel like I'm on a roller coaster ride and I want to get off.  She replies - well just hold your hands up and say "weeee"....  Funny, but true.

Life can be stressful!  Illness and loss are devastating.  At times leaving us to feel like we are on a roller coaster ride.  I don't hold any educational credentials, have letters behind my last name; however, I do hold a "master's degree" in experiences.  I've been on a few of life's roller coaster rides before.  I've held on tightly, closed my eyes and screamed.  This time, as I reflect on what is going on, I have a peace about things.  I will raise my hands, pray and lean on my faith that He will take care of it all.  Help me, Lord as I learn to say "weee..."  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

God's Word Wednesday

Several followers have asked...."how is your brother's church doing?"  I am happy to say - really good.  Read more here in earlier post:

Two weeks ago, Frank's message was about being encouraged in God's Word.  He had us go around and read our favorite scripture and what it means to us.  He challenged us to encourage others with God's word - the Bible.

The very next day, I was working at the antique shop.  This elderly gentleman came in.  He was asking about a pattern of depression glass his wife collects.  She was waiting in the car.  He tells me that his world has turned "topsy turvy" over the past 6 months.  Decline in his wife's health, selling their life long home, moving to an assisted living - you know - what everyone of us will face one day.  He actually had tears in his eyes.  

I felt, I knew in my heart, my spirit told me what I needed to do - encourage him with God's word.  I said "sir, Jesus just told me that I need to pray for you and your wife."  If you are a regular follower, you know how experience has taught me to listen to Him.  Those experiences, Frank's message the night before and my empathy for his situation helped me to be BOLD.  I handed him one of our church's cards and said that the people who attend want you to know we are praying for you.  

Did I offend him?  Was he mean to me?  No, he actually looked happy and said "thank you."  

So, I am going to try to do as many regular posts that I can on Wednesdays called God's Word Wednesday.

Let's encourage each other with His Words.  Feel free to leave a comment of what scripture is your favorite.  

So this week my word was BOLD.  

According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:  In whom we have BOLDNESS and access with confidence by the faith of him.  Ephesians 3:11-12

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Motivational Monday - Self Control

Sometimes I like to blame my bad behavior on my genetics.  My favorite one is... "well, I can't help it I have crazy Kincaid genes...."  My mom's family is known for their "passion."  No matter the subject, expressing, arguing and passionate communication were a part of my life.  I know I've inherited that - whether it is genetic or learned - I struggle with my "passionate personality."  

Nothing, however, has brought out my "crazy" more than motherhood.  I was the mom on the "nut" list.  My mom taught me that "if you don't stick up for your kids, no one will."  My mom was often referred to as a "mama bear."  I find it complimentary when people say "don't say anything to Jacky's kids - she gets crazy."  I am a MAMA BEAR through and through.  

Over the years, this "trait" has proven to be beneficial.  My ability to be strong when facing an adversary like - cancer - was an asset.  On the other hand, my inability to contain my "crazy" has caused me a tremendous amount of stress.  My reaction to people or situations have not always been favorable.  I later regret things I've done or said.  

My children are adults now.  I have invested all I had in them.  Alan and I feel we did the best job we knew how to do.  It is hard to let go and let them go.  

Yesterday, I was challenged with, dare I say tempted with, an ugly situation of verbal attack on one of my daughters.  I felt I had an idea of how this person felt about this matter - I had no idea how strongly opposed they were.  It happen to be that I was on the receiving end of their "crazy."  I remained calm and listened.  

I called Alan and told him what happened...word for word...he paused and said "what did you do?"  Oh, he knows me so well.  I don't let anyone talk to me like that!  What I did and what I wanted to do were 2 different things.   When he heard how I handled it he said "wow, I'm so proud of you!"  You see, what I wanted to do was punch this person in the face, grab them by their belt loop and collar and kick their a** out the door.  I hate to admit, but, have experience in doing.  Listening and remaining calm....I don't have experience in.  

What made me stop, was that I have changed.  No, really, this past year or more of reflection - changed me!  I don't want to be like that!  I thought of me and how I would feel after I had an altercation with this person and I stopped, remained calm and walked away!  Yey for me!  

Thank you Jesus!  Oh, I know that this matter isn't over - it might never be - but, how I react to this family and what I say will be forever changed by how proud I feel of myself and the self confidence gained from my self control.  So, this is what self control feels like....I LIKE it!

So, dear followers, please pray for me.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Highlights from Holiday Open House

These are a few photos from our holiday open house at Grand Repeats in Wausau, WI.  Thank you to all the great customers who visited us at the shop.  We appreciate your business!

Marilyn's room
beautiful pewter

Marilyns room

Kathy's room

These 3 are from my room

Grand Repeats 

 Thanks Renee for the red berries.

Gloria's friend made really good treats!  Everyone LOVED them!  Keep checking the facebook page:  Gloria will post more of our upcoming events.  

We will host the Handmade, Remade Vintage Bazaar on Saturday, December 14, 2013.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Grand Repeats Holiday Open House

I haven't been blogging this week.  I'm getting my Christmas stuff ready for our open house at Grand Repeats in Wausau.  It is Friday and Saturday, Nov. 8 @11-7 and Nov. 9 @10-6.  

I have a lot of new inventory to include:  huge oak (original finish/patina) harvest table; country cupboard - step back with glass door top; wicker plant stand filled with greens; prim crackly green "garden" table - or for your porch for the holidays; lots of "new" Christmas inventory - not out in previous years; vintage aprons; vintage linens; old quilts; crocks and farm kitchen wares.  I will keep adding to the inventory as items sell.  It is only Nov. 7 after all!  

We plan to host a "Handmade, Re-made, Vintage Bazaar - on Saturday, December 14 at the shop as well.  I will keep you updated with what I am making for that.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.