Monday, August 19, 2019

Motivational Monday - Jello or Clay?

We all know that Jello starts out as a liquid.   Once poured into a mold, Jello will take on that shape.  It becomes "conformed" to the mold.  

Clay on the other hand, takes on it's shape, once it has been worked on by the artist.   It starts pliable, like the jello, however it stays "workable" until it is fired and then it becomes "transformed."

"And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is good and acceptable and perfect will of God."  Romans 12:2

"But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand."  Isaiah 64:8

I have a sweet friend, Pam, who owns Falcon Valley Pottery.  She teaches pottery classes.  A few of us "vintage pop up vendors" took her class yesterday.  Here I am working on a big bowl.   

When Pam gave me my chunk of clay, she handed me a rolling pin too.  I had to beat the clay, flip it over, beat it again, roll it, flip it and roll it some more.  I had to keep working with it until the clay was thin enough to work with.  I flipped the clay on to the bowl, I had to lightly "hug" the clay and trim off the edges.  While the clay is at this stage, you are able to add handles or feet to the bowl, decorate with shapes or designs you push into the clay.  It is workable.

This had my thinking about our stages of life.  I know, I talk about this a lot, however, it is a wise person who can accept the changes of each stage and not only adapt, but thrive.  

You know, as a mother, I may have started as a bowl.  As a bowl, I knew my purpose.  However, after the potter looked at me, he may decide to add a spout, now I'm a base to a tea pot.  I think you can see where I am going with this. 

Yes, during each stage of life's production, we need to be clay, moldable, pliable and ready to accept whatever the potter has intended for our use.  I don't want to be so dry that the potter can't work or use me at each stage, to become my "good and acceptable will of God."  

I don't want to be the Jello, poured into a mold and stuck in that shape.   If that were the case, I'd remain a "bowl" and never be able to accept the handles or spout of the tea pot.  If we remain the same, we can't be used for our next purpose.

As our Motivational Monday post, I wanted to challenge us to be clay, pliable and flexible.  With each addition or subtraction of clay, we can still be transformed into our next purpose.  Don't let yourself become dry, stuck missing a stage of life so much that you don't allow yourself to move forward.  Not only move forward, but bring along the lessons that stage taught us, to use to fulfill our next purpose.  It could be the addition of a handle or the subtraction of a cut out that makes you that perfect piece of art that potter desired.

I can't help but share with you something a friend told Al.  He and his wife are our age and entered the mission field in their 50's.  They were empty nesters, he had a good job and was making like 6 figures.  They always had a heart for missions, but family came first.  Almost 2 years ago, they sold everything and moved to Iraq.  Iraq!  He told Al something so wise..."you know missions are wasted on the youth...really.  Young people often enter the mission field inexperienced.  I feel that I use each lesson I have lived thus far to become the missionary God intended me to be.  I know how to use the talents He gave me for His intended purpose."  Wow that was amazing!   May God bless them!

So, if you feel stuck, maybe a bit like dry clay, add some tears to your walk, make yourself pliable again and ask the potter to use you.  While you still have breath, you're not His desired design yet.

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Counting What Really Counts

Sometimes I catch myself in thought or words and say "that would preach."  I do come from a line of preachers.....often times my blog posts turn into Bible studies.  

I regularly watch several YouTube channels.  Just as I was about to press "skip" this ad, something made me stop and listen.  The ad was for Vrbo Vacations.  This is part of the ad:  

"We count LIKES, calories, hours, minutes, points and scores.  We measure our weight and tally our steps.  Everyday we stare at screens, press buttons and count, but we don't count what really counts.  We don't know how many times we can gather by the ocean or make the best of a rainy day.  How many chances to dance, forgive or break a silence.  Opportunities to pack our bags and embark on an adventure.  Sometimes we might keep counting, but we will always turn back to what matters...."  

I know I spend way too much time focused on things that really don't count.  Our society is so social media driven.  Images and an accounting of things, places, food, vacations and it all, "that", can be disheartening.  Comparing, competing....I hope it's not just me here.....  

This silly little ad, had my thinking about, counting what really counts. 

You know, God cares for us:

"You know I am very upset, you know how much I have cried, surely you have kept an account of all my tears."  Psalm 56:8 ERV

He will fight for us:

"Don't fear....because the Lord God will fight for you."  Deuteronomy 3:22 ERV

He has a plan for us:

"I say this because I know the plans that I have for you"  "I have good plans for you.  I don't plan to hurt you.  I plan to give you hope and a good future."  Jeremiah 29:11 ERV

Yes, we each have our own:  path, stage of life, opportunity, heritage and culture - a wide variety of reasons why we are different.  However, I would gather that, what really counts:  life, love, family, health, our relationships are the same.  

Let's challenge ourselves to focus on what really counts...our blessings!  "Count your many blessings, name them one by one"  "When upon life's billows you are tempest tossed, when you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, Count your many blessings name them one by one and it will surprise you what the Lord hath done."  "When you look at others with their lands and gold, think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold; count your many blessings, money cannot buy, your reward is in heaven, nor your home on high."  

I didn't even remember that verse to that old it applies...."count your many blessings...."

"Whoever is wise will remember these things and begin to understand the Lord's faithful in Love."  Psalm 1o7:43 ERV

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Monday, August 12, 2019

Motivational Monday - One Foot in Front of the Other

Motivational Monday, what do I write about?  I guess if I had to sum up my last 3-4 weeks, it would be "one foot in front of the other."  One step at a time.  

Hot!  Wet and stormy!  Power outages and cut phone lines!  Just to name a few set backs.  But, one foot in front of the other and here we go.....

4H Junior Camp - 4 days, 3 nights and 90 degrees....I am the craft facilitator and kitchen helper....the picture is of my own 4H club members that were campers and counselors.  

My 35th, yes....35th High School Class Reunion.  I haven't been to one since the 1oth.  Here I am with my grade school besties.

Hay time....the latest we've cut and baled in 25 years...

700 bales...

Fair time...

Pie Basket Class at an Amish farm with my friends....

Sunflower field we found on our way home...

So, if I were to speak some words of wisdom, something to motivate us it would be just that.  One day at a time, one foot in front of the other and just keep going.  In spite of .... set backs.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Little Ditty in Snippits of my Friday

A day in the life of Dicky Bird

Up when the rooster crows....

with new seeds to plant in rows....

As I look at myself, I'm dirty from head to toe

But, I don't care, it's strawberry picking I go.

Then off to town to stage my booth with items for "Let the Bidding Begin"  Blue rose dishes that are too pretty not to use again...

A quick appointment to look at a potential sale, but I had to pass as it was mostly household and way too much glass.

So, I returned home to this wonderful treat

kicked off my shoes and put up my feet.  

Thinking on this now, I'm blessed and my life is pretty sweet. 

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Finding New Homes for Old Things

Part of what I do that is so rewarding is....finding new homes for old things.  Not everyone likes old stuff as much as I do, but old stuff still can be useful and bring another joy.

When working on "living" estate sales (where the owner is downsizing and still around) I use that saying as a way to help them let go of some of their "treasures."  

Last week, I was referred to a couple, by the neighbor to a childhood friend.  We did her parent's living estate sale (s) and the neighbor liked how we represented or conducted our business.   I didn't know at the time, but she asked for our contact information "just in case I know someone who would need this type of service."  Thanks!  

The couple she referred us to sold their house in 6 hours!  Under my advice and consulting, we worked on the process of "getting rid of."  What was left, they just wanted me to buyout and not do a sale.  So, I did.   As we were filling my van, the husband says, "well, you should do good with this (some kind of tool)" and I said, "well, I'm keeping that!"  Oh, he laughed!

This bench was part of what I bought.  As soon as I read it, I knew it belonged with our daughter, Justine.  She has a MSW and other acronyms I hate to admit I don't know what they mean.  She has and is always seeking knowledge.  She currently is working on her certification for the next feather in her cap - trust based equine therapy - as part of her future counseling services.    

Truthfully, sometimes I find things for my daughters and they don't appreciate it or them as much as this!  Hahaaa  

I had a call yesterday from a potential client and as she was rattling off the items she wanted me to sell for her, I was making mental notes:  yep, that one would be for ....; yep, I have a buyer for that.... and so it goes.  The joys of resale!

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Easy Fruit Slab Pie - Rhubarb & Cherry

This recipe could be used for any fruit or combination of fruit and its really easy.


3 C flour 
1 C sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C (2 sticks) cold butter
Cut butter into flour mixture with a pastry blender.  Once it is blended to a nice crumble add:
1 beaten egg (extra large or 2 small)
2 tsp. vanilla

Prepare a 9x13 pan with spray, press 2/3 of this mixture into the bottom of the pan and part way up the sides.

Prepare your fruit, this recipe calls for 4 C of fruit, I would use more depending on the smooshiness (is that a word?) of the fruit...apples cook does rhubarb...that kind of you may want to add more.

I had some rhubarb and various kinds of fresh cherries, so I used them.  I also used the zest and juice of 1 lemon and enough corn starch to cover the fruit and absorb the juice (2-3 Tbs.) - no additional sugar needed.  

Mix this together and dump on the pressed down crust.  Top with the remaining 1/3 crumbles and bake at 375 for 40-45 minutes - until crust is lightly brown and fruit is bubbling.

Before baking:

and after baking.

Like I said this is super easy and really good!

Look at the crust - I love corners!

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Monday, July 8, 2019

Motivational Monday - Weeding

Holiday weekend weeding.   Do you see them?  The tiny, tender carrot seedlings.  Growing right next to the quack and pig weed.  While I was ever so gently working, my fingers like surgical instruments plucking and pulling, I happen to think of an old saying my mom said, yours too probably:  "Don't throw out the baby with the bath water."  As pitiful as my garden is this year, I was pulling out carrot, kale and beet seedling trying to weed around them.   I decided that I could "live" with some of them until the seedlings get bigger.  

"Don't throw the baby out with the bath water," originates from Germany in 1500's and was a very common phrase.  In those days, one filled the bath and all used it.  The saying comes from the fact that by the time you washed the baby the water was very dirty and murky.  I can't help but imagine, one must have tossed out a baby or we wouldn't have this phrase.  It's proverbial meaning is:  don't discard something valuable along with something undesirable.   

I thought about this the whole time I was weeding.  Thinking about all the different things I was pulling out from around my plants.  "That's pig weed, quack, ground ivy, maple tree sprout, thistle, nettles and many I didn't know."  

The thing with weeds is that they take their own share of the soil and nutrients.  Some deeper, with long roots.  Others shallow with tiny, tender roots.  Some weeds filling up the open path between rows, while others growing right next to the seedling.  Can you see where I'm going with this?  

In my OCD attempt to pull out ...every single weed....I was also pulling out the few seedlings I did have right with them!  Could I just live with some of the ones close to the plants, hilling up the soil and let it be?  I decided yes!  

Sometimes, we need to examine ourselves, our habits and choices.  Oh, we may have some deep seeded, hard to change type issues that are taking up space.  Doing a good job choking out all our good intentions.  We also could have some shallow, "I'll just let this slide," "it won't be that bad" type issues that sneak up right next to what we desire.  Growing so close that when we try to get rid of it, some of our dreams and ideals are lost too.   Can you relate?

I will share one of my examples on this.  Yes, I could stand to lose a few pounds (wink, wink).  I actually have been working on it.  I've cut out (weeded) some of my "favorites" - haven't bought, nor brought into the house.  Will I NEVER eat this or that again?  That's ridiculous, of course I will.  However, when I've let myself indulge in a few little "favorites"  I find that I actually enjoy them more!  

In all honesty, I don't even crave some of them anymore.  I let a little grow along with my changing habits and just like these hilled up onions, no weeds.....

So, I hope, as you work on yourself, you think on this Motivational Monday post and "don't throw out the baby with the bath water!"  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.