NH to CT

It took a Sarah and I seven hours. I’m laughing so hard. We drove separately from the boys and stopped many times:

1. A thrift store in Tilton, NH called Tilton Village Thrift. It was one of those quaint towns where Main Street has shops all up and down with parking on the slant in fronts of them. It was a little over 30 mins from our cabin and it was a first time visit. Cash only so we held hands and walked to the ATM in a nearby gas station. We bought some treasures and then checked out a consignment boutique down the sidewalk where Sarah found a gray Champion hoodie and I a silver ring with a purple stone.

Wearing rings is secretly a way I feel safe, like armor. Silly but helpful. A grounding technique, I put them on to face the day so to speak.

2. We were hungry and were told that a good place to eat was the Tilt’n Diner. It was about 10 minutes from the thrift store. It was pink!! There was a 15 minute wait for a table but we were able to sit in the car because they took my number and called when the table was ready. The waitress was friendly. I had coffee and Sarah had coke. We read our books while we waited for our food. She had Mac n cheese and I had a Philly steak sandwich. We saved room for dessert: chocolate layer cake for her and coconut cream pie for me. They make their own potato chips there. The fries were crispy and the coffee was perfect diner coffee. We enjoyed the atmosphere and decor very much.

3. With full bellies we drove to another new (to us) place called Antiques on Elm, in Manchester, NH. I didn’t have nearly enough time to see it all. It was a great antique place with lots of vendors and a great building. Good lighting, heated, and something for everyone. Friendly staff, calm vibe. We found some great things at nice prices. I will definitely stop again.

This hand painted folk art plate was my favorite find today. I just love strawberries on things.
In fact I also found a strawberry tile trivet for my eBay shop.

4. Starbucks

5. Gas station for bathroom break and a bag of combos to munch during the last half hour to home.

Seth said “What took you so long?? Were you driving like a granny?” Caleb brought my stuff inside and ate my leftovers. Rich gave me a hug. I could tell they were all glad to have me back home again.

We are all settled, I’m in bed while they watch Outer Banks together in the living room. I’m in here because I would much rather read. I’m putting aside my current read to read a book that came in the mail while I was gone. It’s called Behind the Dress by Christine Faour, “One woman’s life in a religious cult and the healing that came after.” It will be a quick but interesting book for my ongoing personal education of cults, high control groups, and abuse of any kind. Sounds pretty grim, but the education is necessary so I can be aware for myself and my family.

Much love! I hope you all had a lovely Sunday. I would enjoy hearing from you and any little interesting part of your day if you would like to share. Are you reading a good book? Do you like strawberry plates? Do you eat in pink diners? Do you hug your daughter in the middle of thrift stores?

content (written in NH)

My body sinks into the couch. My nerves are smooth peace. My muscles are soft. My feet are warm in socks and loose slippers. I’m wearing a thick sweater and sweatpants. “Down shifting” is my personal term for a busy person starting to relax, it takes some time but down we go. For years I was going going going. And now even when I’m busy I can be calm. Going through EMDR therapy last year changed my life. Radically. I am an all-around healthier woman. I knew what I wanted, knew it shouldn’t be that hard, and was finally handed the keys to the abundant life. Trauma therapy. Education. Experience. Growth.

I’ve been crushed, but I rose again.
-found at a thrift shop today-
Lunch with the darlings
Used books
I chose this one for the author—anyone recognize her? Also—the cover. I already started it. A world within.
Savoring and loving my little touches to our cabin, like this mirror and the prism hanging. (I love mirrors and prisms, don’t you?)
(Through the screen photo)
Treasured old Cookbooks from my dear Kara, and a vintage paint by number. Soy candle.
Signed old photography
Leaning over the porch railing
Cozy books. I’ve never stopped writing, even during the times I couldn’t write here on my blog. Naps. Wool blankets.
Dishes I’ve collected – mostly restaurant ware. All creams and browns and whites. Some with pink borders.
Staying hydrated with ice cold lemon cucumber water.
Caleb and Seth exploring the lake
Leaning over the porch railing, again.

I made a tossed salad for dinner. We have floury rolls and butter to go with it. Rich got the hot tub ready and Sarah’s about to go enjoy that. The boys are playing video games downstairs. It’s been a lovely day and it’s still only 6:30pm.

NOTHING can separate us from the love of God. If life is too hard right now, search and seek your answers. You will find them. He wants you to thrive and enjoy this life.

I love you, friends.

PS. She wrote Johnny Tremain.

and even better

“I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditations on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious.” Philippians 4:8-9

Yesterday I ended up not having the time to write….I had Bible Study at 10 downtown at the Methodist church. I go every week along with about five other ladies. The five other ladies average the age of about 85, it’s absolutely the highlight of my life currently. They are my inspiration. And part of the reason why I stopped dying my hair.

I went grocery shopping, and then ate lunch at home while watching the bird feeders outside the window. I have a rocking chair near enough to put my feet up in the windowsill. The afternoon sun shines in and usually a cat or two comes to watch the birds with me.

I went for a walk. I couldn’t resist collecting a few bottles and cans I found on the side of the road. I ended up with an armful and most were beer, so I wrapped my sweater around them, prompting Seth and Sarah to ask when I got back, “what is it? A cat? A dog?” Always wanting another pet to love…. Boy were they surprised to see it was empty cans. I jokingly call returning bottles and cans my “other side hustle”. I mean, it adds up! Ya know?

And then dearest Caleb had his last band concert. We got there early and as usual I couldn’t take my eyes off my son, in a sea of other children, I only saw him. The drummer boy. Spinning his sticks around. By the end Rich and I both had tears in our eyes, and his were rolling down his cheeks. So many years of these band performances and now they are over. I wonder if he will ever join a band ever again? It was hard for me to keep him in the HS band. I would NOT let him quit. He said he hated it. I can’t believe that’s entirely true. He did admit it looked good on his college transcript, to say he participated in four years of HS band.

He’s always drumming. Even my back is a drum when we hug.

This morning I took him to school. After that I drove to the store to get things for the kids for our road trip to NH this afternoon. I mailed boxes for eBay (china, glasses, and books) and talked to my sister on the phone on the way home.

I’ve been packing for the weekend. Trying to also think of myself and what I want to bring just for me. Books, tea, slippers, my robe, magazines, pens pencils and markers and my notebook. My headphones. I’m certainly not going to go and be everyone’s cook and cleaner and it’s just so lovely to have grown children to be with, I love this stage of life I’m in. Caleb is bringing his friend Dylan so it’s a nice even foursome of children. And Sarah the only girl. It works out just fine. She gets her own room. (Wink wink—yes it’s a bone of contention).

I enjoy keeping busy. By the end of the day I enjoy the tired feeling of a satisfying day. I’ve been sleeping so well, deeply with dreams.

Yesterday at Bible Study we were focused on Psalm 91; (I feminized it)

“Because she holds fast to me in love,

I will deliver her,

I will protect her,

because she knows my name.

When she calls to me, I will answer her;

I will be with her in trouble;

I will rescue her and honor her.

With long life I will satisfy her and

show her my salvation.” Ps. 91:14-16

And these promises are true, absolutely true and comforting like the most comfortable place you can imagine and even better than that. Reading the words, or listening to them being read out loud (I like to play the audio Message Bible as I work), changes our inward being. For me it’s a feeling deep peace and joy and love. Belonging to God and having Him care for me fills my soul with glorious light. I want to stay close to Him always and each moment.

Bird watching
Collecting trash….someday I’ll remember to take a bag!!!!
Wrapping up eBay sales
Leaving the school after the band concert last night
A selfie in the car as I was out and about yesterday

Happy weekend,

We are so loved.


Today I took Caleb for his follow up appointment regarding his knee which he injured during states (for wrestling). The doctor is recommending stitching the slightly torn meniscus together so it can heal properly. He was impressed that Caleb did as well as he did at states, placing sixth after twisting his knee and wrestling two more matches after hurting it. Caleb was relieved to know that all the caution was worthwhile, his wrestling ended that day for the season, and he has no choice but to miss spring sports.

After the appointment we went to IHOP because, as always, he was hungry. He’s the child who doesn’t ask for anything but food (or money, for food). If he sees me or even senses me in the house he finds me and tells me he’s so hungry. It’s half funny and half true, he’s a growing 17 year old, a senior this year in High School. I can’t hardly believe it. Rich is taking him to visit Liberty University at the end of this month.

We sat across from each other and had coffee and breakfast. It was lovely. He’s a very easy going, calm, unruffled personality. much like his Dad. I can depend on him if I remember if he’s home (because he’s quiet). As I ate my bacon and eggs I thought about how good it was to have one on one time with him and how next year it will be so different to have him away at school. No matter the personality, each one of my darlings are a huge part of my heart. So our breakfast together, “thanks” to an injured meniscus, was something I held dear and close to my heart as another memory to save and keep. My favorite Caleb in the universe.

“What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.” – Helen Keller


The kids had early dismissal today and Rich worked from home. I spent some time in the morning downstairs listing Easter things on my eBay shop, and then I wrapped up a (vintage, 1st edition) book to mail. After the post office I went along to Goodwill where I found some “brown drip glaze” Hull plates to bring home to sell, and some other odds and ends. Then a quick trip into the grocery store for dinner ingredients (tuna noodle casserole) and a sandwich lunch to eat as I drove. By the time I got back at 11:45 the children were home. Rich was making a big salad, and Sarah asked me to go get a friend of hers so they could giggle all afternoon. Back into the car I went, and on my way I stopped at an egg stand that I’ve been meaning to visit. Over the last six months we have lost all of our hens and ducks to wild predators and my heart can’t take the pain of losing anymore so at this time we have no plans to replace them. Thankfully there are people who sell extra eggs and today I found some selling for five dollars a dozen. It was a place right next to the main road into town, an easy driveway to maneuver, and the eggs were all stacked in a small refrigerator type cupboard with handwritten notes all over it like “smile you’re being videotaped” and “empty egg cartons needed”—in a man’s handwriting I’m fairly certain. Being sold using the “honor system” I threw in my ten dollars and selected two cartons and went on my way without seeing a single soul.

I was completely charmed? aghast? at the eggs. I personally can’t imagine putting chicken poop covered eggs out to sell, or a dozen minus one egg filled carton either. But the smell of unwashed eggs was nostalgic and I had to smile. Plus, the variety. I am especially pleased with the dark browns. All in all, I am completely grateful to have an egg supplier three miles from home.

or old

All my body fibers (all except the ones who requested coffee from under the covers) were weak and half asleep when my husband left for work but he kindly set a mug of of it down on the table by my bed as he said goodbye. it was 6:45.

It took fifteen minutes for me to come to enough state of wakefulness to get into a sitting position and *shakily reach for the coffee. It wasn’t that hot anymore. I was so tired.

And then in the silence my bedroom door slowly opened.

“I’m so sorry Mom”

“Caleb didn’t wake us up.”

“He said he told me last night to set my alarm.”

“And doesn’t he even know it doesn’t work? I tried it the other day but it just started bleeding……”


“No mom. BEEPING.”

Us? We? Is Seth here too? and Caleb?

(Starts to weep)

The queen was disturbed.

I sent for Caleb. He approached and brought me paper and a red marker (seemed fitting). After they dressed and ate, I sent them far far away with my royal horseman. (Their brother David).

*adverb. /ˈʃeɪkɪli/ /ˈʃeɪkɪli/ while shaking and feeling weak, often because you are ill, emotional or old.

how can I keep from…….

(in no particular order)

…..singing—even when I am confronted by evil I cannot stay sad, in every day of my life something has happened to lift my heart to praise God. And so I sing. Music is the food of love.

…..writing—the written word, to me, is easier to use than speaking.

……speaking—but when I have something to say I will say it.

….resting—I will never allow myself to feel guilty for not being able to keep up with others. I move at my own pace.

…..Loving—-lovers must love. I was made to love and I know this beyond doubt. love is the power that softens willing and able hearts. Without love I am nothing.

….mothering—so much of what I do is performed as “mother”; cleaning, tending, touching, mending, preaching, saying no, saying yes.

…..Reading—my escape, my mind opener

……exploring nature—because there is always something to be discovered.

…..Grieving—-because there is no pain like betrayal.

…..Looking up—because that is where God is.

…..adopting cats—-needs no explanation

…..taking photos—I want to remember. I want to share.

…learning, moving, laughing, being brave, questioning, thanking, creating. Living.


I had to go outside just in case there were talking animals in the woods (deer, moose, mouse?), or an elf or goblin, friendly ghost, a message written on a branch, or an entryway into another land. An icy world is out there, I’m actually writing this in the woods, the sound of glassy rain falling. I ate some ice off the ground but I still feel like regular me. (It might have been of medicinal or magical value.). The air is bitter on my cheeks and nose but I am warm enough everywhere else. It’s quiet but not quiet enough, I can hear dirty traffic moving too fast on the roads in the distance. But maybe that has some magic, too.

I just got done reading a book in which the character “God Emperor” continues to have his favorite soldier re-created over and over. If the man makes a mistake of some sort, he is eliminated and remade, yet he always has the awareness of his previous selves and lives. In time he becomes frustrated and angry at the God. And he’s angry because at this point life no longer has magic for him. Constantly coming back to life over and over removed the magic of living a once in a lifetime life.

I think about the concept. If I knew I had endless more days on earth, would this day hold any specific value? When you’re exhausted from living the same day over and over, or bored, what is the attraction of immortality? We know our days on earth will come to end. We know we are dust, and to dust we will return. This knowledge is bitter sweet. But longing and sadness and grief also add beauty to life. The only thing to fear is fear itself.

I thought last night, “what if….” One of my children was out and what if they didn’t come back? I recognized it for what it was, I was letting this thought create a fear in my soul. I know the truth, I have a God, a real God (not from that paperback fantasy novel I just finished), a God, a trinity Father, Son, Holy Spirit, that I learn about from a real Book, a sharp as knives set of Holy Words, that tells me not to fear. If that fearful thing happened He would be there with me and guide me through it. Like a trusting infant, I lay cradled in the arms of God. Knowing He holds me with everlasting love. Knowing that when this life is over, a new and more glorious one begins.

I can cast aside fear and go searching for magic. Thus I find myself in the woods in an ice storm thinking thinking and looking looking.

Two, three years ago I was in a dark place, and yet in my anguish I found myself writing on almost every page of my journals, “I trust God completely.” The only thing I could count on were the promises of God. Everything else was mixed up.

As one of the dear old hymns says “those who trust him wholly, find Him wholly true”. Now when I look back at my journals I remember that pain and marvel at how God worked to heal me. I’ve been able to learn so much. I’ve found an entirely new outlook on life and satisfaction with my family and husband. I found a new church family, and it’s a Methodist congregation. I grew up Baptist so yesterday was my very first Ash Wednesday. Oh how beautiful it was. When the Pastor put the ashes on my forehead he said, “Repent and believe in the gospel.” Those simple words are so beautiful they make me cry. I find myself not caring so much about the sin, but finding comfort, actual comfort in the fact that I am a sinner. We all are. In other words, I’m only human. I repent and it feels so wholesome. I’m not judged, I am understood by an all-loving and merciful Savior who very kindly saved me. I believe in the gospel because my heart burns within me telling me that this is real. I believe in the promises of God.

I’ve always enjoyed reading stories.

But I am living in the greatest story every told.

Seth’s 14 now

I got up super duper early today at 6 just so I could see and hug and give gifts to my birthday boy Seth William. He’s just the most wonderful Seth in the entire universe. He’s fun and smart and dependable and very energetic and handsome. Since he was born I have laughed at least once a day just because of him. He has a few faults but we don’t talk about them in birthdays, do we.

Seth, this morning on his birthday

What does Seth request on this special day? I shall be picking him up early from school to go to the mall to try to find the shoes he wants. This has been the only request which I have listened to daily for days. Don’t I feel special, too, that he is glad to be with his mom today. I shall enjoy every moment.

I’m making him a red velvet cake mix cake, but with homemade frosting. (a combination that works for me as it’s easy with a mix and the little extra effort of homemade cream cheese icing offsets the mix-taste of the cake). He has wrestling practice at 3:15 which will be a little challenge because I am picking up my very first FB marketplace purchase off of someone’s porch at three. Stay tuned for what it is. I bet you can guess. What with the busy day and wrestling practice we won’t be able to sing Happy Birthday until around 8pm but that’s okay. It will be a birthday from start to finish.

Here is the video of his latest match. He has only had one loss this season, & has won three first place medals. Sports are a huge part of Seth’s life, with his energy levels he has a great time and we are very thankful to his coaches and teams for making it fun and rewarding.

Happy Birthday baby boy! See you soon.

Mama loves you.

PS. It’s also 14 degrees outside. Probably in honor of Seth.