Monday, September 5, 2016

Ah, Love!

Ah, Love!

Love is exciting!  

The ding of the phone letting you know you have a new text message sends little charges of electricity through your body.  To see the object of your affection unexpectedly makes your heart go pitter-patter.  Hearing that they are coming to see you might even make you bounce - literally! - and dance around.  

Yeah, I know that feeling.

It must be love!

Except when it's only infatuation, or worse, addiction - being in love with love and the adrenaline rush.  

Take some time for that to wear off.  You know - a month maybe?  Better yet, make it 6 months.  

Talk to them about real stuff.  Heck, even argue with them about nonessential things (to see how they will act if you argue about important things.)  Determine what they consider "arguing."  It may well be a lot different than your definition.  
Play board games with them; something you like, something they like.  
Go to a restaurant that has a reputation for slow service or bad food.  See how they react.  Be nice to them.  Ignore them (for a little while.)  
Go without your usual hygienic routine (you know, skip the makeup or shaving.)  
Meet their friends.  Have them meet yours.  
Ask them to go somewhere you really love to be.  Go with them to their favorite place.  
Discuss your philosophy of life and (if it's important to you) spiritual things.  
Verbally set boundaries for actions you consider important to your mental and physical well-being.  See if they intentionally cross them.  
Ask them to do something that would inconvenience them.  And costs money.  Something altruistic, even.  
Work with them doing something you enjoy, and something you might not, especially if you know more about the subject than they do.  
Say "no" - on more than one occasion, and stick to it.

Oh yeah.  Notice that most of this requires face to face, not social media.

You get the idea.  Be creative.

And then pay attention.  Without all the excitement.  

And then wait a little while longer to see if they are just playing the game for an ultimate goal that is a little less than savory.

Then, look for the peace.  Not until then is it a good idea to call it "love."

Yeah.  Experience.

Have you ever been in love, only to find it wasn't?

Friday, August 19, 2016

bi-fold door/shutter shelf

So... I moved.  Since the last post - twice!  I've been too lazy about writing.  Sorry, folks.

It's been quite a while since I lived in an apartment complex.  Sixteen years, to be exact.  And then I had just moved from Alaska to South Carolina, with only a few boxes and airplane luggage, albeit back in the day when you could check 3 70 pound pieces of luggage, in nearly any shape, not just suitcases.  Anyone from Alaska knows that suitcases are inconvenient for the things we haul around.

Anyway, this time, I moved with waaay too much stuff, and not much by way of storage.  So... time to get creative.

How about a broken bifold door and rescued rough cut 1x12 pine boards?

The broken slats are what gave me this idea.  Well, I got it from here in a image search for what to do with shutters.  As you will see, I didn't follow the instructions!  But hey, I remembered what it looked like.  What do you want from me, anyway??


My bi-fold door came to me with two slats broken out beneath the center piece.  Well... If I put one of my extra dining room chairs in front of it, who's gonna know - or care?

I desperately need more space to display glassware, since the house I moved from had a corner china cabinet that was stuffed to the max.  Here, barely enough space to store one set of dishes - and I have  fetish for collecting dishes!!

Time to get to work.  I checked out my supply of wood (that I'm sure my friends who helped me move were shaking their head at.)  Sho' nuff, some reclaimed 1"x12" rough cut boards that came with that old trailer in New Hampshire. Perfect fit.

Now, here comes the part where I started winging it, because I didn't know there was an easier way!  I reclaimed a box that was destined for the dumpster and started making a template for the shelves.  Notice the black tape. That's because I cut off too much. 

It fit, so I marked two of them on one board. 

There is no way I'd make good straight cuts, so I got out my old chop saw that I picked up for $30 off one of those fb sale sites.  The table top is a reclaimed table from the side of the road.  The metal rolly cabinet is from a friend who was moving and going to throw it on the side of the road.  I love friends!

Alas, it's only a 10" saw, so it won't cut a 12" board at a 45degree angle without some contortions. 

The first one wasn't quite perfect, but would do, so I adjusted the next one cut 2 of those.  The smaller cuts were done with a miter box saw because I couldn't find the jig saw blades. Again, no pictures.  I was working, not taking pictures.  Gimme a break, okay?Sorry, I didn't take a picture, and I'm not going to unload the shelf just to take a picture.  Suffice it to say, it looks very similar to the cardboard template. 

Here's the shelf minus the top.

And then the top.  Much easier to cut.  Just a triangle with the front corners cut off.  I laid the piece on top of the shelf and scribed where the corners needed to be cut.  Easy.  Then, as luck (and God, who is a lifesaver when it comes to me getting anything done!) would have it, I drilled holes in the front corners exactly where the holes for the door hardware are!  The screws are left over from a knockdown bed that is no longer.  They are simply dropped in for stability,

And done!

Thanks to my cousin for the fake plant - the only kind I can grow!

See?  When you put the chair under the bottom shelf, the broken slats disappear.

What you think?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


Xulon Press just listed my revamped and retitled book! 

is available in paperback


There!!  Now... to start thinking about Book Two!  I have plenty of good stories about the cool stuff God has done in my life!

Pretty please order a copy from Xulon in paperback (where I get a reasonable royalty) or Amazon if you need/want a copy for Kindle (where the royalties aren't so much...) or Nook.   Starving artists the world over will appreciate it!  Especially this one!

Then share this!!  Think of it - by sharing this post, you may be able to help someone who really needs it!  

And I'd love to hear comments. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Happy Birthday Rachael!

b  l  b

            Today is Rachael’s birthday!  She would be 29.
         Rachel was full of life, and joy, and happiness.  She loved people, her family and Truman.  Her faith in God was unstoppable.  And some day I will get to meet her!  Bc When we all get to heaven def
         Funny story.  Rachael evidently didn’t waste time.  She even had a practice of praying while she was in the bathroom!  She invited a gentleman to join her club. 
         “Club?” he asked, quizzically. 
         “Yes!  The “Pray When You Pee Club!”  she said with what I can imagine was a mischievous little grin.
         “Sure.  But I won’t be folding my hands,” said the gentleman with an even more mischievous grin!
         So here is a sign for you.  It’s in several formats.  There is the jpg with a transparent background so you can print it out on whatever paper you would like, with or without flourishes, and one with a blackboard background if you want to use the picture online. Until I figure out how to make a PDF file, you will just have to right click on the picture, save it to your computer and then print it.
         Enjoy!  And don’t waste a minute of your life! 

Monday, January 5, 2015

I Was Bored

What do you do when the usual pursuits are boring??  You play with the blog template! 

What do you think?  Yay? Nay?  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Gluten-Free Gingerbread

½ cup soft butter
½ cup brown sugar
1 cup dark unsulphered molasses
¾ cup sour cream
¼ cup water

1 ½ cups rice flour
¼ cup sorghum flour
¼ cup flaxseed meal
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon xanthum gum
1 ½ teaspoons ginger
½ teaspoon cinnamon

Cream butter and sugar.  Add molasses, sour cream and water, stirring until well blended.  (I'm usually using the last of the molasses, so I pour the water in the jar after I get tired of waiting for the last drop to come out.  Swish the water around in the jar to get the last bit of molasses and pour it in with the rest of the stuff.  Viola!  A clean jar for recycling.)

In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients.  (Seriously.  Use a separate bowl, otherwise there will be lumps.  You don't want that, trust me.)

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.  Mix well.

Spoon batter into 2 buttered 7x11 biscut pans.  (I used a 7x11 divided cornbread pan and a muffin top pan.  I haven’t used this exact recipe before – I altered the recipe as I was mixing it up! – but in my past experience with regular flour, this doesn’t bake very well in a regular bread pan or a wide cake pan.  You don't want the batter to be too deep in the pan.)

400 degree oven, bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on the pan size.
I baked the muffin tops for about 15 minutes and the pan for about 20 minutes. If you use a smaller pan, it will take longer, because it will be thicker. Keep an eye on your baking.  It’s the standard “when the cake pulls away from the side of the pan, it’s done” test, or the “tooth-pick comes out clean” test.  If it startes smelling good, check it!

Don't you just love my 50's 24" gas stove!  Tiny little thing, but does the job!

I must tell the truth... I gave away 2 of the muffin tops to my neighbor and ate 3 of the other 4.  I did let my sweetheart have a little bit!  But he's not supposed to eat all that junk, ya know??  So, it was nice of me to save him from himself!  Right??
Let me know how your gluten-free gingerbread comes out!  The other readers would probably like to know what size pan you used, and how long it took to bake.


Monday, December 22, 2014

That Baby in the Manger

Today is guest day, by way of facebook posts from a friend of mine, Jim Hatfield.  The following are posts and comments from his page (with his permission, of course.)

December 6  ·

The Wise Men first came to Jerusalem looking for Jesus in the palace. They were surprised to find - not only was the newborn king NOT there, but the old king had to ask others where He might be found. When the Wise Men finally found Jesus, they did not doubt that He was the King they sought . Even though He was not in the palace, He was clearly the King they came to worship and bestow gifts upon.

December 7 ·

Back to the Three Wise Men who came looking for the Baby Jesus: How did the Wise Men know to come looking for the New Born King of Israel? Well, ... where ever they came from (Babylon?) they had seen a star in the East. Of course there were many stars to the east of their home region. BUT, this star was a new star, and it was somehow different. The fact that they noticed it is very interesting. But the fact that somehow they questioned it's importance, and God gave them an answer is indeed a wonder. AND, they took the information from God and took off on a journey to see this new King. Following the normal trade route it would be around 800 - 900 miles and take about 4 months (if you made good time). I am thinking .. it would be nice if I were as observant as these men, and if I would ask for guidance on what to do with what I learned, AND , if I would have the faith (and the guts) to do the right thing.

Nancy Spencer Carlson: Isn't that the truth, Jim? Sometimes, even when we get the wisdom, we still lack the faith to move.

Jim Dale Hatfield: People often go to great Bible conferences and then come home excited about what God has done in their lives. What if... someone went to a great conference and then sent a post card home - from the mission field where God had led them. Just a thought....

Nancy Spencer Carlson: sign me up!! But Paul had better be with me at the conference, I suppose... My preacher would look at me more askance than he did when I mentioned that before Paul and I got married I told him that God sends me all kinds of places, and I needed to be able to continue that; if he (Paul) wasn't up for that, speak no or forever hold his peace. He agreed. And he has kept his word! But I don't think going off to a missions conference and then sending him a post card from some foreign place would be a good idea! (Though a 4 day trip to GA turned into a 2 week trip to GA, LA, TX and home by way of Chicago last summer...)

Jim Dale Hatfield:
Ha Ha, Nancy, I guess I was more picturing a young person sending a card back to their parents - not to a spouse.!! But, I think you got my point..? Lot's of people get excited about the messages that make them feel good and dedicated, but it produces mostly smoke. We need to get our wheels turning.

December 12  ·
One of those Prophesies that King Herod had read:
Isa 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
December 14·

Okay... back to that baby in a manger.... Maybe you remember who His first visitors were - besides the cow in the next stall. Yes.. it was a group of shepherds. Some of you may know that shepherds were looked upon as lowly citizens in many societies - including Israel. They dealt in the types of things that made them almost continually unclean and therefore could not go into the temple. But these people God chose to make the first - and probably greatest - announcement of the birth of Jesus. A choir made up of multitudes of angels sang to the shepherds as part of the announcement. And so the shepherds went to the stable where the newborn King was staying. And doesn't it make sense that shepherds should be on hand at the birth of the Lamb of God?

Janice Kopsho: Just as God chose David, a shepherd, to become the great King for the people.

Brenda Hatfield Adams: Thank true.

December 21 ·

Back to the Baby in The Manger: This morning. our pastor mentioned Mary's perspective. Here is a woman who has been given the very difficult task of being pregnant before marriage - in a society that stoned women for that. But, beyond that, she is the mother of our Savior. ... So, how much of that did she understand? Did she realize when He was an infant how young He would be when He died? Did she realize that He was born for the express purpose of being crucified - one of the most horrific ways to be killed. (The word Excruciating comes from the same root word.) And, did she know that she would have to stand and watch as her Son was whipped, and then nailed to a cross to die from loss of blood, and suffocation? I don't think I can even imagine how she must have felt .

Janie Craig Chenault: No, but you raise a point I'd never considered....Mary did you know?

Becky Roe: All we know is that Mary pondered all these things in her heart.
One other thing I ponder about Mary: how much Jesus loved & honored her. The wedding shindig, He told her plainly it wasn't the time for Him to get involved & even so He turned water into the best wine of the party. Bearing the sin of the whole world, He struggled for enough breath to tell John, "Take care of Mom." I also think about the fact that Mary was there with Him when He came in & with Him when He went out. Wow.

Stephen A Morrison: What happened to Joseph during this time? He was there in the beginning. Jesus took on Joseph's trade originally, which is a tremendous compliment to any father, but how did Joseph feel when Jesus said, "Why do you seek me? Did you not know I must be about my Fathers business?" Ouch!
So much is written about Mary, and rightly so, but what about the guy who married the pregnant mother. I can't imagine the emotional turmoil he must have felt as he raised this son as his own. If you knew you were rearing the Son of God, how would you approach that one? Did they have a Dr. Dobson then? Or for that matter a bookstore to go to? Hmmm...."How To Raise The Son of God, by Nicodemus Dobson...?"

Nancy Spencer Carlson: Hey ya'll - can I copy/paste this on my blog or NC Carlson page? Pretty please? It's great!

Jim Dale Hatfield: Nancy, No problem on my part....I am glad that you like it that well.

Nancy Spencer Carlson: you have wonderful friends who make very thoughtful comments. I might even steal all of them from your page if no one has any objections.

Jim Dale Hatfield: Friends? Speak now or forever hold your peace?... LOL

Stephen A Morrison: Sure, any post is public property. I'm honored.

Lana Meadows: I think God protected Mary and only let her know what she needed at the time she needed to know it. Otherwise it would have been to much for her to bear. I assumed Joseph died mid way in Jesus life. He was probably older than Mary.

Lana Meadows: I always just guess that when Jesus said he was in his father's house that they would realize what was happening.

Stephen A Morrison:  I'm just seeing a lot of opportunity for an emotional roller coaster for Mary and Joseph. Knowing yet not knowing. Knowing yet hoping not. Joy in the blessing, but sorrow in knowing or maybe suspecting what was ahead for their son. THE SON OF GOD!

Brenda Hatfield Adams: It's like having Bible study online.

There you have it: Jim and his friends on the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  

I'm in agreement with Lana: Mary probably didn't know much, or she wouldn't have been able to bear the pain.  Can you imagine knowing ahead of time all the trials you have had to go through? 

Do you have any other thoughts? We want to hear them!  

Merry Christmas! 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Angels We Have Seen - On the Front Porch

Imagine the snow covers the yard.  This is the best I can do!

It was a snowy Christmas eve in Alaska. There was about a foot of new-fallen snow covering the yard of our little house. I had been out on the enclosed porch earlier that day, but we hadn't been outside in the yard for several hours, so the blanket of snow was beautiful and unbroken by footprints. 

Around 7 that night, I heard a bit of noise on the front porch, but thought it was just the wind rattling the decrepit porch door. The phone rang about 7:30. A vaguely familiar male voice asked to speak to J. I tried to place the voice amongst our friends in the tiny town as I handed the phone to J.

"Huh?" he grunted into the phone with a very strange look on his face.

I could hear the man speaking, but couldn't make out any of the conversation.


J hung up the phone and answered my question. "He said it was Santa and I should open the front door."

Curious, he walked over to the door and opened it carefully.  A smallish package wrapped in bright Christmas paper fell into the house. It was addressed "To J, From Santa." Of course, he wanted to open it right then. I was willing to see what it could be. And just what do you think it was? The very thing J wanted for Christmas! And this Mrs. Claus had already wrapped up that very Lego set and intended to put it under the tree that night!

More curious than ever, we looked out the porch door. Remember, there is about a foot of new snow in the yard. There are 3 stairsteps up to the porch door, so if anyone were to open that door to put the package against the front door, there would have to be footprints in the snow.

But there were no footprint!  None. Not up the driveway. Not up the steps. Not even under the eves. Just no possible way for that present to be where it was.

If there isn't a Santa Claus, there surely is a God, who must have been meeting some unspoken need of an 11 year old boy who lived with his mother.
(this was first posted on my personal fb account.  I'm sharing the thread that followed.)
  • Cheyanne:  I love that....thanks for sharing.

  • Nancy: Lucy, I was thinking it might have sounded like Pete, because I would recognize the voice, but not be someone I talked to on a regular basis. And he was connnected to the church that did stuff like that for Christmas. BUT even if it was him, HOW on earth would someone get into the porch with no footprints??

  • Lucy: I have no idea! Unless they tossed it from farther out! We received a surprise gift of $100 years ago in T.... It didn't come from my folks, either! But, we desperately needed the money! God knows!

  • Nancy: nope. couldn't have tossed the package in, because it was inside a closed porch! But it's a really cool story! And God does indeed know!

  • Cheyanne: Gee, did any of your friends fly really small planes?
  • Lucy: There are angels, you know!

  • Nancy: I KNOW Lucy!! Met at least one, my very ownself!

  • Nancy: Chey, you are funny!
  • Lucy: OK...tell me your angel story!

  • Cheyanne:  Did you look on the roof for footprints???
  • Nancy: you guys are funny!!
    Angel story:

  • Nancy: I was driving down I-95 in SC. The gas light had been on for many miles. We were almost home, so I was hoping to be able to limp in on fumes. Not so. However, the car stopped in an excellent location: right at the top of an exit, with a gas station right across the road.

  • Nancy: I went into the station to get a gas can. An old guy asked if I had run out of gas. Yes. Where? Just at the top of the exit, I said. He insisted on buying the gas can, and the gas, and giving me a ride down the frontage road to just opposite my car.

  • Nancy: There was a fence, of course, and an empty field filled with tall grass. The old gentleman handed me over the fence from the back of his ragged red pickup truck. We walked up to the car. He put the gas in the tank. When I turned around to say thanks, the man was gone, his truck was gone and there was no indication that anyone had been there!

  • Nancy: Again, no 'footprints' in the grass, no swaying fence where the guy would have had to climb over. Nothing. Just gas in my car and off I went!

  • Nancy: Hey could you guys offer up a prayer for me. I need to find a form very soon - like within 30 minutes or so. It's around here --- somewhere. Thanks.

  • Lucy: Lord, if you can send your messengers to Nancy in such amazing ways...then I ask that You would help her find the form that she needs! You have helped me over and over again in like matters! Thank You, Lord! To You belongs all the glory!

  • Nancy: Man!! You guys are fast! Just found it. In 2 minutes! God is amazing, isn't he?? (I was typing this as Lucy was typing her prayer!)

  • Lucy: Great story, by the way!!!

  • Nancy: Don't you just love that angel story??

  • Lucy: I have great faith for asking God to help me find things...including reconciling my bank account, etc! His provisions for us are truly amazing...we just have to have eyes to see!

  • Cheyanne: I do love that Angel story.

  • Nancy:  There was one time when I was looking for something (of the zillions of times I have asked for help). I'd looked all over the house, following the Spirit's leading. I finally was getting frustrated. It seems like sometimes God has me look places just to see if I'll continue even when it doesn't seem logical, or the trail comes to a dead end.
    Well, I was back in the bedroom, where the thing should have been, and there it was, in the middle of the bed!! It would have been totally impossible to miss it in my earlier searches.
    It's so much fun watchin God!!

  • Lucy: The scripture that I've been following this year is: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding! In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths!" Proverbs 3:5-6. Over and over again, I've heard that phrase..."Lean not on your own understanding!!!!!"

  • Nancy:  sometimes I actually LIKE fb! We can share good stories, and encouragement.

    Do you have any angel stories to share??  We  would all love to hear them!  Leave a comment below!  Pretty please?  Think of the opportunity to give God the glory for his favor to you!