I have a faint memory from childhood of having juggling balls.  I remember looking at the direction book and practicing with them.  I think I was able to get up to three balls.  I was excited at what I could do, but when I tried the fourth ball, I became discouraged and quit.

Isn’t that how it is when we are trying something new or going through new experiences?   We step out confident, and then that fourth ball comes into play and all of a sudden we are all fingers and toes and can’t hold onto anything.

How did this memory come back to me, you ask?   Well, here is how it came back from the dark recesses of my mind.   That mind of mine is a scary thing, as I really don’t have to let you know.   I am certain you could perceive that from reading this blog!

Hubby and I are starting a new regiment in our old age.  We are watching what we eat, how much we eat, when we eat and along with that, we are exercising.   We had been faithfully walking until the rains hit starting a bit last week and continuing into this week.   Knowing we couldn’t afford to just go to Costco and walk around there to get in our steps and exercise, we pulled out our Wii system that had been packed away since before we moved.     Yes, we did move five years ago, but, let’s not get into that.

As we all know, Wii’s are those game systems that help you move.   I did the normal favorites of mine, finding out I am much more unbalanced and slower than the last time I used it.  Plus that Wii board groans when I step on it, which I personally think is very rude of it.    Anyhow, I am going off on a tangent…

One of the games is hitting soccer balls with your head while trying not to get hit by random objects, mostly shoes or stuffed animals.  I haven’t broken ten hits of the balls.  I have, however been hit many times by shoes and stuffed animals.  Each time you are hit with a shoe, the system makes a sound like a splat! The first time I played I was laughing so hard that there really was no way for me to hit the balls.   I played a few more times just to keep laughing at myself.

Last night as I lay in bed I thought of that game and being hit by the shoes.  That is when the memory of the juggling balls came to mind.   The shoes were virtual, they really didn’t hit you or hurt you, but I still remember the feeling of the juggling balls that dropped on my toes.  They fell with a thud and I felt each one on my feet.

As a child, I hurt each time I was hit by a flying ball.  It must have hurt if I can still remember the feeling.  That thought brought this thought to mind, as we get older, the things that are thrown at us can either continue to hurt or we can stand our ground and not have it affect us.

Juggling is not only about tossing balls into the air with a flourish, it is about concentration, ability, agility and confidence.  I confess I possess little of what I just wrote.   But, I do have the Lord on my side, who gives me all the concentration, ability, agility and confidence I need especially when life starts throwing not only balls, but random objects at me.  I may not hit all the balls with grace, but I am learning how to dodge those random objects thrown my way.  I may end up a bit bruised in the process, but, I am still standing and that my friends is victory.

Isaiah 43: 2 says: When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.NLT

With having this assurance, I can stand, not only on that Wii board, but, in my daily routine and know that flying objects that appear out of nowhere trying to distract and discourage me won’t  overthrow me.

Thanks for stopping by today, I appreciate your visit.  Cathi (DAF)


A Flash Back Memory…

Last night while I was browsing You Tube, I came across a video for the Navy Lodge in Yokosuka, Japan.   This caught my eye as this is where we lived for the first couple of weeks after arriving in Japan.  I clicked on the link and smiled to myself.

This lodge is definitely not the classier place to stay when looking at first class hotels around the world.  It is by no means a four star resort to most.   It is a good, functional place to stay when you are being relocated to a foreign country and you don’t have your own home to move right in to.  It is a great place to drop your bags when you have arrived after a long and hard flight across the ocean.

I remember well the relief I felt when we first arrived to the Navy Lodge in June of 1976.  It was a dark and dreary night, no lie! It was a rainy night and the drive from Tokyo to Yokosuka was both invigorating and strange.   The signs were flashing neon, beckoning people to come into the pachinko parlors and restaurants and bars.  Each was fascinating to see, but overwhelming after a long flight from San Francisco.

We had a sponsor from the base meet us, which meant someone who my husband would be working with met us at the  airport and arranged for our lodging and getting us settled in for the first few weeks.  He drove a work van to the airport and talked most of the way from the airport.  Hubby carried on a conversation with him while I stared out the windows wondering how this was ever going to feel like home.

When we were dropped off at the Navy Lodge that night we checked in and were shown our room.   It was down a dark hallway.  On the way to the room we were shown where the bathrooms were and where the showers were.  Women on one side, men on the other.  Sort of like when you had gym class, those types of showers.   The only t.v. was in the lounge at the end of the hall.  Our room had a sink in it, a double bed and a small window, but it was quiet and it was ours.   We sunk into bed and slept like you can only sleep after a trans-Pacific flight.

After a good night’s sleep, a shower, and fresh clothes we met our sponsor for breakfast.  I can’t remember what that was, or where it was, all I know was the new day brought new energy and an excitement.

It did not take long for Japan to feel like home to us.  The signs that were so strange on our arrival soon became friendly to us.  The noise of the traffic and  the crowds of people became the melody of our lives.  We learned to move and flow with it.  Trains were second nature to me as I did not drive while living there.  I became familiar with the bus schedules, the bus stops, the train stations.  There were very few boring days while living there.

I often wonder what it is like now.  After watching the video last night of the Lodge, I smiled to myself.   A kitchenette in each room, that was unheard of!   A bathroom in each room, how wonderful!  A television in the room, amazing!  Plus, right before we left Japan, the Armed Forces Radio network brought us American television!  So, there is no more watching American shows dubbed in Japanese!

Time changes so much.  Things advance and improve and improve some more.   I would surmise, though, the people of Japan are still like they were.  They welcomed us and spoke with us and shared what they had with us.  They are a part of my history, my story, my heart.

Thanks for stopping by today,   I appreciate you.   Cathi (DAF)


Some Days…

Some days it is cold and rainy.  It is dreary and gray outside.  The rain beats steadily down on the roof and the birds stick close to the remaining foliage on the trees.

Some days it is nice to sit wrapped up in a blanket and do nothing.  Chat with friends from long ago, online.  Catch up on the little things in life.

Some days it is nice to have some soup to simmer on the stove and look forward to a bowl for dinner.   Then add some girl scout cookies for dessert.

Some days are like this.   Rainy, damp, cold outside.  Inside a nice blanket, warm soup and a nice bright fire in the fireplace.

That some day is now and I am enjoying a quiet and peaceful day today.  How about you?


Could it be possibly be?

I really dislike warm weather.  I was excited to go to San Diego at first because I was leaving the 90 degree temps that are so common here in South Carolina in September.

I was excited until I realized that San Diego was hot also.

I felt like I couldn’t escape from the heat.  Upon returning to Charleston the temperatures were warm.  Not the 90’s, but high 80’s.  Yesterday I walked out of the house in the morning to walk our dog.  Opening the door, I was hit by warmth.  My immediate reaction was not positive (which fit in with my day yesterday).

Last night we had rain.  There was a bit of thunder with it also.  Hubby and I took our dog for his last walk last night and hubby remarked how much cooler it was.  We always disagree on the temperature, anything lower than 90 is cool to him.  Personally, the colder, the better.

This morning as I left the house for my morning walk, it was cooler!  I was so excited.  Maybe, possibly, summer is over?  After all, it is almost November.  The leaves are falling off some of the trees.  I think they are just done with the heat and have decided to commit suicide and leave the trees without changing any color.  (It’s hot, I’m done, good-bye cruel world!)

So, hopeful that the sun shining in the woods behind our home is a sign that it is now fall and soon the trees will be bare, I write about my favorite of seasons.  Fall, that season that says we survived the heat of summer.  Fall, that season that welcomes in the holidays.  Fall, that season where we can legally eat pumpkin pie and not be stared at for not eating berries.  Fall, that season that allows us to pull out sweaters and jeans and socks that cover the ankle.   Yes, I am excited.

Technically fall arrived a couple of weeks ago.  It says so on the calendars.  Also the stores are filled with Halloween, a bit of Thanksgiving and  Christmas.  The signs have all been here, except for the weather.  My sweatshirts are calling my name.  I hear them from the closet.  Now, if only this weather holds and gets a little colder…  Maybe, just maybe fall has arrived?

Thanks, DAF

As It Was In The Days of Noah…

Yes, I know it is Easter time and Facebook and blogs are filled with words remembering the significance of this week.  Yes, I heartily agree with all of this, but, no, this is not a spiritual post.  Just a reference.

Noah built the ark, and the rains started.   Last night I was thinking of pulling out the plans for a boat, just didn’t know how quickly I could get it made.

The rains started yesterday afternoon, as expected.  The winds blew, the rains came and stayed.  It was cozy inside.  We donned our slickers and took the dog out a couple of times for a wet walk.

Last evening we looked at the pond.  It’s not a particularly lovely pond anyhow, more like a culvert with water in it.  There is an area of brush at one end of the pond, the brush stands at least ten feet in height.  Last evening the brush was half covered in water.  The pond was almost full.  The roads were full, as was our front yard.

Now, I know the house is raised just a bit for times like these.  I understand that.  My concern in all of this?  The three alligators who live in the pond.  Two of them are pretty little and I half expected to look out this morning to see them on my porch.

But, as the sun attempted to shine today, I looked out to puddles, a pond that had drained and no gators on my porch.  So, now we are waiting for the next round of storms and again we will watch the pond.

Have a great Easter weekend.  Thanks for stopping by, DAF

A Day to Snuggle…

The cold snap has passed.  It is becoming a distant memory of this past week.  The cold was bitter, and we are in the south.  I can only imagine how cold it was in New England this week.

I loved being able to dress in winter things.  I pulled out my real winter gloves, my scarves, my knit hat and my winter coat.  I still shivered when walking the dog.  It was wonderful to feel the cold again.  It makes you feel alive, at least it does me.

Today I walked the dog without a jacket.  The heat is turned off in the house.  Yet, today, I feel more like it is winter than I did in the cold.  Today is a dark, windy, rainy day.  Branches have blown off trees today.  The water in the pond is dancing under the wind.  The sky is threatening more rain.  To coin a phrase widely used around the campfire, it was a dark and dreary night….

It is a good day to climb on the couch, wrap up in a blanket and sleep.  A deep winter’s sleep.  I have thought about a good nap all day long.  But, laundry had called and it is almost dinner time, so no naps today.

I hope you have a calm, restful weekend.  DAF


Yes, I know.  I know that I lived for almost 28 years in Southern California.  I know that I now live in South Carolina.  I know that both of those places are not known for their ‘winters’.    I know that.

There was a time though, that I lived in snow.  I was born in Oil City, PA.  A place in northwestern Pennsylvania.  It is situated in the foothills of the Allegheny mountains, part of the Appalachian chain.  It was cold there, still is.  Winter is part of my DNA.  I know it.  I remember the feel, the smell, the taste of the cold and I miss it.

I truly was one of those kids who walked almost a mile to school (high school it was a mile and half).  The bus routes just missed our home, so, we walked.

We walked uphill and downhill, and yes, that was each way.  Living in a hilly area you had to go up and down both ways to get anywhere.

When I was in school girls weren’t allowed to wear pants.  The nuns would allow us to wear our snowpants to school, but they were hung up in the cloak room as soon as we got there.  In my junior year of high school we were allowed to wear dress pants to school.  In my senior year we were allowed to wear jeans.  I think there were only two days where I did not put on my jeans that year.

So, yes, I can relate to the snow and the cold and the frigid air.  I remember it.  I can remember sitting in a classroom watching the weather turn bad.  It would be cold at lunch time and gray.  The gray would turn to rain and sleet and then snow.  We would leave the school and head home.  Some days the boots would be sitting warmly at home because they weren’t needed in the morning.  So, off  we would head down Seeley Avenue slipping and sliding.  This street would go down hill a ways and then climb up to another street, where we would cross over to.  Going uphill we would try to walk on the grassy part of the curb so we could keep our footing.  Heading across Cedar Avenue was easy.  It was straight. It was level.  It let you catch your breath.  We would then cut across the alley by the cemetery where it was normally oiled, in the snow it was mushy slush.  By this time your feet were soaked and felt like bricks to walk on.  Your knees were burning with the cold.  Your nose was running and your mittens were clumpy with chunks of snowy ice where you had put them down to pick yourself up from falling.

By time we got home we were ready for warmth.  We were ready for flannel pajamas.  But, more than anything we were ready to get our homework done and go back outside, this time for fun.

Yes, I may live where snow is a rare happening, but I remember and I miss the snow.   I lived in snow as an adult also, but that is another post.  Thanks for stopping by today, stay warm!  DAF


Today I started to take down Christmas decorations.  The key word here is take down, not put away.  My extra room upstairs looks like Christmas collapsed in there.  Garland is strung across the floor, drying from being outside.  The outside ribbon is doing the same.

It’s funny when you take down decorations. The rooms that seemed normal before putting out Christmas now seem bland.

Add to this, the day outside, damp, dreary and rainy and it looks like the proverbial winter day.

Most days when I start to remove Christmas, I am sad.  I hate to see it go.  Today was not like that.  Of course, most of the yard decorations are still up, and the living room  is stuck in the Christmas mode with the tree still up and lit.  My dining room is decked out in winter glory though.  Off white flowers on a winter white tablecloth.  Hints of shades of green are in the vases also.  I like it!  I like winter.

I like the gray skies and the dampness and the rain.  I would prefer snow, but I will take whatever winter weather I can get.

So, today, sitting here with a blanket across my lap, and soup cooking on the stove, I am thinking of the damp weather and winter.  A quiet season where growth is hidden and color stands out just a bit more.

Hope you are enjoying your day today.  DAF

When the clever escapes you

Sometimes clever posts escape me.  I go about my week looking at everything with potential blog post eyes.  Sometimes little things happen and I know that what just happened will make great posts.  I love those opportunities.

The past couple days I have wanted to write.  My heart desire was to sit down and compose something, anything.  I signed onto my blog and just stared at it.  Nothing, absolutely nothing happened.  I clicked off and went back to other things.

I read a post last night about how we tend to write about outstanding things in our life.  We leave the mundane things alone.  It was an excellent post and it got me thinking.  As bloggers we tend to write about things that we think others will enjoy.  We want to entertain, minister to, and inspire others.  It is a noble cause for certain.  I know I am inspired by many of the blogs I read.

But, the clever has escaped me.  So, for today, a dose of my reality is what I write about.  It is humid here.  Tropical storm Andrea just went through.  The front yard is soggy, so is the back yard for that matter.   Walking the dog is a chore in this humidity, even he is balking at the heat.

I did a couple of loads of laundry today and even enjoyed folding it for a change.  I usually dislike the folding process.  But, today, it is all cleaned, folded and put away properly.

The dishwasher is the only noise in the background as I write this and hubby is researching routers online.

Nothing clever, nothing exciting, Just a glimpse into the ordinary-ness that besets us all.

I really, really hope that today has been more exciting for you.  Please comment and let me know that there is life beyond laundry and dishes!

I close thanking our Lord for the mundane though.  It is a gift from Him to us.  He gives us ordinary days as a blessing.  There is nothing major happening now.  We have a roof over our heads, food in our stomach, clothes to launder.  He has given us a day that is not exciting.  I think too often we forget that the ordinary is truly extraordinary.

Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate your visit.  DAF

Saga (Everyone loves a neverending saga, right?)

Have you ever played on of those games where you pull one piece out and then everything crumbles and makes a mess?  It’s fun to try to keep everything up and steady, but it doesn’t always work that way.

We are renters.  We rent from a lovely couple who are currently residing overseas.  They have a beautiful home and we are blessed to be able to be here while they are gone.  They are considerate and kind and when they return home for visits we get together with them and invite neighbors whom they may not be able to visit with otherwise.

This past summer, before we left for Baby Watch 2012, they stopped by for a visit.  At the time, they determined it was time to replace the roof.  We had some minor leaks and it turned out that most of our neighborhood replaced roofs this summer.  I would say 2 out of every 3 homes now has a new roof.  The roof was put on while we were waiting for our precious grandson to be born.

We returned home to a beautiful new roof.  The colors we had picked out were great and all was well.

All was well until early fall when hurricane season came upon us.  We were not hit with hurricanes, but we did get some good storms from tropical storms running up the coast.  On one occasion, I was sitting in my livingroom listening to the rain and wind.  Both were strong.  The rain sounded so very clear and then I got up and realized why it sounded so clear.  It was raining in my dining room.  Water was pouring into the room.

The next few minutes were quite exciting as I grabbed towels, buckets, big soup pots and sheets of plastic.  Eventually we got everything moved, dried as best we could and covered as best we could.  The next couple hours found us emptying buckets and watching them fill as quickly as they emptied.  At least we got our exercise!

We contacted the owners and the roofing company.  The roofer came over, inspected their work, and determined it was not them.  The roof was intact and working.  However, and that is where the saga truly begins…

The pinning between the brick facade was chipped and broken.  This could  be it.  Called several people to come repair the pinning.  No luck.  Talked with the owners, tried more people.  No luck.  Replacing pinning in brick is an art form, and it is expensive and very few people do it.  We had one elderly gentleman come to look at the bricks.  It took him 45 minutes to find us from the main road (3 minute drive away). My dear hubby was on the phone with him the entire time.  He didn’t have room in his schedule.  Actually, I think he was on his last legs and we still don’t know if he made it out of the development, for all we know he is still driving his truck around trying to get out of here.

After a few months of trying to find someone, and fortunately no more leaks, the owners contacted a handyman who has worked with them in the past.  So, early last week, the handyman (will from now on refer to him as owner, as he owns his business) and his helper (will refer to him as helper) arrived at our home.

They both came into the diningroom.  Talked with hubby and I about what has happened.  They were shown pictures of the leaks, and could see the water damage on the walls and floors.  They began to get busy.  First the room was covered in plastic. If they would had used yellow tape instead of blue painters tape, it would have looked like a crime scene. Next, the ceiling had a hole cut into it and the ceiling removed (well about 4 feet of it).  Next a ladder appeared inside the dining room.

This was the beginning of the ‘water test’.  A ladder was raised outside the dining room.  The owner climbed that ladder and held a garden hose on full force.  The helper was up the ladder in the dining room.  His job was to stick his head between the ceiling and the sub flooring of the second floor.  The owner began to pour water onto the side of the house.  The helper knocked on the wall.  They had found the leaks.  The leaks were sealed and dried and retested.  Ahh… done.  Right?  Wrong.

The owner was not satisfied that was the only problem.  Up the ladder her went again, this time going up a little more.  The hose was once more on.  The helper, his head in between the ceiling and the floor was in place.  I heard the water and then I heard the helper, not knocking, but pounding on the wall!  He emerged drenched.  Problem area two found.  Fixed, left to dry.

By this time it was pouring outside.  Good test of their handiwork.  They left and we were left with a plastic enclosed dining room.  We could almost hear the theme song for CSI playing in the background.

Next day, they returned.  The hose was once more turned on.  Viola!!  No leaks.  Yay!

They replaced the ceiling and removed some of the plastic.  It was starting to look like normal, well, almost.

The following day they finished the ceiling.  It looked like it had never been disturbed.  Again, a round of applause.  We found the paint that matched the dining room and the repairs on the walls began.  Things were moving in the right direction.  I would have my dining room back to normal within hours.  I could see it, I was excited.

The walls were about done when the owner leaned down by the base board to cut into the wall.  He touched the baseboard and his fingers went through the base board.  Uh-oh… not good.

A call was made to the owners of the house.  It was 2 a.m. where they were.  They heard the new news.  Termites.  Active termites.  Termite damage.  What a nightmare, literally.

The handyman finished up his part of the job.  He did a great job.  We love a dry home.

This week began with a well-known termite company coming to visit us… again.  They hadn’t completed their task from the last time they were here (before we moved in).

We have just one section of baseboard missing now.  They removed it and did a preliminary treatment.

Tomorrow morning I get to fly up to spend a week with my grandson.  I cannot wait.  I will be met at the airport by my dear friend who is the other grandma.  I cannot wait to hug on Nana.  I cannot wait to see my kids and my baby.  It is going to be such a wonderful, wonderful day.

Tomorrow morning, my dear hubby will get to see this termite company come in and tear out the wall of the dining room.  They will also be tearing up the hardwood flooring in part of the dining room and in our entry way.   It looks like we will have some brick replaced outside and some major repairs going on.

I think I have the better schedule tomorrow, don’t you?  I have no idea what else they will find as they tear into my newly painted dining room walls.  It’s sort of like that game where you pull sticks out of a pile?    Only I don’t hear anyone hollering Jenga yet!

Thanks for stopping by.  Pray for my dear hubby…   DAF