Monday, October 31, 2011

October is National Clock Month

Did you know October is National Clock month?

On my fifteenth birthday my boyfriend gave me a cuckoo clock. He said he'd always wanted one.

I loved it and hung it in my bedroom. When we married and my boyfriend became Husband, he hung it in our living room in our tiny home in Riverbank, California.

After several moves one of the weights became lost. So on a trip to Switzerland, Husband replaced it with this one. It hangs on the dining room wall just outside our bedroom, and disturbs our sleep. So . . . we rarely wind it.
When I was a young girl, my father made a grandfather clock and later a grandmother clock. He made them with a kit. The wood and all the parts needed came all together in a package.

Husband made this grandfather clock in 1961 in the little wood shop he had in our garage. He used a pattern, bought the wood from the local lumbar yard, and we traveled to Southern California for the works. He gave it to his parents as a gift. (They did pay for the parts and the beautiful walnut wood.)

I can't remember which of my siblings got the clocks after Dad passed.

Husband and I inherited this one that husband made. Husband winds it once each week.

When you visit our home you get the impression that we enjoy clocks. A neighbor made us this battery powered one.

The Ten Commandments clock was another gift. A battery powered electric device.

Husband's enjoys winding this regulator clock every week. The clock was a gift from his parents.

Some of our clocks reveal our interests. Husband is a pilot.
And I am a writer.
Everyone needs a kitchen clock!
Husband says, with so many clocks how do we really know what time it is?
We each have an alarm clock on our side of the bed. Mine has a green light so it does not show up well in the picture.

And then we have Daylight Savings time. Husband says we loose the extra hour changing all our clocks. We have a clock on our land-line phone, on three cordless phones, on a heater in our bathroom, and the list goes on.

Don't forget to change your clock November 6, 2011. When you change the time it's a good time to remember to change the batteries.

Q4U  How does Daylight Savings Time effect your life?

Friday, October 28, 2011

What's Special About October?

Twelve Special Celebrations of October

Now that October is drawing to a close, I just learned its more than just the month of my birthday. It is even more than the month of Halloween, and dressing up and pumpkins and cornstalks.

Did you know October is Adopt-a-Shelter-Animal Month? I didn't know that, or any of the other twelve. I'm not sure I want a pet so I doubt I'd have done anything about the adoption process had I known about it earlier.

More activities of the month are:

National Rollerskating Month.  ~~Did not go rollerskating once. National Stamp Collecting Month. ~~ No. Computer Learning Month. ~~ This is a constant every day event at our house. And National Popcorn Popping Month.~~ An everyday event.

Speaking of food, October is also:

National Apple Month. ~~Ate some. National Pizza Month. ~~ Of course.
National Dessert Month. ~~ If October is dessert month, what do they call December?

October is also:
Energy Awareness Month. ~~ Wish I had some. Family History Month. ~~ Love your family. Have you told your family members that you love them? Be sure to do this before it is too late. Polish American History Month. ~~ Our country is called the great melting pot. I wonder if every month features a different nationality? 

National Clock Month. ~~ Look for my blog post on this one October 31.

Q4U: Did you participate in any of these activities?
What other special activities do you enjoy in October?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Family Is A Blessing We Cherish.

Jacob Wesley
by Grandma Sharon

My husband and I were blessed with five healthy children. They grew, they fell in love, and they married. Soon, they had children of their own. Before we could take it all in, one by one, the grandchildren began to marry. Time, as they say, waits for no man.  A granddaughter and a grand-daughter-in-law were both expecting their first child in March, 2006. We looked forward to becoming  great-grandparents.

January, 2007, was unusually warm in Ohio, not at all the norm for the winter season. A new year had begun and I thought back on the past year with all the deaths and sorrow our family endured. I told my husband this new year couldn’t be worse than the year of our Lord, 2006, had been. The minute the words left my mouth I tried to call them back. Don’t tempt the devil, I thought.

Our middle child, Rebecca, reminded me that the deaths and family sorrow began earlier. It really began December 8, 2005, with the death of her first grandchild. 

Jacob Wesley arrived, ready-or-not, that cold December day. We didn’t expect him until late March, 2006.  Too late, we learned his mother has an incompetent cervix. By the time the problem was discovered there was no way the people at the hospital could prevent his early birth. On a brighter note, they told us they can prevent this, too early arrival, for future births. But it does not negate the loss of our first great-grandchild.  

Rachel, our granddaughter-in-law, gathered her nine-inch long son into her arms and held him for the forty precious minutes that he lived. His newborn skin was fiery red and he looked so sweet with the tiny sock cap the hospital provided. 

Wesley and Rachel cried when they had to give up their newborn son. Only someone who has lost a child could understand the hurt. The newspaper reported a miscarriage which we considered an insult. He lived. He breathed. His life, although short, was real.  

Rachel’s mother along with Rebecca and her daughters got together and sewed a tiny yellow shirt and a miniature patchwork quilt in which to wrap Jacob for his burial. They used the little stocking cap that the hospital furnished to complete the funeral outfit.

Uncle Kevin, a cabinetmaker by trade, built a tiny barn with a removable roof. This would be our Jacob’s casket. The man from the funeral home suggested that Wes purchase a large cooler to use as the required vault.

When my husband and I arrived at the church for the family service, we saw the miniature barn setting on a pedestal in the corner of the room. Even as a very small child, Wesley had loved to farm. To him the toy tractors were real and he plowed, and planted, and harvested in the proper seasons. How fitting that his son should be buried in the farm-theme coffin.

“Can we see him?” my husband asked, as we approached the grieving parents. 

“Okay.” Wes walked over to the little casket with us. “I’ll let you see him, but he doesn’t look very good by now.” 

Wes lifted the lid on the barn-shaped coffin, revealing our great-grandson to us for the first time. We thought he was precious. A quick hello, sweetheart, and it was soon time to take our seats with the other grandparents.

It was a simple service and would have been held at the cemetery if it were not so bitter cold that day. We needed those words of comfort and the hymns and prayers.  Afterward, we left for the snow-covered burial site and laid our first great-grandchild to rest. 

If I remember correctly, we sang a few hymns as the funeral director sealed the vault and lowered it into the hole that had been prepared in the frozen earth. We continued to sing as Wes and his family took turns filling the grave with soil, a custom that brought comfort to us.  Goodbye, sweetheart.  

After the burial, Wes and Rachel placed flowers on their son’s grave. Then we went back to the church basement for a funeral meal which was furnished by Wes and Rachel’s congregation.

Years ago people didn’t have a service for one who lived such a short time. Only the parents would go to the grave-site, but no service was held.  We understood that some still don’t think a service was necessary, but our family needed recognition of this child’s life. We needed closure.

Later, God blessed this family with a daughter. This five generation picture shows the child's great-great grandparents, great grandpa, grandmother and father.

July 2010 our Great-grandson Caleb was born.  His grandmother holds him. His sister is quite proud of him. His father is blessed. 

Our newest Great Granddaughter, Jacqueline Rose, blessed us with her presence September 9th.  

This five generation picture includes Mother-in-Love, the baby's great-great grandmother. Husband, the baby's grandfather, Daughter, the baby's grandmother, Granddaughter, the baby's mother and Great-granddaughter, Jacqueline, the center of attention!

Our five children blessed us with 16 grandchildren. As the grandchildren mature and marry they have blessed us with 6 greats. And two more are arriving soon.

Children truly are the gift of God.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Women Need Other Women

I discovered the importance of the friendship of women while reading the book:  Straight Talk by Dr. James C. Dobson.

Women cannot depend on men to supply all their needs. Women may be expecting their husbands to fulfil needs that can only be satisfied by Jesus Christ our Savior.
Chapter 10: A man and his wife. Page 135.

What has happened in the past century or so that has caused women to be unable to cope with husbands who do not meet their needs? Dr. James C. Dobson says it springs from the  breakdown in the relationships between women!

He reveals one factor that is seldom admitted: American women tend to be economically competitive and suspicious of one another.

Another factor is that the extended family has disappeared, depriving women from that source of security and fellowship. Mothers and daughters, even siblings, often live in different states.

Depriving a woman of all meaningful emotional support from outside the home puts enormous pressure on the husband/wife relationship You must develop a network women friends with whom you can talk, laugh, gripe, dream, and recreate. There are thousands of women around you who have the same needs.

This is why I write Women's Fiction.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Inspiration Comes In Many Forms

Alyice Edrich 

Article Body 
Throughout my life, I’ve been inspired by many people—people who’ve conquered all odds and survived to tell about it; people who’ve lived ordinary lives, yet stood out from the crowd; and people who’ve dared to step beyond their comfort zones to change lives—one reader, one viewer, one listener at a time. 

It’s those people and those stories that I’ve wanted to capture in my writing and my photographs. But it’s those stories and those people that I continued to let slip away while I pursued things I knew would make money and pay the bills. 

Then I met a woman, through a book I read this past week, who sounded very much like me. So much of what she said could be attributed to my own life and so many of her insights on living a more fulfilled life are how my husband and I try to model our own lives. 

But what inspired me was the way Tasra Dawson, author of Real Women Scrap , kept nudging me—her reader—to get creative. 

Somewhere, some how, I lost my creativity and while I had longed to get it back, I simply continued to put it on the back burner. 

“One day when things settle down a little more, I’ll get serious about my photography and storytelling ideas,” I’d assure myself. Or, “I just don’t think I have another ounce of energy left to devote to anything else. I already run a magazine, freelance write, and spend my time creatively marketing my business. If it isn’t producing some form of immediate result, I just can’t give it the time of day. If I’m going to spend my time away from kids and hubby, I must make it count,” I’d scold myself. 

Then as I read her words, I suddenly realized that God was speaking directly to me through her. 

“I felt an odd mixture of defeat and relief. The feeling of defeat was expected, too much to do, too little of me to go around. The feeling of relief was that my list confirmed I was indeed stretched too thin and wasn’t inventing my feelings of being overwhelmed and always tired,” thought Tasra as she looked at her completed “to do list”. 

I can’t tell you how many times I ended the day feeling depleted. I knew something was missing in my life, but I just couldn’t pinpoint it. I had a great husband, two wonderful kids, a thriving business, and a relationship with God. 

“What more could I possibly want? Why am I not satisfied?” I’d gripe. 

I’d browse the Christian self-help aisles asking God to direct me to a specific book that would help me understand what was going on with me, but no book appeared. After a half hour, I’d head over to the photography section where I’d browse the pictures and marvel at the artwork. And for awhile I’d escape the stress of my life and dream of doing something spectacular with my time. Sometimes I’d walk out with a book or magazine about photography, scrapbooking, altered art, collage techniques and the like, but most often, I’d put the book down; thinking, “Who am I kidding? I don’t have the extrovert personality to pull that off.” 

But the more I read Real Women Scrap , the more I realized that God hadn’t been directing me to a book. He’d been directing me towards a creative life. 

What kept me from pursuing art and photography was the learning curve—there’d be so much learning to do and so much time to commit that I didn’t think I’d have anything extra to give. But through Tasra’s words, God reminded me that I don’t have to tackle art or photography as another thing on my “to do list”. I simply have to take the time to breathe life into an area he’s calling me to explore and enjoy the process. If a professional photographer or artist comes from the process, great. If not, I’ve wasted nothing but found a hobby that fills my days with joy. 

What about you? Have you slowed down long enough to hear God’s gentle whispers? What’s He trying to tell you? 

Let’s make an impact! 

Alyice Edrich is an affordable freelance writer specializing in how-to articles and Q&A interviews for the web. To hire her for your next writing project, to read her free eMagazine, or to purchase one of her e-books on how to work from home or create fun family crafts, visit