Archive for September 27, 2013

The Season – Fall or Autumn


Definition for Fall/Autumn 



The Season between summer and winter comprising in the northern hemisphere usually the months of September, October and November.  When night becomes more noticeably earlier.  The equinoxes might be expected to be in the middle of their respective seasons.


Last Sunday, September 22, 2013 was the first day of “Fall” or “Autumn”.  As I began to write this blog I wondered why we have two names that basically mean the same thing and why for only this season?  If you think about it winter is winter, spring is spring and summer is summer but Fall can be Fall or Autumn.  So yes, I goggled it and there was more detail than I care to put in this blog so my best answer is this:  Before the 16th century it was referred to as “harvest” but as more people moved from the working land to the city and more began to read and write this word began to be lost.  Britain called it “Fall” centuries ago but the Brits were influenced by the French and began to call it “Autumn”.  Americans kept the original term “Fall” from “faellen’ in Old English; meaning “the Fall of the leaf”.  The word Autumn comes from the French “l’automne”.  The French got the word from the Latin “Autumnus”.  French and Latin are romance languages; English is Germanic language.  Hope you enjoyed your trivia lesson and I guess if you want to be a little more romantic you refer to it as “Autumn”.

No matter which term you use, it is such a festive time of year to me.  Baseball Season is wrapping up and getting ready for the World Series.  Tailgating and Football Season is in full swing whether it is secondary schools during the week, college on Saturday and Professional on Sunday and of course Monday Night Football.  I must say “what about those Broncos!” they did an incredible job this week…love me some Broncos.  But I must confess I have always been a Dallas Cowboy fan because they are “America’s Team” even when I lived in Colorado but that was back in the good ole days when they were true “winners” with Roger Staubach, Tony Hill, Randy White, Tony Dorsett (thunder thighs) who was later traded to the Denver Broncos.  I remember my dear sister baked and decorated a beautiful cake with the Dallas Cowboy helmet on it for the 1978 Super Bowl XII what an honor.  However, when you cut into it I was surprised to find she had baked an Orange Crush cake…we all had a good laugh!  Leave it to my sister she has always made me laugh! Then the next phase of winners with Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, Michael Irvin, Mark Stepnoski,  I must mention Nate Newton, John Gesek, and Mike Saxon since they all lived in Coppell.  Those were the days…I guess that is enough about football.

Now my world is filled with watching my precious granddaughter at her soccer, softball and peewee cheer events while chasing a two and half year old grandson.  It is never a dull moment that’s for sure.  Trust me don’t turn your back though as I was in charge one evening leaned down to grab his drink and next thing I know he is out on the field with his big sister.  Gigi might get fired…it takes a village to raise these kids now days but feel very blessed my children and grandchildren live so close

I saw a post the other day and really resonated with me. A great outfit for “Takin Time Out”…“Fall…The season of leggings and yoga pants is upon us!!!”  I love my yoga pants or capris, they are sooo comfy! How about you what is your favorite comfy clothes?

Autumn is very slow to arrive in Texas…during the days the temperature is still fairly hot but cools down in the evening.  I love the crispness of the air especially in the dawning of a new day!  You can actually enjoy walking and spending time outdoors. Trees really won’t begin turning until winter here but I love watching other parts of the country enjoy their seasons.  Especially in the mountains and East coast…God truly knows how to paint a masterpiece with the vibrant colors of the leaves changing and the full bloom of the wildflowers & brush along the mountain side.  It truly is breathtaking. 

I also love to decorate for Fall.  There are so many cool ways to dress up the mantel over the fireplace and tables inside.  We have BIG Orange Pumpkins in the yard, scarecrows, bundles of hay, and we plant yellow, orange, burnt red and purple mums.  When the weather really cools down we can plant pansies, ornamental cabbage and flowering kale to enjoy all winter long.  It’s also a time to plant the Fall bulbs so you can enjoy those precious tulips & daffodils next spring.

It’s also a wonderful time for baking.  Love peach cobbler, oatmeal cake, apple pie and variety of cookies.  Mmmm think I might make a bundt spice cake in the morning…

I must mention too, there are multiple verses in the Bible that speak about Autumn

 Genesis 8:22 “As long as the earth exists, seedtime and harvest, cold and hot, summer and Autumn day and night will not cease.”

Jeremiah 5:24 “You never thought to honour me, even though I send the Autumn rains and the spring rains and give you the harvest season each year.”

Deuteronomy 11:13-15 “From now on if you listen obediently to the commandments that I am commanding you today, love God, your God, and serve him with everything you have within you, he’ll take charge of sending the rain at the right time, both Autumn and spring rains, so that you’ll be able to harvest your grain, your grapes, your olives.  He’ll make sure there’s plenty of grass for your animals.  You’ll have plenty to eat.” What I get from this verse is plenty of rain and good harvest is the reward for obedience but forgetfulness of God and idolatry would be followed by drought and barrenness.  Stay faithful and obedient my friend.

Other reflections of Fall signifies the end of summer and the passage to winter.  Fall or Autumn is a time of transition, soothing, serene, vivid and vibrant.  It is “Takin Time Out” and enjoying, relaxing, reflecting, just being calm.  A time of harvest and peace.  Pour yourself a savoring cup of Cinnamon Tea…breathe deeply and reflect what you think the true meaning of Fall or romantic Autumn brings to your life!  Savoring the last of September and Welcoming Orange Flamboyant October!  Blessings to you until next time….


“Fall has always been my favorite season.  The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.”  Lauren DeStefano

“It is only the farmer who faithfully plants seeds in the Spring, who reaps a harvest in the Autumn.”  B.C. Forbes




Definition:  A feeling of great pleasure and happiness – Rejoice

Synonyms:  beatitudes, blessedness, bliss, felicity, gladness, happiness, warm fuzzies


As I have expressed in my first blog, I am at the halftime of life.  Through this remaining journey I want to live, breathe, and enjoy life to the fullest while sharing these experiences with you.  This week I will illustrate a wonderful discovery in choosing a word for the year…

It has been approximately seven years ago my precious neighbor and friend invited me to attend a seminar at a local church.  Takin’ Time Out” has always been important so what better way to feed my soul with fellowship of women, listening to God’s word and learning from his teachings.  The conference was led by an outstanding Christian author and speaker, Catherine Martin who founded “Quiet Time Ministries”.    She taught on the “Six Secrets to a Powerful Quiet Time”.  During her talk she stated through her prayer life, she picks a WORD for the Year.  This word was something she either wanted to work on or see more prevalent in her day to day living. 

 During the workshop I absorbed several impactful tidbits through her teachings but the Word of the Year just kept playing over and over in my mind.  A few weeks later I  read a book written by Debbie Macomber and she too chose a word for the year.  Wow, what is it Lord?  What are you trying to tell me…”Why not try it”?  Ok, ok I get it…now what word should it be?  A few days later it finally came to me I wanted “JOY”.   You may be asking why this simple three letter word.  For the most part I am a happy go lucky person but I really wanted to find the deep seeded feeling that wells up inside and just waiting to burst out through a special glow in your face, the gleam in your eye the expression of true “JOY”!  I wanted to find it and live it daily…

 Hmmm, I couldn’t wait to see what that year would reveal.  I must say it was an amazing Year!  That word just kept popping up in the simple day to day living.  I noticed it on a coffee mug while shopping, it would pop out in paragraphs I was reading, someone would comment on the “JOY” they found in this or that. I was standing in the check-out counter at the grocery store and right at eye level there it was, an “Almond Joy” staring me in the face, tempting me to buy and indulge in the savoring delicious coconut, almond chocolate bar.  Mmmmm….  I also noticed I had the cookbook on my shelf, “Joy of Cooking” which has over 4500 recipes, it is an excellent cook book and I absolutely love to cook which ultimately brings “JOY” to me and my family! Christmas rolled around and yes “JOY” was everywhere not just the word but the true meaning of the holiday season!  We also took a few joy rides throughout that year.

I did a Beth Moore study that summer, “Living Beyond Yourself”.  It was exploring the fruit of the spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, JOY, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.  Against such things there is no law.”  These are special gifts from God.  True “JOY” comes from walking close with him.  It is a journey of discovery…you have to patient, look for it, feel… it is deep inside.  Sometimes it comes as a surprise when you least expect it.

 How many of you have experienced “JOY”?  Maybe it was the day you got your driver’s license, graduated from High School or College, got married or was blessed with your first born, second or third child or grandchild?  That intense ecstatic feeling of true happiness.  It feels so good…

 “JOY”, also reminds me of a simple little song we used to sing: ♪♫♪ I’ve got that joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart … ♪♫♫  Where? …Down in my Heart” Once you get it in your head you will be humming it all day long!  Or another song by Three Dog Night; “Joy to the world, All the boys and girls, Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea Joy to you and me”!  Now how can those words not make you happy, happy, happy?


Wow, that year I found the word “JOY”, it taught me so much about myself I quickly realized I had it all along.  I was truly blessed, it just somehow got buried beneath some junk in my trunk and everyday life was consuming, interfering and stealing my “JOY”!  No more, after that year I decided…life is too short and I will commit to find “JOY” in every situation whether it is good or bad.  With God’s wonderful grace you can too!

It’s time to pour a cup of hot chamomile tea before going to bed… while Takin’ Time Out”  this week may you consider choosing a word of the year and I am in hopes you will discover “JOY” until next time!


“Sometimes your JOY is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your JOY.”  Thich Nhat Hanh


 “There are random moments – tossing a salad, coming up the driveway to the house, ironing the seams flat on a quilt square, standing at the kitchen window and looking out at the delphiniums, hearing a burst of laughter from one of my children’s rooms – when I feel a wavelike rush of joy. This is my true religion: arbitrary moments of of nearly painful happiness for a life I feel privileged to lead.”




SMILES  Definition:  A form of one’s features into a pleased, kind, or amused expression, typically with the corners of the mouth turned up and the front teeth exposed.


Synonyms:  beam, grin, twinkle, dimple, glimmer, shimmer, flicker, wink


Having the privilege in my job I get to travel to various cities and am in the general public almost every day.  This past week I was out of town and began to really notice people’s faces as I had an encounter or passed by them.  Most reactions were truly amazing to me.  For the most part, people were so unengaged with a blank hollow look.  They were doing everything they could not to make eye contact and if they did very rarely do they have a Smile.  Several folks had headphones in their ears so their message to me was not only do I not want you to look at me but don’t dare speak to me either.  Have you noticed the same thing while in large crowds maybe at the airport, riding on the public transit system or walking down the busy streets?  It brought back a very vivid memory and made me Smile.  My three girlfriends and I had “Takin’ a Timeout” and went to the “Big Apple” for a few days.  We were bumping into one another as we were walking down the streets in Manhattan, one friend spoke up (who happen to live in a small community) “Oh, my I feel like I am in the washing machine on the agitation cycle, no one here is very happy or friendly!”  LOL…but sooo true!


One of my favorite encounters is to watch the reaction of people while on the elevator.  That awkward silence and feeling, you normally get this vibe of please don’t invade my space or don’t dare speak a word.   Have you been there?  That’s when I like to crack a joke or say let’s inhale only especially when it is very crowded.


I feel so blessed living in the South, we are more accustom to people being friendly, making eye contact and having a Smile.   Some may even ask how your day is or comment on the weather.  In my hometown I remember Grandpa or Dad giving folks that one finger waive while keeping their hand on the steering wheel driving down the road.  That was their form of “Hi” glad to see you as you passed by!  Dragging main we would honk at each other, a subtle expression of hey I noticed you…


While working with my coach we have determined “connections” are very important to me.  She used the analogy similar to the old sitcom, “Cheers”, where everyone knows your name.  I realize we may not be able to sit down at a bar or share a cup of savoring hot tea and carry on a conversation with everyone.  But I do know no matter what language you speak, how rushed you are or what you may be doing we can share one common gesture and that is a “Smile!”


While reading the Bible, there are many verses alluding to Smiles…just a couple examples are found in the book of Proverbs.

 “A glad heart makes a cheerful (Smiling) face, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed.” Proverbs 15:13 or “A joyful (Smiling) heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”  Proverbs 17:22.  

I don’t know about you but this makes me want to work more on Smiling, being content and happy no matter the situation.


I decided to Google Smiling and there was an article that listed 10 reasons to SMILE I thought I would share with you.

Smiling makes you more attractive

Smiling changes your mood

Smiling is contagious

Smiling relieves stress

Smiling boots your immune system

Smiling lowers your blood pressure

Smiling releases endorphins, natural pain killers and serotonin

Smiling lifts the face and makes you look younger

Smiling make you seem successful

Smiling makes you stay positive


I remember when I first started in Customer Service, one of our trainers placed a mirror in front of us and every time we answered the phone you were to look in the mirror and Smile.  You know what we found?  It actually changed the tone in our voices.  Amazing you should try that some time it really does work!


What reactions are you finding or how do you present yourself to others?  Is this a feature you need to work on?  Hoping you will enjoy your week and “takin’ time out” with a Big Ole Smile!  Special blessing to you until next time…


“As long as you live keep smiling because it brightens everybody’s day.”  Vin Scully

“It takes a lot of energy to be negative.  You have to work at it.  But smiling is painless.  I’d rather spend my energy smiling.”  Eric Davis

“Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”  Mother Teresa


image“Takin’ Time Out” at the lake is always a very rewarding experience in my book!  Where I grew up it was very flat in Southeast Colorado, we had a very small lake just a few miles from what we called Two Buttes Mountain.  Most people might laugh and refer to it as a hill or a mound once thought to be active volcano.  Very unique and pretty in its own way with two buttes at the top of a mound.  Our family purchased a lot and we put a used full size mobile home on a hill overlooking the beautiful blue water.  There were some great memories made with family and friends. My best friend also had a trailer just down the way.   As a child we would spend hours building our make believe homes on a large flat rock in front of the house with the rooms being outlined with pebbles or river rocks.  I was able to dream, create and make believe with the sunshine beaming down!  My grandpa Charlie would take us fishing at dusk, it would take him hours unpacking all the fishing poles, chairs, tackle box, live bait or worms he had dug from the garden and placed in an old coffee can early that morning, then setting up the lanterns so we would have light when it got dark and spraying us down with mosquito repellant.  He had the patience of “Job”, we would watch the old fashion red and white bobber float in the water, waiting for the fish to bite and sink it so we could real them in…oh how I would squeal when I would catch one even if it was a little bitty carp but really excited if it were a trout. 

Speaking of the lake and fishing, Jesus loved the lake too.  He would preach and heal multitudes of people while at the lake.  In the Bible, Luke 5:1 states, “Now it happened that while the crowd was pressing around him and listening to the word of God, He was standing by the lake of Gennesaret.”   This was located half way between Capernaum and Magdala. The passage continues to tell the story of Simon (later changed to Peter) learning to trust and believe God while fishing on the lake.  They had been fishing all day and had caught nothing.  Jesus told him to put his nets back in, reluctantly Peter did as Jesus told him to and his catch was so abundant he had to call for reinforcement as the nets began to break.  When they brought the boats back to shore he left everything to follow Jesus and become “fisher’s of men” rather than a “fisherman”.  I remember singing a precious little song in Sunday School, “I will make you fisher’s of men, fisher’s of men, fisher’s of men…” we would pretend we were casting our fishing pole out into the air and real it back in…do you remember that song?  Doesn’t it put a smile on your face and are you humming the tune??? Yes God created a lake for Takin’ Time Out, to be still, listen and obey his will for our lives!

As I became a young adult we would go water skiing.   I remember the first few times trying to have enough strength to be pulled up on those two skinny boards with a rubber mount for my feet, once you got up then you had to be steady enough to cross over the big wake made by the boat and brave enough to go back and forth or eventually jumping it, next you built up enough courage to kick that one ski off to go slalom or having two of you pulled up at the same time and not crash into one another?  Whew, what a workout but made you feel so good with each advancement or accomplishment along the way.  Makin’ memories!

When Greg and I married, his family enjoyed camping.  We actually were given a tent and Coleman stove for a wedding present.  The cool thing was living where we did in Texas we had a large variety of lakes to go to whether it was in Texas, Oklahoma or Arkansas we didn’t care; we were just ready to go.  One of my favorite spots is Beaver Bend, located in McCurtain County near Broken Bow, Oklahoma.  It is a State Park and no houses aloud on the shoreline. The natural beauty is almost indescribable and amazing to see.   The rolling hills remind me of the mountains just on a smaller scale.  I always liked to camp by the water but where there were at least public facilities close by so we could shower and have a few comforts of home, especially when the kids were smaller.   The challenge at night was to secure the groceries & trash so the night critters wouldn’t eat all our food or leave us in a mess the next morning.   They were pretty smart and could even open up the rubber made lids and coolers, you had to place rocks or heavy objects on top of them.   I loved cooking around an open fire, frying eggs, bacon or sausage and creamy white country gravy in a cast iron skillet.  Pouring a hot cup of coffee (I preferred my savoring hot tea) early in the morning.  We enjoyed watching the sun come up over the beautiful body of smooth crystal clear water with the dawning of a new day.  Some mornings we would have an even fog right above the lake…Absolutely breathtaking!   The kids loved roasting marshmallows on an old wire coat hanger and making traditional smores at night!  Yummy can’t you just feel the cool night air, are your taste buds coming to life and smelling the aroma of that open fire?  Can’t you hear the crickets chirping or the locust clacks.  Maybe there was an owl hooting above our head or coyotes in the background howling.  The highlight of course were catching lighting bugs and trying to put in an old glass mason jar!  We have now advanced in our older age and prefer to rent cabins with more modern conveniences and a fluffy mattress but camping truly was a wonderful experience.  God has created some beauty in nature for us to enjoy if we just take the time, stop, look and listen.  SILENCE!

Shortly after we moved to our current home, we had some wonderful neighbors move in next door and they had bought a lake house at Granbury.  So, we have some very fond memories with 3 or 4 couples, 6 to 10 kids and 4 dogs who loved the water.  The women would usually take off on Friday and head down early with the kids, dogs, groceries and to get things ready for the weekend.  I would drag our jet ski because I could launch that on my own and take the kids tubing around the cove in front of the house until the guys arrived after work with the boats.  We had so much laughter and what a relaxing time.  Definitely we were “takin’ time out” of our busy schedules during the hot summer months.  Saturday and Sunday we would pack some food and drinks and take the boats to the sand bar launch it with the anchor and hang out for hours, throwing the frisbee or football, talking, laughing & telling tales.  There were always other great folks we would meet up with as everyone there just wanted to have a good time!  The evening’s were spent cooking out on the grill, listening to some great music, playing some horse shoes, or botchy ball.I loved taking a great book and laying in the hammock or lounge chair to read! 

A couple or three times a year the girls would get to go.  “Girl’s Wanna Get Away Weekend”, a time to  break from our normal routine, responsibilities of taking care of someone else.  It was our Escape as indicated in last week’s blog…we would connect, bond, laugh and let our hair down. We sometimes would have a movie marathon…comedy, chick flicks and then as it drew into the night mystery or drama.  I will never forget watching “What Lies Beneath”, it was very dark and the movie was based on a lake with Harrison Ford oh my…I can still hear the screams, LOL! This was so good for our mental health and feeding of our soul.  One night we went into town to eat, there we were a group of women sitting around a large table, everyone talking at once because that is what we do and an older gentleman came up with his wife and said, “I am here to gather some eggs.”  We all cocked our heads with a puzzled look and he said, “With all you hens cackling I just knew there had to be some eggs!”   Yes, we all burst out in laughter and carried on.  True blessings and great memories.

We have another set of very close friends whose best friend from High School owns a lake house on Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, Arkansas. This amazing lake was formed in 1932 with the construction of the Carpenter Dam on the Ouachita River.   Ouachita is a Native American word that means “Good hunting grounds and sparkling silver water.”  It has almost 200 miles of shoreline characterized by small coves and inlets and is cover 7200 acres and stretches out over 18 miles in length.  The ritual of every trip is to go to the dam and jump in but you don’t want to jump very far from the ladder the average temperature of the water at the dam is about 45 degrees.  It literally takes your breath away and you feel a bit paralyzed.  But oh so refreshing after hopping back up on the back of the boat on a HOT summer day!  People always ask if we have takin advantage of the bath houses, spa’s and warm mineral springs Hot Springs has to offer, but I always answer “no, we just hung out at the lake”.  Several holidays have been spent through the years and we have watched our children move through the teens and most of them are now young adults, and some are married starting their own families.   I would say my kid’s favorite holiday in Hot Springs was the week we would take off and spend around the 4th of July.  The firework display over the large body of water and night sky as you are tied up with several boats in a row right in the middle of the lake is absolutely incredible.  They were also able to enjoy purchasing their own fireworks and setting off the bottle rockets, black cats, smoke bombs, sparklers and who knows what else?  The noise of the popping and bursting of fireworks is like no other holiday.  A holiday celebrating our rich freedom we so often take for granted.  May God Continue to Bless America! Land of the Free…

This past weekend was Labor Day the official weekend ending summer; we had the privilege of spending three wonderful days with two other couples just the adults this time.  A time to relax, connect and truly reflect on our blessings.  I enjoy being in the sun, having fun with our best friends and we renamed the owner, Mr. Everything with his new bride.  The food and fellowship was scrumptious.   I hope you can carve out some time to enjoy what speaks to your soul, if you haven’t been to a lake lately I highly encourage you to find one even if it is just to stop by for a few hours, look, listen and enjoy, “Takin’ Time Out”. 

I am a bit jealous of those who live on a lake, not mentioning my cousin and a few special friends.  (even with the minor hassle and upkeep, the spiders, sticky webs, and bugs or lack of water these days)  It’s a little bit of heaven on earth.

Remember to take deep deep belly breaths…drop your shoulders…pause…relax!  Escape for a little while and enjoy a savoring cup of hot green tea! May blessings abide until next time…


The enormous lake stretched flat and smooth and white all the way to the edge of the gray sky.  Wagon tracks went away across it so far that you could not see where they went; they ended in nothing at all.”  Laura Ingalls Wilder

“A lake is a landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature.  It is Earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.”  Henry David Thoreau

“Not every lake dreams to be an ocean.  Blessed are the ones who are happy with whom they are.”  Mehmet Murat ildan