Discovering Chihuly Glass

Word Nerd Word Is: GLASS


Glass! It can be used for so many things, drinking glasses, eyeglasses, windows and art.

At the St. Louis Botanical Gardens I discovered the artist Dale Chihuly. He works with glass. If you would like to know more about him check out the  Dale Chihuly page it provides visitors with Chihuly’s bio, over 40 of his works, exclusive articles, and up-to-date Chihuly exhibition listings.

Blue and white Dale Chihuly

This grand Chihuly glass piece hangs in the entry of the Botanical Gardens.






Here’s a close-up. So intricate!glass blue and white

I love the colors he used in the glass. It must have taken him a long time to get all of those pieces connected the way he wanted them. Working with words is much easier I think than standing over a hot fire waiting for the glass to melt.

Word Nerd blog hop at Patterings.

Don’t Let Your Giants Win

How do you slay your giants?


Are you familiar with the story of David in Goliath in 1 Samuel in the bible? If you are skip ahead, if not let me tell you about him. 

David was a shepherd boy sent by his father Jesse, to check on his older brothers who served in the Israelite army. When David arrived he watched as soldiers ran from a giant of a man who served the Philistine army. His name was Goliath. He was huge–a giant to the Israelite army and he made fun of God’s army.

 David who had slain large animals to protect his family’s sheep took the challenge to defend God’s army. With a rock and and a slingshot he took down that giant and the Philistines became slaves to Israel. 

You can read the full story in 1 Samuel chapter 17. 

We all have giants in our lives—not usually people and please if you do—don’t get a slingshot and rock to take care of the problem! 

Today giants take different forms and we have to learn to take them down. But how do we do that? 

Prayer is the best place to start. When I ask for guidance about my giants it seems that God opens my eyes and I discover that not all of my problems are as big as I make them out to be. That God has equipped me to handle the overwhelming to-do list, the big project I’ve begun or just figuring out what I’m making for dinner. *yes sometimes that is the biggest giant of all for me! 

Other days my eyes are opened to the heartbreaking problems others have and I realize at this moment my giant is a very small thing. 

I have a friend who is waiting for heart transplant for his daughter.

I have a friend with ALS.

I have a friend  trained as a Chaplin who heart is breaking because she wants to help those in need but can’t find a position. 

When I look at those true giants I know that I’ve faced some of my own– Seeing my first husband die from cancer, losing 3 brothers all before I reached age of 30 and having a father that left us and didn’t come back when I was 15. 

Those were hard and yet I survived, I changed and my faith grew. 

Are all my giants gone? 

I don’t think so as long as I’m leaving on earth as one of God’s people there will always be someone that wants me to go away. There will always be a tragic incident around the corner. It’s what I do with those that will make the difference.

If I choose to be like David and step out with the faith of God the biggest giant of all, the evil one will not win. 

How do you handle your giants?

giants in your life



Please check out the other giant posts!

Word Nerd blog hop at Patterings.

Gone Fishing


The Word Nerd Meme starts today with the word FISHING. Writers love words and can spin a word into a story, a past memory or a devotion faster than you can spit. Look for more WORD MEME posts below the words BLOG HOP. 



Fishing is something I don’t do. I don’t like to bait a hook, catch a fish, or eat one. What I like is the attempt. 

When Andy and Opi went fishing it was in a world where phones were connected to the wall, there wasn’t a smart phone, kindle or iPad to take your attention away from the task at hand—fishing. 

The only distractions were from Opi talking to Andy, maybe eating a sandwich packed by Aunt Bee and sometimes a fish was caught. 

There are lessons to be learned from those fishing trips. Taking time to be with a family member and listen to what they are saying or just being still together taking in the warm air, the lap of the water on the beach or the rocking of a boat. Nothing pulls them away from that moment and I think that’s why fishermen like Andy and Opi love fishing. 

So what’s a girl to do if she doesn’t like to fish? 

There are things I like about fishing, the warm weather and the river banks or lake beaches but that doesn’t help me when it’s 11 degrees and I’m not near water. But I crave that time of doing nothing on purpose. 

I think it’s time to hang out my “Gone Fishing” sign. Turn off my computer, phone, television and pack my gluten free lunch and head to one of my favorite cold weather spots-my chair by the wood stove. I think I’ll take a book a long and read slow instead of fast just so I can finish and write a review. 

If Ed happens to be home perhaps I can encourage him to ‘go fishing’ with me too if I bring along a dish of ice cream. 

This weekend I won’t be available.

gone fishing_edited-1

created by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer

This is a BLOG HOP!


Word Nerd blog hop at Patterings.

To Zip or Not to Zip

a2z: “Z” is for Zip

We’ve come to the end of the a2z meme and my choice is Zip. I’ve found there are times in life when I should have zipped my lips and others I wish I hadn’t done so.

So the question is when “to Zip or Not Zip” your lips?

Keeping this verse in mind I’ve made up a list of Zip or Not Zip list.

“A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart”. (NLT) ( Luke 6:45 )



  1. Don’t mention you can see the dust on a friend’s TV screen.
  2. Don’t ask your friend if they’ve gained weight.
  3. Don’t tell a volunteer they should have done better.
  4. Don’t ask your husband, “Why can’t you love Downton Abbey as much as I do?”
  5. Don’t tell your neighbor not to hang multiple dead deer in their front yard. *this is a hard one for me.


  1. Do offer advice when asked—after searching your heart.
  2. Do give compliments when you find something you admire. *my neighbor has the most amazing row of lilac bushes that I enjoy every spring.
  3. Do not be afraid to offer praises to God when told of something good.
  4. Do tell your family and friends you love them—often!
  5. Do unzip those lips when a friend or family member has put themselves in danger.


I’d like to think evil doesn’t lurk in my heart but it does. It comes to life when someone almost rams their car into mine, or when I feel something unjust is happening to me or my family. It’s hard to beat it back. It takes me at least 10 minutes to realize my lips have come unzipped when they should have stayed zipped tight.


Tweet: Don’t ask your husband, “Why can’t you love Downton Abbey as much as I do?” @dianabrandmeyer
Tweet: Don’t ask your husband, “Why can’t you love Downton Abbey as much as I do?” @dianabrandmeyer
What about you? Can you add to my list of to zip or not zip?
This is a blog hop!

Word Nerd Fun!

 Blogging takes a lot of brain power and I don’t have a lot in reserve.

That’s why I band together with other bloggers and do memes. We help each other and have fun along the way. =)

The A to Z meme is coming to an end this week. *pout*  (Yikes! I need to do a “Z” post!) To keep the momentum going, my friend Patty Wysong and I have been brainstorming and have a short, fun meme idea…

Word Nerd!

Rather than using the alphabet as prompts, Patty and I have put together a list of ten words to use in your post. Use them however you’d like. There are no rules. You don’t even have to use the actual word in your post–just get it… the concept, the idea, the meaning… in the post. However you want.

*you don’t even have to be a writer! Just someone who blogs. J

The ten words and their posting/linky dates:

  1. Fishing – Jan. 23
  2. Giant – Jan. 30
  3. Construction – Feb. 6
  4. Glass – Feb. 13
  5. Exotic – Feb. 20
  6. Tool – Feb. 27
  7. Sign – March 6
  8. Frame – March 13
  9. Plant – March 20
  10. Nuts – March 27


The Word Nerd meme will be starting next week on Thursday (*note we posted the A to Z meme on Friday we are switching the meme day to Thursday–First one is Jan. 23!)

Anyone and everyone is welcome to join us. It’s a come as you can thing–no commitment, just jump in and post on the week’s letter as you can.

I’ll be posting a blog hop linky so each of you can have the linky gadget on your sites. It’s more user-friendly that way. =) If you’d like a list of the words and the linky codes, leave a comment asking for them (and your email addy) and I’ll get them to you so you can schedule ahead or simply have them handy.


Here’s the deal for Word Nerd:

  • Anyone can play. Some of us will be continuing from A to Z, but any one can join us and we would LOVE to have you along! The more the merrier! Grab a friend and join us!!
  • Anything goes. If you’re pressed for time, pressed for brain cells (a common ailment of mine), stumped, whatever… a simple list will work! Or a picture or a verse—anything to get a post up. Seriously. Just make sure it ties in with the week’s word. It can also be as focused or even a complicated post about a word that starts with that letter. Anything goes, related to the word.
  • One word a week. Only ten words and we’ll finish on March 27th.
  • Thursday’s the day. Posting day is Thursday. Or Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday. ROFL. If you’re like me, you might not remember on Thursday, so any day works. I don’t care, but that brings me to…
  • Let’s link together! Part of the fun of a meme is linking together so we can encourage each other on. The linky will go live each Thursday, shortly after midnight so you can link up.
  • Guilt-free participation!  Time is a precious commodity for all of us. If you participate, all I ask is that you take a few moments and visit and comment on TWO other participants’ sites. No need to visit everyone, but a couple is very appreciated.
  • Please remember this is about helping each other so if you love the post tweet it, G+  or facebook it.

Want to know more about memes and why you’d want to participate? Check out  Patty Wysong’s page Making the Most of Memes for more information.


Here’s another confession…

This meme is going to push me to write on time—what a deadline? Yes, if I make it one. It’s not going to be easy and I’m sure I’ll be searching through photos on my camera as a quick post.  But that’s okay. I’m ready for rut relief and creativity building!
We would LOVE to have you join us!!

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments or email me.

Word Nerd blog hop at Patterings.

Planning a Yard Sale

a2z: “Y” is for Yard Sale


When is a good time to plan a yard sale?

Maybe not today. I’m pre-writing this post because it’s snowing–a lot. As in up to 12 inches before it’s all over and the temps –oh I can’t even write about those single and minus numbers. I can’t see my yard but I can see all the unnecessary things I own. They are taunting me. “Why not put me in a yard sale? Make a few dollars?”

Image credit: <a href=''>pixelsaway / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

It’s so tempting to start piling unwanted items in the corner. I could price them right now…no, I can’t buy stickers because I’m sure I’ll slide into the ditch at the bottom of my driveway. Then I’ll have to call for help and there goes any money I might make at my yard sale.  But I can still prepare, right?

I searched the house for boxes to store things in–I found one, a shoe box.

Maybe I should take the time to read a book by the fire and forget about the yard sale for a while. Spring will come soon–not soon enough, but soon, then watch out– all of you things taking up space–watch out! You’re out of here. 




1. Pick a date (that makes it a deadline and you must meet it) along with a start and end time. 

2. Find an organization who will take the items left at the end of the sale.

3. Invite a few friends to bring their stuff–require they stay for the sale. You don’t want to be responsible for letting Great Aunt Hattie’s tea cup go for a      nickel when your friend thinks it’s worth $5.00.

4. Find out who has tables you can borrow that day. It’s easier to sell things off a table than the ground.

5. Set up an area in the house where you can ‘drop’ items to be marked.

6. Before you put something in the ‘drop’ area make sure it is clean. Dirt doesn’t sell for much.

7. Take time each day to mark items and move them to a priced pile.

8. The night before set up the tables and display items IN YOUR GARAGE with the door down! Otherwise you’ll have people dropping by to shop when you aren’t ready.

9. The day of the sale make sure you have sandwiches made for your lunch, a cooler with drinks and a way to make change. *It’s a good idea to have a change box with someone sitting by it the entire time.

10. Have your helpers walk the sale being helpful and watchful.

When it’s over order dinner for everyone and wonder why you spent the hours to preparing and holding the sale when you could have donated everything. 🙂

This is a blog hop!

The Ultimate Gluten Free Bread Book

Making Gluten-Free Bread

a2z is for “U”


I’ve been waiting for this gluten-free bread book to be released for quite some time. It is the ULTIMATE resource for those of us with gluten issues.

I read this book cover to cover before embarking on my first post.

I learned a few things–did you know chlorine in tap water kills yeast? Me either!

In her book, Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread, Nichol Hunn has offers many tips and tells what products and tools you’ll need to make bread that will remind you of what you used to eat*affiliate link

I started with the first bread recipe in the book, Lean Crusty White Sandwich Bread. I can’t give you the recipe, but I do encourage you to get the book if you need to eat gluten-free. It would also make a great present. 

 Shoesting bakes Glutenfree bread

Fresh From the Oven! Gluten Free Bread!

This is my finished loaf. It is crusty and has small air pockets –just like that ‘other’ bread that I can’t eat.

I think this cookbook should be called The Ultimate Gluten-Free Bread Book…next up on what to bake? Crescent Rolls! 

So what to you think? Does it look good enough to eat?


This is a blog hop.

The Best Wood Bowls

Wood Bowls from Trees

a2Z” The Letter “T”


After I wrote the title for this post-Wood Bowls from Trees I realized how silly that sounds. I will defend my choice of title!

The bowls I’m talking about are made from ONE piece of a tree. Yes! One piece, not glued together in section but one solid piece.

My friend Scott makes these amazing pieces from trees. He made one for me from a tree that fell during a storm a few years ago. It was a huge mess at my house and I can’t find the photos. One of the trees landed on my son’s car and totaled it.

Scott and his wife Barbara helped remove the trees. Later he gave me this bowl to remember the storm.


I can’t remember what kind of tree this is made from, I think it was an ash tree. I use this bowl often for Clementines, apples and even Christmas bows.

It’s hard to imagine a bowl this pretty came from something like these logs.


Since the time my bowl was made Scott has opened his own business Scott Schlapkohl Creations

Here are a few of the bowls he’s made.

110-1-150x150medium box

Aren’t they amazing? The one on the bottom is really a box.

If you’re looking for a special gift for some one check out Scott’s site.

Don’t forget to enter the goodreads contest! Look on the right sidebar!

AND…We’re Not Blended We’re Pureed A Survivors Guide to Blended Families has been nominated for Book of the Year on  I’d love your vote.

This is a bog hop.

Studios –is your’s as good as Pixar’s?

Pixar Studio

a2z:The letter “S”


Still in the recovery mode at my house so what’s a person to do when their foot looks like this?

foot in surgical boot

Yes, it hurts.

I spend a lot of time on the couch with my foot elevated while searching for things that make me laugh or inspire me to change things.

I stumbled onto this amazing youtube clip of PIXAR’s studios. I think my office might be to dull, lacking in fun and well–to pretty. I’d love, love, love to sit in the big chair.


What about you? After watching this are you thinking of adding some fun to your writing studio or home office?


This is a blog hop, so hop on over and read some more fun authors.

Pass it on: The Love of Reading

Pass it on!

a2z: The letter “P”

When I was a teenager I so hoped I wouldn’t be like my mother. Anyone else have that thought? Maybe it was your father you didn’t want to be like?

Now I realize how valuable my mom is, and what she has passed on to me is mostly good.

Not so good? I find that I have a need to be right about everything, and my medical history seems to be a copying hers.

I look at the keyboard while I’m typing, and I see her hands. I’ve heard her words coming out of my mouth and I think, “I am my mother!”

She’s passed on some great things to me. The love of Jesus, strength when life is really hard–unbearable even. I’ve watched her stand strong when many would have fallen. I’m not quite there yet but I can see some of her strength in me.

I learned how to compete and be a good loser by playing hands of canasta and a marble game called agrevation. Mom also passed on the love of words to me. She taught me to read by the age of 4 using Rebus readers. But then she modeled reading. Mom showed me the joy in the adventure and escape from everyday life by opening a book and turning the pages. She also read me books that made me cry, like The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. I discovered it was okay to be sad and to grieve–even the fictional characters.

I discovered this gem of a photo of mom reading. Look at all those books on the shelf! Not only did the love of reading come from my mom but my grandparents.

Woman reading a book

My advise? Pass on the love of reading to the little ones in your life. Or volunteer to help others learn to read. You’ll be giving them the world.