Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Windy day musings

It is literally freezing cold - inside and out! My hands have been so cold from working on my computer. But I wanted to post some photos of my new SoulCollage cards. I used images from last year's Christmas cards to make a couple of them, which was really fun! It was good to take the time to make these, and I really need to make more, more, more.

The first card is named "New Life from New Life"; the second is "Seeking the Gift", and the third one is "Winter Wonderland."


p.s. I'm typing with gloves on!

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Dear Friends,

Something strange happened with some of my posts...I accidentally logged in on my "other job's" email and the posts showed up there! Anyway, all of my posts are here now and not in the correct order. It doesn't matter to me! What matters to me is that my friends are following me here, and - hopefully - sharing their own sentiments about my sentiments.

So...where are your comments, my friends?


Eating Potato Chips

Thursday, November 19, 2009
I am eating potato chips. Everyone but me is in bed. The only sound I can hear is the crunch of the chips in my mouth. It's very loud!

Why am I eating potato chips? Well, mostly because my day was horrendous, and right now I am at the point of starvation...in my mind...

Yet, right now - when my mouth is empty of the crunching - all is very still. All is quiet, and it makes me think...about silence.

Do I really enjoy silence? YES!! Most of the time, I welcome it!

But there's something really soothing about the sound of these potato chips crunching in my mouth....hmmmm...let me try one more and see if I can express it better...

YES! That's it! I love being "alone" yet I love the sound of presence. Whose presence? That's the question.

Well, if you shop at BJ's, be sure to buy Archer Farms Traditional Potato Chips. They are the crunchiest, most awesome potato chips I've eaten...in a week or so.

What sounds are you creating in your mouth? What does that sound mean to you? Are they loud sounds? Are they comforting sounds?

Tell me about the sounds you hear in your head, created by your mouth.

Am I weird, or what?!


Happy Season of Waiting to everyone! I do love Advent...and might admit that I look pretty good in purple, too!

The wreath is hung on the front door, it's purple ribbon flowing in the cold breeze of late. The tree is still in its box in the cellar, awaiting fresh air - hopefully this weekend! The lights are on the mantle (well, year 'round because we love them so much!), and candles are placed for ambience. Tis the season! Online orders are in transit, and there is much wrapping of gifts and packing and shipping left to do and it really is exciting!

The Deacon at our church, Jane, has for the last two years sponsored a Advent E-Devotion. She invites anyone to share a reflection for one day during Advent, and it is so much fun to read the different styles of peoples' attitudes toward the daily readings! I thought I'd share my reflection for this year, which was for Tuesday, December 8, 2009.

Today’s Readings: Morning, Psalm 26, 28;
Evening: Psalm 36, 39

Amos 7:10-17;
Rev. 1:9-16;
Matt. 22:34-46

When I was asked to write the Advent e-devotion for today, my impression of the readings was fairly bleak, leaving me to ask, “What have I gotten myself into?” Sometimes, waiting and seeing with fresh eyes can be helpful.

Psalm 28:7 acclaims, “The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts; so I am helped, and my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.” Today, reading this for about the fourteenth time, I heard it! All this angst created by telling myself I have no business being here, sending a reflection to only Jane knows who! But today, after waiting and watching and – finally – listening, there was my message.

My heart trusts, so I am helped. My heart exults, and my song gives thanks. It happens every time I remember to put God first, then me, then everything else. And every time I do this, and it works, it makes me wonder what’s so hard about doing this every second of every minute of every hour of every day? Because I’m in too much of a hurry, because it’s too much about me.

It’s still Advent. If I slow down and listen and wait, it won’t slip away from me this year. “To thee, O Lord, I call; my rock, be not deaf to me…” If I slow down, I’ll hear and trust and exult and want to sing every day! For the Lord is so very, very good to me – all the time.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Bulletin Inserts

Today was on the frustrating side for me. Jonathan had the day off from school, but both Warren and I had to work. Warren had lots of ways for Jonathan to help him out at the church. Me, I just had to drive to North Grafton and work for four hours...but I was not happy!

Something inside of me just stirred; something was not right. About 11:00, my cell phone rang. It was my little sister telling me that she was scheduled for a CT Scan this afternoon to determine the source of her recent abdominal pain. When we hung up, I almost cried.

Just the "work of the day" was very frustrating. I was trying to work with a new (to me) program to print music for Sunday's service. It became very frustrating, so I decided to do it the old fashioned way, which made me feel inadequate. Ugh. It did get done, but I'm here to tell you that four inserts in any Sunday bulletin are a bit much. They need a songbook of their own!

When I got home, I checked in on facebook. One friend had made the comment, "Doesn't seem like thirteen years. Still love you and miss you." I thought, "Who could she be talking about?" Then it hit me; she was talking about her father - one of my best ever friends in the entire universe - and that was frustrating that I didn't remember the date. But I remember Larry.

The first time I met Larry I thought he was one of the biggest dorks who ever walked on the face of the earth. Then I met his girlfriend, who was such a perfect match for him, I could not believe it! We all went out one night. I wore a fashionable mini skirt and platform heels. Debbi wore blue jeans and a sweatshirt. We hated each other.

Time wore on, and we became very close and wonderful friends. Through many trials, Larry and Debbi were always there for me. And they loved Warren. Oh, how they loved Warren! When Larry died very suddenly, I was devastated. And right after his funeral, Debbi was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia. She was sedated for over a week to clear and heal her lungs. It was such a traumatic time for her two girls. Somehow, they (and I and Les and so many others) all survived it. Debbi thankfully recovered, and I cherish our friendship still.

The girls have grown, but we still try to keep in touch. It's hard, being so far away...besides the fact that one of them is teaching in Korea! But they know how to reach me, and once in awhile we connect.

How am I feeling now? Much better, having put these worries and frustrations in writing. 

Make new friends, but keep the old. 
One is silver but the other gold!

If you're reading this, thanks. On this day before Thanksgiving, 2009, count your blessings and never forget those who helped make you and bring you to where and who you are today.

Blessings and love.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Having Wet Feet

I am exhausted. I don't think I'll be able to sleep until I get this off of my chest, so here goes.

One week ago, my sister's husband's brother-in-law (are you with me here?) died suddenly. So, my sister (Julie) and her husband (Steve) hopped on an airplane and flew to Boston ASAP to be with his family. The memorial service was held on Thursday. Unfortunately, Warren and I were not able to attend the services.

Steve called on Wednesday to see if we were going to be around this weekend. What we heard was, "We thought we'd come out on Friday. We can go out to eat or something; we just really want to spend some time with you guys since we're so close." So, Warren and I made plans to make Friday dinner work. We figured they'd arrive around 3 p.m. and we'd sit in our (messy!) living room and re-connect and then we'd all go out to dinner and they would drive back to Boston to their hotel.

When they arrived, I was immediately suspicious. Steve asked, "Julie! Do you want to get your bag now or wait until later?" We all came into the house. Steve plugged in his computer (another curiosity-building factor) and immediately relaxed. Julie followed me into the kitchen. "So!" I asked, "How long are you guys going to be here?" She looked at me quizzically and replied, "Well, we're hoping to get a flight home on Monday, but we haven't really checked yet to see if that's possible." My mouth dropped! I asked, "Are you staying HERE with US until you get a flight home the week of Thanksgiving and I know you only will accept a non-stop flight from Boston to Denver?" She smiled and said, "Yes! Is that okay?" My mouth dropped, again.

Warren arrived home from his day's journey and I called him into the kitchen. "Did you know that they are planning to stay and try to find a flight home on Monday?" He asked, "Stay here?" I nodded, as a wife nods when she's telling her husband something he does not know. "Really?" he asked. "Really!" I replied. "I've already got the guest bedroom set up, and just need to clean the upstairs bathroom. It will be fine." He looked at me with those loving, wondering if I'm real eyes and asked, "Are you okay with this?" I replied, "Sure! It will be fine!"

I love company! We love it when people - especially from home (Denver/Colorado) come to visit us. But we're happy with company from anywhere, for the most part. The thing is, we prefer advance warning! For some reason, this is working. It feels like we jumped into an experience with wet feet, and all worked for the better. Let me explain.

Friday was my "day off" after working three days at my part-time job. I sort of had a breakfast date with a friend, but we hadn't really connected to confirm. I took Jonathan to school, and headed out towards Jake's (the breakfast place) and decided to roam around Wal-Mart until closer to 10:00, when I was due to meet my friend. It had been raining pretty hard, but had let up as I pulled into the Wal-Mart parking lot. I found a great spot right near the entrance and pulled in. I grabbed my pocketbook and turned to stand and 'ISH' I found myself standing in a puddle. I looked down at my feet, and saw the oil and transmission fluid circling around my ankles. Well, what was done was done. I locked my car and headed into the store.

Why did I go to Wal-Mart on Friday? For no reason, except to kill time until my "supposedly" breakfast date. Well, I roamed around and threw a three-pack of gum and some knee hi socks and a copper-colored stamp pad into my carriage. Time to go. Three items at Wal-Mart. When's the last time that happened to YOU? Well, the gun didn't register in my cashier's scanner. She tried and tried and tried and tried. I looked at my watch. Did I really need that gum? Actually, I did. So I let her scan some more and scan some more and scan some more. It wasn't until she decided to "turn on her checkout line light" that I said, "You know, I just really need to get into my car and warm up my feet!" She looked at the knee-hi socks on the turnstile and said, "Looks like you need to pay for these socks and get going!" I laughed. Yes, my feet were wet. I'd gone into Wal-Mart with wet feet -- to kill time. And here was this stranger telling me I needed the socks I'd put into my carriage and onto her turnstile. She didn't know anything about my feet being wet.

Life sometimes treats me like this. I step in something unpleasant and try to pretend it didn't really happen, but someone usually realizes that there's a strange odor or something, and he or she will encourage me to take care of this "concern" they have for me, but about which they know nothing. When this happens, I am really annoyed.

So, I was a little annoyed when I left Wal-Mart with my one bag filled with gum and knee-high socks and a stamp pad! I got to my car and looked at what was before me. The puddle was even deeper! My choice was to wait until the next day for the water to subside, or "take a swim" and get the heck away. I took a swim. I went to Jake's and waited, a believe it or not my friend and I hooked up for breakfast. By the time I got home, my feet were so wet and cold that I was a miserable wreck. I don't often get cold, but I was really cold.

The lesson here? Always carry extra shoes and socks? I don't think so! Maybe just a message of "be prepared; look around you before you embark; make a last minute change if the water is too deep!" I could have moved my car that morning. I chose not to. All I know is that, if you shop at Wal-Mart with cold feet, you spend less money. So this is the lesson I will remember from this experience. If you ever have this experience, I strongly urge you to go to your nearest café and order a feta cheese and tomato omelet, which will warm not only your feet, but your heart and soul because you shared it with a friend. You can always change your shoes and socks later.

Which is kind of what Warren and I did on Friday afternoon, after we realized we were having COMPANY FOR FOUR DAYS. We just put on dry socks and shoes. We were comfortable, our company was comfortable, and it's turned into a wonderful visit with people we really care about. There's nothing like the comfort of dry socks on wet feet!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The very strangest thing just happened...I think I posted my blog to the blog of a friend of mine.

Anyway, I was talking about eating potato chips -- how the crunch of chewing potato chips makes such a noise in your head. Is it a welcoming noise, or is it just LOUD?

Once I finished chewing (a bite) I realized how quiet things were. I'm the only one awake in the house right now, and I like that sense of quiet...yet knowing that I'm not alone.

Yet, when I "test" one more chew of chips and realize just how LOUD they are in my head, I wonder "Do I really want these?" The answer is, YES! I always welcome the sound of potato chips in my head. They taste good. They make me happy. And, (sorry) I like picking them out of my teeth.

How do you feel about loud food? Is there a food other than potato chips that 'SCREAMS' in your head? How does it make you feel? Why do you eat it?

I'm gonna have one more potato chip and call this one finished. My love to all...XOXOXOXOXO

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Crazy, crazy, crazy.


So many questions.

I do not enjoy days like yesterday and today.

Please pray for the soul of Bennett. Pray for Elaine, Elana and Rebecca who must now live without him.

Pray for the dozen people at SSW who are now without jobs. Many of them are my friends. Nobody deserves what they got.

Thank goodness for professionals, like those in Dr. Fadiani's office, who today restored my faith in the importance of being on time and honoring the time of one's patients.

And, please PayPal, can you speed up that bank deposit I made earlier? We really need the money. Ugh.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pandemonium vs. Peace

I recently made a spread in my Art Journal with these words on it. Next to them, I put "Pray for peace in your heart and in your soul and in your mind and in the world."

Having just awakened from a delightful little "surprise" nap - the kind brought on by one's late afternoon reading of the Sunday paper (you know the kind, right?) - I'm feeling particularly refreshed. The dream that occurred during these few minutes of quiet respite are clear in my mind. I'm not going to write specifically about them, only to say they were total pandemonium. I woke up feeling quite peaceful. Perhaps the release of whatever pandemic thoughts brought on the dreams created a larger space for peace to come forward in my awakening. I needed it. It's been a day (already, and it's only 5 p.m!).

On top of praying for peace in all those places I mentioned, pray for children - yours, mine, theirs, his, and hers. Pray that they will know peace, and know how to want and recognize it when it pops into their mind after awakening from a dream-filled night.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Hello Friends!

Finally, I have a blog! Welcome to Vermongelin -- interesting name? Let me explain.

When I was growing up, my mother used to make a dessert which was always a treat. It was called Vermongelin. Apparently, it was "invented" by her mother - MomMom, as we called her. The dish consisted of partially set jell-o, over which was poured heavy cream. Then, you took your electric hand mixer and melded it all together. You let it re-set for several hours, and called it Vermongelin.

It's been years since this treat crossed my lips. Maybe this year for Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Anyway, what it means to me is to "do what you will with what you have" and make the best of it. Even if it's not top-notch, pretend it is and have fun and taste the sensation of it.

Whether it's your life, your creativity, your spirituality...it's all what it is, because it's yours. I'm determined to make the best of what I've made of my life. This is it! (And I am not talking about the Michael Jackson movie!) THIS is it. This is IT. This IS it. THIS IS IT. Repeat until you get it.

Thanks for visiting. I hope to make your future visits to my blog well worth their time.