Friday, October 31, 2008

Lady Liberty

Ever since we announced to Olivia that we were going to visit New York City and The Statue of Liberty while on vacation--she was SO excited! She just could not wait to see the statue. It was one of the major highlights of our trip for her and for us as well!

We had decided while on the Liberty Island Ferry that she was going to dress as The Statue of Liberty this year for Halloween. Of course, there are no creepy costumes allowed in this The Statue of Liberty was a perfect choice.

Last week, I thought it high time that I get busy and make her costume. I left the house with the intention of stopping at my very favorite store - The Good Shepherd Center - our local "mission" store. What perfect timing - they were having a bag sale that day....everything you could put in a bag for only $2.00. Anyone who knows me knows that I am an expert at packing and boy, can I stuff lots of things that I probably don't need into a bag! However, right in front of me sat the prize! An old curtain --in precisely the color of the patinaed copper of The Statue of Liberty. Quick! Stuff it in the bag! Then over to another shelf...and there were patterns - Simplicity pattern size 6-8 for costumes....and on the front was a little girl with a witch costume....guess what, the witch just became the statue!

I was blessed to get the fabric and the pattern and a WHOLE BUNCH of other stuff that I probably didn't need for only $2.00. Now to dash home and start working! The crown was easy - just some old oaktag file folders - cut and glued and taped and colored - Wha-la! A Crown!

My plans to construct this really cool torch were thwarted, however, when Olivia came home from school crying that they were not allowed to carry anything in their hands during the parade - no wands, no Liberty Torches. She was so disappointed. "But Mom, how can I be The Statue of Liberty if I don't even have my book and my torch?!" I told her that I would come up with plan 'B'. Plan 'B' turned out to be a fabric and felt 'torch' sewn onto a glove which she could wear on her hand. Technically, she's not carrying anything and Lady Liberty gets to keep her torch!

This afternoon at the Halloween Parade at school her teacher, Mrs. Redfoot, told Brillo Man and I that Olivia was receiving a lot of compliments on her costume. When Olivia came home from school she told me that she received "at least probably 900" compliments on her outfit! Wow - that's a lot!

Olivia and some classmates in the Halloween Parade.

Lady Liberty with her torch raised high!

Lady Liberty and Brillo Man - about to leave to go trick or treating.
Brillo Man wondered if we should have built her a pedestal.
The old rusty stool worked well!

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
-Emma Lazarus

graven on a tablet
within the pedestal
on which the statue stands.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


I just watched Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont using my Netflix 'watch instantly' feature.

If you haven't seen the movie, rent it. It's a movie about which one might say, "they just don't make movies like that anymore." Captivating. Sensitive. Moving. Heart Wrenching. Full of love. I give it Five Stars.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Crunchy, Yummy Goodness (I think.)

I just went online to Callie's Pretzel Factory and ordered some pretzels.

We went there on vacation and bought a bunch of stuff. Now I'm addicted.

They make an "Everything Pretzel" which has garlic, onion, sesame seeds, poppy seeds and salt. Very strong, flavorful, yummy and crunchy!

While there we also sampled some tasty buttermilk ranch pretzels (hard pretzels). Delicious. Brillo Man and I searched the "showroom" for the coveted pretzels. Aha! Found them! ...into our basket they went! I opened the bag when we got home and ate two of the tasty nuggets. Olivia had two as well. Then I went to bed because I had to work that night. After I got up and jumped in the shower, Olivia comes busting in the bathroom...

"MOM! Dad ruined the meatloaf! He put beans in it! I hate beans in my meatloaf!"

Brillo Man, who is usually a pretty good cook, put a can of baked beans on top of the meatloaf. No problem Olivia, we'll scrape the beans off. I dished up the meatloaf and started eating. Interesting...there were these gloppy, doughy, doughball things in the meatloaf. What in the world?!

Later, I'm packing my lunch for work....
"Randy, where are those ranch pretzels?"
"I put them in the meatloaf."
"WHAT?!" (that explains the doughball things....)
"Why in the world would you put them in the meatloaf?"
"I didn't think they would get eaten."
Olivia started crying..."I really, wanted those pretzels Mom...and Dad ruined the meatloaf..."

The next day....I get up from having slept after working all night. Something smells good. "Randy, what are you cooking?"
"I rescued the meatloaf."
"I rescued the meatloaf and made some (cream of doughball) soup."

The soup was actually really good and the the doughy-pretzel-doughball things tasted just like doughballs --perfect in the soup --not so good in the meatloaf.

...but I can't wait until the UPS driver shows up at my door with the pretzels! I immediately will be hiding them so they don't end up a mystery ingredient in some new-fangled dish!

Prayer Request

Hello all my blogging friends....

As some of you may know, Brillo Man had his hip replaced in 2006. The surgery failed - i.e., he will have to have revision surgery. Because of other problems in his spine and neck, he has been unable to have the surgery.

His orthopaedic surgeon encouraged him to apply for SS disability. We have to attend a disability hearing on November 3rd --just one week away. Ironically, that is also Brillo Man's 50th birthday.

I ask that you would pray for us - for wisdom and clarity of thought and speech as we present his case to the judge. We will have no legal respresentation, so we need all the prayers we can get! Also, please pray for favor so that this claim will be approved. Anyone who knows my husband knows that he is in constant pain and in our opinion, should qualify for disability benefits.

We covet your prayers throughout this upcoming week and especially on the 3rd.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Prayers of Thanksgiving and Praise

Thanks for all your prayers for Grant!
He is doing much better. It appears that he will need more skin grafts, but will not lose his leg. God is good!
So he, leaping up,
stood and walked and
entered the temple with them
—walking, leaping, and praising God.
-Acts 3:8

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Go ahead...I know you want to...

...go ahead...keep on poking...
you'll beeee soooorrrryyyy....

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Prayer Request

Hello all my blog buddies and prayer warriors!

I have an urgent prayer request...

There is a little boy I know, his name is Grant. Grant is 3 1/2 years old.

On Friday, Grant darted in front of a riding lawn mower and sustained serious injuries to his leg and knee. He now battles infection and it is uncertain (according to the medical community) whether or not he will be able to keep his leg.

We all know that we serve a God who is bigger! A God who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we can ask or think! I ask that you would pray for Grant and his family. His uncle Dan is dealing with all the emotion of having been the driver of the mower and is obviously devastated. Please pray for his Mom, Tammy, as she carries the burden of seeing her little boy suffering so - and for Grandpa Rodney.

Also please pray that God will use this tragedy to bring them all closer to His side and that Grant will be healed to bring glory to God.


But for you who revere my name,
the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings.
And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall.
-Malachi 4:2

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Underwear....and socks

So, I went to StuffMart the other day to buy new socks. While there, I decided to buy some new underwear as well. I knew the size I needed, but when I looked at the package, the back sizing chart indicated that I should be buying the next bigger size. I knew that they probably would be too big --but I bought them anyway because I didn't want to "go against" what the package said. Now I'm sitting here with underwear that goes practically up to my boobs --which isn't as high as you may think because my boobs are a whole lot lower than they should be --but it's still way too high to be considered properly fitting underwear.

And the new socks, while they look great, are too tight and leave trench marks in my skin above my ankles - due to major fluid retention -- probably because I've been binge eating a whole bunch of salty snacks. So now, I must go buy more socks.

And by the way, my sister actually suggested that I use my forlorn socks to make into catnip happy cat toys for wayward cats in animal shelters. She thought it might be a fun project for my Girl Scout Troop. Yeah, right, like I'm going to give up my socks to some hairball hacking cat only to discover the sock's mate in a bin in my garage in the year 2010. What?! she thinking?!

The end.

"Meaningless! Meaningless!"
says the Teacher.
"Utterly meaningless!
Everything is meaningless."
-Ecclesiastes 1:2

Monday, October 20, 2008

Things that brought me freedom today:

1.) Discovering that I indeed can have good support in a bra without it being a pinchy, jabby, underwire.

2.) Walking into my appointment with my very own cup of Raspberry Chai Latte and not worrying about who was going to be offended by it.

3.) Painting with abandon.

4.) Enjoying a Reeses Peanut Butter cup not caring how many layers were being added to my hips. (one day soon, the miniature Halloween Candy will all be a thing of the past!)

5.) Knowing that I am loved by God - Unconditionally. Realizing that when I mess up (and boy, did I EVER mess up today) that He loves me. He's there with His arms wide open, ready to embrace me and comfort me and tell me that it's all going to be okay as long as I continue to trust in Him. (sound familiar Dawna?) There is absolutely NOTHING that I can do or neglect that is going to separate me from His love. He - is awesome.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.
Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves
be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
-Galations 5:1

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Neighborhood Hayride and Bonfire

oops. We got a flat tire. Had to change wagons in the middle of the ride.

Iva - our wonderful neighbor, hayride driver and hostess of the party!

Like father.... daughter.

Some scenes along the way:

Olivia gave an ear of field corn to one of Iva's horses when we returned from the hayride.

Laughing with friends.

Butch, chief chef extraordinaire and host of the party.

Olivia enjoying the day.

The burning embers.

We had a fun afternoon and are blessed to live in our little part of the countryside with wonderful neighbors whom we call friends!

Friday, October 17, 2008

55 and counting...

No....not my age, but rather the number of socks that are presently on the floor next to my side of the bed.

What's even more ridiculous than having 55 socks on the floor next to my bed is that NONE OF THEM MATCH to make a pair!

In my dresser - another DRAWER FULL OF MISMATCHED SOCKS!

In my closet - TWO pull-out closet organizer baskets FULL of socks.

At the foot of my bed - a small laundry basket full of socks.

In my garage / studio / catch-all space - a large Rubbermaid container FULL of socks.

90% of them do not match another.

I have socks from as far back as high school. Tube socks with the number '78' printed on the side, just under the green stripes. Tube socks. They don't even MAKE tube socks anymore.

After spending five minutes sorting through the pile at the side of my bed and not finding two that matched, I decided that I was going to head to Wal-Mart to buy MORE SOCKS! The only reason I did not was because I called my friend, Dawna, and told her that I was coming over - I was in the middle of a sock crisis - "I'll tell you more when I get there"....

Dawna is just so sweet --she told me that if properly cut and dissected, all of my socks could be crocheted into tote bags, then gave me the pattern to crochet said bags. Then she took off her shoes and modeled her own fabulous socks and instructed me on where to buy them. Six pair for $7.50 at StuffMart (a.k.a. WalMart).

I love it! I'm going to go get some really, soft, comfy, arch-supportive, non-binding socks....and my friend loves me just the way I am...socks and all!

P.S. Don't ask Brillo Man what HE thinks about all my socks!
And if Dawna actually believes that I'm going to CUT UP my precious stash of mismatched socks and turn them into totebags??!?!?!....She's got another thought coming!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Tonight, I was flipping through our satellite television guide, looking for something interesting to watch.

And I discovered that Obama actually has a CHANNEL all his own. The OBAMA CHANNEL. Unbelievable.

I didn't tune in.

I rarely talk politics unless I know where others stand on the issues. And since I don't know where all my blog readers stand on the issue, I have not brought up the presidential election at all in this space.

But tonight, I was pushed over the edge. Obama has a channel. How pitiful is that?

Are there any other McCain/Palin fans out there?! I truly believe that Sarah Palin is like Esther - placed in her position by God for such a time as this. God has a plan. And it's bigger than what any of us can imagine.

I believe that it's our responsibility as Christians to be interceding for our nation. In case you haven't noticed - our country is facing some pretty tough issues right now. A friend at work mentioned that she just lost $6,000 from her retirement fund. Our neighbor lost $25,000. Then there's the coworker who contributes 30% of her pay towards retirement....I'm sure she lost way more than anybody else I know.

Trust in God. That's the answer to all of the turmoil and panic about our economy. It doesn't matter how much money you have or you don't have. It's not really your money anyway. It all belongs to God. That ticker on the NYSE is just a number on a digital screen. Up. Down. Up. Down. We should not be placing our trust in those numbers and stressing over the economy for "who of us by worrying can add a single hour to our lives?" (Matthew 6:27)

Whoever wins in November...It really doesn't matter. Whoever wins will be there because God wants them there to fulfill His purpose for this nation. That doesn't mean we stop praying.

I was young and now I am old,
yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken
or their children begging bread.
-Psalm 37:25

Sunday, October 12, 2008


To all my blogging friends...

Dawna is back on the blogging scene!!! Yahoo! Wander over and say hello...

Myself and Dawna today at her surprise 50th birthday party!!
She's a friend who is as close as a sister. A heart connection - for sure!

My intercessor is my friend
as my eyes pour out tears to God...
-Job 16:20

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Copying sara.

The View From Here:

1. Misty fog on the pond.

2. Changing Autumn leaves in various hues of gold and orange.

3. Olivia's bed head hairdo!

4. Clear blue sky - not a cloud in sight.

5. My felt bird mobile.

6. The unique porcupine watercolor brush holder which I picked up at The Good Shepherd Center (my very favorite thrift shop!)

7. Stacks and stacks and stacks of paper.

8. Earrings made from WheatChex Cereal.

9. Piano parts.

10. Diamond Glaze Dimensional Adhesive.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

My Ministry....

To be used of pray...
To be used of show someone the way...
I long so much to feel the touch of His consuming fire...
To be used of my desire...

Anyone remember that song? I'm dating myself here....that's an oldie but goodie.

Here's what I know: I am blessed to be working in the position in which I'm working. Last evening, on my way up to the lab, I had to pass the ER. There sat my pastor. I just looked at him and asked him how and what and for whom should I pray. Turns out that a little boy - age three - had come to church with a huge bruise on the side of his head --they felt they needed to have the situation investigated. Which explains why the police car was parked next to me in the church parking lot while I was leaving... I prayed all night for the the little boy and for the father and for the truth to come out and for resolution and peace...etc.

Then...three hours later, I was called to the ER to draw a legal alcohol level. (Usually our lab assistants draw all the blood - but with a 'legal', in order to eliminate a long chain of command should we be subpoenaed to court, only one of us would have to attend.) When I walked into the exam room, there lay a young person from our church. She had been driving drunk - and had an accident. She was on a back board - with a neck brace - and when she saw me, she started to cry. I was able to pray with her and remind her that God loves us even when we make mistakes - that His love is unconditional - His arms are always open. When her aunt arrived minutes later (also a friend of mine), I was able to comfort her. And later, when I found out that instead of sending her home - which had been the original plan, she would have have to have surgery on a broken bone --I was able to pray some more.

God is good. He has placed me strategically in a place where I can do what I love to do most - pray for others. A dear friend (some of you remember, Dawna) recently told me how touched she was when I said that I pray over people's tubes of blood when I hold them in my hands - especially if it's someone I know. To me -it's no big deal. I just follow God's lead and thank Him for the opportunity to be used. It's actually very humbling to think that He would choose to use me. Me. I'm no one special and certainly undeserving of this honor.

I give Him praise - for His goodness - and for making me a blessing!

...and you will be a blessing.
-Genesis 12:2

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


Here are a few photos - not many because in most of them, I look frumpy. Olivia is always cute. And Brillo Man is Brillo Man. Mostly, I look frumpy. (If you click on them, they will enlarge for a more close-up view of the frumpiness.)

Olivia took this one of us - late one night outside Petrizzo's Italian Restaurant where ten minutes prior we had stuffed ourselves with pasta.

Olivia doing her best "Statue of LiVerty" immitation. Note - she says 'Liverty', not 'Liberty' - There's no changing her mind on this one.

Olivia and I with Lady Liberty in the background.

More of she and I at the Statue.

The view on our way to Ellis Island.

Olivia pointing to her great-great-grandparents' names on The Wall of Remembrance.

My great grandparents: Anthony and Adeline Mandaro Sorbo

Brillo Man and Olivia goofing off at the base of The Statue of Liberty.

Another Statue shot.

Brillo Man and Olivia after seeing The Lion King on Broadway.

Olivia hugging her "I 'heart' NY" bear. (Which you can't see because she has her hand in front of the bear's belly.)

Brillo Man on location for the cover shoot of "GQ" magazine. Ritter's Cider Mill - hay barn.

For now (Brillo Man) would be lying down in peace;
(he) would be asleep and at rest.
-Job 3:13