February 14th

Published in: on February 11, 2018 at 8:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

A House Becomes a Home

12624 Belleflower Ln

We have just listed our home of 8.5 years.  Other than the house in Orange, VA, it’s the house I’ve lived in the longest.  We love this home but we’ve made the decision to look for a place with a ground level in-law set up for my parents, anticipating that they may need more help in the next few years.  Even when a decision is the right decision, it does not take away the bittersweet feelings of leaving.

Since Dan and I married 36 years ago, this current home is the 8th home we’ve lived in.  We started in a mobile home (for 1 year – with 1 child), moved to a two-family home as our first purchase (40K – interest rate 14%!)  – lived there for 3 years – now had 2 children.   We then moved to a 3 bedroom ranch. This was the first home that our daughters lived in.  Three bedrooms, four children, feeling a bit squeezed – we considered a major change.  A new state!

Relocating to Virginia in 1989, we rented a very small (tiny)  home for a few months until we sold our home in Connecticut.  We then moved into the home in which our children grew up – the 100 year old farmhouse on five acres.  There was a cinder block cottage (built in the 40’s) on the property and my parents lived there for about 10 years of the 15.5 years we lived there.  It was a pretty home but there was no AC, no central heating, no dishwasher, and lots of grass to mow on those five acres. But still, I thought we’d grow old in that home.

We did not.  Life took another turn and we moved into a church parsonage early in 2005 in Purcellville.  Dan pastored a small church and I learned how to be a nurse.  The two story colonial parsonage became our home because our family was living in it. We rejoiced in central air, a dishwasher, and central heating.

We moved to Fredericksburg in the late summer of 2007 and rented a nice home for about a year until we were ready to shop for a home of our own once again.  I fell in love at first sight with this home.  We have made many wonderful memories in this home, but now it’s time for change once more.

I have learned to hold loosely the concept of a particular house as my home, having had many changes.  Some people never leave the community they grow up in, or the house they have been in for decades.  That has not been my experience, but what ultimately makes a home is the people you share it with.

So – here we go again!  Meet our realtor: James Bauslaugh (btw – his blog has an interview of our pastor at Common Ground Christian Church 1/25/17)

12624 Belleflower Ln, 22407  (And professional photographers can really do wonders.  🙂


Published in: on February 1, 2017 at 1:39 pm  Comments (1)  

Thoughts on Dessert

I am in uncharted territory when it comes to my relationship with desserts.  I am continuing with the no desserts for now – (with a rare exception).   The NO decision continues to be easier every day.  But this time, I feel less sorry for myself in that I need to make this change long term.  That’s different.

At least it’s a no-brainer that reducing or eliminating sweets and a significant reduction in sugar is beneficial to one’s health.

Change is hard but it seems that it is not impossible and the longer this goes on, new habits are being formed. Saying no to the gourmet cookie yesterday without feeling sorry for myself felt like a victory.

“How to not become a diabetic” classes start on January 30th.  Eight weeks of learning how to prevent this condition in my future – so I hope I learn something helpful.

Published in: on January 19, 2017 at 10:00 am  Leave a Comment  

Change is Good

I decided a month ago to make a change regarding sweets and candy to have a simple way to reduce carbs and sugar in my diet.    Sort of my own version of a Whole 30, I suppose.  I determined that I was not going to eat sweets for 30 days (a re-boot, so to speak) – with an exception of Christmas and New Years weekends.  My main motivation is to attempt to prevent development of  diabetes.  Based on what I read, this can be avoided by simply making  changes that may yield a 10% weight loss.

There is much that confuses me regarding how to best lose weight for my body and metabolism and what changes to make.  There are many products to consider that supposedly help.  But this change was free, not easy but doable for 30 days, changes that no one disagreed with as a way to improve diet.  Eat more protein, avoid simple carbs, reduce carbs in general, eliminate added sugar.  So let’s begin and just do it.

“But it’s the holidays!”

The holidays are indeed filled with junk and so much sweetness – as I was reminded many times.  Why this particular time?!  Why not?  As a person who enjoys baking sweets and eating out and socializing around food, it does not take the holidays to cause the endless flow of sweets in my life.

In the past 30 days, I have had one gingerbread cookie, 1 small slice of a Yule log (Christmas Eve), and one tiny piece of cheesecake (New Year’s Eve), and yesterday at my daughter-in-law’s baby shower, I had a small piece of cake and the smallest scone I’d baked.

Observations I’ve made in this dramatic (at least for me) change:  I did not die.  It was not as hard as I thought it would be.  Yes or No decisions are easier than HOW MUCH and HOW OFTEN.  I ate a lot of fruit and it tasted very sweet.  I can have a cup or coffee or tea and do not need a cookie but it feels weird.  I tried not to talk about it much but enough to keep me accountable.  I lost a couple of pounds.  (Obviously this is not a “lose weight fast” plan.)

A friend and I are signed up for an 8 week class on how to avoid developing diabetes.  I’m going to get re-acquainted with MyFitnessPal.  I have a treadmill.  More changes are coming, 30 days at a time.  Baby steps.  I can do it.

 scales dietNot my feet – and I think half of me weighs this much.  🙂


Published in: on January 9, 2017 at 7:53 am  Leave a Comment  

Reading 2016

I read 3 out of the 10 books I’d listed as “intend to read” for 2016.  I set one on the list aside.  I changed my mind on what to read.  You can do this. Here are my five favorite reads from 2016:

1. Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry

2. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

3.Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance

4. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

5.Out of Sorts by Sarah Bessey

Favorite Podcast on books: What Should I Read Next?

Favorite Book Blog: Modern Mrs Darcy

Favorite Book Site to keep track: GoodReads

Goal – read 25 books in 2017!

Extra: Lousie Penny series – starts with Still Life


Published in: on December 13, 2016 at 8:45 am  Leave a Comment  

Ten Books I want to read in 2016 (plus one)

1.For the Love – Jen Hatmaker

2. Coming Clean – Seth Haines (Finished)

3. Out of Sorts – Sarah Bessey (Finished)

4. Wild in the Hollows – Amber Haines

5. Vanishing Grace – Philip Yancey

6. All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr

7. Wolf Hall – Hilary Mantel (Abandoned audio version – loved DVD)

8. Jayber Crow – Wendell Berry (Finished)

9. Faithful Place – Tana French (Book 3)

10. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie – Alan Bradley


Written in my Own Heart’s Blood – Diana Gabaldon


Published in: on January 7, 2016 at 9:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

Favorite Reads from 2015

  1. Rare Bird – Anna Whitston-Donaldson   A memoir of loss – which sounds depressing, but it is not.
  2. Searching for Sunday – Rachel Held Evans  Spiritual memoir.
  3. Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End – Atul Gwande Exactly what it sounds like it’s about.
  4. The Likeness – Tana French Second in her series of mysteries.  Good stuff.
  5. Americanah – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie  Enjoyed this one, too.



Published in: on January 7, 2016 at 8:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

“Life is nothing if not an interesting adventure.”

One day,  age and gravity will conspire against you.

Your soft and lovely loose parts will sag and wrinkle.

You will become shaped differently.

Your body will fatigue easily.

Your life will change…

And when it does…. Remember that this does not stop you from being who you are.

~~~~~~Linda Anfuso

Published in: on November 6, 2015 at 12:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

Northumbria UK


Ruins on Holy Island Lindisfarne

Land of my fathers,
how I long to return,
to touch thy earth,
and find again thy sacred paths,
well-walked with the Gospel of Peace,
veiled now in the shadow of mediocrity.

‘What mean these stones’
which beset thy coastline,
who in twisted agony cry out
in praise and supplication of Him
and the renewal of the faith
that bled to secure them there?

Yet we would walk again
thy sacred paths,
repair thy ancient ruins,
restore thy broken altars,
raise up the foundations
of many generations.

Hear this, you lands of the South
who hold many in captivity
by your empty words
and well-worn myths,
who neglect to see justice
for the poor, the widow,
the fatherless.

Look to the North –
for lo your Redeemer comes,
clothed in the poverty of the few
who dare to speak His name,
without vanity,
in a whisper,
lest the earth should tremble
Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord.

Poor of Yahweh, arise,
take up the ancient mantle
which has awaited your day;
clothe yourselves within its humility,
for you have been set
as a stumbling block for many.

Fr John Skinner – 1985

Published in: on October 10, 2015 at 9:51 am  Leave a Comment  

Favorite Books in 2014 – in no particular order


  1. 7 – An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess – Jen Hatmaker    Challenging. 
  1. Still Alice – Lisa Genova  Emotional but in a good way.  
  1. Just Mercy – Bryan Stevenson Eye Opening. 
  1. In Search of Deep Faith: A Pilgrimage into the Beauty, Goodness, and Heart of Christianity – Jim Belcher    A Journey. 
  1. In The Woods – Tana French  Mystery.  Irish. Want to read her others now. 
  1. Girl at the End of the World: My Escape From Fundamentalism in Search of Faith With a Future – Elizabeth Esther  Interesting – in the list of many memoirs I read.  
  1. Eleanor and Park – Rainbow Rowell  YA – good read. 
  1. Found: A Story of Questions, Grace, and Everyday Prayer – Micha Boyett   Benedictine practices for a young mom – wish this was around in my day as a young mom. 
  2. Interrupted : When Jesus Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianity – Jen Hatmaker  How God can change your life. 
  1. Spiritual Misfit – A Memoir of Uneasy Faith – Michelle DeRusha  Another “wish it was around to read a few years ago.”
  2. The Husband’s Secret – Lianne Moriarty  Interesting story – a bit of a twist. 

So – onto 2015.  Any recommendations?



Published in: on January 9, 2015 at 4:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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