Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Was Mary a Good Mom to Jesus?


Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay 


At times, we mothers wonder if we're good mothers 
to our children.

Mary, mother to Jesus, must have thought about that, too. 
The Scripture says she pondered many things in her heart.

Bringing up a child is complicated, but the Son of God?

That was quite a challenge.

She must have wondered if she was doing it right.
Mary once lost Jesus when He was twelve years old. He'd 
stayed in Jerusalem and she didn't know it.

If a mom did that today, she'd be arrested for child negligence.

And why is the child uncovered? Another case of negligence?

In most nativity scenes, the baby looks cold. Everyone
 else has on layered garments. Poor baby. 
Why didn't Mary cover the child with more?

Scripture says she wrapped Him in swaddeling cloths. 
Interesting attire, right? So the depiction is wrong. Mary
wrapped Jesus properly.

By the way, what in the crazy world is swaddeling
cloths?  Here's the answer. They were long strips
of cloth and mothers wound them tightly around them
the baby. 

Changing a diaper wasn't easy.

Mary was a human mom with an unusual baby. She must
have prayed for guidance daily. I'm guessing she doubted
herself at times, but she was an amazing mother.



Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Joseph, the Stepdad



As the afternoon sun began to sink behind my house a few days ago, I glanced across the street to see my neighbor's Navitiy scene.

Wow!

The cut-out figure of the walking man shone brightly and sparkled. As the light caught this protrayal of Joseph, I thought about the enormity of Joseph's job.

In the depiction, Mary cuddles with the unborn Jesus. Over the rough and rocky journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem, a distance of some 90 miles, the trio traveled. The duo are married, but their union hasn't been consumated, and the baby has yet to arrive. Mary and Josepth will become one flesh much later.

Mary is the mother, but Joseph is the chosen caregiver. The Protector. The unselfish Provider. A man of faith who is willing to accept responsibility for circumstances he had no previous control over. 

He knows the child isn't his, and yet he assumes the role to care for and nurture Mary's child, God's Son.

Joseph reminds me of the many men who do this today. They step up to the role of stepdad. Like Joseph, some of these men do it before a child is born. Others create a family to existing children. These men love, shoulder the guardianship, and provide for kiddos they didn't create.

Quite often, they don't receive any acclaim. They go unnoticed.

They merely consent willingly to their job.

And most do the stepdad role well.

Thank God for the Josephs in this world.












Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Poor Sarah. She Tries.




I try to be beautiful and tranquil, 
but most of the time I look like I'm in chaos.
And I most often am!


In my imagination, I'm calm. I always plan to do a good job.


You should see what I did in this book. 
Gay N. Lewis tells all my secrets!




Friday, November 22, 2019

Talking Christmas with Penelope Marzec



My friend, Penelope Marzec, lives in New Jersey. I live in Texas. She has a new Christmas book available, and I thought now would be a good time to talk all things Christmas.


Hi Penny,  I'll decorate for Christmas after Thanksgiving and our family will make another Christmas memory. What’s your happiest holiday memory?

It’s hard to pick one memory that is the happiest, but the year hubby bought ping pong guns for our daughters gave me lots of laughs. The girls ran around with the ping pong guns as if they were in an action-packed movie adventure. Of course, hubby played with them. I just laughed and took pictures.

That sounds like fun. Like you, we have three daughters. One of my favorite memories is the year all three girls got bikes from Santa. They were so excited. Eating is a big thing at our house during the holidays. Do you have a favorite Christmas dessert?


A long time ago, I found a recipe for Cape Cod Cranberry Pie. It’s easy, quick, and delicious. I make it every year for Christmas. There’s so much to do at Christmastime, so it’s truly wonderful to have a dessert everyone enjoys but which isn’t much trouble to make. I'm sharing my recipe. 

Thanks for sharing the recipe.  It's at the end of this blog. A traditional dessert at my house is Lemon Ice Box Pie. Like your pie, mine is quick, and I can make it in advance. We have it twice a year. It's too fattening to have more than that! We're gonna have a quiet Christmas this year.  One daughter is in Kentucky, and one will be in Florida.  That leaves one to be with us. How will you spend your Christmas?

We have our Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve, go to church, and then open gifts. That way we can enjoy a quiet Christmas morning. Usually, we’ll do some visiting in the evening that day, but the quiet Christmas morning is wonderful.

I've always wanted to spend Christmas in an enchanted location.  What about you?  

I enjoy being home for Christmas. However, I never got the chance to visit Ireland and that is the one place I would be interested in seeing at Christmas.

I'm looking forward to reading your newest Christmas book. By the way, how many Christmas books have you written?

Clear as Ice is the second Christmas book I’ve written. The first one was The Cowboy’s Miracle.  

Those cowboy Christmas books were fun to write. Prism Book Group, our publisher, had several of us write Christmas books with cowboys as the hero. Mine was Sarah and the Cowboy's Lady.  How many books do you have in print?

I’ve written twenty books. Some are novellas which are not in print, some are. One full-length book is still with the publisher and hasn’t been released. The rights were returned to me for some of my past books and I’ve been reissuing those independently. All of the books in print are at Amazon and easy to find.

How did you get the name for Clear as Ice?

The house where I grew up stood on a hill above a lake and in the wintertime, if the lake froze quickly, the ice would be clear without any air bubbles. Everything beneath the ice was easy to see—like turtles resting in suspended animation. So, ice can be clear, which is how I got the name for the book. Here's a picture of my three daughters on that lake behind my parent's house.



I can't imagine that. We don't have that down here in Houston. I went ice skating once at a local rink...fell down on my bum, and decided to never try it again. And I haven't. Tell us about the book.

Clear as Ice is about a former Olympic figure skater, Haylie. Her skating career left her broken, both physically and mentally since a stalker hounded her unmercifully. Healed, with a new job as a physical therapist, she finds she still longs to skate. Her family home used to be near a lake, so when it freezes, she goes there. She meets Ethan’s dog on the ice and then she meets Ethan, a man who abandoned his faith when his mother died and who has no intention of celebrating Christmas ever again.




I'm eager to read it, and I bought it today. I'll start it tonight. I love Christmas books. How many books a year do you read?

Sometimes I read twenty books a year, sometimes less. It depends on several factors. Often if I’m writing or if I have edits to do, I won’t get a chance to read. But I really enjoy reading right before I go to sleep and I always have books on my nightstand.

Do you get ideas for future stories from reading?

I rarely get ideas for future stories from fiction books. Most often ideas come to me from non-fiction books—like history books. I love well-written history books. However, I also get ideas for stories from places I’ve visited.

I love travel, and I always imagine myself living where I visit. Like you, I get ideas in new locations. How will you spend New Year’s Eve?

I’m really quite a homebody. I love to sit on the couch and watch the ball drop on television in Times Square on New Year’s Eve. However, for several years the next town east of us hosted a First Night celebration. It was a wonderful way to spend New Year’s Eve. Many different types of entertainment were offered in various locations all within walking distance about town. Our daughters were younger at that time and enjoyed the celebration, too. Unfortunately, the entire event closed after several years. So now we enjoy a simple New Year’s Eve. But I make a nice dinner for the family on New Year’s Day.

I love this prayer shawl you posted on FaceBook. It's abosultely beautiful. You have a way with a knitting needle, paint brush, and pen.

 Image may contain: people sitting

All the pictures you post on FaceBook of your painting and knitting or amazing. You are a talented lady. You knit, paint, write, and sing with your musical hubby. If you had to give up painting or writing, which one would it be?

That is a very tough question. There have been times when I stopped writing during stressful periods of my life. There have also been times when I quit painting. But I always come back to them when life levels out and I have the time. As long as I can, I’ll continue to paint and write. I won’t give up. I get such a great boost of emotional satisfaction from working on my stories and painting pictures. My father used to say, “It’s cheaper than therapy.” I believe he was right on that score.

Your dad was a reporter and your mom served in the military. Your mom was a talented painter, and your dad was a talented writer. You inherited the same abilities. Tell us about your daughters. Also tell us about your musical jaunts with your hubby.

Our daughters all took piano lessons until they went to college and they listened to all types of music—everything from classical to country to folk songs. We took them to many musical events, including organ concerts. Once, one of our daughters told us that was the worst thing we ever did to them, which made me laugh.


Our kids sound very much alike when it comes to music. We gave our daughters piano lessons. We bought both an organ and a piano and they sat side-by-side in our living room. I had hopes that our girls and I would play and sing together. Not. Nope. No way. It didn't happen.

Hubby had a career in engineering, but music was always important to him. He started playing the accordion at a young age, but then learned the piano, guitar, and organ as well. He played the organ at church for several years and I feared we would wind up with a pipe organ in our house. However, he joined a string band and went back to playing the accordion. String band music is happy music and very uplifting. Plus, hubby often plays at nursing homes on his own or with some of his accordion friends and with me as the vocalist. It’s heartwarming to bring smiles to the folks in the nursing home. The best part is when they sing along.


   
I love these pictures of you two bringing smiles to others. Here's the blurb for your new book, Clear as Ice.




When Ethan's prayers for his mother's life go unanswered, he abandons his faith, tossing it out with his mother's Christmas ornaments. The loss of his hope leaves him empty and he begins to shy away from relationships, but when his dog Rufus, a rescue from a shelter, develops a fondness for a woman skating on the frozen lake behind his house, he's annoyed. Not only does he resent her using his pond, he doesn't understand her fear of dogs.

Haylie, once an Olympic figure skater, is afraid of more than just Ethan's dog. She lives in constant fear due to threats from a stalker, but one day Ethan's dog chases the danger away, so Haylie decides to try to lose her fear of dogs...But then the stalker's plans expand to include revenge toward Ethan as well. If they are to remain safe and live to see a happily-ever-after, Haylie and Ethan must put aside differences and learn to trust each other. This Christmas season promises to be the most challenging and the most meaningful of their lives.

The Amazon link:


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/penelopemarzecbooks

Penny shares her pie recipe. She says it's on the Internet, but here it is for you. She says make two. They go fast.

Penny's Cranberry Pie

2 cups cranberries
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup chopped nuts
2 eggs
1 cup flour
1/2 cup melted butter
1/4 cup canola oil

1. Preheat oven to 325F. 
2. Spread the cranberries in the bottom of a well-greased ten inch pie plate. 
3. Sprinkle with one half cup of the sugar and the nuts. 
4. Add the remaining sugar to the eggs, beating well. Beat in the flour, butter, and shortening. Pour over the cranberries. 
5. Bake about 1 hour, or until crust is golden brown.

Thanks for bringing your Christmas to us!  From down here in Texas, we wish you a Merry one up there in New Jersey!






        




Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Church Talk


Lawyers speak leagelese.

Preachers speak mumbo-jumbo.

Neither language makes sense to the most people.

I heard someone say to another the other day, "Hate the sin but love the sinner."

That sounds nice, I guess, but did the unchurched listener understand it? Maybe, and maybe not. The listener was speaking about a subject she didn't consider sin.  The speaker thought the subject matter sin.  Oh mercy me.

What's the best way to respond these days in our political correct world? Is it possible to discuss without a cuss?

I once had a wordy professor in my college creative writing class. I turned in an assignment, and she returned it with a bunch of extra words. The additional phrases made the story uncomprhendable. She later told me, "I've never been published. I write too much."

Right, so why ruin my paper with unnecessary verbage?

Writers make more sense when we write the way we talk.

I think we'd make more sense as lawyers and pastors to speak in every day language.  

The Apostle Paul had something to say about such things to the Corinthians. 

I thank God, I speak in tongues more than you all; however, in the church I desire to speak five words with my mind, that I may instruct others also, rather than ten thousand words in a tongue. I Cor: 14:18-19 NASB.






Monday, November 4, 2019

Learning the Hard Way



Error, Www, Internet, Calculator, Server, Crash
I learn by reading. I learn by watching others. Touching a texture helps me understand a fabric, but most of the time, I gain wisdom from catching myself on fire.
In other words, I make mistakes. Don't you hate that type of learning? Ugh. It's rather painful.
Burning myself once should be enough for a lesson, but I'm forgetful. So, I do it again.

Sarah, my dyslexic angel, does the same thing. She can't make correct choices. She's an angel who flies by the seat of her pants.


She fails to think things through. She just goes for it with gusto.  Her heart is in the right place, even if her wings aren't.

You should see what she did to help Emily with a makeover. Oh my!

Have you ever wanted to glue someone's mouth shut?

Yes, indeed, she did it. Poor guy had a time trying to get his lips to move. Well, he shouldn't have been a bully. Right? Isn't that a good enough reason to shut a guy up?

Sarah's Commander thought otherwise.

Sarah's methods are a bit unorthodox.  You'll identify with her and her mistakes. We make them, too.








Thursday, October 31, 2019

Grave Digger, Go Away!





Not Now, Grave Digger

While sitting in a doctor’s office the other day, I visited with a man who was waiting on his wife who was in the exam room.  It had been a long day, and we’d been there for hours. The doctor had been slow to see everyone. Typical, right?

The man said, “I had to take off work and drive almost two hours to bring her here.”

I said, “Oh, that’s awful.  Where do you work?”

“For numerous cemeteries.”

“Really? What do you do?”

“I’m a grave digger.”

My eyebrows shot up.  “Wow! I’ve never met a grave digger before. I’m sure you have stories to tell.  Have you ever had to dig up a dead person?”

He nodded. “Just the other day. The funeral home made a mistake, and the guy was buried in the wrong site.”

Oh my! Talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time! It wasn’t the departed man’s fault, but he was six feet under in someone’s else’s location.



You know that phrase, “Rest in Peace?” Well, not so for that poor man. His bones got jostled around—going in the hole the first time, coming out, and going back down under all over again.  He could sing a duet with Elvis, “I’m all shook up.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rQEbQJx5Bo

My husband’s brother recently found out a guy is buried in his place. He’d gone to the cemetery to leave flowers, and while there, he decided to visit his future interment place. Lo-and-behold, someone occupied it—tombstone and all. My brother-in-law produced the deed to his chosen ground and presented it to officials.

The funeral home offered him another location—free of charge. Ha! Who wants to be buried next to someone else’s wife? What if the lady’s hubby dies and wants the legal place next to his beloved? And then you hear, “Sorry. We gave your plot to a stranger.”

I visit my relative’s sites often, leave flowers, and say a word or two to them. 

How do I know he/she is the person down under? I was at the burials, so I’m sure my kinsfolks are still there—where they’re supposed to be. 
No one notified me otherwise. Folks, it’s downright scary to think about who will be in the ground next to you. On the other hand, who knows how long you’ll stay in that hole?

Some grave digger may excavate you up and move you to a new location.
At this date, I have no idea how the funeral home is correcting their misdeed for my brother-in-law, but I’m now acquainted with a grave digger, should he need one.



Have a safe Halloween, and don't be caught dead in the grave yard.



Thursday, October 24, 2019

A Chuckle


"The Life Beyond"

Here lies the body of old Man Peas.

Beneath the daisies and the trees.

But Peas ain't here, only the pod.

For Peas shelled out and has gone to God.



This little poem brings a happy face.

Hubby found the ditty in a book, 
The Life Beyond
by Paul Powell

Life is too short not to grin and chuckle.

Here's a book to make you laugh out loud.




Fall Newsletter


Fall Newsletter - 2019

Welcome to Gay’s Days!



I’ve updated my blog, and I hope you’ll pop over to see it.  You’ll find all sorts of topics: Dementia, Faith and Humor, Recipes, Podcast, and I even have one with Odds and Ends. I started my blog in 2012, and it’s grown to a large number of posts on all sorts of subjects. I decided they needed organized. And now they are.
You know how some bloggers write only about food? Others talk about DIY crafts? Certain authors pen daily devotionals? Not me—I just mix them altogether and write whatever is on my mind that day.

My blog is sort of like my mind—always roving from one subject to another. With the new organization, one can choose an issue of interest and eliminate the rest of the hodgepodge.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could organize our minds like that? Stay focused on one matter and remove the clutter. If I could do that, maybe I would sleep at night.
I have a search button. If you want to see what I’ve written about sleep or the lack of it, type it into the search bar.

Remember that loved Wadsworth poem? The Arrow and the Song? “I shot an arrow in the air. It fell to earth, I knew not where.” (see link to poem below) My blogs are like that. I’ve been shooting all kinds of things into the air, and I know they’ve touched hearts, but I don’t know whose or where.

Be sure to check the book section on my blog. My books are listed in order of publication. Would you like to purchase a special autographed copy of a print book? Send me a message with your request! You’ll find the info under the Autograph Books button, and I hope you’ll subscribe to my newsletter. It’s under the Newsletter section. I have a chat section too! Stop by and say hello. You’ll find new recipes, an inspiration, or maybe a chuckle for the day.

You can also see my books and bio on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2hwc6nB

Healthy and Unhealthy Recipes






Orange/Lemon Chicken for Two

Ingredients

1 large boneless chicken breast
3 TB Flour
2 TB Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Sauce
½ cup Lemon juice
½ Jar Orange marmalade, sugar free
½ cup Ketchup
¼ Mustard
½ cup White wine (optional)
Dash of tobacco to taste.

Preparation:
Cut chicken into bite sized pieces. Salt, pepper, and coat with flour.
Heat oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet. Places pieces into skillet and cook thoroughly. Turning them as needed. Remove chicken to a plate. Remove most of the oil. Leave about a tablespoon.
In a separate bowl, combine sauce.  Taste it. You may want to add a bit more salt and pepper.
Add sauce to skillet, heat and reduce slightly. Add chicken back into Sauce.  Stir until thoroughly until heated.
Serve over rice.

Hubby likes the sauce sweeter than I do, and I often add a teaspoon of sugar. I sometimes add a sliced Granny Smith apple. I sauté it after removing the chicken and mix chicken and apple together with the sauce. Apple juice can be used in place of wine. I’m not a good cook, but this dish turns out well. Like me, Sarah, my chaotic angel, also needs cooking lessons. She’s a hoot and makes a mess in Sarah and the Angelic, Magical Makeover. https://amzn.to/2tRVY1H


Odds and Ends




 Have you ever wished Thanksgiving and Christmas didn’t fall near each other? And how about Halloween? It’s right there, too. The proximity makes it difficult to decorate for each one.

Why not put up a fall tree? You can make or buy a few Halloween decorations, then after that trick-or-treat night, put in the Thanksgiving mementos.  After the turkey exits the house, convert the tree to Christmas.

My tree above was simple to do.  Garlands of colorful leaves don’t require much time and placing scarecrows among the branches add to the charm.  Anything works. Brown paper sacks with drawings from kiddos make interesting features to hang from branches.
Before I became a published author, I worked as an interior designer. A client decided her home needed a bit of tweaking, so she hired me.

She kept two huge trees up all year long and changed decorations with seasons. In January, her tree became a miniature winter wonderland.  February—it was hearts everywhere. From the reds and pinks of February, came the greens of March and Saint Patrick’s Day. In April, she decorated with spring time flowers.  May and June—Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.  She had all kinds of babies and children ornaments and included pictures of her own family among the branches. July brought flags and anything red, white, and blue. August and September, her trees possessed all things summer—picnic tables, watermelons, boats. October, the trees took on Halloween. In November, fall and Thanksgiving appeared, and December, she brought out the reds and greens of Christmas.

My book, Sarah: Laney’s Angel, has Sarah helping a decorator. Guess where the ideas came from? http://amzn.to/2n9iZuq


Sarah: A Mission of Love

Sarah: Laney's Angel

Sarah at Christmas