Monday, May 22, 2017

Peace In the Valley

I don't often give book reviews, but my friend Ruth Logan Herne has a new book out, Peace In the Valley. Ruthy is such a sweet friend, and this is such a great story, I had to share about it.

Ruthy is a talented writer who has published over thirty novels and novellas. She'll make you smile and cry, but you don't want to miss the fun. If you're friends with Ruthy on Facebook, you'll get to enjoy stories of her home and family. She has more energy than anybody I know. And did I mention she's sweet?

This is book three of the Double S Ranch series. It is the story of country music star Trey Walker Stafford coming home to Montana. Trey has a huge heart and always wants to do the right thing for others. His story will touch your heart. When I rate this book on Amazon, I'll give it 5 out of 5 stars.

It's almost summer, and if you're looking for a good summer read, please check out Peace In the Valley.

I read it on the beach.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

War Bride in Pawleys Island

Merriam-Webster defines war bride as the following:
: a woman who marries a serviceman ordered into active service in time of war
: a woman who marries a serviceman especially of a foreign nation met during a time of war

I recently met Chris in Pawleys Island, South Carolina. The lady who introduced us told me right away that Chris was a war bride on the first ship of brides to come over from Europe.

My research shows around 65,000 women married U.S. soldiers during World War II. Our military prepared twenty ships to transport close to 50,000 war brides to the United States.

Chris told us most of the women on her ship were so seasick they couldn't leave their beds. However, she was not affected. She helped care for over thirty of the children traveling with them. She was one of the few passengers who showed up in the dining room for meals, and the servers began to call her Butterfly.

To this day, Chris might remind you of a butterfly. With a smile, she moves from table to table in the dining room at Lakes of Litchfield. At ninety years old, she spreads joy and always has a fun story.

This year Chris turned ninety and fulfilled a desire on her bucket list. While in California, she and one of her granddaughters went to get tattoos. Her granddaughter got one on the back of her shoulder, but Chris wanted to be able to see hers and has it on her arm. In case your curious, they got butterfly tattoos.

Stop by next year when I share what Chris does on her 91st birthday.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Low Country Garden Party

I recently attended my first garden party at the lovely Chicora Wood Plantation. The original name was Matanza which is thought to have been named for the Allston slaves that came from Cuba. In 1853 the name changed to Chicora Wood from the Chicora Indian Tribe of South Carolina.

Moss draped the oak trees scattered around the plantation. The plantation is around one thousand acres including the turf farm and ricefields. Located on the property are the Smokehouse, Summer Kitchen, Carriage House, Driver's House, Rice Threshing Mill, Gatekeeper's Cabin, School House and Shipping Barn. The Pee Dee River borders the property.

When we arrived to the garden party ladies passed Hors D'oeuvres of Black Pepper Crackers with Pimento Cheese and Homemade Cheese Straws with Vermont White Cheddar.

The luncheon consisted of baked tomato pies and quiche with mesclun greens. Both were delicious. (I had never eaten a tomato pie before moving to South Carolina. You can find them at many restaurants and even produce stands and grocery stores.)

Next we were served a "Trio Medley of Salads" which incluced Roasted Chicken Waldorf, Shrimp Louis and Pear and Apple Tossed with a honey vinaigrette. And since we were at a rice plantation lunch ended with "Southern Style Plantation Rice Pudding with a Caramel Sabayon and Mint."

It was a delightful afternoon with a focus on raising money for art scholarships, meeting new people, and learning a little more about the history of South Carolina.

One lady I met and thoroughly enjoyed getting to know was Winnie.
As iron sharpens iron,
so a friend sharpens a friend. Proverbs 27:17 NLT

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

It's National Good Brother Day

Have you noticed in recent years we have a national day for just about everything?

Today is April 25, 2017. If you search you'll see it's National Crayola Day

It's Freedom Day in Portugal. Okay, that's a legit holiday. The closest I've gotten to Portugal is looking at Scott's pictures from his trip.

You'll also discover it's National DNA Day, East Meets West Day, Hairstylists Appreciation Day, National Telephone Day, National Plummer's Day and many more.

What you may not discover in your research on April 25, is my brother, Chris Lutz was born on this day. He's been a great brother over the years. I've watched him grow into a good husband and father. Chris is a good example of a godly father. Maybe because we grew up with a great example with our dad.

Acts 10:2 NIV "He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly."

My dad and brother are both devout and God-fearing and have prayed for our families regularly. I'm truly blessed to be part of their family.

Because most of these other holidays don't mean much to me, I'm going to be corny and proclaim it National Good Brother Day.

This is Chris with his wife Carol when we vacationed with them in Maine this fall.

And here's a picture of Dad with the family.

And because I have sons, I decided to throw in a picture of them with Tim as we celebrate National Good Brother Day.

If you have a brother, I encourage you to reach out to him today.

Happy National Good Brother Day!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

My New Back Porch

I'm getting used to living in South Carolina, and I wanted to share my back porch with you. In the morning I see the sun rise over the lake. During the day ducks, geese, and herons land along the shore by my yard.

So far the only boats I've seen are a little toy speed boat, and my kayak and canoe. We've all enjoyed our boats on the water, but I think Brooke had the most fun. I never dreamed I'd actually live on the coast and in particular on a lake. God has delighted me beyond measure.

Genesis 1:31: "God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day."

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have a great week and take delight in the Lord.

Psalm 37:4 NIV "Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart."

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Thankfulness during the Easter Season

Hebrews 12:28-29 New Living Translation (NLT)

Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. For our God is a devouring fire.

Psalm 19:1 NLT

The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 New International Version (NIV)

...give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Moving requires physically touching every single thing you own and packing it. After you move, you physically touch every single thing again as you unpack it.

Some items bring back sweet memories of loved ones. Placing pictures on tables also reminds me how blessed I am with family and friends to love. Most of all this journey shows me how blessed I am, and I am thankful to God.

It's not November, but I am reminded to be thankful for all God has done for me, for all of his blessings and for his love.

2 Corinthians 9:15 (NIV)

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

While I reflected on being thankful, I was reminded to be thankful for the most amazing gift of all. Jesus Christ and his sacrifice for us.

John 11:25 NIV
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;

1 Peter 1:2-4 tells us,
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you...

Let's focus on Jesus in the days ahead and remember to be thankful for the greatest gift of all. As Peter said in 1 Peter 1, "Grace and peace be yours in abundance."

Monday, March 20, 2017

Walking in Charleston

In the two weeks I've been living in South Carolina, I've mostly unpacked and gotten organized. I'm not completely settled yet, but Tim had a conference in Charleston, SC and I tagged along.

We arrived early in the afternoon and grabbed lunch before walking from our hotel to The Battery. It is a seawall at the southern tip of Charleston. At this point the Ashley River meets the Cooper River. The streets are full of antebellum homes. Tim and I enjoy studying the architecture of the homes and imagine the history. We often dream of what it'd be like to live in different cities and towns, but now that I've moved I don't plan to move again. (I know, never say never.)

Today, I'd like to share a few of the pictures I took during my walks.

The pineapple fountain is beautiful. And the way palm trees are planted among other trees is amazing.

I think Charleston is a great place to visit if you enjoy history, beautiful homes, delicious food, and great scenery.

If you've been to Charleston, do you have a favorite place to visit?