Sunday, July 23, 2017

Dog Days of Summer

I forgot how hot it can be living in the South. The best time to walk is early, and it doesn't take much to work up a sweat. But I find I don't mind so much. There's so much beauty around us, and I hate to complain about the heat.

I hope you're able to find time to slow down and maybe enjoy God's beauty during these hot days of summer.

I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest." Psalm 55:6

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Castles in the Sand

I'm always delighted to spot a sandcastle as I walk along the beach. I know from experience they can take a lot of work. I also know they can be tons of fun.

The builder of this pyramid took the time to add steps.

Why do people build something that they know in a few hours the tide will wash away or some kid will stomp on and destroy?

Sometimes I think it's fun to put your creative juices to work with no long-term plan. Enjoy the moment of singing, writing or building a sandcastle.

Some people build with great detail, and others take the minimalist approach.

Colossians 3:23-24 (NIV)

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Whatever you do today, remember to work at it with all your heart whether it's existence is fleeting or eternal.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July. I hope you all find time to celebrate our great country.

Thanks to all the service people and veterans who've kept us safe over the years. Thanks also to the cops and fire departments and EMTs who work to protect us.

I love living in America and feel blessed to be here.

Monday, June 26, 2017

What's Happening in Waco

This past week I traveled to Waco, Texas. I've discovered a lot of my friends are taking vacations to Waco to see Magnolia and hope to run into Chip and Joanna.

I visited Waco to help Scott and Kelli move into their new home. Kelli is now on staff with Baylor University's Women's Volleyball team, and Scott has taken a job with Preemptive Love Coalition.

So, while others may vacation in Waco, I went to work. And I managed to squeeze in a little fun. If you visit Waco, we found a lot of fun restaurants off the beaten path. They were reasonably priced and delicious. We also found some fun little shops. And we discovered you can plant flowers in anything from an old porcelain sink to the back of a pickup truck.

I hope you have a great time if you visit Waco, and if you run into Scott and Kelli be sure to tell them hi.

Monday, June 5, 2017

South Carolina Lingo

I didn't grow up around the water, and I've never been part of a boating family. However, I've always loved the water. I think this is the reason my mother got me started early taking swimming lessons.

Now that I live in South Carolina, I'm discovering new words and some of them are related to the ocean or lakes.

One such word is jetty. I mentioned to friends walking to a long stone wall off the beach. They didn't know what I meant, and finally their sweet teenage daughter said, "Do you mean the jetty?" Well, yes I did.

According to Merriam-Webster:

Definition of jetty
plural jetties
a : a structure extended into a sea, lake, or river to influence the current or tide or to protect a harbor
b : a protecting frame of a pier
: a landing wharf

So, now I know.

Another term is pluff mud. I'd read we have amazing oysters here because of the pluff mud. I even saw a young boy covered in pluff mud at the beach one day. Pluff mud is soft, deep mud. It's slippery and supposed to be found in marshy areas.

"That dog will hunt," means it's a good plan.

"A mind to," means you're thinking about doing something.

A palmetto bug is a nice way to say cockroach. And then there's a palmetto moon. I'll be honest, I'm still trying to figure that out. It's not the moon on the state flag though. (Please don't ask a history teacher that question.)

And the last one I'll share today is I've often seen this written. Instead of the Civil War, it's called The War of Northern Aggression. I'll admit I've never heard anybody say this though.

I know every region of our country has specific sayings. What are some of yours?

Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day 2017

Besides being the unofficial start to summer, Memorial Day is a time to remember the men and women who died while serving our country in the U.S. military. It became an official holiday in 1971 even though it originated as Decoration Day after the Civil War.

I recently learned that every year at 3:00 in the afternoon is a national moment of remembrance.

Whether you visit a cemetery, go to a parade, park, or the beach, I hope you have a blessed Memorial Day.

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!