Thursday, January 30, 2014


"Hey!  Ya'll want to come over for a Super Bowl party Sunday night?" Bev didn't have to ask twice.  We didn't even have to think about it.  Of course we'll be there!  

The guys are stoked about the game.  Even my Canadian son-in-law, Dave, said, "I'm so excited about this game."  So are his sons.  We ladies are probably more focused on just being together.  Oh yeah. . .and the food.  Oh yeah. . .and the commercials.  I've already seen a TV show this week devoted to the best of those over the years.

I  also read a few tidbits to file under Super Bowl Trivia.  You might entertain your guests with some of these factoids.

  • The game is the second most watched sporting event in the world behind the Soccer Champions League Final. More than 100 million people worldwide watch the Super Bowl every year.
  • Of the top 10 American most watched television shows of all time, nine of them are the Super Bowls.
  • More people throw a Super Bowl party at home, than a New Year's Eve party in their house. 
  • 8 million pounds of guacamole is consumed on Super Bowl Sunday and 14,500 tons of chips.
  • The Super Bowl is measured in Roman numerals because the football season runs over two calendar years.
  • Over 700,000 footballs are produced annually for official NFL use and 72 of them are used for the Super Bowl.
  • The Green Bay Packers won the first Super Bowl.
  • The Steelers have the most Super Bowl wins with six.  The Cowboys and 49ers each won five.
  • The Steelers and Cowboys tied with eight appearances at the Super Bowl.
  • The Broncos, Bills, Vikings and Patriots are tied for the most Super Bowl losses with four each.
  • The Minnesota Vikings have played in four Super Bowls but never led at any point in the game.
  • Joe Montana has won the Super Bowl MVP three times. 
  • Seahawks coach Pete Carroll could join Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer as the only coaches to win both an NCAA championship and Super Bowl.
  • The Green Bay Packers have the most NFL championships (12) in the history of the game of football.
  • English is the only language where the word football does not mean soccer. 

                       Enjoy your Super Bowl party!

Friday, January 24, 2014


This clever artwork was designed by a friend specifically for this blog post.  She wishes to remain unnamed but we both seem to collect strange signs.  So this theme and art will recur.

Signs of the times are everywhere.  Here are a few of my favorites.

Friday, January 17, 2014


Last week's blog was about me helping my friend, Phyllis, get organized. Today I'll tell about how she became my impromptu interior decorator.

She came early to teach piano and visit, as usual.  Sitting in my living room, talking about how often she rearranges furniture, I commented, "I never move my furniture around. . .don't even think to."

"You should."

That's when it began.  One of her many skills is arranging.  I love decorating but she knows how to bring it all together in harmony.

"Kat, you've got too many large pieces on that wall. . .too much space between sofas for conversation. . .coffee table here. . .chair there. . .wall and mantle  decor in 3's or 5's, not even numbers. . ."

That short, powerhouse woman was hoisting, lifting, hip-bumping furniture everywhere.  The only pieces she couldn't move were the two too big ones.  "Doug can move the curio cabinet to that other wall.  Just check with him first."

I didn't have to.  He walked in from golfing about then, gasped at his unrecognizable room as he tripped over the newly located sofa.  "WHAT IN THE WORLD?"

Know what I hate about Phyllis?  She thinks she's always right about her decorating ideas. Know what I love about Phyllis.  She is right.  Eventually even Doug came to agree.

So over the next few weekly visits, she gave the Phyllis touch to bedrooms, bathroom, music studio, even my kitchen counter.  She'd shop my house from one room and bring it to another.  I loved the less-is-more re-purposing things she did without spending a dime.  So did Doug!
"Push together these 2 end tables your dad made. Make them into one plant stand!"

"Group things in 3's."

"Don't try to hang something on every wall, Kat. Less is more."

"Use that cute box from your niece to prop up the lamp and clock."

Mix your grandmother's antique chair with a modern globe and clock."
"Bring in nature and various textures."

She even took Grandma's simple pitcher home with her for a few days.  She gave it the Phyllis touch.  It graduated from bedroom to our bay window.                     
 Recently she walked in, spotted it on display and bragged on herself, "That flower arrangement is beautiful!"

It is.  So is she.

Friday, January 10, 2014


"Kathy, can you and Doug come over Sat. for lunch?" Phyllis invited.  Knowing that meant fresh veggies from Bobby's garden, I didn't even ask Doug.


The ham, cukes, tomatoes, squash, fried cornbread and cobbler with ice cream went beyond my expectations. Phyllis is a fabulous cook.  

We all have different gifts.  Mine is NOT cooking but I love to decorate and organize. Trudy is an excellent cook as is Bev, who seems to do it all beautifully.  I love my friends and appreciate their talents.

After dinner Phyl commented, "I need to clean out my closet. It's overwhelming. Can you help me get started sometime, Kat?"

Sometime turned into that very afternoon.  It began with every inch filled to over-flowing, floor to closet ceiling.  She'd hold up a white blouse and I'd ask, "Have you worn it in the last year?"

"No, but it was my sister, Peggy's, and one day I might. . ." 

"Phyllis, count them!  You have 7 white blouses!  In fact, if you wore a different outfit everyday this year, you'd still have not worn it all!"

It was obvious I had to shift gears from old friend to drill sergeant.  I began prying her fingers from hangers and forming three piles.  (I watch TV shows about organizing hoarders!)

This scenario could have wrecked a fragile friendship.  Ours was not fragile.  I paid for my delicious dinner over the next 4 hours but her closet looked fantastic by evening.  She was thrilled!  I was exhausted but happy for her.  Her daughter, Robin, called and thanked me, "Oh, Miss Kathy, we've been trying to get her to do that for years!  She's even on our church prayer list." (She has Bobby's sense of humor.)

The four of us crashed and watched a Hallmark movie over more dessert.  But the best part came after we left that night.  Phyllis started in on other rooms, closets, cabinets, eventually even tearing down walls and remodeling her already beautiful home.  She became the drill sergeant and Bobby her willing helper. 

"All we have left to do is the outside storage room!" she proclaimed a few weeks later.

Sometimes ya just need a jump-start.  And a good friend.

Next blog I'll tell you when we reversed roles and Phyllis took over at my house!

Thursday, January 2, 2014


My brother-in-law, Victor, posted a video on facebook that fascinated Doug and me. Defying gravity does that!  Here's the article and be sure to catch the video at the end.

Those extraordinary goats in the above piece led me to this second video of their less brilliant cousins, commonly know as fainting goats: 

Startling contrast between the two.  On a good hair day I'm probably more of a fashionable goat, like the Angora goat mentioned.  Fact is, each goat functions exactly as God designed. The goat's not amazing.  The Creator, his Designer, is!

The Bible talks about separating sheep from goats one day when Christ claims His own for eternity.  His sheep know His voice.  Another, lesser known, animal analogy is found in Habakkuk 3:19: "The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.  For the director of music. On my stringed instruments."

An old book I read years ago, Hinds Feet on High Places, brought home the work God does in hard places.  He builds us in the valley to climb to heights we never imagined possible.  His strength in the journey give us hinds' feet, deer feet, to climb to those beautiful high places.  But we have a choice.  Remain in the valley.  Mope.  Whine.  Pout. Cry. Cocoon in self-pity.  Or let Sorrow and Pain be our guides out of the pit and on to mountain tops.  Good read.  Tough stuff to live though.

My Story

The whole animal illustration was like a mirror to myself.  I was born a mangy goat, probably the stiff-legged fainting type.  Funny but not very useful.

Then I heard a sweet voice calling my name, "Kathy. . .Ka-aaathy?  Come unto Me."  I did and was immediately transformed into a sheep.  Still not very useful.  Quite dumb and helpless, in fact.  But I stayed by my Shepherd Who loved and protected me.  He led me by still waters. Except when I romped off to the white water rapids and soon found I was not equipped for that! Back He took me to green pastures, the greenest, freshest fodder for me.  I grazed, grew.

Until one day I plummeted off the edge, ripping and shredding as I fell to the dark, rocky valley below. Alone!  No, he was there too! Nurturing, healing me.  As He carried me up, I learned.  The safest place is beside the Shepherd.  The best food and water are beside my Shepherd. The best place for soul restoration is beside my Good Shepherd.  

One day I walked again.  Wobbly legged, but walked. . .BESIDE the Shepherd.  We climbed. Slowly, sometimes painfully up.  Up.  Up.  It was hard, dark, often bleak.  But together we climbed.  Up. Up.  Up.  I wondered at times Am I still in the valley?  Where is He taking me? Why is it taking so long?

Then I breathed and the air was cold, icy cold.  I gasped to catch my breath when He said, "Look."  I saw the most gorgeous panoramic view of where I'd lived, fell, climbed.  We were on top of a mountain, heights I'd never seen.  Beauty I'd never dreamed.

"Look," he said again, pointing at me, at my feet.  They weren't goat's feet, not even sheep hooves but they'd changed. . .hinds' feet!  I'd grown deer feet that climbed to higher ground, a higher place that I had found!  Lord, plant my feet on higher ground! I'd have never chosen a fall nor a valley but He used it for my good and His glory.  He wasted nothing. . .what a Redeemer!  He redeems everything in my life.

From that gorgeous peak I listened as my dear Shepherd reminded me, "You will mount up with wings like an eagle.  You'll soar, Kathy!"

Not yet.  But. . .is that a feather I feel on my shoulder