Saturday, September 30, 2017

Digging Deeper in the Archives

Hello all!
 I'm feeling better each day. The farther I get from my chemo day, the better I feel. I spoke with the surgeon yesterday. I'm having my surgery October 20th. That means I have three weeks to heal and get stronger. I also have three weeks to enjoy not seeing a doctor! I'm still reading through my blog. You'll notice these entries are from last Autumn. Before you know it, I'll be up to the minute. It's been quite an experience. I've been reminded again and again, in my own voice, how faithful God has been to me and my family. Enjoy these, some of my favorites.
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Richard Sohn (1834 – 1912, German)

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You are Loved. Don't Give Up!


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 There you have it! My list of favorites I read this week. I hope you enjoy them. 

Enjoy!
Laura




How to Read a Blog from the Very First Post

P.S. If you'd like to join me in reading (or skimming) my blog from the beginning, here's my very first post: A Cozy Christ Centered Christmas.

After reading the post, just click on Newer Post. Read and repeat. After you've read as many posts as you'd like, simply bookmark the next page, and pick up from there next time you'd like to read. I put mine in the bookmarks at the top of my page. 

I've read Mrs. White's blog, The Legacy of Home  and Aunt Ruthie's blog, Sugar Pie Farmhouse from the beginning. Now I'm reading Roxy Jones' blog, Living from Glory to Gloryas well as my own.

To find the first post of a blog, go to the first month of the first year listed, then find the first post. 





Friday, September 29, 2017

THE CHRISTMAS BLESSING by Melody Carlson



 I just love reading Christmas books in September! They get me in the holiday prep mood. I've been listening to Bing Crosby on Pandora, tonight, too. It helps me feel happy and productive. I must admit I've enjoyed the music, but I've not been very productive yet. All is well. There's still time, and I want to enjoy everything I can this Fall. Anyway, back to the book!

 I've read several of Melody Carlson's books—The Christmas Bus, Christmas at Harrington's, The Christmas Angel Project, The Gift of Christmas Present, The Christmas Shoppe, and my favorite—The Christmas Joy Ride. Carlson's books are happy ending books just like Christmas books should be!

The Christmas Blessing is set during World War II. It's a classic boy meets girl beginning with a whirlwind romance. Plans to marry, then an interruption by a call to duty. A few months later, girl is in trouble, and she hasn't heard from boy for a long time.

From the Publisher:

Although Amelia would be on the train only until tomorrow morning, she unpacked a few things with the goal of making Jimmy and herself as comfortable as possible. To her delight, this cozy sleeping car felt just right for the two of them. Not only that, but as the train began to move, Jimmy relaxed and settled in. Almost as if he were glad they were finally on their way. Maybe he instinctively knew that life was about to get better for them. Perhaps he would enjoy meeting his paternal grandparents. At the moment the train pulled out of the station, anything seemed possible.


She's determined to give her baby a better life. 
Could a Christmas miracle make it possible?

Not long after she receives the news in 1944 that her baby's father was shot down in the South Pacific, Amelia Richards loses hope. Jobless and broke, she has nowhere to turn for help but her infant's paternal grandparents. The only problem is, they don't know that she--or their grandson--exists. 

When Amelia discovers the family is wealthy and influential, dare she disclose the truth of her relationship with their son? Or could the celebration of the arrival of another unexpected baby nearly two thousand years ago be the answer to her dilemma?


Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books with combined sales of more than six million. She is the author of several Christmas books, including the bestselling The Christmas BusThe Christmas DogChristmas at Harrington'sThe Christmas CatThe Christmas Joy Ride, and The Christmas Angel Project. She received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series and Finding Alice. She and her husband live in central Oregon. Learn more at www.melodycarlson.com.

My Thoughts:
 This wasn't a feel good story to read. It had a melancholy feel, because, frankly, Amelia is in a very tough situation. She made some mistakes and is paying for them dearly. She is fiercely in love with her baby, which is a good thing, and wants to do her best for him. But, these are the 1940's, wartime, and things are hard for single moms. It felt hopeless and sad and lonely at times, then someone would do something kind and redeem the  story. 

 It was a bit more confrontational than I liked in a Christmas book, but somehow it seemed more real because of it. In spite of the melancholy, I found that I liked the book. I liked the depth of some of the main characters. Like every good book, there are some surprises. Like every good Christmas book, there's a happy ending. If that's a spoiler, forgive me, but we all want a happy ending at Christmas! 

 This was a quick Christmas read. It's just right for a November or December night, or to tuck into your bag for those snatch reading moments. So put on some Bing Crosby, light a sweet smelling candle and settle in for a nice read.

 By the way, September is my usual time to begin Christmas reading and Christmas music. I used to start baking my cookies really early, but I don't bake so many anymore. The kids are older you know. If it's cold enough for a blanket, it's close enough to Christmas for a good book!


Visit Melody Carlson's website.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Digging Into the Archives


Dear readers,

If you follow Harvest Lane Cottage on Facebook, you'll recognize the puffins above. I became fascinated with the cartoonish look of puffins after reading The Legacy by Michael Phillips. These little birds were part of the setting in the Shetland Islands. If you're a patient reader of long books, you'll like the series. 

I'm feeling better than last week. I am still reading all of your comments. Your kind comments and prayers have helped me through this hard time. I hope to be writing again soon...at least until surgery. Thank you for being patient with me. I'm still not replying unless someone asks a question or requests it. 

If you're in the dark, here's what it's all about

Last time, I told you I've been reading my blog from beginning to end. I've felt a little discouraged the last few days, so I am also looking at some of my more recent posts to "build myself up in my most holy faith".  Do you do that, too? Remind yourself of the things you believe? I'm going to share another list from the archives in hopes of keeping both of us thinking happy thoughts.

Here are some of my favorites.


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Here are a couple of recipes I've found this week that look delicious:

Roxy's Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Bars with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Low Carb, Sugar Free, THM - S

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Watch for my Fall Bucket List coming soon!
Enjoy your weekend!

Laura
Learning to Rest

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The photo of the puffins was taken by Ray Hennessey. 
It's available for free on Unsplash.com.



How to Read a Blog from the Very First Post


P.S. If you'd like to join me in reading (or skimming) my blog from the beginning, here's my very first post: A Cozy Christ Centered Christmas.

After reading the post, just click on Newer Post. Read and repeat. After you've read as many posts as you'd like, simply bookmark the next page, and pick up from there next time you'd like to read. I put mine in the bookmarks at the top of my page. 

I've read Mrs. White's blog, The Legacy of Home  and Aunt Ruthie's blog, Sugar Pie Farmhouse from the beginning. Now I'm reading Roxy Jones' blog, Living from Glory to Gloryas well as my own.

To find the first post of a blog, go to the first month of the first year listed, then find the first post. 

Enjoy!
Laura






Wednesday

Saturday, September 16, 2017

A Little Blog Reading From the Archive...

Hello Friends! 

I've been reading through my blog from beginning to end. It's been a lovely way to relive memories, to remember my blessings, and to be reminded of my many thrifty ways! Interested? See note at the bottom on how to read a blog from beginning to end.

Here are some of my favorites.

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Enjoy your weekend!

Laura
Learning to Rest

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How to Read a Blog from the Very First Post


P.S. If you'd like to join me in reading (or skimming) my blog from the beginning, here's my very first post: A Cozy Christ Centered Christmas.

After reading the post, just click on Newer Post. Read and repeat. After you've read as many posts as you'd like, simply bookmark the next page, and pick up from there next time you'd like to read. I put mine in the bookmarks at the top of my page. 

I've read Mrs. White's blog, The Legacy of Home  and Aunt Ruthie's blog, Sugar Pie Farmhouse from the beginning. Now I'm reading Roxy Jones' blog, Living from Glory to Glory, as well as my own.


P.P.S. I am reading all of your comments. Your prayers and words of encouragement these last couple weeks have buoyed me up. Thank you for being patient with me. I'm still not replying unless someone asks a question or requests it. Right now it just seems to take too much energy. I feel better than last week, but this last chemo hit me hard. Hopefully, in another week or so I will feel much better.

Hugs to you all!
Laura

Monday, September 11, 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday and My Daybook September 11, 2017


Dear Ladies, 

Hello again! I am honored that you are interested in my day books. Each week I wonder at the many ladies that come and visit my humble blog. I am thankful. 

Over the years, I've linked my day books with The Simple Woman, and later, I changed format and linked with Happy Homemaker Monday. Right now I feel I need simplicity, so I'm going to keep it simple and easy.

May God bring you strength, patience, hope, and perseverance during the days to come as many of us are still adjusting to preparing school lessons, sending our children to school, or even sending a child off to college or trade school. Still more difficult, many are facing the consequences of natural tragedies which have occurred or are currently unfolding.

My thoughts have been with my Cousin Gloria in Florida all weekend. I've prayed often. She's in northeastern Florida, and she and her husband decided to stay put. As of 3 a.m. this morning, she had lost power, but they are safe. My prayers are for those in the path of Hurricane Irma, those who are in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, and with those of the northwest and west who are facing the wildfires. 

Sometimes it just all seems like too much, BUT GOD.


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Remembering 9/11
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Outside my window...
The sky is growing light, but I cannot yet see if it's going to be cloudy or clear. The grass is much greener, as are the trees, than they usually are for September. No doubt, that's because of our cooler summer.

I am thinking...
I will be so glad when I recover from this chemo. I wonder what the next step, surgery and recovery, will be like.

I am thankful...
I have a safe place to live.

In the kitchen...
I have leftover beans and rice that I made for lunch yesterday. It's one of Briana Thomas' recipes. Lowell and the girls were home for lunch. We added low-fat sour cream, Pace Picante Sauce, tomatoes, and green pepper on the side. I also added a small bit of cheddar cheese mixed in. The consensus was that it needed to be spicier. They suggested added Rotel type tomatoes or green chiles or maybe even taco seasoning.

I am wearing...
I'm still in my pink and white nightgown. My husband got up and left early for work. I've been having trouble sleeping, so I listed to Bible on YouVersion for awhile, then I got up to come and write to you.

I am creating...
I finished a chartreuse green dishcloth last night. I just need to sew in the ends. I'm not feeling very creative right now.

I am going...
I'm not doing much this week. My daughter was invited to a KC Royals baseball game, so I'm going to take her to her friend's house later this morning. This is one time that I'm thankful for the flexibility of homeschooling. She may not get another opportunity like this.

I am wondering...
what the rest of this year is going to look like for our family. I need surgery and radiation. My husband also needs knee replacement surgery. I don't know how it's all going to work out.

I am reading...
The Farmer's Bride Collection. It's a collection of short stories. I find that I wish the stories were developed into full length novels. 

I am hoping...
that Hurricane Irma continues to decrease in strength. I believe that all the prayers of the saints on Sunday made a big impact.

I am looking forward to...

I am learning...
I cannot power through this fatigue that I'm feeling. I don't have any choice but rest. 

Around the house...
I've got the general cleaning up that always needs to be done after a busy weekend. I also need to do some laundry. I can't say how much I'll get done, but I must make progress.

I am pondering...
not much right now truthfully.

A favorite quote for today...



Favorite post this week... 

One of my favorite things...

A few plans for the rest of the week... rest and assessment on Friday to see if my blood counts are up or down. If I get some energy, I may try to do a bit of decluttering and putting things away in preparation for minimal fall decorating. Truthfully, it will depend on how much help I get this year.  The kids are pretty busy these days.

A peek into my day...
My last chemo day with nurse Laura and
my faithful companion Rebecca of
Rebecca's Hearth and Home


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May the God of Shalom peace, 
nothing missing, nothing broken, nothing lacking 
bless you as you seek to love Jesus 
with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength.
Laura
Happy at Home
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P.S. I am reading all of your comments. Your prayers and words of encouragement these last couple weeks have buoyed me up. 
Thank you for being patient with me. I'm still not replying unless someone asks a question or requests it. Right now it just seems to take too much energy. 

Hugs to you all!
Laura

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May I suggest?

Christmas Gifts for Children... Precedents, Disappointment, and Gratefulness


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Join us at Happy Homemaker Monday


Thursday, September 7, 2017

Simple Little Reminders... of Mom on Her Seventieth Birthday

Barbara Kay
Ramsbottom Conklin Hall
1947-1999
May your name be blessed forever!

I was blessed to have a young mother. She and Dad married at sixteen, and I came along just shy of a year later when she was seventeen. She was energetic and full of life and fun. In a way, we grew up together. ~smile~ She moved to Heaven eighteen years ago. I look forward to our reunion. I really miss her and what might have been.

Do you have a loved one who's gone to Heaven? Isn't it a wonderful comfort knowing that if we both love Jesus and have accepted Him as our savior, that we can see each other again?

I believe that Jesus is coming back soon. We'll be caught up with Him, and there will be quite a reunion. Yes. I'm looking forward to that. If you're not absolutely sure that you've given your heart and your life to Jesus, and trusted Him for salvation, please don't wait. Click here to learn more.

Until then... Simple little reminders of Mom...

~ Silent Night

~ Sweet Hour of Prayer

~ Amazing Grace

~ Away in a Manger

~ Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire

~ decorating for Christmas

~ rocking chairs

~ smiling and talking to everyone

~ yard sales

~ my daughters singing

~ hot roast beef sandwiches

~ Baby's Got Her Blue Jeans On

~ harmonica music

~ Bleeding Hearts

~ July 3rd

~ black walnut divinity

~ Christmas Eve

~ star sapphires

~ Blue Cross Blue Shield

~ singing in the car

~ family recipes

~ purple Iris

~ mums

~ Beach Boys music

~ lemon slushes from Sonic

~ rose bushes

~ hand laid brick sidewalks

~ lilacs

~ little honey colored pet mice

~ beef and bean tostadas

~ mashed potatoes, "Did you salt the potatoes?"

~ Garfield the cat

~ Clark Bars

~ Milky Way

~ TOPS

~ purple bearded Iris

~ Red Lobster

~ macrame

~ chess

~ The Lioness

~ Pepsi at the beauty shop

~ room mother

~ poster board and poster paints... She could paint anything!

~ Carol Burnett

~ Take Me Out to the Ballgame

~ macaroni and tomatoes

~ homemade pork tenderloins

~ card games

~ sewing, especially laying the fabric out on the floor to pin and cut

~ There Was an Old Geezer Had a Wooden Leg

~ Tongue Twisters

~ She sells seashells down by the seashore. How many seashells does she sell?

~ September 7th

~ Fireworks

~ barbecue chicken, corn on the cob, and sliced, homegrown tomatoes

~ I Love Lucy

~ mashed potato sandwiches

~ blue robins' eggs

~ dancing

~ homegrown tomato sandwiches with salt

~ crochet and crafts

~ homemade cinnamon candy suckers

~ handmade leaded stained glass

~ Yahoo... when it was a giant wooden board game that covered a card table. It was played with marbles. It was played sort of like Sorry! or Trouble! now.

~ Brahams' Lullaby... "Lullaby and goodnight... the angels are singing... hear them singing soft and low... off to sleepyland you go.... Close your eyes... little one... close your wee little eyes... close your eyes... little one... 'til the morning has come."

~ socks and blouses matching

~ soft serve vanilla ice cream cones dipped in chocolate and rolled in peanuts

~ singing with the radio

~ Uno

~ cinnamon rolls and sticky buns with brown sugar and pecans

~ homemade coleslaw (She thought I should like hers even though I didn't like any coleslaw!)

~ "If I doed it, I get in trouble. I doed it!"

~ "I'm Gettin' Nuttin' for Christmas!"

~ Bing Crosby Christmas music

~ Dolly Parton, Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn

~ "Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake. I pray the Lord my soul to take. God bless Daddy... God bless Mommy... God bless John... God bless Grandma... God bless Grandpa...."   When I had my own children, someone taught me a line to replace the "If I should die" line. "May angels watch me through the night and wake me with the morning light."

~ This breast cancer has brought her to mind too many times to count. Mom and later her sister my aunt Phyllis Jean had breast cancer. As I've been going through chemo, I remember Mom's battle first with breast cancer then later, because the doctors did not follow up with her treatment properly, her battle with bone cancer. I will be most diligent to make sure I have regular check ups even when I am declared cancer free. I know that treatment has changed much since the 1990's. Thank you to Rick, my step-dad, for loving her through the end, for helping me put it all together in my mind, and for helping me emotionally by talking through it all with me to help me to understand her journey and to walk through mine with Jesus.

~ Music was a big part of my life because of my mom's love of music. She sang a lot! You saw how much music reminds me of her. She sang, she played music in the car, we watched musicals. We bought magazines that had the lyrics to the latest country songs and sat at the table and sang them together. Sometimes we'd record ourselves on a cassette tape player.

~ The song I was named after, "Tell Laura I Love Her".  I was also named after the elderly lady, Lori Morrow, and her husband Leland that he lived with in college. Diane was from my mom's best friend in high school.

Jesus, please tell Momma I love her. Tell Momma I need her. Tell Momma not to cry. I know her love for me will never die. I know she's crying no tears in Heaven, but I'm crying more than a few for her as I miss her, and I honor her on her 70th birthday.

Barbara Kay Ramsbottom Conklin Hall may her name be blessed forever.

Thank you Jesus for my momma.
Amen.


Note: My dad is James (Jim) Conklin, her first husband. The photo above is with my step-dad, her second husband, Richard (Rick) Hall. I love them both.







Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Just a Note While I Continue my Blog Break


Thank you all for being so gracious to me about my blog break. Today I'll see the oncologist and hopefully get a little more information about the plan for the next several weeks. Tomorrow I'll have my sixth and final chemo. Can't wait for this three week cycle to be over so that my body can begin recovering from all this toxicity.

Here are some posts that you might enjoy while I continue my blog break.

The Attic Was a Lovely Place to Play

An Autumn Dream

5K to Destruction

No Wonder ~ Anne of Green Gables

Do You Know How Blessed You Are?

Little House Thoughts ~ Ma is the True Heroine


Christmas in July

Revelation to a Writer

A Few Things I Love About Not Going Back to School

Thank you all once again for praying for me and for being patient while I take time to rest and heal. Hopefully, I won't have to be on house arrest during this next round of chemo.

I cannot tell you what it's meant to have you dear ones with me on this journey. Knowing that you're praying, and hearing from you regularly has really helped to keep me going. Thank you for being so gracious about me not writing and replying to comments.

Be blessed and count your blessings!
Consider yourselves hugged!

Laura
Blessed and Healed
by the Power of the
Blood of Jesus Christ