Bible Verse Coasters

These are coasters that I made recently for a friend’s birthday.


Each one includes a Bible verse containing the word JOY, because that’s her name.


This was my first attempt, but they were very easy to make. The porcelain tiles cost 16 cents each, from Lowe’s. The music notes all came from one piece of scrapbook paper from Michael’s. The Bible verses were just printed on regular typing paper in the font of my choice.  There are numerous tutorials online which can show you exactly how to do this, but basically I used a little foam brush to smear some Mod Podge (Please note that this is NOT pronounced “Modge Podge.” I don’t care what everybody says.) all over the tile and stick the papers to it and to each other. Then, when each one had been coated with several layers of Mod Podge, I took them outdoors (very important!) and sprayed them with Mod Podge Acrylic Sealer, which smells horrific and produces terrible fumes, so don’t even consider doing this inside.



I stuck on the little rubber feet that can be bought at Michael’s or Lowe’s, among other places. Some people use cork or felt, but this was the easiest way, though probably the most expensive. Once complete, I tied them up with a black ribbon and had a personalized handmade gift. I could make you some, if you’d like. Any color, any text, name, initials, picture, whatever! $10 should cover it. You’re welcome to email me at


My Laundry Area Makeover

Since our move to Florida in 2011, our family has lived in an apartment. While I have not done many projects here because we’ve never been sure how long we’d stay, one thing that I really couldn’t tolerate was our junky, cluttered laundry area.




All that stuff on the top shelf made me crazy, and the stuff on the dryer bothered me as well. So…. just a few changes brought us to this:


IMG_0251 We rigged a curtain rod to hang down from the ceiling. It doesn’t go all the way over to the opposite wall…the water heater hides over there. But it covers the part that most anybody would ever see. (Curtain from Wal-Mart.)

IMG_0253The two lined baskets came from Michael’s, and my biggest score was the FRAMED laundry room prints from Hobby Lobby. They were just a few bucks each, marked down from $40! The fact that I found this stuff at different places but in coordinating colors was just a bonus! :-) Now my laundry area is neat and put-together, without having to make any expensive permanent changes.

Watermarks, Ending Friendships, and a Haircut


I’m sad about that tacky-looking watermark in the illustration above. I’m an affiliate of, and up until now I was using their art to illustrate each post, and then after you (the reader) had had a chance to marvel over this beautiful artwork, at the end of the post I was giving you a link to it on their site, in case you cared to purchase it. Win/win, I figured. But no…I can no longer use their nice pictures even in this mutually beneficial manner, without the watermark. And that makes me sad, but what makes me even sadder is that “Free Stock Photo” sites are never really free. Oh, they will give you crappy free pictures that nobody would want…but anything worth using is gonna cost you. What makes me saddest of all is that searching for a solution to this dilemma causes me to waste all sorts of time so that I end up not writing anything. Sigh. Tips, anybody?

What I really want to talk about today is the idea of ending a friendship. The Bible tells us to turn the other cheek seventy times seven. It tells us to forgive, to love our neighbors, and to not hold a grudge. So, knowing that, do you think it’s ever biblically permissable to say “I’m done,” to a person you’ve been friends with? Everybody seems to agree that it’s alright to end romantic relationships that are not going well, but I think that’s because romantic relationships have a tendency to (maybe??) progress toward marriage. Obviously if things are not working out, you wouldn’t want to make a legal, moral, lifetime commitment. But friendship is a different thing. I have ended several and I’ll try to summarize two of them briefly.

First situation: I have known “John” and his wife since we were in our early twenties. Back then, he and I were in a band together and we always liked one another. As we all grew older and had families, we were out of touch for a long time, and somehow during those years he developed some psychological problems including bipolar disorder. In more recent years, we all got reacquainted via Facebook and he and I chatted often, but the problem was that he would sometimes misinterpret things I posted as being directed at him, and send me angry emotional rants. I tried to be patient, knowing he was not exactly himself, and believing he needed my friendship. He unfriended me several times and I accepted him back after he cooled down. But finally, after my family’s move to Florida in 2011, our life wasn’t in such a great place for a while (huge understatement)  and my patience with his drama ran thin. He unfriended me, then cooled down and requested me back. I messaged him that I was sorry, I would always care for him and wish him the best, but I had to get off the roller coaster.

Second situation: I had a female friend who was my coworker for many years. Our paths diverged, finally, and she found herself in the stunning (to me) position of being in the Army, of all things, stationed in Alaska, of all places. She and I became great Facebook friends and talked almost daily about all the details of our lives. I had not seen her in about seven years, when it came to light that we would both be in our hometown over the Thanksgiving holiday. I couldn’t wait to see her. In fact, it would have been the highlight of my trip. But…despite the fact that we were in the same town for four days, she could not seem to find an hour for me. This one really hurt. It was the sort of thing that happens when you’re dating a person and you realize they only see you at their own convenience and never go to any actual trouble for you. At least it felt like that. Let me repeat, we had talked DAILY for years, and this was the one and only time in a decade, probably, that we’d be in the same state, but gosh, she was too darn busy. I considered this one not so much ending a friendship as realizing that a real friendship did not exist in the first place.

I wonder what you think about  these. Is it okay to part ways, as long as I am not holding malice in my heart? Or should I, or any person who perceives herself to be on the receiving end of bad treatment, just be humble enough and loving enough to let it go on forever? The Bible says love is long-suffering…but how long-suffering? What do you think?

WHAT’S ON MY MIND LATELY:  That dumb watermark! And I’m trying to think up fun things to do with my son once he gets home from his grandparents’.

WHAT’S GOING ON AROUND HERE: I just gave my husband a haircut. I give him a full haircut every two weeks and a trim every week. He always looks neat and it saves a TON of money, not to mention time he’d spend sitting in the “haircut store,” as my kids used to call it. You should get some clippers and give it a try on your husband! It’s not difficult.

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Silly Magic Words and a Birthday Gift




I am not posting this “declaration” because I condone it or find it inspiring. I don’t. I’m posting it because I am so tired of seeing this junk all over Facebook…and that goes double for “inspiring” quotes from the slicker-than-eel-poop Joel Osteen. I am tired of people declaring that everything is going to turn out great and that the Lord is just about to make them rich and famous, happy, healthy, loved, successful, blah blah blah. I am sick of this fake prosperity gospel.

In the first place, it’s just not a sound belief system. As I recall, life on earth didn’t work out too well for a man named Job, or one named Paul, or John the Baptist, or even Jesus, for that matter. An awesome life on earth is just not the point of it all. Yes, it would certainly be lovely and enjoyable if the Lord blessed us with money and happiness, but he doesn’t promise to.

Furthermore, God blesses people as he sees fit, but I think if I were the one making the call, I wouldn’t hand out my blessings to a bunch of ninnies standing around “declaring” about it. Maybe I’d be more likely to bless somebody who was praying,  reading the Bible, sharing the gospel, serving those in need, etc. Just an opinion, folks. I welcome yours.

WHAT’S ON MY MIND LATELY: How much I don’t want to work full time. I’m looking around for possible ways to make money. I keep thinking with great admiration about a friend of mine who began doing some crafting and decorating that she enjoyed, and it exploded into a business so hot she says she could use ten of herself to do the work. I am excited for her, extremely proud of her, and….a little bit jelly. Check out her beautiful work by searching Country Peach Boutique on Facebook or Google.

WHAT’S GOING ON AROUND HERE: I gave someone a birthday gift today. Well, the full story is, I’ve been giving all of my coworkers birthday gifts since January. I resolved to be a more thoughtful friend this year, and the gifts are a part of that. They are also an attempt by me to learn to be a less selfish person, because I’m usually a horrible tightwad. It’s funny because I’m not really self-indulgent…if I have money I don’t really spend it on myself very much anyway, so I can’t explain why I’m so reluctant to spend it on anybody else. I guess I just grew up being unable to afford a lot, so I have a deep-seated uneasiness about spending. This experiment has been good for me as far as getting me to loosen my purse strings. I have enjoyed picking out gifts that are not generic, but instead are geared especially toward the birthday person’s taste or needs. I hope my coworkers have enjoyed the gifts, and as for myself I am much less likely now to agonize over whether I reeeeeeaaalllllly like a certain person ten or twenty dollars worth, or are they even at a five dollar level of my affection? Well heck, a card costs five dollars and that’s ridiculous, so why bother doing anything at all? That used to be my mindset, but I find my attitude is much improved now.

What about you–what are your spending habits? Do you treat yourself and hold back on others, or is it the opposite? Maybe you treat yourself AND your loved ones (not more than you can afford, I hope) or maybe you’re frugal all around. This is one way that my husband and I are unfortunately not on the same page. I think if I were single I would live much more simply and save a lot more. But maybe the Lord sent him to me so we could balance each other. Do you and your spouse have the same spending habits?




Tattoos, Weight Loss, Hoarders, and a New Desk


The big topic on my mind today is tattoos. This is a touchy subject to speak negatively about, because it seems to me that the vast majority of people have them these days. But here’s my unsolicited opinion–I think tattoos are terribly ill-advised.  I don’t personally find them attractive, but I’m suggesting that  even the most beautiful and ornate tattoo in the world is a poor idea, because it’s a PERMANENT fashion statement. Young people, young ladies especially, please consider this: imagine the very hottest and most stylish hairstyle, makeup, clothes, or shoes that you could possibly buy, today in 2014. Now imagine that you have to wear it every single day for the rest of your life. It may be exactly the image you want to project and exactly the statement you want to make about yourself at 20, but how will it look when you’re 40…or 60…or 80? You’re not always going to be the person you are today! Your life will change, maybe drastically, and so will your body!

I saw a group of college girls yesterday, shopping for items for their dorm room. One, I noticed from a distance because she had on a nice summer dress and sandals, and I admired her pretty tanned legs. Then her friend came around the corner, wearing a T-shirt and shorts, with a large red and black tattoo of a pirate on the front of her thigh. She’s stuck with that, forever. I just find it sad.

Some Christians believe it’s a sin to get tattoos, based on the Bible’s one mention of tattoos in the Old Testament. (Leviticus 19:28). Others believe that one verse has to be taken in context with the other warnings in the passage about pagan practices. Verse 27 warns against beard trimming, which of course nobody objects to nowadays. If you’re questioning whether tattoos are okay and you want to consider it from a Christian perspective, I think it might be more worthwhile to consider the idea that we are not our own, for we were bought with a price; or that our bodies are a temple of the Holy Ghost. But I’m in no position to preach or throw stones about keeping one’s body in mint condition (see next section!) and I’m mainly making the point that I’m afraid a day will come when you regret drawing pictures on yourself.

WHAT’S ON MY MIND LATELY: Weight loss. I can barely stand myself anymore, and something’s gotta give. Before we moved to Florida in 2011, I had lost about 30 pounds and was feeling pretty decent about myself. I had to starve all the time in order to lose that much weight, but I truly felt like I had gotten used to starving, and accepted the fact that being continually hungry was the only way I could be anything other than fat. But gradually the weight came back. I hovered at a certain amount for quite a long time, but now I’m suddenly gaining. I can sit around and think of all the different things I’m going to do, and yet I walk right into the kitchen…WHILE THINKING ABOUT WEIGHT LOSS…and open up a Little Debbie or something. I don’t understand it but I can’t seem to get a grip. I have so many excuses. I have access to a gym (at my apartment complex) and a pool, but I’m afraid to go to the gym when the office is not open…anybody could come in there and harm me. I’m afraid of certain diet pills or whatever because I have high blood pressure and I’m afraid of what they might do to me. I live in a HOT, humid climate where going outside for a walk or a bike ride seems laughable much of the time. It’s always something…plus, one thing that really is true is that I have a husband whose idea of something to DO is really something to EAT. Eating is the most social thing in the world to him…he wants to eat all the time and if I try to abstain, he pouts or refuses to eat (even if he’s legitimately hungry). I’m going to try again this coming week…and in the near future, I’m on the list for a clinical trial of a new weight loss medicine. I hope that might help me, but I’m afraid it might have ill effects at the same time. I’ve thought about asking my Facebook friends for suggestions, but a couple of them sell weight loss supplements and I don’t want them hounding me. Plus, it’s really an ego issue for me–if I can’t lose weight, I don’t want to admit I was trying to. It was wonderful in 2011, when it magically fell off and only after it was noticeable did people begin to question me. If only they had known that my life was falling apart in many other ways, but that’s another story!

WHAT’S GOING ON AROUND HERE: At the moment, I’m watching Hoarders. It’s a guilty pleasure of mine. Notice how I do NOT enjoy watching “The Biggest Loser!” No way…I want to watch something that makes me feel totally superior. One wonderful thing that Brian (my husband) and I have in common is that we love to keep a clean and organized house. We are not so much germ-aphobes, we’re not into sterilizing everything, but we love to have a place for everything, and everything in its place. We are ruthless cullers and discarders. We donate so much to Goodwill that I wonder if the tax man is even going to believe all the donation receipts we have at the end of the year. I love for things to look nice and for my stuff to be accessible. Just last week, my closet and drawers had gotten too crowded, and I cleaned them out and donated a number of things that I was not entirely opposed to wearing, simply because I have other things that I’m more likely to wear. You can only fit so much stuff into your space, and I believe that when you get too crowded, it’s NOT because you need a bigger space, it’s because you need LESS STUFF! Anyway…I watch Hoarders all the time, but I have a horrible lack of compassion toward the actual Hoarders. Seriously, I do! I want to go upside their stubborn heads most of the time. They start to snivel about how they feel guilty and ashamed, and I want to say “GOOD! You SHOULD be ashamed for having your poor children living in this filth!” And furthermore, it amazes me how many of them are compulsive shoppers even though they are unemployed. HELLO, I work full-time but I can’t AFFORD to be a compulsive shopper, so how can they?! Okay, I’m getting red in the face. Probably not the healthiest show for me to watch, huh? It’s not nice to judge. :-(

While I’m watching TV and writing this, Brian is assembling a new desk for our son. Brandon (12) is away visiting his grandparents, but just prior to leaving, he asked for a new, larger desk.  I have some feelings about this desk. Are you familiar with The Five Love Languages? Well, Brian’s is clearly Giving Gifts. So many times over the years, I have been seriously saddened over certain needs I had that were not being met, because MY love languages are Words of Affirmation and Physical Touch. I don’t get a lot of that, but boy, if I make the slightest reference to something I’d kinda maybe like to have, he will move mountains to give it to me. This difference between us is something I find very helpful to be aware of. I would still rather have a hug, but I know that his gifts say “I love you” in his way. Anyway…Brandon is the recipient of Brian’s gifts of love as well, this desk being one of them. If my son had asked me for the desk, I would have said, “Your current desk is not very old, but we can consider a new one for Christmas or your birthday.” I would have given him something to look forward to, and saved myself the trouble of thinking up a holiday gift. But Brandon got his desk immediately, and I am already telling him to NOT expect anything too huge for Christmas. I think I’m going to write him a letter at his grandparents’ house, to drive home the point that this desk cost the equivalent of a week of my paycheck, and I want him to appreciate it and take care of it, and NOT ask for something else expensive anytime soon.  Do you think he’d take it to heart? I don’t know. I am in dread of the idea of him growing up spoiled and entitled, but I’m kind of between a rock and hard place here.

So that’s it for me…what’s going on in your world? <3


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